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He, deeply sighing, said: To tell my woe, Why have I born thee with a mother's throes, Is but to mention what too well you know. To fates averse, and nursed for future woes? From Thebè, sacred to Apollo's name,
So short a space the light of heaven to view! (Aëtion's realm,) our conquering army came, So short a space! and fill'd with sorrow too! With treasure loaded and triumphant spoils, 480 O might a parent's careful wish prevail, Whose just division crown'd the soldier's toils ; Far, far from Ilion should thy vessels sail ! But bright Chryseïs, heavenly prize! wis led, And thou, from camps remote, the danger shun, By vote selected, to the general's bed.
Which now, alas ! too nearly threats my son. The priest of Phæbus sought by gifts to gain Yet (what I can) to move thy suit I'll go 556 His beauteous daughter from the victor's chain; To great Olympus crown'd with fleecy snow. The fleet he reach'd, and lowly bending down, Meantime, secure within thy ships, from far Held forth the sceptre and the laurel crown, Behold the field, nor mingle in the war. Entreating all : but chief implored for grace, The sire of gods and all the ethereal train, The brother-kings of Atreus' royal race:
On the warm limits of the farthest main, The generous Greeks their joint consent declare, 490 Now mix with mortals, nor disdain to grace The priest to reveren e, and release the fair. The feasts of Æthiopia's blameless race; Not so Atrides : he, with wonted pride,
Twelve days the powers indulge the genial rite, The sire insulted, and his gifts denied.
Returning with the twelfth revolving light. The insulted sire (his god's peculiar care) Then will I mount the brazen dome, and move 560 To Phæbus pray'd, and Phæbus heard the prayer: The high tribunal of immortal Jove. A dreadful plague ensues; the avenging darts The goddess spoke: the rolling waves unclose : Incessant fly, and pierce the Grecian hearts. Then down the deep she plunged from whence she A prophet then, inspired by heaven, arose, And left him sorrowing on the lonely coast, (rose, And points the crime, and thence derives the woes. In wild resentment for
the fair he lost. Myself the first the assembled chiefs incline 500 In Chrysa's port now sage Ulysses rode; To avert the vengeance of the power divine ; Beneath the deck the destined victims stow'd; Then rising in his wrath, the monarch storm'd ; The sails they furl'd, they lash'd the mast aside, Incensed be threaten'd, and his threats perform'd: And dropp'd their anchors, and the pinnace tied. The fair Chryseïs to her sire was sent,
Next on the shore their hecatomb they land, 570 With offer'd gifts to make the god relent ; Chryseïs last descending on the strand. But now he seized Briseïs' heavenly charms, Her, thus returning from the furrow'd main, And of my valour's prize defrauds my arms, Ulysses led to Phæbus' sacred fane; Defrauds the votes of all the Grecian train ; Where at his solemn altar, as the maid And service, faith, and justice, plead in vain. He gave to Chryses, thus the hero said: But, goddess ! thou thy suppliant son attend, 510 Hail, reverend priest! To Phæbus' awful dome To high Olympus' shining court ascend,
A suppliant I from great Atrides come : Urge all the ties to former service owed,
Unransom'd here receive the spotless fair; And sue for vengeance to the thundering god. Accept the hecatomb the Greeks prepare ; Oft hast thou triumph'd in the glorious boast, And may thy god who scatters darts around, 580 That thou stood'st forth of all the ethereal host, Atoned by sacrifice, desist to wound. When bold rebellion shook the realms above, At this, the sire embraced the maid again, The undaunted guard of cloud-compelling Jove. So sadly lost, so lately sought in vain. When the bright partner of his awful reign, Then near the altar of the darting king, The warlike maid, and monarch of the main, Disposed in rank, their hecatomb they bring: The traitor-gods, by mad ambition driven, 520 With water purify their hands, and take Durst threat with chains the Omnipotence of heaven, The sacred offering of the salted cake; Then call'd by thee, the monster Titan came While thus with arms devoutly raised in air, (Whom gods Briareus, men Ægeon name,) And solemn voice, the priest directs his prayer : Through wondering skies, enormous stalk'd along ; God of the silver bow, thy ear incline, 590 Not he that shakes the solid earth so strong:* Whose power encircles Cilla the divine; With giant-príde at Jove's high throne he stands, Whose sacred eye thy Tenedos surveys, And brandish'd round him all his hundred hands; And gilds fair Chrysa with distinguish'd rays ! The affrighted gods confess’d their awful lord, If, fired to vengeance at thy priest's request, They dropp'd the fetters, trembled, and adored. Thy direful darts inflict the raging pest; This, goddess, this to his remembrance call, 530 Once more attend ! avert the wasteful woe, Embrace his knees, at his tribunal fall;
And smile propitious, and unbend thy bow. Conjure him far to drive the Grecian train,
So Chryses pray'd. Apollo heard his prayer: To hurl thern headlong to their fleet and main, And now the Greeks their hecatomb prepare; To heap the shores with copious death, and bring Between their horns the salted barley threw, 600 The Greeks to know the curse of such a king : And with their heads to heaven the victims slew: Let Agamemnon lift his haughty head
The limbs they sever from the enclosing hide; O'er all his wide dominion of the dead,
The thighs, selected to the gods, divide : And mourn in blood, that e'er he durst disgrace On these, in double cauls involved with art, The boldest warrior of the Grecian race.
The choicest morsels lay from every part. Unhappy son! (fair Thetis thus replies, 540 The priest himself before his altar stands, While tears celestial trickle from her eyes) And burns the offering with his holy hands,
Pours the black wine, and sees the flames aspire, * Neptune.
The youths with instruments surround the fire :
The thighs thue sacrificed, and entrails dresa'd, 610 But part in peace, secure thy prayer is sped:
Jove to his starry mansion in the skies.
The coming god, and from their thrones of state Then launch, and hoist the mast; indulgent gales, Arising silent, rapt in holy fear, Supplied by Phæbus, fill the swelling sails ; Before the majesty of heaven appear. The milk-white canvass bellying as they blow, Trembling they stand, while Jove assumes the throne, The parted ocean foams and roars below: All, but the god's imperious queen alone : Above the bounding billows swift they flew, Late had she view'd the silver-footed dame, Till now the Grecian camp appear'd in view. And all her passions kindled into flame. Far on the beach they haul their bark to land, 630 Say, artful manager of heaven (she cries.) (The crooked keel divides the yellow sand;) Who now partakes the secrets of the skies? Then part, where stretch'd along the winding bay Thy Juno knows not the decrees of fate, The ships and tents in winding prospect lay. In vain the partner of imperial state. But raging still, amidst his navy sat
What favourite goddess then those cares divides, The stern Achilles, steadfast in his hate;
Which Jove in prudence from his consort bides? Nor mix'd in combat, nor in council join'd;
To this the Thunderer: Seek not thou to find But wasting cares lay heavy on his mind:
The sacred counsels of almighty mind : In his black thoughts revenge and slaughter roll, Involved in darkness lies the great decree, And scenes of blood rise dreadful in his soul. 639 Nor can the depths of fate be pierced by thee.
Twelve days were past, and now the dawning light What fits thy knowledge, thou the first shalt know; The gods had summond to the Olympian height: The first of gods above and men below; Jove first ascending from the watery bowers, But thou, nor they, shall search the thoughts that re. Leads the long order of ethereal powers.
Deep in the close recesses of my soul. When like the morning mist in early day,
Full on the sire the goddess of the skies Rose from the flood the daughter of the sea; Roll'd the large orbs of her majestic eyes, And to the seats divine her flight address'd. And thus return'd: Austere Saturnius, say, There, far apart, and high above the rest,
From whence this wrath, or who controuls thy sway?
Jove to his Thetis nothing could deny,
To grace her fierce inexorable son?
Perhaps in Grecian blood to drench the plain, To life so short, and now dishonour'd too. And glut his vengeance with my people slain. Avenge this wrong, oh ever just and wise!
Then thus the god : Oh restless fate of pride, Let Greece be humbled, and the Trojans rise ; That strives to learn what heaven resolves to hide! Till the proud king, and all the Achaian race, 660 Vain is the search, presumptuous and abhorrd, Shall heap with honours him they now disgrace. Anxious to thee, and odious to thy lord.
Thus Thetis spoke : but Jove in silence held, Let this suffice, the immutable decree The sacred counsels of his breast conceal'd. No force can shake : what is, that ought to be. Not so repulsed, the goddess closer press’d, Goddess, submit, nor dare our will withstand, Still grasp'd his knees, and urged the dear request. | But dread the power of this avenging hand: O sire of gods and men! thy suppliant hear; The united strength of all the gods above Refuse, or grant: for what has Jove to fear! In vain resist the omnipotence of Jove. Or, oh! declare, of all the powers above,
The Thunderer spoke, nor durst the queen reply; Is wretched Thetis least the care of Jove? A reverend horror silenced all the sky, She said: and sighing thus the god replies, 670 The feast disturb'd, with sorrow Vulcan saw Who rolls the thunder o'er the vaulted skies : IIis mother menaced, and the gods in awe;
What hast thou ask'd ? Ah why should Jove engage Peace at his heart, and pleasure his design,
Thus interposed the architect divine:
Let men their days in senseless strife employi With jealous eyes thy close access survey: We, in eternal peace, and constant joy.
Thou, goddess-mother, with our sire comply,
BOOK II. Nor break the sacred union of the sky;
Now pleasing sleep had seal'd each mortal eye, Lest, roused to rage, he shake the blest abodes,
Stretch'd in the tents the Grecian leaders lie, Launch the red lightning, and dethrone the gods.
The immortals slumber'd on their thrones above; If you submit, the Thunderer stands appeased ; 750
All, but the ever-wakeful eyes of Jove.
To honour Thetis' son he bends his care,
And plunge the Greeks in all the woes of war:
Then bids an empty phantom rise to sight,
And thus commands the vision of the night :
Fly hence, deluding dream! and light as air,
10 I can but grieve, unable to defend.
Bid him in arms draw forth the embattled train, What god so daring in your aid to move,
Lead all his Grecians to the dusty plain.
Declare, e'en now 'tis given him to destroy
The lofty towers of wide-extended Troy.
At Juno's suit the heavenly factions end.
Destruction hangs o'er yon devoted wall,
And nodding Ilion waits the impending fall. The Sinthians raised me on the Lemnian coast.
Swift as the word the vain illusion fled, He said, and to her hands the goblet heaved,
Descends, and hovers o'er Atrides' head; 20 Which, with a smile, the white-arm'd queen re
Clothed in the figure of the Pylian sage, ceived.
Renown'd for wisdom, and revered for age; Then to the rest he fill'd; and in his turn,
Around his temples spreads his golden wing, Each to his lips applied the nectar'd urn.
And thus the flattering dream deceives the king : Vulcan with awkward grace his office plies,
Canst thou, with all a monarch's cares oppress’d, And undistinguish'd laughter shakes the skies.
Oh Atreus' son! canst thou indulge thy rest? Thus the blest gods the genial day prolong,
mi fits a chief who mighty nations guides, In feasts ambrosial, and celestial song.
Directs in council, and in war presides, Apollo tuned the lyre; the Muses round
To whom its safety a whole people owes, With voice alternate aid the silver sound.
To waste long nights in indolent repose. 30 Meantime the radiant sun, to mortal sight
Monarch, awake! 'tis Jove's command I bear, Descending swift, roll'd down the rapid light.
Thou, and thy glory, claim his heavenly care. Then to their starry domes the gods depart,
In just array draw forth the embattled train, The shining monuments of Vulcan's art:
Lead all thy Grecians to the dusty plain ; Jove on his couch reclined his awful head, 780
E'en now, O king! 'tis given thee to destroy
The lofty towers of wide-extended Troy.
Destruction hangs o'er yon devoted wall,
And nodding Ilion waits th' impending fall. 40
Awake, but waking, this advice approve,
The phantom said ; then vanish'd from his sight, Jupiter in pursuance of the request of Thetis, sends a Resolves to air, and mixes with the night. deceitful vision to Agamemnon, persuading him to A thousand schemes the monarch's mind employ ; Izad the army to battle; in order to make the Greeks Elate in thought, he sacks untaken Troy: sensible of their want of Achilles. The general who is dataded with the hopes of taking Troy without his Vain as he was, and to the future blind; assistance, but fears the army was discouraged by his Nor saw what Jove and secret fate design'd; abrence and the late plague, as well as by the length What mighty toils to either host remain, of time, contrives to make trial of their disposition by What scenes of grief, and numbers of the slain!
50 a stratagem. He first communicates his design to the Eager he rises, and in fancy hears princes in council, that he would propose a return to The voice celestial murmuring in his ears. the soldiers, and that they should put a stop to them first on his limbs a slender vest he drew, if the proposal was embraced. Then he assembles the whole host, and upon moving for a return to Greece, Around him next the regal mantle threw, they unanimously agree to it, and run to prepare the The embroider'd sandals on his feet were tied : ships. They are detained by the management of Ulys. The starry faulchion glitter'd at his side ; ses, who chastises the insolence of Thersites. The And last his arm the massy sceptre loads, assembly is recalled, several speeches made on the oc- Unstain'd, immortal, and the gift of gods. casion, and at length the advice of Nestor followed, Now rosy morn ascends the court of Jove, which was to make a general muster of the troops, Lifts up her light, and opens day above.
60 and to divide them into their several nations, before The king despatch'd his heralds with commands they proceeded to battle. This gives occasion to the To range the camp and summon all the bands : poet to enumerate all the forces of the Greeks and Trojans, in a large catalogue.
The gathering hosts the monarch's word obey; The time employed in this book consists not entirely of While to the fleet Atrides bends his way.
one day. The scene lies in the Grecian camp, and upon In his black ship the Pylian prince he found; the sea-shore; toward the end, it removes to Troy. There calls a senate of the peers around :
The assembly placed, the king of men espress'd And now the mark of Agamemnon's reign
artful breast. Subjects all Argos and controuls the main.
Heroes of Greece, and brothers of the war! Whose visionary form like Nestor came,
Of partial Jove with justice I complain, The same in habit, and in mien the same.
And heavenly oracles believed in vain. The heavenly phantoni hover'd o'er my head, A safe return was promised to our toils, And, dost thou sleep, oh Atreus' son ? (he said ;) Renown'd, triumphant, and enrich'd with spoils; Ill fits a chief who mighty nations guides, Now shameful flight alone can save the host, Directs in council, and in war presides,
Our blood, our treasure, and our glory lost. To whom its safety a whole people owes, So Jove decrees, resistless lord of all! To waste long nights in indolent repose. 80 At whose command whole empires rise or fall: Monarch, awake! 'tis Jove's command I bear, He shakes the feeble props of human trust. Thou and thy glory claim his heavenly care. And towns and armies humbles to the dust. 150 In just array draw forth the embattled train, What shame to Greece a fruitless war to wage, And lead the Grecians to the dusty plain; Oh lasting shame in every future age! E'en now, O king ! 'tis given thee to destroy Once great in arms, the common scorn we grow, The lofty towers of wide-extended Troy. Repulsed and baffled by a feeble foe. For now no more the gods with fate contend, So small their number, that if wars were ceased, At Juno's suit the heavenly factions end. And Greece triumphant held a general feast, Destruction hangs o'er yon devoted wall,
All rank'd by tens; whole decads when they dine And nodding Ilion waits the impending fall. 90 Must want a Trojan slave to pour the wine. This hear observant, and the gods obey !
But other forces have our hopes o'erthrown, The vision spoke, and pass'd in air away. And Troy prevails by armies not her own. 160 Now, valiant chiefs! since heaven itself alarms, Now nine long years of mighty Jove are run, Unite, and rouse the sons of Greece to arms. Since first the labours of this war begun. But first with caution try what yet they dare, Our cordage torn, decay'd our vessels lie, Worn with nine years of unsuccessful war And scarce insure the wretched power to fly. To move the troops to measure back the main, Haste then, for ever leave the Trojan wall! Be mine; and yours the province to detain. Our weeping wives, our tender children call:
He spoke, and sat; when Nestor rising said Love, duty, safety, summon us away, (Nestor, whom Pylos' sandy realms obey'd :) 100 'Tis nature's voice, and nature we obey. Princes of Greece, your faithful ears incline, Our shatter'd barks may yet transport us o'er, Nor doubt the vision of the powers divine; Safe and inglorious, to our native shore. 172 Sent by great Jove to him who rules the host, Fly, Grecians, fly, your sails and oars employ Forbid it heaven! this warning should be lost! And dream no more of heaven-defended Troy. Then let us haste, obey the god's alarms,
His deep design unknown, the hosts approve And join to rouse the sons of Greecc to arms. Atrides' speech. The mighty numbers move.
Thus spoke the sage. The kings without delay So roll the billows to the Icarian shore, Dissolve the council, and their chief obey : From east and south where winds begin to roar, The sceptred rulers lead : the following host, Burst their dark mansions in the clouds and sweep Pour'd forth by thousands, darkens all the coast. 110 The whitening surface of the ruffled deep. As from some rocky cliff the shepherd sees And as on corn when western gusts descend, Clustering in heaps on heaps the driving bees, Before the blast the lofty harvests bend;
130 Rolling, and blackening, swarms succeeding swarms, Thus o'er the field the moving host appears, With deeper murmurs and more hoarse alarms; With nodding plumes and groves of waving spears. Dusky they spread, a close embodied crowd, The gathering murmur spreads, their trampling feet And o'er the vale descends the living cloud. Beat the loose sands, and thicken to the fleet. So, from the tents and ships, a lengthening train With long-resounding cries they urge the train Spreads all the beach, and wide o'ershades the plain : To fit the ships, and launch into the main. Along the region runs a deafening sound : They toil, they sweat, thick clouds of dust arise, Beneath their footsteps groans the trembling ground: The doubling clamours echo to the skies. Fame flies before, the messenger of Jove, 121 E'en then the Greeks had left the hostile plain, And shining soars, and claps her wings above. And fate decreed the fall of Troy in vain ; Nine sacred heralds now, proclaiming loud But Jove's imperial queen their flight survey'd, The monarch's will, suspend the listening crowd. And sighing thus bespoke the blue-eyed maid: Soon as the throngs in order ranged appear,
Shall then the Grecians fly? O dire disgrace! And fainter murmurs died upon the ear,
And leave unpunish'd this perfidious race ?
And bravest chiefs, in Helen's quarrel slain,
No: let my Greeks, unmoved by vain alarms,
Pallas obeys, and from Olympus' height, Long had be lived the scorn of every Greek, Swift to the ships precipitates her flight :
Vext when he spoke, yet still they heard him speak Ulysses, first in public cares, she found,
Sharp was his voice ; which, in the shrillest tone For prudent council like the gods renown'd: Thus with injurious taunts attack'd the throne :: Oppress'd with generous grief the hero stood, Amidst the glories of so bright a reign, Nor drew his sable vessels to the flood :
What moves the great Atrides to complain ? And is it thus, divine Laertes' son!
|"Tis thine whate'er the warrior's breast inflames, Thus fly the Greeks (the martial maid begun) 210 The golden spoil, and thine the lovely dames. Thus te their country bear their own disgrace, With all the wealth our wars and blood bestow And fame eternal leave to Priam's race ?
Thy tents are crowded, and thy chests o'erflow. 280 Shall beauteous Helen still remain unfreed? Thus at full ease in heaps of riches rollid, Still unrevenged a thousand heroes bleed ? What grieves the monarch? Is it thirst for gold? Haste, generous Ithacus ! preyent the shame, Say, shall we march with our unconquer'd powers Recall your armies, and your chiefs reclaim. (The Greeks and 1,) to lion's hostile towers, Yoar own resistless eloquence employ,
And bring the race of royal bastards here And to the immortals trust the fall of Troy. For Troy to ransom at a price too dear?
The voice divine confess'd the warlike maid, But safer plunder thy own host supplies : t'lysses heard, nor uninspired obey'd : 220 Say, wouldst thou seize some valiant leader's prize? Then meeting first Atrides, from his hand
Or, if thy heart to generous love be led, Received the imperial sceptre of command. Some captive fair, to bless thy kingly bed? Thus graced, attention and respect to gain, Whate'er our master craves, submit we must, He runs, he flies 'hrough all the Grecian train, Plagued with his pride, or punish'd for his lust. Each prince of name, or chief in arms approved, Oh women of Achaia ! men no more! lle fired with praise, or with persuasion moved. Hence let us fly, and let him waste his store
Warriors like you, with strength and wisdom blest, in loves and pleasures on the Phrygian shore. By brave examples should confirm the rest. We may be wanted on some busy day, The monarch's will not yet reveald appears ; When Hector comes : so great Achilles may: He tries our courage, but resents our fears. 230 From him he forced the prize we jointly gave, The unwary Greeks his fury may provoke; From him the fierce, the fearless, and the brave : Not thus the king in secret council spoke.
And durst he, as he ought, resent that wrong, 300 Jove loves our chief, from Jove his honour springs; This mighty tyrant were no tyrant long. Beware! for dreadful is the wrath of kings.
Fierce from his seat at this Ulysses springs,
In generous vengeance of the king of kings.
Peace, factious monster, born to vex the state,
Think not the Greeks to shameful flight to bring, With words like these the troops Ulysses rul'd; Nor let those lips profane the name of king. The loudest silenced, and the fiercest cool'd. For our return we trust the heavenly powers; Back to the assembly roll the thronging train, Be that their care ; to fight like men be ours. Desert ihe ships, and pour upon the plain. But grant the host with wealth the general load, Marmuring they move, as when old Ocean roars, Except detraction, what hast thou bestow'd ? And heaves huge surges to the trembling shores : 250 Suppose some hero should his spoils resign, The groaning banks are burst with bellowing sound, Art hou that hero? could those spoils be thine ? The rocks remurmer and the deeps rebound. Gods! let me perish on this hateful shore, 320 At length the tumult sinks, the noises cease, And let these eyes behold my son no more, And a still silence lulls the camp to peace. If, on thy next offence, this hand forbear "Thersites only clamour'd in the throng,
To strip those arms thou ill deservest to wear, Loquacious, loud, and turbulent of tongue : Expel the council where our princes meet, Awed by no shame, by no respect controllid, And send thee scourged and howling through the In scandal busy, in reproaches bold:
fleet. With witty malice studious to defame:
He said, and cowering as the dastard bends; Scorn all his joy, and laughter all his aim. The weighty sceptre on his back descends : But chief he gloried with licentious style,
On the round bunch the bloody tumours rise ; To lash the great, and monarchs to revile. The tears spring starting from his haggard eyes: His figure such as might his soul proclaim; Trembling he sat, and shrunk in abject fears, 330 One eye was blinking, and one leg was lame : From his vile visage wiped the scalding tears. His mountain-shoulders half his breast o'erspread, While to his neighbour each express'd his thought: Thin hairs bestrew'd his long mis-shapen head. Ye gods ! what wonders has Ulysses wrought! Spleen to mankind his envious heart possess'd, What fruits his conduct and his courage yield; And much he hated all, but most the best. Great in the council, glorious in the field ! Ulysses or Achilles still his theme :
Generous he rises in the crown's defence, But royal scandal his delight supreme. 270 To carb the factious tongue of insolence.