<<<
>>>

The Iliad of Homer

Page: 241

Repulsed, they yield; the Trojans seize the slain.
Then fierce they rally, to revenge led on
By the swift rage of Ajax Telamon.
(Ajax to Peleus' son the second name,
In graceful stature next, and next in fame)
With headlong force the foremost ranks he tore;
So through the thicket bursts the mountain boar,
And rudely scatters, for a distance round,
The frighted hunter and the baying hound.
The son of Lethus, brave Pelasgus' heir,
Hippothous, dragg'd the carcase through the war;
The sinewy ankles bored, the feet he bound
With thongs inserted through the double wound:
Inevitable fate o'ertakes the deed;
Doom'd by great Ajax' vengeful lance to bleed:
It cleft the helmet's brazen cheeks in twain;
The shatter'd crest and horse-hair strow the plain:
With nerves relax'd he tumbles to the ground:
The brain comes gushing through the ghastly wound:
He drops Patroclus' foot, and o'er him spread,
Now lies a sad companion of the dead:
Far from Larissa lies, his native air,
And ill requites his parents' tender care.
Lamented youth! in life's first bloom he fell,
[pg 320]
Sent by great Ajax to the shades of hell.
Once more at Ajax Hector's javelin flies;
The Grecian marking, as it cut the skies,
Shunn'd the descending death; which hissing on,
Stretch'd in the dust the great Iphytus' son,
Schedius the brave, of all the Phocian kind
The boldest warrior and the noblest mind:
In little Panope, for strength renown'd,
He held his seat, and ruled the realms around.
Plunged in his throat, the weapon drank his blood,
And deep transpiercing through the shoulder stood;
In clanging arms the hero fell and all
The fields resounded with his weighty fall.
Phorcys, as slain Hippothous he defends,
The Telamonian lance his belly rends;
The hollow armour burst before the stroke,
And through the wound the rushing entrails broke:
In strong convulsions panting on the sands
He lies, and grasps the dust with dying hands.
Struck at the sight, recede the Trojan train:
The shouting Argives strip the heroes slain.
And now had Troy, by Greece compell'd to yield,
Fled to her ramparts, and resign'd the field;
Greece, in her native fortitude elate,
With Jove averse, had turn'd the scale of fate:
But Phoebus urged Æneas to the fight;
He seem'd like aged Periphas to sight:
(A herald in Anchises' love grown old,
Revered for prudence, and with prudence bold.)
Thus he—"What methods yet, O chief! remain,
To save your Troy, though heaven its fall ordain?
There have been heroes, who, by virtuous care,
By valour, numbers, and by arts of war,
Have forced the powers to spare a sinking state,
And gain'd at length the glorious odds of fate:
But you, when fortune smiles, when Jove declares
His partial favour, and assists your wars,
Your shameful efforts 'gainst yourselves employ,
And force the unwilling god to ruin Troy."
Æneas through the form assumed descries
The power conceal'd, and thus to Hector cries:
"Oh lasting shame! to our own fears a prey,

<<<
>>>