Chapman Iliad

Library of Ancient Authors

Book I 1
Commentarius 23
Book II 28
Catalogue of Ships 43
Commentarius 56
Book III 61
Commentarius 78
Book IV 82
Book V 103
Book VI 134
Book VII 155
Book VIII 169
Book IX 186
Book X 209
Book XI 226
Book XII 253




Apollo’s priest to th’ Argive fleet doth bring

Gifts for his daughter, pris’ner to the king;

For which her tender’d freedom he entreats;

But, being dismiss’d with contumelious threats,

At Phœbus’ hands, by vengeful pray’r, he seeks

To have a plague inflicted on the Greeks.

Which had; Achilles doth a council cite,

Embold’ning Calchas, in the king’s despite,

To tell the truth why they were punish’d so.

From hence their fierce and deadly strife did grow.

For wrong in which Æacides* so raves,

That goddess Thetis, from her throne of waves

Ascending heav’n, of Jove assistance won,

To plague the Greeks by absence of her son,

And make the general himself repent

To wrong so much his army’s ornament.

This found by Juno, she with Jove contends;

Till Vulcan, with heav’n’s cup, the quarrel ends.

Another Argument.

Alpha the prayer of Chryses sings:

The army’s plague: the strife of kings.


chilles’ baneful wrath resound, O Goddess, that impos’d

Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls los’d

From breasts heroic; sent them far to that invisible cave

That no light comforts; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave:


5 To all which Jove’s will gave effect; from whom first strife begun

Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis’ godlike son.

What god gave Eris their command, and op’d that fighting vein?

Jove’s and Latona’s son: who fir’d against the king of men,

For contumély shown his priest, infectious sickness sent

10 To plague the army, and to death by troops the soldiers went.

Occasion’d thus: Chryses, the priest, came to the fleet to buy,

For presents of unvalu’d price, his daughter’s liberty;

The golden sceptre and the crown of Phœbus in his hands

Proposing; and made suit to all, but most to the commands

15 Of both th’ Atrides, who most rul’d. “Great Atreus’ sons,” said he,

“And all ye well-greav’d Greeks, the gods, whose habitations be

In heav’nly houses, grace your pow’rs with Priam’s razéd town,

And grant ye happy conduct home! To win which wish’d renown

Of Jove, by honouring his son, far-shooting Phœbus, deign

20 For these fit presents to dissolve the ransomable chain

Of my lov’d daughter’s servitude.” The Greeks entirely gave

Glad acclamatións, for sign that their desires would have

The grave priest reverenc’d, and his gifts of so much price embrac’d.

The Gen’ral yet bore no such mind, but viciously disgrac’d

25 With violent terms the priest, and said:— “Dotard! avoid our fleet,

Where ling’ring be not found by me; nor thy returning feet

Let ever visit us again; lest nor thy godhead’s crown,

Nor sceptre, save thee! Her thou seek’st I still will hold mine own,

Till age deflow’r her. In our court at Argos, far transferr’d

30 From her lov’d country, she shall ply her web, and see prepar’d


With all fit ornaments my bed. Incense me then no more,

But, if thou wilt be safe, be gone.” This said, the sea-beat shore,

Obeying his high will, the priest trod off with haste and fear;

And, walking silent, till he left far off his enemies’ ear,

35 Phœbus, fair hair’d Latona’s son, he stirr’d up with a vow,

To this stern purpose: “Hear, thou God that bear’st the silver bow,

That Chrysa guard’st, rul’st Tenedos with strong hand, and the round

Of Cilla most divine dost walk! O Sminthëus! if crown’d

With thankful off’rings thy rich fane I ever saw, or fir’d

40 Fat thighs of oxen and of goats to thee, this grace desir’d

Vouchsafe to me: pains for my tears let these rude Greeks repay,

Forc’d with thy arrows.” Thus he pray’d, and Phœbus heard him pray,

And, vex’d at heart, down from the tops of steep heav’n stoop’d; his bow,

And quiver cover’d round, his hands did on his shoulders throw;

45 And of the angry Deity the arrows as he mov’d

Rattled about him. Like the night he rang’d the host, and rov’d

(Apart the fleet set) terribly; with his hard-loosing hand

His silver bow twang’d; and his shafts did first the mules command,

And swift hounds; then the Greeks themselves his deadly arrows shot.

50 The fires of death went never out; nine days his shafts flew hot

About the army; and the tenth, Achilles called a court

Of all the Greeks; heav’n’s white-arm’d Queen (who, ev’rywhere cut short,

Beholding her lov’d Greeks, by death) suggested it; and he

(All met in one) arose, and said: “Atrides, now I see

55 We must be wandering again, flight must be still our stay,

If flight can save us now, at once sickness and battle lay

Such strong hand on us. Let us ask some prophet, priest, or prove

Some dream-interpreter (for dreams are often sent from Jove)

Why Phœbus is so much incens’d; if unperforméd vows

60 He blames in us, or hecatombs; and if these knees he bows


To death may yield his graves no more, but off’ring all supply

Of savours burnt from lambs and goats, avert his fervent eye,

And turn his temp’rate.” Thus, he sat; and then stood up to them

Calchas, surnam’d Thestorides, of augurs the supreme;

65 He knew things present, past, to come, and rul’d the equipage

Of th’ Argive fleet to Ilion, for his prophetic rage

Giv’n by Apollo; who, well-seen in th’ ill they felt, propos’d

This to Achilles: “Jove’s belov’d, would thy charge see disclos’d

The secret of Apollo’s wrath? then cov’nant and take oath

70 To my discov’ry, that, with words and pow’rful actions both,

Thy strength will guard the truth in me; because I well conceive

That he whose empire governs all, whom all the Grecians give

Confirm’d obedience, will be mov’d; and then you know the state

Of him that moves him. When a king hath once mark’d for his hate

75 A man inferior, though that day his wrath seems to digest

Th’ offence he takes, yet evermore he rakes up in his breast

Brands of quick anger, till revenge hath quench’d to his desire

The fire reservéd. Tell me, then, if, whatsoever ire

Suggests in hurt of me to him, thy valour will prevent?”

80 Achilles answer’d: “All thou know’st speak, and be confident;

For by Apollo, Jove’s belov’d, (to whom performing vows,

O Calchas, for the state of Greece, thy spirit prophetic shows

Skills that direct us) not a man of all these Grecians here,

I living, and enjoy’ng the light shot through this flow’ry sphere,

85 Shall touch thee with offensive hands; though Agamemnon be

The man in question, that doth boast the mightiest empery

Of all our army.” Then took heart the prophet unreprov’d,

And said: “They are not unpaid vows, nor hecatombs, that mov’d


The God against us; his offence is for his priest impair’d

90 By Agamemnon, that refus’d the present he preferr’d,

And kept his daughter. This is cause why heav’n’s Far-darter darts

These plagues amongst us; and this still will empty in our hearts

His deathful quiver, uncontain’d till to her lovéd sire

The black-eyed damsel be resign’d; no rédemptory hire

95 Took for her freedom,—not a gift, but all the ransom quit,

And she convey’d, with sacrifice, till her enfranchis’d feet

Tread Chrysa under; then the God, so pleas’d, perhaps we may

Move to remission.” Thus, he sate; and up, the great in sway,

Heroic Agamemnon rose, eagérly bearing all;

100 His mind’s seat overcast with fumes; an anger general

Fill’d all his faculties; his eyes sparkled like kindling fire,

Which sternly cast upon the priest, thus vented he his ire:

“Prophet of ill! for never good came from thee towards me

Not to a word’s worth; evermore thou took’st delight to be

105 Offensive in thy auguries, which thou continu’st still,

Now casting thy prophetic gall, and vouching all our ill,

Shot from Apollo, is impos’d since I refus’d the price

Of fair Chryseis’ liberty; which would in no worth rise

To my rate of herself, which moves my vows to have her home,

110 Past Clytemnestra loving her, that grac’d my nuptial room

With her virginity and flow’r. Nor ask her merits less

For person, disposition, wit, and skill in housewif’ries.

And yet, for all this, she shall go, if more conducible

That course be than her holding here. I rather wish the weal

115 Of my lov’d army than the death. Provide yet instantly

Supply for her, that I alone of all our royalty


Lose not my winnings. ’Tis not fit. Ye see all I lose mine

Forc’d by another, see as well some other may resign

His prise to me.” To this replied the swift-foot, god-like, son

120 Of Thetis, thus: “King of us all, in all ambition

Most covetous of all that breathe, why should the great-soul’d Greeks

Supply thy lost prise out of theirs? Nor what thy av’rice seeks

Our common treasury can find; so little it doth guard

Of what our ras’d towns yielded us; of all which most is shar’d,

125 And giv’n our soldiers; which again to take into our hands

Were ignominious and base. Now then, since God commands,

Part with thy most-lov’d prise to him; not any one of us

Exacts it of thee, yet we all, all loss thou suffer’st thus,

Will treble, quadruple, in gain, when Jupiter bestows

130 The sack of well-wall’d Troy on us; which by his word he owes.”

“Do not deceive yourself with wit,” he answer’d, “god-like man,

Though your good name may colour it; ’tis not your swift foot can

Outrun me here; nor shall the gloss, set on it with the God,

Persuade me to my wrong. Wouldst thou maintain in sure abode

135 Thine own prise, and slight me of mine? Resolve this: if our friends,

As fits in equity my worth, will right me with amends,

So rest it; otherwise, myself will enter personally

On thy prise, that of Ithacus, or Ajax, for supply;

Let him on whom I enter rage. But come, we’ll order these

140 Hereafter, and in other place. Now put to sacred seas

Our black sail; in it rowers put, in it fit sacrifice;

And to these I will make ascend my so much envied prise,


Bright-cheek’d Chryseis. For condúct of all which, we must choose

A chief out of our counsellors. Thy service we must use,

145 Idomenëus; Ajax, thine; or thine, wise Ithacus;

Or thine, thou terriblest of men, thou son of Peleüs,

Which fittest were, that thou might’st see these holy acts perform’d

For which thy cunning zeal so pleads; and he, whose bow thus storm’d

For our offences, may be calm’d.” Achilles, with a frown,

150 Thus answer’d: “O thou impudent! of no good but thine own

Ever respectful, but of that with all craft covetous,

With what heart can a man attempt a service dangerous,

Or at thy voice be spirited to fly upon a foe,

Thy mind thus wretched? For myself, I was not injur’d so

155 By any Trojan, that my pow’rs should bid them any blows;

In nothing bear they blame of me; Phthia, whose bosom flows

With corn and people, never felt impair of her increase

By their invasion; hills enow, and far-resounding seas,

Pour out their shades and deeps between; but thee, thou frontless man,

160 We follow, and thy triumphs make with bonfires of our bane;

Thine, and thy brother’s, vengeance sought, thou dog’s eyes, of this Troy

By our expos’d lives; whose deserts thou neither dost employ

With honour nor with care. And now, thou threat’st to force from me

The fruit of my sweat, which the Greeks gave all; and though it be,

165 Compar’d with thy part, then snatch’d up, nothing; nor ever is

At any sack’d town; but of fight, the fetcher in of this,

My hands have most share; in whose toils when I have emptied me

Of all my forces, my amends in liberality,

Though it be little, I accept, and turn pleas’d to my tent;

170 And yet that little thou esteem’st too great a continent

In thy incontinent avarice. For Phthia therefore now

My course is; since ’tis better far, than here t’ endure that thou


Should’st still be ravishing my right, draw my whole treasure dry,

And add dishonour.” He replied: “If thy heart serve thee, fly;

175 Stay not for my cause; others here will aid and honour me;

If not, yet Jove I know is sure; that counsellor is he

That I depend on. As for thee, of all our Jove-kept kings

Thou still art most my enemy; strifes, battles, bloody things,

Make thy blood-feasts still. But if strength, that these moods build upon,

180 Flow in thy nerves, God gave thee it; and so ’tis not thine own,

But in his hánds still. What then lifts thy pride in this so high?

Home with thy fleet, and Myrmidons; use there their empery;

Command not here. I weigh thee not, nor mean to magnify

Thy rough-hewn rages, but, instead, I thus far threaten thee:

185 Since Phœbus needs will force from me Chryseis, she shall go;

My ships and friends shall waft her home; but I will imitate so

His pleasure, that mine own shall take, in person, from thy tent

Bright-cheek’d Briseis; and so tell thy strength how eminent

My pow’r is, being compar’d with thine; all other making fear

190 To vaunt equality with me, or in this proud kind bear

Their beards against me.” Thetis’ son at this stood vex’d, his heart

Bristled his bosom, and two ways drew his discursive part;

If, from his thigh his sharp sword drawn, he should make room about

Atrides’ person, slaught’ring him, or sit his anger out,

195 And curb his spirit. While these thoughts striv’d in his blood and mind,

And he his sword drew, down from heav’n Athenia stoop’d, and shin’d

About his temples, being sent by th’ ivory-wristed Queen,

Saturnia, who out of her heart had ever loving been,

And careful for the good of both. She stood behind, and took

200 Achilles by the yellow curls, and only gave her look


To him appearance; not a man of all the rest could see.

He turning back his eye, amaze strook every faculty;

Yet straight he knew her by her eyes, so terrible they were,

Sparkling with ardour, and thus spake: “Thou seed of Jupiter,

205 Why com’st thou? To behold his pride, that boasts our empery?

Then witness with it my revenge, and see that insolence die

That lives to wrong me.” She replied: “I come from heav’n to see

Thy anger settled, if thy soul will use her sov’reignty

In fit reflection. I am sent from Juno, whose affects

210 Stand heartily inclin’d to both. Come, give us both respects,

And cease contention; draw no sword; use words, and such as may

Be bitter to his pride, but just; for, trust in what I say,

A time shall come, when, thrice the worth of that he forceth now,

He shall propose for recompense of these wrongs; therefore throw

215 Reins on thy passions, and serve us.” He answer’d: “Though my heart

Burn in just anger, yet my soul must conquer th’ angry part,

And yield you conquest. Who subdues his earthly part for heav’n,

Heav’n to his pray’rs subdues his wish.” This said, her charge was given

Fit honour; in his silver hilt he held his able hand,

220 And forc’d his broad sword up; and up to heav’n did re-ascend

Minerva, who, in Jove’s high roof that bears the rough shield, took

Her place with other deities. She gone, again forsook

Patience his passion, and no more his silence could confine

His wrath, that this broad language gave: “Thou ever steep’d in wine,

225 Dog’s face, with heart but of a hart, that nor in th’ open eye

Of fight dar’st thrust into a prease, nor with our noblest lie

In secret ambush! These works seem too full of death for thee;

’Tis safer far in th’ open host to dare an injury

To any crosser of thy lust. Thou subject-eating king!

230 Base spirits thou govern’st, or this wrong had been the last foul thing

Thou ever author’dst; yet I vow, and by a great oath swear,

Ev’n by this sceptre, that, as this never again shall bear


Green leaves or branches, nor increase with any growth his size,

Nor did since first it left the hills, and had his faculties

235 And ornaments bereft with iron; which now to other end

Judges of Greece bear, and their laws, receiv’d from Jove, defend;

(For which my oath to thee is great); so, whensoever need

Shall burn with thirst of me thy host, no pray’rs shall ever breed

Affection in me to their aid, though well-deservéd woes

240 Afflict thee for them, when to death man-slaught’ring Hector throws

Whole troops of them, and thou torment’st thy vex’d mind with conceit

Of thy rude rage now, and his wrong that most deserv’d the right

Of all thy army.” Thus, he threw his sceptre ’gainst the ground,

With golden studs stuck, and took seat. Atrides’ breast was drown’d

245 In rising choler. Up to both sweet-spoken Nestor stood,

The cunning Pylian orator, whose tongue pour’d forth a flood

Of more-than-honey-sweet discourse; two ages were increas’d

Of divers-languag’d men, all born in his time and deceas’d,

In sacred Pylos, where he reign’d amongst the third-ag’d men.

250 He, well-seen in the world, advis’d, and thus express’d it then:

“O Gods! Our Greek earth will be drown’d in just tears; rapeful Troy,

Her king, and all his sons, will make as just a mock, and joy,

Of these disjunctions; if of you, that all our host excel

In counsel and in skill of fight, they hear this. Come, repel

255 These young men’s passions. Y’ are not both, put both your years in one,

So old as I. I liv’d long since, and was companion

With men superior to you both, who yet would ever hear

My counsels with respect. My eyes yet never witness were,

Nor ever will be, of such men as then delighted them;

260 Pirithous, Exadius, and god-like Polypheme,

Cæneus, and Dryas prince of men, Ægean Theseüs,

A man like heav’n’s immortals form’d; all, all most vigorous,


Of all men that ev’n those days bred; most vig’rous men, and fought

With beasts most vig’rous, mountain beasts, (for men in strength were nought

265 Match’d with their forces) fought with them, and bravely fought them down

Yet ev’n with these men I convers’d, being call’d to the renown

Of their societies, by their suits, from Pylos far, to fight

In th’ Apian kingdom; and I fought, to a degree of might

That help’d ev’n their mights, against such as no man now would dare

270 To meet in conflict; yet ev’n these my counsels still would hear,

And with obedience crown my words. Give you such palm to them;

’Tis better than to wreath your wraths. Atrides, give not stream

To all thy pow’r, nor force his prise, but yield her still his own,

As all men else do. Nor do thou encounter with thy crown,

275 Great son of Peleus, since no king that ever Jove allow’d

Grace of a sceptre equals him. Suppose thy nerves endow’d

With strength superior, and thy birth a very goddess gave,

Yet he of force is mightier, since what his own nerves have

Is amplified with just command of many other. King of men,

280 Command thou then thyself; and I with my pray’rs will obtain

Grace of Achilles to subdue his fury; whose parts are

Worth our intreaty, being chief check to all our ill in war.”

“All this, good father,” said the king, “is comely and good right;

But this man breaks all such bounds; he affects, past all men, height;


285 All would in his pow’r hold, all make his subjects, give to all

His hot will for their temp’rate law; all which he never shall

Persuade at my hands. If the gods have giv’n him the great style

Of ablest soldier, made they that his licence to revile

Men with vile language?” Thetis’ son prevented him, and said:

290 “Fearful and vile I might be thought, if the exactions laid

By all means on me I should bear. Others command to this,

Thou shalt not me; or if thou dost, far my free spirit is

From serving thy command. Beside, this I affirm (afford

Impression of it in thy soul) I will not use my sword

295 On thee or any for a wench, unjustly though thou tak’st

The thing thou gav’st; but all things else, that in my ship thou mak’st

Greedy survey of, do not touch without my leave; or do,—

Add that act’s wrong to this, that these may see that outrage too,

And then comes my part; then be sure, thy blood upon my lance

300 Shall flow in vengeance.” These high terms these two at variance

Us’d to each other; left their seats; and after them arose

The whole court. To his tents and ships, with friends and soldiers, goes

Angry Achilles. Atreus’ son the swift ship launch’d, and put

Within it twenty chosen row’rs, within it likewise shut

305 The hecatomb t’ appease the God; then caus’d to come aboard

Fair-cheek’d Chryseis; for the chief, he in whom Pallas pour’d

Her store of counsels, Ithacus, aboard went last; and then

The moist ways of the sea they sail’d. And now the king of men

Bade all the host to sacrifice. They sacrific’d, and cast

310 The offal of all to the deeps; the angry God they grac’d

With perfect hecatombs; some bulls, some goats, along the shore

Of the unfruitful sea, inflam’d. To heav’n the thick fumes bore


Enwrappéd savours. Thus, though all the politic king made shew

Respects to heav’n, yet he himself all that time did pursue

315 His own affections; the late jar, in which he thunder’d threats

Against Achilles, still he fed, and his affections’ heats

Thus vented to Talthybius, and grave Eurybates,

Heralds, and ministers of trust, to all his messages.

“Haste to Achilles’ tent; where take Briseis’ hand, and bring

320 Her beauties to us. If he fail to yield her, say your king

Will come himself, with multitudes that shall the horribler

Make both his presence, and your charge, that so he dares defer.”

This said, he sent them with a charge of hard condition.

They went unwillingly, and trod the fruitless sea’s shore; soon

325 They reach’d the navy and the tents, in which the quarter lay

Of all the Myrmidons, and found the chief Chief in their sway

Set at his black bark in his tent. Nor was Achilles glad

To see their presence; nor themselves in any glory had

Their message, but with rev’rence stood, and fear’d th’ offended king,

330 Ask’d not the dame, nor spake a word. He yet, well knowing the thing

That caus’d their coming, grac’d them thus: “Heralds, ye men that bear

The messages of men and gods, y’ are welcome, come ye near.

I nothing blame you, but your king; ’tis he I know doth send

You for Briseis; she is his. Patroclus, honour’d friend,

335 Bring forth the damsel, and these men let lead her to their lord.

But, heralds, be you witnesses, before the most ador’d,

Before us mortals, and before your most ungentle king,

Of what I suffer, that, if war ever hereafter bring

My aid in question, to avert any severest bane

340 It brings on others, I am ’scus’d to keep mine aid in wane,

Since they mine honour. But your king, in tempting mischief, raves,

Nor sees at once by present things the future; how like waves

Ills follow ills; injustices being never so secure

In present times, but after-plagues ev’n then are seen as sure;


345 Which yet he sees not, and so soothes his present lust, which, check’d,

Would check plagues future; and he might, in succouring right, protect

Such as fight for his right at fleet. They still in safety fight,

That fight still justly.” This speech us’d, Patroclus did the rite

His friend commanded, and brought forth Briseis from her tent,

350 Gave her the heralds, and away to th’ Achive ships they went.

She sad, and scarce for grief could go. Her love all friends forsook,

And wept for anger. To the shore of th’ old sea he betook

Himself alone, and casting forth upon the purple sea

His wet eyes, and his hands to heav’n advancing, this sad plea

355 Made to his mother; “Mother! Since you brought me forth to breathe

So short a life, Olympius had good right to bequeath

My short life honour; yet that right he doth in no degree,

But lets Atrides do me shame, and force that prise from me

That all the Greeks gave.” This with tears he utter’d, and she heard,

360 Set with her old sire in his deeps, and instantly appear’d

Up from the grey sea like a cloud, sate by his side, and said:

“Why weeps my son? What grieves thee? Speak, conceal not what hath laid

Such hard hand on thee, let both know.” He, sighing like a storm,

Replied: “Thou dost know. Why should I things known again inform?

365 We march’d to Thebes, the sacred town of king Eëtion,

Sack’d it, and brought to fleet the spoil, which every valiant son

Of Greece indifferently shar’d. Atrides had for share

Fair cheek’d Chryseis. After which, his priest that shoots so far,

Chryses, the fair Chryseis’ sire, arriv’d at th’ Achive fleet,

370 With infinite ransom, to redeem the dear imprison’d feet

Of his fair daughter. In his hands he held Apollo’s crown,

And golden sceptre; making suit to ev’ry Grecian son,

But most the sons of Atreüs, the others’ orderers,

Yet they least heard him; all the rest receiv’d with rev’rend ears


375 The motion, both the priest and gifts gracing, and holding worth

His wish’d acceptance. Atreus’ son yet (vex’d) commanded forth

With rude terms Phœbus’ rev’rend priest; who, angry, made retreat,

And pray’d to Phœbus, in whose grace he standing passing great

Got his petitión. The God an ill shaft sent abroad

380 That tumbled down the Greeks in heaps. The host had no abode

That was not visited. We ask’d a prophet that well knew

The cause of all; and from his lips Apollo’s prophecies flew,

Telling his anger. First myself exhorted to appease

The anger’d God; which Atreus’ son did at the heart displease,

385 And up he stood, us’d threats, perform’d. The black-eyed Greeks sent home

Chryseis to her sire, and gave his God a hecatomb.

Then, for Briseis, to my tents Atrides’ heralds came,

And took her that the Greeks gave all. If then thy pow’rs can frame

Wreak for thy son, afford it. Scale Olympus, and implore

390 Jove (if by either word, or fact, thou ever didst restore

Joy to his griev’d heart) now to help. I oft have heard thee vaunt,

In court of Peleus, that alone thy hand was conversant.

In rescue from a cruel spoil the black-cloud-gath’ring Jove,

Whom other Godheads would have bound (the Pow’r whose pace doth move

395 The round earth, heav’n’s great Queen, and Pallas); to whose bands

Thou cam’st with rescue, bringing up him with the hundred hands

To great Olympus, whom the Gods call Briarëus, men

Ægæon, who his sire surpass’d, and was as strong again,

And in that grace sat glad by Jove. Th’ immortals stood dismay’d

400 At his ascensïon, and gave free passage to his aid.

Of all this tell Jove; kneel to him, embrace his knee, and pray,

If Troy’s aid he will ever deign, that now their forces may


Beat home the Greeks to fleet and sea; embruing their retreat

In slaughter; their pains pay’ng the wreak of their proud sov’reign’s heat;

405 And that far-ruling king may know, from his poor soldier’s harms

His own harm falls; his own and all in mine, his best in arms.”

Her answer she pour’d out in tears: “O me, my son,” said she,

“Why brought I up thy being at all, that brought thee forth to be

Sad subject of so hard a fate? O would to heav’n, that since

410 Thy fate is little, and not long, thou might’st without offence

And tears perform it! But to live, thrall to so stern a fate

As grants thee least life, and that least so most unfortunate,

Grieves me t’ have giv’n thee any life. But what thou wishest now,

If Jove will grant, I’ll up and ask; Olympus crown’d with snow

415 I’ll climb; but sit thou fast at fleet, renounce all war, and feed

Thy heart with wrath, and hope of wreak; till which come, thou shalt need

A little patience. Jupiter went yesterday to feast

Amongst the blameless Æthiops, in th’ ocean’s deepen’d breast,

All Gods attending him; the twelfth, high heav’n again he sees,

420 And then his brass-pav’d court I’ll scale, cling to his pow’rful knees,

And doubt not but to win thy wish.” Thus, made she her remove,

And left wrath tyring on her son, for his enforcèd love.

Ulysses, with the hecatomb, arriv’d at Chrysa’s shore;

And when amidst the hav’n’s deep mouth, they came to use the oar,

425 They straight strook sail, then roll’d them up, and on the hatches threw;

The top-mast to the kelsine then, with halyards down they drew;

Then brought the ship to port with oars; then forkéd anchor cast;

And, ’gainst the violence of storm, for drifting made her fast.

All come ashore, they all expos’d the holy hecatomb

430 To angry Phœbus, and, with it, Chryseis welcom’d home;


Whom to her sire, wise Ithacus, that did at th’ altar stand,

For honour led, and, spoken thus, resign’d her to his hand:

“Chryses, the mighty king of men, great Agamemnon, sends

Thy lov’d seed by my hands to thine; and to thy God commends

435 A hecatomb, which my charge is to sacrifice, and seek

Our much-sigh-mix’d woe his recure, invok’d by ev’ry Greek.”

Thus he resign’d her, and her sire receiv’d her highly joy’d.

About the well-built altar, then, they orderly employ’d

The sacred off’ring, wash’d their hands, took salt cakes; and the priest,

440 With hands held up to heav’n, thus pray’d: “O thou that all things seest,

Fautour of Chrysa, whose fair hand doth guardfully dispose

Celestial Cilla, governing in all pow’r Tenedos,

O hear thy priest, and as thy hand, in free grace to my pray’rs,

Shot fervent plague-shafts through the Greeks, now hearten their affairs

445 With health renew’d, and quite remove th’ infection from their blood.”

He pray’d; and to his pray’rs again the God propitious stood.

All, after pray’r, cast on salt cakes, drew back, kill’d, flay’d the beeves,

Cut out and dubb’d with fat their thighs, fair dress’d with doubled leaves,

And on them all the sweetbreads prick’d. The priest, with small sere wood,

450 Did sacrifice, pour’d on red wine; by whom the young men stood,

And turn’d, in five ranks, spits; on which (the legs enough) they eat

The inwards; then in giggots cut the other fit for meat,

And put to fire; which, roasted well they drew. The labour done,

They serv’d the feast in, that fed all to satisfaction.

455 Desire of meat and wine thus quench’d, the youths crown’d cups of wine

Drunk off, and fill’d again to all. That day was held divine,


And spent in pæans to the Sun, who heard with pleaséd ear;

When whose bright chariot stoop’d to sea, and twilight hid the clear,

All soundly on their cables slept, ev’n till the night was worn.

460 And when the lady of the light, the rosy-finger’d Morn,

Rose from the hills, all fresh arose, and to the camp retir’d.

Apollo with a fore-right wind their swelling bark inspir’d.

The top-mast hoisted, milk-white sails on his round breast they put,

The mizens strooted with the gale, the ship her course did cut

465 So swiftly that the parted waves against her ribs did roar;

Which, coming to the camp, they drew aloft the sandy shore,

Where, laid on stocks, each soldier kept his quarter as before.

But Peleus’ son, swift-foot Achilles, at his swift ships sate,

Burning in wrath, nor ever came to councils of estate

470 That make men honour’d, never trod the fierce embattled field,

But kept close, and his lov’d heart pin’d, what fight and cries could yield

Thirsting at all parts to the host. And now, since first he told

His wrongs to Thetis, twelve fair morns their ensigns did unfold,

And then the ever-living gods mounted Olympus, Jove

475 First in ascension. Thetis then, remember’d well to move

Achilles’ motion, rose from sea, and, by the morn’s first light,

The great heav’n and Olympus climb’d; where, in supremest height

Of all that many-headed hill, she saw the far-seen son

Of Saturn, set from all the rest, in his free seat alone.

480 Before whom, on her own knees fall’n, the knees of Jupiter

Her left hand held, her right his chin, and thus she did prefer

Her son’s petition: “Father Jove! If ever I have stood

Aidful to thee in word or work, with this imploréd good


Requite my aid, renown my son, since in so short a race

485 (Past others) thou confin’st his life. An insolent disgrace

Is done him by the king of men; he forc’d from him a prise

Won with his sword. But thou, O Jove, that art most strong, most wise,

Honour my son for my sake; add strength to the Trojans’ side

By his side’s weakness in his want; and see Troy amplified

490 In conquest, so much, and so long, till Greece may give again

The glory reft him, and the more illustrate the free reign

Of his wrong’d honour.” Jove at this sate silent; not a word

In long space pass’d him. Thetis still hung on his knee, implor’d

The second time his help, and said: “Grant, or deny my suit,

495 Be free in what thou dost; I know, thou canst not sit thus mute

For fear of any; speak, deny, that so I may be sure,

Of all heav’n’s Goddesses ’tis I, that only must endure

Dishonour by thee.” Jupiter, the great cloud-gath’rer, griev’d

With thought of what a world of griefs this suit ask’d, being achiev’d,

500 Swell’d, sigh’d, and answer’d: “Works of death thou urgest. O, at this

Juno will storm, and all my pow’rs inflame with contumelies.

Ever she wrangles, charging me in ear of all the Gods

That I am partial still, that I add the displeasing odds

Of my aid to the Ilians. Begone then, lest she see;

505 Leave thy request to my care; yet, that trust may hearten thee

With thy desire’s grant, and my pow’r to give it act approve

How vain her strife is, to thy pray’r my eminent head shall move;

Which is the great sign of my will with all th’ immortal states;

Irrevocable; never fails; never without the rates

510 Of all pow’rs else; when my head bows, all heads bow with it still

As their first mover; and gives pow’r to any work I will.”

He said; and his black eyebrows bent; above his deathless head

Th’ ambrosian curls flow’d; great heav’n shook: and both were severéd,

Their counsels broken. To the depth of Neptune’s kingdom div’d

515 Thetis from heav’n’s height; Jove arose; and all the Gods receiv’d


(All rising from their thrones) their Sire, attending to his court.

None sate when he rose, none delay’d the furnishing his port

Till he came near; all met with him, and brought him to his throne.

Nor sate great Juno ignorant, when she beheld alone

520 Old Nereus’ silver-footed seed with Jove, that she had brought

Counsels to heav’n; and straight her tongue had teeth in it, that wrought

This sharp invective: “Who was that (thou craftiest counsellor

Of all the Gods) that so apart some secret did implore?

Ever, apart from me, thou lov’st to counsel and decree

525 Things of more close trust than thou think’st are fit t’ impart to me.

Whatever thou determin’st, I must ever be denied

The knowledge of it by thy will.” To her speech thus replied

The Father both of men and Gods: “Have never hope to know

My whole intentions, though my wife; it fits not, nor would show

530 Well to thine own thoughts; but what fits thy woman’s ear to hear,

Woman, nor man, nor God, shall know before it grace thine ear.

Yet what, apart from men and Gods, I please to know, forbear

T’ examine, or inquire of that.” She with the cow’s fair eyes,

Respected Juno, this return’d: “Austere king of the skies,

535 What hast thou utter’d? When did I before this time inquire,

Or sift thy counsels? Passing close you are still. Your desire

Is serv’d with such care, that I fear you can scarce vouch the deed

That makes it public, being seduc’d by this old sea-god’s seed,

That could so early use her knees, embracing thine. I doubt,

540 The late act of thy bowéd head was for the working out

Of some boon she ask’d; that her son thy partial hand would please

With plaguing others.” “Wretch!” said he, “thy subtle jealousies


Are still exploring; my designs can never ’scape thine eye,

Which yet thou never canst prevent. Thy curiosity

545 Makes thee less car’d for at my hands, and horrible the end

Shall make thy humour. If it be what thy suspécts intend,

What then? ’Tis my free will it should; to which let way be giv’n

With silence. Curb your tongue in time; lest all the Gods in heav’n

Too few be and too weak to help thy punish’d insolence,

550 When my inaccessible hands shall fall on thee.” The sense

Of this high threat’ning made her fear, and silent she sate down,

Humbling her great heart. All the Gods in court of Jove did frown

At this offence giv’n; amongst whom heav’n’s famous artizan,

Ephaistus, in his mother’s care, this comely speech began:

555 “Believe it, these words will breed wounds, beyond our pow’rs to bear,

If thus for mortals ye fall out. Ye make a tumult here

That spoils our banquet. Evermore worst matters put down best.

But, mother, though yourself be wise, yet let your son request

His wisdom audience. Give good terms to our lov’d father Jove,

560 For fear he take offence again, and our kind banquet prove

A wrathful battle. If he will, the heav’nly Light’ner can

Take you and toss you from your throne; his pow’r Olympian

Is so surpassing. Soften then with gentle speech his spleen,

And drink to him; I know his heart will quickly down again.”

565 This said, arising from his throne, in his lov’d mother’s hand

He put the double-handed cup, and said: “Come, do not stand;

On these cross humours, suffer, bear, though your great bosom grieve,

And lest blows force you; all my aid not able to relieve

Your hard condition, though these eyes behold it, and this heart

570 Sorrow to think it. ’Tis a task too dang’rous to take part


Against Olympius. I myself the proof of this still feel.

When other Gods would fain have help’d, he took me by the heel,

And hurl’d me out of heav’n. All day I was in falling down;

At length in Lemnos I strook earth. The likewise-falling sun

575 And I, together, set; my life almost set too; yet there

The Sintii cheer’d and took me up.” This did to laughter cheer

White-wristed Juno, who now took the cup of him, and smil’d.

The sweet peace-making draught went round, and lame Ephaistus fill’d

Nectar to all the other Gods. A laughter never left

580 Shook all the blesséd deities, to see the lame so deft

At that cup service. All that day, ev’n till the sun went down,

They banqueted, and had such cheer as did their wishes crown.

Nor had they music less divine; Apollo there did touch

His most sweet harp, to which, with voice, the Muses pleas’d as much.

585 But when the sun’s fair light was set, each Godhead to his house

Address’d for sleep, where ev’ry one, with art most curious,

By heav’n’s great both-foot-halting God a sev’ral roof had built.

Ev’n he to sleep went, by whose hand heav’n is with lightning gilt,

High Jove, where he had us’d to rest when sweet sleep seiz’d his eyes;

590 By him the golden-thron’d Queen slept, the Queen of deities.

Linenotes for Book I

* Æacides—Achilles, grandson of Æacus.

3: Invisible cave—Hades. See also Chapman’s Commentary.

6: Atrides—patronymic of Agamemnon and Menelaus. Thetis’ son—Achilles.

7: Eris—the goddess of strife, personification of strife.

8: Jove’s and Latona’s son—Apollo.

12: Unvalued—invaluable, not to be valued. So Shakespeare—

“Inestimable stones, unvalu’d jewels.”

Rich. III. I. 4.

14: Proposing—holding before him.

30: “See my bed made,” it may be Englished. The word is ἀντιόωσαν, which signifies contra stantem, as standing of one side opposite to another on the other side; which yet others translate capessentem et adornantem; which, since it shows best to a reader, I follow. —Chapman.

50: Went—the second folio omits this word.

52: White-arm’d queen—Juno.

66: Rage—i.e. power, a frequent use of the word,—the poetic inspiration.

70: Discovery—declaration.

86: Empery—sovereign authority;

“Ruling in large and ample empery

O’er France, and all her almost kingly dukedoms.”

Shakespeare. Hen. V. I. 2.

87: Unreproved—irreproachable. See II. 785.

93: Uncontain’d—not to be emptied, unrestrainable.

95: Quit—paid. To quite, or quit, often used in this sense by Chapman.

99: Eagerly bearing all—treating all angrily, sourly (from the French aigre).

“If thou think’st so, vex him with eager words.”

Shakespeare. 3 Hen. VI. II. 6.

116: Supply for her—compensation for her loss.

119: Prise—booty, anything seized. I shall retain this orthography throughout, as more expressive of the original. Chapman uses prize elsewhere when meaning value, price. Thus, in the continuation of Marlowe’s Musæus,

“And five they hold in most especial prize,

Since ’tis the first odd number that doth rise

From the two foremost numbers’ unity

That odd and even are.”

Sestyad V.

138: Ithacus—Ulysses.

139: Let him, &c.—i.e. though he may rage.

155: Bid—threaten, challenge.

162: The second folio has “your exposed lives;” evidently an error of the press.

164: The Greeks gave all—i.e. all the Greeks gave. See 388.

170: Continent—i.e. possession. Continent incontinent, a quibble of Chapman’s.

174: Fly—the second folio and Dr. Taylor, flee.

175: Others—the second folio, other.

192: Discursive part—reasoning power.

196: Athenia—Minerva.

198: Saturnia—Juno.

200: Only gave her look to him appearance—i.e. only made her likeness seen by him.

209: Affects—affections, passions.

226: Prease—press.

232: “This simile Virgil directly translates.” —Chapman.

242: The second folio has “this wrong.”

255: The second folio has “put both you years.” It will not be necessary to note all the manifest errors that disfigure this second edition.

268: Apian—both folios have Asian, but the original is ἐξ Ἀπίης γαίης, i.e. Peloponnesus. Chapman says “the land of Apia,” in his first translation of XII. Books. Iliad I.270.

272: To wreath your wraths—to allow your wrath to triumph: an allusion to the wreaths worn by victors. —Dr. Cooke Taylor. The expression is not in the Greek. Though both folios read wreath, perhaps wreak revenge, might be the true word.

274: Encounter with thy crown—enter into dispute with thy sovereign.

279: Amplified.—The second folio (which Dr. Taylor follows) has “amplied.” The metre would require that the word “many” should be omitted.

283: Good right—right good, very good.

284: Affects height—aims at superiority above all men.

286: Their temp’rate—the second folio and Dr. Taylor, a temp’rate.

295: Wench—originally meant a young woman only, without the contemptuous familiarity now annexed to it. —Nares. See 2 Sam. xvii. 17. It is still used in a good sense as a provincialism.

312: Inflam’d—burnt, set in flames.

351: Her love—Achilles.

356: Olympius—Jupiter.

368: His priest that shoots so far—the priest of far-darting Apollo.

376: His wish’d acceptance—that which he wished to be accepted.

389: Wreak—revenge. A frequent word in Elizabethan writers.

393: Spoil—injury.

394: Neptune, Juno, Minerva.

422: Tyring—a term in falconry; from tirer (French), to drag or pull. The hawk was said to tire on her prey, when it was thrown at her, and she began to pull at it and tear it. Hence, metaphor­ically, for being engaged eagerly on any thing. Shakespeare thus uses it; Cymb. III. 4, Tim. of Athens, III. 6. —Nares.

422: For his enforced love—for Briseis forced from him.

432: Spoken thus.—The second folio has “speaking thus.”

436: Recure—cure. His refers to cure—our woe’s recure.

441: Fautour—(Lat.) aider, favourer.

448: Dubb’d.—From the French dauber. We use the word dabbed on now in the same sense. Halliwell, in his Archaic Dict., quotes “Morte Arthure, MS. Linc. f. 88;—”

“His dyademe was droppede downe

Dubbyde with stonys.”

452: Giggots—quarters; from French gigot.

464: Strooted—swelled out. Halliwell spells it strout, which he says is still in use.

466: Aloft—high up on.

471: “Eagerly desirous of what fight and cries could yield at all parts of the host. The Greek is more simple: ‘He ardently desired shout and war.’” —Dr. Cooke Taylor.

476: The second folio reads “rose from the sea.”

509: Rates—ratifications.

517: Furnishing his port—assuming a proper deportment.

520: Nereus’ silver-footed seed—Thetis.

533: With the cow’s fair eyes—Chapman has retained the original meaning of the word βοῶπις, and, I think, rightly. Oxen have beautiful eyes irrespective of their magnitude. In Bk. VII. 10, he translates it “that had her eyes so clear.”

543: Still exploring—ever prying.

554: Ephaistus—Vulcan.

559: Wisdom audience—i.e. a hearing for his wisdom.

566: Double-handed—so reads the second folio; in the first it was “double-handled.” The δέπας ἀμφικύπελλον, however, was not a cup with two handles, but which was held in the middle with a cup at each end. Iliad I.584.

580: Deft—dexterous, neat.

587: Great both-foot-halting God—Vulcan





INCE I dissent from all other translators, and interpreters, that ever assayed exposition of this miraculous poem, especially where the divine rapture is most exempt from capacity in grammarians merely, and grammatical critics, and where the inward sense or soul of the sacred muse is only within eye-shot of a poetical spirit’s inspection (lest I be prejudiced with opinion to dissent of ignorance or singularity) I am bound, by this brief comment, to show I understand how all other extants understand; my reasons why I reject them; and how I receive my author. In which labour, if, where all others find discords and dissonances, I prove him entirely harmonious and proportionate; if, where they often alter and fly his original, I at all parts stand fast, and observe it; if, where they mix their most pitiful castigations with his praises, I render him without touch, and beyond admiration, (though truth in her very nakedness sits in so deep a pit, that from Gades to Aurora, and Ganges, few eyes can sound her) I hope yet those few here will so discover and confirm her, that, the date being out of her darkness in this morning of our Homer, he shall now gird his temples with the sun, and be confessed (against his good friend) nunquam dormitare. But how all translators, censors, or interpreters, have slept, and been dead to his true understanding, I hope it will neither cast shadow of arrogance in me to affirm, nor of difficulty in you to believe, if you please to suspend censure, and diminution, till your impartial conference of their pains and mine be admitted. For induction and preparative to which patience, and persuasion, trouble yourselves but to know this. This never-enough-glorified poet (to vary and quicken his eternal poem) hath inspired his chief persons with different spirits, most ingenious and I.24 inimitable characters, which not understood, how are their speeches, being one by another as conveniently and necessarily known as the instrument by the sound? If a translator or interpreter of a ridiculous and cowardly-described person (being deceived in his character) so violates, and vitiates, the original, to make his speech grave, and him valiant; can the negligence and numbness of such an interpreter or translator be less than the sleep and death I am bold to sprinkle upon him? Or could I do less than affirm and enforce this, being so happily discovered? This, therefore (in his due place) approved and explained, let me hope my other assumpts will prove as conspicuous.

This first and second book I have wholly translated again; the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, books deferring still imperfect, being all Englished so long since, and my late hand (overcome with labour) not yet rested enough to refine them. Nor are the wealthy veins of this holy ground so amply discovered in my first twelve labours as my last; not having competent time, nor my profit in his mysteries being so ample, as when driving through his thirteenth and last books, I drew the main depth, and saw the round-coming off this silver bow of our Phœbus; the clear scope and contexture of his work; the full and most beautiful figures of his persons. To those last twelve, then, I must refer you, for all the chief worth of my clear discoveries; and in the mean space I entreat your acceptance of some few new touches in the first. Not perplexing you in first or last with anything handled in any other interpreter, further than I must conscionably make congression with such as have diminished, mangled, and maimed, my most worthily most tendered author.

3. Ἀΐδι προΐαψεν ἀΐδης (being compounded ex ἀ privativa, and εἴδω, video) signifies locus tenebri­cosus, or, according to Virgil, sine luce domus; and therefore (different from others) I so convert it.

4. Κύνεσσιν, οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι (Διὸς, &c.) is the vulgar reading, which I read κύνεσσιν οἰωοῖσί τε (πᾶσι Διὸς δὲ τελείετο βουλὴ), because πᾶσι referred to κύνεσσιν, &c., is redundant and idle; to the miseries of the Greeks by Jove’s counsel, grave, and sententious.


Iliad I.6

5. Ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα, &c., ex quo quidem primum: Ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα, &c., ex quo. Here our common readers would have tempore understood, because βουλὴ (to which they think the poet must otherwise have reference) is the feminine gender. But Homer understands Jove; as in Ταυ, verse 273, he expounds himself in these words: ἀλλά ποθι Ζεὺς, &c., which Pindarus Thebanus, in his epitome of these Iliads, rightly observes in these verses:—

“Conficiebat enim summi sententia Regis,

Ex quo contulerant discordi pectore pugnas

Sceptriger Atrides, et bello clarus Achilles.”

Iliad I.22

21. Ἐπευφήμησαν Ἀχαιοὶ, comprobârunt Græci all others turn it; but since ἐπευφημέω signifies properly, fausta acclamatione do significationem approbationis, I therefore accordingly convert it, because the other intimates a comprobation of all the Greeks by word, which was not so, but only by inarticulate acclamations or shouts.

37. Ἀμφιβέβηκας: ἀμφιβεβάω* signifies properly circumambulo, and only metaphoricè protego, or tueor, as it is always in this place translated; which suffers alteration with me, since our usual phrase of walking the round in towns of garrison, for the defence of it, fits so well the property of the original.

Iliad I.208

197. Πρὸ γὰρ ἧκε θεὰ λευκώλενος Ἥρη. Præmiserat enim Dea alba ulnis Juno. Why Juno should send Pallas is a thing not noted by any; I therefore answer, because Juno is Goddess of state. The allegory, therefore, in the prosopopœia both of Juno and Pallas, is, that Achilles, for respect to the state there present, the rather used that discretion and restraint of his anger. So in divers other places, when state is represented, Juno procures it; as in the eighteenth book, for the state of Patroclus’s fetching off, Juno commands the sun to go down before his time, &c.

Iliad I.357

360. Ὣς φάτο δακρυχέων: sic dixit lachrymans, &c. These tears are called, by our commentators, unworthy, and fitter for children or women than such a hero as Achilles; and therefore Plato is cited in iii. I.26 de Repub. where he saith, Ὀρθῶς ἄρα, &c. Meritò igitur clarorum virorum ploratus è medio tolleremus, &c. To answer which, and justify the fitness of tears generally (as they may be occasioned) in the greatest and most renowned men (omitting examples of Virgil’s Æneas, Alexander the Great, &c.,) I oppose against Plato, only one precedent of great and most perfect humanity (to Whom infinitely above all other we must prostrate our imitations) that shed tears, viz., our All-perfect and Almighty Saviour, Who wept for Lazarus. This then, leaving the fitness of great men’s tears, generally, utterly unanswerable, these particular tears of unvented anger in Achilles are in him most natural; tears being the highest effects of greatest and most fiery spirits, either when their abilities cannot perform to their wills, or that they are restrained of revenge, being injured; out of other considerations, as now the consideration of the state and gravity of the counsel and public good of the army-curbed Achilles. Who can deny that there are tears of manliness and magnanimity, as well as womanish and pusillanimous? So Diomed wept for curst heart, when Apollo struck his scourge from him, and hindered his horse-race, having been warned by Pallas before not to resist the deities; and so his great spirits being curbed of revenge for the wrong he received then. So when not-enough-vented anger was not to be expressed enough by that tear-starting affection in courageous and fierce men, our most accomplished expressor helps the illustration in a simile of his fervour, in most fervent-spirited fowls, resembling the wrathful fight of Sarpedon and Patroclus to two vultures fighting, and crying on a rock; which thus I have afterwards Englished, and here for example inserted:—

“Down jump’d he from his chariot; down leap’d his foe as light;

And as, on some far-seeing rock, a cast of vultures fight,

Fly on each other, strike, and truss, part, meet, and then stick by,

Tug both with crooked beaks and seres, cry, fight, and fight, and cry.

So fiercely fought these angry kings, &c.”

Wherein you see that crying in these eagerly-fought fowls (which is like tears in angry men) is so far from softness or faintness, that to the I.27 superlative of hardiness and courage it expresseth both. Nor must we be so gross to imagine that Homer made Achilles or Diomed blubber, or sob, &c., but, in the very point and sting of their unvented anger, shed a few violent and seething-over tears. What ass-like impudence is it then for any merely vain-glorious and self-loving puff, that everywhere may read these inimitable touches of our Homer’s mastery, anywhere to oppose his arrogant and ignorant castigations when he should rather (with his much better understander Spondanus) submit where he oversees him faulty, and say thus; “Quia tu tamen hoc voluisti, sacrosanctæ tuæ authoritati per me nihil detrahetur.”

* Chapman meant ἀμφιβάω, the obsolete, or radical, form of ἀμφιβαίνω.


Corrections for Book I

181 But in his hánds still.
unexpected “hánds” in original

395 The round earth, heav’n’s great Queen, and Pallas); to whose bands
line printed as shown in all editions and Taylor; there seems to be one foot missing

516 (All rising from their thrones)
“ll” in “All” invisible

520 note Nereus’ silver-footed seed
text has silver-fooded

Comm. 37 Ἀμφιβέβηκας: ἀμφιβεβάω
printed with Greek mid-dot ‧ in place of English colon (compare punctuation elsewhere in Commentarius)

Comm. 360
Printed as shown, but the passage is really line 359.




The Argument.

Jove calls a vision up from Somnus’ den

To bid Atrides muster up his men.

The King, to Greeks dissembling his desire,

Persuades them to their country to retire.

By Pallas’ will, Ulysses stays their flight;

And wise old Nestor heartens them to fight.

They take their meat; which done, to arms they go,

And march in good array against the foe.

So those of Troy; when Iris, from the sky,

Of Saturn’s son performs the embassy.

Another Argument.

Beta the dream and synod cites;

And catalogues the naval knights.


he other Gods, and knights at arms, all night slept; only Jove

Sweet slumber seiz’d not; he discours’d how best he might approve

His vow made for Achilles’ grace, and make the Grecians find

His miss in much death. All ways cast, this counsel serv’d his mind

5 With most allowance; to dispatch a harmful Dream to greet

The king of men, and gave this charge: “Go to the Achive fleet,


Pernicious Dream, and, being arriv’d in Agamemnon’s tent,

Deliver truly all this charge. Command him to convent

His whole host arm’d before these tow’rs; for now Troy’s broad-way’d town

10 He shall take in; the heav’n-hous’d Gods are now indiff’rent grown:

Juno’s request hath won them; Troy now under imminent ills

At all parts labours.” This charge heard, the Vision straight fulfils;

The ships reach’d, and Atrides’ tent, in which he found him laid,

Divine sleep pour’d about his pow’rs. He stood above his head

15 Like Nestor, grac’d of old men most, and this did intimate:

“Sleeps the wise Atreus’ tame-horse son? A councillor of state

Must not the whole night spend in sleep, to whom the people are

For guard committed, and whose life stands bound to so much care.

Now hear me, then, Jove’s messenger, who, though far off from thee,

20 Is near thee yet in ruth and care, and gives command by me

To arm thy whole host. Thy strong hand the broad-way’d town of Troy

Shall now take in; no more the Gods dissentiously employ

Their high-hous’d powérs; Juno’s suit hath won them all to her;

And ill fates overhang these tow’rs, address’d by Jupiter.

25 Fix in thy mind this, nor forget to give it action, when

Sweet sleep shall leave thee.” Thus, he fled; and left the king of men

Repeating in discourse his dream, and dreaming still, awake,

Of pow’r, not ready yet for act. O fool, he thought to take

In that next day old Priam’s town; not knowing what affairs

30 Jove had in purpose, who prepar’d, by strong fight, sighs and cares

For Greeks and Trojans. The Dream gone, his voice still murmuréd

About the king’s ears; who sate up, put on him in his bed


His silken inner weed, fair, new; and then in haste arose,

Cast on his ample mantle, tied to his soft feet fair shoes,

35 His silver-hilted sword he hung about his shoulders, took

His father’s sceptre never stain’d, which then abroad he shook,

And went to fleet. And now great heav’n Goddess Aurora scal’d,

To Jove, and all Gods, bringing light; when Agamemnon call’d

His heralds, charging them aloud to call to instant court

40 The thick-hair’d Greeks. The heralds call’d; the Greeks made quick resort.

The Council chiefly he compos’d of old great-minded men,

At Nestor’s ships, the Pylian king. All there assembled then,

Thus Atreus’ son begun the court: “Hear, friends: A Dream divine,

Amidst the calm night in my sleep, did through my shut eyes shine,

45 Within my fantasy. His form did passing naturally

Resemble Nestor; such attire, a stature just as high.

He stood above my head, and words thus fashion’d did relate:

‘Sleeps the wise Atreus’ tame-horse son? A councillor of state

Must not the whole night spend in sleep, to whom the people are

50 For guard committed, and whose life stands bound to so much care,

Now hear me then, Jove’s messenger, who, though far off from thee,

Is near thee yet in love and care, and gives command by me

To arm thy whole host. Thy strong hand the broad-way’d town of Troy

Shall now take in; no more the Gods dissentiously employ

55 Their high-hous’d pow’rs; Saturnia’s suit hath won them all to her;

And ill fates over-hang these tow’rs, address’d by Jupiter.

Fix in thy mind this.’ This express’d, he took wing and away,

And sweet sleep left me. Let us then by all our means assay

To arm our army; I will first (as far as fits our right)

60 Try their addictions, and command with full-sail’d ships our flight;


Which if they yield to, oppose you.” He sate, and up arose

Nestor, of sandy Pylos king, who, willing to dispose

Their counsel to the public good, propos’d this to the state:

“Princes and Councillors of Greece, if any should relate

65 This vision but the king himself, it might be held a tale,

And move the rather our retreat; but since our General

Affirms he saw it, hold it true, and all our best means make

To arm our army.” This speech us’d, he first the Council brake;

The other sceptre-bearing States arose too, and obey’d

70 The people’s Rector. Being abroad, the earth was overlaid

With flockers to them, that came forth, as when of frequent bees

Swarms rise out of a hollow rock, repairing the degrees

Of their egression endlessly, with ever rising new

From forth their sweet nest; as their store, still as it faded, grew,

75 And never would cease sending forth her clusters to the spring,

They still crowd out so; this flock here, that there, belabouring

The loaded flow’rs; so from the ships and tents the army’s store

Troop’d to these princes and the court, along th’ unmeasur’d shore;

Amongst whom, Jove’s ambassadress, Fame, in her virtue shin’d,

80 Exciting greediness to hear. The rabble, thus inclin’d,

Hurried together; uproar seiz’d the high court; earth did groan

Beneath the settling multitude; tumult was there alone.

Thrice-three vocif’rous heralds rose, to check the rout, and get

Ear to their Jove-kept governors; and instantly was set

85 That huge confusion; ev’ry man set fast, the clamour ceas’d.

Then stood divine Atrides up, and in his hand compress’d

His sceptre, th’ elabórate work of fi’ry Mulciber,

Who gave it to Saturnian Jove; Jove to his messenger;


His messenger, Argicides, to Pelops, skill’d in horse;

90 Pelops to Atreus, chief of men; he, dying, gave it course

To prince Thyestes, rich in herds; Thyestes to the hand

Of Agamemnon render’d it, and with it the command

Of many isles, and Argos all. On this he leaning, said:

“O friends, great sons of Danaus, servants of Mars, Jove laid

95 A heavy curse on me, to vow, and bind it with the bent

Of his high forehead; that, this Troy of all her people spent,

I should return; yet now to mock our hopes built on his vow,

And charge ingloriously my flight, when such an overthrow

Of brave friends I have authoréd. But to his mightiest will

100 We must submit us, that hath raz’d, and will be razing still,

Men’s footsteps from so many towns; because his pow’r is most,

He will destroy most. But how vile such and so great an host

Will show to future times, that, match’d with lesser numbers far,

We fly, not putting on the crown of our so long-held war,

105 Of which there yet appears no end! Yet should our foes and we

Strike truce, and number both our pow’rs; Troy taking all that be

Her arm’d inhabitants, and we, in tens, should all sit down

At our truce banquet, ev’ry ten allow’d one of the town

To fill his feast-cup; many tens would their attendant want;

110 So much I must affirm our pow’r exceeds th’ inhabitant.

But their auxiliáry bands, those brandishers of spears,

From many cities drawn, are they that are our hinderers,

Not suff’ring well-rais’d Troy to fall. Nine years are ended now,

Since Jove our conquest vow’d; and now, our vessels rotten grow,

115 Our tackling fails; our wives, young sons, sit in their doors and long

For our arrival; yet the work, that should have wreak’d our wrong,


And made us welcome, lies unwrought. Come then, as I bid, all

Obey, and fly to our lov’d home; for now, nor ever, shall

Our utmost take-in broad-way’d Troy.” This said, the multitude

120 Was all for home; and all men else that what this would conclude

Had not discover’d. All the crowd was shov’d about the shore,

In sway, like rude and raging waves, rous’d with the fervent blore

Of th’ east and south winds, when they break from Jove’s clouds, and are borne

On rough backs of th’ Icarian seas: or like a field of corn

125 High grown, that Zephyr’s vehement gusts bring eas’ly underneath,

And make the stiff up-bristled ears do homage to his breath;

For ev’n so eas’ly, with the breath Atrides us’d, was sway’d

The violent multitude. To fleet with shouts, and disarray’d,

All rush’d; and, with a fog of dust, their rude feet dimm’d the day;

130 Each cried to other, ‘Cleanse our ships, come, launch, aboard, away.’

The clamour of the runners home reach’d heav’n; and then, past fate,

The Greeks had left Troy, had not then the Goddess of estate

Thus spoke to Pallas: “O foul shame, thou untam’d seed of Jove,

Shall thus the sea’s broad back be charg’d with these our friends’ remove,

135 Thus leaving Argive Helen here, thus Priam grac’d, thus Troy,

In whose fields, far from their lov’d own, for Helen’s sake, the joy

And life of so much Grecian birth is vanish’d? Take thy way

T’ our brass-arm’d people, speak them fair, let not a man obey

The charge now giv’n, nor launch one ship.” She said, and Pallas did

140 As she commanded; from the tops of heav’n’s steep hill she slid,

And straight the Greeks’ swift ships she reach’d; Ulysses (like to Jove

In gifts of counsel) she found out; who to that base remove

Stirr’d not a foot, nor touch’d a ship, but griev’d at heart to see

That fault in others. To him close the blue-eyed Deity

145 Made way, and said: “Thou wisest Greek, divine Laertes’ son,

Thus fly ye homewards to your ships? Shall all thus headlong run?


Glory to Priam thus ye leave, glory to all his friends,

If thus ye leave her here, for whom so many violent ends

Have clos’d your Greek eyes, and so far from their so lovéd home.

150 Go to these people, use no stay, with fair terms overcome

Their foul endeavour, not a man a flying sail let hoice.”

Thus spake she; and Ulysses knew ’twas Pallas by her voice,

Ran to the runners, cast from him his mantle, which his man

And herald, grave Eurybates, the Ithacensian

155 That follow’d him, took up. Himself to Agamemnon went,

His incorrupted sceptre took, his sceptre of descent,

And with it went about the fleet. What prince, or man of name,

He found flight-giv’n, he would restrain with words of gentlest blame:

“Good sir, it fits not you to fly, or fare as one afraid,

160 You should not only stay yourself, but see the people staid.

You know not clearly, though you heard the king’s words, yet his mind;

He only tries men’s spirits now, and, whom his trials find

Apt to this course, he will chastise. Nor you, nor I, heard all

He spake in council; nor durst press too near our General,

165 Lest we incens’d him to our hurt. The anger of a king

Is mighty; he is kept of Jove, and from Jove likewise spring

His honours, which, out of the love of wise Jove, he enjoys.”

Thus he the best sort us’d; the worst, whose spirits brake out in noise,

He cudgell’d with his sceptre, chid, and said: “Stay, wretch, be still,

170 And hear thy betters; thou art base, and both in pow’r and skill

Poor and unworthy, without name in council or in war.

We must not all be kings. The rule is most irregular,

Where many rule. One lord, one king, propose to thee; and he,

To whom wise Saturn’s son hath giv’n both law and empery

175 To rule the public, is that king.” Thus ruling, he restrain’d

The host from flight; and then again the Council was maintain’d

With such a concourse, that the shore rung with the tumult made;


As when the far-resounding sea doth in its rage invade

His sandy confines, whose sides groan with his involvéd wave,

180 And make his own breast echo sighs. All sate, and audience gave,

Thersites only would speak all. A most disorder’d store

Of words he foolishly pour’d out, of which his mind held more

Than it could manage; any thing, with which he could procure

Laughter, he never could contain. He should have yet been sure

185 To touch no kings; t’ oppose their states becomes not jesters’ parts.

But he the filthiest fellow was of all that had deserts

In Troy’s brave siege; he was squint-ey’d, and lame of either foot;

So crook-back’d, that he had no breast; sharp-headed, where did shoot

(Here and there spers’d) thin mossy hair. He most of all envied

190 Ulysses and Æacides, whom still his spleen would chide.

Nor could the sacred King himself avoid his saucy vein;

Against whom since he knew the Greeks did vehement hates sustain,

Being angry for Achilles’ wrong, he cried out, railing thus:

“Atrides, why complain’st thou now? What would’st thou more of us?

195 Thy tents are full of brass; and dames, the choice of all, are thine,

With whom we must present thee first, when any towns resign

To our invasion. Want’st thou then, besides all this, more gold

From Troy’s knights to redeem their sons, whom to be dearly sold

I or some other Greek must take? Or would’st thou yet again

200 Force from some other lord his prise, to soothe the lusts that reign

In thy encroaching appetite? It fits no prince to be

A prince of ill, and govern us, or lead our progeny

By rape to ruin. O base Greeks, deserving infamy,

And ills eternal! Greekish girls, not Greeks, ye are! Come, fly

205 Home with our ships; leave this man here to perish with his preys,

And try if we help’d him or not; he wrong’d a man that weighs

Far more than he himself in worth; he forc’d from Thetis’ son,

And keeps his prise still. Nor think I that mighty man hath won


The style of wrathful worthily; he’s soft, he’s too remiss;

210 Or else, Atrides, his had been thy last of injuries.”

Thus he the people’s Pastor chid; but straight stood up to him

Divine Ulysses, who, with looks exceeding grave and grim,

This bitter check gave: “Cease, vain fool, to vent thy railing vein

On kings thus, though it serve thee well; nor think thou canst restrain,

215 With that thy railing faculty, their wills in least degree;

For not a worse, of all this host, came with our King than thee,

To Troy’s great siege; then do not take into that mouth of thine

The names of kings, much less revile the dignities that shine

In their supreme states, wresting thus this motion for our home,

220 To soothe thy cowardice; since ourselves yet know not what will come

Of these designments, if it be our good to stay, or go.

Nor is it that thou stand’st on; thou revil’st our Gen’ral so,

Only because he hath so much, not giv’n by such as thou

But our heroës. Therefore this thy rude vein makes me vow

225 (Which shall be curiously observ’d) if ever I shall hear

This madness from thy mouth again, let not Ulysses bear

This head, nor be the father call’d of young Telemachus,

If to thy nakedness I take and strip thee not, and thus

Whip thee to fleet from council; send, with sharp stripes, weeping hence

230 This glory thou affect’st to rail.” This said, his insolence

He settled with his sceptre; strook his back and shoulders so

That bloody wales rose. He shrunk round; and from his eyes did flow

Moist tears, and, looking filthily, he sate, fear’d, smarted, dried

His blubber’d cheeks; and all the prease, though griev’d to be denied

235 Their wish’d retreat for home, yet laugh’d delightsomely, and spake

Either to other: “O ye Gods, how infinitely take


Ulysses’ virtues in our good! Author of counsels, great

In ord’ring armies, how most well this act became his heat,

To beat from council this rude fool! I think his saucy spirit,

240 Hereafter, will not let his tongue abuse the sov’reign merit,

Exempt from such base tongues as his.” Thus spake the people; then

The city-razer Ithacus stood up to speak again,

Holding his sceptre. Close to him gray-eyed Minerva stood,

And, like a herald, silence caus’d, that all the Achive brood

245 (From first to last) might hear and know the counsel; when, inclin’d

To all their good, Ulysses said: “Atrides, now I find

These men would render thee the shame of all men; nor would pay

Their own vows to thee, when they took their free and honour’d way

From Argos hither, that, till Troy were by their brave hands rac’d,

250 They would not turn home. Yet, like babes, and widows, now they haste

To that base refuge. ’Tis a spite to see men melted so

In womanish changes; though ’tis true, that if a man do go

Only a month to sea, and leave his wife far off, and he,

Tortur’d with winter’s storms, and toss’d with a tumultuous sea,

255 Grows heavy, and would home. Us then, to whom the thrice-three year

Hath fill’d his revoluble orb since our arrival here,

I blame not to wish home much more; yet all this time to stay,

Out of our judgments, for our end; and now to take our way

Without it, were absurd and vile. Sustain then, friends; abide

260 The time set to our object; try if Calchas prophesied

True of the time or not. We know, ye all can witness well,

(Whom these late death-conferring fates have fail’d to send to hell)

That when in Aulis, all our fleet assembled with a freight

Of ills to Ilion and her friends, beneath the fair grown height

265 A platane bore, about a fount, whence crystal water flow’d,

And near our holy altar, we upon the Gods bestow’d


Accomplish’d hecatombs; and there appear’d a huge portent,

A dragon with a bloody scale, horrid to sight, and sent

To light by great Olympius; which, crawling from beneath

270 The altar, to the platane climb’d, and ruthless crash’d to death

A sparrow’s young, in number eight, that in a top-bough lay

Hid under leaves; the dam the ninth, that hover’d every way,

Mourning her lov’d birth, till at length, the serpent, watching her,

Her wing caught, and devour’d her too. This dragon, Jupiter,

275 That brought him forth, turn’d to a stone, and made a pow’rful mean

To stir our zeals up, that admir’d, when of a fact so clean,

Of all ill as our sacrifice, so fearful an ostent

Should be the issue. Calchas, then, thus prophesied th’ event

‘Why are ye dumb-strook, fair-hair’d Greeks? Wise Jove is he hath shown

280 This strange ostent to us. ’Twas late, and passing lately done,

But that grace it foregoes to us, for suff’ring all the state

Of his appearance (being so slow) nor time shall end, nor fate.

As these eight sparrows, and the dam (that made the ninth) were eat

By this stern serpent; so nine years we are t’ endure the heat

285 Of rav’nous war, and, in the tenth, take-in this broad-way’d town.’

Thus he interpreted this sign; and all things have their crown

As he interpreted, till now. The rest, then, to succeed

Believe as certain. Stay we all, till, that most glorious deed

Of taking this rich town, our hands are honour’d with.” This said,

290 The Greeks gave an unmeasur’d shout; which back the ships repaid

With terrible echoes, in applause of that persuasion

Divine Ulysses us’d; which yet held no comparison

With Nestor’s next speech, which was this: “O shameful thing! Ye talk

Like children all, that know not war. In what air’s region walk

295 Our oaths, and cov’nants? Now, I see the fit respects of men

Are vanish’d quite; our right hands giv’n, our faiths, our counsels vain,


Our sacrifice with wine, all fled in that profanéd flame

We made to bind all; for thus still we vain persuasions frame,

And strive to work our end with words, not joining stratagemes

300 And hands together, though, thus long, the pow’r of our extremes

Hath urg’d us to them. Atreus’ son, firm as at first hour stand!

Make good thy purpose; talk no more in councils, but command

In active field. Let two or three, that by themselves advise,

Faint in their crowning; they are such as are not truly wise;

305 They will for Argos, ere they know if that which Jove hath said

Be false or true. I tell them all, that high Jove bow’d his head,

As first we went aboard our fleet, for sign we should confer

These Trojans their due fate and death; almighty Jupiter

All that day darting forth his flames, in an unmeasur’d light,

310 On our right hand. Let therefore none once dream of coward flight,

Till (for his own) some wife of Troy he sleeps withal, the rape

Of Helen wreaking, and our sighs enforc’d for her escape.

If any yet dare dote on home, let his dishonour’d haste

His black and well-built bark but touch, that (as he first disgrac’d

315 His country’s spirit) fate, and death, may first his spirit let go.

But be thou wise, king, do not trust thyself, but others. Know

I will not use an abject word. See all thy men array’d

In tribes and nations, that tribes tribes, nations may nations, aid.

Which doing, thou shalt know what chiefs, what soldiers, play the men,

320 And what the cowards; for they all will fight in sev’ral then,

Easy for note. And then shalt thou, if thou destroy’st not Troy,

Know if the prophecy’s defect, or men thou dost employ


In their approv’d arts want in war, or lack of that brave heat

Fit for the vent’rous spirits of Greece, was cause to thy defeat.”

325 To this the king of men replied: “O father, all the sons

Of Greece thou conquer’st in the strife of consultations.

I would to Jove, Athenia, and Phœbus, I could make,

Of all, but ten such counsellors; then instantly would shake

King Priam’s city, by our hands laid hold on and laid waste.

330 But Jove hath order’d I should grieve, and to that end hath cast

My life into debates past end. Myself, and Thetis’ son,

Like girls, in words fought for a girl, and I th’ offence begun.

But if we ever talk as friends, Troy’s thus deferréd fall

Shall never vex us more one hour. Come then, to victuals all,

335 That strong Mars all may bring to field. Each man his lance’s steel

See sharpen’d well, his shield well lin’d, his horses meated well,

His chariot carefully made strong, that these affairs of death

We all day may hold fiercely out. No man must rest, or breath;

The bosoms of our targeteers must all be steep’d in sweat;

340 The lancer’s arm must fall dissolv’d; our chariot-horse with heat

Must seem to melt. But if I find one soldier take the chace,

Or stir from fight, or fight not still fix’d in his enemy’s face,

Or hid a-ship-board, all the world, for force, nor price, shall save

His hated life, but fowls and dogs be his abhorréd grave.”

345 He said; and such a murmur rose, as on a lofty shore

The waves make, when the south wind comes, and tumbles them before

Against a rock, grown near the strand which diversely beset

Is never free, but, here and there, with varied uproars beat.

All rose then, rushing to the fleet, perfum’d their tents, and eat;

350 Each off’ring to th’ immortal gods, and praying to ’scape the heat

Of war and death. The king of men an ox of five years’ spring

T’ almighty Jove slew, call’d the peers; first Nestor; then the king

Idomenëus; after them th’ Ajaces; and the son

Of Tydeus; Ithacus the sixth, in counsel paragon


355 To Jove himself. All these he bade; but at-a-martial-cry

Good Menelaus, since he saw his brother busily

Employ’d at that time, would not stand on invitation,

But of himself came. All about the off’ring overthrown

Stood round, took salt-cakes, and the king himself thus pray’d for all:

360 “O Jove, most great, most glorious, that, in that starry hall,

Sitt’st drawing dark clouds up to air, let not the sun go down,

Darkness supplying it, till my hands the palace and the town

Of Priam overthrow and burn; the arms on Hector’s breast

Dividing, spoiling with my sword thousands, in interest

365 Of his bad quarrel, laid by him in dust, and eating earth.”

He pray’d; Jove heard him not, but made more plentiful the birth

Of his sad toils, yet took his gifts. Pray’rs past, cakes on they threw;

The ox then, to the altar drawn, they kill’d, and from him drew

His hide, then cut him up, his thighs, in two hewn, dubb’d with fat,

370 Prick’d on the sweetbreads, and with wood, leaveless, and kindled at

Apposéd fire, they burn the thighs; which done, the inwards, slit,

They broil’d on coals and eat; the rest, in giggots cut, they spit,

Roast cunningly, draw, sit, and feast; nought lack’d to leave allay’d

Each temp’rate appetite; which serv’d, Nestor began and said:

375 “Atrides, most grac’d king of men, now no more words allow,

Nor more defer the deed Jove vows. Let heralds summon now

The brazen-coated Greeks, and us range ev’rywhere the host,

To stir a strong war quickly up.” This speech no syllable lost;

The high-voic’d heralds instantly he charg’d to call to arms

380 The curl’d-head Greeks; they call’d; the Greeks straight answer’d their alarms.

The Jove-kept kings, about the king all gather’d, with their aid

Rang’d all in tribes and nations. With them the gray-eyed Maid


Great Ægis (Jove’s bright shield) sustain’d, that can be never old,

Never corrupted, fring’d about with serpents forg’d of gold,

385 As many as suffic’d to make an hundred fringes, worth

An hundred oxen, ev’ry snake all sprawling, all set forth

With wondrous spirit. Through the host with this the Goddess ran,

In fury casting round her eyes, and furnish’d ev’ry man

With strength, exciting all to arms, and fight incessant. None

390 Now liked their lov’d homes like the wars. And as a fire upon

A huge wood, on the heights of hills, that far off hurls his light;

So the divine brass shin’d on these, thus thrusting on for fight,

Their splendour through the air reach’d heav’n. And as about the flood

Caïster, in an Asian mead, sflocks of the airy brood,

395 Cranes, geese, or long-neck’d swans, here, there, proud of their pinions fly,

And in their falls lay out such throats, that with their spiritful cry

The meadow shrieks again; so here, these many-nation’d men

Flow’d over the Scamandrian field, from tents and ships; the din

Was dreadful that the feet of men and horse beat out of earth.

400 And in the flourishing mead they stood, thick as the odorous birth

Of flow’rs, or leaves bred in the spring; or thick as swarms of flies

Throng then to sheep-cotes, when each swarm his erring wing applies

To milk dew’d on the milk-maid’s pails; all eagerly dispos’d

To give to ruin th’ Ilians. And as in rude heaps clos’d,

405 Though huge goatherds are at their food, the goatherds eas’ly yet

Sort into sundry herds; so here the chiefs in battle set

Here tribes, here nations, ord’ring all. Amongst whom shin’d the king,

With eyes like lightning-loving Jove, his forehead answering,

In breast like Neptune, Mars in waist. And as a goodly bull

410 Most eminent of all a herd, most wrong, most masterful,

So Agamemnon, Jove that day made overheighten clear

That heav’n-bright army, and preferr’d to all th’ heroes there.

Now tell me, Muses, you that dwell in heav’nly roofs, (for you

Are Goddesses, are present here, are wise, and all things know,


415 We only trust the voice of fame, know nothing,) who they were

That here were captains of the Greeks, commanding princes here.

The multitude exceed my song, though fitted to my choice

Ten tongues were, harden’d palates ten, a breast of brass, a voice

Infract and trump-like; that great work, unless the seed of Jove,

420 The deathless Muses, undertake, maintains a pitch above

All mortal pow’rs. The princes then, and navy that did bring

Those so inenarrable troops, and all their soils, I sing.


Peneleüs, and Leitus, all that Bœotia bred,

Arcesilaus, Clonius, and Prothoenor, led;

425 Th’ inhabitants of Hyria, and stony Aulida,

Schæne, Scole, the hilly Eteon, and holy Thespia,

Of Græa, and great Mycalesse, that hath the ample plain,

Of Harma, and Ilesius, and all that did remain

In Eryth, and in Eleon, in Hylen, Peteona,

430 In fair Ocalea, and, the town well-builded, Medeona,

Copas, Eutresis, Thisbe, that for pigeons doth surpass,

Of Coroneia, Haliart, that hath such store of grass,

All those that in Platæa dwelt, that Glissa did possess,

And Hypothebs, whose well-built walls are rare and fellowless,

435 In rich Onchestus’ famous wood, to wat’ry Neptune vow’d,

And Arne, where the vine-trees are with vigorous bunches bow’d,

With them that dwelt in Midea, and Nissa most divine,

All those whom utmost Anthedon did wealthily confine.

From all these coasts, in general, full fifty sail were sent;

440 And six score strong Bœotian youths in ev’ry burthen went.

But those who in Aspledon dwelt, and Minian Orchomen,

God Mars’s sons did lead (Ascalaphus and Ialmen)

Who in Azidon Actor’s house did of Astyoche come;

The bashful maid, as she went up into the higher room,


445 The War-god secretly compress’d. In safe condúct of these,

Did thirty hollow-bottom’d barks divide the wavy seas.

Brave Schedius and Epistrophus, the Phocian captains were,

(Naubolida-Iphitus’ sons) all proof ’gainst any fear;

With them the Cyparissians went, and bold Pythonians,

450 Men of religious Chrysa’s soil, and fat Daulidians,

Panopæans, Anemores, and fierce Hyampolists;

And those that dwell where Cephisus casts up his silken mists;

The men that fair Lilæa held, near the Cephisian spring;

All which did forty sable barks to that designment bring.

455 About th’ entoil’d Phocensian fleet had these their sail assign’d;

And near to the sinister wing the arm’d Bœotians shin’d.

Ajax the less, Oïleus’ son, the Locrians led to war;

Not like to Ajax Telamon, but lesser man by far,

Little he was, and ever wore a breastplate made of linne,

460 But for the manage of his lance he gen’ral praise did win.

The dwellers of Caliarus, of Bessa, Opoën,

The youths of Cynus, Scarphis, and Augias, lovely men,

Of Tarphis, and of Thronius, near flood Boagrius’ fall;

Twice-twenty martial barks of these, less Ajax sail’d withal.

465 Who near Eubœa’s blesséd soil their habitations had,

Strength-breathing Abants, who their seats in sweet Eubœa made,

The Histiæans rich in grapes, the men of Chalcida,

The Cerinths bord’ring on the sea, of rich Eretria,

Of Dion’s highly-seated town, Charistus, and of Styre,

470 All these the duke Alphenor led, a flame of Mars’s fire,

Surnam’d Chalcodontiades, the mighty Abants’ guide,

Swift men of foot, whose broad-set backs their trailing hair did hide,

Well-seen in fight, and soon could pierce with far extended darts

The breastplates of their enemies, and reach their dearest hearts.


475 Forty black men of war did sail in this Alphenor’s charge.

The soldiers that in Athens dwelt, a city builded large,

The people of Eristhius, whom Jove-sprung Pallas fed,

And plenteous-feeding Tellus brought out of her flow’ry bed;

Him Pallas placed in her rich fane, and, ev’ry ended year,

480 Of bulls and lambs th’ Athenian youths please him with off’rings there;

Mighty Menestheus, Peteus’ son, had their divided care;

For horsemen and for targeteers none could with him compare,

Nor put them into better place, to hurt or to defend;

But Nestor (for he elder was) with him did sole contend;

485 With him came fifty sable sail. And out of Salamine

Great Ajax brought twelve sail, that with th’ Athenians did combine.

Who did in fruitful Argos dwell, or strong Tiryntha keep,

Hermion, or in Asinen whose bosom is so deep,

Trœzena, Eïon, Epidaure where Bacchus crowns his head,

490 Ægina, and Maseta’s soil, did follow Diomed,

And Sthenelus, the dear-lov’d son of famous Capaneus,

Together with Euryalus, heir of Mecisteus,

The king of Talæonides; past whom in deeds of war,

The famous soldier Diomed of all was held by far.

495 Four score black ships did follow these. The men fair Mycene held,

The wealthy Corinth, Cleon that for beauteous site excell’d,

Aræthyrea’s lovely seat, and in Ornia’s plain,

And Sicyona, where at first did king Adrastus reign,

High-seated Gonoëssa’s towers, and Hyperisius,

500 That dwelt in fruitful Pellenen, and in divine Ægius,

With all the sea-side borderers, and wide Helice’s friends,

To Agamemnon ev’ry town her native birth commends,

In double-fifty sable barks. With him a world of men

Most strong and full of valour went, and he in triumph then


505 Put on his most resplendent arms, since he did overshine

The whole heroic host of Greece, in pow’r of that design.

Who did in Lacedæmon’s rule th’ unmeasur’d concave hold,

High Pharis, Sparta, Messe’s tow’rs, for doves so much extoll’d,

Bryseia’s and Augia’s grounds, strong Laa, Oetylon,

510 Amyclas, Helos’ harbour-town, that Neptune beats upon,

All these did Menelaus lead (his brother, that in cries

Of war was famous). Sixty ships convey’d these enemies

To Troy in chief, because their king was chiefly injur’d there,

In Helen’s rape, and did his best to make them buy it dear.

515 Who dwelt in Pylos’ sandy soil, and Arene the fair,

In Thryon, near Alpheus’ flood, and Aepy full of air,

In Cyparisseus, Amphigen, and little Pteleon,

The town where all the Iliots dwelt, and famous Doreon,

Where all the Muses, opposite, in strife of poesy,

520 To ancient Thamyris of Thrace, did use him cruelly,

(He coming from Eurytus’ court, the wise Œchalian king,)

Because he proudly durst affirm he could more sweetly sing

Than that Pierian race of Jove; who, angry with his vaunt,

Bereft his eyesight, and his song, that did the ear enchant,

525 And of his skill to touch his harp disfurnishéd his hand.

All these in ninety hollow keels grave Nestor did command.

The richly-blest inhabitants of the Arcadian land

Below Cyllene’s mount (that by Epytus’ tomb did stand)

Where dwelt the bold near-fighting men, who did in Phæneus live,

530 And Orchomen, where flocks of sheep the shepherds clust’ring drive,

In Ripé, and in Stratié, the fair Mantinean town,

And strong Enispe, that for height is ever weather-blown,

Tegea, and in Stymphalus, Parrhasia strongly wall’d,

All these Alcæus’ son to field (king Agapenor) call’d;

535 In sixty barks he brought them on, and ev’ry bark well-mann’d:

With fierce Arcadians, skill’d to use the utmost of a band.


King Agamemnon, on these men, did well-built ships bestow

To pass the gulfy purple sea, that did no sea rites know.

They who in Hermin, Buphrasis, and Elis, did remain,

540 What Olen’s cliffs, Alisius, and Myrsin did contain,

Were led to war by twice-two dukes (and each ten ships did bring,

Which many vent’rous Epians did serve for burthening,)

Beneath Amphimachus’s charge, and valiant Thalpius,

(Son of Eurytus-Actor one, the other Cteatus,)

545 Diores Amaryncides the other did employ,

The fourth divine Polixenus (Agasthenes’s joy).

The king of fair Angeiades, who from Dulichius came,

And from Echinaus’ sweet isles, which hold their holy frame

By ample Elis region, Meges Phylides led;

550 Whom duke Phyleus, Jove’s belov’d, begat, and whilome fled

To large Dulichius, for the wrath that fir’d his father’s breast.

Twice-twenty ships with ebon sails were in his charge address’d.

The warlike men of Cephale, and those of Ithaca,

Woody Neritus, and the men of wet Crocylia,

555 Sharp Ægilipa, Samos’ isle, Zacynthus sea inclos’d,

Epirus, and the men that hold the continent oppos’d,

All these did wise Ulysses lead, in counsel peer to Jove;

Twelve ships he brought, which in their course vermilion sterns did move.


Thoas, Andremon’s well-spoke son, did guide th’ Ætolians well,

560 Those that in Pleuron, Olenon, and strong Pylene dwell,

Great Chalcis, that by sea-side stands, and stony Calydon;

(For now no more of Œneus’ sons surviv’d; they all were gone;

No more his royal self did live, no more his noble son

The golden Meleager now, their glasses all were run)

565 All things were left to him in charge, th’ Ætolians’ chief he was,

And forty ships to Trojan wars the seas with him did pass.

The royal soldier Idomen did lead the Cretans stout,

The men of Gnossus, and the town Gortyna wall’d about,

Of Lictus, and Miletus’ tow’rs, of white Lycastus’ state,

570 Of Phæstus, and of Rhytius, the cities fortunate,

And all the rest inhabiting the hundred towns of Crete;

Whom warlike Idomen did lead, co-partner in the fleet

With kill-man Merion. Eighty ships with them did Troy invade.

Tlepolemus Heraclides, right strong and bigly made,

575 Brought nine tall ships of war from Rhodes, which haughty Rhodians mann’d,

Who dwelt in three dissever’d parts of that most pleasant land,

Which Lyndus and Jalissus were, and bright Camirus, call’d.

Tlepolemus commanded these, in battle unappall’d;

Whom fair Astyoche brought forth, by force of Hercules,

580 Led out of Ephyr with his hand, from river Selleës,

When many towns of princely youths he levell’d with the ground.

Tlepolem, in his father’s house (for building much renown’d)

Brought up to headstrong state of youth, his mother’s brother slew,

The flow’r of arms, Licymnius, that somewhat aged grew;

585 Then straight he gather’d him a fleet, assembling bands of men,

And fled by sea, to shun the threats that were denouncéd then

By other sons and nephews of th’ Alciden fortitude.

He in his exile came to Rhodes, driv’n in with tempests rude.


The Rhodians were distinct in tribes, and great with Jove did stand,

590 The King of men and Gods, who gave much treasure to their land.

Nirëus out of Syma’s hav’n three well-built barks did bring;

Nirëus, fair Aglaia’s son, and Charopes’ the king;

Nirëus was the fairest man that to fair Ilion came

Of all the Greeks, save Peleus’ son, who pass’d for gen’ral frame;

595 But weak this was, not fit for war, and therefore few did guide.

Who did in Cassus, Nisyrus, and Crapathus, abide,

In Co, Eurypylus’s town, and in Calydna’s soils,

Phidippus and bold Antiphus did guide to Trojan toils,

(The sons of crownéd Thessalus, deriv’d from Hercules)

600 Who went with thirty hollow ships well-order’d to the seas.

Now will I sing the sackful troops Pelasgian Argos held,

That in deep Alus, Alopé, and soft Trechina dwell’d,

In Phthia, and in Hellade where live the lovely dames,

The Myrmidons, Hellenians, and Achives, rob’d of fames;

605 All which the great Æacides in fifty ships did lead.

For these forgat war’s horrid voice, because they lack’d their head

That would have brought them bravely forth; but now at fleet did lie

That wind-like user of his feet, fair Thetis’ progeny,

Wroth for bright-cheek’d Briseis’ loss, whom from Lyrnessus’ spoils

610 (His own exploit) he brought away as trophy of his toils,

When that town was depopulate; he sunk the Theban tow’rs;

Myneta, and Epistrophus, he sent to Pluto’s bow’rs,

Who came of king Evenus’ race, great Helepiades

Yet now he idly lives enrag’d, but soon must leave his ease.

615 Of those that dwelt in Phylace, and flow’ry Pyrason

The wood of Ceres, and the soil that sheep are fed upon

Iton, and Antron built by sea, and Pteleus full of grass,

Protesilaus, while he liv’d, the worthy captain was,

Whom now the sable earth detains; his tear-torn-facéd spouse

620 He woful left in Phylace, and his half-finish’d house;


A fatal Dardan first his life, of all the Greeks, bereft,

As he was leaping from his ship; yet were his men unleft

Without a chief, for though they wish’d to have no other man

But good Protesilay their guide, Podarces yet began

625 To govern them, (Iphitis’ son, the son of Phylacus)

Most rich in sheep, and brother to short-liv’d Protesilaus,

Of younger birth, less, and less strong, yet serv’d he to direct

The companies, that still did more their ancient duke affect.

Twice-twenty jetty sails with him the swelling stream did take.

630 But those that did in Pheres dwell, at the Bœbeian lake,

In Bœbe, and in Glaphyra, Iaolcus builded fair,

In thrice-six ships to Pergamus did through the seas repair,

With old Admetus’ tender son, Eumelus, whom he bred

Of Alcest, Pelius’ fairest child of all his female seed.

635 The soldiers that before the siege Methone’s vales did hold,

Thaumacie, flow’ry Melibœ, and Olison the cold,

Duke Philoctetes’ governéd, in darts of finest sleight;

Sev’n vessels in his charge convey’d their honourable freight,

By fifty rowers in a bark, most expert in the bow;

640 But he in sacred Lemnos lay, brought miserably low

By torment of an ulcer grown with Hydra’s poison’d blood,

Whose sting was such, Greece left him there in most impatient mood;

Yet thought they on him at his ship, and choos’d, to lead his men,

Medon, Oïleus’ bastard son, brought forth to him by Rhen.

645 From Tricce, bleak Ithomen’s cliffs, and hapless Oechaly,

(Eurytus’ city, rul’d by him in wilful tyranny,)

In charge of Æsculapius’ sons, physician highly prais’d,

Machaon, Podalirius, were thirty vessels rais’d.

Who near Hyperia’s fountain dwelt, and in Ormenius,

650 The snowy tops of Titanus, and in Asterius,

Evemon’s son, Eurypylus, did lead into the field;

Whose towns did forty black-sail’d ships to that encounter yield.


Who Gyrton, and Argissa, held, Orthen, and Elon’s seat,

And chalky Oloössone, were led by Polypœte,

655 The issue of Pirithous, the son of Jupiter.

Him the Athenian Theseus’ friend Hippodamy did bear,

When he the bristled savages did give Ramnusia,

And drove them out of Pelius, as far as Æthica.

He came not single, but with him Leonteus, Coron’s son,

660 An arm of Mars, and Coron’s life Cenëus’ seed begun.

Twice-twenty ships attended these. Gunëus next did bring

From Cyphus twenty sail and two; the Enians following;

And fierce Peræbi, that about Dodone’s frozen mould

Did plant their houses; and the men that did the meadows hold,

665 Which Titaresius decks with flow’rs, and his sweet current leads

Into the bright Peneïus, that hath the silver heads,

Yet with his admirable stream doth not his waves commix,

But glides aloft on it like oil; for ’tis the flood of Styx,

By which th’ immortal Gods do swear. Teuthredon’s honour’d birth,

670 Prothous, led the Magnets forth, who near the shady earth

Of Pelius, and Peneïon, dwelt; forty revengeful sail

Did follow him. These were the dukes and princes of avail

That came from Greece. But now the man, that overshin’d them all,

Sing, Muse; and their most famous steeds to my recital call,

675 That both th’ Atrides followéd. Fair Pheretiades

The bravest mares did bring by much; Eumelius manag’d these,

Swift of their feet as birds of wings, both of one hair did shine,

Both of an age, both of a height, as measur’d by a line,

Whom silver-bow’d Apollo bred in the Pierian mead,

680 Both slick and dainty, yet were both in war of wondrous dread.

Great Ajax Telamon for strength pass’d all the peers of war,

While vex’d Achilles was away; but he surpass’d him far.


The horse that bore that faultless man were likewise past compare;

Yet lay he at the crook’d-stern’d ships, and fury was his fare,

685 For Atreus’ son’s ungracious deed; his men yet pleas’d their hearts

With throwing of the holéd stone, with hurling of their darts,

And shooting fairly on the shore; their horse at chariots fed

On greatest parsley, and on sedge that in the fens is bred.

His princes’ tents their chariots held, that richly cover’d were.

690 His princes, amorous of their chief, walk’d storming here and there

About the host, and scorn’d to fight; their breaths as they did pass

Before them flew, as if a fire fed on the trembling grass;

Earth under-groan’d their high-rais’d feet, as when offended Jove,

In Arime, Typhœius with rattling thunder drove

695 Beneath the earth; in Arime, men say, the grave is still,

Where thunder tomb’d Typhœius, and is a monstrous hill;

And as that thunder made earth groan, so groan’d it as they past,

They trod with such hard-set-down steps, and so exceeding fast.

To Troy the rainbow-girded Dame right heavy news relates

700 From Jove, as all to council drew in Priam’s palace-gates,

Resembling Priam’s son in voice, Polites, swift of feet;

In trust whereof, as sentinel, to see when from the fleet

The Grecians sallied, he was set upon the lofty brow

Of aged Æsyetes’ tomb; and this did Iris show:

705 “O Priam, thou art always pleas’d with indiscreet advice,

And fram’st thy life to times of peace, when such a war doth rise

As threats inevitable spoil. I never did behold

Such and so mighty troops of men, who trample on the mould

In number like Autumnus’ leaves, or like the marine sand,

710 All ready round about the walls to use a ruining hand.


Hector, I therefore charge thee most, this charge to undertake.

A multitude remain in Troy, will fight for Priam’s sake,

Of other lands and languages; let ev’ry leader then

Bring forth well-arm’d into the field his sev’ral bands of men.”

715 Strong Hector knew a Deity gave charge to this assay,

Dismiss’d the council straight; like waves, clusters to arms do sway;

The ports are all wide open set; out rush’d the troops in swarms,

Both horse and foot; the city rung with sudden-cried alarms.

A column stands without the town, that high his head doth raise,

720 A little distant, in a plain trod down with divers ways,

Which men do Batieia call, but the Immortals name

Myrine’s famous sepulchre, the wondrous active dame.

Here were th’ auxiliary bands, that came in Troy’s defence,

Distinguish’d under sev’ral guides of special excellence.

725 The duke of all the Trojan pow’r great helm-deck’d Hector was,

Which stood of many mighty men well-skill’d in darts of brass.

Æneas of commixéd seed (a Goddess with a man,

Anchises with the Queen of love) the troops Dardanian

Led to the field; his lovely sire in Ida’s lower shade

730 Begat him of sweet Cyprides; he solely was not made

Chief leader of the Dardan pow’rs, Antenor’s valiant sons,

Archilochus and Acamas, were join’d companions.

Who in Zelia dwelt beneath the sacred foot of Ide,

That drank of black Æsepus’ stream, and wealth made full of pride,

735 The Aphnii, Lycaon’s son, whom Phœbus gave his bow,

Prince Pandarus did lead to field. Who Adrestinus owe,

Apesus’ city, Pityæ, and mount Tereiës,

Adrestus and stout Amphius led; who did their sire displease,

(Merops Percosius, that excell’d all Troy in heav’nly skill

740 Of futures-searching prophecy) for, much against his will,

His sons were agents in those arms; whom since they disobey’d,

The fates, in letting slip their threads, their hasty valours stay’d.


Who in Percotes, Practius, Arisba, did abide,

Who Sestus and Abydus bred, Hyrtacides did guide;

745 Prince Asius Hyrtacides, that, through great Selees’ force,

Brought from Arisba to that fight the great and fiery horse.

Pylæus, and Hippothous, the stout Pelasgians led,

Of them Larissa’s fruitful soil before had nourishéd;

These were Pelasgian Pithus’ sons, son of Teutamidas.

750 The Thracian guides were Pirous, and valiant Acamas,

Of all that the impetuous flood of Hellespont enclos’d.

Euphemus, the Ciconian troops, in his command dispos’d,

Who from Trœzenius-Ceades right nobly did descend.

Pyræchmes did the Pæons rule, that crooked bows do bend;

755 From Axius, out of Amydon, he had them in command,

From Axius, whose most beauteous stream still overflows the land.

Pylæmen with the well-arm’d heart, the Paphlagonians led,

From Enes, where the race of mules fit for the plough is bred.

The men that broad Cytorus’ bounds, and Sesamus, enfold,

760 About Parthenius’ lofty flood, in houses much extoll’d,

From Cromna and Ægialus, the men that arms did bear,

And Erythinus situate high, Pylæmen’s soldiers were.

Epistrophus and Dius did the Halizonians guide,

Far-fetch’d from Alybe, where first the silver mines were tried.

765 Chromis, and augur Ennomus, the Mysians did command,

Who could not with his auguries the strength of death withstand,

But suffer’d it beneath the stroke of great Æacides,

In Xanthus; where he made more souls dive to the Stygian seas.

Phorcys, and fair Ascanius, the Phrygians brought to war,

770 Well train’d for battle, and were come out of Ascania far.

With Methles, and with Antiphus, (Pylæmen’s sons) did fight

The men of Meïon, whom the fen Gygæa brought to light,

And those Meionians that beneath the mountain Tmolus sprung.

The rude unletter’d Caribæ, that barbarous were of tongue,


775 Did under Nastes’ colours march, and young Amphimachus,

(Nomion’s famous sons) to whom, the mountain Phthirorus

That with the famous wood is crown’d, Miletus, Mycales

That hath so many lofty marks for men that love the seas,

The crooked arms Mæander bow’d with his so snaky flood,

780 Resign’d for conduct the choice youth of all their martial brood.

The fool Amphimachus, to field, brought gold to be his wrack,

Proud-girl-like that doth ever bear her dow’r upon her back;

Which wise Achilles mark’d, slew him, and took his gold in strife,

At Xanthus’ flood; so little Death did fear his golden life.

785 Sarpedon led the Lycians, and Glaucus unreprov’d,

From Lycia, and the gulfy flood of Xanthus far remov’d.

Linenotes for Book II

4: Miss—absence, or loss.

5: Allowance—approbation.

“A stirring dwarf we most allowance give

Before a sleeping giant.”

Shakespeare. Troil. and Cres. II. 3.

8: Convent—convene.

10: Take in—conquer. Shakespeare.

“Is it not strange, Canidius,

He could so quickly cut th’ Ionian sea,

And take in Toryne?”

Anton. and Cleop. III. 7.

16: Tame-horse—tamer of horses.

20: Ruth—pity, tender care. A word in use even in Milton’s time.

24: Address’d—prepared. A frequent word.

33: Weed—dress. Now generally used for mourning, but formerly for any dress. Thus Spenser,

“A goodlie ladie, clad in hunter’s weed.”

F. Q. II. iii. 21.

60: Addictions—will, inclinations.

69: States—rulers, persons of authority.

71: Frequent—numerous.

72: Repairing the degrees—filling up the ranks.

78: Unmeasur’d—immeasurable. Chapman commonly uses the past participle thus.

85: That huge confusion—the second folio has “the huge confusion.”

89: Argicides—the slayer of Argus, Mercury.

90: Gave it course—gave it in turn.

95: Bent—bend, nod. See Bk. I. 575-6.

104: Putting on the crown—concluding.

110: Inhabitant—inhabiters, viz. of Troy; the Trojans as distinguished from their allies.

122: Fervent blore—raging gale, blast.

132: Goddess of estate—chief Goddess, Juno.

151: Hoice—hoise, hoist; thus printed for rhyme’s sake.

156: Sceptre of descent—which had descended to him from his father, see v. 36.

205: Preys—booty. See Judges, ch. v. ver. 30.

225: Curiously—scrupulously, carefully.

230: This glory thou affect’st to rail—the sense (somewhat complicated) seems: “This glory to rail thou affectest,” this vaunted railing power you make pretensions to.

234: Prease—press, crowd.

249: Rac’d—razed.

258: Out of our judgments—against our inclinations.

281: That grace it foregoes to us—the favour it foretells to us.

300: Extremes—necessities.

304: Crowning—fulfilment of purpose.

307: Confer these Trojans—confer on.

312: Escape—frequently used for transgression of female virtue, thus Shakespeare,—

“Rome will despise her for this foul escape.”

Titus And. IV. 2.

320: In several—severally, separately.

341: Take the chace—take to flight.

355: At-a-martial-cry good—Menelaus good at a shout; Βοὴν ἀγαθὸς is the epithet of Menelaus. See also Chapman’s Commentary.

364: In interest of—on account of, &c.

378: This speech no syllable lost—i.e. Agamemnon attended to every syllable of the speech.

382: Gray-eyed Maid—Minerva.

396: In their falls—when they alight.

459: Breastplate made of linne—made of flax; λινοθώρηξ.

470: Duke—leader. The translators of the Bible retained this word in mentioning Esau’s descendants, Gen. xxxvi.

477: Eristhius—Erectheus in the original.

496: Dr. Taylor has printed “sight,” whereas if he had consulted the original he would have seen that Chapman meant “site.” (Ἐῢ κτιμένας τε Κλεωνάς.) Iliad II.570.

511: His brother—Agamemnon’s.

538: Agamemnon furnished ships for the Arcadians, as they were an inland people, and “did no sea rites know.”

544: Dr. Taylor has printed this and the following line, thus:—

(Son of Eurytus-Actor one, the next of Cteatus)

Diores Amaryncides the third ships did employ.

This is not authorized by either of the folios. The first has

Son of Eurytus-Actor one; the other Cteatus;

Diores Amarincides the other did employ.

The second folio in line 544, with its usual typographical inaccuracy, omits “the other.” The first folio is correct—one, son of Eurytus-Actor; the other, son of Cteatus-Actor. Cteatus and Eurytus were sons of Actor, and are mentioned in bk. XI. 622, 661. The Scholiast says Amphimachus was son of Cteatus, and Thalpius son of Eurytus. It is hardly necessary to remark that Chapman is wrong in the quantity of Eurytus, as in many proper names; but, perhaps, he thought this a poetical license.

587: The Alciden fortitude—a pleonasm for Hercules himself.

594: Pass’d—surpassed.

595: This—Nireus.

680: Slick—sleek, smooth.

683: Faultless man—Achilles.

686: Throwing of the holed stone—in the Greek, playing at quoits.

690: Amorous of their chief—ardently desiring their chief, viz., to lead them to battle.

699: Iris.

736: Owe—own.

785: Unreprov’d—irreproachable.





Iliad II.87

Ἠΰτε ἔθνεα, &c. Sicut examina prodeunt apum frequentium, &c. In this simile Virgil (using the like in imitation) is preferred to Homer; with what reason I pray you see. Their ends are different; Homer intending to express the infinite multitude of soldiers every where dispersing; Virgil, the diligence of builders. Virgil’s simile is this: I. Æneid, 430.

“Qualis apes æstate novâ per florea rura

Exercet sub sole labor; cum gentis adultos

Educunt fœtus; aut cum liquentia mella

Stipant; et dulci distendunt nectare cellas;

Aut onera accipiunt venientum; aut, agmine facto,

Ignavum fucos pecus a præsepibus arcent:

Fervet opus, redolentque thymo fragrantia mella.”

Now compare this with Homer’s, but in my translation; and judge if, to both their ends, there be any such betterness in Virgil’s but that the reverence of the scholar, due to the master (even in these his maligners), might well have contained their lame censures of the poetical fury from these unmannerly and hateful comparisons. Especially, since Virgil hath nothing of his own, but only elocution; his invention, matter, and form, being all Homer’s; which laid by a man, that which he addeth is only the work of a woman, to netify and polish. Nor do I, alas, but the foremost rank of the most ancient and best learned that ever were, come to the field for Homer, hiding all other poets under his ensign. Hate not me then, but them, to whom, before my book, I refer you. But much the rather I insist on the former simile; for the word ἰλαδὸν, catervatim, or confertim, which is noted by Spondanus to contain all the ἀπόδοσις, reddition, or application of the comparison, and is nothing so. I.57 For though it be all the reddition Homer expresseth, yet he intends two special parts in the application more, which he leaves to his judicial reader’s understanding, as he doth in all his other similes; since a man may pervially (or, as he passeth) discern all that is to be understood. And here, besides their throngs of soldiers expressed in the swarms of bees, he intimates the infinite number in those throngs or companies, issuing from fleet so ceaselessly that there appeared almost no end of their issue; and thirdly, the every where dispersing themselves. But Spondanus would excuse Homer for expressing no more of his application, with affirming it impossible that the thing compared, and the comparison, should answer in all parts; and therefore alleges the vulgar understanding of a simile, which is as gross as it is vulgar, that a similitude must uno pede semper claudicare. His reason for it is as absurd as the rest; which is this, Si ea inter se omnino responderent, falleret illud axioma, nullum simile est idem; as though the general application of the compared and the comparison would make them any thing more the same, or all one; more than the swarms of bees and the throng of soldiers are all one or the same; for answering most aptly. But that a simile must needs halt of one foot still showeth how lame vulgar tradition is, especially in her censure of poesy. For who at first sight will not conceive it absurd to make a simile, which serves to the illustration and ornament of a poem, lame of a foot, and idle? The incredible violence suffered by Homer in all the rest of his most inimitable similes, being expressed in his place, will abundantly prove the stupidity of this tradition, and how injuriously short his interpreters must needs come of him in his strait and deep places, when in his open and fair passages they halt and hang back so.

Iliad II.318

275. Τὸν μὲν ἀρίζηλον θῆκεν Θεὸς, &c., hunc quidem clarum (or illustrem) fecit Deus, as it is by all translated; wherein I note the strange abuse (as I apprehend it) of the word ἀρίζηλος, beginning here, and continuing wheresoever it is found in these Iliads. It is by the transition of ζ into δ in derivation, according to the Doric; for which cause our interpreters will needs have Homer intend ἀρίδηλος, which is clarus I.58 or illustris, when he himself saith ἀρίζηλος, which is a compound of ἀρι, which is valde, and ζῆλος, and signifies, quem valde æmulamur, or valde æmulandus, according to Scapula. But because ζῆλος is most authentically expounded, impetus mentis ad cultum divinum, that exposition I follow in this place, and expound τὸν μὲν ἀρίζηλον θῆκεν Θεὸς, hunc quidem magnum impulsum ad cultum divinum fecit Deus; because he turned so suddenly and miraculously the dragon to a stone. To make it ἀρίδηλον, and say clarum or illustrem fecit Deus qui ostendit, or ostenderat, which follows in the verse, and saith thus much in our tongue, God that showed this, made it clear, is very little more than, God that showed this, showed it. One way it observes the word (betwixt which, and the other, you see what great difference) and is fair, full, grave; the other alters the original, and is ugly, empty, idle.

Iliad II.408

355. Αὐτόματος δὲ οἱ ἦλθε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Μενέλαος, &c. Spontaneus autem ei venit voce bonus Menelaus; and some say bello strenuus Menelaus, which is far estranged from the mind of our Homer, βοὴ signifying vociferatio, or clamor, though some will have it pugna, ex consequenti, because fights are often made with clamour. But in bello strenuus (unless it be ironically taken) is here strained beyond sufferance, and is to be expounded vociferatione bonus Menelaus; which agreeth with that part of his character in the next book, that telleth his manner of utterance or voice, which is μαλὰ λιγέως, valde stridulè, or arguto cum stridore, λιγέως, being commonly and most properly taken in the worse part, and signifieth shrilly, or noisefully, squeaking; howsoever in the vulgar conversion it is in that place most grossly abused. To the consideration whereof, being of much importance, I refer you in his place, and in the mean time show you, that, in this first and next verse, Homer (speaking scoptically) breaks open the fountain of his ridiculous humour following, never by any interpreter understood, or touched at, being yet the most ingenious conceited person that any man can show in any heroical poem, or in any comic poet. And that you may something perceive him before you read to him in his several places, I will, as I can in haste, give you him here together as Homer at all parts presents I.59 him; viz. simple, well-meaning, standing still affectedly on telling truth, small, and shrill voice, (not sweet, or eloquent, as some most against the hair would have him) short spoken, after his country the Laconical manner, yet speaking thick and fast, industrious in the field, and willing to be employed, and (being mollis bellator himself) set still to call to every hard service the hardiest; even by the wit of Ajax played upon, about whom he would still be diligent, and what he wanted of the martial fury and faculty himself, that he would be bold to supply out of Ajax, Ajax and he, to any for blows; Antilochus and he for wit; (Antilochus old Nestor’s son, a most ingenious, valiant, and excellently formed person); sometimes valiant, or daring (as what coward is not?) sometimes falling upon sentence and good matter in his speeches (as what meanest capacity doth not?). Nor useth our most inimitable imitator of nature this cross and deformed mixture of his parts, more to colour and avoid too broad a taxation of so eminent a person, than to follow the true life of nature, being often, or always, expressed so disparent in her creatures. And therefore the decorum that some poor critics have stood upon, to make fools always foolish, cowards at all times cowardly, &c., is far from the variant order of nature, whose principle being contrary, her productions must needs contain the like opposition.

But now to the first; αὐτόματος δὲ οἱ ἦλθε, &c., spontaneus autem ei venit, &c., about which a passing great piece of work is picked out by our greatest philosophers, touching the unbidden coming of Menelaus to supper or council, which some commend, others condemn in him; but the reason why he staid not the invitement, rendered immediately by Homer, none of them will understand, viz., Ἤδεε γὰρ κατὰ θυμὸν, &c., sciebat enim in animo quantum frater laborabat; of which verse his interpreters cry out for the expunction, only because it was never entered in their apprehension, which I more than admire (for the easiness of it) so freely offering itself to their entertainment, and yet using the hoof of Pegasus, only with a touch breaking open (as above said) the fountain of his humour. For thus I expound it (laying all again together, to make it plain enough for you); Agamemnon, inviting all the chief I.60 commanders to supper, left out his brother; but he, seeing how much his brother was troubled about the dream, and busied, would not stand upon invitement, but came of himself. And this being spoken scopticè, or by way of irrision, argueth what manner of man he made of him. Ineptus enim (as it is affirmed in Plutarch, 1. Symp. and second question) fuit Menelaus, et locum dedit proverbio, qui ad consilium dandum accessisset non vocatus. And to this place he had reference, because a council of war was to be held at this supper. And here, I say, Homer opened the vein of his simplicity, not so much in his going unbidden to supper, and council, as in the reason for it ironically rendered, that he knew his brother was busy, &c. And yet that addition, without which the very sense of our poet is not safe, our interpreters would have rased.


Corrections for Book II

54 Shall now take in; no more the Gods
text has God’s

185 To touch no kings; t’ oppose their states
text has t’oppose

225 (Which shall be curiously observ’d)
open parenthesis invisible

492 heir of Mecisteus,
expected “Mecisteüs” (four syllables)

516 In Thryon, near Alpheus’ flood
expected “Alphëus’” (three syllables)

550 Whom duke Phyleus, Jove’s belov’d
expected “Phylëus” (three syllables)

671 Of Pelius, and Peneïon, dwelt; forty revengeful sail
expected “Peneion” (three syllables)

772 The men of Meïon, whom the fen Gygæa brought to light,
expected “Meion” (two syllables)

72 Comm. the work of a woman, to netify and polish
text unchanged

275 Comm. ζῆλος
text has ζήλος (both times)




The Argument.

Paris, betwixt the hosts, to single fight,

Of all the Greeks, dares the most hardy knight.

King Menelaus doth accept his brave,*

Conditioning that he again should have

Fair Helena, with all she brought to Troy,

If he subdu’d; else Paris should enjoy

Her, and her wealth, in peace. Conquest doth grant

Her dear wreath to the Grecian combatant;

But Venus to her champion’s life doth yield

Safe rescue, and conveys him from the field

Into his chamber, and for Helen sends,

Whom much her lover’s foul disgrace offends;

Yet Venus for him still makes good her charms,

And ends the second combat in his arms.

Another Argument.

Gamma the single fight doth sing

’Twixt Paris and the Spartan king.


hen ev’ry least commander’s will best soldiers had obey’d,

And both the hosts were rang’d for fight, the Trojans would have fray’d

The Greeks with noises, crying out, in coming rudely on;

At all parts like the cranes that fill, with harsh confusion,


5 Of brutish clangés all the air, and in ridiculous war

(Eschewing the unsuffer’d storms, shot from the winter’s star)

Visit the ocean, and confer the Pygmei soldiers’ death.

The Greeks charg’d silent, and like men, bestow’d their thrifty breath

In strength of far-resounding blows, still entertaining care

10 Of either’s rescue, when their strength did their engagements dare.

And as, upon a hill’s steep tops, the south wind pours a cloud,

To shepherds thankless, but by thieves, that love the night, allow’d,

A darkness letting down, that blinds a stone’s cast off men’s eyes;

Such darkness from the Greeks’ swift feet (made all of dust) did rise.

15 But, ere stern conflict mix’d both strengths, fair Paris stept before

The Trojan host; athwart his back a panther’s hide he wore,

A crookéd bow, and sword, and shook two brazen-headed darts;

With which well-arm’d, his tongue provok’d the best of Grecian hearts

To stand with him in single fight. Whom when the man, wrong’d most

20 Of all the Greeks, so gloriously saw stalk before the host;

As when a lion is rejoic’d, (with hunger half forlorn,)

That finds some sweet prey, as a hart, whose grace lies in his horn,

Or sylvan goat, which he devours, though never so pursu’d

With dogs and men; so Sparta’s king exulted, when he view’d

25 The fair-fac’d Paris so expos’d to his so thirsted wreak,

Whereof his good cause made him sure. The Grecian front did break,

And forth he rush’d, at all parts arm’d, leapt from his chariot,

And royally prepar’d for charge. Which seen, cold terror shot


The heart of Paris, who retir’d as headlong from the king

30 As in him he had shunn’d his death. And as a hilly spring

Presents a serpent to a man, full underneath his feet,

Her blue neck, swoln with poison, rais’d, and her sting out, to greet

His heedless entry, suddenly his walk he altereth,

Starts back amaz’d, is shook with fear, and looks as pale as death;

35 So Menelaus Paris scar’d; so that divine-fac’d foe

Shrunk in his beauties. Which beheld by Hector, he let go

This bitter check at him: “Accurs’d, made but in beauty’s scorn,

Impostor, woman’s man! O heav’n, that thou hadst ne’er been born,

Or, being so manless, never liv’d to bear man’s noblest state,

40 The nuptial honour! Which I wish, because it were a fate

Much better for thee than this shame. This spectacle doth make

A man a monster. Hark! how loud the Greeks laugh, who did take

Thy fair form for a continent of parts as fair. A rape

Thou mad’st of nature, like their queen. No soul, an empty shape,

45 Takes up thy being; yet how spite to ev’ry shade of good

Tills it with ill! for as thou art, thou couldst collect a brood

Of others like thee, and far hence fetch ill enough to us,

Ev’n to thy father; all these friends make those foes mock them thus

In thee, for whose ridiculous sake so seriously they lay

50 All Greece, and fate, upon their necks. O wretch! Not dare to stay

Weak Menelaus? But ’twas well; for in him thou hadst tried

What strength lost beauty can infuse, and with the more grief died

To feel thou robb’dst a worthier man, to wrong a soldier’s right.

Your harp’s sweet touch, curl’d locks, fine shape, and gifts so exquisite,

55 Giv’n thee by Venus, would have done your fine dames little good,

When blood and dust had ruffled them, and had as little stood

Thyself in stead; but what thy care of all these in thee flies

We should inflict on thee ourselves. Infectious cowardice


In thee hath terrified our host; for which thou well deserv’st

60 A coat of tombstone, not of steel in which, for form, thou serv’st.”

To this thus Paris spake, (for form, that might inhabit heav’n)

“Hector, because thy sharp reproof is out of justice giv’n,

I take it well; but though thy heart, inur’d to these affrights,

Cuts through them as an axe through oak, that more us’d more excites

65 The workman’s faculty, whose art can make the edge go far,

Yet I, less practis’d than thyself in these extremes of war,

May well be pardon’d, though less bold; in these your worth exceeds,

In others mine. Nor is my mind of less force to the deeds

Requir’d in war, because my form more flows in gifts of peace.

70 Reproach not, therefore, the kind gifts of golden Cyprides.

All heav’n’s gifts have their worthy price; as little to be scorn’d

As to be won with strength, wealth, state; with which to be adorn’d,

Some men would change state, wealth, or strength. But, if your martial heart

Wish me to make my challenge good, and hold it such a part

75 Of shame to give it over thus, cause all the rest to rest,

And, ’twixt both hosts, let Sparta’s king and me perform our best

For Helen and the wealth she brought; and he that overcomes,

Or proves superior any way, in all your equal dooms,

Let him enjoy her utmost wealth, keep her, or take her home;

80 The rest strike leagues of endless date, and hearty friends become;

You dwelling safe in gleby Troy, the Greeks retire their force

T’ Achaia, that breeds fairest dames, and Argos, fairest horse.”

He said, and his amendsful words did Hector highly please,

Who rush’d betwixt the fighting hosts, and made the Trojans cease,

85 By holding up in midst his lance. The Grecians noted not

The signal he for parley used, but at him fiercely shot,

Hurl’d stones, and still were levelling darts. At last the king of men,

Great Agamemnon, cried aloud: “Argives! for shame, contain;


Youths of Achaia, shoot no more; the fair-helm’d Hector shows

90 As he desir’d to treat with us.” This said, all ceas’d from blows,

And Hector spake to both the hosts: “Trojans, and hardy Greeks,

Hear now what he that stirr’d these wars, for their cessation seeks.

He bids us all, and you, disarm, that he alone may fight

With Menelaus, for us all, for Helen and her right,

95 With all the dow’r she brought to Troy; and he that wins the day,

Or is, in all the art of arms, superior any way,

The queen, and all her sorts of wealth, let him at will enjoy;

The rest strike truce, and let love seal firm leagues ’twixt Greece and Troy.”

The Greek host wonder’d at this brave; silence flew ev’rywhere;

100 At last spake Sparta’s warlike king: “Now also give me ear,

Whom grief gives most cause of reply. I now have hope to free

The Greeks and Trojans of all ills, they have sustain’d for me,

And Alexander, that was cause I stretch’d my spleen so far.

Of both then, which is nearest fate, let his death end the war;

105 The rest immediately retire, and greet all homes in peace.

Go then (to bless your champion, and give his pow’rs success)

Fetch for the Earth, and for the Sun (the Gods on whom ye call)

Two lambs, a black one and a white, a female and a male;

And we another, for ourselves, will fetch, and kill to Jove.

110 To sign which rites bring Priam’s force, because we well approve

His sons perfidious, envious, and (out of practis’d bane

To faith, when she believes in them) Jove’s high truce may profane.

All young men’s hearts are still unstaid; but in those well-weigh’d deeds

An old man will consent to pass things past, and what succeeds

115 He looks into, that he may know, how best to make his way

Through both the fortunes of a fact, and will the worst obey.”

This granted, a delightful hope, both Greeks and Trojans fed,

Of long’d-for rest from those long toils, their tedious war had bred.

Their horses then in rank they set, drawn from their chariots round,

120 Descend themselves, took off their arms, and plac’d them on the ground,


Near one another; for the space ’twixt both the hosts was small.

Hector two heralds sent to Troy, that they from thence might call

King Priam, and to bring the lambs, to rate the truce they swore.

But Agamemnon to the fleet Talthybius sent before,

125 To fetch their lamb; who nothing slack’d the royal charge was giv’n.

Iris, the rain-bow, then came down, ambassadress from heav’n,

To white-arm’d Helen. She assum’d at ev’ry part the grace

Of Helen’s last love’s sister’s shape, who had the highest place

In Helen’s love, and had to name Laodice, most fair

130 Of all the daughters Priam had, and made the nuptial pair

With Helicaon, royal sprout of old Antenor’s seed.

She found queen Helena at home, at work about a weed,

Wov’n for herself; it shin’d like fire, was rich, and full of size,

The work of both sides being alike; in which she did comprise

135 The many labours warlike Troy and brass-arm’d Greece endur’d

For her fair sake, by cruel Mars and his stern friends procur’d.

Iris came in in joyful haste, and said: “O come with me,

Lov’d nymph, and an admiréd sight of Greeks and Trojans see,

Who first on one another brought a war so full of tears,

140 Ev’n thirsty of contentious war. Now ev’ry man forbears,

And friendly by each other sits, each leaning on his shield,

Their long and shining lances pitch’d fast by them in the field.

Paris, and Sparta’s king, alone must take up all the strife;

And he that conquers only call fair Helena his wife.”

145 Thus spake the thousand-colour’d Dame, and to her mind commends

The joy to see her first espous’d, her native tow’rs, and friends;

Which stirr’d a sweet desire in her; to serve the which she hied,

Shadow’d her graces with white veils, and (though she took a pride

To set her thoughts at gaze, and see, in her clear beauty’s flood,

150 What choice of glory swum to her yet tender womanhood)

Season’d with tears her joys to see more joys the more offence,

And that perfection could not flow from earthly excellence.


Thus went she forth, and took with her her women most of name,

Æthra, Pitthëus’ lovely birth, and Clymene, whom fame

155 Hath for her fair eyes memoris’d. They reach’d the Scæan tow’rs,

Where Priam sat, to see the fight, with all his counsellors;

Panthous, Lampus, Clytius, and stout Hicetaon,

Thymœtes, wise Antenor, and profound Ucalegon;

All grave old men; and soldiérs they had been, but for age

160 Now left the wars; yet counsellors they were exceeding sage.

And as in well-grown woods, on trees, cold spiny grasshoppers

Sit chirping, and send voices out, that scarce can pierce our ears

For softness, and their weak faint sounds; so, talking on the tow’r,

These seniors of the people sat; who when they saw the pow’r

165 Of beauty, in the queen, ascend, ev’n those cold-spirited peers,

Those wise and almost wither’d men, found this heat in their years,

That they were forc’d (though whispéring) to say: “What man can blame

The Greeks and Trojans to endure, for so admir’d a dame,

So many mis’ries, and so long? In her sweet count’nance shine

170 Looks like the Goddesses. And yet (though never so divine)

Before we boast, unjustly still, of her enforcéd prise,

And justly suffer for her sake, with all our progenies,

Labour and ruin, let her go; the profit of our land

Must pass the beauty.” Thus, though these could bear so fit a hand

175 On their affections, yet, when all their gravest powers were us’d,

They could not choose but welcome her, and rather they accus’d

The Gods than beauty; for thus spake the most-fam’d king of Troy:

“Come, lovéd daughter, sit by me, and take the worthy joy

Of thy first husband’s sight, old friends, and princes near allied,

180 And name me some of these brave Greeks, so manly beautified.

Come, do not think I lay the wars, endur’d by us, on thee,

The Gods have sent them, and the tears in which they swum to me.


Sit then, and name this goodly Greek, so tall, and broadly spread,

Who than the rest, that stand by him, is higher by the head

185 The bravest man I ever saw, and most majestical,

His only presence makes me think him king amongst them all.”

The fairest of her sex replied: “Most rev’rend father-in-law,

Most lov’d, most fear’d, would some ill death had seiz’d me, when I saw

The first mean why I wrong’d you thus; that I had never lost

190 The sight of these my ancient friends, of him that lov’d me most,

Of my sole daughter, brothers both, with all those kindly mates,

Of one soil, one age, born with me, though under diff’rent fates!

But these boons envious stars deny; the memory of these

In sorrow pines those beauties now, that then did too much please;

195 Nor satisfy they your demand, to which I thus reply:

That’s Agamemnon, Atreus’ son, the great in empery;

A king, whom double royalty doth crown, being great and good,

And one that was my brother-in-law, when I contain’d my blood,

And was more worthy; if at all I might be said to be,

200 My being being lost so soon in all that honour’d me.”

The good old king admir’d, and said: “O Atreus’ blessed son,

Born unto joyful destinies, that hast the empire won

Of such a world of Grecian youths, as I discover here!

I once march’d into Phrygia, that many vines doth bear,

205 Where many Phrygians I beheld, well-skill’d in use of horse,

That of the two men, like two Gods, were the commanded force,

Otrëus, and great Mygdonus, who on Sangarius’ sands

Set down their tents, with whom myself, for my assistant bands,

Was number’d as a man in chief; the cause of war was then

210 Th’ Amazon dames, that in their facts affected to be men.

In all there was a mighty pow’r, which yet did never rise

To equal these Achaian youths, that have the sable eyes.”


Then (seeing Ulysses next) he said: “Lov’d daughter, what is he

That, lower than great Atreus’ son, seems by the head to me,

215 Yet, in his shoulders and big breast, presents a broader show?

His armour lies upon the earth; he up and down doth go,

To see his soldiers keep their ranks, and ready have their arms,

If, in this truce, they should be tried by any false alarms.

Much like a well-grown bell-wether, or feltred ram, he shows,

220 That walks before a wealthy flock of fair white-fleecéd ewes.”

High Jove and Leda’s fairest seed to Priam thus replies:

“This is the old Laertes’ son, Ulysses, call’d the wise;

Who, though unfruitful Ithaca was made his nursing seat,

Yet knows he ev’ry sort of sleight, and is in counsels great.”

225 The wise Antenor answer’d her: “’Tis true, renowméd dame;

For, some times past, wise Ithacus to Troy a legate came,

With Menelaus, for your cause; to whom I gave receipt

As guests, and welcom’d to my house, with all the love I might.

I learn’d the wisdom of their souls, and humours of their blood;

230 For when the Trojan council met, and these together stood,

By height of his broad shoulders had Atrides eminence,

Yet, set, Ulysses did exceed, and bred more reverence.

And when their counsels and their words they wove in one, the speech

Of Atreus’ son was passing loud, small, fast, yet did not reach

235 To much, being naturally born Laconical; nor would

His humour lie for anything, or was, like th’ other, old;

But when the prudent Ithacus did to his counsels rise,

He stood a little still, and fix’d upon the earth his eyes,

His sceptre moving neither way, but held it formally,

240 Like one that vainly doth affect. Of wrathful quality,

And frantic (rashly judging him) you would have said he was,

But when, out of his ample breast, he gave his great voice pass,

And words that flew about our ears, like drifts of winter’s snow,


None thenceforth might contend with him, tho’ nought admir’d for show.”

245 The third man, aged Priam mark’d, was Ajax Telamon,

Of whom he ask’d: “What lord is that, so large of limb and bone,

So rais’d in height, that to his breast I see there reacheth none?”

To him the Goddess of her sex, the large-veil’d Helen, said:

“That Lord is Ajax Telamon, a bulwark in their aid.

250 On th’ other side stands Idomen, in Crete of most command,

And round about his royal sides his Cretan captains stand;

Oft hath the warlike Spartan king giv’n hospitable due

To him within our Lacene court, and all his retinue.

And now the other Achive dukes I gen’rally discern;

255 All which I know, and all their names could make thee quickly learn.

Two princes of the people yet, I nowhere can behold,

Castor, the skilful knight on horse, and Pollux, uncontroll’d

For all stand-fights, and force of hand; both at a burthen bred;

My natural brothers; either here they have not followéd

260 From lovely Sparta, or, arriv’d within the sea-born fleet,

In fear of infamy for me, in broad field shame to meet.”

Nor so; for holy Tellus’ womb inclos’d those worthy men

In Sparta, their belovéd soil. The voiceful heralds then

The firm agreement of the Gods through all the city ring;

265 Two lambs, and spirit-refreshing wine (the fruit of earth) they bring,

Within a goat-skin bottle clos’d; Idæus also brought

A massy glitt’ring bowl, and cups, that all of gold were wrought;

Which bearing to the king, they cried: “Son of Laomedon

Rise, for the well-rode peers of Troy, and brass-arm’d Greeks, in one,

270 Send to thee to descend the field, that they firm vows may make;

For Paris, and the Spartan king, must fight for Helen’s sake,

With long arm’d lances; and the man that proves victorious,

The woman, and the wealth she brought, shall follow to his house;

The rest knit friendship, and firm leagues; we safe in Troy shall dwell,

275 In Argos and Achaia they, that do in dames excel.”


He said; and Priam’s aged joints with chilled fear did shake,

Yet instantly he bade his men his chariot ready make.

Which soon they did, and he ascends. He takes the reins, and guide

Antenor calls; who instantly mounts to his royal side,

280 And, through the Scæan ports to field, the swift-foot horse they drive.

And when at them of Troy and Greece the aged lords arrive,

From horse, on Troy’s well-feeding soil, ’twixt both the hosts they go.

When straight up-rose the king of men, up-rose Ulysses too,

The heralds in their richest coats repeat (as was the guise)

285 The true vows of the Gods (term’d theirs, since made before their eyes)

Then in a cup of gold they mix the wine that each side brings,

And next pour water on the hands of both the kings of kings.

Which done, Atrides drew his knife, that evermore he put

Within the large sheath of his sword; with which away he cut

290 The wool from both fronts of the lambs, which (as a rite in use

Of execration to their heads, that brake the plighted truce)

The heralds of both hosts did give the peers of both; and then,

With hands and voice advanc’d to heav’n, thus pray’d the king of men:

“O Jove, that Ida dost protect, and hast the titles won.

295 Most glorious, most invincible; and thou all-seeing Sun,

All-hearing, all-recomforting; Floods; Earth; and Pow’rs beneath,

That all the perjuries of men chastise ev’n after death!

Be witnesses, and see perform’d the hearty vows we make.—

If Alexander shall the life of Menelaus take,

300 He shall from henceforth Helena, with all her wealth, retain,

And we will to our household Gods, hoise sail, and home again.

If, by my honour’d brother’s hand, be Alexander slain,

The Trojans then shall his forc’d queen, with all her wealth, restore,

And pay convenient fine to us, and ours for evermore.

305 If Priam and his sons deny to pay this, thus agreed,

When Alexander shall be slain; for that perfidious deed,

And for the fine, will I fight here, till dearly they repay,

By death and ruin, the amends, that falsehood keeps away.”


This said, the throats of both the lambs cut with his royal knife,

310 He laid them panting on the earth, till, quite depriv’d of life,

The steel had robb’d them of their strength; then golden cups they crown’d,

With wine out of a cistern drawn; which pour’d upon the ground,

They fell upon their humble knees to all the Deities,

And thus pray’d one of both the hosts, that might do sacrifice:

315 “O Jupiter, most high, most great, and all the deathless Pow’rs!

Who first shall dare to violate the late sworn oaths of ours,

So let the bloods and brains of them, and all they shall produce,

Flow on the stain’d face of the earth, as now this sacred juice;

And let their wives with bastardice brand all their future race.”

320 Thus pray’d they; but, with wish’d effects, their pray’rs Jove did not grace;

When Priam said: “Lords of both hosts, I can no longer stay

To see my lov’d son try his life, and so must take my way

To wind-exposéd Ilion. Jove yet and heav’n’s high States

Know only, which of these must now pay tribute to the Fates.”

325 Thus, putting in his coach the lambs, he mounts and reins his horse;

Antenor to him; and to Troy, both take their speedy course.

Then Hector, Priam’s martial son, stepp’d forth, and met the ground,

With wise Ulysses, where the blows of combat must resound;

Which done, into a helm they put two lots, to let them know

330 Which of the combatants should first his brass-pil’d jav’lin throw;

When all the people standing by, with hands held up to heav’n,

Pray’d Jove the conquest might not be by force or fortune giv’n,

But that the man, who was in right the author of most wrong,

Might feel his justice, and no more these tedious wars prolong,

335 But, sinking to the house of death, leave them (as long before)

Link’d fast in leagues of amity, that might dissolve no more.

Then Hector shook the helm that held the equal dooms of chance,

Look’d back, and drew; and Paris first had lot to hurl his lance.

The soldiers all sat down enrank’d, each by his arms and horse

340 That then lay down and cool’d their hoofs. And now th’ allotted course


Bids fair-hair’d Helen’s husband arm; who first makes fast his greaves

With silver buckles to his legs; then on his breast receives

The curets that Lycaon wore (his brother) but made fit

For his fair body; next his sword he took, and fasten’d it,

345 All damask’d, underneath his arm; his shield then grave and great

His shoulders wore and on his head his glorious helm he set,

Topp’d with a plume of horse’s hair, that horribly did dance,

And seem’d to threaten as he mov’d; at last he takes his lance,

Exceeding big, and full of weight, which he with ease could use.

350 In like sort, Sparta’s warlike king himself with arms indues.

Thus arm’d at either army both, they both stood bravely in,

Possessing both hosts with amaze, they came so chin to chin,

And, with such horrible aspécts, each other did salute.

A fair large field was made for them; where wraths, for hugeness mute,

355 And mutual, made them mutually at either shake their darts

Before they threw. Then Paris first with his long jav’lin parts;

It smote Atrides’ orby targe, but ran not through the brass,

For in it (arming well the shield) the head reflected was.

Then did the second combatant apply him to his spear,

360 Which ere he threw, he thus besought almighty Jupiter:

“O Jove! Vouchsafe me now revenge, and that my enemy,

For doing wrong so undeserv’d, may pay deservedly

The pains he forfeited; and let these hands inflict those pains,

By conqu’ring, ay, by conqu’ring dead, him on whom life complains;

365 That any now, or any one of all the brood of men

To live hereafter, may with fear from all offence abstain,

Much more from all such foul offence to him that was his host,

And entertain’d him as the man whom he affected most.”

This said, he shook and threw his lance; which strook through Paris’ shield,


370 And, with the strength he gave to it, it made the curets yield,

His coat of mail, his breast, and all, and drove his entrails in,

In that low region where the guts in three small parts begin;

Yet he, in bowing of his breast, prevented sable death.

This taint he follow’d with his sword, drawn from a silver sheath,

375 Which lifting high, he strook his helm full where his plume did stand,

On which it piecemeal brake, and fell from his unhappy hand.

At which he sighing stood, and star’d upon the ample sky,

And said: “O Jove, there is no God giv’n more illiberally

To those that serve thee than thyself, why have I pray’d in vain?

380 I hop’d my hand should have reveng’d, the wrongs I still sustain,

On him that did them, and still dares their foul defence pursue;

And now my lance hath miss’d his end, my sword in shivers flew,

And he ’scapes all.” With this, again he rush’d upon his guest,

And caught him by the horse-hair plume, that dangled on his crest,

385 With thought to drag him to the Greeks; which he had surely done,

And so, besides the victory, had wondrous glory won,

(Because the needle-painted lace, with which his helm was tied

Beneath his chin, and so about his dainty throat implied,

Had strangled him;) but that, in time, the Cyprian seed of Jove

390 Did break the string, with which was lin’d that which the needle wove,

And was the tough thong of a steer; and so the victor’s palm

Was, for so full a man-at-arms, only an empty helm.

That then he swung about his head, and cast among his friends,

Who scrambled, and took ’t up with shouts. Again then he intends

395 To force the life-blood of his foe, and ran on him amain,

With shaken jav’lin; when the Queen, that lovers loves, again

Attended, and now ravish’d him from that encounter quite,

With ease, and wondrous suddenly; for she, a Goddess, might.


She hid him in a cloud of gold, and never made him known,

400 Till in his chamber, fresh and sweet, she gently set him down,

And went for Helen; whom she found in Scæa’s utmost height,

To which whole swarms of city dames had climb’d to see the sight.

To give her errand good success, she took on her the shape

Of beldame Græa, who was brought by Helen, in her rape,

405 From Lacedæmon, and had trust in all her secrets still,

Being old, and had (of all her maids) the main bent of her will,

And spun for her her finest wool. Like her, Love’s Empress came,

Pull’d Helen by the heav’nly veil, and softly said: “Madáme,

My lord calls for you, you must needs make all your kind haste home;

410 He’s in your chamber, stays, and longs; sits by your bed; pray come,

’Tis richly made, and sweet; but he more sweet, and looks so clear,

So fresh, and movingly attir’d, that, seeing, you would swear

He came not from the dusty fight, but from a courtly dance,

Or would to dancing.” This she made a charm for dalliance;

415 Whose virtue Helen felt, and knew, by her so radiant eyes,

White neck, and most enticing breasts, the deified disguise.

At which amaz’d, she answered her: “Unhappy Deity!

Why lov’st thou still in these deceits to wrap my phantasy?

Or whither yet, of all the towns giv’n to their lust beside,

420 In Phrygia, or Mæonia, com’st thou to be my guide,

If there (of divers-languag’d men) thou hast, as here in Troy,

Some other friend to be my shame; since here thy latest joy

By Menelaus now subdu’d, by him shall I be borne

Home to his court, and end my life in triumphs of his scorn?

425 And, to this end, would thy deceits my wanton life allure?

Hence, go thyself to Priam’s son, and all the ways abjure

Of Gods, or godlike-minded dames, nor ever turn again

Thy earth-affecting feet to heav’n, but for his sake sustain

Toils here; guard, grace him endlessly, till he requite thy grace

430 By giving thee my place with him; or take his servant’s place,


If, all dishonourable ways, your favours seek to serve

His never-pleas’d incontinence; I better will deserve,

Than serve his dotage now. What shame were it for me to feed

This lust in him; all honour’d dames would hate me for the deed!

435 He leaves a woman’s love so sham’d, and shows so base a mind,

To feel nor my shame nor his own; griefs of a greater kind

Wound me than such as can admit such kind delights so soon.”

The Goddess, angry that, past shame, her mere will was not done,

Replied: “Incense me not, you wretch, lest, once incens’d, I leave

440 Thy curs’d life to as strange a hate, as yet it may receive

A love from me; and lest I spread through both hosts such despite,

For those plagues they have felt for thee, that both abjure thee quite,

And setting thee in midst of both, turn all their wraths on thee,

And dart thee dead; that such a death may wreak thy wrong of me.”

445 This strook the fair dame with such fear, it took her speech away,

And, shadow’d in her snowy veil, she durst not but obey;

And yet, to shun the shame she fear’d, she vanish’d undescried

Of all the Trojan ladies there, for Venus was her guide.

Arriv’d at home, her women both fell to their work in haste;

450 When she, that was of all her sex the most divinely grac’d,

Ascended to a higher room, though much against her will,

Where lovely Alexander was, being led by Venus still.

The laughter-loving Dame discern’d her mov’d mind by her grace,

And, for her mirth’ sake, set a stool, full before Paris’ face,

455 Where she would needs have Helen sit; who, though she durst not choose

But sit, yet look’d away for all the Goddess’ pow’r could use,

And used her tongue too, and to chide whom Venus sooth’d so much,

And chid, too, in this bitter kind: “And was thy cowardice such,

So conquer’d, to be seen alive? O would to God, thy life

460 Had perish’d by his worthy hand, to whom I first was wife!

Before this, thou wouldst glorify thy valour and thy lance,

And, past my first love’s, boast them far. Go once more, and advance


Thy braves against his single pow’r; this foil might fall by chance.

Poor conquer’d man! ’Twas such a chance, as I would not advise

465 Thy valour should provoke again. Shun him, thou most unwise,

Lest next, thy spirit sent to hell, thy body be his prise.”

He answer’d: “Pray thee, woman, cease, to chide and grieve me thus.

Disgraces will not ever last. Look on their end. On us

Will other Gods, at other times, let fall the victor’s wreath,

470 As on him Pallas put it now. Shall our love sink beneath

The hate of fortune? In love’s fire, let all hates vanish. Come,

Love never so inflam’d my heart; no, not when, bringing home

Thy beauty’s so delicious prise, on Cranaë’s blest shore

I long’d for, and enjoy’d thee first.” With this he went before,

475 She after, to the odorous bed. While these to pleasure yield,

Perplex’d Atrides, savage-like, ran up and down the field,

And ev’ry thickest troop of Troy, and of their far-call’d aid,

Search’d for his foe, who could not be by any eye betray’d;

Nor out of friendship (out of doubt) did they conceal his sight,

480 All hated him so like their deaths, and ow’d him such despite.

At last thus spake the king of men: “Hear me, ye men of Troy,

Ye Dardans, and the rest, whose pow’rs you in their aids employ.

The conquest on my brother’s part, ye all discern is clear,

Do you then Argive Helena, with all her treasure here,

485 Restore to us, and pay the mulct, that by your vows is due,

Yield us an honour’d recompense, and, all that should accrue

To our posterities, confirm; that when you render it,

Our acts may here be memoris’d.” This all Greeks else thought fit.

Linenotes for Book III

* His brave—bravado, boasting speech, or challenge. A very frequent word.

Her dear wreath—the wreath, or victor’s crown, the sign of conquest. Here put for Helen herself.

5: Clanges—so both the folios. Dr. Taylor has printed clangour. I have retained the old reading, as Chapman probably meant it for the plural of clange or clang.

6: Unsuffer’d—insufferable.

7: Confer—see Bk. II. 307.

7: Pygmei—Pygmy, the battle of the Cranes and Pygmies.

12: Thankless—not liked by, not grateful to.

12: Allow’d—liked by, approved of.

“O heavens

If you do love old men, if your sweet sway

Allow obedience.”

Shakespeare. Lear, II. 4.

13: That blinds a stone’s cast off men’s eyes—that prevents one seeing beyond a stone’s throw.

20: Gloriouslyboastingly.

25: So thirsted wreak—so desired revenge.

30: As in him—as if in him.

39: Manless—unmanly, cowardly. Bk. IX. 64.

42: Monster—strange sight, prodigy; as we say, a show.

47: Dr. Taylor, following the second folio, has incorrectly printed “fetched.”

53: Robb’dst—hadst robbed.

78: Equal dooms—just decisions, judgments.

103: Alexander—Paris.

110: Priam’s force—see Bk. II. 587.

123: Rate—see Bk. I. 509.

128: Helen’s last love’s sister—Paris’s sister.

161: Spiny—Nares says he never met with this word. Thin, thorny-looking. It is peculiarly expressive here. This word is frequently used by Sandys in his Ovid, who seems to have read Chapman carefully.

186: Only presence—his mere appearance.

194: Pines—causes to waste.

198: Contained my blood—restrained my passions.

219: Feltred—matted close together, like felt: applied to the wool.

229: Blood—disposition, a sense in which it is used by Shakespeare and others.

259: Natural—by the same father and mother.

327: Met—meted, measured.

330: Brass-piled—brass-pointed.

343: Curets—cuirass. Sometimes spelt curace, curat, and curiet.

345: Damask’d—inlaid.

358: Reflected—turned back.

374: Taint—a term at tilting, when the blow or thrust, given by the lance, failed in its effect. Halliwell explains it “injuring a lance without breaking it;” Gifford, “breaking a staff, but not in the most honourable manner.” Chapman however frequently uses it to express simply a thrust with a spear.

396: When the Queen, &c.—“This place Virgil imitateth.” —Chapman.

404: Beldame—formerly a term of respect for an old woman.





Iliad III.121

Ἶρις δ’ αὖθ’ Ἑλένῃ, &c. Iris autem Helene, &c. Elegantly and most aptly (saith Spondanus) is Helen called by Homer to the spectacle of this single fight, as being the chief person in cause of all the action. The chief end of whose coming yet, enviously and most vainly, Scaliger’s Criticus taxeth; which was her relation to Priam of the persons he noted there; jesting (with his French wit) at this Greek father, and fount, of all wit, for making Priam to seek now of their names and knowledges, when nine years together they had lien there before. A great piece of necessity to make him therefore know them before, when there was no such urgent occasion before to bring Priam to note them, nor so calm a convenience in their ordered and quiet distinction! But let this criticism in this be weighed with his other faults found in our master;—as, for making lightning in winter before snow or rain, which the most ignorant upland peasant could teach him out of his observations. For which yet his Criticus hath the project impudence to tax Homer; most falsely repeating his words too; saying ubi ningit, when he saith, τεύχων ἢ πολὺν ὄμβρον, &c., parans, or struens, vel multum imbrem, immensamve grandinem, vel nivem: preparing, or going about those moist impressions in the air, not in present act with them. From this, immediately and most rabidly, he ranges to Ulysses’ reprehension, for killing the wooers with his bow, in the Odysses. Then to his late vomit again in the Iliads the very next word, and envieth Achilles’ horse for speaking (because himself would have all the tongue) when, in Sacred Writ, Balaam’s ass could have taught him the like hath been heard of. Yet now to the Odysses again with a breath, and challenges Ulysses’ ship for suffering Neptune to turn it to a rock. I.79 Here is strange laying out for a master so curiously methodical. Not with what Graces, with what Muses, we may ask, he was inspired, but with what Harpies, what Furies, putting the putidum mendacium upon Homer? Putidus, ineptus, frigidus, puerilis (being terms fitter for a scold or a bawd, than a man softened by learning) he belcheth against him whom all the world hath reverenced, and admired, as the fountain of all wit, wisdom, and learning. What touch is it to me, then, to bear spots of depravations, when my great master is thus muddily daubed with it? But whoever saw true learning, wisdom, or wit, vouchsafe mansion in any proud, vain-glorious, and braggartly spirit, when their chief act and end is to abandon and abhor it? Language, reading, habit of speaking, or writing in other learning, I grant in this reviler great and abundant; but, in this poesy, redundant I affirm him, and rammish. To conclude, I will use the same words of him, that he of Erasmus, (in calce Epinomidos), which are these (as I convert it):—“Great was his name, but had been futurely greater, would himself have been less; where now, bold with the greatness of his wit, he hath undertaken the more, with much less exactness; and so his confidence, set on by the renown of his name, hath driven him headlong, &c.”

Iliad III.152

162. Ὄπα λειριόεσσαν ἱεῖσι. Vocem suavem emittunt, saith the interpreter (intending the grasshoppers, to whom he compareth the old counsellors); but it is here to be expounded, vocem teneram not suavem (λειριόεις in this place signifying tener) for grasshoppers sing not sweetly, but harshly and faintly, wherein the weak and tender voice of the old counsellors is to admiration expressed. The similé Spondanus highly commends is most apt and expressive; but his application in one part doth abuse it, in the other right it, and that is, to make the old men resemble grasshoppers for their cold and bloodless spininess, Tython being for age turned to a grasshopper, but where they were grave and wise counsellors, to make them garrulous, as grasshoppers are stridulous; that application holdeth not in these old men, though some old men are so, these being Ἐσθλοὶ ἀγορηταὶ boni, et periti, concionatores; the word ἐσθλὸς signifying frugi also, which is temperate or full of all I.80 moderation, and, so, far from intimating any touch of garrulity. Nor was the conceit of our poet by Spondanus or any other understood in this simile.

Iliad III.213

234. Ἐπιτροχάδην ἀγόρευς, succincte concionabatur Menelaus; he speaks succinctly, or compendiously, say his interpreters; which is utterly otherwise, in the voice ἐπιτροχάδης signifying velociter, properly, modo eorum qui currunt; he spake fast or thick.

παῦρα μὲν, &c., few words yet, he used, ἀλλὰ μάλα λιγέως, sed valde acutè, they expound it, when it is valde stridulè, shrilly, smally, or aloud; λιγέως, (as I have noted before) being properly taken in the worse part; and accordingly expounded, maketh even with his simple character at all parts, his utterance being noiseful, small, or squeaking; an excellent pipe for a fool. Nor is the voice or manner of utterance in a man the least key that discovereth his wisdom or folly. And therefore worth the noting is that of Ulysses in the second book—that he knew Pallas by her voice.

ἐπεὶ οὐ πολύμυθος, quoniam non garrulus, or loquax; being born, naturally Laconical; which agreeth not the less with his fast or thick speaking: for a man may have that kind of utterance, and yet few words.

Iliad III.215

235. Οὐ δ’ ἀφαμαρτοεπὴς: neque in verbis peccans, say the commentors, as though a fool were perfectly spoken; when the word here hath another sense, and our Homer a far other meaning, the words being thus to be expounded: neque mendax erat, he would not lie by any means, for that affectedly he stands upon hereafter. But to make a fool non peccans verbis, will make a man nothing wonder at any peccancy or absurdity in men of mere language.

You see, then, to how extreme a difference and contrariety the word and sense lie subject, and that, without first finding the true figures of persons in this kind presented, it is impossible for the best linguist living to express an author truly, especially any Greek author, the language being so differently significant, which not judicially fitted with the exposition that the place (and coherence with other places) requireth, what a motley and confused man a translator may present! As now they do I.81 all of Menelaus, who, wheresoever he is called Ἀρηίφιλος, is there untruly translated bellicosus, but cui Mars est charus, because he might love the war, and yet be no good warrior, as many love many exercises at which they will never be good; and Homer gave it to him for another of his peculiar epithets, as a vain-glorious affectation in him, rather than a solid affection.

And here haste makes me give end to these new annotations, deferring the like in the next nine books for more breath and encouragement, since time (that hath ever oppressed me) will not otherwise let me come to the last twelve, in which the first free light of my author entered and emboldened me; where so many rich discoveries importune my poor expression, that I fear rather to betray them to the world than express them to their price. But howsoever envy and prejudice stand squirting their poison through the eyes of my readers, this shall appear to all competent apprehensions, I have followed the original with authentical expositions, according to the proper signification of the word in his place, though I differ therein utterly from others; I have rendered all things of importance with answerable life and height to my author, though with some periphrasis, without which no man can worthily translate any worthy poet. And since the translation itself, and my notes (being impartially conferred) amply approve this, I will still be confident in the worth, of my pains, how idly and unworthily soever I be censured. And thus to the last twelve books (leaving other horrible errors in his other interpreters unmoved) with those free feet that entered me, I haste, sure of nothing but my labour.


Corrections for Book III

20 note Gloriously—boastingly.
“boastingly” printed in italics

123 note see Bk. I. 509
text has 508




The Argument.

The Gods in council, at the last, decree

That famous Ilion shall expugnéd be;

And that their own continu’d faults may prove

The reasons that have so incenséd Jove,

Minerva seeks, with more offences done

Against the lately injur’d Atreus’ son,

(A ground that clearest would make seen their sin)

To have the Lycian Pandarus begin.

He (’gainst the truce with sacred cov’nants bound)

Gives Menelaus a dishonour’d wound.

Machaon heals him. Agamemnon then

To mortal war incenseth all his men.

The battles join; and, in the heat of fight,

Cold death shuts many eyes in endless night.

Another Argument.

In Delta is the Gods’ Assize;

The truce is broke; wars freshly rise.


ithin the fair-pav’d court of Jove, he and the Gods conferr’d

About the sad events of Troy; amongst whom minister’d

Bless’d Hebe nectar. As they sat, and did Troy’s tow’rs behold,

They drank, and pledg’d each other round in full-crown’d cups of gold.


5 The mirth at whose feast was begun by great Saturnides

In urging a begun dislike amongst the Goddesses,

But chiefly in his solemn queen, whose spleen he was dispos’d

To tempt yet further, knowing well what anger it inclos’d,

And how wives’ angers should be us’d. On which, thus pleas’d, he play’d:

10 “Two Goddesses there are that still give Menelaus aid,

And one that Paris loves. The two that sit from us so far

(Which Argive Juno is, and She that rules in deeds of war,)

No doubt are pleas’d to see how well the late-seen fight did frame;

And yet, upon the adverse part, the laughter-loving Dame

15 Made her pow’r good too for her friend; for, though he were so near

The stroke of death in th’ others’ hopes, she took him from them clear.

The conquest yet is questionless the martial Spartan king’s.

We must consult then what events shall crown these future things,

If wars and combats we shall still with even successes strike,

20 Or as impartial friendship plant on both parts. If ye like

The last, and that it will as well delight as merely please

Your happy deities, still let stand old Priam’s town in peace,

And let the Lacedæmon king again his queen enjoy.”

As Pallas and Heav’n’s Queen sat close, complotting ill to Troy,

25 With silent murmurs they receiv’d this ill-lik’d choice from Jove;

’Gainst whom was Pallas much incens’d, because the Queen of Love

Could not, without his leave, relieve in that late point of death

The son of Priam, whom she loath’d; her wrath yet fought beneath

Her supreme wisdom, and was curb’d; but Juno needs must ease

30 Her great heart with her ready tongue, and said; “What words are these,

Austere, and too-much-Saturn’s son? Why wouldst thou render still

My labours idle, and the sweat of my industrious will

Dishonour with so little pow’r? My chariot-horse are tir’d

With posting to and fro for Greece, and bringing banes desir’d

35 To people-must’ring Priamus, and his perfidious sons;

Yet thou protect’st, and join’st with them whom each just Deity shuns.


Go on, but ever go resolv’d all other Gods have vow’d

To cross thy partial course for Troy, in all that makes it proud.”

At this, the cloud-compelling Jove a far-fetch’d sigh let fly,

40 And said: “Thou fury! What offence of such impiety

Hath Priam or his sons done thee, that, with so high a hate,

Thou shouldst thus ceaselessly desire to raze and ruinate

So well a builded town as Troy? I think, hadst thou the pow’r,

Thou wouldst the ports and far-stretch’d walls fly over, and devour

45 Old Priam and his issue quick, and make all Troy thy feast,

And then at length I hope thy wrath and tiréd spleen would rest;

To which run on thy chariot, that nought be found in me

Of just cause to our future jars. In this yet strengthen thee,

And fix it in thy memory fast, that if I entertain

50 As peremptory a desire to level with the plain

A city where thy lovéd live, stand not betwixt my ire

And what it aims at, but give way, when thou hast thy desire;

Which now I grant thee willingly, although against my will.

For not beneath the ample sun, and heav’n’s star-bearing hill,

55 There is a town of earthly men so honour’d in my mind

As sacred Troy; nor of earth’s kings as Priam and his kind,

Who never let my altars lack rich feast of off’rings slain,

And their sweet savours; for which grace I honour them again.”

Dread Juno, with the cow’s fair eyes, replied: “Three towns there are

60 Of great and eminent respect, both in my love and care;

Mycene, with the broad highways; and Argos, rich in horse;

And Sparta; all which three destroy, when thou envi’st their force,

I will not aid them, nor malign thy free and sov’reign will,

For if I should be envious, and set against their ill,

65 I know my envy were in vain, since thou art mightier far.

But we must give each other leave, and wink at either’s war.

I likewise must have pow’r to crown my works with wishéd end,

Because I am a Deity, and did from thence descend


Whence thou thyself, and th’ elder born; wise Saturn was our sire;

70 And thus there is a two-fold cause that pleads for my desire,

Being sister, and am call’d thy wife; and more, since thy command

Rules all Gods else, I claim therein a like superior hand.

All wrath before then now remit, and mutually combine

In either’s empire; I, thy rule, and thou, illustrate, mine;

75 So will the other Gods agree, and we shall all be strong.

And first (for this late plot) with speed let Pallas go among

The Trojans, and some one of them entice to break the truce

By off’ring in some treach’rous wound the honour’d Greeks abuse.”

The Father both of men and Gods agreed, and Pallas sent,

80 With these wing’d words, to both the hosts: “Make all haste, and invent

Some mean by which the men of Troy, against the truce agreed,

May stir the glorious Greeks to arms with some inglorious deed.”

Thus charg’d he her with haste that did, before, in haste abound,

Who cast herself from all the heights, with which steep heav’n is crown’d.

85 And as Jove, brandishing a star, which men a comet call,

Hurls out his curled hair abroad, that from his brand exhals

A thousand sparks, to fleets at sea, and ev’ry mighty host,

Of all presages and ill-haps a sign mistrusted most;

So Pallas fell ’twixt both the camps, and suddenly was lost,

90 When through the breasts of all that saw, she strook a strong amaze

With viewing, in her whole descent, her bright and ominous blaze.

When straight one to another turn’d, and said: “Now thund’ring Jove

(Great Arbiter of peace and arms) will either stablish love

Amongst our nations, or renew such war as never was.”

95 Thus either army did presage, when Pallas made her pass

Amongst the multitude of Troy; who now put on the grace

Of brave Laodocus, the flow’r of old Antenor’s race,


And sought for Lycian Pandarus, a man that, being bred

Out of a faithless family, she thought was fit to shed

100 The blood of any innocent, and break the cov’nant sworn;

He was Lycaon’s son, whom Jove into a wolf did turn

For sacrificing of a child, and yet in arms renown’d

As one that was inculpable. Him Pallas standing found,

And round about him his strong troops that bore the shady shields;

105 He brought them from Æsepus’ flood, let through the Lycian fields;

Whom standing near, she whisper’d thus: “Lycaon’s warlike son,

Shall I despair at thy kind hands to have a favour done?

Nor dar’st thou let an arrow fly upon the Spartan king?

It would be such a grace to Troy, and such a glorious thing,

110 That ev’ry man would give his gift; but Alexander’s hand

Would load thee with them, if he could discover from his stand

His foe’s pride strook down with thy shaft, and he himself ascend

The flaming heap of funeral. Come, shoot him, princely friend;

But first invoke the God of Light, that in thy land was born,

115 And is in archers’ art the best that ever sheaf hath worn,

To whom a hundred first-ew’d lambs vow thou in holy fire,

When safe to sacred Zelia’s tow’rs thy zealous steps retire.”

With this the mad gift-greedy man Minerva did persuade,

Who instantly drew forth a bow, most admirably made

120 Of th’ antler of a jumping goat bred in a steep up-land,

Which archer-like (as long before he took his hidden stand,

The evicke skipping from a rock) into the breast he smote,

And headlong fell’d him from his cliff. The forehead of the goat

Held out a wondrous goodly palm, that sixteen branches brought;


125 Of all which join’d, an useful bow a skilful bowyer wrought,

Which pick’d and polish’d, both the ends he hid with horns of gold

And this bow, bent, he close laid down, and bad his soldiers hold

Their shields before him, lest the Greeks, discerning him, should rise

In tumults ere the Spartan king could be his arrow’s prise.

130 Mean space, with all his care he choos’d, and from his quiver drew,

An arrow, feather’d best for flight, and yet that never flew,

Strong headed, and most apt to pierce; then took he up his bow,

And nock’d his shaft, the ground whence all their future grief did grow.

When, praying to his God the Sun, that was in Lycia bred,

135 And king of archers, promising that he the blood would shed

Of full an hundred first-fall’n lambs, all offer’d to his name,

When to Zelia’s sacred walls from rescu’d Troy he came,

He took his arrow by the nock, and to his bended breast

The oxy sinew close he drew, ev’n till the pile did rest

140 Upon the bosom of the bow; and as that savage prise

His strength constrain’d into an orb, as if the wind did rise

The coming of it made a noise, the sinew-forgéd string

Did give a mighty twang, and forth the eager shaft did sing,

Affecting speediness of flight, amongst the Achive throng.

145 Nor were the blesséd Heav’nly Pow’rs unmindful of thy wrong,

O Menelaus, but, in chief, Jove’s seed, the Pillager,

Stood close before, and slack’d the force the arrow did confer,

With as much care and little hurt, as doth a mother use,

And keep off from her babe, when sleep doth through his pow’rs diffuse

150 His golden humour, and th’ assaults of rude and busy flies

She still checks with her careful hand; for so the shaft she plies

That on the buttons made of gold, which made his girdle fast,


And where his curets double were, the fall of it she plac’d.

And thus much proof she put it to: the buckle made of gold;

155 The belt it fast’ned, bravely wrought; his curets’ double fold;

And last, the charméd plate he wore, which help’d him more than all,

And, ’gainst all darts and shafts bestow’d, was to his life a wall;

So, through all these, the upper skin the head did only race;

Yet forth the blood flow’d, which did much his royal person grace,

160 And show’d upon his ivory skin, as doth a purple dye

Laid, by a dame of Caïra, or lovely Mæony,

On ivory, wrought in ornaments to deck the cheeks of horse;

Which in her marriage room must lie; whose beauties have such force

That they are wish’d of many knights, but are such precious things,

165 That they are kept for horse that draw the chariots of kings,

Which horse, so deck’d, the charioteer esteems a grace to him;

Like these, in grace, the blood upon thy solid thighs did swim,

O Menelaus, down thy calves and ankles to the ground.

For nothing decks a soldier so, as doth an honour’d wound.

170 Yet, fearing he had far’d much worse, the hair stood up on end

On Agamemnon, when he saw so much black blood descend.

And stiff’ned with the like dismay was Menelaus too,

But seeing th’ arrow’s stale without, and that the head did go

No further than it might be seen, he call’d his spirits again;

175 Which Agamemnon marking not, but thinking he was slain,

He grip’d his brother by the hand, and sigh’d as he would break,

Which sigh the whole host took from him, who thus at last did speak:

“O dearest brother, is’t for this, that thy death must be wrought,

Wrought I this truce? For this hast thou the single combat fought

180 For all the army of the Greeks? For this hath Ilion sworn,


And trod all faith beneath their feet? Yet all this hath not worn

The right we challeng’d out of force; this cannot render vain

Our stricken right hands, sacred wine, nor all our off’rings slain;

For though Olympius be not quick in making good our ill,

185 He will be sure as he is slow, and sharplier prove his will.

Their own hands shall be ministers of those plagues they despise,

Which shall their wives and children reach, and all their progenies.

For both in mind and soul I know, that there shall come a day

When Ilion, Priam, all his pow’r, shall quite be worn away,

190 When heav’n-inhabiting Jove shall shake his fiery shield at all,

For this one mischief. This, I know, the world cannot recall.

But be all this, all my grief still for thee will be the same,

Dear brother. If thy life must here put out his royal flame,

I shall to sandy Argos turn with infamy my face;

195 And all the Greeks will call for home; old Priam and his race

Will flame in glory; Helena untouch’d be still their prey;

And thy bones in our enemies’ earth our curséd fates shall lay;

Thy sepulchre be trodden down; the pride of Troy desire

Insulting on it, ‘Thus, O thus, let Agamemnon’s ire

200 In all his acts be expiate, as now he carries home

His idle army, empty ships, and leaves here overcome

Good Menelaus.’ When this brave breaks in their hated breath,

Then let the broad earth swallow me, and take me quick to death.”

“Nor shall this ever chance,” said he, “and therefore be of cheer,

205 Lest all the army, led by you, your passions put in fear.

The arrow fell in no such place as death could enter at,

My girdle, curets doubled here, and my most trusted plate,

Objected all ’twixt me and death, the shaft scarce piercing one.”

“Good brother,” said the king, “I wish it were no further gone,

210 For then our best in med’cines skilled shall ope and search the wound,

Applying balms to ease thy pains, and soon restore thee sound.”

This said, divine Talthybiús he call’d, and bad him haste


Machaon (Æsculapius’ son, who most of men was grac’d

With physic’s sov’reign remedies) to come and lend his hand

215 To Menelaus, shot by one well-skill’d in the command

Of bow and arrows, one of Troy, or of the Lycian aid,

Who much hath glorified our foe, and us as much dismay’d.

He heard, and hasted instantly, and cast his eyes about

The thickest squadrons of the Greeks, to find Machaon out.

220 He found him standing guarded well with well-arm’d men of Thrace;

With whom he quickly join’d, and said: “Man of Apollo’s race,

Haste, for the king of men commands, to see a wound impress’d

In Menelaus, great in arms, by one instructed best

In th’ art of archery, of Troy, or of the Lycian bands,

225 That them with much renown adorns, us with dishonour brands.”

Machaon much was mov’d with this, who with the herald flew

From troop to troop alongst the host; and soon they came in view

Of hurt Atrides, circled round with all the Grecian kings;

Who all gave way, and straight he draws the shaft, which forth he brings

230 Without the forks; the girdle then, plate, curets, off he plucks,

And views the wound; when first from it the clotter’d blood he sucks,

Then med’cines, wondrously compos’d, the skilful leech applied,

Which loving Chiron taught his sire, he from his sire had tried.

While these were thus employ’d to ease the Atrean martialist,

235 The Trojans arm’d, and charg’d the Greeks; the Greeks arm and resist.

Then not asleep, nor maz’d with fear, nor shifting off the blows,

You could behold the king of men, but in full speed he goes

To set a glorious fight on foot and he examples this,

With toiling, like the worst, on foot; who therefore did dismiss

240 His brass-arm’d chariot, and his steeds, with Ptolemëus’ son,

Son of Piraides, their guide, the good Eurymedon;

“Yet,” said the king, “attend with them, lest weariness should seize

My limbs, surcharg’d with ord’ring troops so thick and vast as these.”

Eurymedon then rein’d his horse, that trotted neighing by;


245 The king a footman, and so scours the squadrons orderly.

Those of his swiftly-mounted Greeks, that in their arms were fit,

Those he put on with cheerful words, and bad them not remit

The least spark of their forward spirits, because the Trojans durst

Take these abhorr’d advantages, but let them do their worst;

250 For they might be assur’d that Jove would patronise no lies,

And that who, with the breach of truce, would hurt their enemies,

With vultures should be torn themselves; that they should raze their town,

Their wives, and children at their breast, led vassals to their own.

But such as he beheld hang off from that increasing fight,

255 Such would he bitterly rebuke, and with disgrace excite:

“Base Argives, blush ye not to stand as made for butts to darts?

Why are ye thus discomfited, like hinds that have no hearts,

Who, wearied with a long-run field, are instantly emboss’d,

Stand still, and in their beastly breasts is all their courage lost?

260 And so stand you strook with amaze, nor dare to strike a stroke.

Would ye the foe should nearer yet your dastard spleens provoke,

Ev’n where on Neptune’s foamy shore our navies lie in sight,

To see if Jove will hold your hands, and teach ye how to fight?”

Thus he, commanding, rang’d the host, and, passing many a band,

265 He came to the Cretensian troops, where all did arméd stand

About the martial Idomen; who bravely stood before

In vanguard of his troops, and match’d for strength a savage boar;

Meriones, his charioteer, the rearguard bringing on.

Which seen to Atreus’ son, to him it was a sight alone,

270 And Idomen’s confirméd mind with these kind words he seeks:

“O Idomen! I ever lov’d thy self past all the Greeks,

In war, or any work of peace, at table, ev’rywhere;

For when the best of Greece besides mix ever, at our cheer,

My good old ardent wine with small, and our inferior mates


275 Drink ev’n that mix’d wine measur’d too, them drink’st, without those rates,

Our old wine neat, and evermore thy bowl stands full like mine,

To drink still when and what thou wilt. Then rouse that heart of thine,

And, whatsoever heretofore thou hast assum’d to be,

This day be greater.” To the king in this sort answer’d he:

280 “Atrides, what I ever seem’d, the same at ev’ry part

This day shall show me at the full, and I will fit thy heart.

But thou shouldst rather cheer the rest, and tell them they in right

Of all good war must offer blows, and should begin the fight,

(Since Troy first brake the holy truce) and not endure these braves,

285 To take wrong first, and then be dar’d to the revenge it craves;

Assuring them that Troy in fate must have the worst at last,

Since first, and ’gainst a truce, they hurt, where they should have embrac’d.”

This comfort and advice did fit Atrides’ heart indeed

Who still through new-rais’d swarms of men held his laborious speed,

290 And came where both th’ Ajaces stood; whom like the last he found

Arm’d, casqu’d, and ready for the fight. Behind them, hid the ground

A cloud of foot, that seem’d to smoke. And as a goatherd spies,

On some hill’s top, out of the sea, a rainy vapour rise,

Driv’n by the breath of Zephyrus, which, though far off he rest,

295 Comes on as black as pitch, and brings a tempest in his breast,

Whereat he frighted, drives his herds apace into a den;

So dark’ning earth with darts and shields show’d these with all their men.

This sight with like joy fir’d the king, who thus let forth the flame

In crying out to both the dukes: “O you of equal name,

300 I must not cheer, nay, I disclaim all my command of you,

Yourselves command with such free minds, and make your soldiers show

As you nor I led, but themselves. O would our father Jove,

Minerva, and the God of Light, would all our bodies move

With such brave spirits as breathe in you, then Priam’s lofty town

305 Should soon be taken by our hands, for ever overthrown!”


Then held he on to other troops, and Nestor next beheld,

The subtle Pylian orator, range up and down the field

Embattelling his men at arms, and stirring all to blows,

Points ev’ry legion out his chief, and ev’ry chief he shows

310 The forms and discipline of war, yet his commanders were

All éxpert, and renowméd men. Great Pelagon was there,

Alastor, manly Chromius, and Hæmon worth a throne,

And Bias that could armies lead. With these he first put on

His horse troops with their chariots; his foot (of which he choos’d

315 Many, the best and ablest men, and which he ever us’d

As rampire to his gen’ral pow’r) he in the rear dispos’d.

The slothful, and the least of spirit, he in the midst inclos’d,

That, such as wanted noble wills, base need might force to stand.

His horse troops, that the vanguard had, he strictly did command

320 To ride their horses temp’rately, to keep their ranks, and shun

Confusion, lest their horsemanship and courage made them run

(Too much presum’d on) much too far, and, charging so alone,

Engage themselves in th’ enemy’s strength, where many fight with one.

“Who his own chariot leaves to range, let him not freely go,

325 But straight unhorse him with a lance; for ’tis much better so.

And with this discipline,” said he, “this form, these minds, this trust,

Our ancestors have walls and towns laid level with the dust.”

Thus prompt, and long inur’d to arms, this old man did exhort;

And this Atrides likewise took in wondrous cheerful sort,

330 And said: “O father, would to heav’n, that as thy mind remains

In wonted vigour, so thy knees could undergo our pains!

But age, that all men overcomes, hath made his prise on thee;

Yet still I wish that some young man, grown old in mind, might be

Put in proportion with thy years, and thy mind, young in age,

335 Be fitly answer’d with his youth; that still where conflicts rage,

And young men us’d to thirst for fame, thy brave exampling hand

Might double our young Grecian spirits, and grace our whole command.”

The old knight answer’d: “I myself could wish, O Atreus’ son,


I were as young as when I slew brave Ereuthalion,

340 But Gods at all times give not all their gifts to mortal men.

If then I had the strength of youth, I miss’d the counsels then

That years now give me; and now years want that main strength of youth;

Yet still my mind retains her strength (as you now said the sooth)

And would be where that strength is us’d, affording counsel sage

345 To stir youth’s minds up; ’tis the grace and office of our age;

Let younger sinews, men sprung up whole ages after me,

And such as have strength, use it, and as strong in honour be.”

The king, all this while comforted, arriv’d next where he found

Well-rode Menestheus (Peteus’ son) stand still, inviron’d round

350 With his well-train’d Athenian troops; and next to him he spied

The wise Ulysses, deedless too, and all his bands beside

Of strong Cephalians; for as yet th’ alarm had not been heard

In all their quarters, Greece and Troy were then so newly stirr’d,

And then first mov’d, as they conceiv’d; and they so look’d about

355 To see both hosts give proof of that they yet had cause to doubt.

Atrides seeing them stand so still, and spend their eyes at gaze,

Began to chide: “And why,” said he, “dissolv’d thus in amaze,

Thou son of Peteus, Jove-nurs’d king, and thou in wicked sleight

A cunning soldier, stand ye off? Expect ye that the fight

360 Should be by other men begun? ’Tis fit the foremost band

Should show you there; you first should front who first lifts up his hand.

First you can hear, when I invite the princes to a feast,

When first, most friendly, and at will, ye eat and drink the best,

Yet in the fight, most willingly, ten troops ye can behold

365 Take place before ye.” Ithacus at this his brows did fold,

And said: “How hath thy violent tongue broke through thy set of teeth,

To say that we are slack in fight, and to the field of death

Look others should enforce our way, when we were busied then,


Ev’n when thou spak’st, against the foe to cheer and lead our men?

370 But thy eyes shall be witnesses, if it content thy will,

And that (as thou pretend’st) these cares do so affect thee still,

The father of Telemachus (whom I esteem so dear,

And to whom, as a legacy, I’ll leave my deeds done here)

Ev’n with the foremost band of Troy hath his encounter dar’d,

375 And therefore are thy speeches vain, and had been better spar’d.”

He, smiling, since he saw him mov’d, recall’d his words, and said:

“Most generous Laertes’ son, most wise of all our aid,

I neither do accuse thy worth, more than thyself may hold

Fit, (that inferiors think not much, being slack, to be controll’d)

380 Nor take I on me thy command; for well I know thy mind

Knows how sweet gentle counsels are, and that thou stand’st inclin’d,

As I myself, for all our good. On then; if now we spake

What hath displeas’d, another time we full amends will make;

And Gods grant that thy virtue here may prove so free and brave,

385 That my reproofs may still be vain, and thy deservings grave.”

Thus parted they; and forth he went, when he did leaning find,

Against his chariot, near his horse, him with the mighty mind,

Great Diomedes, Tydeus’ son, and Sthenelus, the seed

Of Capaneius; whom the king seeing likewise out of deed,

390 Thus cried he out on Diomed: “O me! In what a fear

The wise great warrior, Tydeus’ son, stands gazing ev’rywhere

For others to begin the fight! It was not Tydeus’ use

To be so daunted, whom his spirit would evermore produce

Before the foremost of his friends in these affairs of fright,

395 As they report that have beheld him labour in a fight.

For me, I never knew the man, nor in his presence came,

But excellent, above the rest, he was in gen’ral fame;

And one renowm’d exploit of his, I am assur’d, is true.

He came to the Mycenian court, without arms, and did sue,

400 At godlike Polynices’ hands, to have some worthy aid

To their designs that ’gainst the walls of sacred Thebes were laid.


He was great Polynices’ guest, and nobly entertain’d,

And of the kind Mycenian state what he requested gain’d,

In mere consent; but when they should the same in act approve,

405 By some sinister prodigies, held out to them by Jove,

They were discourag’d. Thence he went, and safely had his pass

Back to Asopus’ flood, renowm’d for bulrushes and grass.

Yet, once more, their ambassador, the Grecian peers address

Lord Tydeus to Eteocles; to whom being giv’n access,

410 He found him feasting with a crew of Cadmeans in his hall;

Amongst whom, though an enemy, and only one to all;

To all yet he his challenge made at ev’ry martial feat,

And eas’ly foil’d all, since with him Minerva was so great.

The rank-rode Cadmeans, much incens’d with their so foul disgrace,

415 Lodg’d ambuscadoes for their foe, in some well-chosen place

By which he was to make return. Twice five-and-twenty men,

And two of them great captains too, the ambush did contain.

The names of those two men of rule were Mæon, Hæmon’s son,

And Lycophontes, Keep-field call’d, the heir of Autophon,

420 By all men honour’d like the Gods; yet these and all their friends

Were sent to hell by Tydeus’ hand, and had untimely ends.

He trusting to the aid of Gods, reveal’d by augury,

Obeying which, one chief he sav’d, and did his life apply

To be the heavy messenger of all the others’ deaths;

425 And that sad message, with his life, to Mæon he bequeaths.

So brave a knight was Tydeüs: of whom a son is sprung,

Inferior far in martial deeds, though higher in his tongue.”

All this Tydides silent heard, aw’d by the rev’rend king;

Which stung hot Sthenelus with wrath, who thus put forth his sting:

430 “Atrides, when thou know’st the truth, speak what thy knowledge is,


And do not lie so; for I know, and I will brag in this,

That we are far more able men than both our fathers were.

We took the sev’n-fold ported Thebes, when yet we had not there

So great help as our fathers had; and fought beneath a wall,

435 Sacred to Mars, by help of Jove, and trusting to the fall

Of happy signs from other Gods, by whom we took the town

Untouch’d; our fathers perishing there by follies of their own;

And therefore never more compare our fathers’ worth with ours.”

Tydides frown’d at this, and said: “Suppress thine anger’s pow’rs,

440 Good friend, and hear why I refrain’d. Thou seest I am not mov’d

Against our gen’ral, since he did but what his place behov’d,

Admonishing all Greeks to fight; for, if Troy prove our prise,

The honour and the joy is his; if here our ruin lies,

The shame and grief for that as much is his in greatest kinds.

445 As he then his charge, weigh we ours; which is our dauntless minds.”

Thus, from his chariot, amply arm’d, he jump’d down to the ground;

The armour of the angry king so horribly did sound,

It might have made his bravest foe let fear take down his braves.

And as when with the west-wind flaws, the sea thrusts up her waves,

450 One after other, thick and high, upon the groaning shores,

First in herself loud, but oppos’d with banks and rocks she roars,

And, all her back in bristles set, spits ev’ry way her foam;

So, after Diomed, instantly the field was overcome

With thick impressions of the Greeks; and all the noise that grew

455 (Ord’ring and cheering up their men) from only leaders flew.

The rest went silently away, you could not hear a voice,

Nor would have thought, in all their breasts, they had one in their choice,

Their silence uttering their awe of them that them controll’d,

Which made each man keep bright his arms, march, fight still where he should.


460 The Trojans (like a sort of ewes, penn’d in a rich man’s fold,

Close at his door, till all be milk’d, and never baaing hold

Hearing the bleating of their lambs) did all their wide host fill

With shouts and clamours, nor observ’d one voice, one baaing still,

But show’d mix’d tongues from many a land of men call’d to their aid.

465 Rude Mars had th’ ordering of their spirits; of Greeks, the learned Maid.

But Terror follow’d both the hosts, and Flight, and furious Strife

The sister, and the mate, of Mars, that spoil of human life;

And never is her rage at rest, at first she is but small,

Yet after, but a little fed, she grows so vast and tall

470 That, while her feet move here in earth, her forehead is in heav’n;

And this was she that made ev’n then both hosts so deadly giv’n.

Through ev’ry troop she stalk’d, and stirr’d rough sighs up as she went;

But when in one field both the foes her fury did content,

And both came under reach of darts, then darts and shields oppos’d

475 To darts and shields; strength answer’d strength; then swords and targets clos’d

With swords and targets; both with pikes; and then did tumult rise

Up to her height; then conqu’rors’ boasts mix’d with the conquer’d’s cries;

Earth flow’d with blood. And as from hills rain-waters headlong fall,

That all ways eat huge ruts, which, met in one bed, fill a vall

480 With such a confluence of streams, that on the mountain grounds

Far off, in frighted shepherds’ ears, the bustling noise rebounds:

So grew their conflicts, and so show’d their scuffling to the ear,

With flight and clamour still commix’d, and all effects of fear.

And first renowm’d Antilochus slew (fighting, in the face

485 Of all Achaia’s foremost bands, with an undaunted grace)


Echepolus Thalysiades; he was an arméd man;

Whom on his hair-plum’d helmet’s crest the dart first smote, then ran

Into his forehead, and there stuck; the steel pile making way

Quite through his skull; a hasty night shut up his latest day.

490 His fall was like a fight-rac’d tow’r; like which lying there dispread,

King Elephenor (who was son to Chalcodon, and led

The valiant Abants) covetous that he might first possess

His arms, laid hands upon his feet, and hal’d him from the press

Of darts and jav’lins hurl’d at him. The action of the king

495 When great-in-heart Agenor saw, he made his jav’lin sing

To th’ others’ labour; and along as he the trunk did wrest,

His side (at which he bore his shield) in bowing of his breast

Lay naked, and receiv’d the lance, that made him lose his hold

And life together; which, in hope of that he lost, he sold.

500 But for his sake the fight grew fierce, the Trojans and their foes

Like wolves on one another rush’d, and man for man it goes.

The next of name, that serv’d his fate, great Ajax Telamon

Preferr’d so sadly. He was heir to old Anthemion,

And deck’d with all the flow’r of youth; the fruit of which yet fled,

505 Before the honour’d nuptial torch could light him to his bed.

His name was Simoisius; for, some few years before,

His mother walking down the hill of Ida, by the shore

Of silver Simois, to see her parents’ flocks, with them

She, feeling suddenly the pains of child-birth, by the stream

510 Of that bright river brought him forth; and so (of Simois)

They call’d him Simoisius. Sweet was that birth of his

To his kind parents, and his growth did all their care employ;

And yet those rites of piety, that should have been his joy

To pay their honour’d years again in as affectionate sort,

515 He could not graciously perform, his sweet life was so short,


Cut off with mighty Ajax’ lance; for, as his spirit put on,

He strook him at his breast’s right pap, quite through his shoulder-bone,

And in the dust of earth he fell, that was the fruitful soil

Of his friends’ hopes; but where he sow’d he buried all his toil.

520 And as a poplar shot aloft, set by a river side,

In moist edge of a mighty fen, his head in curls implied,

But all his body plain and smooth, to which a wheelwright puts

The sharp edge of his shining axe, and his soft timber cuts

From his innative root, in hope to hew out of his bole

525 The fell’ffs, or out-parts of a wheel, that compass in the whole,

To serve some goodly chariot; but, being big and sad,

And to be hal’d home through the bogs, the useful hope he had

Sticks there, and there the goodly plant lies with’ring out his grace:

So lay, by Jove-bred Ajax’ hand, Anthemion’s forward race,

530 Nor could through that vast fen of toils be drawn to serve the ends

Intended by his body’s pow’rs, nor cheer his aged friends.

But now the gay-arm’d Antiphus, a son of Priam, threw

His lance at Ajax through the prease; which went by him, and flew

On Leucus, wise Ulysses’ friend; his groin it smote, as fain

535 He would have drawn into his spoil the carcass of the slain,

By which he fell, and that by him; it vex’d Ulysses’ heart,

Who thrust into the face of fight, well-arm’d at ev’ry part,

Came close, and look’d about to find an object worth his lance;

Which when the Trojans saw him shake, and he so near advance,

540 All shrunk; he threw, and forth it shin’d, nor fell but where it fell’d;

His friend’s grief gave it angry pow’r, and deadly way it held


Upon Democoon, who was sprung of Priam’s wanton force,

Came from Abydus, and was made the master of his horse.

Through both his temples strook the dart, the wood of one side shew’d,

545 The pile out of the other look’d, and so the earth he strew’d

With much sound of his weighty arms. Then back the foremost went;

Ev’n Hector yielded; then the Greeks gave worthy clamours vent,

Effecting then their first-dumb pow’rs; some drew the dead, and spoil’d,

Some follow’d, that, in open flight, Troy might confess it foil’d.

550 Apollo, angry at the sight, from top of Ilion cried:

“Turn head, ye well-rode peers of Troy, feed not the Grecians’ pride,

They are not charm’d against your points, of steel, nor iron, fram’d;

Nor fights the fair-hair’d Thetis’ son, but sits at fleet inflam’d.”

So spake the dreadful God from Troy. The Greeks, Jove’s noblest Seed

555 Encourag’d to keep on the chace; and, where fit spirit did need,

She gave it, marching in the midst. Then flew the fatal hour.

Back on Diores, in return of Ilion’s sun-burn’d pow’r;

Diores Amaryncides, whose right leg’s ankle-bone,

And both the sinews, with a sharp and handful-charging stone

560 Pirus Imbrasides did break, that led the Thracian bands

And came from Ænos; down he fell, and up he held his hands

To his lov’d friends; his spirit wing’d to fly out of his breast;

With which not satisfied, again Imbrasides address’d

His jav’lin at him, and so ripp’d his navel, that the wound,

665 As endlessly it shut his eyes, so, open’d, on the ground

It pour’d his entrails. As his foe went then suffic’d away,

Thoas Ætolius threw a dart, that did his pile convey,

Above his nipple, through his lungs; when, quitting his stern part,

He clos’d with him, and, from his breast first drawing out his dart,

570 His sword flew in, and by the midst it wip’d his belly out;

So took his life, but left his arms; his friends so flock’d about,


And thrust forth lances of such length before their slaughter’d king,

Which, though their foe were big and strong, and often brake the ring

Forg’d of their lances, yet (enforc’d) he left th’ affected prise.

575 The Thracian and Epeian dukes, laid close with closéd eyes

By either other, drown’d in dust; and round about the plain,

All hid with slaughter’d carcases, yet still did hotly reign

The martial planet; whose effects had any eye beheld,

Free and unwounded (and were led by Pallas through the field,

580 To keep off jav’lins, and suggest the least fault could be found)

He could not reprehend the fight, so many strew’d the ground.

Linenotes for Book IV

37: Resolved—informed.

85: Which men a comet call—so both the folios. Dr. Taylor has printed “which man a comet calls.” This certainly suits the rhyme, but I adhere to Chapman’s text. Perhaps we should read exhall in a neuter sense, i.e., a thousand sparks exhall from his brand.

98: A man that being bred out of a faithless family.—This description of Pandarus has been introduced into the text by Chapman from the commentators, as Dr. Taylor observes.

115: Sheaf—bundle of arrows.

122: The evicke—the old spelling of ibex. Dr. Taylor, not knowing the word, suggested that it meant evict, or doomed one!

124: Palm—Nares says “the broad part of a deer’s horns, when fully grown.”

126: Pick’d—piked, pointed.

138: “Virgil useth these verses.” —Chapman.

138: Nock—the notch of the arrow, where it rests upon the string.

139: Pile—point, barb of the arrow.

140: Prise—here used for grasp.

146: The Pillager—the goddess Ageleia.

158: Race—rase, slightly scratch. I have retained this orthography throughout, for the rhyme’s sake.

173: Stale—“stele, the stem or stalk of any thing. The stem or body of an arrow:—

‘A shaft hath three principle parts, the stele, the fethers, and the head.’

Ascham’s Toxophilus, p. 161.”

Nares’s Gloss. in voc.

208: Objected—interposed.

245: The king a footmani.e. the king went on foot.

258: Emboss’d.—A hunting term. “When the hart is foamy at the mouth, we say, that he is embossed.” —Turberville on Hunt. p. 242. See Nares’s Glossary.

276: Rates—ratifications, agreements. Here perhaps, qualifications.

302: As you nor I led—as if neither you nor I.

343: Sooth—truth, a common word. Thus Shakespeare,—

“He looks like sooth; he says he loves my daughter,

I think so too.”

Wint. Tale, IV. 3.

408: The construction is, “Once more the Grecian peers address (send) Tydeus to Eteocles as their ambassador.”

419: Keep-field.—The original is μενεπτόλεμος, one who remains in the battle. Dr. Taylor observes, “This is one of the happiest of Chapman’s translations of Homer’s compound epithets.” Iliad IV.395.

460: Sort—set, or, as we say, a lot of pigs, sheep, &c.

“Remember who you are to cope withall,

A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways.”

Shakespeare. Rich. III. V. 3.

465: The learned Maid—Pallas.

470: Chapman observes that Virgil has applied this description of Strife to Fame.

479: Vall—ravine, valley.

490: Fight-raced—razed in battle.

499: An unworthy conceit of Chapman’s, as Dr. Taylor observes, and unwarranted.

516: As his spirit put on—urged him forwards.

525: Fell’ffs—fellies of a wheel.

526: Sad—heavy. In the North the word is applied to bread, when the dough, from bad yeast, or not being well kneaded, does not rise properly. Halliwell, Archaic And Provin. Dict.


“Like to a stepdame or a dowager,

Long withering out a young man’s revenue.”

Shakespeare, Midsummer-Night’s Dream, Act i. sc. 1.

534: From line 516 to this, Chapman has unwarrantably amplified, and somewhat distorted the original.

540: Nor fell but where it fell’d—a silly quibble of Chapman’s.

552: Of steel, nor iron, fram’d—i.e. they (the Greeks) are not framed of steel or iron.

554: Jove’s noblest Seed—Pallas.

568: His stern part—breast-bone; from the Greek στέρνον.


Corrections for Book IV

31 Austere, and too-much-Saturn’s son?
text has Saturn s

93 will either stablish love
expected “’stablish” with elision

138 note “Virgil useth these verses.”
full stop invisible

173 note A shaft hath three principle parts
spelling unchanged

548 some drew the dead, and spoil’d,
final comma missing or invisible




The Argument.

King Diomed (by Pallas’ spirit inspir’d

With will and pow’r) is for his acts admir’d.

Mere men, and men deriv’d from Deities,

And Deities themselves, he terrifies.

Adds wounds to terrors. His inflaméd lance

Draws blood from Mars, and Venus. In a trance

He casts Æneas, with a weighty stone;

Apollo quickens him, and gets him gone.

Mars is recur’d by Pæon, but by Jove

Rebuk’d for authoring breach of human love.

Another Argument.

In Epsilon, Heav’n’s blood is shed

By sacred rage of Diomed.


hen Pallas breath’d in Tydeus’ son; to render whom supreme

To all the Greeks, at all his parts, she cast a hotter beam

On his high mind, his body fill’d with much superior might,

And made his cómplete armour cast a far more cómplete light.

5 From his bright helm and shield did burn a most unwearied fire,

Like rich Autumnus’ golden lamp, whose brightness men admire

Past all the other host of stars, when, with his cheerful face

Fresh wash’d in lofty Ocean waves, he doth the skies enchase.


To let whose glory lose no sight, still Pallas made him turn

10 Where tumult most express’d his pow’r, and where the fight did burn.

An honest and a wealthy man inhabited in Troy,

Dares, the priest of Mulciber, who two sons did enjoy,

Idæus, and bold Phegeüs, well-seen in ev’ry fight.

These (singled from their troops, and hors’d) assail’d Minerva’s knight,

15 Who rang’d from fight to fight on foot. All hasting mutual charge,

And now drawn near, first Phegeus threw a jav’lin swift and large,

Whose head the king’s left shoulder took, but did no harm at all;

Then rush’d he out a lance at him, that had no idle fall,

But in his breast stuck ’twixt the paps, and strook him from his horse.

20 Which stern sight when Idæus saw, distrustful of his force

To save his slaughter’d brother’s spoil, it made him headlong leap

From his fair chariot, and leave all; yet had not ’scap’d the heap

Of heavy fun’ral, if the God, great President of fire,

Had not in sudden clouds of smoke, and pity of his sire

25 To leave him utterly unheir’d, giv’n safe pass to his feet.

He gone, Tydides sent the horse and chariot to the fleet.

The Trojans seeing Dares’ sons, one slain, the other fled,

Were strook amaz’d. The blue-ey’d Maid (to grace her Diomed

In giving free way to his pow’r) made this so ruthful fact

30 A fit advantage to remove the War-god out of act,

Who rag’d so on the Ilion side. She grip’d his hand, and said:

“Mars, Mars, thou ruiner of men, that in the dust hast laid

So many cities, and with blood thy godhead dost distain,

Now shall we cease to show our breasts as passionate as men,

35 And leave the mixture of our hands, resigning Jove his right,

As Rector of the Gods, to give the glory of the fight

Where he affecteth, lest he force what we should freely yield?”

He held it fit, and went with her from the tumultuous field,

Who set him in an herby seat on broad Scamander’s shore.

40 He gone, all Troy was gone with him, the Greeks drave all before,


And ev’ry leader slew a man; but first the king of men

Deserv’d the honour of his name, and led the slaughter then,

And slew a leader, one more huge than any man he led,

Great Odius, duke of Halizons; quite from his chariot’s head

45 He strook him with a lance to earth, as first he flight address’d;

It took his forward-turnéd back, and look’d out of his breast;

His huge trunk sounded, and his arms did echo the resound.

Idomenæus to the death did noble Phæstus wound,

The son of Meon-Borus, that from cloddy Terna came;

50 Who, taking chariot, took his wound, and tumbled with the same

From his attempted seat: the lance through his right shoulder strook,

And horrid darkness strook through him; the spoil his soldiers took.

Atrides-Menelaus slew, as he before him fled,

Scamandrius, son of Strophius, that was a huntsman bred;

55 A skilful huntsman, for his skill Diana’s self did teach,

And made him able with his dart infallibly to reach

All sorts of subtlest savages, which many a woody hill

Bred for him, and he much preserv’d, and all to show his skill.

Yet not the dart-delighting Queen taught him to shun this dart,

60 Nor all his hitting so far off, the mast’ry of his art;

His back receiv’d it, and he fell upon his breast withal;

His body’s ruin, and his arms, so sounded in his fall,

That his affrighted horse flew off, and left him, like his life.

Meriones slew Phereclus, whom she that ne’er was wife,

65 Yet Goddess of good housewives, held in excellent respect

For knowing all the witty things that grace an architect,

And having pow’r to give it all the cunning use of hand.

Harmonides, his sire, built ships, and made him understand,

With all the practice it requir’d, the frame of all that skill.

70 He built all Alexander’s ships, that author’d all the ill

Of all the Trojans and his own, because he did not know

The oracles advising Troy (for fear of overthrow)


To meddle with no sea affair, but live by tilling land.

This man Meriones surpris’d, and drave his deadly hand

75 Through his right hip; the lance’s head ran through the región

About the bladder, underneath th’ in-muscles and the bone;

He, sighing, bow’d his knees to death, and sacrific’d to earth.

Phylides stay’d Pedæus’ flight, Antenor’s bastard birth,

Whom virtuous Theano his wife, to please her husband, kept

80 As tenderly as those she lov’d. Phylides near him stept,

And in the fountain of the nerves did drench his fervent lance,

At his head’s back-part; and so far the sharp head did advance,

It cleft the organ of his speech, and th’ iron, cold as death,

He took betwixt his grinning teeth, and gave the air his breath.

85 Eurypylus, the much renowm’d, and great Evemon’s son,

Divine Hypsenor slew, begot by stout Dolopion,

And consecrate Scamander’s priest; he had a God’s regard

Amongst the people; his hard flight the Grecian follow’d hard,

Rush’d in so close, that with his sword he on his shoulder laid

90 A blow that his arm’s brawn cut off; nor there his vigour stay’d,

But drave down, and from off his wrist it hew’d his holy hand

That gush’d out blood, and down it dropp’d upon the blushing sand;

Death, with his purple finger, shut, and violent fate, his eyes.

Thus fought these, but distinguish’d well. Tydides so implies

95 His fury that you could not know whose side had interest

In his free labours, Greece or Troy; but as a flood, increas’d

By violent and sudden show’rs, let down from hills, like hills

Melted in fury, swells and foams, and so he overfills

His natural channel; that besides both hedge and bridge resigns

100 To his rough confluence, far spread; and lusty flourishing vines

Drown’d in his outrage; Tydeus’ son so overran the field,

Strew’d such as flourish’d in his way, and made whole squadrons yield.

When Pandarus, Lycaon’s son, beheld his ruining hand,

With such resistless insolence, make lanes through ev’ry band,


105 He bent his gold-tipp’d bow of horn, and shot him rushing in,

At his right shoulder, where his arms were hollow; forth did spin

The blood, and down his curets ran; then Pandarus cried out:

“Rank-riding Trojans, now rush in. Now, now, I make no doubt

Our bravest foe is mark’d for death; he cannot long sustain

110 My violent shaft, if Jove’s fair Son did worthily constrain

My foot from Lycia.” Thus he brav’d, and yet his violent shaft

Strook short with all his violence, Tydides’ life was saft;

Who yet withdrew himself behind his chariot and steeds,

And call’d to Sthenelus: “Come friend, my wounded shoulder needs

115 Thy hand to ease it of this shaft.” He hasted from his seat

Before the coach, and drew the shaft; the purple wound did sweat,

And drown his shirt of mail in blood, and as it bled he pray’d:

“Hear me, of Jove-Ægiochus thou most unconquer’d Maid!

If ever in the cruel field thou hast assistful stood

120 Or to my father, or myself, now love, and do me good.

Give him into my lance’s reach, that thus hath giv’n a wound

To him thou guard’st, preventing me, and brags that never more

I shall behold the cheerful sun.” Thus did the king implore.

The Goddess heard, came near, and took the weariness of fight

125 From all his nerves and lineaments, and made them fresh and light,

And said: “Be bold, O Diomed, in ev’ry combat shine,

The great shield-shaker Tydeus’ strength (that knight, that sire of thine)

By my infusion breathes in thee; and from thy knowing mind

I have remov’d those erring mists that made it lately blind,

130 That thou may’st diff’rence Gods from men, and therefore use thy skill

Against the tempting Deities, if any have a will

To try if thou presum’st of that, as thine, that flows from them,

And so assum’st above thy right. Where thou discern’st a beam

Of any other Heav’nly Pow’r than She that rules in love,

135 That calls thee to the change of blows, resist not, but remove;


But if that Goddess be so bold (since she first stirr’d this war)

Assault and mark her from the rest with some infámous scar.”

The blue-eyed Goddess vanishéd, and he was seen again

Amongst the foremost, who before though he were prompt and fain

140 To fight against the Trojans’ pow’rs, now, on his spirits were call’d

With thrice the vigour; lion-like, that hath been lately gall’d

By some bold shepherd in a field, where his curl’d flocks were laid,

Who took him as he leap’d the fold, not slain yet, but appaid

With greater spirit, comes again, and then the shepherd hides,

145 (The rather for the desolate place) and in his cote abides,

His flocks left guardless; which, amaz’d, shake and shrink up in heaps;

He, ruthless, freely takes his prey, and out again he leaps;

So sprightly, fierce, victorious, the great heroë flew

Upon the Trojans, and, at once, he two commanders slew,

150 Hypenor and Astynous; in one his lance he fix’d

Full at the nipple of his breast; the other smote betwixt

The neck and shoulder with his sword, which was so well laid on

It swept his arm and shoulder off. These left, he rush’d upon

Abas and Polyëidus, of old Eurydamas

155 The hapless sons; who could by dreams tell what would come to pass,

Yet, when his sons set forth to Troy, the old man could not read

By their dreams what would chance to them, for both were stricken dead

By great Tydides. After these, he takes into his rage

Xanthus and Thoön, Phænops’ sons, born to him in his age;

160 The good old man ev’n pin’d with years, and had not one son more

To heir his goods; yet Diomed took both, and left him store

Of tears and sorrows in their steads, since he could never see

His sons leave those hot wars alive; so this the end must be

Of all his labours; what he heap’d, to make his issue great,

165 Authority heir’d, and with her seed fill’d his forgotten seat.


Then snatch’d he up two Priamists, that in one chariot stood,

Echemon, and fair Chromius. As feeding in a wood

Oxen or steers are, one of which a lion leaps upon,

Tears down, and wrings in two his neck; so, sternly, Tydeus’ son

170 Threw from their chariot both these hopes of old Dardanides,

Then took their arms, and sent their horse to those that ride the seas.

Æneas, seeing the troops thus toss’d, brake through the heat of fight,

And all the whizzing of the darts, to find the Lycian knight,

Lycaon’s son; whom having found, he thus bespake the peer:

175 “O Pandarus, where’s now thy bow, thy deathful arrows where,

In which no one in all our host but gives the palm to thee,

Nor in the sun-lov’d Lycian greens, that breed our archery,

Lives any that exceeds thyself? Come, lift thy hands to Jove,

And send an arrow at this man, if but a man he prove,

180 That wins such god-like victories, and now affects our host

With so much sorrow, since so much of our best blood is lost

By his high valour. I have fear some God in him doth threat,

Incens’d for want of sacrifice; the wrath of God is great.”

Lycaon’s famous son replied: “Great counsellor of Troy,

185 This man, so excellent in arms, I think is Tydeus’ joy;

I know him by his fi’ry shield, by his bright three-plum’d casque,

And by his horse; nor can I say, if or some God doth mask

In his appearance, or he be whom I nam’d Tydeus’ son,

But without God the things he does for certain are not done.

190 Some great Immortal, that conveys his shoulders in a cloud,

Goes by and puts by ev’ry dart at his bold breast bestow’d,

Or lets it take with little hurt; for I myself let fly

A shaft that shot him through his arms, but had as good gone by,

Yet which I gloriously affirm’d had driv’n him down to hell.

195 Some God is angry, and with me; for far hence, where I dwell,

My horse and chariots idle stand, with which some other way

I might repair this shameful miss. Elev’n fair chariots stay


In old Lycaon’s court, new made, new trimm’d to have been gone,

Curtain’d, and arrast under foot; two horse to ev’ry one,

200 That eat white barley and black oats, and do no good at all;

And these Lycaon (that well knew how these affairs would fall)

Charg’d, when I set down this design, I should command with here,

And gave me many lessons more, all which much better were

Than any I took forth myself. The reason I laid down

205 Was but the sparing of my horse, since in a siegéd town

I thought our horse-meat would be scant, when they were us’d to have

Their manger full; so I left them, and like a lackey slave

Am come to Ilion, confident in nothing but my bow

That nothing profits me. Two shafts I vainly did bestow

210 At two great princes, but of both my arrows neither slew,

Nor this, nor Atreus’ younger son; a little blood I drew,

That serv’d but to incense them more. In an unhappy star

I therefore from my armoury have drawn those tools of war

That day, when, for great Hector’s sake, to amiable Troy

215 I came to lead the Trojan bands. But if I ever joy,

In safe return, my country’s sight, my wife’s, my lofty tow’rs,

Let any stranger take this head, if to the fi’ry Pow’rs

This bow, these shafts, in pieces burst, by these hands be not thrown;

Idle companions that they are to me and my renown.”

220 Æneas said: “Use no such words; for, any other way

Than this, they shall not now be us’d. We first will both assay

This man with horse and chariot. Come then, ascend to me,

That thou mayst try our Trojan horse, how skill’d in field they be,

And in pursuing those that fly, or flying, being pursued,

225 How excellent they are of foot; and these, if Jove conclude

The ’scape of Tydeüs again, and grace him with our flight,

Shall serve to bring us safely off. Come, I’ll be first shall fight,


Take thou these fair reins and this scourge; or, if thou wilt, fight thou,

And leave the horses’ care to me.” He answer’d: “I will now

230 Descend to fight, keep thou the reins, and guide thyself thy horse,

Who with their wonted manager will better wield the force

Of the impulsive chariot, if we be driv’n to fly,

Than with a stranger; under whom they will be much more shy,

And, fearing my voice, wishing thine, grow resty, nor go on

235 To bear us off, but leave engag’d for mighty Tydeus’ son

Themselves and us. Then be thy part thy one-hoof’d horses’ guide,

I’ll make the fight, and with a dart receive his utmost pride.”

With this the gorgeous chariot both, thus prepar’d, ascend

And make full way at Diomed; which noted by his friend,

240 “Mine own most-lovéd mind,” said he, “two mighty men of war

I see come with a purpos’d charge; one’s he that hits so far

With bow and shaft, Lycaon’s son; the other fames the brood

Of great Anchises and the Queen that rules in amorous blood,

Æneas, excellent in arms. Come up, and use your steeds,

245 And look not war so in the face, lest that desire that feeds

Thy great mind be the bane of it.” This did with anger sting

The blood of Diomed, to see his friend, that chid the king

Before the fight, and then preferr’d his ablesse and his mind

To all his ancestors in fight, now come so far behind;

250 Whom thus he answer’d: “Urge no flight, you cannot please me so;

Nor is it honest in my mind to fear a coming foe,

Or make a flight good, though with fight. My pow’rs are yet entire,

And scorn the help-tire of a horse. I will not blow the fire

Of their hot valours with my flight, but cast upon the blaze

255 This body borne upon my knees. I entertain amaze?


Minerva will not see that shame. And since they have begun,

They shall not both elect their ends; and he that ’scapes shall run,

Or stay and take the other’s fate. And this I leave for thee;—

If amply-wise Athenia give both their lives to me,

260 Rein our horse to their chariot hard, and have a special heed

To seize upon Æneas’ steeds, that we may change their breed,

And make a Grecian race of them that have been long of Troy.

For these are bred of those brave beasts which, for the lovely boy

That waits now on the cup of Jove, Jove, that far-seeing God,

265 Gave Tros the king in recompense; the best that ever trod

The sounding centre, underneath the morning and the sun.

Anchises stole the breed of them; for, where their sires did run,

He closely put his mares to them, and never made it known

To him that heir’d them, who was then the king Laomedon.

270 Six horses had he of that race, of which himself kept four,

And gave the other two his son; and these are they that scour

The field so bravely towards us, expert in charge and flight.

If these we have the pow’r to take, our prise is exquisite,

And our renown will far exceed.” While these were talking thus,

275 The fir’d horse brought th’ assailants near, and thus spake Pandarus:

“Most suff’ring-minded Tydeus’ son, that hast of war the art,

My shaft, that strook thee, slew thee not, I now will prove a dart.”

This said, he shook, and then he threw, a lance, aloft and large,

That in Tydides’ curets stuck, quite driving through his targe;

280 Then bray’d he out so wild a voice that all the field might hear:

“Now have I reach’d thy root of life, and by thy death shall bear

Our praise’s chief prise from the field.” Tydides undismay’d

Replied: “Thou err’st, I am not touch’d; but more charge will be laid

To both your lives before you part; at least the life of one

285 Shall satiate the throat of Mars.” This said, his lance was gone,

Minerva led it to his face, which at his eye ran in,

And, as he stoop’d, strook through his jaws, his tongue’s root, and his chin.


Down from the chariot he fell, his gay arms shin’d and rung,

The swift horse trembled, and his soul for ever charm’d his tongue.

290 Æneas with his shield, and lance, leapt swiftly to his friend,

Afraid the Greeks would force his trunk; and that he did defend,

Bold as a lion of his strength; he hid him with his shield,

Shook round his lance, and horribly did threaten all the field

With death, if any durst make in. Tydides rais’d a stone

295 With his one hand, of wondrous weight, and pour’d it mainly on

The hip of Anchisiades, wherein the joint doth move

The thigh (’tis call’d the huckle-bone) which all in sherds it drove,

Brake both the nerves, and with the edge cut all the flesh away.

It stagger’d him upon his knees, and made th’ heroë stay

300 His strook-blind temples on his hand, his elbow on the earth;

And there this prince of men had died, if She that gave him birth,

(Kiss’d by Anchises on the green, where his fair oxen fed)

Jove’s loving daughter, instantly had not about him spread

Her soft embraces, and convey’d within her heav’nly veil

305 (Us’d as a rampire ’gainst all darts that did so hot assail)

Her dear-lov’d issue from the field. Then Sthenelus in haste,

Rememb’ring what his friend advis’d, from forth the prease made fast

His own horse to their chariot, and presently laid hand

Upon the lovely-coated horse Æneas did command.

310 Which bringing to the wond’ring Greeks, he did their guard commend

To his belov’d Deipylus, who was his inward friend,

And, of his equals, one to whom he had most honour shown,

That he might see them safe at fleet; then stept he to his own.

With which he cheerfully made in to Tydeus’ mighty race.

315 He, mad with his great enemy’s rape, was hot in desp’rate chace

Of her that made it, with his lance, arm’d less with steel than spite,

Well knowing her no Deity that had to do in fight,


Minerva his great patroness, nor, She that raceth towns,

Bellona, but a Goddess weak, and foe to men’s renowns.

320 Her, through a world of fight pursu’d, at last he overtook,

And, thrusting up his ruthless lance, her heav’nly veil he strook

(That ev’n the Graces wrought themselves, at her divine command)

Quite through, and hurt the tender back of her delicious hand.

The rude point piercing through her palm, forth flow’d th’ immortal blood;

325 Blood, such as flows in blesséd Gods, that eat no human food,

Nor drink of our inflaming wine, and therefore bloodless are,

And call’d Immortals; out she cried, and could no longer bear

Her lov’d son; whom she cast from her, and in a sable cloud

Phœbus, receiving, hid him close from all the Grecian crowd,

330 Lest some of them should find his death. Away flew Venus then,

And after her cried Diomed: “Away, thou spoil of men,

Though sprung from all-preserving Jove, these hot encounters leave.

Is’t not enough that silly dames thy sorc’ries should deceive,

Unless thou thrust into the war, and rob a soldier’s right?

335 I think a few of these assaults will make thee fear the fight,

Wherever thou shalt hear it nam’d.” She, sighing, went her way

Extremely griev’d, and with her griefs her beauties did decay,

And black her ivory body grew. Then from a dewy mist

Brake swift-foot Iris to her aid, from all the darts that hiss’d

340 At her quick rapture; and to Mars they took their plaintive course,

And found him on the fight’s left hand, by him his speedy horse,

And huge lance, lying in a fog. The Queen of all things fair

Her lovéd brother, on her knees, besought, with instant pray’r,

His golden-riband-bound-man’d horse to lend her up to heav’n,

345 For she was much griev’d with a wound a mortal man had giv’n,

Tydides, that ’gainst Jove himself durst now advance his arm.

He granted, and his chariot (perplex’d with her late harm)

She mounted, and her waggoness was She that paints the air.

The horse she rein’d, and with a scourge importun’d their repair,


350 That of themselves out-flew the wind, and quickly they ascend

Olympus, high seat of the Gods. Th’ horse knew their journey’s end,

Stood still, and from their chariot the windy-footed dame

Dissolv’d, and gave them heav’nly food; and to Dione came

Her wounded daughter, bent her knees. She kindly bade her stand,

355 With sweet embraces help’d her up, strok’d her with her soft hand,

Call’d kindly by her name, and ask’d: “What God hath been so rude,

Sweet daughter, to chastise thee thus, as if thou wert pursu’d

Ev’n to the act of some light sin, and deprehended so?

For otherwise, each close escape is in the great let go.”

360 She answer’d: “Haughty Tydeus’ son hath been so insolent,

Since, him whom most my heart esteems of all my lov’d descent,

I rescu’d from his bloody hand. Now battle is not giv’n

To any Trojans by the Greeks, but by the Greeks to heav’n.”

She answer’d: “Daughter, think not much, though much it grieve thee; use

365 The patience, whereof many Gods examples may produce,

In many bitter ills receiv’d, as well that men sustain

By their inflictions as by men repaid to them again.

Mars suffer’d much more than thyself by Ephialtes’ pow’r,

And Otus’, Aloëus’ sons; who in a brazen tow’r,

370 And in inextricable chains, cast that war-greedy God,

Where twice-six months and one he liv’d, and there the period

Of his sad life perhaps had clos’d, if his kind stepdame’s eye,

Fair Erebæa, had not seen; who told it Mercury,

And he by stealth enfranchis’d him; though he could scarce enjoy

375 The benefit of franchisement, the chains did so destroy

His vital forces with their weight. So Juno suffer’d more

When, with a three-fork’d arrow’s head, Amphitryo’s son did gore

Her right breast, past all hope of cure. Pluto sustain’d no less

By that self man, and by a shaft of equal bitterness


380 Shot through his shoulder at hell gates; and there, amongst the dead,

Were he not deathless, he had died; but up to heav’n he fled,

Extremely tortur’d, for recure, which instantly he won

At Pæon’s hand, with sov’reign balm; and this did Jove’s great son,

Unblest, great-high-deed-daring man, that car’d not doing ill,

385 That with his bow durst wound the Gods! But, by Minerva’s will,

Thy wound the foolish Diomed was so profane to give;

Not knowing he that fights with Heav’n hath never long to live,

And for this deed, he never shall have child about his knee

To call him father, coming home. Besides, hear this from me,

390 Strength-trusting man, though thou be strong, and art in strength a tow’r,

Take heed a stronger meet thee not, and that a woman’s pow’r

Contains not that superior strength, and lest that woman be

Adrastus’ daughter, and thy wife, the wise Ægiale;

When, from this hour not far, she wakes, ev’n sighing with desire

395 To kindle our revenge on thee, with her enamouring fire,

In choosing her some fresh young friend, and so drown all thy fame,

Won here in war, in her court-piece, and in an opener shame.”

This said, with both her hands she cleans’d the tender back and palm

Of all the sacred blood they lost; and, never using balm,

400 The pain ceas’d, and the wound was cur’d of this kind Queen of love.

Juno and Pallas, seeing this, assay’d to anger Jove,

And quit his late-made mirth with them, about the loving Dame,

With some sharp jest, in like sort, built upon her present shame.

Grey-ey’d Athenia began, and ask’d the Thunderer,

405 If, nothing moving him to wrath, she boldly might prefer,

What she conceiv’d, to his conceit; and, staying no reply,

She bade him view the Cyprian fruit he lov’d so tenderly,

Whom she thought hurt, and by this means; intending to suborn

Some other lady of the Greeks (whom lovely veils adorn)


410 To gratify some other friend of her much-lovéd Troy,

As she embrac’d and stirr’d her blood to the Venerean joy,

The golden clasp, those Grecian dames upon their girdles wear,

Took hold of her delicious hand, and hurt it, she had fear.

The Thund’rer smil’d, and call’d to him love’s golden Arbitress,

415 And told her those rough works of war were not for her access;

She should be making marriages, embracings, kisses, charms,

Stern Mars and Pallas had the charge of those affairs in arms.

While these thus talk’d, Tydides’ rage still thirsted to achieve

His prise upon Anchises’ son, though well he did perceive

420 The Sun himself protected him; but his desires (inflam’d

With that great Trojan prince’s blood, and arms so highly fam’d)

Not that great God did reverence. Thrice rush’d he rudely on,

And thrice, betwixt his darts and death, the Sun’s bright target shone;

But when upon the fourth assault, much like a spirit, he flew,

425 The far-off-working Deity exceeding wrathful grew,

And ask’d him: “What! Not yield to gods? Thy equals learn to know.

The race of Gods is far above men creeping here below.”

This drave him to some small retreat; he would not tempt more near

The wrath of him that strook so far; whose pow’r had now set clear

430 Æneas from the stormy field within the holy place

Of Pergamus, where, to the hope of his so sov’reign grace,

A goodly temple was advanc’d; in whose large inmost part

He left him, and to his supply inclin’d his mother’s heart,

Latona, and the dart-pleas’d Queen; who cur’d, and made him strong.

435 The silver-bow’d fair God then threw in the tumultuous throng

An image, that in stature, look, and arms, he did create

Like Venus’ son; for which the Greeks and Trojans made debate,

Laid loud strokes on their ox-hide shields, and bucklers eas’ly borne;

Which error Phœbus pleas’d to urge on Mars himself in scorn:


440 “Mars, Mars,” said he, “thou plague of men, smear’d with the dust and blood

Of humans, and their ruin’d walls, yet thinks thy Godhead good

To fright this fury from the field, who next will fight with Jove?

First in a bold approach he hurt, the moist palm of thy love,

And next, as if he did affect to have a Deity’s pow’r,

445 He held out his assault on me.” This said, the lofty tow’r

Of Pergamus he made his seat; and Mars did now excite

The Trojan forces, in the form of him that led to fight

The Thracian troops, swift Acamas. “O Priam’s sons,” said he,

“How long the slaughter of your men can ye sustain to see?

450 Ev’n till they brave you at your gates? Ye suffer beaten down

Æneas, great Anchises’ son, whose prowess we renown

As much as Hector’s; fetch him off from this contentious prease.”

With this, the strength and spirits of all his courage did increase;

And yet Sarpedon seconds him, with this particular taunt

455 Of noble Hector: “Hector, where is thy unthankful vaunt,

And that huge strength on which it built, that thou, and thy allies,

With all thy brothers (without aid of us or our supplies,

And troubling not a citizen) the city safe would hold?

In all which friends’ and brothers’ helps I see not, nor am told

460 Of any one of their exploits, but (all held in dismay

Of Diomed, like a sort of dogs, that at a lion bay,

And entertain no spirit to pinch) we, your assistants here,

Fight for the town as you help’d us; and I, an aiding peer,

No citizen, ev’n out of care, that doth become a man

465 For men and children’s liberties, add all the aid I can;

Not out of my particular cause; far hence my profit grows,

For far hence Asian Lycia lies, where gulfy Xanthus flows,


And where my lov’d wife, infant son, and treasure nothing scant,

I left behind me, which I see those men would have that want,

470 And therefore they that have would keep. Yet I, as I would lose

Their sure fruition, cheer my troops, and with their lives propose

Mine own life, both to gen’ral fight, and to particular cope

With this great soldier; though, I say, I entertain no hope

To have such gettings as the Greeks, nor fear to lose like Troy.

475 Yet thou, ev’n Hector, deedless stand’st, and car’st not to employ

Thy town-born friends, to bid them stand, to fight and save their wives,

Lest as a fowler casts his nets upon the silly lives

Of birds of all sorts, so the foe your walls and houses hales,

One with another, on all heads; or such as ’scape their falls,

480 Be made the prey and prise of them (as willing overthrown)

That hope not for you with their force; and so this brave-built town

Will prove a chaos. That deserves in thee so hot a care,

As should consume thy days and nights, to hearten and prepare

Th’ assistant princes; pray their minds to bear their far-brought toils;

485 To give them worth with worthy fight; in victories and foils

Still to be equal; and thyself, exampling them in all,

Need no reproofs nor spurs. All this in thy free choice should fall.”

This stung great Hector’s heart; and yet, as ev’ry gen’rous mind

Should silent bear a just reproof, and show what good they find

490 In worthy counsels, by their ends put into present deeds,

Not stomach nor be vainly sham’d; so Hector’s spirit proceeds,

And from his chariot, wholly arm’d, he jump’d upon the sand,

On foot so toiling through the host, a dart in either hand,

And all hands turn’d against the Greeks. The Greeks despis’d their worst,

495 And, thick’ning their instructed pow’rs, expected all they durst.


Then with the feet of horse and foot, the dust in clouds did rise.

And as, in sacred floors of barns, upon corn-winnow’rs flies

The chaff, driv’n with an opposite wind, when yellow Ceres dites,

Which all the diters’ feet, legs, arms, their heads and shoulders whites;

500 So look’d the Grecians grey with dust, that strook the solid heav’n,

Rais’d from returning chariots, and troops together driv’n.

Each side stood to their labours firm. Fierce Mars flew through the air,

And gather’d darkness from the fight, and, with his best affair,

Obey’d the pleasure of the Sun, that wears the golden sword,

505 Who bade him raise the spirits of Troy, when Pallas ceas’d t’ afford

Her helping office to the Greeks; and then his own hands wrought,

Which, from his fane’s rich chancel, cur’d, the true Æneas brought,

And plac’d him by his peers in field; who did with joy admire

To see him both alive and safe, and all his pow’rs entire,

510 Yet stood not sifting how it chanc’d; another sort of task,

Then stirring th’ idle sieve of news, did all their forces ask,

Inflam’d by Phœbus, harmful Mars, and Eris eag’rer far.

The Greeks had none to hearten them; their hearts rose with the war;

But chiefly Diomed, Ithacus, and both th’ Ajaces us’d

515 Stirring examples and good words; their own fames had infus’d

Spirit enough into their bloods, to make them neither fear

The Trojans’ force, nor Fate itself, but still expecting were,

When most was done, what would be more; their ground they still made good,

And in their silence, and set pow’rs, like fair still clouds, they stood,

520 With which Jove crowns the tops of hills, in any quiet day,

When Boreas and the ruder winds (that use to drive away

Air’s dusky vapours, being loose, in many a whistling gale)

Are pleasingly bound up, and calm, and not a breath exhale;


So firmly stood the Greeks, nor fled for all the Ilion’s aid.

525 Atrides yet coasts through the troops, confirming men so staid:

“O friends,” said he, “hold up your minds; strength is but strength of will;

Rev’rence each other’s good in fight, and shame at things done ill.

Where soldiers show an honest shame, and love of honour lives,

That ranks men with the first in fight, death fewer liveries gives

530 Than life, or than where Fame’s neglect makes cowards fight at length.

Flight neither doth the body grace, nor shows the mind hath strength.”

He said, and swiftly through the troops a mortal lance did send,

That reft a standard-bearer’s life, renown’d Æneas’ friend,

Deïcoön Pergasides, whom all the Trojans lov’d

535 As he were one of Priam’s sons, his mind was so approv’d

In always fighting with the first. The lance his target took,

Which could not interrupt the blow, that through it clearly strook,

And in his belly’s rim was sheath’d, beneath his girdle-stead.

He sounded falling, and his arms with him resounded, dead.

540 Then fell two princes of the Greeks by great Æneas’ ire,

Diocleus’ sons (Orsilochus and Crethon), whose kind sire

In bravely-builded Phæra dwelt, rich, and of sacred blood.

He was descended lineally from great Alphæus’ flood,

That broadly flows through Pylos’ fields; Alphæus did beget

545 Orsilochus, who in the rule of many men was set;

And that Orsilochus begat the rich Diocleüs;

Diocleus sire to Crethon was, and this Orsilochus.

Both these, arriv’d at man’s estate, with both th’ Atrides went,

To honour them in th’ Ilion wars; and both were one day sent,

550 To death as well as Troy, for death hid both in one black hour.

As two young lions (with their dam, sustain’d but to devour)


Bred on the tops of some steep hill, and in the gloomy deep

Of an inaccessible wood, rush out, and prey on sheep,

Steers, oxen, and destroy men’s stalls, so long that they come short,

555 And by the owner’s steel are slain; in such unhappy sort

Fell these beneath Æneas’ pow’r. When Menelaus view’d

Like two tall fir-trees these two fall, their timeless falls he rued,

And to the first fight, where they lay, a vengeful force he took;

His arms beat back the sun in flames, a dreadful lance he shook;

560 Mars put the fury in his mind, that by Æneas’ hands,

Who was to make the slaughter good, he might have strew’d the sands.

Antilochus, old Nestor’s son, observing he was bent

To urge a combat of such odds, and knowing, the event

Being ill on his part, all their pains (alone sustain’d for him)

565 Err’d from their end, made after hard, and took them in the trim

Of an encounter. Both their hands and darts advanc’d, and shook,

And both pitch’d in full stand of charge; when suddenly the look

Of Anchisiades took note of Nestor’s valiant son,

In full charge too; which, two to one, made Venus’ issue shun

570 The hot adventure, though he were a soldier well-approv’d.

Then drew they off their slaughter’d friends; who giv’n to their belov’d,

They turn’d where fight show’d deadliest hate; and there mix’d with the dead

Pylæmen, that the targeteers of Paphlagonia led,

A man like Mars; and with him fell good Mydon that did guide

575 His chariot, Atymnus’ son. The prince Pylæmen died

By Menelaus; Nestor’s joy slew Mydon; one before

The other in the chariot. Atrides’ lance did gore

Pylæmen’s shoulder, in the blade. Antilochus did force

A mighty stone up from the earth, and, as he turn’d his horse,

580 Strook Mydon’s elbow in the midst; the reins of ivory

Fell from his hands into the dust; Antilochus let fly


His sword withal, and, rushing in, a blow so deadly laid

Upon his temples, that he groan’d, tumbled to earth, and stay’d

A mighty while preposterously (because the dust was deep)

585 Upon his neck and shoulders there, ev’n till his foe took keep

Of his pris’d horse, and made them stir; and then he prostrate fell.

His horse Antilochus took home. When Hector had heard tell,

Amongst the uproar, of their deaths, he laid out all his voice,

And ran upon the Greeks. Behind came many men of choice,

590 Before him march’d great Mars himself, match’d with his female mate,

The dread Bellona. She brought on, to fight for mutual fate,

A tumult that was wild and mad. He shook a horrid lance,

And now led Hector, and anon behind would make the chance.

This sight when great Tydides saw, his hair stood up on end;

595 And him, whom all the skill and pow’r of arms did late attend,

Now like a man in counsel poor, that, travelling, goes amiss,

And having pass’d a boundless plain, not knowing where he is,

Comes on the sudden where he sees a river rough, and raves

With his own billows ravishéd into the king of waves,

600 Murmurs with foam, and frights him back; so he, amaz’d, retir’d,

And thus would make good his amaze: “O friends, we all admir’d

Great Hector, as one of himself, well-darting, bold in war,

When some God guards him still from death, and makes him dare so far.

Now Mars himself, form’d like a man, is present in his rage,

605 And therefore, whatsoever cause importunes you to wage

War with these Trojans, never strive, but gently take your rod,

Lest in your bosoms, for a man, ye ever find a God.”

As Greece retir’d, the pow’r of Troy did much more forward prease,

And Hector two brave men of war sent to the fields of peace;

610 Menesthes, and Anchialus; one chariot bare them both.

Their falls made Ajax Telamon ruthful of heart, and wroth,


Who lighten’d out a lance that smote Amphius Selages,

That dwelt in Pæsos, rich in lands, and did huge goods possess,

But Fate, to Priam and his sons, conducted his supply.

615 The jav’lin on his girdle strook, and piercéd mortally

His belly’s lower part; he fell: his arms had looks so trim,

That Ajax needs would prove their spoil; the Trojans pour’d on him

Whole storms of lances, large, and sharp, of which a number stuck

In his rough shield; yet from the slain he did his jav’lin pluck,

620 But could not from his shoulders force the arms he did affect,

The Trojans with such drifts of darts the body did protect;

And wisely Telamonius fear’d their valorous defence,

So many, and so strong of hand, stood in with such expense

Of deadly prowess; who repell’d, though big, strong, bold, he were,

625 The famous Ajax, and their friend did from his rapture bear.

Thus this place fill’d with strength of fight; in th’ army’s other prease,

Tlepolemus, a tall big man, the son of Hercules,

A cruel destiny inspir’d, with strong desire to prove

Encounter with Sarpedon’s strength, the son of cloudy Jove;

630 Who, coming on to that stern end, had chosen him his foe.

Thus Jove’s great nephew, and his son, ’gainst one another go.

Tlepolemus, to make his end more worth the will of fate,

Began as if he had her pow’r, and show’d the mortal state

Of too much confidence in man, with this superfluous brave:

635 “Sarpedon, what necessity or needless humour drave

Thy form to these wars, which in heart I know thou dost abhor,

A man not seen in deeds of arms, a Lycian counsellor?

They lie that call thee son to Jove, since Jove bred none so late;

The men of elder times were they, that his high pow’r begat,

640 Such men as had Herculean force. My father Hercules

Was Jove’s true issue; he was bold; his deeds did well express


They sprung out of a lion’s heart. He whilome came to Troy,

(For horse that Jupiter gave Tros, for Ganymed, his boy)

With six ships only, and few men, and tore the city down,

645 Left all her broad ways desolate, and made the horse his own.

For thee, thy mind is ill dispos’d, thy body’s pow’rs are poor,

And therefore are thy troops so weak; the soldier evermore

Follows the temper of his chief; and thou pull’st down a side.

But say thou art the son of Jove, and hast thy means supplied

650 With forces fitting his descent, the pow’rs that I compell

Shall throw thee hence, and make thy head run ope the gates of hell.”

Jove’s Lycian issue answer’d him: “Tlepolemus, ’tis true

Thy father holy Ilion in that sort overthrew;

Th’ injustice of the king was cause, that, where thy father had

655 Us’d good deservings to his state, he quitted him with bad.

Hesione, the joy and grace of king Laomedon,

Thy father rescu’d from a whale, and gave to Telamon

In honour’d nuptials (Telamon, from whom your strongest Greek

Boasts to have issu’d) and this grace might well expect the like;

660 Yet he gave taunts for thanks, and kept, against his oath, his horse,

And therefore both thy father’s strength, and justice, might enforce

The wreak he took on Troy; but this and thy cause differ far.

Sons seldom heir their fathers’ worths. Thou canst not make his war.

What thou assum’st for him, is mine, to be on thee impos’d.”

665 With this, he threw an ashen dart; and then Tlepolemus los’d

Another from his glorious hand. Both at one instant flew,

Both strook, both wounded. From his neck Sarpedon’s jav’lin drew

The life blood of Tlepolemus; full in the midst it fell;

And what he threaten’d, th’ other gave, that darkness, and that hell.

670 Sarpedon’s left thigh took the lance; it pierc’d the solid bone,

And with his raging head ran through; but Jove preserv’d his son.

The dart yet vex’d him bitterly, which should have been pull’d out,

But none consider’d then so much, so thick came on the rout,


And fill’d each hand so full of cause to ply his own defence;

675 ’Twas held enough, both fall’n, that both were nobly carried thence.

Ulysses knew th’ events of both, and took it much to heart

That his friend’s enemy should ’scape; and in a twofold part

His thoughts contended, if he should pursue Sarpedon’s life,

Or take his friend’s wreak on his men. Fate did conclude this strife,

680 By whom ’twas otherwise decreed than that Ulysses’ steel

Should end Sarpedon. In this doubt Minerva took the wheel

From fickle Chance, and made his mind resolve to right his friend

With that blood he could surest draw. Then did Revenge extend

Her full pow’r on the multitude; then did he never miss;

685 Alastor, Halius, Chromius, Noemon, Prytanis,

Alcander, and a number more, he slew, and more had slain,

If Hector had not understood; whose pow’r made in amain,

And strook fear through the Grecian troops, but to Sarpedon gave

Hope of full rescue, who thus cried: “O Hector! Help and save

690 My body from the spoil of Greece, that to your lovéd town

My friends may see me borne, and then let earth possess her own

In this soil, for whose sake I left my country’s; for no day

Shall ever show me that again, nor to my wife display,

And young hope of my name, the joy of my much thirsted sight;

695 All which I left for Troy, for them let Troy then do this right.”

To all this Hector gives no word, but greedily he strives

With all speed to repell the Greeks, and shed in floods their lives,

And left Sarpedon; but what face soever he put on

Of following the common cause, he left this prince alone

700 For his particular grudge, because, so late, he was so plain

In his reproof before the host, and that did he retain;

However, for example sake, he would not show it then,

And for his shame too, since ’twas just. But good Sarpedon’s men

Ventur’d themselves, and forc’d him off, and set him underneath

705 The goodly beech of Jupiter, where now they did unsheath


The ashen lance; strong Pelagon, his friend, most lov’d, most true,

Enforc’d it from his maiméd thigh; with which his spirit flew,

And darkness over-flew his eyes; yet with a gentle gale,

That round about the dying prince cool Boreas did exhale,

710 He was reviv’d, recomforted, that else had griev’d and died.

All this time flight drave to the fleet the Argives, who applied

No weapon ’gainst the proud pursuit, nor ever turn’d a head,

They knew so well that Mars pursu’d, and dreadful Hector led.

Then who was first, who last, whose lives the iron Mars did seize,

715 And Priam’s Hector? Helenus, surnam’d Œnopides;

Good Teuthras; and Orestes, skill’d in managing of horse;

Bold Œnomaus; and a man renown’d for martial force,

Trechus, the great Ætolian chief; Oresbius, that did wear

The gaudy mitre, studied wealth extremely, and dwelt near

720 Th’ Atlantic lake Cephisides, in Hyla, by whose seat

The good men of Bœotia dwelt. This slaughter grew so great,

It flew to heav’n; Saturnia discern’d it, and cried out

To Pallas: “O unworthy sight! To see a field so fought,

And break our words to Sparta’s king, that Ilion should be rac’d,

725 And he return reveng’d; when thus we see his Greeks disgrac’d,

And bear the harmful rage of Mars! Come, let us use our care,

That we dishonour not our pow’rs.” Minerva was as yare

As she at the despite of Troy. Her golden-bridled steeds

Then Saturn’s daughter brought abroad; and Hebe, she proceeds

730 T’ address her chariot; instantly she gives it either wheel,

Beam’d with eight spokes of sounding brass; the axle-tree was steel;

The fell’ffs incorruptible gold, their upper bands of brass,

Their matter most unvaluéd, their work of wondrous grace;

The naves, in which the spokes were driv’n, were all with silver bound;

735 The chariot’s seat two hoops of gold and silver strengthen’d round,


Edg’d with a gold and silver fringe; the beam, that look’d before,

Was massy silver; on whose top, gears all of gold it wore,

And golden poitrils. Juno mounts, and her hot horses rein’d,

That thirsted for contentión, and still of peace complain’d.

740 Minerva wrapt her in the robe, that curiously she wove,

With glorious colours, as she sate on th’ azure floor of Jove,

And wore the arms that he puts on, bent to the tearful field.

About her broad-spread shoulders hung his huge and horrid shield,

Fring’d round with ever-fighting snakes; through it was drawn to life

745 The miseries and deaths of fight; in it frown’d bloody Strife,

In it shin’d sacred Fortitude, in it fell Púrsuit flew,

In it the monster Gorgon’s head, in which held out to view

Were all the dire ostents of Jove on her big head she plac’d

His four-plum’d glitt’ring casque of gold, so admirably vast

750 It would an hundred garrisons of soldiers comprehend.

Then to her shining chariot her vig’rous feet ascend;

And in her violent hand she takes his grave, huge, solid lance,

With which the conquests of her wrath she useth to advance,

And overturn whole fields of men, to show she was the Seed

755 Of him that thunders. Then heav’n’s Queen, to urge her horses’ speed,

Takes up the scourge, and forth they fly. The ample gates of heav’n

Rung, and flew open of themselves; the charge whereof is giv’n,

With all Olympus, and the sky, to the distinguish’d Hours,

That clear, or hide it all in clouds, or pour it down in show’rs.

760 This way their scourge-obeying horse made haste, and soon they won

The top of all the topful heav’ns, where agéd Saturn’s son

Sat sever’d from the other Gods; then stay’d the white-arm’d Queen

Her steeds, and ask’d of Jove, if Mars did not incense his spleen

With his foul deeds, in ruining so many and so great

765 In the command and grace of Greece, and in so rude a heat?


At which, she said, Apollo laugh’d, and Venus, who still sue

To that mad God, for violence that never justice knew;

For whose impiety, she ask’d, if, with his wishéd love,

Herself might free the field of him? He bade her rather move

770 Athenia to the charge she sought, who us’d of old to be

The bane of Mars, and had as well the gift of spoil as he.

This grace she slack’d not, but her horse scourg’d, that in nature flew

Betwixt the cope of stars and earth; and how far at a view

A man into the purple sea may from a hill descry,

775 So far a high-neighing horse of heav’n at ev’ry jump would fly.

Arriv’d at Troy, where, broke in curls, the two floods mix their force,

Scamander and bright Simois, Saturnia stay’d her horse,

Took them from chariot, and a cloud of mighty depth diffus’d

About them; and the verdant banks of Simois produc’d

780 In nature what they eat in heav’n. Then both the Goddesses

March’d, like a pair of tim’rous doves, in hasting their access

To th’ Argive succour. Being arriv’d, where both the most and best

Were heap’d together (showing all, like lions at a feast

Of new-slain carcasses, or boars, beyond encounter strong)

785 There found they Diomed; and there, ’midst all th’ admiring throng,

Saturnia put on Stentor’s shape, that had a brazen voice,

And spake as loud as fifty men; like whom she made a noise,

And chid the Argives: “O ye Greeks, in name and outward rite

But princes only, not in act, what scandal, what despite,


790 Use ye to honour! All the time the great Æacides

Was conversant in arms, your foes durst not a foot address

Without their ports, so much they fear’d his lance that all controll’d,

And now they outray to your fleet.” This did with shame make bold

The gen’ral spirit and pow’r of Greece; when, with particular note

795 Of their disgrace, Athenia made Tydeus’ issue hot.

She found him at his chariot, refreshing of his wound

Inflicted by slain Pandarus; his sweat did so abound,

It much annoy’d him, underneath the broad belt of his shield;

With which, and tiréd with his toil, his soul could hardly yield

800 His body motion. With his hand he lifted up the belt,

And wip’d away that clotter’d blood the fervent wound did melt.

Minerva lean’d against his horse, and near their withers laid

Her sacred hand, then spake to him: “Believe me, Diomed,

Tydeus exampled not himself in thee his son; not great,

805 But yet he was a soldier; a man of so much heat,

That in his ambassy for Thebes, when I forbad his mind

To be too vent’rous, and when feasts his heart might have declin’d,

With which they welcom’d him, he made a challenge to the best,

And foil’d the best; I gave him aid, because the rust of rest,

810 That would have seiz’d another mind, he suffer’d not, but us’d

The trial I made like a man, and their soft feasts refus’d.

Yet, when I set thee on, thou faint’st; I guard thee, charge, exhort

That, I abetting thee, thou shouldst be to the Greeks a fort,

And a dismay to Ilion, yet thou obey’st in nought,

815 Afraid, or slothful, or else both; henceforth renounce all thought

That ever thou wert Tydeus’ son.” He answer’d her: “I know

Thou art Jove’s daughter, and, for that, in all just duty owe

Thy speeches rev’rence, yet affirm ingenuously that fear

Doth neither hold me spiritless, nor sloth. I only bear

820 Thy charge in zealous memory, that I should never war

With any blessed Deity, unless (exceeding far


The limits of her rule) the Queen, that governs chamber sport,

Should press to field; and her thy will enjoin’d my lance to hurt.

But, He whose pow’r hath right in arms, I knew in person here,

825 Besides the Cyprian Deity; and therefore did forbear,

And here have gather’d in retreat these other Greeks you see,

With note and rev’rence of your charge.” “My dearest mind,” said she,

“What then was fit is chang’d. ’Tis true, Mars hath just rule in war,

But just war; otherwise he raves, not fights. He’s alter’d far.

830 He vow’d to Juno, and myself, that his aid should be us’d

Against the Trojans, whom it guards; and therein he abus’d

His rule in arms, infring’d his word, and made his war unjust.

He is inconstant, impious, mad. Resolve then; firmly trust

My aid of thee against his worst, or any Deity;

835 Add scourge to thy free horse, charge home; he fights perfidiously.”

This said; as that brave king, her knight, with his horse-guiding friend,

Were set before the chariot, for sign he should descend,

That she might serve for waggoness, she pluck’d the wagg’ner back,

And up into his seat she mounts; the beechen tree did crack

840 Beneath the burthen; and good cause, it bore so huge a thing,

A Goddess so replete with pow’r, and such a puissant king.

She snatch’d the scourge up and the reins, and shut her heav’nly look

In Hell’s vast helm from Mars’s eyes; and full career she took

At him, who then had newly slain the mighty Periphas,

845 Renown’d son to Ochesius, and far the strongest was

Of all th’ Ætolians; to whose spoil the bloody God was run.

But when this man-plague saw th’ approach of god-like Tydeus’ son,

He let his mighty Periphas lie, and in full charge he ran

At Diomed; and he at him. Both near; the God began,

850 And, thirsty of his blood, he throws a brazen lance that bears

Full on the breast of Diomed, above the reins and gears;


But Pallas took it on her hand, and strook the eager lance

Beneath the chariot. Then the knight of Pallas doth advance,

And cast a jav’lin off at Mars, Minerva sent it on,

855 That, where his arming girdle girt, his belly graz’d upon,

Just at the rim, and ranch’d the flesh; the lance again he got,

But left the wound, that stung him so, he laid out such a throat

As if nine or ten thousand men had bray’d out all their breaths

In one confusion, having felt as many sudden deaths.

860 The roar made both the hosts amaz’d. Up flew the God to heav’n;

And with him was through all the air as black a tincture driv’n

To Diomed’s eyes, as when the earth half-chok’d with smoking heat

Of gloomy clouds, that stifle men, and pitchy tempests threat,

Usher’d with horrid gusts of wind; with such black vapours plum’d,

865 Mars flew t’ Olympus, and broad heav’n, and there his place resum’d.

Sadly he went and sat by Jove, show’d his immortal blood,

That from a mortal-man-made wound pour’d such an impious flood,

And weeping pour’d out these complaints: “O Father, storm’st thou not

To see us take these wrongs from men? Extreme griefs we have got

870 Ev’n by our own deep councils, held for gratifying them;

And thou, our council’s president, conclud’st in this extreme

Of fighting ever; being rul’d by one that thou hast bred;

One never well, but doing ill; a girl so full of head

That, though all other Gods obey, her mad moods must command,

875 By thy indulgence, nor by word, nor any touch of hand,

Correcting her; thy reason is, she is a spark of thee,

And therefore she may kindle rage in men ’gainst Gods, and she

May make men hurt Gods, and those Gods that are besides thy seed.

First in the palm ’s hit Cyprides; then runs the impious deed

880 On my hurt person; and, could life give way to death in me,

Or had my feet not fetch’d me off, heaps of mortality


Had kept me consort.” Jupiter, with a contracted brow,

Thus answer’d Mars: “Thou many minds, inconstant changeling thou,

Sit not complaining thus by me, whom most of all the Gods,

885 Inhabiting the starry hill, I hate; no periods

Being set to thy contentions, brawls, fights, and pitching fields;

Just of thy mother Juno’s moods, stiff-neck’d, and never yields,

Though I correct her still, and chide, nor can forbear offence,

Though to her son; this wound I know tastes of her insolence;

890 But I will prove more natural; thou shalt be cur’d, because

Thou com’st of me, but hadst thou been so cross to sacred laws,

Being born to any other God, thou hadst been thrown from heav’n

Long since, as low as Tartarus, beneath the giants driv’n.”

This said, he gave his wound in charge to Pæon, who applied

895 Such sov’reign med’cines, that as soon the pain was qualified,

And he recur’d; as nourishing milk, when runnet is put in,

Runs all in heaps of tough thick curd, though in his nature thin,

Ev’n so soon his wound’s parted sides ran close in his recure;

For he, all deathless, could not long the parts of death endure.

900 Then Hebe bath’d, and put on him fresh garments, and he sate

Exulting by his sire again, in top of all his state.

So, having, from the spoils of men, made his desir’d remove,

Juno and Pallas re-ascend the starry court of Jove.

Linenotes for Book V

6: “This simile likewise Virgil learns of him.” —Chapman. Autumnus’ golden lamp—Sirius, or the Dog Star.

65: Goddess of housewives—Minerva.

81: Fountain of the nerves—nape of the neck.

112: Saft—secured, saved. The past tense of the verb to safe, to secure, or make safe, used by Shakespeare.

165: Authority heir’d—The word that Chapman here translates authority is in the Greek χηρωσταὶ, and means those more remote relatives who succeeded by authority, or law, to the property when there had been a χήρωσις, or the family had lost its nearer heirs. Iliad V.158.

171: That ride the seas—Greek “to the ships.”

216: Both the folios have “wives,” but the true reading is “wife’s,” if we consult the Greek. Iliad V.213.

235: Engag’d for.—The second folio (which Dr. Taylor follows) omits “for;” a typographical error.

239: Friend—Sthenelus.

248: Ablesse—The second folio reads “ablenesse,” which Dr. Taylor has followed.

255: I entertain amaze?—Do you think I fear?

315: Rape—here used for his being carried off by Venus.

348: Iris.

353: Dione—mother of Venus.

408: Whom she thought hurt.—Both the folios read “though hurt.” Dr. Taylor prints “thought,” which is perhaps the true reading.

434: Dart-pleas’d Queen—Diana.

443: Thy love—Venus.

461: Sort—See Bk. IV. 460.

462: Pinch—a term frequently used for dogs pressing on and seizing their game.

463: As—as if.

471: Propose. Bk. I. 14.

481: Both the folios read “hope.” Dr. Taylor has “holp”—help, which seems preferable.

491: Stomach—be haughty, angry.

494: All hands turn’d—excited all the army.

495: Expected—awaited.

498: Dites—winnows. Nares quotes this passage for the word; but it is only another spelling for dights, prepares. See Chapman’s Hesiod, Georgics, bk. II. 343, and Days, 67, in vol. V. of this edition of his translations; where the word is also used for winnowing.

503: Affair—action, endeavour.

529: Liveries—deliveries.

530: The first folio has “cow-herds.” This has frequently been given as the derivation of the word “coward.”

538: Girdle-stead.—The composition stead is used to mark the place or position of anything, thus homestead, noonsted; Girdle-stead, the place of the girdle.

565: “Trim—’order, or disposition.’ Beaumont and Fletcher speak of ’the horrid trims of war.’” —Dr. Taylor.

584: Preposterously—Chapman uses this word in a somewhat unusual way; pre-posterous, hind part foremost. Here, on his head.

602: One of himself—peerless.

606: Take your rod—submit.

614: Conducted his supply—led him to assist.

623: Expense—profusion, giving forth.

648: Side—your party.

650: Compell—collect together, possess in myself.

727: Yare—quick, ready. Frequently used by Shakespeare; generally applied to sailors, sometimes not.

“If you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare.”

Meas. for Meas. IV. 2.

730: i.e. she puts on both wheels.

736: The beam, &c.—the pole.

737: Gears—here for collars.

738: Poitrils—breast-pieces, pectorals.

758: Distinguished—varied, marked with distinctions.

775: “How far a heavenly horse took at one reach or stroke in galloping or running; wherein Homer’s mind is far from being expressed in his interpreters, all taking it for how far Deities were borne from the earth, when instantly they came down to earth: τόσσον ἐπιθρώσκουσι, &c. tantum uno saltu conficiunt, vel, tantum subsultim progrediuntur, deorum altizoni equi, &c. uno being understood, and the horse’s swiftness highly expressed. The sense, otherwise, is senseless and contradictory.” —Chapman. Iliad V.772.

780: “Ἀμβροσίην is the original word, which Scaliger taxeth very learnedly, asking how the horse came by it on those banks, when the text tells him Simois produced it; being willing to express by hyperbole the delicacy of that soil. If not, I hope the Deities could ever command it.” —Chapman. Iliad V.777.

793: Out-ray—The Old Anglo-Norman word used by Chaucer outraye, to fly out, display passion. See XXIII. 413.

807: Declin’d—turned aside.

839: Beechen tree—axle.

840: The second folio reads “large” for “huge.”

842: Her look—See Bk. I. 200.

856: Ranch’d—wrenched, tore. He—Diomede.

875: Nor by word.—The second folio has incorrectly “sword.”

879: First in the Palm ’s hit.—Both the folios have “First in the palms height Cyprydes;” and Dr. Taylor has thus printed, but the true meaning and reading must be obvious.


Corrections for Book V

23 Of heavy fun’ral
text has heav’y

44 quite from his chariot’s head
text has chariot s

174 he thus bespake the peer:
text has peer;

532 He said, and swiftly through the troops
text has swifty




The Argument.

The Gods now leaving an indiff’rent* field,

The Greeks prevail, the slaughter’d Trojans yield.

Hector, by Helenus’ advice, retires

In haste to Troy, and Hecuba desires

To pray Minerva to remove from fight

The son of Tydeus, her affected knight,

And vow to her, for favour of such price,

Twelve oxen should be slain in sacrifice.

In mean space Glaucus and Tydides meet;

And either other with remembrance greet

Of old love ’twixt their fathers, which inclines

Their hearts to friendship; who change arms for signs

Of a continu’d love for either’s life.

Hector, in his return, meets with his wife,

And, taking in his arméd arms his son,

He prophesies the fall of Ilion.

Another Argument.

In Zeta, Hector prophesies;

Prays for his son; wills sacrifice.


he stern fight freed of all the Gods, conquest with doubtful wings

Flew on their lances; ev’ry way the restless field she flings

Betwixt the floods of Simois and Xanthus, that confin’d

All their affairs at Ilion, and round about them shin’d.


5 The first that weigh’d down all the field, of one particular side,

Was Ajax, son of Telamon; who, like a bulwark, plied

The Greeks’ protection, and of Troy the knotty orders brake,

Held out a light to all the rest, and show’d them how to make

Way to their conquest. He did wound the strongest man of Thrace,

10 The tallest and the biggest set, Eussorian Acamas;

His lance fell on his casque’s plum’d top, in stooping; the fell head

Drave through his forehead to his jaws; his eyes night shadowéd.

Tydides slew Teuthranides Axylus, that did dwell

In fair Arisba’s well-built tow’rs. He had of wealth a well,

15 And yet was kind and bountiful; he would a traveller pray

To be his guest, his friendly house stood in the broad highway,

In which he all sorts nobly us’d; yet none of them would stand

’Twixt him and death, but both himself, and he that had command

Of his fair horse, Calesius, fell lifeless on the ground.

20 Euryalus, Opheltius and Dresus, dead did wound;

Nor ended there his fi’ry course, which he again begins,

And ran to it successfully, upon a pair of twins,

Æsepus, and bold Pedasus, whom good Bucolion

(That first call’d father, though base-born, renown’d Laomedon)

25 On Nais Abarbaræa got, a nymph that, as she fed

Her curléd flocks, Bucolion woo’d, and mix’d in love and bed.

Both these were spoil’d of arms and life, by Mecistiades.

Then Polypœtes, for stern death, Astyalus did seize;

Ulysses slew Percosius; Teucer Aretaön;

30 Antilochus (old Nestor’s joy) Ablerus; the great son

Of Atreüs, and king of men, Elatus, whose abode

He held at upper Pedasus, where Satnius’ river flowed;

The great heroë Leitus stav’d Phylacus in flight

From further life; Eurypylus, Melanthius reft of light.

35 The brother to the king of men, Adrestus took alive;

Whose horse, affrighted with the flight, their driver now did drive


Amongst the low-grown tam’risk trees, and at an arm of one

The chariot in the draught-tree brake; the horse brake loose, and ron

The same way other flyers fled, contending all to town;

40 Himself close at the chariot wheel, upon his face was thrown,

And there lay flat, roll’d up in dust. Atrides inwards drave;

And, holding at his breast his lance, Adrestus sought to save

His head by losing of his feet, and trusting to his knees;

On which the same parts of the king he hugs, and offers fees

45 Of worthy value for his life, and thus pleads their receipt:

“Take me alive, O Atreus’ son, and take a worthy weight

Of brass, elab’rate iron, and gold. A heap of precious things

Are in my father’s riches hid, which, when your servant brings

News of my safety to his ears, he largely will divide

50 With your rare bounties.” Atreus’ son thought this the better side,

And meant to take it, being about to send him safe to fleet;

Which when, far off, his brother saw, he wing’d his royal feet,

And came in threat’ning, crying out: “O soft heart! What’s the cause

Thou sparst these men thus? Have not they observ’d these gentle laws

55 Of mild humanity to thee, with mighty argument

Why thou shouldst deal thus; in thy house, and with all precedent

Of honour’d guest-rites, entertain’d? Not one of them shall fly

A bitter end for it from heav’n, and much less, dotingly,

’Scape our revengeful fingers; all, ev’n th’ infant in the womb,

60 Shall taste of what they merited, and have no other tomb

Than razéd Ilion; nor their race have more fruit than the dust.”

This just cause turn’d his brother’s mind, who violently thrust

The pris’ner from him; in whose guts the king of men impress’d

His ashen lance, which (pitching down his foot upon the breast

65 Of him that upwards fell) he drew; then Nestor spake to all:

“O friends, and household men of Mars, let not your pursuit fall,


With those ye fell, for present spoil; nor, like the king of men,

Let any ’scape unfell’d; but on, dispatch them all, and then

Ye shall have time enough to spoil.” This made so strong their chace,

70 That all the Trojans had been hous’d, and never turned a face,

Had not the Priamist Helenus, an augur most of name,

Will’d Hector and Æneas thus: “Hector! Anchises’ fame!

Since on your shoulders, with good cause, the weighty burden lies

Of Troy and Lycia (being both of noblest faculties

75 For counsel, strength of hand, and apt to take chance at her best

In ev’ry turn she makes) stand fast, and suffer not the rest,

By any way search’d out for ’scape, to come within the ports,

Lest, fled into their wives’ kind arms, they there be made the sports

Of the pursuing enemy. Exhort, and force your bands

80 To turn their faces; and, while we employ our ventur’d hands,

Though in a hard conditión, to make the other stay,

Hector, go thou to Ilion, and our queen-mother pray

To take the richest robe she hath; the same that’s chiefly dear

To her court fancy; with which gem, assembling more to her

85 Of Troy’s chief matrons, let all go, for fear of all our fates,

To Pallas’ temple, take the key, unlock the leavy gates,

Enter, and reach the highest tow’r, where her Palladium stands,

And on it put the precious veil with pure and rev’rend hands,

And vow to her, besides the gift, a sacrificing stroke

90 Of twelve fat heifers-of-a-year, that never felt the yoke,

(Most answ’ring to her maiden state) if she will pity us,

Our town, our wives, our youngest joys, and him, that plagues them thus,

Take from the conflict, Diomed, that fury in a fight,

That true son of great Tydeús, that cunning lord of flight,

95 Whom I esteem the strongest Greek; for we have never fled

Achilles, that is prince of men, and whom a Goddess bred,

Like him; his fury flies so high, and all men’s wraths commands.”

Hector intends his brother’s will, but first through all his bands


He made quick way, encouraging; and all, to fear afraid,

100 All turn’d their heads, and made Greece turn. Slaughter stood still dismay’d

On their parts, for they thought some God, fall’n from the vault of stars,

Was rush’d into the Ilions’ aid, they made such dreadful wars.

Thus Hector, toiling in the waves, and thrusting back the flood

Of his ebb’d forces, thus takes leave: “So, so, now runs your blood

105 In his right current; forwards now, Trojans, and far-call’d friends!

A while hold out, till, for success to this your brave amends,

I haste to Ilion, and procure our counsellors and wives

To pray, and offer hecatombs, for their states in our lives.”

Then fair-helm’d Hector turn’d to Troy, and, as he trode the field,

110 The black bull’s hide, that at his back he wore about his shield,

In the extreme circumference, was with his gait so rock’d,

That, being large, it both at once his neck and ankles knock’d.

And now betwixt the hosts were met, Hippolochus’ brave son,

Glaucus, who in his very look hope of some wonder won,

115 And little Tydeus’ mighty heir; who seeing such a man

Offer the field, for usual blows, with wondrous words began:

“What art thou, strong’st of mortal men, that putt’st so far before,

Whom these fights never show’d mine eyes? They have been evermore

Sons of unhappy parents born, that came within the length

120 Of this Minerva-guided lance, and durst close with the strength

That she inspires in me. If heav’n be thy divine abode,

And thou a Deity thus inform’d, no more with any God

Will I change lances. The strong son of Dryus did not live

Long after such a conflict dar’d, who godlessly did drive


125 Nysæus’ nurses through the hill made sacred to his name,

And called Nysseius; with a goad he punch’d each furious dame,

And made them ev’ry one cast down their green and leavy spears.

This th’ homicide Lycurgus did; and those ungodly fears,

He put the froes in, seiz’d their God. Ev’n Bacchus he did drive

130 From his Nysseius; who was fain, with huge exclaims, to dive

Into the ocean. Thetis there in her bright bosom took

The flying Deity; who so fear’d Lycurgus’ threats, he shook.

For which the freely-living Gods so highly were incens’d,

That Saturn’s great Son strook him blind, and with his life dispens’d

135 But small time after; all because th’ Immortals lov’d him not,

Nor lov’d him since he striv’d with them; and his end hath begot

Fear in my pow’rs to fight with heav’n. But, if the fruits of earth

Nourish thy body, and thy life be of our human birth,

Come near, that thou mayst soon arrive on that life-bounding shore,

140 To which I see thee hoise such sail.” “Why dost thou so explore,”

Said Glaucus, “of what race I am, when like the race of leaves

The race of man is, that deserves no question; nor receives

My being any other breath? The wind in autumn strows

The earth with old leaves, then the spring the woods with new endows;

145 And so death scatters men on earth, so life puts out again

Man’s leavy issue. But my race, if, like the course of men,

Thou seek’st in more particular terms, ’tis this, to many known:

In midst of Argos, nurse of horse, there stands a walléd town,

Ephyré, where the mansion-house of Sisyphus did stand,

150 Of Sisyphus-Æölides, most wise of all the land.

Glaucus was son to him, and he begat Bellerophon,

Whose body heav’n indu’d with strength, and put a beauty on,


Exceeding lovely. Prætus yet his cause of love did hate,

And banish’d him the town; he might; he rul’d the Argive state.

155 The virtue of the one Jove plac’d beneath the other’s pow’r,

His exile grew, since he denied to be the paramour

Of fair Anteia, Prætus’ wife, who felt a raging fire

Of secret love to him; but he, whom wisdom did inspire

As well as prudence, (one of them advising him to shun

160 The danger of a princess’ love, the other not to run

Within the danger of the Gods, the act being simply ill,)

Still entertaining thoughts divine, subdu’d the earthly still.

She, rul’d by neither of his wits, preferr’d her lust to both,

And, false to Prætus, would seem true, with this abhorr’d untroth:

165 “Prætus, or die thyself,” said she, “or let Bellerophon die.

He urg’d dishonour to thy bed; which since I did deny,

He thought his violence should grant, and sought thy shame by force.”

The king, incens’d with her report, resolv’d upon her course,

But doubted how it should be run; he shunn’d his death direct,

170 (Holding a way so near not safe) and plotted the effect

By sending him with letters seal’d (that, open’d, touch his life)

To Rhëuns king of Lycia, and father to his wife.

He went; and happily he went, the Gods walk’d all his way;

And being arriv’d in Lycia, where Xanthus doth display


175 The silver ensigns of his waves, the king of that broad land

Receiv’d him with a wondrous free and honourable hand.

Nine days he feasted him, and kill’d an ox in ev’ry day,

In thankful sacrifice to heav’n, for his fair guest; whose stay,

With rosy fingers, brought the world, the tenth well-welcom’d morn,

180 And then the king did move to see, the letters he had borne

From his lov’d son-in-law; which seen, he wrought thus their contents:

Chimæra, the invincible, he sent him to convince,

Sprung from no man, but mere divine; a lion’s shape before,

Behind a dragon’s, in the midst a goat’s shagg’d form, she bore,

185 And flames of deadly fervency flew from her breath and eyes;

Yet her he slew; his confidence in sacred prodigies

Render’d him victor. Then he gave his second conquest way

Against the famous Solymi, when (he himself would say,

Reporting it) he enter’d on a passing vig’rous fight.

190 His third huge labour he approv’d against a woman’s spite,

That fill’d a field of Amazons; he overcame them all.

Then set they on him sly Deceit, when Force had such a fall;

An ambush of the strongest men, that spacious Lycia bred,

Was lodg’d for him; whom he lodg’d sure, they never rais’d a head.

195 His deeds thus showing him deriv’d from some celestial race,

The king detain’d, and made amends, with doing him the grace

Of his fair daughter’s princely gift; and with her, for a dow’r,

Gave half his kingdom; and to this, the Lycians on did pour

More than was giv’n to any king; a goodly planted field,

200 In some parts thick of groves and woods, the rest rich crops did yield.

This field the Lycians futurely (of future wand’rings there

And other errors of their prince, in the unhappy rear


Of his sad life) the Errant call’d. The princess brought him forth

Three children (whose ends griev’d him more, the more they were of worth)

205 Isander; and Hippolochus; and fair Laodomy,

With whom, ev’n Jupiter himself left heav’n itself, to lie,

And had by her the man at arms, Sarpedon, call’d divine.

The Gods then left him, lest a man should in their glories shine,

And set against him; for his son, Isandrus, in a strife

210 Against the valiant Solymi, Mars reft of light and life;

Laodamïa, being envied of all the Goddesses,

The golden-bridle-handling Queen, the maiden Patroness,

Slew with an arrow; and for this he wander’d evermore

Alone through his Aleian field, and fed upon the core

215 Of his sad bosom, flying all the loth’d consórts of men.

Yet had he one surviv’d to him, of those three childeren,

Hippolochus, the root of me; who sent me here with charge

That I should always bear me well, and my deserts enlarge

Beyond the vulgar, lest I sham’d my race, that far excell’d

220 All that Ephyra’s famous tow’rs, or ample Lycia, held.

This is my stock, and this am I.” This cheer’d Tydides’ heart,

Who pitch’d his spear down, lean’d, and talk’d in this affectionate part:

“Certés, in thy great ancestor, and in mine own, thou art

A guest of mine, right ancient. King Oeneus twenty days

225 Detain’d, with feasts, Bellerophon, whom all the world did praise.

Betwixt whom mutual gifts were giv’n. My grandsire gave to thine

A girdle of Phœnician work, impurpl’d wondrous fine.

Thine gave a two-neck’d jug of gold, which, though I use not here,

Yet still it is my gem at home. But, if our fathers were

230 Familiar, or each other knew, I know not, since my sire

Left me a child, at siege of Thebes, where he left his life’s fire.

But let us prove our grandsires’ sons, and be each other’s guests.

To Lycia when I come, do thou receive thy friend with feasts;


Peloponnesus, with the like, shall thy wish’d presence greet.

235 Mean space, shun we each other here, though in the press we meet.

There are enow of Troy beside, and men enow renown’d,

To right my pow’rs, whomever heav’n shall let my lance confound.

So are there of the Greeks for thee; kill who thou canst. And now,

For sign of amity ’twixt us, and that all these may know

240 We glory in th’ hospitious rites our grandsires did commend,

Change we our arms before them all.” From horse then both descend,

Join hands, give faith, and take; and then did Jupiter elate

The mind of Glaucus, who, to show his rev’rence to the state

Of virtue in his grandsire’s heart, and gratulate beside

245 The offer of so great a friend, exchang’d, in that good pride,

Curets of gold for those of brass, that did on Diomed shine,

One of a hundred oxen’s price, the other but of nine.

By this, had Hector reach’d the ports of Scæa, and the tow’rs.

About him flock’d the wives of Troy, the children, paramours,

250 Inquiring how their husbands did, their fathers, brothers, loves.

He stood not then to answer them, but said: “It now behoves

Ye should all go t’ implore the aid of heav’n, in a distress

Of great effect, and imminent.” Then hasted he access

To Priam’s goodly builded court, which round about was run

255 With walking porches, galleries, to keep off rain and sun.

Within, of one side, on a rew, of sundry-colour’d stones,

Fifty fair lodgings were built out, for Priam’s fifty sons,

And for as fair sort of their wives; and, in the opposite view,

Twelve lodgings of like stone, like height, were likewise built arew,


260 Where, with their fair and virtuous wives, twelve princes, sons in law

To honourable Priam, lay. And here met Hecuba,

The loving mother, her great son; and with her needs must be

The fairest of her female race, the bright Laodice.

The queen gript hard her Hector’s hand, and said: “O worthiest son,

265 Why leav’st thou field? Is’t not because the curséd nation

Afflict our countrymen and friends? They are their moans that move

Thy mind to come and lift thy hands, in his high tow’r, to Jove.

But stay a little, that myself may fetch our sweetest wine

To offer first to Jupiter, then that these joints of thine

270 May be refresh’d; for, woe is me, how thou art toil’d and spent!

Thou for our city’s gen’ral state, thou for our friends far sent,

Must now the press of fight endure; now solitude, to call

Upon the name of Jupiter; thou only for us all.

But wine will something comfort thee; for to a man dismay’d

275 With careful spirits, or too much with labour overlaid,

Wine brings much rescue, strength’ning much the body and the mind.”

The great helm-mover thus receiv’d the auth’ress of his kind:

“My royal mother, bring no wine; lest rather it impair

Than help my strength, and make my mind forgetful of th’ affair

280 Committed to it; and (to pour it out in sacrifice)

I fear with unwash’d hands to serve the pure-liv’d Deities.

Nor is it lawful, thus imbru’d with blood and dust, to prove

The will of heav’n, or offer vows to cloud-compelling Jove.

I only come to use your pains (assembling other dames,

285 Matrons, and women honour’d most, with high and virtuous names)

With wine and odours, and a robe most ample, most of price,

And which is dearest in your love, to offer sacrifice

In Pallas’ temple; and to put the precious robe ye bear.

On her Palladium; vowing all, twelve oxen-of-a-year,

290 Whose necks were never wrung with yoke, shall pay her grace their lives,

If she will pity our sieg’d town; pity ourselves, our wives;


Pity our children; and remove, from sacred Ilion,

The dreadful soldier Diomed. And, when yourselves are gone

About this work, myself will go, to call into the field,

295 If he will hear me, Helen’s love; whom, would the earth would yield,

And headlong take into her gulf, ev’n quick before mine eyes;

For then my heart, I hope, would cast her load of miseries,

Borne for the plague he hath been born, and bred to the deface,

By great Olympius, of Troy, our sire, and all our race.”

300 This said, grave Hecuba went home, and sent her maids about,

To bid the matrons. She herself descended, and search’d out,

Within a place that breath’d perfumes, the richest robe she had;

Which lay with many rich ones more, most curiously made

By women of Sidonia; which Paris brought from thence,

305 Sailing the broad sea, when he made that voyage of offence,

In which he brought home Helena. That robe, transferr’d so far,

(That was the undermost) she took; it glitter’d like a star;

And with it went she to the fane, with many ladies more;

Amongst whom fair-cheek’d Theano unlock’d the folded door;

310 Chaste Theano, Antenor’s wife, and of Cissëus’ race,

Sister to Hecuba, both born to that great king of Thrace.

Her th’ Ilions made Minerva’s priest; and her they follow’d all

Up to the temple’s highest tow’r, where on their knees they fall,

Lift up their hands, and fill the fane with ladies’ piteous cries.

315 Then lovely Theano took the veil, and with it she implies

The great Palladium, praying thus: “Goddess of most renown

In all the heav’n of Goddesses, great Guardian of our town,

Rev’rend Minerva, break the lance of Diomed, cease his grace,

Give him to fall in shameful flight, headlong, and on his face,

320 Before our ports of Ilion, that instantly we may,

Twelve unyok’d oxen-of-a-year, in this thy temple slay,

To thy sole honour; take their bloods, and banish our offence;

Accept Troy’s zeal, her wives, and save our infants’ innocence.”


She pray’d, but Pallas would not grant. Mean space was Hector come

325 Where Alexander’s lodgings were, that many a goodly room

Had built in them by architects, of Troy’s most curious sort,

And were no lodgings, but a house; nor no house, but a court;

Or had all these contain’d in them; and all within a tow’r,

Next Hector’s lodgings and the king’s. The lov’d of heav’n’s chief Pow’r,

330 Hector, here enter’d. In his hand a goodly lance he bore,

Ten cubits long; the brazen head went shining in before,

Help’d with a burnish’d ring of gold. He found his brother then

Amongst the women, yet prepar’d to go amongst the men,

For in their chamber he was set, trimming his arms, his shield,

335 His curets, and was trying how his crookéd bow would yield

To his straight arms. Amongst her maids was set the Argive Queen,

Commanding them in choicest works. When Hector’s eye had seen

His brother thus accompanied, and that he could not bear

The very touching of his arms but where the women were,

340 And when the time so needed men, right cunningly he chid.

That he might do it bitterly, his cowardice he hid,

That simply made him so retir’d, beneath an anger, feign’d

In him by Hector, for the hate the citizens sustain’d

Against him, for the foil he took in their cause; and again,

345 For all their gen’ral foils in his. So Hector seems to plain

Of his wrath to them, for their hate, and not his cowardice;

As that were it that shelter’d him in his effeminacies,

And kept him, in that dang’rous time, from their fit aid in fight;

For which he chid thus: “Wretched man! So timeless is thy spite


350 That ’tis not honest; and their hate is just, ’gainst which it bends.

War burns about the town for thee; for thee our slaughter’d friends

Besiege Troy with their carcasses, on whose heaps our high walls

Are overlook’d by enemies; the sad sounds of their falls

Without, are echo’d with the cries of wives and babes within;

355 And all for thee; and yet for them thy honour cannot win

Head of thine anger. Thou shouldst need no spirit to stir up thine,

But thine should set the rest on fire, and with a rage divine

Chastise impartially the best, that impiously forbears.

Come forth, lest thy fair tow’rs and Troy be burn’d about thine ears.”

360 Paris acknowledg’d, as before, all just that Hector spake,

Allowing justice, though it were for his injustice’ sake;

And where his brother put a wrath upon him by his art,

He takes it, for his honour’s sake, as sprung out of his heart,

And rather would have anger seem his fault than cowardice;

365 And thus he answer’d: “Since, with right, you join’d check with advice,

And I hear you, give equal ear: It is not any spleen

Against the town, as you conceive, that makes me so unseen,

But sorrow for it; which to ease, and by discourse digest

Within myself, I live so close; and yet, since men might wrest

370 My sad retreat, like you, my wife with her advice inclin’d

This my addression to the field; which was mine own free mind,

As well as th’ instance of her words; for though the foil were mine,

Conquest brings forth her wreaths by turns. Stay then this haste of thine

But till I arm, and I am made a cónsort for thee straight;—

375 Or go, I’ll overtake thy haste.” Helen stood at receipt,


And took up all great Hector’s pow’rs, t’ attend her heavy words,

By which had Paris no reply. This vent her grief affords:

“Brother (if I may call you so, that had been better born

A dog, than such a horrid dame, as all men curse and scorn,

380 A mischief-maker, a man-plague) O would to God, the day,

That first gave light to me, had been a whirlwind in my way,

And borne me to some desert hill, or hid me in the rage

Of earth’s most far-resounding seas, ere I should thus engage

The dear lives of so many friends! Yet since the Gods have been

385 Helpless foreseers of my plagues, they might have likewise seen

That he they put in yoke with me, to bear out their award,

Had been a man of much more spirit, and, or had noblier dar’d

To shield mine honour with this deed, or with his mind had known

Much better the upbraids of men, that so he might have shown

390 (More like a man) some sense of grief for both my shame and his.

But he is senseless, nor conceives what any manhood is,

Nor now, nor ever after will; and therefore hangs, I fear,

A plague above him. But come near, good brother; rest you here,

Who, of the world of men, stands charg’d with most unrest for me,

395 (Vile wretch) and for my lover’s wrong; on whom a destiny

So bitter is impos’d by Jove, that all succeeding times

Will put, to our unended shames, in all men’s mouths our crimes.”

He answer’d: “Helen, do not seek to make me sit with thee;

I must not stay, though well I know thy honour’d love of me.

400 My mind calls forth to aid our friends, in whom my absence breeds

Longings to see me; for whose sakes, importune thou to deeds

This man by all means, that your care may make his own make hast,

And meet me in the open town, that all may see at last

He minds his lover. I myself will now go home, and see

405 My household, my dear wife, and son, that little hope of me;

For, sister, ’tis without my skill, if I shall evermore

Return, and see them, or to earth, her right in me, restore.


The Gods may stoop me by the Greeks.” This said, he went to see

The virtuous princess, his true wife, white-arm’d Andromache.

410 She, with her infant son and maid, was climb’d the tow’r, about

The sight of him that sought for her, weeping and crying out.

Hector, not finding her at home, was going forth; retir’d;

Stood in the gate; her woman call’d, and curiously inquir’d

Where she was gone; bad tell him true, if she were gone to see

415 His sisters, or his brothers’ wives; or whether she should be

At temple with the other dames, t’ implore Minerva’s ruth.

Her woman answer’d: Since he ask’d, and urg’d so much the truth,

The truth was she was neither gone, to see his brothers’ wives,

His sisters, nor t’ implore the ruth of Pallas on their lives;

420 But she (advertis’d of the bane Troy suffer’d, and how vast

Conquest had made herself for Greece) like one distraught, made hast

To ample Ilion with her son, and nurse, and all the way

Mourn’d, and dissolv’d in tears for him. Then Hector made no stay,

But trod her path, and through the streets, magnificently built,

425 All the great city pass’d, and came where, seeing how blood was spilt,

Andromache might see him come: who made as he would pass

The ports without saluting her, not knowing where she was.

She, with his sight, made breathless haste, to meet him; she, whose grace

Brought him withal so great a dow’r; she that of all the race

430 Of king Aëtion only liv’d; Aëtion, whose house stood

Beneath the mountain Placius, environ’d with the wood

Of Theban Hypoplace, being court to the Cilician land.

She ran to Hector, and with her, tender of heart and hand,

Her son, borne in his nurse’s arms; when, like a heav’nly sign,

435 Compact of many golden stars, the princely child did shine,

Whom Hector call’d Scamandrius, but whom the town did name

Astyanax, because his sire did only prop the same.

Hector, though grief bereft his speech, yet smil’d upon his joy.

Andromache cried out, mix’d hands, and to the strength of Troy


440 Thus wept forth her affectión: “O noblest in desire!

Thy mind, inflam’d with others’ good, will set thyself on fire.

Nor pitiest thou thy son, nor wife, who must thy widow be,

If now thou issue; all the field will only run on thee.

Better my shoulders underwent the earth, than thy decease;

445 For then would earth bear joys no more; then comes the black increase

Of griefs (like Greeks on Ilion). Alas! What one survives

To be my refuge? One black day bereft sev’n brothers’ lives,

By stern Achilles; by his hand my father breath’d his last,

His high-wall’d rich Cilician Thebes sack’d by him, and laid wast;

450 The royal body yet he left unspoil’d; religion charm’d

That act of spoil; and all in fire he burn’d him cómplete arm’d;

Built over him a royal tomb; and to the monument

He left of him, th’ Oreades (that are the high descent

Of Ægis-bearing Jupiter) another of their own

455 Did add to it, and set it round with elms; by which is shown,

In theirs, the barrenness of death; yet might it serve beside

To shelter the sad monument from all the ruffinous pride

Of storms and tempests, us’d to hurt things of that noble kind.

The short life yet my mother liv’d he sav’d, and serv’d his mind

460 With all the riches of the realm; which not enough esteem’d,

He kept her pris’ner; whom small time, but much more wealth, redeem’d,

And she, in sylvan Hypoplace, Cilicia rul’d again,

But soon was over-rul’d by death; Diana’s chaste disdain

Gave her a lance, and took her life. Yet, all these gone from me,

465 Thou amply render’st all; thy life makes still my father be,

My mother, brothers; and besides thou art my husband too,

Most lov’d, most worthy. Pity then, dear love, and do not go,

For thou gone, all these go again; pity our common joy,

Lest, of a father’s patronage, the bulwark of all Troy,


470 Thou leav’st him a poor widow’s charge. Stay, stay then, in this tow’r,

And call up to the wild fig-tree all thy retiréd pow’r;

For there the wall is easiest scal’d, and fittest for surprise,

And there, th’ Ajaces, Idomen, th’ Atrides, Diomed, thrice

Have both survey’d and made attempt; I know not if induc’d

475 By some wise augury, or the fact was naturally infus’d

Into their wits, or courages.” To this, great Hector said:

“Be well assur’d, wife, all these things in my kind cares are weigh’d.

But what a shame, and fear, it is to think how Troy would scorn

(Both in her husbands, and her wives, whom long-train’d gowns adorn)

480 That I should cowardly fly off! The spirit I first did breath

Did never teach me that; much less, since the contempt of death

Was settled in me, and my mind knew what a worthy was,

Whose office is to lead in fight, and give no danger pass

Without improvement. In this fire must Hector’s trial shine;

485 Here must his country, father, friends, be, in him, made divine.

And such a stormy day shall come (in mind and soul I know)

When sacred Troy shall shed her tow’rs, for tears of overthrow;

When Priam, all his birth and pow’r, shall in those tears be drown’d.

But neither Troy’s posterity so much my soul doth wound,

490 Priam, nor Hecuba herself, nor all my brothers’ woes,

(Who though so many, and so good, must all be food for foes)

As thy sad state; when some rude Greek shall lead thee weeping hence,

These free days clouded, and a night of captive violence

Loading thy temples, out of which thine eyes must never see,

495 But spin the Greek wives’ webs of task, and their fetch-water be

To Argos, from Messeides, or clear Hyperia’s spring;

Which howsoever thou abhorr’st, Fate’s such a shrewish thing

She will be mistress; whose curs’d hands, when they shall crush out cries

From thy oppressions (being beheld by other enemies)


500 Thus they will nourish thy extremes: ‘This dame was Hector’s wife,

A man that, at the wars of Troy, did breathe the worthiest life

Of all their army.’ This again will rub thy fruitful wounds,

To miss the man that to thy bands could give such narrow bounds.

But that day shall not wound mine eyes; the solid heap of night

505 Shall interpose, and stop mine ears against thy plaints, and plight.”

This said, he reach’d to take his son; who, of his arms afraid,

And then the horse-hair plume, with which he was so overlaid,

Nodded so horribly, he cling’d back to his nurse, and cried.

Laughter affected his great sire, who doff’d, and laid aside

510 His fearful helm, that on the earth cast round about it light;

Then took and kiss’d his loving son, and (balancing his weight

In dancing him) these loving vows to living Jove he us’d,

And all the other bench of Gods: “O you that have infus’d

Soul to this infant, now set down this blessing on his star;—

515 Let his renown be clear as mine; equal his strength in war;

And make his reign so strong in Troy, that years to come may yield

His facts this fame, when, rich in spoils, he leaves the conquer’d field

Sown with his slaughters: ‘These high deeds exceed his father’s worth.’

And let this echo’d praise supply the comforts to come forth

520 Of his kind mother with my life.” This said, th’ heroic sire

Gave him his mother; whose fair eyes fresh streams of love’s salt fire

Billow’d on her soft cheeks, to hear the last of Hector’s speech,

In which his vows compris’d the sum of all he did beseech

In her wish’d comfort. So she took into her od’rous breast

525 Her husband’s gift; who, mov’d to see her heart so much oppress’d,

He dried her tears, and thus desir’d: “Afflict me not, dear wife,

With these vain griefs. He doth not live, that can disjoin my life

And this firm bosom, but my fate; and fate, whose wings can fly?

Noble, ignoble, fate controls. Once born, the best must die.


530 Go home, and set thy housewif’ry on these extremes of thought;

And drive war from them with thy maids; keep them from doing nought.

These will be nothing; leave the cares of war to men, and me

In whom, of all the Ilion race, they take their high’st degree.”

On went his helm; his princess home, half cold with kindly fears;

535 When ev’ry fear turn’d back her looks, and ev’ry look shed tears.

Foe-slaught’ring Hector’s house soon reach’d, her many women there

Wept all to see her: in his life great Hector’s fun’rals were;

Never look’d any eye of theirs to see their lord safe home,

’Scap’d from the gripes and pow’rs of Greece. And now was Paris come

540 From his high tow’rs; who made no stay, when once he had put on

His richest armour, but flew forth; the flints he trod upon

Sparkled with lustre of his arms; his long-ebb’d spirits now flow’d

The higher for their lower ebb. And as a fair steed, proud

With full-giv’n mangers, long tied up, and now, his head-stall broke,

545 He breaks from stable, runs the field, and with an ample stroke

Measures the centre, neighs, and lifts aloft his wanton head,

About his shoulders shakes his crest, and where he hath been fed,

Or in some calm flood wash’d, or, stung with his high plight, he flies

Amongst his females, strength put forth, his beauty beautifies,

550 And, like life’s mirror, bears his gait; so Paris from the tow’r

Of lofty Pergamus came forth; he show’d a sun-like pow’r

In carriage of his goodly parts, address’d now to the strife;

And found his noble brother near the place he left his wife.

Him thus respected he salutes: “Right worthy, I have fear

555 That your so serious haste to field, my stay hath made forbear,

And that I come not as you wish.” He answer’d: “Honour’d man,

Be confident, for not myself, nor any others, can

Reprove in thee the work of fight, at least, not any such

As is an equal judge of things; for thou hast strength as much


560 As serves to execute a mind very important, but

Thy strength too readily flies off, enough will is not put

To thy ability. My heart is in my mind’s strife sad,

When Troy (out of her much distress, she and her friends have had

By thy procurement) doth deprave thy noblesse in mine ears.

565 But come, hereafter we shall calm these hard conceits of theirs,

When, from their ports the foe expuls’d, high Jove to them hath giv’n

Wish’d peace, and us free sacrifice to all the Powers of heav’n.”

Linenotes for Book VI

* Indifferent—impartial.

35: The brother—Menelaus.

39: The second folio reads,—

“The same way others fled, contending all to town;”

omitting “flyers.”

47: “This Virgil imitates.” —Chapman.

55: Argument—example.

86: Leavy—leafy, folding doors.

98: Intends—attends to; a common use of the word in old writers.

102: Ilions’ aid.—Chapman not infrequently uses Ilions for people of Ilion, or Troy. Probably a misprint for Ilians.

108: Their states in our lives.—This is a somewhat complicated expression. The meaning is probably, as Dr. Taylor says, “for their lives and properties which depend on our lives.”

125: Nysæus—Bacchus.

127: Leavy spears—the thyrsi, or wands, of the Bacchanals.

129: “Froes—for frows, Dutch for women.

‘Buxom as Bacchus’ froes, revelling and dancing.’

Beaum. and Fletcher.”


134: Him—Lycurgus.

146: Leavy—leafy.

149: Ephyré—Corinth.

153: “His cause of love—his personal beauty.” —Taylor.

156: His exile grew—the origin of his exile was, &c.

171: “Bellerophontis literæ. Ad. Eras. This long speech many critics tax as untimely, being, as they take it, in the heat of fight; Hier. Vidas, a late observer, being eagerest against Homer. Whose ignorance in this I cannot but note, and prove to you; for, besides the authority and office of a poet, to vary and quicken his poem with these episodes, sometimes beyond the leisure of their actions, the critic notes not how far his forerunner prevents his worst as far; and sets down his speech at the sudden and strange turning of the Trojan field, set on a little before by Hector; and that so fiercely, it made an admiring stand among the Grecians, and therein gave fit time for these great captains to utter their admirations, the whole field in that part being to stand like their commanders. And then how full of decorum this gallant show and speech was to sound understandings, I leave only to such, and let our critics go cavil.” —Chapman.

182: Convince—overcome.

185: The second folio reads,

“And flames of fervency flew from her breath and eyes;”

omitting (obviously erroneously) deadly.

201: “This field the Lycians futurely, &c.—Chapman has transposed the clauses of the history to accommodate the theory of some commentators who assert that ’the field of wandering’ was the original demesne assigned to Bellerophon.” —Cooke Taylor.

212: Diana.

242: “Φρένας ἐξέλετο Ζεὺς, Mentem ademit Jup., the text hath it; which only I alter of all Homer’s original, since Plutarch against the Stoics excuses this supposed folly in Glaucus. Spondanus likewise encouraging my alterations, which I use for the loved and simple nobility of the free exchange in Glaucus, contrary to others that, for the supposed folly in Glaucus, turned his change into a proverb, χρύσεα χαλχείων, golden for brazen.” —Chapman.

256: Rew—row:

275: Careful—anxious.

315: Implies—enfolds.

336: Argive Queen—Helen, formerly Argive queen.

345: Plain—complain.

346: “Hector dissembles the cowardice he finds in Paris; turning it, as if he chid him for his anger at the Trojans for hating him, being conquered by Menelaus, when it is for his effeminacy. Which is all paraphrastical in my translation.” —Chapman

349: Timeless—untimely.

“Poison I see has been his timeless end.”

Romeo and Jul. V. 5.

366: Dr. Taylor has printed “care,” but probably through an oversight.

372: Foil—defeat; alluding to the fight with Menelaus.

375: Stood at receipt.—Dr. Taylor has strangely misunderstood this passage, when he says “stood as to cover her husband’s confusion,” which was the very thing she did not wish to do. The meaning is simply “stood at hand,” “stood by, or ready.” The next line would seem to be, “and took up Hector’s powerful arguments to enforce her own words, which left Paris no escape;” but it might mean, as Dr. Taylor says, “occupied Hector’s attention” by her speech. The whole passage is an interpolation by Chapman.

385: Helpless—unaiding.

406: Without my skill—beyond my knowledge, more than I know.

408: Stoop me by the Greeks—cause me to succumb to the Greeks.

449: “Thebes, a most rich city of Cilicia.” —Chapman.

457: The second folio (which Dr. Taylor follows) reads “said monument;” an evident typographical error.

493: Free days—The second folio has “three days;” a misprint.

496: “The names of two fountains: of which one in Thessaly, the other near Argos, or, according to others, in Peloponnesus or Lacedæmon.” —Chapman.

497: Shrewish—cursed, malicious.

503: To miss the man, &c.—To miss him who could soon put an end or stop to your slavery.

543: “His simile, high and expressive; which Virgil almost word for word hath translated, Æn. XI. (v. 492).” —Chapman.

560: Important—full of anxiety, restless.

564: Noblesse.—The second folio has “noblenesse,” which Dr. Taylor adopts; but the earlier reading is manifestly the true one. So ablesse, Bk. V. 248.


Corrections for Book VI

39 the horse brake loose, and ron
spelling unchanged

86, 127, 146 notes
[Hooper seems to have been very worried that readers would not understand the word “leavy”.]

291 If she will pity our sieg’d town
text has seig’d




The Argument.

Hector, by Helenus’ advice, doth seek

Advent’rous combat on the boldest Greek.

Nine Greeks stand up, acceptants ev’ry one,

But lot selects strong Ajax Telamon.

Both, with high honour, stand th’ important fight,

Till heralds part them by approached night.

Lastly, they grave the dead. The Greeks erect

A mighty wall, their navy to protect;

Which angers Neptune. Jove, by hapless signs,

In depth of night, succeeding woes divines.

Another Argument.

In Eta, Priam’s strongest son

Combats with Ajax Telamon.


his said, brave Hector through the ports, with Troy’s bane-bringing knight,

Made issue to th’ insatiate field, resolv’d to fervent fight.

And as the Weather-wielder sends to seamen prosp’rous gales,

When with their sallow polish’d oars, long lifted from their falls,


5 Their wearied arms, dissolv’d with toil, can scarce strike one stroke more;

Like those sweet winds appear’d these lords, to Trojans tir’d before.

Then fell they to the works of death. By Paris’ valour fell

King Arëithous’ hapless son, that did in Arna dwell,

Menesthius, whose renownéd sire a club did ever bear,

10 And of Phylomedusa gat, that had her eyes so clear,

This slaughter’d issue. Hector’s dart strook Eionëus dead;

Beneath his good steel casque it pierc’d, above his gorget-stead.

Glaucus, Hippolochus’s son, that led the Lycian crew,

Iphinous-Dexiades with sudden jav’lin slew,

15 As he was mounting to his horse; his shoulders took the spear,

And ere he sate, in tumbling down, his pow’rs dissolvéd were.

When grey-ey’d Pallas had perceiv’d the Greeks so fall in fight,

From high Olympus’ top she stoop’d, and did on Ilion light.

Apollo, to encounter her, to Pergamus did fly,

20 From whence he, looking to the field, wish’d Trojans’ victory.

At Jove’s broad beech these Godheads met; and first Jove’s son objects:

“Why, burning in contention thus, do thy extreme affects

Conduct thee from our peaceful hill? Is it to oversway

The doubtful victory of fight, and give the Greeks the day?

25 Thou never pitiest perishing Troy. Yet now let me persuade,

That this day no more mortal wounds may either side invade.

Hereafter, till the end of Troy, they shall apply the fight,

Since your immortal wills resolve to overturn it quite.”

Pallas replied: “It likes me well; for this came I from heav’n;

30 But to make either armies cease, what order shall be giv’n?”

He said: “We will direct the spirit, that burns in Hector’s breast,

To challenge any Greek to wounds, with single pow’rs impress’d;

Which Greeks, admiring, will accept, and make some one stand out

So stout a challenge to receive, with a defence as stout.”

35 It is confirm’d; and Helenus (king Priam’s lovéd seed)

By augury discern’d th’ event that these two pow’rs decreed,


And greeting Hector ask’d him this: “Wilt thou be once advis’d?

I am thy brother, and thy life with mine is ev’nly prized.

Command the rest of Troy and Greece, to cease this public fight,

40 And, what Greek bears the greatest mind, to single strokes excite.

I promise thee that yet thy soul shall not descend to fates;

So heard I thy survival cast, by the celestial States.”

Hector with glad allowance gave his brother’s counsel ear,

And, fronting both the hosts, advanc’d just in the midst his spear.

45 The Trojans instantly surcease; the Greeks Atrides stay’d.

The God that bears the silver bow, and war’s triumphant Maid,

On Jove’s beech like two vultures sat, pleas’d to behold both parts

Flow in to hear, so sternly arm’d with huge shields, helms, and darts.

And such fresh horror as you see, driv’n through the wrinkled waves

50 By rising Zephyr, under whom the sea grows black, and raves;

Such did the hasty gath’ring troops of both hosts make to hear;

Whose tumult settled, ’twixt them both, thus spake the challenger:

“Hear, Trojans, and ye well-arm’d Greeks, what my strong mind, diffus’d

Through all my spirits, commands me speak: Saturnius hath not us’d

55 His promis’d favour for our truce, but, studying both our ills,

Will never cease, till Mars, by you, his rav’nous stomach fills

With ruin’d Troy, or we consume your mighty sea-borne fleet.

Since then the gen’ral peers of Greece in reach of one voice meet,

Amongst you all, whose breast includes the most impulsive mind,

60 Let him stand forth as combatant, by all the rest design’d.

Before whom thus I call high Jove, to witness of our strife:—

If he with home-thrust iron can reach th’ exposure of my life,

Spoiling my arms, let him at will convey them to his tent,

But let my body be return’d, that Troy’s two-sex’d descent

65 May waste it in the fun’ral pile. If I can slaughter him,

Apollo honouring me so much, I’ll spoil his conquer’d limb,


And bear his arms to Ilion, where in Apollo’s shrine

I’ll hang them, as my trophies due; his body I’ll resign

To be disposéd by his friends in flamy funerals,

70 And honour’d with erected tomb, where Hellespontus falls

Into Ægæum, and doth reach ev’n to your naval road,

That, when our beings in the earth shall hide their period,

Survivors, sailing the black sea, may thus his name renew:

‘This is his monument, whose blood long since did fates imbrue,

75 Whom, passing far in fortitude, illustrate Hector slew.’

This shall posterity report, and my fame never die.”

This said, dumb silence seiz’d them all; they shaméd to deny,

And fear’d to undertake. At last did Menelaus speak,

Check’d their remissness, and so sigh’d, as if his heart would break:

80 “Ah me! But only threat’ning Greeks, not worthy Grecian names!

This more and more, not to be borne, makes grow our huge defames,

If Hector’s honourable proof be entertain’d by none.

But you are earth and water all, which, symboliz’d in one,

Have fram’d your faint unfi’ry spirits; ye sit without your hearts,

85 Grossly inglorious; but myself will use acceptive darts,

And arm against him, though you think I arm ’gainst too much odds;

But conquest’s garlands hang aloft, amongst th’ immortal Gods.”

He arm’d, and gladly would have fought; but, Menelaus, then,

By Hector’s far more strength, thy soul had fled th’ abodes of men,

90 Had not the kings of Greece stood up, and thy attempt restrain’d;

And ev’n the king of men himself, that in such compass reign’d,

Who took him by the bold right hand, and sternly pluck’d him back:

“Mad brother, ’tis no work for thee, thou seek’st thy wilful wrack!

Contain, though it despite thee much, nor for this strife engage

95 Thy person with a man more strong, and whom all fear t’ enrage;


Yea whom Æacides himself, in men-renowning war,

Makes doubt t’ encounter, whose huge strength surpasseth thine by far.

Sit thou then by thy regiment; some other Greek will rise

(Though he be dreadless, and no war will his desires suffice,

100 That makes this challenge to our strength) our valours to avow;

To whom, if he can ’scape with life, he will be glad to bow.”

This drew his brother from his will, who yielded, knowing it true,

And his glad soldiers took his arms; when Nestor did pursue

The same reproof he set on foot, and thus supplied his turn:

105 “What huge indignity is this! How will our country mourn!

Old Peleus that good king will weep, that worthy counsellor,

That trumpet of the Myrmidons, who much did ask me for

All men of name that went to Troy; with joy he did inquire

Their valour and their towardness, and I made him admire;

110 But, that ye all fear Hector now, if his grave ears shall hear,

How will he lift his hands to heav’n, and pray that death may bear

His grievéd soul into the deep! O would to heav’n’s great King,

Minerva, and the God of light, that now my youthful spring

Did flourish in my willing veins, as when at Phæa’s tow’rs,

115 About the streams of Jardanus, my gather’d Pylean pow’rs,

And dart-employ’d Arcadians, fought, near raging Celadon!

Amongst whom, first of all stood forth great Ereuthalion,

Who th’ arms of Arëithoús wore, brave Arëithoús,

And, since he still fought with a club, surnam’d Clavigerus,

120 All men, and fair-girt ladies both, for honour call’d him so.

He fought not with a keep-off spear, or with a far-shot bow,

But, with a massy club of iron, he broke through arméd bands.

And yet Lycurgus was his death, but not with force of hands;

With sleight (encount’ring in a lane, where his club wanted sway)

125 He thrust him through his spacious waist; who fell, and upwards lay,


In death not bowing his face to earth; his arms he did despoil,

Which iron Mars bestow’d on him; and those, in Mars’s toil,

Lycurgus ever after wore; but when he agéd grew,

Enforc’d to keep his peaceful house, their use he did renew

130 On mighty Ereuthalion’s limbs, his soldier, lovéd well;

And with these arms he challeng’d all, that did in arms excel;

All shook, and stood dismay’d, none durst his adverse champion make.

Yet this same forward mind of mine, of choice, would undertake

To fight with all his confidence; though youngest enemy

135 Of all the army we conduct, yet I fought with him, I,

Minerva made me so renown’d, and that most tall strong peer

I slew; his big bulk lay on earth, extended here and there,

As it were covetous to spread the centre ev’rywhere.

O that my youth were now as fresh, and all my pow’rs as sound,

140 Soon should bold Hector be impugn’d! Yet you that most are crown’d

With fortitude of all our host, ev’n you methinks are slow,

Not free, and set on fire with lust, t’ encounter such a foe.”

With this, nine royal princes rose. Atrides for the first;

Then Diomed; th’ Ajaces then, that did th’ encounter thirst;

145 King Idomen and his consórts; Mars-like Meriones;

Evemon’s son, Eurypylus: and Andræmonides,

Whom all the Grecians Thoas call’d, sprung of Andræmon’s blood;

And wise Ulysses; ev’ry one, propos’d for combat, stood.

Again Gerenius Nestor spake: “Let lots be drawn by all;

150 His hand shall help the well-arm’d Greeks, on whom the lot doth fall,

And to his wish shall he be help’d, if he escape with life

The harmful danger-breathing fit of his advent’rous strife.”

Each mark’d his lot, and cast it in to Agamemnon’s casque.

The soldiers pray’d, held up their hands, and this of Jove did ask,

155 With eyes advanc’d to heav’n: “O Jove, so lead the herald’s hand,

That Ajax, or great Tydeus’ son, may our wish’d champion stand,

Or else the king himself that rules the rich Mycenian land.”


This said, old Nestor mix’d the lots. The foremost lot survey’d

With Ajax Telamon was sign’d, as all the soldiers pray’d;

160 One of the heralds drew it forth, who brought and show’d it round,

Beginning at the right hand first, to all the most renown’d.

None knowing it, ev’ry man denied; but when he forth did pass

To him which mark’d and cast it in, which famous Ajax was,

He stretch’d his hand, and into it the herald put the lot,

165 Who, viewing it, th’ inscription knew; the duke deniéd not,

But joyfully acknowledg’d it, and threw it at his feet,

And said: “O friends, the lot is mine, which to my soul is sweet;

For now I hope my fame shall rise, in noble Hector’s fall.

But, whilst I arm myself, do you on great Saturnius call,

170 But silently, or to yourselves, that not a Trojan hear;

Or openly, if you think good, since none alive we fear.

None with a will, if I will not, can my bold pow’rs affright,

At least for plain fierce swing of strength, or want of skill in fight;

For I will well prove that my birth, and breed, in Salamine

175 Was not all consecrate to meat, or mere effects of wine.”

This said, the well-giv’n soldiers pray’d; up went to heav’n their eyne:

“O Jove, that Ida dost protect, most happy, most divine,

Send victory to Ajax’ side; fame; grace his goodly limb;

Or (if thy love bless Hector’s life, and thou hast care of him,)

180 Bestow on both like pow’r, like fame.” This said, in bright arms shone

The good strong Ajax; who, when all his war attire was on,

March’d like the hugely-figur’d Mars, when angry Jupiter

With strength, on people proud of strength, sends him forth to infer

Wreakful contention, and comes on with presence full of fear;

185 So th’ Achive rampire, Telamon, did ’twixt the hosts appear;

Smil’d; yet of terrible aspéct; on earth, with ample pace,

He boldly stalk’d, and shook aloft his dart with deadly grace.

It did the Grecians good to see; but heartquakes shook the joints

Of all the Trojans. Hector’s self felt thoughts, with horrid points,


190 Tempt his bold bosom; but he now must make no counterflight,

Nor, with his honour, now refuse, that had provok’d the fight.

Ajax came near; and, like a tow’r, his shield his bosom barr’d,

The right side brass, and sev’n ox-hides within it quilted hard;

Old Tychius, the best currier, that did in Hyla dwell,

195 Did frame it for exceeding proof, and wrought it wondrous well.

With this stood he to Hector close, and with this brave began:

“Now, Hector, thou shalt clearly know, thus meeting man to man,

What other leaders arm our host, besides great Thetis’ son,

Who with his hardy lion’s heart hath armies overrun;

200 But he lies at our crook’d-stern’d fleet, a rival with our king

In height of spirit; yet to Troy he many knights did bring,

Coequal with Æacides, all able to sustain

All thy bold challenge can import. Begin then, words are vain.”

The helm-grac’d Hector answer’d him: “Renownéd Telamon,

205 Prince of the soldiers came from Greece, assay not me, like one

Young and immartial, with great words, as to an Amazon dame;

I have the habit of all fights, and know the bloody frame

Of ev’ry slaughter; I well know the ready right hand charge,

I know the left, and ev’ry sway of my secureful targe;

210 I triumph in the cruelty of fixéd combat fight,

And manage horse to all designs; I think then with good right

I may be confident as far as this my challenge goes,

Without being taxéd with a vaunt, borne out with empty shows.

But, being a soldier so renown’d, I will not work on thee

215 With least advantage of that skill I know doth strengthen me,

And so, with privity of sleight, win that for which I strive,

But at thy best, ev’n open strength, if my endeavours thrive.”

Thus sent he his long jav’lin forth. It strook his foe’s huge shield

Near to the upper skirt of brass, which was the eighth it held.


220 Six folds th’ untaméd dart strook through, and in the sev’nth tough hide

The point was check’d. Then Ajax threw; his angry lance did glide

Quite through his bright orbicular targe, his curace, shirt of mail,

And did his manly stomach’s mouth with dang’rous taint assail;

But, in the bowing of himself, black death too short did strike.

225 Then both, to pluck their jav’lins forth, encounter’d, lion-like,

Whose bloody violence is increas’d by that raw food they eat,

Or boars whose strength wild nourishment doth make so wondrous great.

Again Priamides did wound in midst his shield of brass,

Yet pierc’d not through the upper plate, the head reflected was.

230 But Ajax, following his lance, smote through his target quite,

And stay’d bold Hector rushing in; the lance held way outright,

And hurt his neck; out gush’d the blood. Yet Hector ceas’d not so,

But in his strong hand took a flint, as he did backwards go,

Black, sharp, and big, laid in the field; the sev’nfold targe it smit

235 Full on the boss, and round about the brass did ring with it.

But Ajax a far greater stone lift up, and (wreathing round,

With all his body laid to it) he sent it forth to wound,

And gave unmeasur’d force to it; the round stone broke within

His rundled target; his lov’d knees to languish did begin;

240 And he lean’d, stretch’d out on his shield; but Phœbus rais’d him straight.

Then had they laid on wounds with swords, in use of closer fight,

Unless the heralds (messengers of Gods and godlike men)

The one of Troy, the other Greece, had held betwixt them then

Imperial sceptres; when the one, Idæus, grave and wise,

245 Said to them: “Now no more, my sons; the Sov’reign of the skies

Doth love you both; both soldiers are, all witness with good right;

But now night lays her mace on earth; ’tis good t’ obey the night.”

“Idæus,” Telamon replied, “to Hector speak, not me;

He that call’d all our Achive peers to station-fight, ’twas he;


250 If he first cease, I gladly yield.” Great Hector then began:

“Ajax, since Jove, to thy big form, made thee so strong a man,

And gave thee skill to use thy strength, so much, that for thy spear

Thou art most excellent of Greece, now let us fight forbear.

Hereafter we shall war again, till Jove our herald be,

255 And grace with conquest which he will. Heav’n yields to night, and we.

Go thou and comfort all thy fleet, all friends and men of thine,

As I in Troy my favourers, who in the fane divine

Have offer’d orisons for me; and come, let us impart

Some ensigns of our strife, to show each other’s suppled heart,

260 That men of Troy and Greece may say, Thus their high quarrel ends.

Those that, encount’ring, were such foes, are now, being sep’rate, friends.”

He gave a sword, whose handle was with silver studs through driv’n,

Scabbard and all, with hangers rich. By Telamon was giv’n

A fair well-glosséd purple waist. Thus Hector went to Troy,

265 And after him a multitude, fill’d with his safety’s joy,

Despairing he could ever ’scape the puissant fortitude

And unimpeachéd Ajax’ hands. The Greeks like joy renew’d

For their reputed victory, and brought him to the king;

Who to the great Saturnides preferr’d an offering,

270 An ox that fed on five fair springs; they flay’d and quarter’d him,

And then, in pieces cut, on spits they roasted ev’ry limb;

Which neatly dress’d, they drew it off. Work done, they fell to feast;

All had enough; but Telamon, the king fed past the rest

With good large pieces of the chine. Thus thirst and hunger stay’d,

275 Nestor, whose counsels late were best, vows new, and first he said:

‘Atrides, and my other lords, a sort of Greeks are dead,

Whose black blood, near Scamander’s stream, inhuman Mars hath shed;

Their souls to hell descended are. It fits thee then, our king,

To make our soldiers cease from war; and, by the day’s first spring,


280 Let us ourselves, assembled all, the bodies bear to fire,

With mules and oxen near our fleet, that, when we home retire,

Each man may carry to the sons, of fathers slaughter’d here,

Their honour’d bones. One tomb for all, for ever, let us rear,

Circling the pile without the field; at which we will erect

285 Walls, and a rav’lin, that may safe our fleet and us protect.

And in them let us fashion gates, solid, and barr’d about,

Through which our horse, and chariots, may well get in and out.

Without all, let us dig a dike, so deep it may avail

Our forces ’gainst the charge of horse, and foot, that come t’ assail.

290 And thus th’ attempts, that I see swell, in Troy’s proud heart, shall fail.”

The kings do his advice approve. So Troy doth court convent

At Priam’s gate, in th’ Ilion tow’r, fearful and turbulent.

Amongst all, wise Antenor spake: “Trojans, and Dardan friends,

And peers assistants, give good ear to what my care commends

295 To your consents, for all our good. Resolve, let us restore

The Argive Helen, with her wealth, to him she had before.

We now defend but broken faiths. If, therefore, ye refuse,

No good event can I expect of all the wars we use.”

He ceas’d; and Alexander spake, husband to th’ Argive queen:

300 “Antenor, to mine ears thy words harsh and ungracious been.

Thou canst use better if thou wilt: but, if these truly fit

Thy serious thoughts, the Gods with age have reft thy graver wit.

To warlike Trojans I will speak: I clearly do deny

To yield my wife, but all her wealth I’ll render willingly,

305 Whatever I from Argos brought, and vow to make it more,

Which I have ready in my house, if peace I may restore.”

Priam, surnam’d Dardanides, godlike, in counsels grave,

In his son’s favour well-advis’d, this resolution gave:

“My royal friends of ev’ry state, there is sufficient done,

310 For this late council we have call’d, in th’ offer of my son.

Now then let all take needful food, then let the watch be set,

And ev’ry court of guard held strong; so, when the morn doth wet


The high-rais’d battlements of Troy, Idæus shall be sent

To th’ Argive fleet, and Atreus’ sons, t’ unfold my son’s intent,

315 From whose fact our contention springs; and, if they will, obtain

Respite from heat of fight, till fire consume our soldiers slain;

And after, our most fatal war let us importune still,

Till Jove the conquest have dispos’d to his unconquer’d will.”

All heard, and did obey the king; and, in their quarters, all,

320 That were to set the watch that night, did to their suppers fall.

Idæus in the morning went, and th’ Achive peers did find

In council at Atrides’ ship; his audience was assign’d;

And, in the midst of all the kings, the vocal herald said:

“Atrides! My renownéd king, and other kings, his aid,

325 Propose by me, in their commands, the offers Paris makes,

From whose joy all our woes proceed. He princely undertakes

That all the wealth he brought from Greece (would he had died before!)

He will, with other added wealth, for your amends restore;

But famous Menelaus’ wife he still means to enjoy,

330 Though he be urg’d the contrary, by all the peers of Troy.

And this besides I have in charge, that, if it please you all,

They wish both sides may cease from war, that rites of funeral

May on their bodies be perform’d, that in the fields lie slain;

And after, to the will of Fate, renew the fight again.”

335 All silence held at first; at last Tydides made reply:

“Let no man take the wealth, or dame; for now a child’s weak eye

May see the imminent black end of Priam’s empery.”

This sentence, quick and briefly giv’n, the Greeks did all admire.

Then said the king: “Herald, thou hear’st in him the voice entire

340 Of all our peers, to answer thee, for that of Priam’s son.

But, for our burning of the dead, by all means I am won

To satisfy thy king therein, without the slend’rest gain

Made of their spoiléd carcasses; but freely, being slain,

They shall be all consum’d with fire. To witness which I cite

345 High thund’ring Jove, that is the king of Juno’s bed’s delight.”


With this, he held his sceptre up, to all the sky-thron’d Pow’rs;

And grave Idæus did return to sacred Ilion’s tow’rs,

Where Ilians, and Dardanians, did still their counsels ply,

Expecting his return. He came, and told his legacy.

350 All, whirlwind-like, assembled then, some bodies to transport,

Some to hew trees. On th’ other part, the Argives did exhort

Their soldiers to the same affairs. Then did the new fir’d sun

Smite the broad fields, ascending heav’n, and th’ ocean smooth did run;

When Greece and Troy mix’d in such peace, you scarce could either know.

355 Then wash’d they off their blood and dust, and did warm tears bestow

Upon the slaughter’d, and in cars convey’d them from the field.

Priam commanded none should mourn, but in still silence yield

Their honour’d carcasses to fire, and only grieve in heart.

All burn’d; to Troy Troy’s friends retire, to fleet the Grecian part.

360 Yet doubtful night obscur’d the earth, the day did not appear,

When round about the fun’ral pile, the Grecians gather’d were.

The pile they circled with a tomb, and by it rais’d a wall,

High tow’rs, to guard the fleet and them; and in the midst of all

They built strong gates, through which the horse and chariots passage had;

365 Without the rampire a broad dike, long and profound, they made,

On which they pallisadoes pitch’d; and thus the Grecians wrought.

Their huge works in so little time were to perfection brought,

That all Gods, by the Lightner set, the frame thereof admir’d;

’Mongst whom the Earthquake-making God, this of their king inquir’d:

370 “Father of Gods, will any man, of all earth’s grassy sphere,

Ask any of the Gods’ consents to any actions there,

If thou wilt see the shag-hair’d Greeks, with headstrong labours frame

So huge a work, and not to us due off’rings first enflame?

As far as white Aurora’s dews are sprinkled through the air,

375 Fame will renown the hands of Greece, for this divine affair;

Men will forget the sacred work, the Sun and I did raise

For king Laomedon (bright Troy) and this will bear the praise.”


Jove was extremely mov’d with him, and said: “What words are these,

Thou mighty Shaker of the earth, thou Lord of all the seas?

380 Some other God, of far less pow’r, might hold conceits, dismay’d

With this rare Grecian stratagem, and thou rest well apaid;

For it will glorify thy name, as far as light extends;

Since, when these Greeks shall see again their native soil and friends,

The bulwark batter’d, thou mayst quite devour it with thy waves,

385 And cover, with thy fruitless sands, this fatal shore of graves;

That, what their fi’ry industries have so divinely wrought

In raising it, in razing it thy pow’r will prove it nought.”

Thus spake the Gods among themselves. Set was the fervent sun;

And now the great work of the Greeks was absolutely done.

390 Then slew they oxen in their tents, and strength with food reviv’d,

When out of Lemnos a great fleet of od’rous wine arrived,

Sent by Eunëus, Jason’s son, born of Hypsipyle.

The fleet contain’d a thousand tun, which must transported be

To Atreus’ sons, as he gave charge, whose merchandise it was.

395 The Greeks bought wine for shining steel, and some for sounding brass,

Some for ox-hides, for oxen some, and some for prisoners.

A sumptuous banquet was prepar’d; and all that night the peers

And fair-hair’d Greeks consum’d in feast. So Trojans, and their aid.

And all the night Jove thunder’d loud; pale fear all thoughts dismay’d.

400 While they were gluttonous in earth, Jove wrought their banes in heav’n.

They pour’d full cups upon the ground, and were to off’rings driv’n

Instead of quaffings; and to drink, none durst attempt, before

In solemn sacrifice they did almighty Jove adore.

Then to their rests they all repair’d; bold zeal their fear bereav’d;

405 And sudden sleep’s refreshing gift, securely they receiv’d.

Linenotes for Book VII

* “These next four books have not my last hand; and because the rest (for a time) will be sufficient to employ your censures, suspend them of these. Spare not the other.” —Chapman.

12: Gorget-stead.—See Bk. V. 538.

22: Affects.—See Bk. I. 209.

49: Horror—in the classical sense of any thing that bristles up.

75: Illustrate.—The second folio (followed by Dr. Taylor) has “illustrious.” See Bk. VIII. 252.

80: “O verè Phrygiæ, neque enim Phryges; saith his imitator.” —Chapman.


“O si præteritos referat mihi Jupiter annos

Qualis eram, &c.”


193: “Hinc illud: Dominus clypei septemplicis Ajax.” —Chapman.

201: He—viz. Agamemnon.

223: Stomach’s mouth—pit of the stomach.

244: When the one.—The second folio reads “then the one,” &c. and so Dr. Taylor.


“O murd’rous slumber!

Lay’st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy,

That plays thee music?”

Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar, Act iv. sc. 3.

262: “Hector gives Ajax a sword; Ajax, Hector a girdle. Both which gifts were afterwards cause of both their deaths.” —Chapman.

270: “Virgil imit.” —Chapman.

270: Springs—springs-seasons, years; i.e. was five years old.

276: Sort.—See Bk. IV. 460.

349: Legacy—embassy; from legate. See Bk. IX. 220.

369: Neptune.

381: “The fortification that in the twelfth book is razed.” —Chapman.

398: So Trojans—in like manner.


Corrections for Book VII

167 And said: “O friends, the lot is mine,
open quote missing

270 note Springs
text has “Springs with superflous open quote




The Argument.

When Jove to all the Gods had giv’n command,

That none to either host should helpful stand,

To Ida he descends; and sees from thence

Juno and Pallas haste the Greeks’ defence;

Whose purpose, his command, by Iris given,

Doth intervent. Then came the silent even,

When Hector charg’d fires should consume the night,

Lest Greeks in darkness took suspected flight.

Another Argument.

In Theta, Gods a Council have.

Troy’s conquest. Glorious Hector’s brave.


he cheerful Lady of the light, deck’d in her saffron robe,

Dispers’d her beams through ev’ry part of this enflow’red globe,

When thund’ring Jove a Court of Gods assembled by his will,

In top of all the topful heights, that crown th’ Olympian hill.

5 He spake, and all the Gods gave ear: “Hear how I stand inclin’d,

That God nor Goddess may attempt t’ infringe my sovereign mind,

But all give suffrage that with speed I may these discords end.

What God soever I shall find endeavour to defend

Or Troy or Greece, with wounds to heav’n he, sham’d, shall reascend;


10 Or, taking with him his offence, I’ll cast him down as deep

As Tartarus, the brood of night, where Barathrum doth steep

Torment in his profoundest sinks, where is the floor of brass,

And gates of iron; the place, for depth, as far doth hell surpass,

As heav’n, for height, exceeds the earth; then shall he know from thence

15 How much my pow’r, past all the Gods, hath sov’reign eminence.

Endanger it the whiles and see. Let down our golden chain,

And at it let all Deities their utmost strengths constrain,

To draw me to the earth from heav’n; you never shall prevail,

Though, with your most contentión, ye dare my state assail.

20 But when my will shall be dispos’d, to draw you all to me,

Ev’n with the earth itself, and seas, ye shall enforced be;

Then will I to Olympus’ top our virtuous engine bind,

And by it ev’rything shall hang, by my command inclin’d.

So much I am supreme to Gods, to men supreme as much.”

25 The Gods sat silent, and admir’d, his dreadful speech was such.

At last his blue-ey’d daughter spake: “O great Saturnides!

O father, O heav’n’s highest king, well know we the excess

Of thy great pow’r, compar’d with all; yet the bold Greeks’ estate

We needs must mourn, since they must fall beneath so hard a fate;

30 For, if thy grave command enjoin, we will abstain from fight.

But to afford them such advice, as may relieve their plight,

We will, with thy consent, be bold; that all may not sustain

The fearful burthen of thy wrath, and with their shames be slain.”

He smil’d, and said: “Be confident, thou art belov’d of me;

35 I speak not this with serious thoughts, but will be kind to thee.”

This said, his brass-hoof’d wingéd horse he did to chariot bind,

Whose crests were fring’d with manes of gold; and golden garments shin’d

On his rich shoulders; in his hand he took a golden scourge,

Divinely fashion’d, and with blows their willing speed did urge


40 Mid way betwixt the earth and heav’n. To Ida then he came,

Abounding in delicious springs, and nurse of beasts untame,

Where, on the mountain Gargarus, men did a fane erect

To his high name, and altars sweet; and there his horse he check’d,

Dissolv’d them from his chariot, and in a cloud of jet

45 He cover’d them, and on the top took his triumphant seat,

Beholding Priam’s famous town, and all the fleet of Greece.

The Greeks took breakfast speedily, and arm’d at ev’ry piece.

So Trojans; who though fewer far, yet all to fight took arms,

Dire need enforc’d them to avert their wives’ and children’s harms.

50 All gates flew open; all the host did issue, foot and horse,

In mighty tumult; straight one place adjoin’d each adverse force.

Then shields with shields met, darts with darts, strength against strength oppos’d;

The boss-pik’d targets were thrust on, and thunder’d as they clos’d

In mighty tumult; groan for groan, and breath for breath did breathe,

55 Of men then slain, and to be slain; earth flow’d with fruits of death.

While the fair morning’s beauty held, and day increas’d in height,

Their jav’lins mutually made death transport an equal freight,

But when the hot meridian point, bright Phœbus did ascend,

Then Jove his golden balances did equally extend,

60 And, of long-rest-conferring death, put in two bitter fates

For Troy and Greece; he held the midst; the day of final dates

Fell on the Greeks; the Greeks’ hard lot sunk to the flow’ry ground,

The Trojans’ leapt as high as heav’n. Then did the claps resound

Of his fierce thunder; lightning leapt amongst each Grecian troop;

65 The sight amaz’d them; pallid fear made boldest stomachs stoop.

Then Idomen durst not abide, Atrides went his way,

And both th’ Ajaces; Nestor yet, against his will did stay,

That grave protector of the Greeks, for Paris with a dart

Enrag’d one of his chariot horse; he smote the upper part

70 Of all his skull, ev’n where the hair, that made his foretop, sprung.

The hurt was deadly, and the pain so sore the courser stung,


(Pierc’d to the brain) he stamp’d and plung’d. One on another bears,

Entangled round about the beam; then Nestor cut the gears

With his new-drawn authentic sword. Meanwhile the fi’ry horse

75 Of Hector brake into the press, with their bold ruler’s force;

Then good old Nestor had been slain, had Diomed not espy’d,

Who to Ulysses, as he fled, importunately cried:

“Thou that in counsels dost abound, O Laertiades,

Why fly’st thou? Why thus, coward-like, shunn’st thou the honour’d prease?

80 Take heed thy back take not a dart. Stay, let us both intend

To drive this cruel enemy, from our dear agéd friend.”

He spake, but wary Ithacus would find no patient ear,

But fled forthright, ev’n to the fleet. Yet, though he single were,

Brave Diomed mix’d amongst the fight, and stood before the steeds

85 Of old Neleides, whose estate thus kingly he areeds:

“O father, with these youths in fight, thou art unequal plac’d,

Thy willing sinews are unknit, grave age pursues thee fast,

And thy unruly horse are slow; my chariot therefore use,

And try how ready Trojan horse, can fly him that pursues,

90 Pursue the flier, and ev’ry way perform the varied fight;

I forc’d them from Anchises’ son, well-skill’d in cause of flight.

Then let my squire lead hence thy horse; mine thou shalt guard, whilst I,

By thee advanc’d, assay the fight, that Hector’s self may try

If my lance dote with the defects, that fail best minds in age,

95 Or finds the palsy in my hands, that doth thy life engage.”

This noble Nestor did accept, and Diomed’s two friends,

Eurymedon that valour loves, and Sthenelus, ascends

Old Nestor’s coach. Of Diomed’s horse Nestor the charge sustains,

And Tydeus’ son took place of fight. Neleides held the reins,

100 And scourg’d the horse, who swiftly ran direct in Hector’s face;

Whom fierce Tydides bravely charg’d, but, he turn’d from the chace,


His jav’lin Eniopeus smit, mighty Thebæus’ son,

And was great Hector’s charioteer; it through his breast did run,

Near to his pap; he fell to earth, back flew his frighted horse,

105 His strength and soul were both dissolv’d. Hector had deep remorse

Of his mishap, yet left he him, and for another sought;

Nor long his steeds did want a guide, for straight good fortune brought

Bold Archeptolemus, whose life did from Iphitis spring;

He made him take the reins and mount. Then souls were set on wing;

110 Then high exploits were undergone; then Trojans in their walls

Had been infolded like meek lambs, had Jove wink’d at their falls,

Who hurl’d his horrid thunder forth, and made pale lightnings fly

Into the earth, before the horse that Nestor did apply.

A dreadful flash burnt through the air, that savour’d sulphur-like,

115 Which down before the chariot the dazzled horse did strike.

The fair reins fell from Nestor’s hand, who did in fear entreat

Renown’d Tydides into flight to turn his fury’s heat:

“For know’st thou not,” said he, “our aid is not supplied from Jove?

This day he will give fame to Troy, which when it fits his love

120 We shall enjoy. Let no man tempt his unresisted will,

Though he exceed in gifts of strength; for he exceeds him still.”

“Father,” replied the king, “’tis true; but both my heart and soul

Are most extremely griev’d to think how Hector will control

My valour with his vaunts in Troy, that I was terror-sick

125 With his approach; which when he boasts, let earth devour me quick.”

“Ah! warlike Tydeus’ son,” said he, “what needless words are these?

Though Hector should report thee faint, and amorous of thy ease,

The Trojans, nor the Trojan wives, would never give him trust,

Whose youthful husbands thy free hand hath smother’d so in dust.”

130 This said, he turn’d his one-hoof’d horse to flight, and troop did take,

When Hector and his men, with shouts, did greedy pursuit make,


And pour’d on darts that made air sigh. Then Hector did exclaim:

“O Tydeus’ son, the kings of Greece do most renown thy name

With highest place, feasts, and full cups; who now will do the shame;

135 Thou shalt be like a woman us’d, and they will say: ‘Depart,

Immartial minion, since to stand Hector thou hadst no heart.’

Nor canst thou scale our turrets’ tops, nor lead the wives to fleet

Of valiant men, that wife-like fear’st my adverse charge to meet.”

This two ways mov’d him,—still to fly, or turn his horse and fight.

140 Thrice thrust he forward to assault, and ev’ry time the fright

Of Jove’s fell thunder drave him back, which he propos’d for sign

(To show the change of victory) Trojans should victors shine.

Then Hector comforted his men: “All my advent’rous friends,

Be men, and, of your famous strength, think of the honour’d ends.

145 I know benevolent Jupiter, did by his beck profess

Conquest and high renown to me, and to the Greeks distress.

O fools, to raise such silly forts, not worth the least account,

Nor able to resist our force! With ease our horse may mount,

Quite over all their hollow dike. But, when their fleet I reach,

150 Let Memory to all the world a famous bonfire teach,

For I will all their ships inflame, with whose infestive smoke,

Fear-shrunk, and hidden near their keels, the conquer’d Greeks shall choke.”

Then cherish’d he his famous horse: “O Xanthus, now,” said he,

“And thou Podargus, Æthon too, and Lampus, dear to me,

155 Make me some worthy recompense, for so much choice of meat,

Giv’n you by fair Andromache; bread of the purest wheat,

And with it, for your drink, mix’d wine, to make ye wishéd cheer,

Still serving you before myself, her husband young and dear.

Pursue, and use your swiftest speed, that we may take for prise

160 The shield of old Neleides, which Fame lifts to the skies,

Ev’n to the handles telling it to be of massy gold.

And from the shoulders let us take, of Diomed the bold,


The royal curace Vulcan wrought, with art so exquisite.

These if we make our sacred spoil, I doubt not, but this night,

165 Ev’n to their navy to enforce the Greeks’ unturnéd flight.”

This Juno took in high disdain, and made Olympus shake

As she but stirr’d within her throne, and thus to Neptune spake:

“O Neptune, what a spite is this! Thou God so huge in pow’r,

Afflicts it not thy honour’d heart, to see rude spoil devour

170 These Greeks that have in Helice, and Aege, offer’d thee

So many and such wealthy gifts? Let them the victors be.

If we, that are the aids of Greece, would beat home these of Troy,

And hinder broad-ey’d Jove’s proud will, it would abate his joy.”

He, angry, told her she was rash, and he would not be one,

175 Of all the rest, should strive with Jove, whose pow’r was match’d by none.

Whiles they conferr’d thus, all the space the trench contain’d before

(From that part of the fort that flank’d the navy-anchoring shore)

Was fill’d with horse and targeteers, who there for refuge came,

By Mars-swift Hector’s pow’r engag’d; Jove gave his strength the fame;

180 And he with spoilful fire had burn’d the fleet, if Juno’s grace

Had not inspir’d the king himself, to run from place to place,

And stir up ev’ry soldier’s pow’r, to some illustrious deed.

First visiting their leaders’ tents, his ample purple weed

He wore, to show all who he was, and did his station take

185 At wise Ulysses’ sable barks, that did the battle make

Of all the fleet; from whence his speech might with more ease be driv’n

To Ajax’ and Achilles’ ships, to whose chief charge were giv’n

The vantguard and the rearguard both, both for their force of hand,

And trusty bosoms. There arriv’d, thus urg’d he to withstand

190 Th’ insulting Trojans: “O what shame, ye empty-hearted lords,

Is this to your admiréd forms! Where are your glorious words,

In Lemnos vaunting you the best of all the Grecian host?

‘We are the strongest men,’ ye said, ‘we will command the most,


Eating most flesh of high-horn’d beeves, and drinking cups full crown’d,

195 And ev’ry man a hundred foes, two hundred, will confound;

Now all our strength, dar’d to our worst, one Hector cannot tame,’

Who presently with horrid fire, will all our fleet inflame.

O Father Jove, hath ever yet thy most unsuffer’d hand

Afflicted, with such spoil of souls, the king of any land,

200 And taken so much fame from him? when I did never fail,

(Since under most unhappy stars, this fleet was under sail)

Thy glorious altars, I protest, but, above all the Gods,

Have burnt fat thighs of beeves to thee, and pray’d to raze th’ abodes

Of rape-defending Ilions. Yet grant, almighty Jove,

205 One favour;—that we may at least with life from hence remove,

Not under such inglorious hands, the hands of death employ;

And, where Troy should be stoop’d by Greece, let Greece fall under Troy.”

To this ev’n weeping king did Jove remorseful audience give,

And shook great heav’n to him, for sign his men and he should live.

210 Then quickly cast he off his hawk, the eagle prince of air,

That perfects his unspotted vows; who seiz’d in her repair

A sucking hind calf, which she truss’d in her enforcive seres,

And by Jove’s altar let it fall, amongst th’ amazéd peers,

Where the religious Achive kings, with sacrifice did please

215 The author of all oracles, divine Saturnides.

Now, when they knew the bird of Jove, they turn’d courageous head.

When none, though many kings put on, could make his vaunt, he led

Tydides to renew’d assault, or issu’d first the dike,

Or first did fight; but, far the first, stone dead his lance did strike


220 Arm’d Agelaus, by descent surnam’d Phradmonides;

He turn’d his ready horse to flight, and Diomed’s lance did seize

His back betwixt his shoulder-blades, and look’d out at his breast;

He fell, and his arms rang his fall. Th’ Atrides next address’d

Themselves to fight; th’ Ajaces next, with vehement strength endued;

225 Idomenëus and his friend, stout Merion, next pursued;

And after these Eurypylus, Evemon’s honour’d race;

The ninth, with backward-wreathéd bow, had little Teucer place,

He still fought under Ajax’ shield, who sometimes held it by,

And then he look’d his object out, and let his arrow fly,

230 And, whomsoever in the press he wounded, him he slew,

Then under Ajax’ sev’n-fold shield, he presently withdrew.

He far’d like an unhappy child, that doth to mother run

For succour, when he knows full well, he some shrewd turn hath done.

What Trojans then were to their deaths, by Teucer’s shafts, impress’d?

235 Hapless Orsilochus was first, Ormenus, Ophelest,

Dætor, and hardy Chromius, and Lycophon divine,

And Amopaon that did spring from Polyæmon’s line,

And Menalippus; all, on heaps, he tumbled to the ground.

The king rejoic’d to see his shafts the Phrygian ranks confound,

240 Who straight came near, and spake to him: “O Teucer, lovely man,

Strike still so sure, and be a grace to ev’ry Grecian,

And to thy father Telamon, who took thee kindly home

(Although not by his wife his son) and gave thee foster room,

Ev’n from thy childhood; then to him, though far from hence remov’d,

245 Make good fame reach; and to thyself, I vow what shall be prov’d:

If he that dreadful Ægis bears, and Pallas, grant to me

Th’ expugnance of well-builded Troy, I first will honour thee

Next to myself with some rich gift, and put it in thy hand:

A three-foot vessel, that, for grace, in sacred fanes doth stand;

250 Or two horse and a chariot; or else a lovely dame

That may ascend on bed with thee, and amplify thy name.”


Teucer right nobly answer’d him: “Why, most illustrate king,

I being thus forward of myself, dost thou adjoin a sting?

Without which, all the pow’r I have, I cease not to employ,

255 For, from the place where we repuls’d the Trojans towards Troy,

I all the purple field have strew’d, with one or other slain.

Eight shafts I shot, with long steel heads, of which not one in vain,

All were in youthful bodies fix’d, well-skill’d in war’s constraint;

Yet this wild dog, with all my aim, I have no pow’r to taint.”

260 This said, another arrow forth, from his stiff string he sent,

At Hector, whom he long’d to wound; but still amiss it went.

His shaft smit fair Gorgythion, of Priam’s princely race,

Who in Æpina was brought forth, a famous town in Thrace,

By Castianira, that, for form, was like celestial breed;

265 And, as a crimson poppy flow’r, surchargéd with his seed,

And vernal humours falling thick, declines his heavy brow,

So, of one side, his helmet’s weight his fainting head did bow.

Yet Teucer would another shaft at Hector’s life dispose,

So fain he such a mark would hit, but still beside it goes;

270 Apollo did avert the shaft; but Hector’s charioteer,

Bold Archeptolemus, he smit, as he was rushing near

To make the fight; to earth he fell, his swift horse back did fly,

And there were both his strength and soul exil’d eternally.

Huge grief, for Hector’s slaughter’d friend, pinch’d-in his mighty mind

275 Yet was he forc’d to leave him there, and his void place resign’d

To his sad brother, that was by, Cebriones; whose ear

Receiving Hector’s charge, he straight the weighty reins did bear;

And Hector from his shining coach, with horrid voice, leap’d on,

To wreak his friend on Teucer’s hand; and up he took a stone,

280 With which he at the archer ran; who from his quiver drew

A sharp-pil’d shaft, and nock’d it sure; but in great Hector flew


With such fell speed, that, in his draught, he his right shoulder strook

Where, ’twixt his neck and breast, the joint his native closure took.

The wound was wondrous full of death, his string in sunder flees,

285 His nummédhand fell strengthless down, and he upon his knees.

Ajax neglected not to aid his brother thus depress’d,

But came and saft him with his shield; and two more friends, address’d

To be his aid, took him to fleet, Mecisteus, Echius’ son,

And gay Alastor. Teucer sigh’d, for all his service done.

290 Then did Olympius, with fresh strength, the Trojan pow’rs revive,

Who, to their trenches once again, the troubled Greeks did drive.

Hector brought terror with his strength, and ever fought before.

As when some highly-stomach’d hound, that hunts a sylvan boar,

Or kingly lion, loves the haunch, and pincheth oft behind,

295 Bold of his feet, and still observes the game to turn inclin’d,

Not utterly dissolv’d in flight; so Hector did pursue,

And whosoever was the last, he ever did subdue.

They fled, but, when they had their dike, and palisadoes, pass’d,

(A number of them put to sword) at ships they stay’d at last.

300 Then mutual exhortations flew, then, all with hands and eyes

Advanc’d to all the Gods, their plagues wrung from them open cries.

Hector, with his four rich-man’d horse, assaulting always rode,

The eyes of Gorgon burnt in him, and war’s vermilion God.

The Goddess that all Goddesses, for snowy arms, out-shin’d,

305 Thus spake to Pallas, to the Greeks with gracious ruth inclin’d:

“O Pallas, what a grief is this! Is all our succour past

To these our perishing Grecian friends? At least withheld at last,

Ev’n now, when one man’s violence must make them perish all,

In satisfaction of a fate so full of funeral?

310 Hector Priamides now raves, no more to be endur’d,

That hath already on the Greeks so many harms inur’d.”

The azure Goddess answer’d her: “This man had surely found

His fortitude and life dissolv’d, ev’n on his father’s ground,


By Grecian valour, if my sire, infested with ill moods,

315 Did not so dote on these of Troy, too jealous of their bloods,

And ever an unjust repulse stands to my willing pow’rs,

Little rememb’ring what I did, in all the desp’rate hours

Of his affected Hercules; I ever rescu’d him,

In labours of Eurystheüs, untouch’d in life or limb,

320 When he, heav’n knows, with drownéd eyes look’d up for help to heav’n,

Which ever, at command of Jove, was by my suppliance giv’n.

But had my wisdom reach’d so far, to know of this event,

When to the solid-ported depths of hell his son was sent,

To hale out hateful Pluto’s dog from darksome Erebus,

325 He had not ’scap’d the streams of Styx, so deep and dangerous.

Yet Jove hates me, and shows his love in doing Thetis’ will,

That kiss’d his knees, and strok’d his chin, pray’d, and importun’d still,

That he would honour with his aid her city-razing son,

Displeas’d Achilles; and for him our friends are thus undone.

330 But time shall come again, when he, to do his friends some aid,

Will call me his Glaucopides, his sweet and blue-eyed Maid.

Then harness thou thy horse for me, that his bright palace gates

I soon may enter, arming me, to order these debates;

And I will try if Priam’s son will still maintain his cheer,

335 When in the crimson paths of war, I dreadfully appear;

For some proud Trojans shall be sure to nourish dogs and fowls,

And pave the shore with fat and flesh, depriv’d of lives and souls.”

Juno prepar’d her horse, whose manes ribands of gold enlac’d.

Pallas her party-colour’d robe on her bright shoulders cast,

340 Divinely wrought with her own hands, in th’ entry of her sire.

Then put she on her ample breast her under-arming tire,

And on it her celestial arms. The chariot straight she takes,

With her huge heavy violent lance, with which she slaughter makes


Of armies fatal to her wrath. Saturnia whipp’d her horse,

345 And heav’n-gates, guarded by the Hours, op’d by their proper force.

Through which they flew. Whom when Jove saw (set near th’ Idalian springs)

Highly displeas’d, he Iris call’d, that hath the golden wings,

And said: “Fly, Iris, turn them back, let them not come at me,

Our meetings, sev’rally dispos’d, will nothing gracious be.

350 Beneath their o’erthrown chariot I’ll shiver their proud steeds,

Hurl down themselves, their waggon break, and, for their stubborn deeds,

In ten whole years they shall not heal the wounds I will impress

With horrid thunder; that my maid may know when to address

Arms ’gainst her father. For my wife, she doth not so offend,

355 ’Tis but her use to interrupt whatever I intend.”

Iris, with this, left Ida’s hills, and up t’ Olympus flew,

Met near heav’n-gates the Goddesses, and thus their haste withdrew:

“What course intend you? Why are you wrapp’d with your fancies’ storm?

Jove likes not ye should aid the Greeks, but threats, and will perform,

360 To crush in pieces your swift horse beneath their glorious yokes,

Hurl down yourselves, your chariot break, and, those impoison’d strokes

His wounding thunder shall imprint in your celestial parts,

In ten full springs ye shall not cure; that She that tames proud hearts

(Thyself, Minerva) may be taught to know for what, and when,

365 Thou dost against thy father fight; for sometimes childeren

May with discretion plant themselves against their fathers’ wills,

But not, where humours only rule, in works beyond their skills.

For Juno, she offends him not, nor vexeth him so much,

For ’tis her use to cross his will, her impudence is such,

370 The habit of offence in this she only doth contract,

And so grieves or incenseth less, though ne’er the less her fact.


But thou most griev’st him, doggéd dame, whom he rebukes in time,

Lest silence should pervert thy will, and pride too highly climb

In thy bold bosom, desp’rate girl, if seriously thou dare

375 Lift thy unwieldy lance ’gainst Jove, as thy pretences are.”

She left them, and Saturnia said: “Ah me! Thou seed of Jove,

By my advice we will no more unfit contention move

With Jupiter, for mortal men; of whom, let this man die,

And that man live, whoever he pursues with destiny;

380 And let him, plotting all events, dispose of either host,

As he thinks fittest for them both, and may become us most.”

Thus turn’d she back, and to the Hours her rich-man’d horse resign’d,

Who them t’ immortal mangers bound; the chariot they inclin’d

Beneath the crystal walls of heav’n; and they in golden thrones

385 Consorted other Deities, replete with passións.

Jove, in his bright-wheel’d chariot, his fi’ry horse now beats

Up to Olympus, and aspir’d the Gods’ eternal seats.

Great Neptune loos’d his horse, his car upon the altar plac’d,

And heav’nly-linen coverings did round about it cast.

390 The Far-seer us’d his throne of gold. The vast Olympus shook

Beneath his feet. His wife, and maid, apart their places took,

Nor any word afforded him. He knew their thoughts, and said:

“Why do you thus torment yourselves? You need not sit dismay’d

With the long labours you have us’d in your victorious fight,

395 Destroying Trojans, ’gainst whose lives you heap such high despite.

Ye should have held your glorious course; for, be assur’d, as far

As all my pow’rs, by all means urg’d, could have sustain’d the war,

Not all the host of Deities should have retir’d my hand

From vow’d inflictions on the Greeks, much less you two withstand.

400 But you, before you saw the fight, much less the slaughter there,

Had all your goodly lineaments possess’d with shaking fear,

And never had your chariot borne their charge to heav’n again,

But thunder should have smit you both, had you one Trojan slain.”


Both Goddesses let fall their chins upon their ivory breasts,

405 Set next to Jove, contriving still afflicted Troy’s unrests.

Pallas for anger could not speak; Saturnia, contrary,

Could not for anger hold her peace, but made this bold reply:

“Not-to-be-suff’red Jupiter, what need’st thou still enforce

Thy matchless pow’r? We know it well; but we must yield remorse

410 To them that yield us sacrifice. Nor need’st thou thus deride

Our kind obedience, nor our griefs, but bear our pow’rs applied

To just protection of the Greeks, that anger tomb not all

In Troy’s foul gulf of perjury, and let them stand should fall.”

“Grieve not,” said Jove, “at all done yet; for, if thy fair eyes please

415 This next red morning they shall see the great Saturnides

Bring more destruction to the Greeks; and Hector shall not cease,

Till he have rouséd from the fleet swift-foot Æacides,

In that day, when before their ships, for his Patroclus slain,

The Greeks in great distress shall fight; for so the Fates ordain.

420 I weigh not thy displeaséd spleen, though to th’ extremest bounds

Of earth and seas it carry thee, where endless night confounds

Japet, and my dejected Sire, who sit so far beneath,

They never see the flying sun, nor hear the winds that breath,

Near to profoundest Tartarus. Nor, thither if thou went,

425 Would I take pity of thy moods, since none more impudent.”

To this she nothing did reply. And now Sol’s glorious light

Fell to the sea, and to the land drew up the drowsy night.

The Trojans griev’d at Phœbus’ fall, which all the Greeks desir’d,

And sable night, so often wish’d, to earth’s firm throne aspir’d.

430 Hector (intending to consult) near to the gulfy flood,

Far from the fleet, led to a place, pure and exempt from blood,

The Trojans’ forces. From their horse all lighted, and did hear

Th’ oration Jove-lov’d Hector made; who held a goodly spear,

Elev’n full cubits long, the head was brass, and did reflect

435 A wanton light before him still, it round about was deck’d


With strong hoops of new-burnish’d gold. On this he lean’d, and said:

“Hear me, my worthy friends of Troy, and you our honour’d aid.

A little since, I had conceit we should have made retreat,

By light of the inflaméd fleet, with all the Greeks’ escheat,

440 But darkness hath prevented us, and saft, with special grace,

These Achives and their shore-hal’d fleet. Let us then render place

To sacred Night, our suppers dress, and from our chariot free

Our fair-man’d horse, and meat them well. Then let there convoy’d be,

From forth the city presently, oxen and well-fed sheep,

445 Sweet wine, and bread; and fell much wood, that all night we may keep

Plenty of fires, ev’n till the light bring forth the lovely morn,

And let their brightness glaze the skies, that night may not suborn

The Greeks’ escape, if they for flight the sea’s broad back would take;

At least they may not part with ease, but, as retreat they make,

450 Each man may bear a wound with him, to cure when he comes home,

Made with a shaft or sharp’ned spear; and others fear to come,

With charge of lamentable war, ’gainst soldiers bred in Troy.

Then let our heralds through the town their offices employ

To warn the youth, yet short of war, and time-white fathers, past,

455 That in our god-built tow’rs they see strong courts of guard be plac’d.

About the walls; and let out dames, yet flourishing in years,

That, having beauties to keep pure, are most inclin’d to fears

(Since darkness in distressful times more dreadful is than light)

Make lofty fires in ev’ry house; and thus, the dang’rous night,

460 Held with strong watch, if th’ enemy have ambuscadoes laid

Near to our walls (and therefore seem in flight the more dismay’d,

Intending a surprise, while we are all without the town)

They ev’ry way shall be impugn’d, to ev’ry man’s renown.

Perform all this, brave Trojan friends. What now I have to say

465 Is all express’d; the cheerful morn shall other things display.

It is my glory (putting trust in Jove, and other Gods)

That I shall now expulse these dogs Fates sent to our abodes,


Who bring ostents of destiny, and black their threat’ning fleet.

But this night let us hold strong guards; to-morrow we will meet

470 (With fierce-made war) before their ships, and I’ll make known to all

If strong Tydides from their ships can drive me to their wall,

Or I can pierce him with my sword, and force his bloody spoil.

The wishéd morn shall show his pow’r, if he can shun his foil

I running on him with my lance. I think, when day ascends,

475 He shall lie wounded with the first, and by him many friends.

O that I were as sure to live immortal, and sustain

No frailties with increasing years, but evermore remain

Ador’d like Pallas, or the Sun, as all doubts die in me

That heav’n’s next light shall be the last the Greeks shall ever see!”

480 This speech all Trojans did applaud; who from their traces los’d

Their sweating horse, which sev’rally with headstalls they repos’d,

And fast’ned by their chariots; when others brought from town

Fat sheep and oxen, instantly, bread, wine, and hewéd down

Huge store of wood. The winds transferr’d into the friendly sky

485 Their supper’s savour; to the which they sat delightfully,

And spent all night in open field; fires round about them shin’d.

As when about the silver moon, when air is free from wind,

And stars shine clear, to whose sweet beams, high prospects, and the brows

Of all steep hills and pinnacles, thrust up themselves for shows,

490 And ev’n the lowly valleys joy to glitter in their sight,

When the unmeasur’d firmament bursts to disclose her light,

And all the signs in heav’n are seen, that glad the shepherd’s heart;

So many fires disclos’d their beams, made by the Trojan part,

Before the face of Ilion, and her bright turrets show’d.

495 A thousand courts of guard kept fires, and ev’ry guard allow’d

Fifty stout men, by whom their horse ate oats and hard white corn,

And all did wishfully expect the silver-thronéd morn.

Linenotes for Book VIII

11: “Virgil maketh this likewise his place, adding,

Bis patet in præceps tantum, tenditque sub umbras, &c.


74: Authentic—i.e., his own.

80: Intend—apply ourselves.

85: Areeds—counsels, advises.

89: See Bk. V. 308.

95: Thy life.—The second folio has “my.”

130: Troop did take—to take troop is a frequent expression for taking shelter amidst the troops, running back.

136: The second folio has a strange misprint in “immortal” for “immartial.”

171: The second folio and Dr. Taylor read, “So many and so wealthy gifts.”

208: Remorseful—compassionate,—

O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman,

(Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not)

Valiant, wise, remorseful.

Shakespeare. Two Gent. Ver. IV. 3.

See infra, line 409.

212: Seres—talons.

217: Put on—attempted, came forward. Make his vaunt—make good his boast. Dr. Taylor says, “gain the vantage, come first to fight.”

218: Tydides.—He led Tydides, i.e. Tydides he led. An unusual construction.

252: Illustrate.—The second folio, which Dr. Taylor follows, has “illustrious.”

253: Adjoin a sting—add an impulse.

259: Taint—See Bk. III. 374.

282: In his draught—as he (Teucer) was drawing his bow.

304: Juno.

318: Affected—beloved.

321: Suppliance—supply, assistance.

344: Fatal—decreed by fate. See Bk. IX. 241.

349: Severally—separately, oppositely.

369: “Facilè facit quod semper facit.” —Chapman.

409: Remorse.—See suprà, line 208.

422: Iapetus, and Chronos. Dejected—cast down from heaven.

468: i.e. their fleet is black. The original is simply “who bring fates upon their black ships.” Iliad VIII.528.

497: Wishfully.—Both folios have wilfully, but Steevens remarks that in the 4to. of 1598, it is wishfully, which is evidently the true reading.


Corrections for Book VIII

140 and ev’ry time the fright
text has fright.

188 The vantguard and the rearguard both
spelling unchanged

285 His numméd hand fell strengthless down
spelling unchanged

497 note Both folios have wilfully, but Steevens remarks
text has Stevens

Line added for consistency; there was no room on the page to print it.




The Argument.

To Agamemnon, urging hopeless flight,

Stand Diomed, and Nestor, opposite.

By Nestor’s counsel, legates are dismiss’d

To Thetis’ son; who still denies t’ assist.

Another Argument.

Iota sings the Ambassy,

And great Achilles’ stern reply.


o held the Trojans sleepless guard; the Greeks to flight were giv’n,

The feeble consort of cold fear, strangely infus’d from heav’n;

Grief, not to be endur’d, did wound all Greeks of greatest worth.

And as two lateral-sited winds, the west wind and the north,

5 Meet at the Thracian sea’s black breast, join in a sudden blore,

Tumble together the dark waves, and pour upon the shore

A mighty deal of froth and weed, with which men manure ground;

So Jove and Troy did drive the Greeks, and all their minds confound.


But Agamemnon most of all was tortur’d at his heart,

10 Who to the voiceful heralds went, and bade them cite, apart,

Each Grecian leader sev’rally, not openly proclaim.

In which he labour’d with the first; and all together came.

They sadly sate. The king arose, and pour’d out tears as fast

As from a lofty rock a spring doth his black waters cast,

15 And, deeply sighing, thus bespake the Achives: “O my friends,

Princes, and leaders of the Greeks, heav’n’s adverse King extends

His wrath, with too much detriment, to my so just design,

Since he hath often promis’d me, and bound it with the sign

Of his bent forehead, that this Troy our vengeful hands should race,

20 And safe return; yet, now engag’d, he plagues us with disgrace,

When all our trust to him hath drawn so much blood from our friends.

My glory, nor my brother’s wreak, were the proposéd ends,

For which he drew you to these toils, but your whole countries’ shame,

Which had been huge to bear the rape of so divine a dame,

25 Made in despite of our revenge. And yet not that had mov’d

Our pow’rs to these designs, if Jove had not our drifts approv’d;

Which since we see he did for blood, ’tis desp’rate fight in us

To strive with him; then let us fly; ’tis flight he urgeth thus.”

Long time still silence held them all; at last did Diomed rise:

30 “Atrides, I am first must cross thy indiscreet advice,

As may become me, being a king, in this our martial court.

Be not displeas’d then; for thyself didst broadly misreport

In open field my fortitude, and call’d me faint and weak,

Yet I was silent, knowing the time, loth any rites to break

35 That appertain’d thy public rule, yet all the Greeks knew well,

Of ev’ry age, thou didst me wrong. As thou then didst refell

My valour first of all the host, as of a man dismay’d;

So now, with fit occasion giv’n, I first blame thee afraid.


Inconstant Saturn’s son hath giv’n inconstant spirits to thee,

40 And, with a sceptre over all, an eminent degree;

But with a sceptre’s sov’reign grace, the chief pow’r, fortitude,

(To bridle thee) he thought not best thy breast should be endu’d.

Unhappy king, think’st thou the Greeks are such a silly sort,

And so excessive impotent, as thy weak words import?

45 If thy mind move thee to be gone, the way is open, go;

Mycenian ships enow ride near, that brought thee to this woe;

The rest of Greece will stay, nor stir till Troy be overcome

With full eversion; or if not, but (doters of their home)

Will put on wings to fly with thee. Myself and Sthenelus

50 Will fight till (trusting favouring Jove) we bring home Troy with us.”

This all applauded, and admir’d the spirit of Diomed;

When Nestor, rising from the rest, his speech thus seconded:

“Tydides, thou art, questionless, our strongest Greek in war,

And gravest in thy counsels too, of all that equal are

55 In place with thee, and stand on strength; nor is there any one

Can blame, or contradict thy speech; and yet thou hast not gone

So far, but we must further go. Thou’rt young, and well mightst be

My youngest son, though still I yield thy words had high degree

Of wisdom in them to our king, since well they did become

60 Their right in question, and refute inglorious going home.

But I (well-known thy senior far) will speak, and handle all

Yet to propose, which none shall check; no, not our general.

A hater of society, unjust, and wild, is he

That loves intestine war, being stuff’d with manless cruelty.

65 And therefore in persuading peace, and home-flight, we the less

May blame our gen’ral, as one loth to wrap in more distress


His lovéd soldiers. But because they bravely are resolv’d

To cast lives after toils, before they part in shame involv’d,

Provide we for our honour’d stay; obey black night, and fall

70 Now to our suppers; then appoint our guards without the wall,

And in the bottom of the dike; which guards I wish may stand

Of our brave youth. And, Atreus’ son, since thou art in command

Before our other kings, be first in thy command’s effect.

It well becomes thee; since ’tis both what all thy peers expect,

75 And in the royal right of things is no impair to thee.

Nor shall it stand with less than right, that they invited be

To supper by thee; all thy tents are amply stor’d with wine,

Brought daily in Greek ships from Thrace; and to this grace of thine

All necessaries thou hast fit, and store of men to wait;

80 And, many meeting there, thou may’st hear ev’ry man’s conceit,

And take the best. It much concerns all Greeks to use advice

Of gravest nature, since so near our ships our enemies

Have lighted such a sort of fires, with which what man is joy’d?

Look, how all bear themselves this night; so live, or be destroy’d.”

85 All heard, and follow’d his advice. There was appointed then

Sev’n captains of the watch, who forth did march with all their men.

The first was famous Thrasymed, adviceful Nestor’s son;

Ascalaphus; and Ialmen; and mighty Merion;

Alphareus; and Deipyrus; and lovely Lycomed,

90 Old Creon’s joy. These sev’n bold lords an hundred soldiers led,

In ev’ry sever’d company, and ev’ry man his pike,

Some placéd on the rampire’s top, and some amidst the dike,

All fires made, and their suppers took. Atrides to his tent

Invited all the peers of Greece, and food sufficient

95 Appos’d before them, and the peers appos’d their hands to it.

Hunger and thirst being quickly quench’d, to counsel still they sit.

And first spake Nestor, who they thought of late advis’d so well,

A father grave, and rightly wise, who thus his tale did tell:


“Most high Atrides, since in thee I have intent to end,

100 From thee will I begin my speech, to whom Jove doth commend

The empire of so many men, and puts into thy hand

A sceptre, and establish’d laws, that thou mayst well command,

And counsel all men under thee. It therefore doth behove

Thyself to speak most, since of all thy speeches most will move;

105 And yet to hear, as well as speak; and then perform as well

A free just counsel; in thee still must stick what others tell.

For me, what in my judgment stands the most convenient

I will advise, and am assur’d advice more competent

Shall not be giv’n; the gen’ral proof, that hath before been made

110 Of what I speak, confirms me still, and now may well persuade,

Because I could not then, yet ought, when thou, most royal king,

Ev’n from the tent, Achilles’ love didst violently bring,

Against my counsel, urging thee by all means to relent;

But you, obeying your high mind, would venture the event,

115 Dishonouring our ablest Greek, a man th’ Immortals grace.

Again yet let’s deliberate, to make him now embrace

Affection to our gen’ral good, and bring his force to field;

Both which kind words and pleasing gifts must make his virtues yield.”

“O father,” answeréd the king, “my wrongs thou tell’st me right.

120 Mine own offence mine own tongue grants. One man must stand in fight

For our whole army; him I wrong’d; him Jove loves from his heart,

He shows it in thus honouring him; who, living thus apart,

Proves us but number, for his want makes all our weakness seen.

Yet after my confess’d offence, soothing my hum’rous spleen,

125 I’ll sweeten his affects again with presents infinite,

Which, to approve my firm intent, I’ll openly recite:

Sev’n sacred tripods free from fire; ten talents of fine gold;

Twenty bright cauldrons; twelve young horse, well-shap’d, and well-controll’d,


And victors too, for they have won the prize at many a race,

130 That man should not be poor that had but what their wingéd pace

Hath added to my treasury, nor feel sweet gold’s defect.

Sev’n Lesbian ladies he shall have, that were the most select,

And in their needles rarely skill’d, whom, when he took the town

Of famous Lesbos, I did choose; who won the chief renown

135 For beauty from their whole fair sex; amongst whom I’ll resign

Fair Brisis, and I deeply swear (for any fact of mine

That may discourage her receipt) she is untouched, and rests

As he resign’d her. To these gifts (if Jove to our requests

Vouchsafe performance, and afford the work, for which we wait,

140 Of winning Troy) with brass and gold he shall his navy freight;

And, ent’ring when we be at spoil, that princely hand of his

Shall choose him twenty Trojan dames, excepting Tyndaris,

The fairest Pergamus enfolds; and, if we make retreat

To Argos, call’d of all the world the Navel, or chief seat,

145 He shall become my son-in-law, and I will honour him

Ev’n as Orestes, my sole son, that doth in honours swim.

Three daughters in my well-built court unmarried are, and fair;

Laodice, Chrysothemis that hath the golden hair,

And Iphianassa; of all three the worthiest let him take

150 All-jointureless to Peleus’ court; I will her jointure make,

And that so great as never yet did any maid prefer.

Sev’n cities right magnificent, I will bestow on her;

Enope, and Cardamyle, Hira for herbs renown’d,

The fair Æpea, Pedasus that doth with grapes abound,

155 Anthæa girded with green meads, Phera surnam’d Divine;

All whose bright turrets on the seas, in sandy Pylos, shine.

Th’ inhabitants in flocks and herds are wondrous confluent,

Who like a God will honour him, and him with gifts present,


And to his throne will cóntribute what tribute he will rate.

160 All this I gladly will perform, to pacify his hate.

Let him be mild and tractable; ’tis for the God of ghosts

To be unrul’d, implacable, and seek the blood of hosts,

Whom therefore men do much abhor; then let him yield to me,

I am his greater, being a king, and more in years than he.”

165 “Brave king,” said Nestor, “these rich gifts must make him needs relent,

Choose then fit legates instantly to greet him at his tent.

But stay; admit my choice of them, and let them straight be gone.

Jove-lovéd Phœnix shall be chief, then Ajax Telamon,

And prince Ulysses; and on them let these two heralds wait,

170 Grave Odius and Eurybates. Come, lords, take water straight,

Make pure your hands, and with sweet words appease Achilles’ mind,

Which we will pray the king of Gods may gently make inclin’d.”

All lik’d his speech; and on their hands the heralds water shed,

The youths crown’d cups of sacred wine to all distributed.

175 But having sacrific’d, and drunk to ev’ry man’s content,

With many notes by Nestor giv’n, the legates forward went.

With courtship in fit gestures us’d he did prepare them well,

But most Ulysses, for his grace did not so much excell.

Such rites beseem ambassadors; and Nestor urgéd these,

180 That their most honours might reflect enrag’d Æacides.

They went along the shore, and pray’d the God, that earth doth bind

In brackish chains, they might not fail, but bow his mighty mind.

The quarter of the Myrmidons they reach’d, and found him set

Delighted with his solemn harp, which curiously was fret

185 With works conceited, through the verge; the bawdrick that embrac’d

His lofty neck was silver twist; this, when his hand laid waste


Aëtion’s city, he did choose as his especial prise,

And, loving sacred music well, made it his exercise.

To it he sung the glorious deeds of great heroës dead,

190 And his true mind, that practice fail’d, sweet contemplation fed.

With him alone, and opposite, all silent sat his friend,

Attentive, and beholding him, who now his song did end.

Th’ ambassadors did forwards press, renown’d Ulysses led,

And stood in view. Their sudden sight his admiration bred,

195 Who with his harp and all arose; so did Menœtius’ son

When he beheld them. Their receipt Achilles thus begun:

“Health to my lords! Right welcome men, assure yourselves you be,

Though some necessity, I know, doth make you visit me,

Incens’d with just cause ’gainst the Greeks.” This said, a sev’ral seat

200 With purple cushions he set forth, and did their ease intreat,

And said: “Now, friend, our greatest bowl, with wine unmix’d and neat,

Appose these lords, and of the depth let ev’ry man make proof,

These are my best esteeméd friends, and underneath my roof.”

Patroclus did his dear friend’s will; and he that did desire

205 To cheer the lords, come faint from fight, set on a blazing fire

A great brass pot, and into it a chine of mutton put,

And fat goat’s flesh. Automedon held, while he pieces cut,

To roast and boil, right cunningly; then of a well-fed swine

A huge fat shoulder he cuts out, and spits it wondrous fine.

210 His good friend made a goodly fire; of which the force once past,

He laid the spit low, near the coals, to make it brown at last,

Then sprinkled it with sacred salt, and took it from the racks.

This roasted and on dresser set, his friend Patroclus takes

Bread in fair baskets; which set on, Achilles brought the meat,

215 And to divinest Ithacus took his opposéd seat

Upon the bench. Then did he will his friend to sacrifice,

Who cast sweet incense in the fire to all the Deities.


Thus fell they to their ready food. Hunger and thirst allay’d,

Ajax to Phœnix made a sign, as if too long they stay’d

220 Before they told their legacy. Ulysses saw him wink,

And, filling the great bowl with wine, did to Achilles drink:

“Health to Achilles! But our plights stand not in need of meat,

Who late supp’d at Atrides’ tent, though for thy love we eat

Of many things, whereof a part would make a cómplete feast.

225 Nor can we joy in these kind rites, that have our hearts oppress’d,

O prince, with fear of utter spoil. ’Tis made a question now,

If we can save our fleet or not, unless thyself endow

Thy pow’rs with wonted fortitude. Now Troy and her consórts,

Bold of thy want, have pitch’d their tents close to our fleet and forts,

230 And made a firmament of fires; and now no more, they say,

Will they be prison’d in their walls, but force their violent way

Ev’n to our ships; and Jove himself hath with his lightnings show’d

Their bold adventures happy signs; and Hector grows so proud

Of his huge strength, borne out by Jove, that fearfully he raves,

235 Presuming neither men nor Gods can interrupt his braves.

Wild rage invades him, and he prays that soon the sacred Morn

Would light his fury; boasting then our streamers shall be torn,

And all our naval ornaments fall by his conqu’ring stroke,

Our ships shall burn, and we ourselves lie stifled in the smoke.

240 And I am seriously afraid, Heav’n will perform his threats,

And that ’tis fatal to us all, far from our native seats,

To perish in victorious Troy. But rise, though it be late,

Deliver the afflicted Greeks from Troy’s tumultuous hate;

It will hereafter be thy grief, when no strength can suffice

245 To remedy th’ effected threats of our calamities.

Consider these affairs in time, while thou mayst use thy pow’r.

And have the grace to turn from Greece fate’s unrecover’d hour.


O friend, thou know’st thy royal sire forewarn’d what should be done,

That day he sent thee from his court to honour Atreus’ son:

250 ‘My son,’ said he, ‘the victory let Jove and Pallas use

At their high pleasures, but do thou no honour’d means refuse

That may advance her. In fit bounds contain thy mighty mind,

Nor let the knowledge of thy strength be factiously inclin’d,

Contriving mischiefs. Be to fame and gen’ral good profess’d.

255 The more will all sorts honour thee. Benignity is best.’

Thus charg’d thy sire, which thou forgett’st. Yet now those thoughts appease,

That torture thy great spirit with wrath; which if thou wilt surcease,

The king will merit it with gifts; and, if thou wilt give ear,

I’ll tell how much he offers thee yet thou sitt’st angry here:

260 Sev’n tripods that no fire must touch; twice-ten pans, fit for flame;

Ten talents of fine gold; twelve horse that ever overcame,

And brought huge prises from the field, with swiftness of their feet,

That man should bear no poor account, nor want gold’s quick’ning sweet,

That had but what he won with them; sev’n worthiest Lesbian dames,

265 Renown’d for skill in housewif’ry, and bear the sov’reign fames

For beauty from their gen’ral sex, which, at thy overthrow

Of well-built Lesbos, he did choose; and these he will bestow,

And with these her he took from thee, whom, by his state, since then,

He swears he touch’d not, as fair dames use to be touch’d by men.

270 All these are ready for thee now. And, if at length we take,

By helps of Gods, this wealthy town, thy ships shall burthen make

Of gold and brass at thy desires, when we the spoil divide;

And twenty beauteous Trojan dames thou shalt select beside,

Next Helen, the most beautiful; and, when return’d we be

275 To Argos, be his son-in-law, for he will honour thee

Like his Orestes, his sole son, maintain’d in height of bliss.

Three daughters beautify his court, the fair Chrysothemis,


Laodice, and Iphianesse; of all the fairest take

To Peleus’ thy grave father’s court, and never jointure make;

280 He will the jointure make himself, so great, as never sire

Gave to his daughter’s nuptials. Sev’n cities left entire;

Cardamyle, and Enope, and Hira full of flow’rs,

Anthæa for sweet meadows prais’d, and Phera deck’d with tow’rs,

The bright Epea, Pedasus that doth God Bacchus please;

285 All, on the sandy Pylos’ soil, are seated near the seas;

Th’ inhabitants in droves and flocks exceeding wealthy be,

Who, like a God, with worthy gifts will gladly honour thee,

And tribute of especial rate to thy high sceptre pay.

All this he freely will perform, thy anger to allay.

290 But if thy hate to him be more than his gifts may repress,

Yet pity all the other Greeks, in such extreme distress,

Who with religion honour thee; and to their desp’rate ill

Thou shalt triumphant glory bring; and Hector thou may’st kill,

When pride makes him encounter thee, fill’d with a baneful sprite,

295 Who vaunts our whole fleet brought not one, equal to him in fight.”

Swift-foot Æacides replied: “Divine Laertes’ son,

’Tis requisite I should be short, and show what place hath won

Thy serious speech, affirming nought but what you shall approve

Establish’d in my settled heart, that in the rest I move

300 No murmur nor exceptión; for, like hell mouth I loath,

Who holds not in his words and thoughts one indistinguish’d troth.

What fits the freeness of my mind, my speech shall make display’d.

Nor Atreus’ son, nor all the Greeks, shall win me to their aid,

Their suit is wretchedly enforc’d, to free their own despairs,

305 And my life never shall be hir’d with thankless desp’rate pray’rs;

For never had I benefit, that ever foil’d the foe;

Ev’n share hath he that keeps his tent, and he to field doth go,

With equal honour cowards die, and men most valiant,

The much performer, and the man that can of nothing vaunt.


310 No overplus I ever found, when, with my mind’s most strife

To do them good, to dang’rous fight I have expos’d my life.

But ev’n as to unfeather’d birds the careful dam brings meat,

Which when she hath bestow’d, herself hath nothing left to eat;

So, when my broken sleeps have drawn the nights t’ extremest length,

315 And ended many bloody days with still-employéd strength,

To guard their weakness, and preserve their wives’ contents infract,

I have been robb’d before their eyes. Twelve cities I have sack’d

Assail’d by sea, elev’n by land, while this siege held at Troy;

And of all these, what was most dear, and most might crown the joy

320 Of Agamemnon, he enjoy’d, who here behind remain’d;

Which when he took, a few he gave, and many things retain’d,

Other to optimates and kings he gave, who hold them fast,

Yet mine he forceth; only I sit with my loss disgrac’d.

But so he gain a lovely dame, to be his bed’s delight,

325 It is enough; for what cause else do Greeks and Trojans fight?

Why brought he hither such an host? Was it not for a dame?

For fair-hair’d Helen? And doth love alone the hearts inflame

Of the Atrides to their wives, of all the men that move?

Ev’ry discreet and honest mind cares for his private love,

330 As much as they; as I myself lov’d Brisis as my life,

Although my captive, and had will to take her for my wife.

Whom since he forc’d, preventing me, in vain he shall prolong

Hopes to appease me that know well the deepness of my wrong.

But, good Ulysses, with thyself, and all you other kings,

335 Let him take stomach to repel Troy’s fi’ry threatenings.

Much hath he done without my help, built him a goodly fort,

Cut a dike by it, pitch’d with pales, broad and of deep import;

And cannot all these helps repress this kill-man Hector’s fright?

When I was arm’d among the Greeks, he would not offer fight

340 Without the shadow of his walls; but to the Scæan ports,

Or to the holy beech of Jove, come back’d with his consorts;


Where once he stood my charge alone, and hardly made retreat,

And to make new proof of our pow’rs, the doubt is not so great.

To-morrow then, with sacrifice perform’d t’ imperial Jove

345 And all the Gods, I’ll launch my fleet, and all my men remove;

Which (if thou wilt use so thy sight, or think’st it worth respect)

In forehead of the morn, thine eyes shall see, with sails erect

Amidst the fishy Hellespont, help’d with laborious oars.

And, if the Sea-god send free sail, the fruitful Phthian shores

350 Within three days we shall attain, where I have store of prise

Left, when with prejudice I came to these indignities.

There have I gold as well as here, and store of ruddy brass,

Dames slender, elegantly girt, and steel as bright as glass.

These will I take as I retire, as shares I firmly save,

355 Though Agamemnon be so base to take the gifts he gave.

Tell him all this, and openly, I on your honours charge,

That others may take shame to hear his lusts command so large,

And, if there yet remain a man he hopeth to deceive

(Being dyed in endless impudence) that man may learn to leave

360 His trust and empire. But alas, though, like a wolf he be,

Shameless and rude, he durst not take my prise, and look on me.

I never will partake his works, nor counsels, as before,

He once deceiv’d and injur’d me, and he shall never more

Tye my affections with his words. Enough is the increase

365 Of one success in his deceits; which let him joy in peace,

And bear it to a wretched end. Wise Jove hath reft his brain

To bring him plagues, and these his gifts I, as my foes, disdain.

Ev’n in the numbness of calm death I will revengeful be,

Though ten or twenty times so much he would bestow on me,

370 All he hath here, or any where, or Orchomen contains,

To which men bring their wealth for strength, or all the store remains

In circuit of Egyptian Thebes, where much hid treasure lies,

Whose walls contain an hundred ports, of so admir’d a size


Two hundred soldiers may a-front with horse and chariots pass.

375 Nor, would he amplify all this like sand, or dust, or grass,

Should he reclaim me, till this wreak pay’d me for all the pains

That with his contumely burn’d, like poison, in my veins.

Nor shall his daughter be my wife, although she might contend

With golden Venus for her form, or if she did transcend

380 Blue-ey’d Minerva for her works; let him a Greek select

Fit for her, and a greater king. For if the Gods protect

My safety to my father’s court, he shall choose me a wife.

Many fair Achive princesses of unimpeachéd life

In Helle and in Phthia live, whose sires do cities hold,

385 Of whom I can have whom I will. And, more an hundred fold

My true mind in my country likes to take a lawful wife

Than in another nation; and there delight my life

With those goods that my father got, much rather than die here.

Not all the wealth of well-built Troy, possess’d when peace was there,

390 All that Apollo’s marble fane in stony Pythos holds,

I value equal with the life that my free breast enfolds.

Sheep, oxen, tripods, crest-deck’d horse, though lost, may come again,

But when the white guard of our teeth no longer can contain

Our human soul, away it flies, and, once gone, never more

395 To her frail mansion any man can her lost pow’rs restore.

And therefore since my mother-queen, fam’d for her silver feet,

Told me two fates about my death in my direction meet:

The one, that, if I here remain t’ assist our victory,

My safe return shall never live, my fame shall never die;

400 If my return obtain success, much of my fame decays,

But death shall linger his approach, and I live many days.

This being reveal’d, ’twere foolish pride, t’ abridge my life for praise.

Then with myself, I will advise, others to hoise their sail,

For, ’gainst the height of Ilion, you never shall prevail,


405 Jove with his hand protecteth it, and makes the soldiers bold.

This tell the kings in ev’ry part, for so grave legates should,

That they may better counsels use, to save their fleet and friends

By their own valours; since this course, drown’d in my anger, ends.

Phœnix may in my tent repose, and in the morn steer course

410 For Phthia, if he think it good; if not, I’ll use no force.”

All wonder’d at his stern reply; and Phœnix, full of fears

His words would be more weak than just, supplied their wants with tears.

“If thy return incline thee thus, Peleus’ renownéd joy,

And thou wilt let our ships be burn’d with harmful fire of Troy,

415 Since thou art angry, O my son, how shall I after be

Alone in these extremes of death, relinquishéd by thee?

I, whom thy royal father sent as ord’rer of thy force,

When to Atrides from his court he left thee for this course,

Yet young, and when in skill of arms thou didst not so abound,

420 Nor hadst the habit of discourse, that makes men so renown’d.

In all which I was set by him, t’ instruct thee as my son,

That thou might’st speak, when speech was fit, and do, when deeds were done,

Not sit as dumb, for want of words, idle, for skill to move.

I would not then be left by thee, dear son, begot in love,

425 No, not if God would promise me, to raze the prints of time

Carv’d in my bosom and my brows, and grace me with the prime

Of manly youth, as when at first I left sweet Helle’s shore

Deck’d with fair dames, and fled the grudge my angry father bore;

Who was the fair Amyntor call’d, surnam’d Ormenides,

430 And for a fair-hair’d harlot’s sake, that his affects could please,

Contemn’d my mother, his true wife, who ceaseless urgéd me

To use his harlot Clytia, and still would clasp my knee

To do her will, that so my sire might turn his love to hate

Of that lewd dame, converting it to comfort her estate.


435 At last I was content to prove to do my mother good,

And reconcile my father’s love; who straight suspicious stood,

Pursuing me with many a curse, and to the Furies pray’d

No dame might love, nor bring me seed. The Deities obey’d

That govern hell; infernal Jove, and stern Persephone.

440 Then durst I in no longer date with my stern father be.

Yet did my friends, and near allies, inclose me with desires

Not to depart; kill’d sheep, boars, beeves; roast them at solemn fires;

And from my father’s tuns we drunk exceeding store of wine.

Nine nights they guarded me by turns, their fires did ceaseless shine,

445 One in the porch of his strong hall, and in the portal one,

Before my chamber; but when day beneath the tenth night shone,

I brake my chamber’s thick-fram’d doors, and through the hall’s guard pass’d,

Unseen of any man or maid. Through Greece then, rich and vast,

I fled to Phthia, nurse of sheep, and came to Peleus’ court;

450 Who entertain’d me heartily, and in as gracious sort

As any sire his only son, born when his strength is spent,

And bless’d with great possessions to leave to his descent.

He made me rich, and to my charge did much command commend.

I dwelt in th’ utmost region rich Phthia doth extend,

455 And govern’d the Dolopians, and made thee what thou art,

O thou that like the Gods art fram’d. Since, dearest to my heart,

I us’d thee so, thou lov’dst none else; nor anywhere wouldst eat,

Till I had crown’d my knee with thee, and carv’d thee tend’rest meat,

And giv’n thee wine so much, for love, that, in thy infancy

460 (Which still discretion must protect, and a continual eye)

My bosom lovingly sustain’d the wine thine could not bear.

Then, now my strength needs thine as much, be mine to thee as dear,

Much have I suffer’d for thy love, much labour’d, wishéd much,

Thinking, since I must have no heir (the Gods’ decrees are such)


465 I would adopt thyself my heir. To thee my heart did give

What any sire could give his son. In thee I hop’d to live.

O mitigate thy mighty spirits. It fits not one that moves

The hearts of all, to live unmov’d, and succour hates for loves.

The Gods themselves are flexible; whose virtues, honours, pow’rs,

470 Are more than thine, yet they will bend their breasts as we bend ours.

Perfumes, benign devotions, savours of off’rings burn’d,

And holy rites, the engines are with which their hearts are turn’d,

By men that pray to them, whose faith their sins have falsified.

For Pray’rs are daughters of great Jove, lame, wrinkled, ruddy-ey’d,

475 And ever following Injury, who, strong and sound of feet,

Flies through the world, afflicting men. Believing Prayers yet,

To all that love that Seed of Jove, the certain blessing get

To have Jove hear, and help them too; but if he shall refuse,

And stand inflexible to them, they fly to Jove, and use

480 Their pow’rs against him, that the wrongs he doth to them may fall

On his own head, and pay those pains whose cure he fails to call.

Then, great Achilles, honour thou this sacred Seed of Jove,

And yield to them, since other men of greatest minds they move.

If Agamemnon would not give the selfsame gifts he vows,

485 But offer other afterwards, and in his still-bent brows

Entomb his honour and his word, I would not thus exhort,

With wrath appeas’d, thy aid to Greece, though plagu’d in heaviest sort;

But much he presently will give, and after yield the rest.

T’ assure which he hath sent to thee the men thou lovest best,

490 And most renown’d of all the host, that they might soften thee.

Then let not both their pains and pray’rs lost and despiséd be,

Before which none could reprehend the tumult of thy heart,

But now to rest inexpiate were much too rude a part.

Of ancient worthies we have heard, when they were more displeas’d,

495 To their high fames, with gifts and pray’rs they have been still appeas’d.


For instance, I remember well a fact perform’d of old,

Which to you all, my friends, I’ll tell: The Curets wars did hold

With the well-fought Ætolians, where mutual lives had end

About the city Calydon. Th’ Ætolians did defend

500 Their flourishing country, which to spoil the Curets did contend.

Diana with-the-golden-throne, with Oeneus much incens’d,

Since with his plenteous land’s first fruits she was not reverenc’d,

(Yet other Gods, with hecatombs, had feasts, and she alone,

Great Jove’s bright daughter, left unserv’d, or by oblivion,

505 Or undue knowledge of her dues) much hurt in heart she swore;

And she, enrag’d, excited much, she sent a sylvan boar

From their green groves, with wounding tusks; who usually did spoil

King Oeneus’ fields, his lofty woods laid prostrate on the soil,

Rent by the roots trees fresh, adorn’d with fragrant apple flow’rs.

510 Which Meleager (Oeneus’ son) slew, with assembled pow’rs

Of hunters, and of fiercest hounds, from many cities brought;

For such he was that with few lives his death could not be bought,

Heaps of dead humans, by his rage, the fun’ral piles applied.

Yet, slain at last, the Goddess stirr’d about his head, and hide,

515 A wondrous tumult, and a war betwixt the Curets wrought

And brave Ætolians. All the while fierce Meleager fought,

Ill-far’d the Curets; near the walls none durst advance his crest,

Though they were many. But when wrath inflam’d his haughty breast

(Which oft the firm mind of the wise with passion doth infest)

520 Since ’twixt his mother-queen and him arose a deadly strife,

He left the court, and privately liv’d with his lawful wife,

Fair Cleopatra, female birth of bright Marpessa’s pain,

And of Ideus; who of all terrestrial men did reign,

At that time, king of fortitude, and for Marpessa’s sake,

525 ’Gainst wanton Phœbus, king of flames, his bow in hand did take,

Since he had ravish’d her, his joy; whom her friends after gave

The surname of Alcyone, because they could not save


Their daughter from Alcyone’s fate. In Cleopatra’s arms

Lay Meleager, feeding on his anger, for the harms

530 His mother pray’d might fall on him; who, for her brother slain

By Meleager, griev’d, and pray’d the Gods to wreak her pain

With all the horror could be pour’d upon her furious birth.

Still knock’d she with her impious hands the many-feeding earth,

To urge stern Pluto and his Queen t’ incline their vengeful ears,

535 Fell on her knees, and all her breast dew’d with her fi’ry tears,

To make them massacre her son, whose wrath enrag’d her thus.

Erinnys, wand’ring through the air, heard, out of Erebus,

Pray’rs fit for her unpleaséd mind. Yet Meleager lay

Obscur’d in fury. Then the bruit of the tumultuous fray

540 Rung through the turrets as they scal’d; then came th’ Ætolian peers

To Meleager with low suits, to rise and free their fears;

Then sent they the chief priests of Gods, with offer’d gifts t’ atone

His diff’ring fury, bade him choose, in sweet-soil’d Calydon,

Of the most fat and yieldy soil, what with an hundred steers

545 Might in a hundred days be plough’d, half that rich vintage bears,

And half of naked earth to plough; yet yielded not his ire.

Then to his lofty chamber-door, ascends his royal sire

With ruthful plaints, shook the strong bars; then came his sisters’ cries;

His mother then; and all intreat;—yet still more stiff he lies;—

550 His friends, most rev’rend, most esteem’d; yet none impression took,

Till the high turrets where he lay, and his strong chamber, shook

With the invading enemy, who now forc’d dreadful way

Along the city. Then his wife, in pitiful dismay,

Besought him, weeping; telling him the miseries sustain’d

555 By all the citizens, whose town the enemy had gain’d;

Men slaughter’d; children bondslaves made; sweet ladies forc’d with lust;

Fires climbing tow’rs, and turning them to heaps of fruitless dust.


These dangers soften’d his steel heart. Up the stout prince arose,

Indu’d his body with rich arms, and freed th’ Ætolian’s woes,

560 His smother’d anger giving air; which gifts did not assuage,

But his own peril. And because he did not disengage

Their lives for gifts, their gifts he lost. But for my sake, dear friend,

Be not thou bent to see our plights to these extremes descend,

Ere thou assist us; be not so by thy ill angel turn’d

565 From thine own honour. It were shame to see our navy burn’d,

And then come with thy timeless aid. For offer’d presents, come,

And all the Greeks will honour thee, as of celestial room.

But if without these gifts thou fight, forc’d by thy private woe,

Thou wilt be nothing so renown’d, though thou repel the foe.”

570 Achilles answer’d the last part of this oration thus:

“Phœnix, renown’d and reverend, the honours urg’d on us

We need not. Jove doth honour me, and to my safety sees,

And will, whiles I retain a spirit, or can command my knees.

Then do not thou with tears and woes impassion my affects,

575 Becoming gracious to my foe. Nor fits it the respects

Of thy vow’d love to honour him that hath dishonour’d me,

Lest such loose kindness lose his heart that yet is firm to thee.

It were thy praise to hurt with me the hurter of my state,

Since half my honour and my realm thou mayst participate.

580 Let these lords then return th’ event, and do thou here repose,

And, when dark sleep breaks with the day, our counsels shall disclose

The course of our return or stay.” This said, he with his eye

Made to his friend a covert sign, to hasten instantly

A good soft bed, that the old prince, soon as the peers were gone,

585 Might take his rest; when, soldier-like, brave Ajax Telamon


Spake to Ulysses, as with thought Achilles was not worth

The high direction of his speech, that stood so sternly forth

Unmov’d with th’ other orators, and spake, not to appease

Pelides’ wrath, but to depart. His arguments were these:

590 “High-issu’d Laertiades, let us insist no more

On his persuasion. I perceive the world would end before

Our speeches end in this affair. We must with utmost haste

Return his answer, though but bad. The peers are elsewhere plac’d,

And will not rise till we return. Great Thetis’ son hath stor’d

595 Proud wrath within him, as his wealth, and will not be implor’d,

Rude that he is, nor his friends’ love respects, do what they can,

Wherein past all, we honour’d him. O unremorseful man!

Another for his brother slain, another for his son,

Accepts of satisfaction; and he the deed hath done

600 Lives in belov’d society long after his amends,

To which his foe’s high heart, for gifts, with patience condescends;

But thee a wild and cruel spirit the Gods for plague have giv’n,

And for one girl, of whose fair sex we come to offer sev’n,

The most exempt for excellence, and many a better prise.

605 Then put a sweet mind in thy breast, respect thy own allies,

Though others make thee not remiss. A multitude we are,

Sprung of thy royal family, and our supremest care

Is to be most familiar, and hold most love with thee

Of all the Greeks, how great an host soever here there be.”

610 He answer’d: “Noble Telamon, prince of our soldiers here,

Out of thy heart I know thou speak’st, and as thou hold’st me dear;

But still as often as I think, how rudely I was us’d,

And, like a stranger, for all rites, fit for our good, refus’d,

My heart doth swell against the man, that durst be so profane

615 To violate his sacred place; not for my private bane,

But since wrack’d virtue’s gen’ral laws he shameless did infringe;

For whose sake I will loose the reins, and give mine anger swinge,


Without my wisdom’s least impeach. He is a fool, and base,

That pities vice-plagu’d minds, when pain, not love of right, gives place.

620 And therefore tell your king, my lords, my just wrath will not care

For all his cares, before my tents and navy chargéd are

By warlike Hector, making way through flocks of Grecian lives,

Enlighten’d by their naval fire; but when his rage arrives

About my tent, and sable bark, I doubt not but to shield

625 Them and myself, and make him fly the there strong-bounded field.”

This said, each one but kiss’d the cup, and to the ships retir’d;

Ulysses first. Patroclus then the men and maids requir’d

To make grave Phœnix’ bed with speed, and see he nothing lacks.

They straight obey’d, and thereon laid the subtile fruit of flax,

630 And warm sheep-fells for covering; and there the old man slept,

Attending till the golden Morn her usual station kept.

Achilles lay in th’ inner room of his tent richly wrought,

And that fair lady by his side, that he from Lesbos brought,

Bright Diomeda, Phorbas’ seed. Patroclus did embrace

635 The beauteous Iphis, giv’n to him, when his bold friend did race

The lofty Scyrus that was kept in Enyeius’ hold.

Now at the tent of Atreus’ son, each man with cups of gold

Receiv’d th’ ambassadors return’d. All cluster’d near to know

What news they brought; which first the king would have Ulysses show:


“Say, most praiseworthy Ithacus, the Grecians’ great renown,

Will he defend us? Or not yet will his proud stomach down?”

Ulysses made reply: “Not yet will he appeaséd be,

But grows more wrathful, prizing light thy offer’d gifts and thee,

And wills thee to consult with us, and take some other course

645 To save our army and our fleet, and says, ‘with all his force,

The morn shall light him on his way to Phthia’s wishéd soil,

For never shall high-seated Troy be sack’d with all our toil,


Jove holds his hand ’twixt us and it, the soldiers gather heart.’

Thus he replies, which Ajax here can equally impart,

650 And both these heralds. Phœnix stays, for so was his desire,

To go with him, if he thought good; if not, he might retire.”

All wonder’d he should be so stern; at last bold Diomed spake:

“Would God, Atrides, thy request were yet to undertake,

And all thy gifts unoffer’d him! He’s proud enough beside,

655 But this ambassage thou hast sent will make him burst with pride.

But let us suffer him to stay, or go, at his desire,

Fight when his stomach serves him best, or when Jove shall inspire.

Meanwhile, our watch being strongly held, let us a little rest

After our food; strength lives by both, and virtue is their guest.

660 Then when the rosy-finger’d Morn holds out her silver light,

Bring forth thy host, encourage all, and be thou first in fight.”

The kings admir’d the fortitude, that so divinely mov’d

The skilful horseman Diomed, and his advice approv’d.

Then with their nightly sacrifice each took his sev’ral tent,

665 Where all receiv’d the sov’reign gifts soft Somnus did present.

Linenotes for Book IX

7: With which men manure ground.—This piece of agricultural information is an addition of Chapman’s.

30: “Diomed takes fit time to answer his wrong done by Agamemnon in the fourth book.” —Chapman.

58: Yield—acknowledge. Had—thus the first folio; the second reads “hath,” and Dr. Taylor “have.”

62: Propose—so the first folio; the second reads “purpose,” which Dr. Taylor has adopted, and explained in a note as meaning “propose.”

64: Manless—opposite to manful, cowardly, inhuman. Bk. III. 39.

123: Proves us but number—numerous only, not powerful or valiant.

142: Tyndaris—Helen.

150: Jointureless—i.e. without the portion it was usual to pay the father on marrying his daughter.

157: Confluent—affluent.

177: With courtship in fit gestures us’d—Chapman has well preserved the meaning of the original δενδίλλων. Iliad IX.180.

178: For his grace did not so much excell.—This is quite contrary to Homer’s meaning. He simply says Nestor addressed each chief, but principally Ulysses. The reason doubtless being because he had most confidence in him.

180: Reflect—turn back.

204: He—Achilles.

220: Leqacy—embassy. Bk. VII. 349.

241: Fatal—fated. Bk. VIII. 344.

247: Unrecover’d—irrecoverable.

258: Merit—reward. An unusual application of the word.

259: Yet—while.

351: Prejudice—loss to myself.

394: Once gone—the second folio erroneously reads “once again.”

406: Both folios have “king;” but it is evident from the context, and a reference to the original, that the plural is the true reading. Iliad IX.421.

408: The second folio reads, “since this course drowned in my eager ends.”

439: Infernal Jove—Pluto.

439: Persephone—the Greek form; thus the first folio. The second has “Proserpine.”

465: Thyself—the second folio has “myself.”

493: Rest inexpiate—remain implacable.

507: Usually—as is their wont.

538: Unpleased—implacable.

543: Differing—angry. As we use the word a difference in the sense of a quarrel.

567: As of celestial room—as one of the family of the Gods.

570: The second folio has “his,” which Dr. Taylor has followed.

574: Impassion my affects—passionately appeal to my feelings.

580: Return the event—tell the issue of their embassy. We use the word, to make a parliamentary return.

597: Unremorseful—See Bk. VIII. 208.

629: Subtile—Latin subtilis, fine. Ben Jonson uses the word in this sense (Catiline, II. 3) when he speaks of “subtile lips.” Shakespeare, (Coriolanus, V. 2.)

“Like to a bowl upon a subtile ground,”

where it refers to the smoothness of the bowling ground.

659: Virtue is their guest—valour accompanies food and rest.


Corrections for Book IX

220 note Bk. VII. 349
text has 348

523 And of Ideus; who of all
expected “Idëus” (three syllables)




The Argument.

Th’ Atrides, watching, wake the other peers,

And (in the fort, consulting of their fears)

Two kings they send, most stout, and honour’d most,

For royal scouts, into the Trojan host;

Who meeting Dolon, Hector’s bribéd spy,

Take him, and learn how all the quarters lie.

He told them, in the Thracian regiment

Of rich king Rhesus, and his royal tent,

Striving for safety; but they end his strife,

And rid poor Dolon of a dang’rous life.

Then with digressive wiles they use their force

On Rhesus’ life, and take his snowy horse.

Another Argument.

Kappa the night exploits applies:

Rhesus’ and Dolon’s tragedies.


he other princes at their ships soft-finger’d sleep did bind,

But not the Gen’ral; Somnus’ silks bound not his labouring mind

That turn’d, and return’d, many thoughts. And as quick lightnings fly,

From well-deck’d Juno’s sovereign, out of the thicken’d sky,


5 Preparing some exceeding rain, or hail, the fruit of cold,

Or down-like snow that suddenly makes all the fields look old,

Or opes the gulfy mouth of war with his ensulphur’d hand,

In dazzling flashes pour’d from clouds, on any punish’d land;

So from Atrides’ troubled heart, through his dark sorrows, flew

10 Redoubled sighs; his entrails shook, as often as his view

Admir’d the multitude of fires, that gilt the Phrygian shade,

And heard the sounds of fifes, and shawms, and tumults soldiers made.

But when he saw his fleet and host kneel to his care and love,

He rent his hair up by the roots as sacrifice to Jove,

15 Burnt in his fi’ry sighs, still breath’d out of his royal heart,

And first thought good to Nestor’s care his sorrows to impart,

To try if royal diligence, with his approv’d advice,

Might fashion counsels to prevent their threaten’d miseries.

So up he rose, attir’d himself, and to his strong feet tied

20 Rich shoes, and cast upon his back a ruddy lion’s hide,

So ample it his ankles reach’d, then took his royal spear.

Like him was Menelaus pierc’d with an industrious fear,

Nor sat sweet slumber on his eyes, lest bitter fates should quite

The Greeks’ high favours, that for him resolv’d such endless fight.

25 And first a freckled panther’s hide hid his broad back athwart;

His head his brazen helm did arm; his able hand his dart;

Then made he all his haste to raise his brother’s head as rare,

That he who most excell’d in rule might help t’ effect his care.

He found him, at his ship’s crook’d stern, adorning him with arms;

30 Who joy’d to see his brother’s spirits awak’d without alarms,

Well weighing th’ importance of the time. And first the younger spake:

“Why, brother, are ye arming thus? Is it to undertake

The sending of some vent’rous Greek, t’ explore the foe’s intent?

Alas! I greatly fear, not one will give that work consent,

35 Expos’d alone to all the fears that flow in gloomy night.

He that doth this must know death well, in which ends ev’ry fright.”


“Brother,” said he, “in these affairs we both must use advice,

Jove is against us, and accepts great Hector’s sacrifice.

For I have never seen, nor heard, in one day, and by one,

40 So many high attempts well urg’d, as Hector’s pow’r hath done

Against the hapless sons of Greece; being chiefly dear to Jove,

And without cause, being neither fruit of any Goddess’ love,

Nor helpful God; and yet I fear the deepness of his hand,

Ere it be ras’d out of our thoughts, will many years withstand.

45 But, brother, hie thee to thy ships, and Idomen’s dis-ease

With warlike Ajax; I will haste to grave Neleides,

Exhorting him to rise, and give the sacred watch command,

For they will specially embrace incitement at his hand,

And now his son their captain is, and Idomen’s good friend,

50 Bold Merion, to whose discharge we did that charge commend.”

“Command’st thou then,” his brother ask’d, “that I shall tarry here

Attending thy resolv’d approach, or else the message bear,

And quickly make return to thee?” He answer’d: “Rather stay,

Lest otherwise we fail to meet, for many a diff’rent way

55 Lies through our labyrinthian host. Speak ever as you go,

Command strong watch, from sire to son urge all t’ observe the foe,

Familiarly, and with their praise, exciting ev’ry eye,

Not with unseason’d violence of proud authority.

We must our patience exercise, and work ourselves with them,

60 Jove in our births combin’d such care to either’s diadem.”

Thus he dismiss’d him, knowing well his charge before he went.

Himself to Nestor, whom he found in bed within his tent,

By him his damask curets hung, his shield, a pair of darts,

His shining casque, his arming waist; in these he led the hearts

65 Of his apt soldiers to sharp war, not yielding to his years.

He quickly started from his bed, when to his watchful ears

Untimely feet told some approach; he took his lance in hand,

And spake to him: “Ho, what art thou that walk’st at midnight? Stand.


Is any wanting at the guards? Or lack’st thou any peer?

70 Speak, come not silent towards me; say, what intend’st thou here?”

He answer’d: “O Neleides, grave honour of our host,

’Tis Agamemnon thou mayst know, whom Jove afflicteth most

Of all the wretched men that live, and will, whilst any breath

Gives motion to my toiléd limbs, and bears me up from death.

75 I walk the round thus, since sweet sleep cannot inclose mine eyes,

Nor shut those organs care breaks ope for our calamities.

My fear is vehement for the Greeks; my heart, the fount of heat,

With his extreme affects made cold, without my breast doth beat;

And therefore are my sinews strook with trembling; ev’ry part

80 Of what my friends may feel hath act in my disperséd heart.

But, if thou think’st of any course may to our good redound,

(Since neither thou thyself canst sleep) come, walk with me the round;

In way whereof we may confer, and look to ev’ry guard,

Lest watching long, and weariness with labouring so hard,

85 Drown their oppresséd memories of what they have in charge.

The liberty we give the foe, alas, is over large,

Their camp is almost mix’d with ours, and we have forth no spies

To learn their drifts; who may perchance this night intend surprise.”

Grave Nestor answer’d: “Worthy king, let good hearts bear our ill.

90 Jove is not bound to perfect all this busy Hector’s will;

But I am confidently giv’n, his thoughts are much dismay’d

With fear, lest our distress incite Achilles to our aid,

And therefore will not tempt his fate, nor ours, with further pride.

But I will gladly follow thee, and stir up more beside;

95 Tydides, famous for his lance; Ulysses; Telamon;

And bold Phylëus’ valiant heir. Or else, if any one

Would haste to call king Idomen, and Ajax, since their sail

Lie so remov’d, with much good speed, it might our haste avail.

But, though he be our honour’d friend, thy brother I will blame,

100 Not fearing if I anger thee. It is his utter shame


He should commit all pains to thee, that should himself employ,

Past all our princes, in the care, and cure, of our annoy,

And be so far from needing spurs to these his due respects,

He should apply our spirits himself, with pray’rs and urg’d affects.

105 Necessity (a law to laws, and not to be endur’d)

Makes proof of all his faculties, not sound if not inur’d.”

“Good father,” said the king, “sometimes you know I have desir’d

You would improve his negligence, too oft to ease retir’d.

Nor is it for defect of spirit, or compass of his brain,

110 But with observing my estate, he thinks, he should abstain

Till I commanded, knowing my place; unwilling to assume,

For being my brother, anything might prove he did presume.

But now he rose before me far, and came t’ avoid delays,

And I have sent him for the men yourself desir’d to raise.

115 Come, we shall find them at the guards we plac’d before the fort,

For thither my direction was they should with speed resort.”

“Why now,” said Nestor, “none will grudge, nor his just rule withstand.

Examples make excitements strong, and sweeten a command.”

Thus put he on his arming truss, fair shoes upon his feet,

120 About him a mandilion, that did with buttons meet,

Of purple, large, and full of folds, curl’d with a warmful nap,

A garment that ’gainst cold in nights did soldiers use to wrap;

Then took he his strong lance in hand, made sharp with provéd steel,

And went along the Grecian fleet. First at Ulysses’ keel

125 He call’d, to break the silken fumes that did his senses bind.

The voice through th’ organs of his ears straight rung about his mind.


Forth came Ulysses, asking him: “Why stir ye thus so late?

Sustain we such enforcive cause?” He answer’d, “Our estate

Doth force this perturbation; vouchsafe it, worthy friend,

130 And come, let us excite one more, to counsel of some end

To our extremes, by fight, or flight.” He back, and took his shield,

And both took course to Diomed. They found him laid in field,

Far from his tent; his armour by; about him was dispread

A ring of soldiers, ev’ry man his shield beneath his head;

135 His spear fix’d by him as he slept, the great end in the ground,

The point, that bristled the dark earth, cast a reflection round

Like pallid lightnings thrown from Jove; thus this heroë lay,

And under him a big ox-hide; his royal head had stay

On arras hangings, rolléd up; whereon he slept so fast,

140 That Nestor stirr’d him with his foot, and chid to see him cast

In such deep sleep in such deep woes, and ask’d him why he spent

All night in sleep, or did not hear the Trojans near his tent,

Their camp drawn close upon their dike, small space ’twixt foes and foes?

He, starting up, said, “Strange old man, that never tak’st repose,

145 Thou art too patient of our toil. Have we not men more young,

To be employ’d from king to king? Thine age hath too much wrong.”

“Said like a king,” replied the sire, “for I have sons renown’d,

And there are many other men, might go this toilsome round;

But, you must see, imperious Need hath all at her command.

150 Now on the eager razor’s edge, for life or death, we stand

Then go (thou art the younger man) and if thou love my ease,

Call swift-foot Ajax up thyself, and young Phyleides.”

This said, he on his shoulders cast a yellow lion’s hide,

Big, and reach’d earth; then took his spear, and Nestor’s will applied,

Rais’d the heroës, brought them both. All met; the round they went,

155 And found not any captain there asleep or negligent,


But waking, and in arms, gave ear to ev’ry lowest sound.

And as keen dogs keep sheep in cotes, or folds of hurdles bound,

And grin at ev’ry breach of air, envious of all that moves,

160 Still list’ning when the rav’nous beast stalks through the hilly groves,

Then men and dogs stand on their guards, and mighty tumults make,

Sleep wanting weight to close one wink; so did the captains wake,

That kept the watch the whole sad night, all with intentive ear

Converted to the enemies’ tents, that they might timely hear

165 If they were stirring to surprise; which Nestor joy’d to see.

“Why so, dear sons, maintain your watch, sleep not a wink,” said he,

“Rather than make your fames the scorn of Trojan perjury.”

This said, he foremost pass’d the dike, the others seconded,

Ev’n all the kings that had been call’d to council from the bed,

170 And with them went Meriones, and Nestor’s famous son;

For both were call’d by all the kings to consultation.

Beyond the dike they choos’d a place, near as they could from blood,

Where yet appear’d the falls of some, and whence, the crimson flood

Of Grecian lives being pour’d on earth by Hector’s furious chace,

175 He made retreat, when night repour’d grim darkness in his face.

There sat they down, and Nestor spake: “O friends, remains not one

That will rely on his bold mind, and view the camp, alone,

Of the proud Trojans, to approve if any straggling mate

He can surprise near th’ utmost tents, or learn the brief estate

180 Of their intentions for the time, and mix like one of them

With their outguards, expiscating if the renown’d extreme

They force on us will serve their turns, with glory to retire,

Or still encamp thus far from Troy? This may he well inquire,

And make a brave retreat untouch’d; and this would win him fame

185 Of all men canopied with heav’n, and ev’ry man of name,

In all this host shall honour him with an enriching meed,

A black ewe and her sucking lamb (rewards that now exceed


All other best possessions, in all men’s choice requests)

And still be bidden by our kings to kind and royal feasts.”

190 All rev’renc’d one another’s worth; and none would silence break,

Lest worst should take best place of speech; at last did Diomed speak:

“Nestor, thou ask’st if no man here have heart so well inclin’d

To work this stratagem on Troy? Yes, I have such a mind.

Yet, if some other prince would join, more probable will be

195 The strengthen’d hope of our exploit. Two may together see

(One going before another still) sly danger ev’ry way;

One spirit upon another works, and takes with firmer stay

The benefit of all his pow’rs; for though one knew his course,

Yet might he well distrust himself, which th’ other might enforce.”

200 This offer ev’ry man assum’d; all would with Diomed go;

The two Ajaces, Merion, and Menelaus too;

But Nestor’s son enforc’d it much; and hardy Ithacus,

Who had to ev’ry vent’rous deed a mind as venturous.

Amongst all these thus spake the king: “Tydides, most belov’d,

205 Choose thy associate worthily; a man the most approv’d

For use and strength in these extremes. Many thou seest stand forth;

But choose not thou by height of place, but by regard of worth,

Lest with thy nice respect of right to any man’s degree,

Thou wrong’st thy venture, choosing one least fit to join with thee,

210 Although perhaps a greater king.” This spake he with suspect

That Diomed, for honour’s sake, his brother would select.

Then said Tydides: “Since thou giv’st my judgment leave to choose,

How can it so much truth forget Ulysses to refuse,

That bears a mind so most exempt, and vig’rous in th’ effect

215 Of all high labours, and a man Pallas doth most respect?

We shall return through burning fire, if I with him combine,

He sets strength in so true a course, with counsels so divine.”

Ulysses, loth to be esteem’d a lover of his praise,

With such exceptions humbled him as did him higher raise,


220 And said: “Tydides, praise me not more than free truth will bear,

Nor yet impair me; they are Greeks that give judicial ear.

But come, the morning hastes, the stars are forward in their course,

Two parts of night are past, the third is left t’ employ our force.”

Now borrow’d they for haste some arms. Bold Thrasymedes lent

225 Advent’rous Diomed his sword (his own was at his tent)

His shield, and helm tough and well-tann’d, without or plume or crest,

And call’d a murrion, archers’ heads it uséd to invest.

Meriones lent Ithacus his quiver and his bow,

His helmet fashion’d of a hide; the workman did bestow

230 Much labour in it, quilting it with bow-strings, and without

With snowy tusks of white-mouth’d boars ’twas arméd round about

Right cunningly, and in the midst an arming cap was plac’d,

That with the fix’d ends of the tusks his head might not be ras’d.

This, long since, by Autolycus was brought from Eleon,

235 When he laid waste Amyntor’s house, that was Ormenus’ son.

In Scandia, to Cytherius, surnam’d Amphidamas,

Autolycus did give this helm; he, when he feasted was

By honour’d Molus, gave it him, as present of a guest;

Molus to his son Merion did make it his bequest.

240 With this Ulysses arm’d his head; and thus they, both address’d,

Took leave of all the other kings. To them a glad ostent,

As they were ent’ring on their way, Minerva did present,

A hernshaw consecrate to her, which they could ill discern

Through sable night, but, by her clange, they knew it was a hern.

245 Ulysses joy’d, and thus invok’d: “Hear me, great Seed of Jove,

That ever dost my labours grace with presence of thy love,

And all my motions dost attend! Still love me, sacred Dame,

Especially in this exploit, and so protect our fame

We both may safely make retreat, and thriftily employ

250 Our boldness in some great affair baneful to them of Troy.”


Then pray’d illustrate Diomed: “Vouchsafe me likewise ear,

O thou unconquer’d Queen of arms! Be with thy favours near,

As, to my royal father’s steps, thou went’st a bounteous guide,

When th’ Achives and the peers of Thebes he would have pacified,

255 Sent as the Greeks’ ambassador, and left them at the flood

Of great Æsopus; whose retreat thou mad’st to swim in blood

Of his enambush’d enemies; and, if thou so protect

My bold endeavours, to thy name an heifer most select,

That never yet was tam’d with yoke, broad-fronted, one year old,

260 I’ll burn in zealous sacrifice, and set the horns in gold.”

The Goddess heard; and both the kings their dreadless passage bore

Through slaughter, slaughtered carcasses, arms, and discolour’d gore.

Nor Hector let his princes sleep, but all to council call’d,

And ask’d, “What one is here will vow, and keep it unappall’d,

265 To have a gift fit for his deed, a chariot and two horse,

That pass for speed the rest of Greece? What one dares take this course,

For his renown, besides his gifts, to mix amongst the foe,

And learn if still they hold their guards, or with this overthrow

Determine flight, as being too weak to hold us longer war?”

270 All silent stood; at last stood forth one Dolon, that did dare

This dang’rous work, Eumedes’ heir, a herald much renown’d.

This Dolon did in gold and brass exceedingly abound,

But in his form was quite deform’d, yet passing swift to run;

Amongst five sisters, he was left Eumedes’ only son.

275 And he told Hector, his free heart would undertake t’ explore

The Greeks’ intentions, “but,” said he, “thou shalt be sworn before,

By this thy sceptre, that the horse of great Æacides,

And his strong chariot bound with brass, thou wilt (before all these)

Resign me as my valour’s prise; and so I rest unmov’d

280 To be thy spy, and not return before I have approv’d

(By vent’ring to Atrides’ ship, where their consults are held)

If they resolve still to resist, or fly as quite expell’d.”


He put his sceptre in his hand, and call’d the thunder’s God,

Saturnia’s husband, to his oath, those horse should not be rode

285 By any other man than he, but he for ever joy

(To his renown) their services, for his good done to Troy.

Thus swore he, and forswore himself, yet made base Dolon bold;

Who on his shoulders hung his bow, and did about him fold

A white wolf’s hide, and with a helm of weasels’ skins did arm

290 His weasel’s head, then took his dart, and never turn’d to harm

The Greeks with their related drifts; but being past the troops

Of horse and foot, he promptly runs, and as he runs he stoops

To undermine Achilles’ horse. Ulysses straight did see,

And said to Diomed: “This man makes footing towards thee,

295 Out of the tents. I know not well, if he be us’d as spy

Bent to our fleet, or come to rob the slaughter’d enemy.

But let us suffer him to come a little further on,

And then pursue him. If it chance, that we be overgone

By his more swiftness, urge him still to run upon our fleet,

300 And (lest he ’scape us to the town) still let thy jav’lin meet

With all his offers of retreat.” Thus stepp’d they from the plain

Amongst the slaughter’d carcasses. Dolon came on amain,

Suspecting nothing; but once past, as far as mules outdraw

Oxen at plough, being both put on, neither admitted law,

305 To plough a deep-soil’d furrow forth, so far was Dolon past.

Then they pursu’d; which he perceiv’d, and stay’d his speedless haste,

Subtly supposing Hector sent to countermand his spy;

But, in a jav’lin’s throw or less, he knew them enemy.

Then laid he on his nimble knees, and they pursu’d like wind.

310 As when a brace of greyhounds are laid in with hare or hind,

Close-mouth’d and skill’d to make the best of their industrious course,

Serve either’s turn, and, set on hard, lose neither ground nor force;


So constantly did Tydeus’ son, and his town-razing peer,

Pursue this spy, still turning him, as he was winding near

315 His covert, till he almost mix’d with their out-courts of guard.

Then Pallas prompted Diomed, lest his due worth’s reward

Should be impair’d if any man did vaunt he first did sheath

His sword in him, and he be call’d but second in his death.

Then spake he, threat’ning with his lance: “Or stay, or this comes on,

320 And long thou canst not run before thou be by death outgone.”

This said, he threw his jav’lin forth; which missed as Diomed would,

Above his right arm making way, the pile stuck in the mould.

He stay’d and trembled, and his teeth did chatter in his head.

They came in blowing, seiz’d him fast; he, weeping, offeréd

325 A wealthy ransom for his life, and told them he had brass,

Much gold, and iron, that fit for use in many labours was,

From whose rich heaps his father would a wondrous portion give,

If, at the great Achaian fleet, he heard his son did live.

Ulysses bad him cheer his heart. “Think not of death,” said he,

330 “But tell us true, why runn’st thou forth, when others sleeping be?

Is it to spoil the carcasses? Or art thou choicely sent

T’ explore our drifts? Or of thyself seek’st thou some wish’d event?”

He trembling answer’d: “Much reward did Hector’s oath propose,

And urg’d me, much against my will, t’ endeavour to disclose

335 If you determin’d still to stay, or bent your course for flight,

As all dismay’d with your late foil, and wearied with the fight.

For which exploit, Pelides’ horse and chariot he did swear,

I only ever should enjoy.” Ulysses smil’d to hear

So base a swain have any hope so high a prise t’ aspire,

340 And said, his labours did affect a great and precious hire,

And that the horse Pelides rein’d no mortal hand could use

But he himself, whose matchless life a Goddess did produce.

“But tell us, and report but truth, where left’st thou Hector now?

Where are his arms? His famous horse? On whom doth he bestow


345 The watch’s charge? Where sleep the kings? Intend they still to lie

Thus near encamp’d, or turn suffic’d with their late victory?”

“All this,” said he, “I’ll tell most true. At Ilus’ monument

Hector with all our princes sits, t’ advise of this event;

Who choose that place remov’d to shun the rude confuséd sounds

350 The common soldiers throw about. But, for our watch, and rounds,

Whereof, brave lord, thou mak’st demand, none orderly we keep.

The Trojans, that have roofs to save, only abandon sleep,

And privately without command each other they exhort

To make prevention of the worst; and in this slender sort

355 Is watch and guard maintain’d with us. Th’ auxiliary bands

Sleep soundly, and commit their cares into the Trojans’ hands,

For they have neither wives with them, nor children to protect;

The less they need to care, the more they succour dull neglect.”

“But tell me,” said wise Ithacus, “are all these foreign pow’rs

360 Appointed quarters by themselves, or else commix’d with yours?”

“And this,” said Dolon, “too, my lords, I’ll seriously unfold.

The Pæons with the crookéd bows, and Cares, quarters hold

Next to the sea, the Leleges, and Caucons, join’d with them,

And brave Pelasgians. Thymber’s mead, remov’d more from the stream,

365 Is quarter to the Lycians, the lofty Mysian force,

The Phrygians and Meonians, that fight with arméd horse.

But what need these particulars? If ye intend surprise

Of any in our Trojan camps, the Thracian quarter lies

Utmost of all, and uncommix’d with Trojan regiments,

370 That keep the voluntary watch. New pitch’d are all their tents.

King Rhesus, Eioneus’ son, commands them, who hath steeds

More white than snow, huge, and well-shap’d, their fi’ry pace exceeds

The winds in swiftness; these I saw; his chariot is with gold

And pallid silver richly fram’d, and wondrous to behold;

375 His great and golden armour is not fit a man should wear,

But for immortal shoulders fram’d. Come then, and quickly bear


Your happy pris’ner to your fleet; or leave him here fast bound,

Till your well-urg’d and rich return prove my relation sound.”

Tydides dreadfully replied: “Think not of passage thus,

380 Though of right acceptable news thou hast advértis’d us,

Our hands are holds more strict than so; and should we set thee free

For offer’d ransom, for this ’scape thou still wouldst scouting be

About our ships, or do us scathe in plain opposéd arms,

But, if I take thy life, no way can we repent thy harms.”

385 With this, as Dolon reach’d his hand to use a suppliant’s part,

And stroke the beard of Diomed, he strook his neck athwart

With his forc’d sword, and both the nerves he did in sunder wound,

And suddenly his head, deceiv’d, fell speaking on the ground.

His weasel’s helm they took, his bow, his wolf’s skin, and his lance,

390 Which to Minerva Ithacus did zealously advance,

With lifted arm into the air; and to her thus he spake:

“Goddess, triumph in thine own spoils; to thee we first will make

Our invocations, of all pow’rs thron’d on th’ Olympian hill;

Now to the Thracians, and their horse, and beds, conduct us still.”

395 With this, he hung them up aloft upon a tamrick bough

As eyeful trophies, and the sprigs that did about it grow

He proinéd from the leafy arms, to make it easier view’d

When they should hastily retire, and be perhaps pursu’d.

Forth went they through black blood and arms, and presently aspir’d

400 The guardless Thracian regiment, fast bound with sleep, and tir’d;

Their arms lay by, and triple ranks they, as they slept, did keep,

As they should watch and guard their king, who, in a fatal sleep,

Lay in the midst; their chariot horse, as they coachfellows were,

Fed by them; and the famous steeds, that did their gen’ral bear,

405 Stood next him, to the hinder part of his rich chariot tied.

Ulysses saw them first, and said, “Tydides, I have spied

The horse that Dolon, whom we slew, assur’d us we should see.

Now use thy strength; now idle arms are most unfit for thee;

Prise thou the horse; or kill the guard, and leave the horse to me.”


410 Minerva, with the azure eyes, breath’d strength into her king,

Who fill’d the tent with mixéd death. The souls, he set on wing,

Issu’d in groans, and made air swell into her stormy flood.

Horror and slaughter had one pow’r; the earth did blush with blood.

As when a hungry lion flies, with purpose to devour,

415 On flocks unkept, and on their lives doth freely use his pow’r;

So Tydeus’ son assail’d the foe; twelve souls before him flew;

Ulysses waited on his sword, and ever as he slew,

He drew them by their strengthless heels out of the horses’ sight.

That, when he was to lead them forth, they should not with affright

420 Boggle, nor snore, in treading on the bloody carcasses;

For being new come, they were unus’d to such stern sights as these.

Through four ranks now did Diomed the king himself attain,

Who, snoring in his sweetest sleep, was like his soldiers slain.

An ill dream by Minerva sent that night stood by his head,

425 Which was Oenides’ royal, unconquer’d Diomed.

Meanwhile Ulysses loos’d his horse, took all their reins in hand,

And led them forth; but Tydeus’ son did in contention stand

With his great mind to do some deed of more audacity;

If he should take the chariot, where his rich arms did lie,

430 And draw it by the beam away, or bear it on his back,

Or if, of more dull Thracian lives, he should their bosoms sack.

In this contention with himself, Minerva did suggest

And bade him think of his retreat; lest from their tempted rest

Some other God should stir the foe, and send him back dismay’d.

435 He knew the voice, took horse, and fled. The Trojan’s heav’nly aid,

Apollo with the silver bow, stood no blind sentinel

To their secure and drowsy host, but did discover well

Minerva following Diomed; and, angry with his act,

The mighty host of Ilion he enter’d, and awak’d

440 The cousin-german of the king, a counsellor of Thrace,

Hippocoon; who when he rose, and saw the desert place,


Where Rhesus’ horse did use to stand, and th’ other dismal harms,

Men struggling with the pangs of death, he shriek’d out thick alarms,

Call’d ‘Rhesus! Rhesus!’ but in vain; then still, ‘Arm! Arm!’ he cried.

445 The noise and tumult was extreme on every startled side

Of Troy’s huge host; from whence in throngs all gather’d, and admir’d

Who could perform such harmful facts, and yet be safe retir’d.

Now, coming where they slew the scout, Ulysses stay’d the steeds,

Tydides lighted, and the spoils, hung on the tamrick reeds,

450 He took and gave to Ithacus, and up he got again.

Then flew they joyful to their fleet. Nestor did first attain

The sounds the horse-hoofs strook through air, and said: “My royal peers!

Do I but dote, or say I true? Methinks about mine ears

The sounds of running horses beat. O would to God they were

455 Our friends thus soon return’d with spoils! But I have hearty fear,

Lest this high tumult of the foe doth their distress intend.”

He scarce had spoke, when they were come. Both did from horse descend.

All, with embraces and sweet words, to heav’n their worth did raise.

Then Nestor spake: “Great Ithacus, ev’n heap’d with Grecian praise,

460 How have you made these horse your prise? Pierc’d you the dang’rous host,

Where such gems stand? Or did some God your high attempts accost,

And honour’d you with this reward? Why, they be like the rays

The sun effuseth. I have mix’d with Trojans all my days;

And now, I hope you will not say, I always lie aboard,

465 Though an old soldier I confess; yet did all Troy afford

Never the like to any sense that ever I possess’d.

But some good God, no doubt, hath met, and your high valours bless’d,


For He that shadows heav’n with clouds loves both as his delights,

And She that supples earth with blood cannot forbear your sights.”

470 Ulysses answer’d: “Honour’d sire, the willing Gods can give

Horse much more worth than these men yield, since in more pow’r they live.

These horse are of the Thracian breed; their king, Tydides slew,

And twelve of his most trusted guard; and of that meaner crew

A scout for thirteenth man we kill’d, whom Hector sent to spy

475 The whole estate of our designs, if bent to fight or fly.”

Thus, follow’d with whole troops of friends, they with applauses pass’d

The spacious dike, and in the tent of Diomed they plac’d

The horse without contention, as his deserving’s meed,

Which, with his other horse set up, on yellow wheat did feed.

480 Poor Dolon’s spoils Ulysses had; who shrin’d them on his stern,

As trophies vow’d to her that sent the good-aboding hern.

Then enter’d they the mere main sea, to cleanse their honour’d sweat

From off their feet, their thighs and necks; and, when their vehement heat

Was calm’d, and their swoln hearts refresh’d, more curious baths they us’d,

485 Where od’rous and dissolving oils, they through their limbs diffus’d.

Then, taking breakfast, a big bowl, fill’d with the purest wine,

They offer’d to the Maiden Queen, that hath the azure eyne.

Linenotes for Book X

3: “These are the lightnings before snow, &c. that Scaliger’s Criticus so unworthily taxeth; citing the place falsely, as in the third book’s annotations, &c.” —Chapman.

23: Quite—requite, put a stop to.

45: Dis-ease—disturb, arouse.

63: Damask—inlaid.

108: Improve—reprove. An unusual signification. Nares quotes two authorities.

114: Both the folios read “man.” Dr. Taylor has “men,” which the context requires.

120: Mandilion—“A loose cassock such as souldiers use to wear.” —Blount, Glossograph. From Ital.

148: And there are, &c.—The second folio reads, “As there are;” and so Dr. Taylor.

150: “Ἐπὶ ξυροῦ ἵστατα ἀκμῆς. This went into a proverb, used by Theocritus, in Dioscuris, out of Homer.” —Chapman. Iliad X.173.

157: Dr. Taylor, with the second folio, reads “give ear.”

181: Expiscating—inquiring into, fishing out.

227: Murrion—i.e. morion.

244: Clange.—See Bk. III. 5.

291: Related drifts—i.e. never returned to harm the Greeks by a relation of their designs. Infrà, line 332.

397: Proined—plucked off, pruned.

433: Tempted—tried.

464: Aboard.—Dr. Taylor has printed “abord,” and ridiculously says, “abord, readily; from the French.” Had he consulted the original or given one moment’s thought, he would have seen what the true word was. Nestor says, “I have mixed with Trojans all my days, and now, though I confess I am an old man, I hope you will not say I always lie aboard, remain on board ship, and avoid the battle.” Iliad X.549.

480: Stern—hung them up as votive offerings on the stern of his ship.

482: Mere—pure, unmixed. See Bk. XVII. 420.


Corrections for Book X

114 note Dr. Taylor has “men,” which the context requires.
[A painful admission.]

223 is left t’ employ our force
text has t’employ without space

305 so far was Dolon past
text has Dolan

371 King Rhesus, Eioneus’ son
expected “Eionëus’” or “Eioneus’s” (four syllables)

482 note See Bk. XVII. 420
Printed as shown, but reference is really line XVII.421.




The Argument.

Atrides and his other peers of name

Lead forth their men; whom Eris doth enflame.

Hector (by Iris’ charge) takes deedless breath,

Whiles Agamemnon plies the work of death,

Who with the first bears his imperial head.

Himself, Ulysses, and king Diomed,

Eurypylus, and Æsculapius’ son,

(Enforc’d with wounds) the furious skirmish shun.

Which martial sight when great Achilles views,

A little his desire of fight renews;

And forth he sends his friend, to bring him word

From old Neleides, what wounded lord

He in his chariot from the skirmish brought;

Which was Machaon. Nestor then besought

He would persuade his friend to wreak their harms,

Or come himself, deck’d in his dreadful arms.

Another Argument.

Lambda presents the General,

In fight the worthiest man of all.


urora out of restful bed did from bright Tithon rise,

To bring each deathless Essence light, and use to mortal eyes;

When Jove sent Eris to the Greeks, sustaining in her hand

Stern signs of her designs for war. She took her horrid stand


5 Upon Ulysses’ huge black bark, that did at anchor ride

Amidst the fleet, from whence her sounds might ring on ev’ry side,

Both to the tents of Telamon, and th’ author of their smarts,

Who held, for fortitude and force, the navy’s utmost parts.

The red-ey’d Goddess, seated there, thunder’d the Orthian song,

10 High, and with horror, through the ears of all the Grecian throng.

Her verse with spirits invincible did all their breasts inspire,

Blew out all darkness from their limbs, and set their hearts on fire;

And presently was bitter war more sweet a thousand times,

Than any choice in hollow keels to greet their native climes.

15 Atrides summon’d all to arms, to arms himself dispos’d.

First on his legs he put bright greaves, with silver buttons clos’d;

Then with rich curace arm’d his breast, which Cinyras bestow’d

To gratify his royal guest; for ev’n to Cyprus flow’d

Th’ unbounded fame of those designs the Greeks propos’d for Troy,

20 And therefore gave he him those arms, and wish’d his purpose joy.

Ten rows of azure mix’d with black, twelve golden like the sun,

Twice-ten of tin, in beaten paths, did through this armour run.

Three serpents to the gorget crept, that like three rainbows shin’d,

Such as by Jove are fix’d in clouds, when wonders are divin’d.

25 About his shoulders hung his sword, whereof the hollow hilt

Was fashion’d all with shining bars, exceeding richly gilt;

The scabbard was of silver plate, with golden hangers grac’d.

Then he took up his weighty shield, that round about him cast

Defensive shadows; ten bright zones of gold-affecting brass

30 Were driv’n about it; and of tin, as full of gloss as glass,

Swell’d twenty bosses out of it; in centre of them all

One of black metal had engrav’n, full of extreme appall,

An ugly Gorgon, compasséd with Terror and with Fear.

At it a silver bawdrick hung, with which he us’d to bear,

35 Wound on his arm, his ample shield; and in it there was wov’n

An azure dragon, curl’d in folds, from whose one neck was clov’n


Three heads contorted in an orb. Then plac’d he on his head

His four-plum’d casque; and in his hands two darts he managéd,

Arm’d with bright steel that blaz’d to heav’n. Then Juno, and the Maid

40 That conquers empires, trumpets serv’d to summon out their aid

In honour of the General, and on a sable cloud,

To bring them furious to the field, sat thund’ring out aloud.

Then all enjoin’d their charioteers, to rank their chariot horse

Close to the dike. Forth march’d the foot, whose front they did r’enforce

45 With some horse troops. The battle then was all of charioteers,

Lin’d with light horse. But Jupiter disturb’d this form with fears,

And from air’s upper region bid bloody vapours rain,

For sad ostent much noble life should ere their times be slain.

The Trojan host at Ilus’ tomb was in battalia led

50 By Hector and Polydamas, and old Anchises’ seed

Who god-like was esteem’d in Troy, by grave Antenor’s race

Divine Agenor, Polybus, unmarried Acamas

Proportion’d like the States of heav’n. In front of all the field,

Troy’s great Priamides did bear his all-ways-equal shield,

55 Still plying th’ ord’ring of his pow’r. And as amids the sky

We sometimes see an ominous star blaze clear and dreadfully,

Then run his golden head in clouds, and straight appear again;

So Hector otherwhiles did grace the vaunt-guard, shining plain,

Then in the rear-guard hid himself, and labour’d ev’rywhere

60 To order and encourage all; his armour was so clear,

And he applied each place so fast, that, like a lightning thrown

Out of the shield of Jupiter, in ev’ry eye he shone.

And as upon a rich man’s crop of barley or of wheat,

Oppos’d for swiftness at their work, a sort of reapers sweat,

65 Bear down the furrows speedily, and thick their handfuls fall;

So at the joining of the hosts ran slaughter through them all,


None stoop’d to any fainting thought of foul inglorious flight,

But equal bore they up their heads, and far’d like wolves in fight.

Stern Eris, with such weeping sights, rejoic’d to feed her eyes,

70 Who only show’d herself in field, of all the Deities;

The other in Olympus’ tops sat silent, and repin’d

That Jove to do the Trojans grace should bear so fix’d a mind.

He car’d not, but, enthron’d apart, triumphant sat in sway

Of his free pow’r, and from his seat took pleasure to display

75 The city so adorn’d with tow’rs, the sea with vessels fill’d,

The splendour of refulgent arms, the killer and the kill’d.

As long as bright Aurora rul’d, and sacred day increas’d,

So long their darts made mutual wounds, and neither had the best;

But when, in hill-environ’d vales, the timber-feller takes

80 A sharp set stomach to his meat, and dinner ready makes,

His sinews fainting, and his spirits become surcharg’d and dull,

Time of accustom’d ease arriv’d, his hands with labour full,

Then by their valours Greeks brake through the Trojan ranks, and cheer’d

Their gen’ral squadrons through the host; then first of all appear’d

85 The person of the king himself; and then the Trojans lost

Bianor by his royal charge, a leader in the host.

Who being slain, his charioteer, Oïleus, did alight,

And stood in skirmish with the king; the king did deadly smite

His forehead with his eager lance, and through his helm it ran,

90 Enforcing passage to his brain, quite through the harden’d pan,

His brain mix’d with his clotter’d blood, his body strew’d the ground.

There left he them, and presently he other objects found;

Isus and Antiphus, two sons king Priam did beget,

One lawful, th’ other wantonly. Both in one chariot met

95 Their royal foe; the baser born, Isus, was charioteer,

And famous Antiphus did fight; both which king Peleus’ heir,


Whilome in Ida keeping flocks, did deprehend and bind

With pliant osiers, and, for price, them to their sire resign’d.

Atrides, with his well-aim’d lance, smote Isus on the breast

100 Above the nipple; and his sword a mortal wound impress’d

Beneath the ear of Antiphus; down from their horse they fell.

The king had seen the youths before, and now did know them well,

Rememb’ring them the prisoners of swift Æacides,

Who brought them to the sable fleet from Ida’s foody leas.

105 And as a lion having found the furrow of a hind,

Where she hath calv’d two little twins, at will and ease doth grind

Their joints snatch’d in his solid jaws, and crusheth into mist

Their tender lives; their dam, though near, not able to resist,

But shook with vehement fear herself, flies through the oaken chace

110 From that fell savage, drown’d in sweat, and seeks some covert place;

So when with most unmatched strength the Grecian Gen’ral bent

’Gainst these two princes, none durst aid their native king’s descent,

But fled themselves before the Greeks. And where these two were slain,

Pisander and Hippolochus (not able to restrain

115 Their headstrong horse, the silken reins being from their hands let fall)

Were brought by their unruly guides before the General.

Antimachus begat them both, Antimachus that took

Rich gifts, and gold, of Helen’s love, and would by no means brook

Just restitution should be made of Menelaus’ wealth,

120 Bereft him, with his ravish’d queen, by Alexander’s stealth.

Atrides, lion-like, did charge his sons, who on their knees

Fell from their chariot, and besought regard to their degrees,

Who, being Antimachus’s sons, their father would afford

A worthy ransom for their lives, who in his house did hoard

125 Much hidden treasure, brass, and gold, and steel, wrought wondrous choice.

Thus wept they, using smoothing terms, and heard this rugged voice


Breath’d from the unrelenting king: “If you be of the breed

Of stout Antimachus, that stay’d the honourable deed

The other peers of Ilion in council had decreed,

130 To render Helen and her wealth; and would have basely slain

My brother and wise Ithacus, ambassadors t’ attain

The most due motion; now receive wreak for his shameful part.”

This said, in poor Pisander’s breast he fix’d his wreakful dart,

Who upward spread th’ oppresséd earth; his brother crouch’d for dread,

135 And, as he lay, the angry king cut off his arms and head,

And let him like a football lie for ev’ry man to spurn.

Then to th’ extremest heat of fight he did his valour turn,

And led a multitude of Greeks, where foot did foot subdue,

Horse slaughter’d horse, Need feather’d flight, the batter’d centre flew

140 In clouds of dust about their ears, rais’d from the horses’ hooves,

That beat a thunder out of earth as horrible as Jove’s.

The king, persuading speedy chace, gave his persuasions way

With his own valour, slaught’ring still. As in a stormy day

In thick-set woods a rav’nous fire wraps in his fierce repair

145 The shaken trees, and by the roots doth toss them into air;

Ev’n so beneath Atrides’ sword flew up Troy’s flying heels,

Their horse drew empty chariots, and sought their thund’ring wheels

Some fresh directors through the field, where least the púrsuit drives.

Thick fell the Trojans, much more sweet to vultures than their wives.

150 Then Jove drew Hector from the darts, from dust, from death and blood,

And from the tumult. Still the king firm to the púrsuit stood,

Till at old Ilus’ monument, in midst of all the field,

They reach’d the wild fig-tree, and long’d to make their town their shield.

Yet there they rested not; the king still cried, ‘Pursue! Pursue!’

155 And all his unreprovéd hands did blood and dust imbrue.

But when they came to Scæa’s ports, and to the beech of Jove,

There made they stand; there ev’ry eye, fixed on each other, strove


Who should outlook his mate amaz’d; through all the field they fled.

And as a lion, when the night becomes most deaf and dead,

160 Invades ox-herds, affrighting all, that he of one may wreak

His dreadful hunger, and his neck he first of all doth break,

Then laps his blood and entrails up; so Agamemnon plied

The manage of the Trojan chace, and still the last man died,

The other fled, a number fell by his imperial hand,

165 Some grovelling downwards from their horse, some upwards strew’d the sand.

High was the fury of his lance. But, having beat them close

Beneath their walls, the both worlds’ Sire did now again repose

On fountain-flowing Ida’s tops, being newly slid from heav’n,

And held a lightning in his hand; from thence this charge was giv’n

170 To Iris with the golden wings: “Thaumantia, fly,” said he,

“And tell Troy’s Hector, that as long as he enrag’d shall see

The soldier-loving Atreus’ son amongst the foremost fight,

Depopulating troops of men, so long he must excite

Some other to resist the foe, and he no arms advance;

175 But when he wounded takes his horse, attain’d with shaft or lance,

Then will I fill his arm with death, ev’n till he reach the fleet,

And peaceful night treads busy day beneath her sacred feet.”

The wind-foot swift Thaumantia obey’d, and us’d her wings

To famous Ilion, from the mount enchas’d with silver springs,

180 And found in his bright chariot the hardy Trojan knight,

To whom she spake the words of Jove, and vanish’d from his sight.

He leapt upon the sounding earth, and shook his lengthful dart,

And ev’rywhere he breath’d exhorts, and stirr’d up ev’ry heart.

A dreadful fight he set on foot. His soldiers straight turn’d head.

185 The Greeks stood firm. In both the hosts, the field was perfected.


But Agamemnon, foremost still, did all his side exceed,

And would not be the first in name unless the first in deed.

Now sing, fair Presidents of verse, that in the heav’ns embow’r,

Who first encounter’d with the king, of all the adverse pow’r.

190 Iphidamas, Antenor’s son, ample and bigly set,

Brought up in pasture-springing Thrace, that doth soft sheep beget,

In grave Cissëus’ noble house, that was his mother’s sire,

Fair Theano; and when his breast was heighten’d with the fire

Of gaysome youth, his grandsire gave his daughter to his love.

195 Who straight his bridal-chamber left. Fame with affection strove,

And made him furnish twelve fair ships, to lend fair Troy his hand.

His ships he in Percope left, and came to Troy by land.

And now he tried the fame of Greece, encount’ring with the king,

Who threw his royal lance and miss’d. Iphidamas did fling,

200 And strook him on the arming waist, beneath his coat of brass,

Which forc’d him stay upon his arm, so violent it was,

Yet pierc’d it not his well-wrought zone, but when the lazy head

Tried hardness with his silver waist, it turn’d again like lead.

He follow’d, grasping the ground end, but with a lion’s wile

205 That wrests away a hunter’s staff, he caught it by the pile,

And pluck’d it from the caster’s hand, whom with his sword he strook

Beneath the ear, and with his wound his timeless death he took.

He fell and slept an iron sleep; wretched young man, he died,

Far from his newly-married wife, in aid of foreign pride,

210 And saw no pleasure of his love; yet was her jointure great,

An hundred oxen gave he her, and vow’d in his retreat

Two thousand head of sheep and goats, of which he store did leave.

Much gave he of his love’s first-fruits, and nothing did receive.

When Coon (one that for his form might feast an amorous eye,

215 And elder brother of the slain) beheld this tragedy,


Deep sorrow sat upon his eyes, and (standing laterally,

And to the Gen’ral undiscern’d) his jav’lin he let fly,

That ’twixt his elbow and his wrist transfix’d his armless arm;

The bright head shin’d on th’ other side. The unexpected harm

220 Impress’d some horror in the king; yet so he ceas’d not fight,

But rush’d on Coon with his lance, who made what haste he might,

Seizing his slaughter’d brother’s foot, to draw him from the field,

And call’d the ablest to his aid, when under his round shield

The king’s brass jav’lin, as he drew, did strike him helpless dead;

225 Who made Iphidamas the block, and cut off Coon’s head.

Thus under great Atrides’ arm Antenor’s issue thriv’d,

And, to suffice precisest fate, to Pluto’s mansion div’d.

He with his lance, sword, mighty stones, pour’d his heroic wreak

On other squadrons of the foe, whiles yet warm blood did break

230 Through his cleft veins; but when the wound was quite exhaust and crude,

The eager anguish did approve his princely fortitude.

As when most sharp and bitter pangs distract a labouring dame,

Which the divine Ilithyæ, that rule the painful frame

Of human child-birth, pour on her; th’ Ilithyæ that are

235 The daughters of Saturnia; with whose extreme repair

The woman in her travail strives to take the worst it gives,

With thought it must be, ’tis love’s fruit, the end for which she lives,

The mean to make herself new born, what comforts will redound;

So Agamemnon did sustain the torment of his wound.

240 Then took he chariot, and to fleet bad haste his charioteer,

But first pour’d out his highest voice to purchase ev’ry ear:

“Princes and leaders of the Greeks, brave friends, now from our fleet

Do you expel this boist’rous sway. Jove will not let me meet

Illustrate Hector, nor give leave that I shall end the day

245 In fight against the Ilion pow’r; my wound is in my way.”


This said, his ready charioteer did scourge his spriteful horse,

That freely to the sable fleet perform’d their fi’ry course,

To bear their wounded sovereign apart the martial thrust,

Sprinkling their pow’rful breasts with foam, and snowing on the dust.

250 When Hector heard of his retreat, thus he for fame contends:

“Trojans, Dardanians, Lycians, all my close-fighting friends,

Think what it is to be renown’d, be soldiers all of name,

Our strongest enemy is gone, Jove vows to do us fame,

Then in the Grecian faces drive your one-hoof’d violent steeds,

255 And far above their best be best, and glorify your deeds.”

Thus as a dog-giv’n hunter sets upon a brace of boars

His white-tooth’d hounds, puffs, shout, breathes terms, and on his emprese pours,

All his wild art to make them pinch; so Hector urg’d his host

To charge the Greeks, and, he himself most bold and active most,

260 He brake into the heat of fight, as when a tempest raves,

Stoops from the clouds, and all on heaps doth cuff the purple waves.

Who then was first, and last, he kill’d, when Jove did grace his deed?

Assæus, and Autonous, Opys, and Clytus’ seed

Prince Dolops, and the honour’d sire of sweet Euryalus

265 Opheltes, Agelaus next, and strong Hipponous,

Orus, Æsymnus, all of name. The common soldiers fell,

As when the hollow flood of air in Zephyr’s cheeks doth swell,

And sparseth all the gather’d clouds white Notus’ pow’r did draw,

Wraps waves in waves, hurls up the froth beat with a vehement flaw;

270 So were the common soldiers wrack’d in troops by Hector’s hand.

Then ruin had enforc’d such works as no Greeks could withstand,

Then in their fleet they had been hous’d, had not Laertes’ son

Stirr’d up the spirit of Diomed, with this impression:


“Tydides, what do we sustain, forgetting what we are?

275 Stand by me, dearest in my love. ’Twere horrible impair

For our two valours to endure a customary flight,

To leave our navy still engag’d, and but by fits to fight.”

He answer’d: “I am bent to stay, and anything sustain;

But our delight to prove us men will prove but short and vain,

280 For Jove makes Trojans instruments, and virtually then

Wields arms himself. Our cross affairs are not ’twixt men and men.”

This said, Thymbræus with his lance he tumbled from his horse,

Near his left nipple wounding him. Ulysses did enforce

Fair Molion, minion to this king that Diomed subdu’d.

285 Both sent they thence till they return’d, who now the king pursu’d

And furrow’d through the thicken’d troops. As when two chaséd boars

Turn head ’gainst kennels of bold hounds, and race way through their gores;

So, turn’d from flight, the forward kings show’d Trojans backward death.

Nor fled the Greeks, but by their wills, to get great Hector breath.

290 Then took they horse and chariot from two bold city foes,

Merops Percosius’ mighty sons. Their father could disclose,

Beyond all men, hid auguries, and would not give consent

To their egression to these wars, yet wilfully they went,

For Fates, that order sable death, enforc’d their tragedies.

295 Tydides slew them with his lance, and made their arms his prise.

Hypirochus, and Hippodus, Ulysses reft of light.

But Jove, that out of Ida look’d, then equalis’d the fight,

A Grecian for a Trojan then paid tribute to the Fates.

Yet royal Diomed slew one, ev’n in those even debates,

300 That was of name more than the rest, Pæon’s renownéd son,

The prince Agastrophus; his lance into his hip did run;

His squire detain’d his horse apart, that hinder’d him to fly,

Which he repented at his heart, yet did his feet apply


His ’scape with all the speed they had alongst the foremost bands,

305 And there his lovéd life dissolv’d. This Hector understands,

And rush’d with clamour on the king, right soundly seconded

With troops of Trojans. Which perceiv’d by famous Diomed,

The deep conceit of Jove’s high will stiffen’d his royal hair,

Who spake to near-fought Ithacus: “The fate of this affair

310 Is bent to us. Come let us stand, and bound his violence.”

Thus threw he his long jav’lin forth, which smote his head’s defence

Full on the top, yet pierc’d no skin; brass took repulse with brass;

His helm (with three folds made, and sharp) the gift of Phœbus was.

The blow made Hector take the troop, sunk him upon his hand,

315 And strook him blind. The king pursu’d before the foremost band

His dart’s recov’ry, which he found laid on the purple plain;

By which time Hector was reviv’d, and, taking horse again,

Was far commix’d within his strength, and fled his darksome grave.

He follow’d with his thirsty lance, and this elusive brave:

320 “Once more be thankful to thy heels, proud dog, for thy escape.

Mischief sat near thy bosom now; and now another rape

Hath thy Apollo made of thee, to whom thou well mayst pray,

When through the singing of our darts thou find’st such guarded way.

But I shall meet with thee at length, and bring thy latest hour,

325 If with like favour any God be fautour of my pow’r.

Meanwhile some other shall repay, what I suspend in thee.”

This said, he set the wretched soul of Pæon’s issue free,

Whom his late wound not fully slew. But Priam’s amorous birth

Against Tydides bent his bow, hid with a hill of earth,

330 Part of the ruinated tomb for honour’d Ilus built,

And as the curace of the slain, engrav’n and richly gilt,

Tydides from his breast had spoil’d, and from his shoulders raft

His target and his solid helm, he shot, and his keen shaft


(That never flew from him in vain) did nail unto the ground

335 The king’s right foot; the spleenful knight laugh’d sweetly at the wound,

Crept from his covert, and triumph’d: “Now art thou maim’d,” said he,

“And would to God my happy hand had so much honour’d me

To have infix’d it in thy breast, as deep as in thy foot,

Ev’n to th’ expulsure of thy soul! Then blest had been my shoot

340 Of all the Trojans; who had then breath’d from their long unrests,

Who fear thee, as the braying goats abhor the king of beasts.”

Undaunted Diomed replied: “You braver with your bow,

You slick-hair’d lover, you that hunt and fleer at wenches so,

Durst thou but stand in arms with me, thy silly archery

345 Would give thee little cause to vaunt. As little suffer I

In this same tall exploit of thine, perform’d when thou wert hid,

As if a woman, or a child that knew not what it did,

Had touch’d my foot. A coward’s steel hath never any edge.

But mine, t’ assure it sharp, still lays dead carcasses in pledge;

350 Touch it, it renders lifeless straight, it strikes the fingers’ ends

Of hapless widows in their cheeks, and children blind of friends.

The subject of it makes earth red, and air with sighs inflames,

And leaves limbs more embrac’d with birds than with enamour’d dames.”

Lance-fam’d Ulysses now came in, and stept before the king,

355 Kneel’d opposite, and drew the shaft. The eager pain did sting

Through all his body. Straight he took his royal chariot there,

And with direction to the fleet did charge his charioteer.

Now was Ulysses desolate, fear made no friend remain,

He thus spake to his mighty mind: “What doth my state sustain?

360 If I should fly this odds in fear, that thus comes clust’ring on,

’Twere high dishonour; yet ’twere worse, to be surpris’d alone.

’Tis Jove that drives the rest to flight; but that’s a faint excuse.

Why do I tempt my mind so much? Pale cowards fight refuse.


He that affects renown in war must like a rock be fix’d,

365 Wound, or be wounded. Valour’s truth puts no respect betwixt.”

In this contention with himself, in flew the shady bands

Of targeteers, who sieg’d him round with mischief-filléd hands.

As when a crew of gallants watch the wild muse of a boar,

Their dogs put after in full cry, he rusheth on before,

370 Whets, with his lather-making jaws, his crookéd tusks for blood,

And, holding firm his usual haunts, breaks through the deepen’d wood,

They charging, though his hot approach be never so abhorr’d;

So, to assail the Jove-lov’d Greek, the Ilians did accord,

And he made through them. First he hurt, upon his shoulder blade,

375 Deiops, a blameless man at arms; then sent to endless shade

Thoon and Eunomus; and strook the strong Chersidamas,

As from his chariot he leap’d down, beneath his targe of brass;

Who fell, and crawl’d upon the earth with his sustaining palms,

And left the fight. Nor yet his lance left dealing martial alms,

380 But Socus’ brother by both sides, young Carops, did impress.

Then princely Socus to his aid made brotherly access,

And, coming near, spake in his charge: “O great Laertes’ son,

Insatiate in sly stratagems, and labours never done,

This hour, or thou shalt boast to kill the two Hippasides

385 And prise their arms, or fall thyself in my resolv’d access.”

This said, he threw quite through his shield his fell and well-driv’n lance,

Which held way through his curaces, and on his ribs did glance,

Plowing the flesh alongst his sides; but Pallas did repel

All inward passage to his life. Ulysses, knowing well

390 The wound undeadly (setting back his foot to form his stand)

Thus spake to Socus: “O thou wretch, thy death is in this hand,

That stay’st my victory on Troy, and where thy charge was made

In doubtful terms (or this or that) this shall thy life invade.”


This frighted Socus to retreat, and, in his faint reverse,

395 The lance betwixt his shoulders fell, and through his breast did perse,

Down fell he sounding, and the king thus play’d with his mis-ease:

“O Socus, you that make by birth the two Hippasides,

Now may your house and you perceive death can outfly the flyer.

Ah wretch! thou canst not ’scape my vows. Old Hippasus thy sire,

400 Nor thy well-honour’d mother’s hands, in both which lies thy worth,

Shall close thy wretched eyes in death, but vultures dig them forth,

And hide them with their darksome wings; but when Ulysses dies,

Divinest Greeks shall tomb my corse with all their obsequies.”

Now from his body and his shield the violent lance he drew,

405 That princely Socus had infix’d; which drawn, a crimson dew

Fell from his bosom on the earth; the wound did dare him sore.

And when the furious Trojans saw Ulysses’ forcéd gore,

Encouraging themselves in gross, all his destruction vow’d.

Then he retir’d, and summon’d aid. Thrice shouted he aloud,

410 As did denote a man engag’d. Thrice Menelaus’ ear

Observ’d his aid-suggesting voice, and Ajax being near,

He told him of Ulysses’ shouts, as if he were enclos’d

From all assistance, and advis’d their aids might be dispos’d

Against the ring that circled him, lest, charg’d with troops alone,

415 (Though valiant) he might be oppress’d, whom Greece so built upon.

He led, and Ajax seconded. They found their Jove-lov’d king

Circled with foes. As when a den of bloody lucerns cling

About a goodly-palméd hart, hurt with a hunter’s bow,

Whose ’scape his nimble feet enforce, whilst his warm blood doth flow,


And his light knees have pow’r to move; but, master’d of his wound,

420 Emboss’d within a shady hill, the lucerns charge him round,

And tear his flesh; when instantly fortune sends in the pow’rs

Of some stern lion, with whose sight they fly, and he devours;

So charg’d the Ilians Ithacus, many and mighty men.

425 But then made Menelaus in, and horrid Ajax then,

Bearing a target like a tow’r, close was his violent stand,

And ev’ry way the foe dispers’d; when, by the royal hand,

Kind Menelaus led away the hurt Laertes’ son,

Till his fair squire had brought his horse. Victorious Telamon

430 Still plied the foe, and put to sword a young Priamides,

Doryclus, Priam’s bastard son; then did his lance impress

Pandocus, and strong Pirasus, Lysander and Palertes.

As when a torrent from the hills, swoln with Saturnian show’rs,

Falls on the fields, bears blasted oaks, and wither’d rosin flow’rs,

435 Loose weeds, and all disperséd filth, into the ocean’s force;

So matchless Ajax beat the field, and slaughter’d men and horse.

Yet had not Hector heard of this, who fought on the left wing

Of all the host, near those sweet herbs Scamander’s flood doth spring,

Where many foreheads trod the ground, and where the skirmish burn’d

440 Near Nestor and king Idomen; where Hector overturn’d

The Grecian squadrons, authoring high service with his lance,

And skilful manage of his horse. Nor yet the discrepance

He made in death betwixt the hosts had made the Greeks retire,

If fair-hair’d Helen’s second spouse had not repress’d the fire


445 Of bold Machaon’s fortitude, who with a three-fork’d head

In his right shoulder wounded him. Then had the Grecians dread,

Lest, in his strength declin’d, the foe should slaughter their hurt friend.

Then Crete’s king urg’d Neleides his chariot to ascend,

And getting near him, take him in, and bear him to their tents.

450 A surgeon is to be preferr’d, with physic ornaments,

Before a multitude; his life gives hurt lives native bounds,

With sweet inspersion of fit balms, and perfect search of wounds.

Thus spake the royal Idomen. Neleides obey’d,

And to his chariot presently the wounded Greek convey’d.

455 The son of Æsculapius, the great physician.

To fleet they flew. Cebriones perceiv’d the slaughter done

By Ajax on the other troops, and spake to Hector thus:

“Whiles we encounter Grecians here, stern Telamonius

Is yonder raging, turning up in heaps our horse and men;

460 I know him by his spacious shield. Let us turn chariot then,

Where, both of horse and foot, the fight most hotly is propos’d,

In mutual slaughters. Hark, their throats from cries are never clos’d.”

This said, with his shrill scourge he strook the horse, that fast ensu’d

Stung with his lashes, tossing shields, and carcasses imbru’d.

465 The chariot tree was drown’d in blood, and th’ arches by the seat

Disperpled from the horses’ hoofs, and from the wheelbands beat.

Great Hector long’d to break the ranks, and startle their close fight,

Who horribly amaz’d the Greeks, and plied their sudden fright

With busy weapons, ever wing’d; his lance, sword, weighty stones.

470 Yet charg’d he other leaders’ bands, not dreadful Telamon’s;

With whom he wisely shunn’d foul blows. But Jove (that weighs above

All human pow’rs) to Ajax’ breast divine repressions drove,

And made him shun who shunn’d himself; he ceas’d from fight amaz’d,

Cast on his back his sev’n-fold shield, and round about him gaz’d

475 Like one turn’d wild, look’d on himself in his distract retreat,

Knee before knee did scarcely move. As when from herds of neat,


Whole threaves of boors and mongrels chase a lion skulking near,

Loth he should taint the well-priz’d fat of any stall-fed steer,

Consuming all the night in watch, he, greedy of his prey,

480 Oft thrusting on is oft thrust off, so thick the jav’lins play

On his bold charges, and so hot the burning fire-brands shine,

Which he (though horrible) abhors, about his glowing eyne,

And early his great heart retires; so Ajax from the foe,

For fear their fleet should be inflam’d, ’gainst his swoln heart did go.

485 As when a dull mill ass comes near a goodly field of corn,

Kept from the birds by children’s cries, the boys are overborne

By his insensible approach, and simply he will eat;

About whom many wands are broke, and still the children beat,

And still the self-providing ass doth with their weakness bear,

490 Not stirring till his paunch be full, and scarcely then will steer;

So the huge son of Telamon amongst the Trojans far’d,

Bore show’rs of darts upon his shield, yet scorn’d to fly as scar’d,

And so kept softly on his way; nor would he mend his pace

For all their violent pursuits, that still did arm the chace

495 With singing lances. But, at last, when their cur-like presumes

More urg’d the more forborne, his spirits did rarify their fumes,

And he revok’d his active strength, turn’d head, and did repell

The horse-troops that were new made in, ’twixt whom the fight grew fell;

And by degrees he stole retreat, yet with such puissant stay

500 That none could pass him to the fleet. In both the armies’ sway

He stood, and from strong hands receiv’d sharp jav’lins on his shield,

Where many stuck, thrown on before, many fell short in field,


Ere the white body they could reach, and stuck, as telling how

They purpos’d to have pierc’d his flesh. His peril piercéd now

505 The eyes of prince Eurypylus, Evemon’s famous son,

Who came close on, and with his dart strook duke Apisaon,

Whose surname was Phausiades, ev’n to the concrete blood

That makes the liver; on the earth, out gush’d his vital flood.

Eurypylus made in, and eas’d his shoulders of his arms;

510 Which Paris seeing, he drew his bow, and wreak’d in part the harms

Of his good friend Phausiades, his arrow he let fly

That smote Eurypylus, and brake in his attainted thigh;

Then took he troop to shun black death, and to the flyers cried:

“Princes, and leaders of the Greeks, stand, and repulse the tide

515 Of this our honour-wracking chase. Ajax is drown’d in darts,

I fear past ’scape; turn, honour’d friends, help out his vent’rous parts.”

Thus spake the wounded Greek; the sound cast on their backs their shields,

And rais’d their darts; to whose relief Ajax his person wields.

Then stood he firmly with his friends, retiring their retire.

520 And thus both hosts indiff’rent join’d, the fight grew hot as fire.

Now had Neleides’ sweating steeds brought him, and his hurt friend,

Amongst their fleet. Æacides, that wishly did intend,

Standing astern his tall-neck’d ship, how deep the skirmish drew

Amongst the Greeks, and with what ruth the insecution grew,

525 Saw Nestor bring Machaon hurt, and from within did call

His friend Patroclus; who, like Mars in form celestial,


Came forth with first sound of his voice, first spring of his decay,

And ask’d his princely friend’s desire. “Dear friend,” said he, “this day

I doubt not will enforce the Greeks, to swarm about my knees;

530 I see unsuffer’d need employ’d in their extremities.

Go, sweet Patroclus, and inquire of old Neleides

Whom he brought wounded from the fight; by his back parts I guess

It is Machaon, but his face I could not well descry,

They pass’d me in such earnest speed.” Patroclus presently

535 Obey’d his friend, and ran to know. They now descended were,

And Nestor’s squire, Eurymedon, the horses did ungear;

Themselves stood near th’ extremest shore, to let the gentle air

Dry up their sweat; then to the tent, where Hecamed the fair

Set chairs, and for the wounded prince a potion did prepare.

540 This Hecamed, by war’s hard fate, fell to old Nestor’s share,

When Thetis’ son sack’d Tenedos; she was the princely seed

Of worthy king Arsinous, and by the Greeks decreed

The prise of Nestor, since all men in counsel he surpass’d.

First, a fair table she appos’d, of which the feet were grac’d

545 With bluish metal mix’d with black; and on the same she put

A brass fruit-dish, in which she serv’d a wholesome onion cut

For pittance to the potion, and honey newly wrought,

And bread, the fruit of sacred meal. Then to the board she brought

A right fair cup with gold studs driv’n, which Nestor did transfer

550 From Pylos; on whose swelling sides four handles fixéd were,

And upon ev’ry handle sat a pair of doves of gold,

Some billing, and some pecking meat; two gilt feet did uphold

The antique body; and withal so weighty was the cup

That, being propos’d brimful of wine, one scarce could lift it up,

555 Yet Nestor drunk in it with ease, spite of his years’ respect.

In this the goddess-like fair dame a potion did confect

With good old wine of Pramnius, and scrap’d into the wine

Cheese made of goat’s milk, and on it spers’d flour exceeding fine.


In this sort for the wounded lord the potion she prepar’d,

560 And bad him drink. For company, with him old Nestor shar’d.

Thus physically quench’d they thirst, and then their spirits reviv’d

With pleasant conference. And now Patroclus, being arriv’d,

Made stay at th’ entry of the tent. Old Nestor, seeing it,

Rose, and receiv’d him by the hand, and fain would have him sit.

565 He set that courtesy aside, excusing it with haste,

Since his much-to-be-rev’renced friend sent him to know who past,

Wounded with him in chariot, so swiftly through the shore;

“Whom now,” said he, “I see and know, and now can stay no more;

You know, good father, our great friend is apt to take offence,

570 Whose fi’ry temper will inflame sometimes with innocence.”

He answer’d: “When will Peleus’ son some royal pity show

On his thus wounded countrymen? Ah! is he yet to know

How much affliction tires our host? How our especial aid,

Tainted with lances, at their tents are miserably laid?

575 Ulysses, Diomed, our king, Eurypylus, Machaon,

All hurt, and all our worthiest friends; yet no compassion

Can supple thy friend’s friendless breast! Doth he reserve his eye

Till our fleet burn, and we ourselves one after other die?

Alas, my forces are not now as in my younger life.

580 Oh would to God I had that strength I uséd in the strife

Betwixt us and the Elians, for oxen to be driv’n,

When Itymonius’ lofty soul was by my valour giv’n

As sacrifice to destiny, Hypirochus’ strong son,

That dwelt in Elis, and fought first in our contention!

585 We forag’d, as proclaiméd foes, a wondrous wealthy boot,

And he, in rescue of his herds, fell breathless at my foot.

All the dorp boors with terror fled. Our prey was rich and great;

Twice five and twenty flocks of sheep; as many herds of neat;

As many goats, and nasty swine; an hundred fifty mares,

590 All sorrel, most with sucking foals. And these soon-monied wares


We drave into Neleius’ town, fair Pylos, all by night.

My father’s heart was glad to see so much good fortune quite

The forward mind of his young son, that us’d my youth in deeds,

And would not smother it in moods. Now drew the Sun’s bright steeds

595 Light from the hills; our heralds now accited all that were

Endamag’d by the Elians; our princes did appear;

Our boot was parted; many men th’ Epeians much did owe,

That, being our neighbours, they did spoil; afflictions did so flow

On us poor Pylians, though but few. In brake great Hercules

600 To our sad confines of late years, and wholly did suppress

Our hapless princes. Twice-six sons renown’d Neleius bred,

Only myself am left of all, the rest subdu’d and dead.

And this was it that made so proud the base Epeian bands,

On their near neighbours, being oppress’d, to lay injurious hands.

605 A herd of oxen for himself, a mighty flock of sheep,

My sire selected, and made choice of shepherds for their keep;

And from the gen’ral spoil he cull’d three hundred of the best.

The Elians ought him infinite, most plagu’d of all the rest.

Four wager-winning horse he lost, and chariots intervented,

610 Being led to an appointed race; the prize that was presented

Was a religious three-foot urn; Augeas was the king

That did detain them, and dismiss’d their keeper sorrowing

For his lov’d charge lost with foul words. Then both for words and deeds

My sire being worthily incens’d, thus justly he proceeds

615 To satisfaction, in first choice of all our wealthy prise;

And, as he shar’d much, much he left his subjects to suffice,

That none might be oppress’d with pow’r, or want his portion due.

Thus for the public good we shar’d. Then we to temples drew

Our cómplete city, and to heav’n we thankful rites did burn

620 For our rich conquest. The third day ensuing our return

The Elians flew on us in heaps; their gen’ral leaders were

The two Moliones, two boys, untrainéd in the fear


Of horrid war, or use of strength. A certain city shines

Upon a lofty prominent, and in th’ extreme confines

625 Of sandy Pylos, seated where Alpheus’flood doth run,

And call’d Thryessa; this they sieg’d, and gladly would have won,

But, having pass’d through all our fields, Minerva as our spy

Fell from Olympus in the night, and arm’d us instantly;

Nor muster’d she unwilling men, nor unprepar’d for force.

630 My sire yet would not let me arm, but hid away my horse,

Esteeming me no soldier yet; yet shin’d I nothing less

Amongst our gallants, though on foot; Minerva’s mightiness

Led me to fight, and made me bear a soldier’s worthy name.

There is a flood falls into sea, and his crook’d course doth frame

635 Close to Arena, and is call’d bright Minyæus’ stream.

There made we halt, and there the sun cast many a glorious beam

On our bright armours, horse and foot insea’d together there.

Then march’d we on. By fi’ry noon we saw the sacred clear

Of great Alpheus, where to Jove we did fair sacrifice;

640 And to the azure God, that rules the under-liquid skies,

We offer’d up a solemn bull; a bull t’ Alpheus’ name;

And to the blue-ey’d Maid we burn’d a heifer never tame.

Now was it night; we supp’d and slept, about the flood, in arms.

The foe laid hard siege to our town, and shook it with alarms,

645 But, for prevention of their spleens, a mighty work of war

Appear’d behind them; for as soon as Phœbus’ fi’ry car

Cast night’s foul darkness from his wheels (invoking rev’rend Jove,

And the unconquer’d Maid his birth) we did th’ event approve,

And gave them battle. First of all, I slew (the army saw)

650 The mighty soldier Mulius, Augeas’ son-in-law,

And spoil’d him of his one hoof’d horse; his eldest daughter was

Bright Agamede, that for skill in simples did surpass,

And knew as many kind of drugs, as earth’s broad centre bred.

Him charg’d I with my brass-arm’d lance, the dust receiv’d him dead.


655 I, leaping to his chariot, amongst the foremost press’d,

And the great-hearted Elians fled frighted, seeing their best

And loftiest soldier taken down, the gen’ral of their horse.

I follow’d like a black whirlwind, and did for prise enforce

Full fifty chariots, ev’ry one furnish’d with two arm’d men,

660 Who ate the earth, slain with my lance. And I had slaughter’d then

The two young boys, Moliones, if their world-circling sire,

Great Neptune, had not saft their lives, and cover’d their retire

With unpierc’d clouds. Then Jove bestow’d a haughty victory

Upon us Pylians; for so long we did the chase apply,

665 Slaught’ring and making spoil of arms, till sweet Buprasius’ soil,

Alesius, and Olenia, were fam’d with our recoil;

For there Minerva turn’d our pow’r, and there the last I slew

As, when our battle join’d, the first. The Pylians then withdrew

To Pylos from Buprasius. Of all th’ Immortals then,

670 They most thank’d Jove for victory; Nestor the most of men.

Such was I ever, if I were employ’d with other peers,

And I had honour of my youth, which dies not in my years.

But great Achilles only joys hability of act

In his brave prime, and doth not deign t’ impart it where ’tis lack’d.

675 No doubt he will extremely mourn, long after that black hour

Wherein our ruin shall be brought, and rue his ruthless pow’r.

O friend! my memory revives the charge Menœtius gave

Thy towardness, when thou sett’st forth, to keep out of the grave

Our wounded honour. I myself and wise Ulysses were

680 Within the room, where ev’ry word then spoken we did hear,

For we were come to Peleus’ court, as we did must’ring pass

Through rich Achaia, where thy sire, renown’d Menœtius, was,

Thyself and great Æacides, when Peleüs the king

To thunder-loving Jove did burn an ox for offering,

685 In his court-yard. A cup of gold, crown’d with red wine, he held

On th’ holy incensory pour’d. You, when the ox was fell’d,


Were dressing his divided limbs; we in the portal stood.

Achilles seeing us come so near, his honourable blood

Was strook with a respective shame, rose, took us by the hands,

690 Brought us both in, and made us sit, and us’d his kind commands

For seemly hospitable rites, which quickly were appos’d.

Then, after needfulness of food, I first of all disclos’d

The royal cause of our repair; mov’d you and your great friend

To consort our renown’d designs; both straight did condescend.

695 Your fathers knew it, gave consent, and grave instruction

To both your valours. Peleus charg’d his most unequall’d son

To govern his victorious strength, and shine past all the rest

In honour, as in mere main force. Then were thy partings blest

With dear advices from thy sire; ‘My lovéd son,’ said he,

700 ‘Achilles, by his grace of birth, superior is to thee,

And for his force more excellent, yet thou more ripe in years;

Then with sound counsels, age’s fruits, employ his honour’d years,

Command and overrule his moods; his nature will obey

In any charge discreetly giv’n, that doth his good assay.’

705 “Thus charg’d thy sire, which thou forgett’st. Yet now at last approve,

With forcéd reference of these, th’ attraction of his love;

Who knows if sacred influence may bless thy good intent,

And enter with thy gracious words, ev’n to his full consent?

The admonition of a friend is sweet and vehement.

710 If any oracle he shun, or if his mother-queen

Hath brought him some instinct from Jove, that fortifies his spleen,

Let him resign command to thee of all his Myrmidons,

And yield by that means some repulse to our confusions,

Adorning thee in his bright arms, that his resembled form

715 May haply make thee thought himself, and calm this hostile storm;


That so a little we may ease our overchargéd hands,

Draw some breath, not expire it all. The foe but faintly stands

Beneath his labours; and your charge being fierce, and freshly giv’n,

They eas’ly from our tents and fleet may to their walls be driv’n.”

720 This mov’d the good Patroclus’ mind; who made his utmost haste

T’ inform his friend; and as the fleet of Ithacus he past,

(At which their markets were dispos’d, councils, and martial courts,

And where to th’ altars of the Gods they made divine resorts)

He met renown’d Eurypylus, Evemon’s noble son,

725 Halting, his thigh hurt with a shaft, the liquid sweat did run

Down from his shoulders and his brows, and from his raging wound

Forth flow’d his melancholy blood, yet still his mind was sound.

His sight in kind Patroclus’ breast to sacred pity turn’d,

And (nothing more immartial for true ruth) thus he mourn’d:

730 “Ah wretched progeny of Greece, princes, dejected kings,

Was it your fates to nourish beasts, and serve the outcast wings

Of savage vultures here in Troy? Tell me, Evemon’s fame,

Do yet the Greeks withstand his force, whom yet no force can tame?

Or are they hopeless thrown to death by his resistless lance?”

735 “Divine Patroclus,” he replied, “no more can Greece advance

Defensive weapons, but to fleet they headlong must retire,

For those that to this hour have held our fleet from hostile fire,

And are the bulwarks of our host, lie wounded at their tents,

And Troy’s unvanquishable pow’r, still as it toils, augments.

740 But take me to thy black-stern’d ship, save me, and from my thigh

Cut out this arrow, and the blood, that is ingor’d and dry,

Wash with warm water from the wound; then gentle salves apply,

Which thou know’st best, thy princely friend hath taught thee surgery,

Whom, of all Centaurs the most just, Chiron did institute.

745 Thus to thy honourable hands my ease I prosecute,


Since our physicians cannot help. Machaon at his tent

Needs a physician himself, being leech and patient;

And Podalirius, in the field, the sharp conflict sustains.”

Strong Menœtiades replied: “How shall I ease thy pains?

750 What shall we do, Eurypylus? I am to use all haste,

To signify to Thetis’ son occurrents that have past,

At Nestor’s honourable suit. But be that work achiev’d

When this is done, I will not leave thy torments unreliev’d.”

This said, athwart his back he cast, beneath his breast, his arm,

755 And nobly help’d him to his tent. His servants, seeing his harm,

Dispread ox-hides upon the earth, whereon Machaon lay.

Patroclus cut out the sharp shaft, and clearly wash’d away

With lukewarm water the black blood; then ’twixt his hands he bruis’d

A sharp and mitigatory root; which when he had infus’d

760 Into the green, well-cleanséd, wound, the pains he felt before

Were well, and instantly allay’d; the wound did bleed no more.

Linenotes for Book XI

7: Author—Achilles. Both folios and Dr. Taylor have erroneously “authors.”

64: Opposed—striving with one another, pitted against one another. The original is ἐναντίοι ἀλλήλοισιν, which the Scholiast explains ἐρίζοντες ἀλλήλοις. Iliad XI.67.

64: Sort—set. See Bk. IV. 460.

74: Display—behold, view. A rare sense. See Bk. XVII. 90.

90: Pan—skull, brain-pan.

104: Foody leas—fertile, fruitful, meads. The word occurs again Bk. XV. 638.

118: Helen’s love—Paris.

148: Directors.—The second folio erroneously prints “directions,” which has been adopted by Dr. Taylor.

169: This charge.—The second folio, followed by Dr. Taylor, reads “his charge.”

175: Attain’d—touched, hit. Infrà, line 512, we have “attainted.” See note on Bk. III. 374.

207: Timeless.—See Bk. VI. 349.

215: This.—Both folios have “this;” the older copies “his.”

231: Eager.—

“It is a nipping and an eager air.”

Shakespeare. Hamlet, I. 4.

231: Approve—try.

257: Emprese.—Thus both the folios, doubtless for emprise, the contracted form of enterprise.

258: Pinch.—See Bk. V. 462.

288: Showed Trojans, &c.—i.e. as they retreated slew the Trojans.

325: Fautour.—See Bk. I. 441, XV. 399.

328: Priam’s amorous birth—Paris.

332: Raft—reft.

334: The second folio, followed as usual by Dr. Taylor, reads, “nail upon the ground.”

368: Muse—haunt of an animal. The word seems to have been applied more especially to the “run” of a hare.

395: Perse—pierce; probably so printed merely to suit the rhyme.

417: Lucerns.—The original is θῶες, wolves, or jackals. The term “lucern” is used by Chapman in his Bussy d’Ambois (Act III.) for a sort of hunting dog. Beaumont and Fletcher apply it to an animal whose fur was much valued, “the rich-skinned lucerne,” (Beggar’s Bush, III. 3). Some writers have described it as the lynx; others (Minshew and Blount) say it was “a beast almost as big as a wolf, breeding in Muscovia and Russia, of colour between red and brown, mingled with black spots; its skin is a very rich fur.” The etymology seems uncertain. Iliad XI.474.

421: Emboss’d.—See Bk. IV. 258.

434: Rosin flow’rs.—Dr. Taylor has printed “withered rosy flow’rs.” Had he known the original, he would have found no necessity for altering the reading of both folios. Homer speaks of the river bearing down in its course “many withered oaks and fir trees;” which latter Chapman has fancifully translated “rosin flowers.” Iliad XI.493.

466: Disperpled = sprinkled. Od. X. 473.

477: Threaves—properly “a number of sheaves of corn;” in which sense the word is still in use in the Northern Counties. Metaphorically applied to a collection of any objects. Ben Jonson to people,—

“Gallants, men and women,

And of all sorts, tag, rag, been seen to flock here

In threaves, these ten weeks.”

Alchem. V. 2.

Bp. Hall (Satire, IV. 6.)

“He sends forth thraves of ballads to the sale.”

478: Taint.—See suprà, line 175.

496: Rarify—the second folio reads “ratify;” and so Dr. Taylor.

508: Vital flood.—Both the folios have “blood;” the older editions however have “flood.”

512: Attainted.—See suprà, line 175.

522: Wishly intend—anxiously regard, watch. These lines have been adopted by Niccols in his “England’s Eliza.” (Mirrour for Magistrates, Pt. V.)

“The noble Dev’reux, that undaunted knight,

Who stood astern his ship, and wishly ey’d

How deep the skirmish drew on either side.”

Stanza 404.

There are frequent plagiarisms from Chapman in the same poem.

524: Insecution—pursuit. Latin.

527: First spring of his decay—first dawning of his approaching fate.

554: Propos’d—held forth, set before (Lat. proponere). See Bk. I. 14.

587: Dorp—village, Anglo-Sax.

595: Accited—summoned, roused.

608: Ought—owed.

637: Insea’d—enclosed by the sea.

651: Eldest.—The second folio reads “elder daughter.”

686: Incensory—altar of incense.

689: Respective—respectful.

“For new-made honour doth forget men’s names;

’Tis too respective, and too sociable.”

Shakespeare. K. John, I. 1.

721: As. Both folios have “at.”

729: Nothing more immartial for true ruth—not the worse soldier for feeling true pity.


Corrections for Book XI

111 So when with most unmatched strength
expected “unmatchéd” (three syllables)

417 note The term “lucern” is used by Chapman in his Bussy d’Ambois
text has Bussy d’Ambois” with close quote

625, 639, 641 Alpheus’ flood ... Of great Alpheus ... Alpheus’ name
expected “Alphëus” (three syllables) each time

The Index of John Caius’s De Canibus Britannicis, written a few decades before Chapman, includes two references to Canis lucernarius. But the term is nowhere to be found in the text itself, and also does not appear in the book’s slightly later—but still before Chapman—English trans­lation. Maybe Caius, or his publisher, was confused by the similarly named but unrelated Canis lunarius, which is discussed in the text.




The Argument.

The Trojans at the trench their pow’rs engage,

Though greeted by a bird of bad presage.

In five parts they divide their pow’r to scale,

And Prince Sarpedon forceth down the pale.

Great Hector from the ports tears out a stone,

And with so dead a strength he sets it gone

At those broad gates the Grecians made to guard

Their tents and ships, that, broken, and unbarr’d,

They yield way to his pow’r; when all contend

To reach the ships; which all at last ascend.

Another Argument.

ΜΥ works the Trojans all the grace,

And doth the Grecian fort deface.


atroclus thus employ’d in cure of hurt Eurypylus,

Both hosts are all for other wounds doubly contentious,

One always labouring to expel, the other to invade.

Nor could the broad dike of the Greeks, nor that strong wall they made

5 To guard their fleet, be long unras’d; because it was not rais’d

By grave direction of the Gods, nor were their Deities prais’d

(When they begun) with hecatombs, that then they might be sure

(Their strength being season’d well with heav’n’s) it should have force t’ endure,


And so, the safeguard of their fleet, and all their treasure there,

10 Infallibly had been confirm’d; when, now, their bulwarks were

Not only without pow’r of check to their assaulting foe

(Ev’n now, as soon as they were built) but apt to overthrow;

Such as, in very little time, shall bury all their sight

And thought that ever they were made. As long as the despite

15 Of great Æacides held up, and Hector went not down,

And that by those two means stood safe king Priam’s sacred town,

So long their rampire had some use, though now it gave some way;

But when Troy’s best men suffer’d fate, and many Greeks did pay

Dear for their suff’rance, then the rest home to their country turn’d,

20 The tenth year of their wars at Troy, and Troy was sack’d and burn’d.

And then the Gods fell to their fort; then they their pow’rs employ

To ruin their work, and left less of that than they of Troy.

Neptune and Phœbus tumbled down, from the Idalian hills,

An inundation of all floods, that thence the broad sea fills

25 On their huge rampire; in one glut, all these together roar’d,

Rhesus, Heptaporus, Rhodius, Scamander the ador’d,

Caresus, Simois, Grenicus, Æsepus; of them all

Apollo open’d the rough mouths, and made their lusty fall

Ravish the dusty champian, where many a helm and shield,

30 And half-god race of men, were strew’d. And, that all these might yield

Full tribute to the heav’nly work, Neptune and Phœbus won

Jove to unburthen the black wombs of clouds, fill’d by the sun,

And pour them into all their streams, that quickly they might send

The huge wall swimming to the sea. Nine days their lights did spend

35 To nights in tempests; and when all their utmost depth had made,

Jove, Phœbus, Neptune, all came down, and all in state did wade

To ruin of that impious fort. Great Neptune went before,

Wrought with his trident, and the stones, trunks, roots of trees, he tore

Out of the rampire, toss’d them all into the Hellespont,

40 Ev’n all the proud toil of the Greeks, with which they durst confront


The to-be shunnéd Deities, and not a stone remain’d

Of all their huge foundations, all with the earth were plain’d.

Which done, again the Gods turn’d back the silver-flowing floods

By that vast channel, through whose vaults they pour’d abroad their broods,

45 And cover’d all the ample shore again with dusty sand.

And this the end was of that wall, where now so many a hand

Was emptiéd of stones and darts, contending to invade;

Where Clamour spent so high a throat; and where the fell blows made

The new-built wooden turrets groan. And here the Greeks were pent,

50 Tam’d with the iron whip of Jove, that terrors vehement

Shook over them by Hector’s hand, who was in ev’ry thought

The terror-master of the field, and like a whirlwind fought,

As fresh as in his morn’s first charge. And as a savage boar,

Or lion, hunted long, at last, with hounds’ and hunters’ store

55 Is compass’d round; they charge him close, and stand (as in a tow’r

They had inchas’d him) pouring on of darts an iron show’r;

His glorious heart yet nought appall’d, and forcing forth his way,

Here overthrows a troop, and there a running ring doth stay

His utter passage; when, again, that stay he overthrows,

60 And then the whole field frees his rage; so Hector wearies blows,

Runs out his charge upon the fort, and all his force would force

To pass the dike; which, being so deep, they could not get their horse

To venture on, but trample, snore, and on the very brink

To neigh with spirit, yet still stand off. Nor would a human think

65 The passage safe; or, if it were, ’twas less safe for retreat;

The dike being ev’rywhere so deep, and, where ’twas least deep, set

With stakes exceeding thick, sharp, strong, that horse could never pass,

Much less their chariots after them; yet for the foot there was

Some hopeful service, which they wish’d. Polydamas then spake:

70 “Hector, and all our friends of Troy, we indiscreetly make

Offer of passage with our horse; ye see the stakes, the wall,

Impossible for horse to take; nor can men fight at all,


The place being strait, and much more apt to let us take our bane

Than give the enemy. And yet, if Jove decree the wane

75 Of Grecian glory utterly, and so bereave their hearts

That we may freely charge them thus, and then will take our parts,

I would with all speed wish th’ assault, that ugly shame might shed

(Thus far from home) these Grecians’ bloods. But, if they once turn head

And sally on us from their fleet, when in so deep a dike

80 We shall lie struggling, not a man of all our host is like

To live and carry back the news. And therefore be it thus:

Here leave we horse kept by our men, and all on foot let us

Hold close together, and attend the grace of Hector’s guide,

And then they shall not bear our charge, our conquest shall be dyed

85 In their lives’ purples.” This advice pleas’d Hector, for ’twas sound;

Who first obey’d it, and full-arm’d betook him to the ground.

And then all left their chariots when he was seen to lead,

Rushing about him, and gave up each chariot and steed

To their directors to be kept, in all procinct of war,

90 There, and on that side of the dike. And thus the rest prepare

Their onset: In five regiments they all their pow’r divide,

Each regiment allow’d three chiefs. Of all which ev’n the pride

Serv’d in great Hector’s regiment; for all were set on fire

(Their passage beaten through the wall) with hazardous desire

95 That they might once but fight at fleet. With Hector captains were

Polydamas, and Cebriones, who was his charioteer;

But Hector found that place a worse. Chiefs of the second band

Were Paris, and Alcathous, Agenor. The command

The third strong phalanx had, was giv’n to th’ augur Helenus,

100 Deiphobus, that god-like man, and mighty Asius,

Ev’n Asius Hyrtacides, that from Arisba rode

The huge bay horse, and had his house where river Selleës flow’d.


The fourth charge good Æneas led, and with him were combin’d

Archelochus, and Acamas, Antenor’s dearest kind,

105 And excellent at ev’ry fight. The fifth brave company

Sarpedon had to charge, who choos’d, for his command’s supply,

Asteropæus great in arms, and Glaucus; for both these

Were best of all men but himself, but he was fellowless.

Thus fitted with their well-wrought shields, down the steep dike they go,

110 And (thirsty of the wall’s assault) believe in overthrow,

Not doubting but with headlong falls to tumble down the Greeks

From their black navy. In which trust, all on; and no man seeks

To cross Polydamas’ advice with any other course,

But Asius Hyrtacides, who (proud of his bay horse)

115 Would not forsake them, nor his man, that was their manager,

(Fool that he was) but all to fleet, and little knew how near

An ill death sat him, and a sure, and that he never more

Must look on lofty Ilion; but looks, and all, before,

Put on th’ all-cov’ring mist of fate, that then did hang upon

120 The lance of great Deucalides; he fatally rush’d on

The left hand way, by which the Greeks, with horse and chariot,

Came usually from field to fleet; close to the gates he got,

Which both unbarr’d and ope he found, that so the easier might

An entry be for any friend that was behind in flight;

125 Yet not much easier for a foe, because there was a guard

Maintain’d upon it, past his thought; who still put for it hard,

Eagerly shouting; and with him were five more friends of name,

That would not leave him, though none else would hunt that way for fame

(In their free choice) but he himself. Orestes, Iamenus,

130 And Acamas Asiades, Thoon, Oenomaus,

Were those that follow’d Asius. Within the gates they found

Two eminently valorous, that from the race renown’d


Of the right valiant Lapithes deriv’d their high descent;

Fierce Leontëus was the one, like Mars in detriment,

135 The other mighty Polypæt, the great Pirithous’ son.

These stood within the lofty gates, and nothing more did shun

The charge of Asius and his friends, than two high hill-bred oaks,

Well-rooted in the binding earth, obey the airy strokes

Of wind and weather, standing firm ’gainst ev’ry season’s spite.

140 Yet they pour on continu’d shouts, and bear their shields upright;

When in the mean space Polypæt and Leontëus cheer’d

Their soldiers to the fleet’s defence. But when the rest had heard

The Trojans in attempt to scale, clamour and flight did flow

Amongst the Grecians; and then, the rest dismay’d, these two

145 Met Asius ent’ring, thrust him back, and fought before their doors.

Nor far’d they then like oaks that stood, but as a brace of boars,

Couch’d in their own bred hill, that hear a sort of hunters shout,

And hounds in hot trail coming on, then from their dens break out,

Traverse their force, and suffer not, in wildness of their way,

150 About them any plant to stand, but thickets off’ring stay

Break through, and rend up by the roots, whet gnashes into air,

Which Tumult fills with shouts, hounds, horns, and all the hot affair

Beats at their bosoms; so their arms rung with assailing blows,

And so they stirr’d them in repulse, right well assur’d that those

155 Who were within, and on the wall, would add their parts, who knew

They now fought for their tents, fleet, lives, and fame, and therefore threw

Stones from the walls and tow’rs, as thick as when a drift wind shakes

Black clouds in pieces, and plucks snow, in great and plumy flakes,

From their soft bosoms, till the ground be wholly cloth’d in white;

160 So earth was hid with stones and darts, darts from the Trojan fight,

Stones from the Greeks, that on the helms and bossy Trojan shields

Kept such a rapping, it amaz’d great Asius, who now yields


Sighs, beats his thighs, and in a rage his fault to Jove applies:

“O Jove,” said he, “now clear thou show’st thou art a friend to lies,

165 Pretending, in the flight of Greece, the making of it good,

To all their ruins, which I thought could never be withstood;

Yet they, as yellow wasps, or bees (that having made their nest

The gasping cranny of a hill) when for a hunter’s feast

Hunters come hot and hungry in, and dig for honeycombs,

170 Then fly upon them, strike and sting, and from their hollow homes

Will not be beaten, but defend their labour’s fruit, and brood;

No more will these be from their port, but either lose their blood

(Although but two against all us) or be our pris’ners made.”

All this, to do his action grace, could not firm Jove persuade,

175 Who for the gen’ral counsel stood, and, ’gainst his singular brave,

Bestow’d on Hector that day’s fame. Yet he and these behave

Themselves thus nobly at this port; but how at other ports,

And all alongst the stony wall, sole force, ’gainst force and forts,

Rag’d in contention ’twixt both hosts, it were no easy thing,

180 Had I the bosom of a God, to tune to life and sing.

The Trojans fought not of themselves, a fire from heav’n was thrown

That ran amongst them, through the wall, mere added to their own.

The Greeks held not their own; weak Grief went with her wither’d hand,

And dipp’d it deeply in their spirits, since they could not command

185 Their forces to abide the field, whom harsh Necessity,

To save those ships should bring them home, and their good fort’s supply,

Drave to th’ expulsive fight they made; and this might stoop them more

Than Need itself could elevate, for ev’n Gods did deplore

Their dire estates, and all the Gods that were their aids in war,

190 Who, though they could not clear their plights, yet were their friends thus far,


Still to uphold the better sort; for then did Polypæt pass

A lance at Damasus, whose helm was made with cheeks of brass,

Yet had not proof enough, the pile drave through it and his skull,

His brain in blood drown’d, and the man, so late so spiritfull,

195 Fell now quite spiritless to earth. So emptied he the veins

Of Pylon, and Ormenus’ lives. And then Leonteüs gains

The life’s end of Hippomachus, Antimachus’s son;

His lance fell at his girdle-stead, and with his end begun

Another end. Leonteüs left him, and through the prease

200 (His keen sword drawn) ran desp’rately upon Antiphates,

And lifeless tumbled him to earth. Nor could all these lives quench

His fi’ry spirit, that his flame in Menon’s blood did drench,

And rag’d up ev’n to Iamen’s, and young Orestes’ life;

All heap’d together made their peace in that red field of strife.

205 Whose fair arms while the victors spoil’d, the youth of Ilion

(Of which there serv’d the most and best) still boldly built upon

The wisdom of Polydamas, and Hector’s matchless strength,

And follow’d, fill’d with wondrous spirit, with wish and hope at length,

The Greeks’ wall won, to fire their fleet. But, having pass’d the dike,

210 And willing now to pass the wall, this prodigy did strike

Their hearts with some delib’rate stay: A high-flown eagle soar’d

On their troops’ left hand, and sustain’d a dragon, all engor’d,

In her strong seres, of wondrous size, and yet had no such check

In life and spirit but still she fought, and turning back her neck

215 So stung the eagle’s gorge, that down she cast her fervent prey

Amongst the multitude, and took upon the winds her way,

Crying with anguish. When they saw a branded serpent sprawl

So full amongst them from above, and from Jove’s fowl let fall,

They took it an ostent from him, stood frighted, and their cause

220 Polydamas thought just, and spake: “Hector, you know, applause

Of humour hath been far from me; nor fits it, or in war,

Or in affairs of court, a man employ’d in public care


To blanch things further than their truth, or flatter any pow’r;

And therefore for that simple course your strength hath oft been sour

225 To me in councils; yet again, what shows in my thoughts best,

I must discover. Let us cease, and make their flight our rest

For this day’s honour, and not now attempt the Grecian fleet,

For this, I fear, will be th’ event, the prodigy doth meet

So full with our affair in hand. As this high-flying fowl

230 Upon the left wing of our host, implying our control,

Hover’d above us, and did truss within her golden seres

A serpent so embru’d and big, which yet, in all her fears,

Kept life and fervent spirit to fight, and wrought her own release,

Nor did the eagle’s eyry feed; so though we thus far prease

235 Upon the Grecians, and perhaps may overrun their wall,

Our high minds aiming at their fleet, and that we much appall

Their trusséd spirits; yet are they so serpent-like dispos’d

That they will fight, though in our seres, and will at length be los’d

With all our outcries, and the life of many a Trojan breast

240 Shall with the eagle fly, before we carry to our nest

Them, or their navy.” Thus expounds the augur this ostent,

Whose depth he knows, and these should fear. Hector, with count’nance bent,

Thus answer’d him: “Polydamas, your depth in augury

I like not, and know passing well thou dost not satisfy

245 Thyself in this opinion; or if thou think’st it true,

Thy thoughts the Gods blind, to advise, and urge that as our due,

That breaks our duties, and to Jove, whose vow and sign to me

Is pass’d directly for our speed; yet light-wing’d birds must be,

By thy advice, our oracles, whose feathers little stay

250 My serious actions. What care I, if this, or th’ other, way


Their wild wings sway them; if the right, on which the sun doth rise,

Or, to the left hand, where he sets? ’Tis Jove’s high counsel flys

With those wings that shall bear up us; Jove’s, that both earth and heav’n,

Both men and Gods, sustains and rules. One augury is giv’n

255 To order all men, best of all: Fight for thy country’s right.

But why fear’st thou our further charge? For though the dang’rous fight

Strew all men here about the fleet, yet thou need’st never fear

To bear their fates; thy wary heart will never trust thee where

An enemy’s look is; and yet fight, for, if thou dar’st abstain,

260 Or whisper into any ear an abstinence so vain

As thou advisest, never fear that any foe shall take

Thy life from thee, for ’tis this lance.” This said, all forwards make,

Himself the first; yet before him exulting Clamour flew,

And thunder-loving Jupiter from lofty Ida blew

265 A storm that usher’d their assault, and made them charge like him.

It drave directly on the fleet a dust so fierce and dim

That it amaz’d the Grecians, but was a grace divine

To Hector and his following troops, who wholly did incline

To him, being now in grace with Jove, and so put boldly on

270 To raze the rampire; in whose height they fiercely set upon

The parapets, and pull’d them down, raz’d ev’ry foremost fight,

And all the buttresses of stone, that held their tow’rs upright,

They tore away with crows of iron, and hop’d to ruin all.

The Greeks yet stood, and still repair’d the fore-fights of their wall

275 With hides of oxen, and from thence, they pour’d down stones in show’rs

Upon the underminers’ heads. Within the foremost tow’rs

Both the Ajaces had command, who answer’d ev’ry part,

Th’ assaulters, and their soldiers, repress’d, and put in heart;

Repairing valour as their wall; spake some fair, some reprov’d,

280 Whoever made not good his place; and thus they all sorts mov’d:

“O countrymen, now need in aid would have excess be spent,

The excellent must be admir’d, the meanest excellent,


The worst do well. In changing war all should not be alike,

Nor any idle; which to know fits all, lest Hector strike

285 Your minds with frights, as ears with threats. Forward be all your hands,

Urge one another. This doubt down, that now betwixt us stands,

Jove will go with us to their walls.” To this effect aloud

Spake both the princes; and as high, with this, th’ expulsion flow’d.

And as in winter time, when Jove his cold sharp jav’lins throws

290 Amongst us mortals, and is mov’d to white earth with his snows,

The winds asleep, he freely pours, till highest prominents,

Hill tops, low meadows, and the fields that crown with most contents

The toils of men, seaports, and shores, are hid, and ev’ry place,

But floods, that snow’s fair tender flakes, as their own brood, embrace;

295 So both sides cover’d earth with stones, so both for life contend,

To show their sharpness; through the wall uproar stood up an end.

Nor had great Hector and his friends the rampire overrun,

If heav’n’s great Counsellor, high Jove, had not inflam’d his son

Sarpedon (like the forest’s king when he on oxen flies)

300 Against the Grecians; his round targe he to his arm applies,

Brass-leav’d without, and all within thick ox-hides quilted hard,

The verge nail’d round with rods of gold; and, with two darts prepar’d,

He leads his people. As ye see a mountain-lion fare,

Long kept from prey, in forcing which, his high mind makes him dare

305 Assault upon the whole full fold, though guarded never so

With well-arm’d men, and eager dogs; away he will not go,

But venture on, and either snatch a prey, or be a prey;

So far’d divine Sarpedon’s mind, resolv’d to force his way

Through all the fore-fights, and the wall; yet since he did not see

310 Others as great as he in name, as great in mind as he,

He spake to Glaucus: “Glaucus, say, why are we honour’d more

Than other men of Lycia, in place; with greater store


Of meats and cups; with goodlier roofs; delightsome gardens; walks;

More lands and better; so much wealth, that court and country talks

315 Of us and our possessions, and ev’ry way we go,

Gaze on us as we were their Gods? This where we dwell is so;

The shores of Xanthus ring of this; and shall we not exceed

As much in merit as in noise? Come, be we great in deed

As well as look; shine not in gold, but in the flames of fight;

320 That so our neat-arm’d Lycians may say: ‘See, these are right

Our kings, our rulers; these deserve to eat and drink the best;

These govern not ingloriously; these, thus exceed the rest,

Do more than they command to do.’ O friend, if keeping back

Would keep back age from us, and death, and that we might not wrack

325 In this life’s human sea at all, but that deferring now

We shunn’d death ever, nor would I half this vain valour show,

Nor glorify a folly so, to wish thee to advance;

But since we must go, though not here, and that, besides the chance

Propos’d now, there are infinite fates of other sort in death,

330 Which, neither to be fled nor ’scap’d, a man must sink beneath,

Come, try we, if this sort be ours, and either render thus

Glory to others, or make them resign the like to us.”

This motion Glaucus shifted not, but without words obey’d.

Foreright went both, a mighty troop of Lycians followéd.

335 Which by Menestheus observ’d, his hair stood up on end,

For, at the tow’r where he had charge, he saw Calamity bend

Her horrid brows in their approach. He threw his looks about

The whole fights near, to see what chief might help the mis’ry out

Of his poor soldiers, and beheld where both th’ Ajaces fought,

340 And Teucer newly come from fleet; whom it would profit nought

To call, since tumult on their helms, shields, and upon the ports,

Laid such loud claps; for ev’ry way, defences of all sorts

Were adding, as Troy took away; and Clamour flew so high

Her wings strook heav’n, and drown’d all voice. The two dukes yet so nigh


345 And at the offer of assault, he to th’ Ajaces sent

Thoos the herald with this charge: “Run to the regiment

Of both th’ Ajaces, and call both, for both were better here,

Since here will slaughter, instantly, be more enforc’d than there.

The Lycian captains this way make, who in the fights of stand

350 Have often show’d much excellence. Yet if laborious hand

Be there more needful than I hope, at least afford us some,

Let Ajax Telamonius and th’ archer Teucer come.”

The herald hasted, and arriv’d; and both th’ Ajaces told,

That Peteus’ noble son desir’d their little labour would

355 Employ himself in succouring him. Both their supplies were best,

Since death assail’d his quarter most; for on it fiercely press’d

The well-prov’d mighty Lycian chiefs. Yet if the service there

Allow’d not both, he pray’d that one part of his charge would bear,

And that was Ajax Telamon, with whom he wish’d would come

360 The archer Teucer. Telamon left instantly his room

To strong Lycomedes, and will’d Ajax Oiliades

With him to make up his supply, and fill with courages

The Grecian hearts till his return; which should he instantly

When he had well reliev’d his friend. With this the company

365 Of Teucer he took to his aid; Teucer, that did descend

(As Ajax did) from Telamon. With these two did attend

Pandion, that bore Teucer’s bow. When to Menestheus’ tow’r

They came, alongst the wall, they found him, and his hearten’d pow’r,

Toiling in making strong their fort. The Lycian princes set

370 Black whirlwind-like, with both their pow’rs, upon the parapet.

Ajax, and all, resisted them. Clamour amongst them rose.

The slaughter Ajax led; who first the last dear sight did close

Of strong Epicles, that was friend to Jove’s great Lycian son.

Amongst the high munition heap, a mighty marble stone


375 Lay highest, near the pinnacle, a stone of such a paise

That one of this time’s strongest men with both hands could not raise,

Yet this did Ajax rouse and throw, and all in sherds did drive

Epicles’ four-topp’d casque and skull; who (as ye see one dive

In some deep river) left his height; life left his bones withall.

380 Teucer shot Glaucus, rushing up yet higher on the wall,

Where naked he discern’d his arm, and made him steal retreat

From that hot service, lest some Greek, with an insulting threat,

Beholding it, might fright the rest. Sarpedon much was griev’d

At Glaucus’ parting, yet fought on, and his great heart reliev’d

385 A little with Alcmaon’s blood, surnam’d Thestorides,

Whose life he hurl’d out with his lance; which following through the prease

He drew from him. Down from the tow’r Alcmaon dead it strook;

His fair arms ringing out his death. Then fierce Sarpedon took

In his strong hand the battlement, and down he tore it quite,

390 The wall stripp’d naked, and broad way for entry and full fight

He made the many. Against him Ajax and Teucer made;

Teucer the rich belt on his breast did with a shaft invade;

But Jupiter averted death, who would not see his son

Die at the tails of th’ Achive ships. Ajax did fetch his run,

395 And, with his lance, strook through the targe of that brave Lycian king;

Yet kept he it from further pass, nor did it anything

Dismay his mind, although his men stood off from that high way

His valour made them, which he kept, and hop’d that stormy day

Should ever make his glory clear. His men’s fault thus he blam’d:

400 “O Lycians, why are your hot spirits so quickly disinflam’d?

Suppose me ablest of you all, ’tis hard for me alone

To ruin such a wall as this, and make confusion

Way to their navy. Lend your hands. What many can dispatch,

One cannot think. The noble work of many hath no match.”

405 The wise king’s just rebuke did strike a rev’rence to his will

Through all his soldiers; all stood in, and ’gainst all th’ Achives still


Made strong their squadrons, insomuch, that to the adverse side,

The work show’d mighty, and the wall, when ’twas within descried,

No easy service; yet the Greeks could neither free their wall

410 Of these brave Lycians, that held firm the place they first did scale;

Nor could the Lycians from their fort the sturdy Grecians drive,

Nor reach their fleet. But as two men about the limits strive

Of land that toucheth in a field, their measures in their hands,

They mete their parts out curiously, and either stiffly stands

415 That so far is his right in law, both hugely set on fire

About a passing-little ground; so, greedily aspire

Both these foes to their sev’ral ends, and all exhaust their most

About the very battlements (for yet no more was lost).

With sword and fire they vex’d for them their targes hugely round,

420 With ox-hides lin’d, and bucklers light; and many a ghastly wound

The stern steel gave for that one prise; whereof though some receiv’d

Their portions on their naked backs, yet others were bereav’d

Of brave lives, face-turn’d, through their shields; tow’rs, bulwarks, ev’rywhere

Were freckled with the blood of men. Nor yet the Greeks did bear

425 Base back-turn’d faces; nor their foes would therefore be out-fac’d.

But as a spinster poor and just, ye sometimes see, straight-lac’d

About the weighing of her web, who, careful, having charge

For which she would provide some means, is loth to be too large

In giving or in taking weight, but ever with her hand

430 Is doing with the weights and wool, till both in just paise stand;


So ev’nly stood it with these foes, till Jove to Hector gave

The turning of the scales; who first against the rampire drave,

And spake so loud that all might hear: “O stand not at the pale,

Brave Trojan friends, but mend your hands; up, and break through the wall,

435 And make a bonfire of their fleet.” All heard, and all in heaps

Got scaling-ladders, and aloft. In mean space, Hector leaps

Upon the port, from whose out-part he tore a massy stone,

Thick downwards, upward edg’d; it was so huge an one

That two vast yeomen of most strength, such as these times beget,

440 Could not from earth lift to a cart, yet he did brandish it

Alone, Saturnius made it light; and swinging it as nought,

He came before the planky gates, that all for strength were wrought,

And kept the port; two-fold they were, and with two rafters barr’d,

High, and strong-lock’d; he rais’d the stone, bent to the hurl so hard,

445 And made it with so main a strength, that all the gates did crack,

The rafters left them, and the folds one from another brake,

The hinges piecemeal flew, and through the fervent little rock

Thunder’d a passage; with his weight th’ inwall his breast did knock,

And in rush’d Hector, fierce and grim as any stormy night;

450 His brass arms round about his breast reflected terrible light;

Each arm held-up held each a dart; his presence call’d up all

The dreadful spirits his being held, that to the threaten’d wall

None but the Gods might check his way; his eyes were furnaces;

And thus he look’d back, call’d in all. All fir’d their courages,

455 And in they flow’d. The Grecians fled, their fleet now and their freight

Ask’d all their rescue. Greece went down; Tumult was at his height.

Linenotes for Book XII

29: Champian—champain, level country.

42: Plain’d—levelled.

59: Utter passage—egress.

89: Procinct—preparation, girding for war. Lat. procinctus. Blunt preserves it as a technical word in his Glossographia. Todd observes that he was unable to meet with an example besides the one quoted by Johnson from Milton.

112: All on—go onwards.

120: Idomeneus.

134: “Such maketh Virgil Pandarus and Bitias.” —Chapman.

156: Fame.—The second folio has “fames.”

167: “Apta ad rem comparatio.” —Chapman.

175: ’Gainst his singular brave—in opposition to his individual boasting.

187: Expulsive—fight made for expelling their foes.

217: Branded—Halliwell tells us is “a mixture of red and black.”

223: Blanch—give a fair appearance to a thing, disguise. Lord Bacon says, “And commonly by amusing men with a subtlety blanch the matter,” (Essay XXVI.) The word is not uncommon, yet it seems to have puzzled Nares.

271: Fight.—Here, and in v. 274, defence, bulwark.

286: Doubt—redoubt.

296: Wall.—The second folio incorrectly prints “war,” followed by Dr. Taylor.

311: “Sarpedon’s speech to Glaucus, neither equalled by any (in this kind) of all that have written.” —Chapman.

331: Sort—fate, lot.

373: Dr. Taylor has followed the error of the second folio, in printing “that war-friend to Jove’s,” &c.

375: Paise—weight. In v. 430, balance.

408: When.—The second folio has incorrectly “then;” and so Dr. Taylor.

413: A field.—The second folio, and Taylor, “the field.”

418: “Admiranda et penè inimitabilis comparatio (saith Spond.); and yet in the explication of it, he thinks all superfluous but three words, ὀλίγῳ ἐνὶ χώρῳ, exiguo in loco, leaving out other words more expressive, with his old rule, uno pede, &c.” —Chapman. Iliad XII.423.

430: Paise.—The second folio, and Taylor, “poise.”

430: “A simile superior to the other, in which, comparing mightiest things with meanest, and the meanest illustrating the mightiest, both meeting in one end of this life’s preservation and credit, our Homer is beyond comparison and admiration.” —Chapman.

439: “Δύ’ ἀνέρε δήμου. Duo viri plebei.” —Chapman.


Corrections for Book XII

Arg. ΜΥ works the Trojans
Anomalous form (Greek capital “μυ”) in the original. A few books in the second volume will also be named in non-standard ways.

104 Archelochus
expected “Archilochus”

196 And then Leonteüs gains
expected “Leonteus” (three syllables)

217 note Halliwell tells us
text has tell

252 ’Tis Jove’s high counsel flys
spelling unchanged

335 Which by Menestheus observ’d
expected “Menestheüs” (four syllables)

430 note comparison and admiration.” —Chapman
text has admiration.—” Chapman (with misplaced dash)

438 Thick downwards, upward edg’d; it was so huge an one
Whole line as shown. There seems to be one foot missing before the caesura.


The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.