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The Iliad of Homer

Page: 88

And drench his arrows in the blood of gods!

Illustration: OTUS AND EPHIALTES HOLDING MARS CAPTIVE.

OTUS AND EPHIALTES HOLDING MARS CAPTIVE.
"But thou (though Pallas urged thy frantic deed),
Whose spear ill-fated makes a goddess bleed,
Know thou, whoe'er with heavenly power contends,
Short is his date, and soon his glory ends;
From fields of death when late he shall retire,
No infant on his knees shall call him sire.
[pg 095]
Strong as thou art, some god may yet be found,
To stretch thee pale and gasping on the ground;
Starting from sleep with a distracted air,
Shall rouse thy slaves, and her lost lord deplore,
The brave, the great, the glorious now no more!"
This said, she wiped from Venus' wounded palm
The sacred ichor, and infused the balm.
Juno and Pallas with a smile survey'd,
And thus to Jove began the blue-eyed maid:
"Permit thy daughter, gracious Jove! to tell
How this mischance the Cyprian queen befell,
As late she tried with passion to inflame
The tender bosom of a Grecian dame;
Allured the fair, with moving thoughts of joy,
To quit her country for some youth of Troy;
The clasping zone, with golden buckles bound,
Razed her soft hand with this lamented wound."
The sire of gods and men superior smiled,
And, calling Venus, thus address'd his child:
"Not these, O daughter are thy proper cares,
Thee milder arts befit, and softer wars;
Sweet smiles are thine, and kind endearing charms;
To Mars and Pallas leave the deeds of arms."
Thus they in heaven: while on the plain below
The fierce Tydides charged his Dardan foe,
Flush'd with celestial blood pursued his way,
And fearless dared the threatening god of day;
Already in his hopes he saw him kill'd,
Though screen'd behind Apollo's mighty shield.
Thrice rushing furious, at the chief he strook;
His blazing buckler thrice Apollo shook:
He tried the fourth: when, breaking from the cloud,
A more than mortal voice was heard aloud.
"O son of Tydeus, cease! be wise and see
How vast the difference of the gods and thee;
Distance immense! between the powers that shine
Above, eternal, deathless, and divine,
And mortal man! a wretch of humble birth,
A short-lived reptile in the dust of earth."
So spoke the god who darts celestial fires:
He dreads his fury, and some steps retires.
Then Phoebus bore the chief of Venus' race
To Troy's high fane, and to his holy place;
Latona there and Phoebe heal'd the wound,
With vigour arm'd him, and with glory crown'd.
This done, the patron of the silver bow
[pg 096]
A phantom raised, the same in shape and show
With great Æneas; such the form he bore,
And such in fight the radiant arms he wore.
Around the spectre bloody wars are waged,
And Greece and Troy with clashing shields engaged.
Meantime on Ilion's tower Apollo stood,
And calling Mars, thus urged the raging god:
"Stern power of arms, by whom the mighty fall;
Who bathest in blood, and shakest the embattled wall,

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