The Iliad of Homer

Page: 178

Drives the sharp rock; the solid beams give way,
The folds are shatter'd; from the crackling door
Leap the resounding bars, the flying hinges roar.
Now rushing in, the furious chief appears,
Gloomy as night! and shakes two shining spears:Illustration: GREEK ALTAR.

[pg 230]




Neptune, concerned for the loss of the Grecians, upon seeing the fortification forced by Hector, (who had entered the gate near the station of the Ajaces,) assumes the shape of Calchas, and inspires those heroes to oppose him: then, in the form of one of the generals, encourages the other Greeks who had retired to their vessels. The Ajaces form their troops in a close phalanx, and put a stop to Hector and the Trojans. Several deeds of valour are performed; Meriones, losing his spear in the encounter, repairs to seek another at the tent of Idomeneus: this occasions a conversation between those two warriors, who return together to the battle. Idomeneus signalizes his courage above the rest; he kills Othryoneus, Asius, and Alcathous: Deiphobus and ├ćneas march against him, and at length Idomeneus retires. Menelaus wounds Helenus, and kills Pisander. The Trojans are repulsed on the left wing; Hector still keeps his ground against the Ajaces, till, being galled by the Locrian slingers and archers, Polydamas advises to call a council of war: Hector approves of his advice, but goes first to rally the Trojans; upbraids Paris, rejoins Polydamas, meets Ajax again, and renews the attack.

The eight-and-twentieth day still continues. The scene is between the Grecian wall and the sea-shore.

When now the Thunderer on the sea-beat coast
Had fix'd great Hector and his conquering host,
He left them to the fates, in bloody fray
To toil and struggle through the well-fought day.
Then turn'd to Thracia from the field of fight
Those eyes that shed insufferable light,
To where the Mysians prove their martial force,
And hardy Thracians tame the savage horse;
And where the far-famed Hippomolgian strays,
Renown'd for justice and for length of days;229
[pg 231]
Thrice happy race! that, innocent of blood,
From milk, innoxious, seek their simple food:
Jove sees delighted; and avoids the scene
Of guilty Troy, of arms, and dying men:
No aid, he deems, to either host is given,
While his high law suspends the powers of Heaven.
Meantime the monarch of the watery main
Observed the Thunderer, nor observed in vain.
In Samothracia, on a mountain's brow,
Whose waving woods o'erhung the deeps below,
He sat; and round him cast his azure eyes