The Iliad of Homer
Page: 283But thou, the counsel heaven suggests, attend!
Nor breathe from combat, nor thy sword suspend,
Till Troy receive her flying sons, till all
Her routed squadrons pant behind their wall:
Hector alone shall stand his fatal chance,
And Hector's blood shall smoke upon thy lance.
Thine is the glory doom'd." Thus spake the gods:
Then swift ascended to the bright abodes.
Stung with new ardour, thus by heaven impell'd,
He springs impetuous, and invades the field:
O'er all the expanded plain the waters spread;
Heaved on the bounding billows danced the dead,
Floating 'midst scatter'd arms; while casques of gold
And turn'd-up bucklers glitter'd as they roll'd.
High o'er the surging tide, by leaps and bounds,
He wades, and mounts; the parted wave resounds.
Not a whole river stops the hero's course,
While Pallas fills him with immortal force.
With equal rage, indignant Xanthus roars,
And lifts his billows, and o'erwhelms his shores.
ACHILLES CONTENDING WITH THE RIVERS.
He said; and on the chief descends amain,
Increased with gore, and swelling with the slain.
Then, murmuring from his beds, he boils, he raves,
And a foam whitens on the purple waves:
At every step, before Achilles stood
The crimson surge, and deluged him with blood.
Fear touch'd the queen of heaven: she saw dismay'd,
She call'd aloud, and summon'd Vulcan's aid.
"Rise to the war! the insulting flood requires
Thy wasteful arm! assemble all thy fires!
While to their aid, by our command enjoin'd,
Rush the swift eastern and the western wind:
These from old ocean at my word shall blow,
Pour the red torrent on the watery foe,
Corses and arms to one bright ruin turn,
And hissing rivers to their bottoms burn.
Go, mighty in thy rage! display thy power,
Drink the whole flood, the crackling trees devour.
Scorch all the banks! and (till our voice reclaim)
Exert the unwearied furies of the flame!"
The power ignipotent her word obeys:
Wide o'er the plain he pours the boundless blaze;
At once consumes the dead, and dries the soil