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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 261

And gild the courts of heaven with sacred light,)
The immortal arms the goddess-mother bears
Swift to her son: her son she finds in tears
Stretch'd o'er Patroclus' corse; while all the rest
Their sovereign's sorrows in their own express'd.
A ray divine her heavenly presence shed,
And thus, his hand soft touching, Thetis said:
"Suppress, my son, this rage of grief, and know
It was not man, but heaven, that gave the blow;
Behold what arms by Vulcan are bestow'd,
Arms worthy thee, or fit to grace a god."
Then drops the radiant burden on the ground;
Clang the strong arms, and ring the shores around;
Back shrink the Myrmidons with dread surprise,
And from the broad effulgence turn their eyes.
Unmoved the hero kindles at the show,
And feels with rage divine his bosom glow;
[pg 350]Illustration: <strong><a href=THETIS BRINGING THE ARMOUR TO ACHILLES." title= "THETIS BRINGING THE ARMOUR TO ACHILLES." />
THETIS BRINGING THE ARMOUR TO ACHILLES.
Then in the nostrils of the slain she pour'd
Nectareous drops, and rich ambrosia shower'd
O'er all the corse. The flies forbid their prey,
Untouch'd it rests, and sacred from decay.
Achilles to the strand obedient went:
The shores resounded with the voice he sent.
The heroes heard, and all the naval train
That tend the ships, or guide them o'er the main,
Alarm'd, transported, at the well-known sound,
Frequent and full, the great assembly crown'd;
Studious to see the terror of the plain,
Long lost to battle, shine in arms again.
[pg 351]
Tydides and Ulysses first appear,
Lame with their wounds, and leaning on the spear;
These on the sacred seats of council placed,
The king of men, Atrides, came the last:
He too sore wounded by Agenor's son.
Achilles (rising in the midst) begun:
"O monarch! better far had been the fate
Of thee, of me, of all the Grecian state,
If (ere the day when by mad passion sway'd,
Rash we contended for the black-eyed maid)
Preventing Dian had despatch'd her dart,
And shot the shining mischief to the heart!
Then many a hero had not press'd the shore,
Nor Troy's glad fields been fatten'd with our gore.
Long, long shall Greece the woes we caused bewail,
And sad posterity repeat the tale.
But this, no more the subject of debate,

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