The Iliad of Homer

Page: 355

Is from his top torn, when a shoure poured from a bursten cloud,
Hath broke the naturall band it had within the roughftey rock,
Flies jumping all adourne the woods, resounding everie shocke,
And on, uncheckt, it headlong leaps till in a plaine it stay,
And then (tho' never so impelled), it stirs not any way:—
So Hector,—"

This book forms a most agreeable interruption to The continuous round of battles, which occupy the latter part of the Iliad. It is as well to observe, that the sameness of these scenes renders many notes unnecessary.


Who to Tydeus owes, i.e. Diomed.


Compare Tasso:—

Teneri sdegni, e placide, e tranquille
Repulse, e cari vezzi, e liete paci,
Sorrisi, parolette, e dolci stille
Di pianto, e sospir tronchi, e molli baci."

Gier. Lib. xvi. 25


Compare the description of the dwelling of Sleep in Orlando Furioso, bk. vi.

"Twice seven, the charming daughters of the main—
Around my person wait, and bear my train:
Succeed my wish, and second my design,
The fairest, Deiopeia, shall be thine."

Dryden's Virgil, Æn. i. 107, seq.


And Minos. "By Homer, Minos is described as the son of Jupiter, and of the daughter of Phoenix, whom all succeeding authors name Europa; and he is thus carried back into the remotest period of Cretan antiquity known to the poet, apparently as a native hero, Illustrious enough for a divine parentage, and too ancient to allow his descent to be traced to any other source. But in a genealogy recorded by later writers, he is likewise the adopted son of Asterius, as descendant of Dorus, the son of Helen, and is thus connected with a colony said to have been led into Creta by Tentamus, or Tectamus, son of Dorus, who is related either to have crossed over from Thessaly, or to have embarked at Malea after having led his followers by land into Laconia."—Thirlwall, p. 136, seq.


Milton has emulated this passage, in describing the couch of our first parents:—

"Underneath the violet,
Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay,
'Broider'd the ground."

—"Paradise Lost," iv. 700.


He lies protected,

"Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By angels many and strong, who interpos'd
Defence, while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd
From off the files of war; there they him laid,
Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame."

"Paradise Lost," vi. 335, seq.


The brazen dome. See the note on Bk. viii. Page 142.


For, by the gods! who flies. Observe the bold ellipsis of "he cries," and the transition from the direct to the oblique construction. So in Milton:—

"Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole.—Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker omnipotent, and thou the day."

Milton, "Paradise Lost," Book iv.


So some tall rock.

"But like a rock unmov'd, a rock that braves