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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 277

And, sunk in dust, the corpse extended lies.
Rhigmas, whose race from fruitful Thracia came,
(The son of Pierus, an illustrious name,)
Succeeds to fate: the spear his belly rends;
Prone from his car the thundering chief descends.
The squire, who saw expiring on the ground
His prostrate master, rein'd the steeds around;
His back, scarce turn'd, the Pelian javelin gored,
And stretch'd the servant o'er his dying lord.
As when a flame the winding valley fills,
And runs on crackling shrubs between the hills;
Then o'er the stubble up the mountain flies,
Fires the high woods, and blazes to the skies,
This way and that, the spreading torrent roars:
[pg 373]Illustration: <strong><a href=CENTAUR." title= "CENTAUR." />

[pg 374]

BOOK XXI.

ARGUMENT.

THE BATTLE IN THE RIVER SCAMANDER.269

The Trojans fly before Achilles, some towards the town, others to the river Scamander: he falls upon the latter with great slaughter: takes twelve captives alive, to sacrifice to the shade of Patroclus; and kills Lycaon and Asteropeus. Scamander attacks him with all his waves: Neptune and Pallas assist the hero: Simois joins Scamander: at length Vulcan, by the instigation of Juno, almost dries up the river. This Combat ended, the other gods engage each other. Meanwhile Achilles continues the slaughter, drives the rest into Troy: Agenor only makes a stand, and is conveyed away in a cloud by Apollo; who (to delude Achilles) takes upon him Agenor's shape, and while he pursues him in that disguise, gives the Trojans an opportunity of retiring into their city.

The same day continues. The scene is on the banks and in the stream of Scamander.

And now to Xanthus' gliding stream they drove,
Xanthus, immortal progeny of Jove.
The river here divides the flying train,
Part to the town fly diverse o'er the plain,
Where late their troops triumphant bore the fight,
Now chased, and trembling in ignoble flight:
(These with a gathered mist Saturnia shrouds,
And rolls behind the rout a heap of clouds:)
Part plunge into the stream: old Xanthus roars,
The flashing billows beat the whiten'd shores:
With cries promiscuous all the banks resound,
And here, and there, in eddies whirling round,
[pg 375]
The flouncing steeds and shrieking warriors drown'd.
As the scorch'd locusts from their fields retire,

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