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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 212

"Though yet thy state require redress (he cries)
Depart I must: what horrors strike my eyes!
Charged with Achilles' high command I go,
A mournful witness of this scene of woe;
I haste to urge him by his country's care
[pg 278]
To rise in arms, and shine again in war.
Perhaps some favouring god his soul may bend;
The voice is powerful of a faithful friend."
He spoke; and, speaking, swifter than the wind
Sprung from the tent, and left the war behind.
The embodied Greeks the fierce attack sustain,
But strive, though numerous, to repulse in vain:
Nor could the Trojans, through that firm array,
Force to the fleet and tents the impervious way.
As when a shipwright, with Palladian art,
Smooths the rough wood, and levels every part;
With equal hand he guides his whole design,
By the just rule, and the directing line:
The martial leaders, with like skill and care,
Preserved their line, and equal kept the war.
Brave deeds of arms through all the ranks were tried,
And every ship sustained an equal tide.
At one proud bark, high-towering o'er the fleet,
Ajax the great, and godlike Hector meet;
For one bright prize the matchless chiefs contend,
Nor this the ships can fire, nor that defend:
One kept the shore, and one the vessel trod;
That fix'd as fate, this acted by a god.
The son of Clytius in his daring hand,
The deck approaching, shakes a flaming brand;
But, pierced by Telamon's huge lance, expires:
Thundering he falls, and drops the extinguish'd fires.
Great Hector view'd him with a sad survey,
As stretch'd in dust before the stern he lay.
"Oh! all of Trojan, all of Lycian race!
Stand to your arms, maintain this arduous space:
Lo! where the son of royal Clytius lies;
Ah, save his arms, secure his obsequies!"
This said, his eager javelin sought the foe:
But Ajax shunn'd the meditated blow.
Not vainly yet the forceful lance was thrown;
It stretch'd in dust unhappy Lycophron:
An exile long, sustain'd at Ajax' board,
A faithful servant to a foreign lord;
In peace, and war, for ever at his side,
Near his loved master, as he lived, he died.
From the high poop he tumbles on the sand,
And lies a lifeless load along the land.
With anguish Ajax views the piercing sight,
And thus inflames his brother to the fight:
"Teucer, behold! extended on the shore
Our friend, our loved companion! now no more!
Dear as a parent, with a parent's care
To fight our wars he left his native air.
This death deplored, to Hector's rage we owe;
[pg 279]
Revenge, revenge it on the cruel foe.
Where are those darts on which the fates attend?
And where the bow which Phoebus taught to bend?"
Impatient Teucer, hastening to his aid,
Before the chief his ample bow display'd;
The well-stored quiver on his shoulders hung:
Then hiss'd his arrow, and the bowstring sung.
Clytus, Pisenor's son, renown'd in fame,
(To thee, Polydamas! an honour'd name)

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