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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 160

And springs the foremost with his lifted dart:
So godlike Hector prompts his troops to dare;
Nor prompts alone, but leads himself the war.
On the black body of the foe he pours;
As from the cloud's deep bosom, swell'd with showers,
A sudden storm the purple ocean sweeps,
Drives the wild waves, and tosses all the deeps.
Say, Muse! when Jove the Trojan's glory crown'd,
Beneath his arm what heroes bit the ground?
Assaeus, Dolops, and Autonous died,
Opites next was added to their side;
Then brave Hipponous, famed in many a fight,
Opheltius, Orus, sunk to endless night;
Æsymnus, Agelaus; all chiefs of name;
The rest were vulgar deaths unknown to fame.
As when a western whirlwind, charged with storms,
Dispels the gather'd clouds that Notus forms:
The gust continued, violent and strong,
Rolls sable clouds in heaps on heaps along;
Now to the skies the foaming billows rears,
Now breaks the surge, and wide the bottom bares:
Thus, raging Hector, with resistless hands,
O'erturns, confounds, and scatters all their bands.
Now the last ruin the whole host appals;
Now Greece had trembled in her wooden walls;
But wise Ulysses call'd Tydides forth,
His soul rekindled, and awaked his worth.
"And stand we deedless, O eternal shame!
Till Hector's arm involve the ships in flame?
Haste, let us join, and combat side by side."
The warrior thus, and thus the friend replied:
"No martial toil I shun, no danger fear;
Let Hector come; I wait his fury here.
But Jove with conquest crowns the Trojan train:
And, Jove our foe, all human force is vain."
He sigh'd; but, sighing, raised his vengeful steel,
And from his car the proud Thymbraeus fell:
Molion, the charioteer, pursued his lord,
His death ennobled by Ulysses' sword.
There slain, they left them in eternal night,
Then plunged amidst the thickest ranks of fight.
So two wild boars outstrip the following hounds,
Then swift revert, and wounds return for wounds.
Stern Hector's conquests in the middle plain
Stood check'd awhile, and Greece respired again.
The sons of Merops shone amidst the war;
Towering they rode in one refulgent car:
In deep prophetic arts their father skill'd,
Had warn'd his children from the Trojan field.
[pg 205]
Fate urged them on: the father warn'd in vain;
They rush'd to fight, and perish'd on the plain;
Their breasts no more the vital spirit warms;
The stern Tydides strips their shining arms.
Hypirochus by great Ulysses dies,
And rich Hippodamus becomes his prize.
Great Jove from Ide with slaughter fills his sight,
And level hangs the doubtful scale of fight.
By Tydeus' lance Agastrophus was slain,
The far-famed hero of Paeonian strain;
Wing'd with his fears, on foot he strove to fly,
His steeds too distant, and the foe too nigh:
Through broken orders, swifter than the wind,
He fled, but flying left his life behind.
This Hector sees, as his experienced eyes
Traverse the files, and to the rescue flies;
Shouts, as he pass'd, the crystal regions rend,

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