The Iliad of Homer

Page: 204

To earth at once the head and helmet fly;
The lance, yet sticking through the bleeding eye,
The victor seized; and, as aloft he shook
The gory visage, thus insulting spoke:
"Trojans! your great Ilioneus behold!
Haste, to his father let the tale be told:
Let his high roofs resound with frantic woe,
Such as the house of Promachus must know;
Let doleful tidings greet his mother's ear,
Such as to Promachus' sad spouse we bear,
When we victorious shall to Greece return,
And the pale matron in our triumphs mourn."
Dreadful he spoke, then toss'd the head on high;
The Trojans hear, they tremble, and they fly:
Aghast they gaze around the fleet and wall,
And dread the ruin that impends on all.
Daughters of Jove! that on Olympus shine,
Ye all-beholding, all-recording nine!
O say, when Neptune made proud Ilion yield,
What chief, what hero first embrued the field?
[pg 267]Illustration: BACCHUS.

[pg 268]




Jupiter, awaking, sees the Trojans repulsed from the trenches, Hector in a swoon, and Neptune at the head of the Greeks: he is highly incensed at the artifice of Juno, who appeases him by her submissions; she is then sent to Iris and Apollo. Juno, repairing to the assembly of the gods, attempts, with extraordinary address, to incense them against Jupiter; in particular she touches Mars with a violent resentment; he is ready to take arms, but is prevented by Minerva. Iris and Apollo obey the orders of Jupiter; Iris commands Neptune to leave the battle, to which, after much reluctance and passion, he consents. Apollo reinspires Hector with vigour, brings him back to the battle, marches before him with his aegis, and turns the fortune of the fight. He breaks down great part of the Grecian wall: the Trojans rush in, and attempt to fire the first line of the fleet, but are, as yet, repelled by the greater Ajax with a prodigious slaughter.

Now in swift flight they pass the trench profound,
And many a chief lay gasping on the ground:
Then stopp'd and panted, where the chariots lie
Fear on their cheek, and horror in their eye.
Meanwhile, awaken'd from his dream of love,
On Ida's summit sat imperial Jove:
Round the wide fields he cast a careful view,