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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 246

Aetion's son, and Podes was his name:
With riches honour'd, and with courage bless'd,
By Hector loved, his comrade, and his guest;
Through his broad belt the spear a passage found,
And, ponderous as he falls, his arms resound.
Sudden at Hector's side Apollo stood,
Like Phaenops, Asius' son, appear'd the god;
(Asius the great, who held his wealthy reign
In fair Abydos, by the rolling main.)
"Oh prince! (he cried) Oh foremost once in fame!
What Grecian now shall tremble at thy name?
Dost thou at length to Menelaus yield,
A chief once thought no terror of the field?
Yet singly, now, the long-disputed prize
He bears victorious, while our army flies:
By the same arm illustrious Podes bled;
The friend of Hector, unrevenged, is dead!"
This heard, o'er Hector spreads a cloud of woe,
Rage lifts his lance, and drives him on the foe.
But now the Eternal shook his sable shield,
That shaded Ide and all the subject field
Beneath its ample verge. A rolling cloud
Involved the mount; the thunder roar'd aloud;
The affrighted hills from their foundations nod,
And blaze beneath the lightnings of the god:
At one regard of his all-seeing eye
The vanquish'd triumph, and the victors fly.
Then trembled Greece: the flight Peneleus led;
For as the brave Boeotian turn'd his head
To face the foe, Polydamas drew near,
And razed his shoulder with a shorten'd spear:
By Hector wounded, Leitus quits the plain,
Pierced through the wrist; and raging with the pain,
Grasps his once formidable lance in vain.
As Hector follow'd, Idomen address'd
[pg 327]
The flaming javelin to his manly breast;
The brittle point before his corslet yields;
Exulting Troy with clamour fills the fields:
High on his chariots the Cretan stood,
The son of Priam whirl'd the massive wood.
But erring from its aim, the impetuous spear
Struck to the dust the squire and charioteer
Of martial Merion: Coeranus his name,
Who left fair Lyctus for the fields of fame.
On foot bold Merion fought; and now laid low,
Had graced the triumphs of his Trojan foe,
But the brave squire the ready coursers brought,
And with his life his master's safety bought.
Between his cheek and ear the weapon went,
The teeth it shatter'd, and the tongue it rent.
Prone from the seat he tumbles to the plain;
His dying hand forgets the falling rein:
This Merion reaches, bending from the car,
And urges to desert the hopeless war:
Idomeneus consents; the lash applies;
And the swift chariot to the navy flies.
Not Ajax less the will of heaven descried,
And conquest shifting to the Trojan side,
Turn'd by the hand of Jove. Then thus begun,
To Atreus's seed, the godlike Telamon:
"Alas! who sees not Jove's almighty hand
Transfers the glory to the Trojan band?
Whether the weak or strong discharge the dart,
He guides each arrow to a Grecian heart:
Not so our spears; incessant though they rain,
He suffers every lance to fall in vain.

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