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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 269

If uncontroll'd Achilles fights alone:
Their troops but lately durst not meet his eyes;
What can they now, if in his rage he rise?
Assist them, gods! or Ilion's sacred wall
May fall this day, though fate forbids the fall."
He said, and fired their heavenly breasts with rage.
On adverse parts the warring gods engage:
Heaven's awful queen; and he whose azure round
Girds the vast globe; the maid in arms renown'd;
Hermes, of profitable arts the sire;
And Vulcan, the black sovereign of the fire:
These to the fleet repair with instant flight;
The vessels tremble as the gods alight.
In aid of Troy, Latona, Phoebus came,
Mars fiery-helm'd, the laughter-loving dame,
Xanthus, whose streams in golden currents flow,
And the chaste huntress of the silver bow.
Ere yet the gods their various aid employ,
Each Argive bosom swell'd with manly joy,
While great Achilles (terror of the plain),
Long lost to battle, shone in arms again.
Dreadful he stood in front of all his host;
Pale Troy beheld, and seem'd already lost;
Her bravest heroes pant with inward fear,
And trembling see another god of war.
But when the powers descending swell'd the fight,
Then tumult rose: fierce rage and pale affright
Varied each face: then Discord sounds alarms,
Earth echoes, and the nations rush to arms.
Now through the trembling shores Minerva calls,
And now she thunders from the Grecian walls.
Mars hovering o'er his Troy, his terror shrouds
In gloomy tempests, and a night of clouds:
Now through each Trojan heart he fury pours
With voice divine, from Ilion's topmost towers:
Now shouts to Simois, from her beauteous hill;
The mountain shook, the rapid stream stood still.
[pg 362]Illustration: THE GODS DESCENDING TO BATTLE.
THE GODS DESCENDING TO BATTLE.
Such war the immortals wage; such horrors rend
The world's vast concave, when the gods contend
First silver-shafted Phoebus took the plain
Against blue Neptune, monarch of the main.
The god of arms his giant bulk display'd,
Opposed to Pallas, war's triumphant maid.
Against Latona march'd the son of May.
The quiver'd Dian, sister of the day,
(Her golden arrows sounding at her side,)
[pg 363]
Saturnia, majesty of heaven, defied.
With fiery Vulcan last in battle stands
The sacred flood that rolls on golden sands;
Xanthus his name with those of heavenly birth,
But called Scamander by the sons of earth.
While thus the gods in various league engage,

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