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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 270

Achilles glow'd with more than mortal rage:
Hector he sought; in search of Hector turn'd
His eyes around, for Hector only burn'd;
And burst like lightning through the ranks, and vow'd
To glut the god of battles with his blood.
├ćneas was the first who dared to stay;
Apollo wedged him in the warrior's way,
But swell'd his bosom with undaunted might,
Half-forced and half-persuaded to the fight.
Like young Lycaon, of the royal line,
In voice and aspect, seem'd the power divine;
And bade the chief reflect, how late with scorn
In distant threats he braved the goddess-born.
Then thus the hero of Anchises' strain:
"To meet Pelides you persuade in vain:
Already have I met, nor void of fear
Observed the fury of his flying spear;
From Ida's woods he chased us to the field,
Our force he scattered, and our herds he kill'd;
Lyrnessus, Pedasus in ashes lay;
But (Jove assisting) I survived the day:
Else had I sunk oppress'd in fatal fight
By fierce Achilles and Minerva's might.
Where'er he moved, the goddess shone before,
And bathed his brazen lance in hostile gore.
What mortal man Achilles can sustain?
The immortals guard him through the dreadful plain,
And suffer not his dart to fall in vain.
Were God my aid, this arm should check his power,
Though strong in battle as a brazen tower."
To whom the son of Jove: "That god implore,
And be what great Achilles was before.
From heavenly Venus thou deriv'st thy strain,
And he but from a sister of the main;
An aged sea-god father of his line;
But Jove himself the sacred source of thine.
Then lift thy weapon for a noble blow,
Nor fear the vaunting of a mortal foe."
This said, and spirit breathed into his breast,
Through the thick troops the embolden'd hero press'd:
His venturous act the white-arm'd queen survey'd,
And thus, assembling all the powers, she said:
"Behold an action, gods! that claims your care,
Lo great ├ćneas rushing to the war!
[pg 364]
Against Pelides he directs his course,
Phoebus impels, and Phoebus gives him force.
Restrain his bold career; at least, to attend
Our favour'd hero, let some power descend.
To guard his life, and add to his renown,
We, the great armament of heaven, came down.
Hereafter let him fall, as Fates design,
That spun so short his life's illustrious line:262
But lest some adverse god now cross his way,
Give him to know what powers assist this day:
For how shall mortal stand the dire alarms,
When heaven's refulgent host appear in arms?"263
Thus she; and thus the god whose force can make
The solid globe's eternal basis shake:
"Against the might of man, so feeble known,
Why should celestial powers exert their own?
Suffice from yonder mount to view the scene,
And leave to war the fates of mortal men.
But if the armipotent, or god of light,
Obstruct Achilles, or commence the fight.
Thence on the gods of Troy we swift descend:

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