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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 203

Pierced by whose point the son of Enops bled;
(Satnius the brave, whom beauteous Neis bore
Amidst her flocks on Satnio's silver shore;)
Struck through the belly's rim, the warrior lies
Supine, and shades eternal veil his eyes.
An arduous battle rose around the dead;
By turns the Greeks, by turns the Trojans bled.
Fired with revenge, Polydamas drew near,
And at Prothoenor shook the trembling spear;
The driving javelin through his shoulder thrust,
He sinks to earth, and grasps the bloody dust.
"Lo thus (the victor cries) we rule the field,
And thus their arms the race of Panthus wield:
From this unerring hand there flies no dart
But bathes its point within a Grecian heart.
Propp'd on that spear to which thou owest thy fall,
Go, guide thy darksome steps to Pluto's dreary hall."
He said, and sorrow touch'd each Argive breast:
The soul of Ajax burn'd above the rest.
As by his side the groaning warrior fell,
At the fierce foe he launch'd his piercing steel;
The foe, reclining, shunn'd the flying death;
But fate, Archilochus, demands thy breath:
Thy lofty birth no succour could impart,
The wings of death o'ertook thee on the dart;
Swift to perform heaven's fatal will, it fled
Full on the juncture of the neck and head,
And took the joint, and cut the nerves in twain:
The dropping head first tumbled on the plain.
So just the stroke, that yet the body stood
Erect, then roll'd along the sands in blood.
"Here, proud Polydamas, here turn thy eyes!
(The towering Ajax loud-insulting cries:)
Say, is this chief extended on the plain
A worthy vengeance for Prothoenor slain?
[pg 266]
Mark well his port! his figure and his face
Nor speak him vulgar, nor of vulgar race;
Some lines, methinks, may make his lineage known,
Antenor's brother, or perhaps his son."
He spake, and smiled severe, for well he knew
The bleeding youth: Troy sadden'd at the view.
But furious Acamas avenged his cause;
As Promachus his slaughtered brother draws,
He pierced his heart—"Such fate attends you all,
Proud Argives! destined by our arms to fall.
Not Troy alone, but haughty Greece, shall share
The toils, the sorrows, and the wounds of war.
Behold your Promachus deprived of breath,
A victim owed to my brave brother's death.
Not unappeased he enters Pluto's gate,
Who leaves a brother to revenge his fate."
Heart-piercing anguish struck the Grecian host,
But touch'd the breast of bold Peneleus most;
At the proud boaster he directs his course;
The boaster flies, and shuns superior force.
But young Ilioneus received the spear;
Ilioneus, his father's only care:
(Phorbas the rich, of all the Trojan train
Whom Hermes loved, and taught the arts of gain:)
Full in his eye the weapon chanced to fall,
And from the fibres scoop'd the rooted ball,
Drove through the neck, and hurl'd him to the plain;
He lifts his miserable arms in vain!
Swift his broad falchion fierce Peneleus spread,
And from the spouting shoulders struck his head;

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