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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 205

There saw the Trojans fly, the Greeks pursue;
These proud in arms, those scatter'd o'er the plain
And, 'midst the war, the monarch of the main.
Not far, great Hector on the dust he spies,
(His sad associates round with weeping eyes,)
Ejecting blood, and panting yet for breath,
His senses wandering to the verge of death.
The god beheld him with a pitying look,
And thus, incensed, to fraudful Juno spoke:
"O thou, still adverse to the eternal will,
For ever studious in promoting ill!
Thy arts have made the godlike Hector yield,
And driven his conquering squadrons from the field.
Canst thou, unhappy in thy wiles, withstand
Our power immense, and brave the almighty hand?
[pg 269]
Hast thou forgot, when, bound and fix'd on high,
From the vast concave of the spangled sky,
I hung thee trembling in a golden chain,
And all the raging gods opposed in vain?
Headlong I hurl'd them from the Olympian hall,
Stunn'd in the whirl, and breathless with the fall.
For godlike Hercules these deeds were done,
Nor seem'd the vengeance worthy such a son:
When, by thy wiles induced, fierce Boreas toss'd
The shipwreck'd hero on the Coan coast,
Him through a thousand forms of death I bore,
And sent to Argos, and his native shore.
Hear this, remember, and our fury dread,
Nor pull the unwilling vengeance on thy head;
Lest arts and blandishments successless prove,
Thy soft deceits, and well-dissembled love."
The Thunderer spoke: imperial Juno mourn'd,
And, trembling, these submissive words return'd:
"By every oath that powers immortal ties,
The foodful earth and all-infolding skies;
By thy black waves, tremendous Styx! that flow
Through the drear realms of gliding ghosts below;
By the dread honours of thy sacred head,
And that unbroken vow, our virgin bed!
Not by my arts the ruler of the main
Steeps Troy in blood, and ranges round the plain:
By his own ardour, his own pity sway'd,
To help his Greeks, he fought and disobey'd:
Else had thy Juno better counsels given,
And taught submission to the sire of heaven."
"Think'st thou with me? fair empress of the skies!
(The immortal father with a smile replies;)
Then soon the haughty sea-god shall obey,
Nor dare to act but when we point the way.
If truth inspires thy tongue, proclaim our will
To yon bright synod on the Olympian hill;
Our high decree let various Iris know,
And call the god that bears the silver bow.
Let her descend, and from the embattled plain
Command the sea-god to his watery reign:
While Phoebus hastes great Hector to prepare
To rise afresh, and once more wake the war:
His labouring bosom re-inspires with breath,
And calls his senses from the verge of death.
Greece chased by Troy, even to Achilles' fleet,
Shall fall by thousands at the hero's feet.
He, not untouch'd with pity, to the plain
Shall send Patroclus, but shall send in vain.
What youths he slaughters under Ilion's walls!
Even my loved son, divine Sarpedon, falls!

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