The Iliad of Homer
Page: 191Harpalion had through Asia travell'd far,
Following his martial father to the war:
Through filial love he left his native shore,
Never, ah, never to behold it more!
His unsuccessful spear he chanced to fling
Against the target of the Spartan king;
Thus of his lance disarm'd, from death he flies,
And turns around his apprehensive eyes.
Him, through the hip transpiercing as he fled,
The shaft of Merion mingled with the dead.
Beneath the bone the glancing point descends,
And, driving down, the swelling bladder rends:
Sunk in his sad companions' arms he lay,
And in short pantings sobb'd his soul away;
(Like some vile worm extended on the ground;)
While life's red torrent gush'd from out the wound.
Him on his car the Paphlagonian train
In slow procession bore from off the plain.
The pensive father, father now no more!
Attends the mournful pomp along the shore;
And unavailing tears profusely shed;
And, unrevenged, deplored his offspring dead.
Paris from far the moving sight beheld,
With pity soften'd and with fury swell'd:
His honour'd host, a youth of matchless grace,
And loved of all the Paphlagonian race!
With his full strength he bent his angry bow,
And wing'd the feather'd vengeance at the foe.
A chief there was, the brave Euchenor named,
For riches much, and more for virtue famed.[pg 248]
Who held his seat in Corinth's stately town;
Polydus' son, a seer of old renown.
Oft had the father told his early doom,
By arms abroad, or slow disease at home:
He climb'd his vessel, prodigal of breath,
And chose the certain glorious path to death.
Beneath his ear the pointed arrow went;
The soul came issuing at the narrow vent:
His limbs, unnerved, drop useless on the ground,
And everlasting darkness shades him round.
Nor knew great Hector how his legions yield,
(Wrapp'd in the cloud and tumult of the field:)
Wide on the left the force of Greece commands,
And conquest hovers o'er th' Achaian bands;
With such a tide superior virtue sway'd,
And he that shakes the solid earth gave aid.
But in the centre Hector fix'd remain'd,
Where first the gates were forced, and bulwarks gain'd;
There, on the margin of the hoary deep,
(Their naval station where the Ajaces keep.
And where low walls confine the beating tides,
Whose humble barrier scarce the foe divides;
Where late in fight both foot and horse engaged,
And all the thunder of the battle raged,)
There join'd, the whole Boeotian strength remains,
The proud Iaonians with their sweeping trains,
Locrians and Phthians, and th' Epaean force;
But join'd, repel not Hector's fiery course.
The flower of Athens, Stichius, Phidas, led;
Bias and great Menestheus at their head:
Meges the strong the Epaean bands controll'd,
And Dracius prudent, and Amphion bold:
The Phthians, Medon, famed for martial might,
And brave Podarces, active in the fight.
This drew from Phylacus his noble line;
Iphiclus' son: and that (Oileus) thine:
(Young Ajax' brother, by a stolen embrace;
He dwelt far distant from his native place,