The Iliad of Homer
Page: 159No more with presents her embraces meet,
Or lay the spoils of conquest at her feet,
On whom his passion, lavish of his store,
Bestow'd so much, and vainly promised more!
Unwept, uncover'd, on the plain he lay,
While the proud victor bore his arms away.
Coon, Antenor's eldest hope, was nigh:
Tears, at the sight, came starting from his eye,
While pierced with grief the much-loved youth he view'd,
And the pale features now deform'd with blood.
Then, with his spear, unseen, his time he took,
Aim'd at the king, and near his elbow strook.
The thrilling steel transpierced the brawny part,
And through his arm stood forth the barbed dart.[pg 203]
Surprised the monarch feels, yet void of fear
On Coon rushes with his lifted spear:
His brother's corpse the pious Trojan draws,
And calls his country to assert his cause;
Defends him breathless on the sanguine field,
And o'er the body spreads his ample shield.
Atrides, marking an unguarded part,
Transfix'd the warrior with his brazen dart;
Prone on his brother's bleeding breast he lay,
The monarch's falchion lopp'd his head away:
The social shades the same dark journey go,
And join each other in the realms below.
The vengeful victor rages round the fields,
With every weapon art or fury yields:
By the long lance, the sword, or ponderous stone,
Whole ranks are broken, and whole troops o'erthrown.
This, while yet warm distill'd the purple flood;
But when the wound grew stiff with clotted blood,
Then grinding tortures his strong bosom rend,
Less keen those darts the fierce Ilythiae send:
(The powers that cause the teeming matron's throes,
Sad mothers of unutterable woes!)
Stung with the smart, all-panting with the pain,
He mounts the car, and gives his squire the rein;
Then with a voice which fury made more strong,
And pain augmented, thus exhorts the throng:
"O friends! O Greeks! assert your honours won;
Proceed, and finish what this arm begun:
Lo! angry Jove forbids your chief to stay,
And envies half the glories of the day."
He said: the driver whirls his lengthful thong;
The horses fly; the chariot smokes along.
Clouds from their nostrils the fierce coursers blow,
And from their sides the foam descends in snow;
Shot through the battle in a moment's space,
The wounded monarch at his tent they place.
No sooner Hector saw the king retired,
But thus his Trojans and his aids he fired:
"Hear, all ye Dardan, all ye Lycian race!
Famed in close fight, and dreadful face to face:
Now call to mind your ancient trophies won,
Your great forefathers' virtues, and your own.
Behold, the general flies! deserts his powers!
Lo, Jove himself declares the conquest ours!
Now on yon ranks impel your foaming steeds;
And, sure of glory, dare immortal deeds."
With words like these the fiery chief alarms
His fainting host, and every bosom warms.
As the bold hunter cheers his hounds to tear
The brindled lion, or the tusky bear:[pg 204]
With voice and hand provokes their doubting heart,