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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 59

The unwelcome message to the Phrygian king.
"Cease to consult, the time for action calls;
War, horrid war, approaches to your walls!
Assembled armies oft have I beheld;
But ne'er till now such numbers charged a field:
Thick as autumnal leaves or driving sand,
The moving squadrons blacken all the strand.
Thou, godlike Hector! all thy force employ,
Assemble all the united bands of Troy;
In just array let every leader call
The foreign troops: this day demands them all!"
The voice divine the mighty chief alarms;
The council breaks, the warriors rush to arms.
The gates unfolding pour forth all their train,
Nations on nations fill the dusky plain,
Men, steeds, and chariots, shake the trembling ground:
The tumult thickens, and the skies resound.
Amidst the plain, in sight of Ilion, stands
[pg 049]
A rising mount, the work of human hands;
(This for Myrinne's tomb the immortals know,
Though call'd Bateia in the world below;)
Beneath their chiefs in martial order here,
The auxiliar troops and Trojan hosts appear.
The godlike Hector, high above the rest,
Shakes his huge spear, and nods his plumy crest:
In throngs around his native bands repair,
And groves of lances glitter in the air.
Divine Æneas brings the Dardan race,
Anchises' son, by Venus' stolen embrace,
Born in the shades of Ida's secret grove;
(A mortal mixing with the queen of love;)
Archilochus and Acamas divide
The warrior's toils, and combat by his side.
Who fair Zeleia's wealthy valleys till,106
Fast by the foot of Ida's sacred hill,
Or drink, Æsepus, of thy sable flood,
Were led by Pandarus, of royal blood;
To whom his art Apollo deign'd to show,
Graced with the presents of his shafts and bow.
From rich Apaesus and Adrestia's towers,
High Teree's summits, and Pityea's bowers;
From these the congregated troops obey
Young Amphius and Adrastus' equal sway;
Old Merops' sons; whom, skill'd in fates to come,
The sire forewarn'd, and prophesied their doom:
Fate urged them on! the sire forewarn'd in vain,
They rush'd to war, and perish'd on the plain.
From Practius' stream, Percote's pasture lands,
And Sestos and Abydos' neighbouring strands,
From great Arisba's walls and Selle's coast,
Asius Hyrtacides conducts his host:
High on his car he shakes the flowing reins,
His fiery coursers thunder o'er the plains.
The fierce Pelasgi next, in war renown'd,
March from Larissa's ever-fertile ground:
In equal arms their brother leaders shine,
Hippothous bold, and Pyleus the divine.
Next Acamas and Pyrous lead their hosts,
In dread array, from Thracia's wintry coasts;
Round the bleak realms where Hellespontus roars,
And Boreas beats the hoarse-resounding shores.
With great Euphemus the Ciconians move,
Sprung from Troezenian Ceus, loved by Jove.
Pyraechmes the Paeonian troops attend,
Skill'd in the fight their crooked bows to bend;
From Axius' ample bed he leads them on,
[pg 050]
Axius, that laves the distant Amydon,
Axius, that swells with all his neighbouring rills,
And wide around the floating region fills.
The Paphlagonians Pylaemenes rules,
Where rich Henetia breeds her savage mules,

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