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Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

Page: 72

(ll. 386-401) As a tusked boar, that is fearful for a man to see before him in the glens of a mountain, resolves to fight with the huntsmen and white tusks, turning sideways, while foam flows all round his mouth as he gnashes, and his eyes are like glowing fire, and he bristles the hair on his mane and around his neck—like him the son of Zeus leaped from his horse-chariot. And when the dark-winged whirring grasshopper, perched on a green shoot, begins to sing of summer to men—his food and drink is the dainty dew—and all day long from dawn pours forth his voice in the deadliest heat, when Sirius scorches the flesh (then the beard grows upon the millet which men sow in summer), when the crude grapes which Dionysus gave to men—a joy and a sorrow both—begin to colour, in that season they fought and loud rose the clamour.

(ll. 402-412) As two lions 1806 on either side of a slain deer spring at one another in fury, and there is a fearful snarling and a clashing also of teeth—like vultures with crooked talons and hooked beak that fight and scream aloud on a high rock over a mountain goat or fat wild-deer which some active man has shot with an arrow from the string, and himself has wandered away elsewhere, not knowing the place; but they quickly mark it and vehemently do keen battle about it—like these they two rushed upon one another with a shout.

(ll. 413-423) Then Cycnus, eager to kill the son of almighty Zeus, struck upon his shield with a brazen spear, but did not break the bronze; and the gift of the god saved his foe. But the son of Amphitryon, mighty Heracles, with his long spear struck Cycnus violently in the neck beneath the chin, where it was unguarded between helm and shield. And the deadly spear cut through the two sinews; for the hero's full strength lighted on his foe. And Cycnus fell as an oak falls or a lofty pine that is stricken by the lurid thunderbolt of Zeus; even so he fell, and his armour adorned with bronze clashed about him.

(ll. 424-442) Then the stout hearted son of Zeus let him be, and himself watched for the onset of manslaying Ares: fiercely he stared, like a lion who has come upon a body and full eagerly rips the hide with his strong claws and takes away the sweet life with all speed: his dark heart is filled with rage and his eyes glare fiercely, while he tears up the earth with his paws and lashes his flanks and shoulders with his tail so that no one dares to face him and go near to give battle. Even so, the son of Amphitryon, unsated of battle, stood eagerly face to face with Ares, nursing courage in his heart. And Ares drew near him with grief in his heart; and they both sprang at one another with a cry. As it is when a rock shoots out from a great cliff and whirls down with long bounds, careering eagerly with a roar, and a high crag clashes with it and keeps it there where they strike together; with no less clamour did deadly Ares, the chariot-borne, rush shouting at Heracles. And he quickly received the attack.


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