The Iliad of Homer
Page: 95Mad, furious power! whose unrelenting mind
No god can govern, and no justice bind.
Say, mighty father! shall we scourge this pride,
And drive from fight the impetuous homicide?"
To whom assenting, thus the Thunderer said:
"Go! and the great Minerva be thy aid.
To tame the monster-god Minerva knows,
And oft afflicts his brutal breast with woes."
He said; Saturnia, ardent to obey,
Lash'd her white steeds along the aerial way
Swift down the steep of heaven the chariot rolls,
Between the expanded earth and starry poles
Far as a shepherd, from some point on high,157
O'er the wide main extends his boundless eye,
Through such a space of air, with thundering sound,
At every leap the immortal coursers bound
Troy now they reach'd and touch'd those banks divine,
Where silver Simois and Scamander join
There Juno stopp'd, and (her fair steeds unloosed)
Of air condensed a vapour circumfused
For these, impregnate with celestial dew,
On Simois, brink ambrosial herbage grew.
Thence to relieve the fainting Argive throng,
Smooth as the sailing doves they glide along.
The best and bravest of the Grecian band
(A warlike circle) round Tydides stand.
Such was their look as lions bathed in blood,
Or foaming boars, the terror of the wood[pg 105]
Heaven's empress mingles with the mortal crowd,
And shouts, in Stentor's sounding voice, aloud;
Stentor the strong, endued with brazen lungs,158
Whose throats surpass'd the force of fifty tongues.
"Inglorious Argives! to your race a shame,
And only men in figure and in name!
Once from the walls your timorous foes engaged,
While fierce in war divine Achilles raged;
Now issuing fearless they possess the plain,
Now win the shores, and scarce the seas remain."
Her speech new fury to their hearts convey'd;
While near Tydides stood the Athenian maid;
The king beside his panting steeds she found,
O'erspent with toil reposing on the ground;
To cool his glowing wound he sat apart,
(The wound inflicted by the Lycian dart.)
Large drops of sweat from all his limbs descend,
Beneath his ponderous shield his sinews bend,
Whose ample belt, that o'er his shoulder lay,
He eased; and wash'd the clotted gore away.
The goddess leaning o'er the bending yoke,
Beside his coursers, thus her silence broke:
"Degenerate prince! and not of Tydeus' kind,
Whose little body lodged a mighty mind;
Foremost he press'd in glorious toils to share,
And scarce refrain'd when I forbade the war.
Alone, unguarded, once he dared to go,
And feast, incircled by the Theban foe;
There braved, and vanquish'd, many a hardy knight;
Such nerves I gave him, and such force in fight.
Thou too no less hast been my constant care;
Thy hands I arm'd, and sent thee forth to war:
But thee or fear deters, or sloth detains;
No drop of all thy father warms thy veins."
The chief thus answered mild: "Immortal maid!
I own thy presence, and confess thy aid.
Not fear, thou know'st, withholds me from the plains,
Nor sloth hath seized me, but thy word restrains: