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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 187

With beauty, sense, and every work of art:
He once of Ilion's youth the loveliest boy,
The fairest she of all the fair of Troy.
By Neptune now the hapless hero dies,
Who covers with a cloud those beauteous eyes,
And fetters every limb: yet bent to meet
His fate he stands; nor shuns the lance of Crete.
Fix'd as some column, or deep-rooted oak,
While the winds sleep; his breast received the stroke.
Before the ponderous stroke his corslet yields,
Long used to ward the death in fighting fields.
The riven armour sends a jarring sound;
His labouring heart heaves with so strong a bound,
The long lance shakes, and vibrates in the wound;
Fast flowing from its source, as prone he lay,
Life's purple tide impetuous gush'd away.
Then Idomen, insulting o'er the slain:
"Behold, Deiphobus! nor vaunt in vain:
See! on one Greek three Trojan ghosts attend;
This, my third victim, to the shades I send.
Approaching now thy boasted might approve,
And try the prowess of the seed of Jove.
From Jove, enamour'd of a mortal dame,
Great Minos, guardian of his country, came:
Deucalion, blameless prince, was Minos' heir;
His first-born I, the third from Jupiter:
O'er spacious Crete, and her bold sons, I reign,
And thence my ships transport me through the main:
Lord of a host, o'er all my host I shine,
A scourge to thee, thy father, and thy line."
The Trojan heard; uncertain or to meet,
Alone, with venturous arms the king of Crete,
Or seek auxiliar force; at length decreed
To call some hero to partake the deed,
Forthwith ├ćneas rises to his thought:
For him in Troy's remotest lines he sought,
Where he, incensed at partial Priam, stands,
And sees superior posts in meaner hands.
To him, ambitious of so great an aid,
The bold Deiphobus approach'd, and said:
"Now, Trojan prince, employ thy pious arms,
If e'er thy bosom felt fair honour's charms.
Alcathous dies, thy brother and thy friend;
[pg 243]
Come, and the warrior's loved remains defend.
Beneath his cares thy early youth was train'd,
One table fed you, and one roof contain'd.
This deed to fierce Idomeneus we owe;
Haste, and revenge it on th' insulting foe."
├ćneas heard, and for a space resign'd
To tender pity all his manly mind;
Then rising in his rage, he burns to fight:
The Greek awaits him with collected might.
As the fell boar, on some rough mountain's head,
Arm'd with wild terrors, and to slaughter bred,
When the loud rustics rise, and shout from far,
Attends the tumult, and expects the war;
O'er his bent back the bristly horrors rise;
Fires stream in lightning from his sanguine eyes,
His foaming tusks both dogs and men engage;
But most his hunters rouse his mighty rage:
So stood Idomeneus, his javelin shook,
And met the Trojan with a lowering look.
Antilochus, Deipyrus, were near,
The youthful offspring of the god of war,
Merion, and Aphareus, in field renown'd:
To these the warrior sent his voice around.

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