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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 229

The prostrate prince, and on his bosom trod;
Then drew the weapon from his panting heart,
The reeking fibres clinging to the dart;
From the wide wound gush'd out a stream of blood,
And the soul issued in the purple flood.
His flying steeds the Myrmidons detain,
Unguided now, their mighty master slain.
All-impotent of aid, transfix'd with grief,
Unhappy Glaucus heard the dying chief:
His painful arm, yet useless with the smart
Inflicted late by Teucer's deadly dart,
Supported on his better hand he stay'd:
To Phoebus then ('twas all he could) he pray'd:
"All-seeing monarch! whether Lycia's coast,
Or sacred Ilion, thy bright presence boast,
Powerful alike to ease the wretch's smart;
O hear me! god of every healing art!
Lo! stiff with clotted blood, and pierced with pain,
That thrills my arm, and shoots through every vein,
I stand unable to sustain the spear,
And sigh, at distance from the glorious war.
Low in the dust is great Sarpedon laid,
Nor Jove vouchsafed his hapless offspring aid;
But thou, O god of health! thy succour lend,
To guard the relics of my slaughter'd friend:
For thou, though distant, canst restore my might,
To head my Lycians, and support the fight."
Apollo heard; and, suppliant as he stood,
His heavenly hand restrain'd the flux of blood;
He drew the dolours from the wounded part,
And breathed a spirit in his rising heart.
Renew'd by art divine, the hero stands,
And owns the assistance of immortal hands.
First to the fight his native troops he warms,
Then loudly calls on Troy's vindictive arms;
With ample strides he stalks from place to place;
Now fires Agenor, now Polydamas:
├ćneas next, and Hector he accosts;
Inflaming thus the rage of all their hosts.
"What thoughts, regardless chief! thy breast employ?
Oh too forgetful of the friends of Troy!
[pg 303]
Those generous friends, who, from their country far,
Breathe their brave souls out in another's war.
See! where in dust the great Sarpedon lies,
In action valiant, and in council wise,
Who guarded right, and kept his people free;
To all his Lycians lost, and lost to thee!
Stretch'd by Patroclus' arm on yonder plains,
O save from hostile rage his loved remains!
Ah let not Greece his conquer'd trophies boast,
Nor on his corse revenge her heroes lost!"
He spoke: each leader in his grief partook:
Troy, at the loss, through all her legions shook.
Transfix'd with deep regret, they view o'erthrown
At once his country's pillar, and their own;
A chief, who led to Troy's beleaguer'd wall
A host of heroes, and outshined them all.
Fired, they rush on; first Hector seeks the foes,
And with superior vengeance greatly glows.
But o'er the dead the fierce Patroclus stands,
And rousing Ajax, roused the listening bands:
"Heroes, be men; be what you were before;
Or weigh the great occasion, and be more.
The chief who taught our lofty walls to yield,
Lies pale in death, extended on the field.
To guard his body Troy in numbers flies;

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