Chapman Iliad

Library of Ancient Authors

Book XIII 1
Commentarius 27
Book XIV 33
Commentarius 48
Book XV 51
Commentarius 74
Book XVI 77
Commentarius 104
Book XVII 107
Commentarius 130
Book XVIII 135
Commentarius 154
Book XIX 156
Commentarius 170
Book XX 172
Book XXI 188
Book XXII 208
Book XXIII 224
Book XXIV 251
Closing Commentary 275










Third Edition, 1888.

Reprinted, 1898.




The Argument.

Neptune (in pity of the Greeks’ hard plight)

Like Calchas, both th’ Ajaces doth excite,

And others, to repel the charging foe.

Idomenëus bravely doth bestow

His kingly forces, and doth sacrifice

Othryonëus to the Destinies,

With divers others. Fair Deiphobus,

And his prophetic brother Helenus,

Are wounded. But the great Priamides,*

Gath’ring his forces, heartens their address

Against the enemy; and then the field

A mighty death on either side doth yield.

Another Argument.

The Greeks, with Troy’s bold pow’r dismay’d,

Are cheer’d by Neptune’s secret aid.


ove helping Hector, and his host, thus close to th’ Achive fleet,

He let them then their own strengths try, and season there their sweet

With ceaseless toils and grievances; for now he turn’d his face,

Look’d down, and view’d the far-off land of well-rode men in Thrace,


5 Of the renown’d milk-nourish’d men, the Hippemolgians,

Long-liv’d, most just, and innocent, and close-fought Mysians.

Nor turn’d he any more to Troy his ever-shining eyes,

Because he thought not any one, of all the Deities,

When his care left th’ indiff’rent field, would aid on either side.

10 But this security in Jove the great Sea-Rector spied,

Who sat aloft on th’ utmost top of shady Samothrace,

And view’d the light. His chosen seat stood in so brave a place,

That Priam’s city, th’ Achive ships, all Ida, did appear

To his full view; who from the sea was therefore seated there.

15 He took much ruth to see the Greeks by Troy sustain such ill,

And, mightily incens’d with Jove, stoop’d straight from that steep hill,

That shook as he flew off, so hard his parting press’d the height.

The woods, and all the great hills near, trembled beneath the weight

Of his immortal moving feet. Three steps he only took,

20 Before he far-off Ægas reach’d, but, with the fourth, it shook

With his dread entry. In the depth of those seas he did hold

His bright and glorious palace, built of never-rusting gold;

And there arriv’d, he put in coach his brazen-footed steeds,

All golden-maned, and pac’d with wings; and all in golden weeds

25 He cloth’d himself. The golden scourge, most elegantly done,

He took, and mounted to his seat; and then the God begun

To drive his chariot through the waves. From whirlpits ev’ry way

The whales exulted under him, and knew their king; the sea

For joy did open; and, his horse so swift and lightly flew,

30 The under axletree of brass no drop of water drew;

And thus these deathless coursers brought their king to th’ Achive ships

’Twixt th’ Imber cliff’s and Tenedos, a certain cavern creeps

Into the deep sea’s gulfy breast, and there th’ Earth-shaker stay’d

His forward steeds, took them from coach, and heav’nly fodder laid


35 In reach before them; their brass hoves he girt with gyves of gold,

Not to be broken, nor dissolv’d, to make them firmly hold

A fit attendance on their king; who went to th’ Achive host,

Which, like to tempests or wild flames, the clust’ring Trojans tost,

Insatiably valorous, in Hector’s like command,

40 High sounding, and resounding, shouts; for hope cheer’d ev’ry hand,

To make the Greek fleet now their prise, and all the Greeks destroy.

But Neptune, circler of the earth, with fresh heart did employ

The Grecian hands. In strength of voice and body he did take

Calchas’ resemblance, and, of all, th’ Ajaces first bespake,

45 Who of themselves were free enough: “Ajaces, you alone

Sustain the common good of Greece, in ever putting on

The memory of fortitude, and flying shameful flight.

Elsewhere the desp’rate hands of Troy could give me no affright,

The brave Greeks have withstood their worst; but this our mighty wall

50 Being thus transcended by their pow’r, grave fear doth much appall

My careful spirits, lest we feel some fatal mischief here,

Where Hector, raging like a flame, doth in his charge appear,

And boasts himself the best God’s son. Be you conceited so,

And fire so, more than human spirits, that God may seem to do

55 In your deeds, and, with such thoughts cheer’d, others to such exhort,

And such resistance; these great minds will in as great a sort

Strengthen your bodies, and force check to all great Hector’s charge,

Though ne’er so spirit-like, and though Jove still, past himself, enlarge

His sacred actions.” Thus he touched, with his fork’d sceptre’s point,

60 The breasts of both; fill’d both their spirits, and made up ev’ry joint

With pow’r responsive; when, hawk-like, swift, and set sharp to fly,

That fiercely stooping from a rock, inaccessible and high,

Cuts through a field, and sets a fowl (not being of her kind)

Hard, and gets ground still; Neptune so left these two, either’s mind

65 Beyond themselves rais’d. Of both which, Oïleus first discern’d

The masking Deity, and said: “Ajax, some God hath warn’d


Our pow’rs to fight, and save our fleet. He put on him the hue

Of th’ augur Calchas. By his pace, in leaving us, I knew,

Without all question, ’twas a God; the Gods are eas’ly known;

70 And in my tender breast I feel a greater spirit blown,

To execute affairs of fight; I find my hands so free

To all high motion, and my feet seem feather’d under me.”

This Telamonius thus receiv’d: “So, to my thoughts, my hands

Burn with desire to toss my lance; each foot beneath me stands

75 Bare on bright fire, to use his speed; my heart is rais’d so high

That to encounter Hector’s self, I long insatiately.”

While these thus talk’d, as overjoy’d with study for the fight,

(Which God had stirr’d up in their spirits) the same God did excite

The Greeks that were behind at fleet, refreshing their free hearts

80 And joints, being ev’n dissolv’d with toil; and (seeing the desp’rate parts

Play’d by the Trojans past their wall) grief strook them, and their eyes

Sweat tears from under their sad lids, their instant destinies

Never supposing they could ’scape. But Neptune, stepping in,

With ease stirr’d up the able troops, and did at first begin

85 With Teucer, and Peneleüs, th’ heroë Leitus,

Deipyrus, Meriones, and young Antilochus,

All éxpert in the deeds of arms: “O youths of Greece,” said he,

“What change is this? In your brave fight, I only look’d to see

Our fleet’s whole safety; and, if you neglect the harmful field,

90 Now shines the day when Greece to Troy must all her honours yield.

O grief! So great a miracle, and horrible to sight,

As now I see, I never thought could have profan’d the light!

The Trojans brave us at our ships, that have been heretofore

Like faint and fearful deer in woods, distracted evermore

95 With ev’ry sound, and yet ’scape not, but prove the torn up fare

Of lynces, wolves, and lëopards, as never born to war.


Nor durst these Trojans at first siege, in any least degree,

Expect your strength, or stand one shock of Grecian chivalry;

Yet now, far from their walls, they dare fight at our fleet maintain,

100 All by our Gen’ral’s cowardice, that doth infect his men

Who, still at odds with him, for that will needs themselves neglect,

And suffer slaughter in their ships. Suppose there was defect

(Beyond all question) in our king, to wrong Æacides,

And he, for his particular wreak, from all assistance cease;

105 We must not cease t’ assist ourselves. Forgive our Gen’ral then,

And quickly too. Apt to forgive are all good-minded men.

Yet you, quite void of their good minds, give good, in you quite lost,

For ill in others, though ye be the worthiest of your host.

As old as I am, I would scorn, to fight with one that flies,

110 Or leaves the fight as you do now. The Gen’ral slothful lies,

And you, though slothful too, maintain with him a fight of spleen.

Out, out, I hate ye from my heart. Ye rotten-minded men,

In this ye add an ill that’s worse than all your sloth’s dislikes.

But as I know to all your hearts my reprehension strikes,

115 So thither let just shame strike too; for while you stand still here

A mighty fight swarms at your fleet, great Hector rageth there,

Hath burst the long bar and the gates.” Thus Neptune rous’d these men.

And round about th’ Ajaces did their phalanxes maintain

Their station firm; whom Mars himself, had he amongst them gone,

120 Could not disparage, nor Jove’s Maid that sets men fiercer on;

For now the best were chosen out, and they receiv’d th’ advance

Of Hector and his men so full, that lance was lin’d with lance,

Shields thicken’d with opposéd shields, targets to targets nail’d,

Helms stuck to helms, and man to man grew, they so close assail’d,

125 Plum’d casques were hang’d in either’s plumes, all join’d so close their stands,

Their lances stood, thrust out so thick by such all-daring hands.


All bent their firm breasts to the point, and made sad fight their joy

Of both. Troy all in heaps strook first, and Hector first of Troy.

And as a round piece of a rock, which with a winter’s flood

130 Is from his top torn, when a show’r, pour’d from a bursten cloud,

Hath broke the natural bond it held within the rough steep rock,

And, jumping, it flies down the woods, resounding ev’ry shock,

And on, uncheck’d, it headlong leaps, till in a plain it stay,

And then, though never so impell’d, it stirs not any way;

135 So Hector hereto throated threats, to go to sea in blood,

And reach the Grecian ships and tents, without being once withstood.

But when he fell into the strengths the Grecians did maintain,

And that they fought upon the square, he stood as fetter’d then;

And so the adverse sons of Greece laid on with swords and darts,

140 Whose both ends hurt, that they repell’d his worst; and he converts

His threats, by all means, to retreats; yet made as he retir’d,

Only t’ encourage those behind; and thus those men inspir’d:

“Trojans! Dardanians! Lycians! All warlike friends, stand close;

The Greeks can never bear me long, though tow’r-like they oppose.

145 This lance, be sure, will be their spoil; if ev’n the best of Gods,

High thund’ring Juno’s husband, stirs my spirit with true abodes.”

With this all strengths and minds he mov’d; but young Deiphobus,

Old Priam’s son, amongst them all was chiefly virtuous.

He bore before him his round shield, tripp’d lightly through the prease,

150 At all parts cover’d with his shield; and him Meriones

Charg’d with a glitt’ring dart, that took his bull-hide orby shield,

Yet pierc’d it not, but in the top itself did piecemeal yield.

Deiphobus thrust forth his targe, and fear’d the broken ends

Of strong Meriones’s lance, who now turn’d to his friends;


155 The great heroë scorning much by such a chance to part

With lance and conquest, forth he went to fetch another dart,

Left at his tent. The rest fought on, the clamour heighten’d there

Was most unmeasur’d. Teucer first did flesh the massacre,

And slew a goodly man at arms, the soldier Imbrius,

160 The son of Mentor, rich in horse; he dwelt at Pedasus

Before the sons of Greece sieg’d Troy; from whence he marriéd

Medesicaste, one that sprung of Priam’s bastard-bed;

But when the Greek ships, double-oar’d, arriv’d at Ilion,

To Ilion he return’d, and prov’d beyond comparison

165 Amongst the Trojans; he was lodg’d with Priam, who held dear

His natural sons no more than him; yet him, beneath the ear,

The son of Telamon attain’d, and drew his lance. He fell,

As when an ash on some hill’s top (itself topp’d wondrous well)

The steel hews down, and he presents his young leaves to the soil;

170 So fell he, and his fair arms groan’d, which Teucer long’d to spoil,

And in he ran; and Hector in, who sent a shining lance

At Teucer, who, beholding it, slipp’d by, and gave it chance

On Actor’s son, Amphimachus, whose breast it strook; and in

Flew Hector, at his sounding fall, with full intent to win

175 The tempting helmet from his head; but Ajax with a dart

Reach’d Hector at his rushing in, yet touch’d not any part

About his body; it was hid quite through with horrid brass;

The boss yet of his targe it took, whose firm stuff stay’d the pass,

And he turn’d safe from both the trunks; both which the Grecians bore

180 From off the field. Amphimachus Menestheus did restore,

And Stichius, to th’ Achaian strength. Th’ Agaces (that were pleas’d

Still most with most hot services) on Trojan Imbrius seized.

And as from sharply-bitten hounds, a brace of lions force

A new-slain goat, and through the woods bear in their jaws the corse

185 Aloft, lift up into the air; so, up into the skies,

Bore both th’ Ajaces Imbrius, and made his arms their prise.


Yet, not content, Oïliades, enrag’d to see there dead

His much-belov’d Amphimachus, he hew’d off Imbrius’ head;

Which, swinging round, bowl-like he toss’d amongst the Trojan prease,

190 And full at Hector’s feet it fell. Amphimachus’ decease,

Being nephew to the God of waves, much vex’d the Deity’s mind,

And to the ships and tents he march’d, yet more to make inclin’d

The Grecians to the Trojan bane. In hasting to which end,

Idomenëus met with him, returning from a friend,

195 Whose ham late hurt, his men brought off; and having giv’n command

To his physicians for his cure, much fir’d to put his hand

To Troy’s repulse, he left his tent. Him (like Andremon’s son,

Prince Thoas, that in Pleuron rul’d, and lofty Calydon,

Th’ Ætolian pow’rs, and like a God was of his subjects lov’d)

200 Neptune encounter’d, and but thus his forward spirit mov’d:

“Idomenëus, prince of Crete! O whither now are fled

Those threats in thee, with which the rest the Trojans menacéd?”

“O Thoas,” he replied, “no one of all our host stands now

In any question of reproof, as I am let to know.

205 And why is my intelligence false? We all know how to fight,

And, (fear disanimating none) all do our knowledge right.

Nor can our harms accuse our sloth, not one from work we miss.

The great God only works our ill, whose pleasure now it is

That, far from home, in hostile fields, and with inglorious fate,

210 Some Greeks should perish. But do thou, O Thoas, that of late

Has prov’d a soldier, and was wont, where thou hast sloth beheld

To chide it, and exhort to pains, now hate to be repell’d,

And set on all men.” He replied, “I would to heav’n, that he,

Whoever this day doth abstain from battle willingly,

215 May never turn his face from Troy, but here become the prey

And scorn of dogs! Come then, take arms, and let our kind assay

Join both our forces. Though but two, yet, being both combin’d,

The work of many single hands we may perform. We find,

That virtue co-augmented thrives in men of little mind,


220 But we have singly match’d the great.” This said, the God again,

With all his conflicts, visited the vent’rous fight of men.

The king turn’d to his tent; rich arms put on his breast, and took

Two darts in hand, and forth he flew. His haste on made him look

Much like a fi’ry meteor, with which Jove’s sulph’ry hand

225 Opes heav’n, and hurls about the air bright flashes, showing aland

Abodes that ever run before tempest and plagues to men;

So, in his swift pace, show’d his arms. He was encounter’d then

By his good friend Meriones yet near his tent; to whom

Thus spake the pow’r of Idomen: “What reason makes thee come,

230 Thou son of Molus, my most lov’d, thus leaving fight alone?

Is’t for some wound? The jav’lin’s head, still sticking in the bone,

Desir’st thou ease of? Bring’st thou news? Or what is it that brings

Thy presence hither? Be assur’d, my spirit needs no stings

To this hot conflict. Of myself thou seest I come, and loth,

235 For any tent’s love, to deserve the hateful taint of sloth.”

He answer’d: Only for a dart, he that retreat did make,

(Were any left him at his tent) for, that he had, he brake

On proud Deiphobus’s shield. “Is one dart all?” said he,

“Take one and twenty, if thou like, for in my tent they be;

240 They stand there shining by the walls. I took them as my prise

From those false Trojans I have slain. And this is not the guise

Of one that loves his tent, or fights afar off with his foe,

But since I love fight, therefore doth my martial star bestow,

Besides those darts, helms, targets boss’d, and corslets bright as day.”

245 “So I,” said Merion, “at my tent, and sable bark, may say,

I many Trojan spoils retain, but now not near they be,

To serve me for my present use; and therefore ask I thee.

Not that I lack a fortitude to store me with my own,

For ever in the foremost fights, that render men renown,


250 I fight, when any fight doth stir. And this perhaps may well

Be hid to others, but thou know’st, and I to thee appeal.”

“I know,” replied the king, “how much thou weigh’st in ev’ry worth,

What need’st thou therefore utter this? If we should now choose forth

The worthiest men for ambushes, in all our fleet and host,

255 (For ambushes are services that try men’s virtues most,

Since there the fearful and the firm will, as they are, appear,

The fearful alt’ring still his hue, and rests not anywhere,

Nor is his spirit capable of th’ ambush constancy,

But riseth, changeth still his place, and croucheth curiously

260 On his bent haunches; half his height scarce seen above the ground,

For fear to be seen, yet must see; his heart, with many a bound,

Off’ring to leap out of his breast, and, ever fearing death,

The coldness of it makes him gnash, and half shakes out his teeth;

Where men of valour neither fear, nor ever change their looks,

265 From lodging th’ ambush till it rise, but, since there must be strokes,

Wish to be quickly in their midst) thy strength and hand in these

Who should reprove? For if, far off, or fighting in the prease,

Thou should’st be wounded, I am sure the dart that gave the wound

Should not be drawn out of thy back, or make thy neck the ground,

270 But meet thy belly, or thy breast, in thrusting further yet

When thou art furthest, till the first, and before him, thou get.

But on; like children let not us stand bragging thus, but do;

Lest some hear, and past measure chide, that we stand still and woo.

Go, choose a better dart, and make Mars yield a better chance.”

275 This said, Mars-swift Meriones, with haste, a brazen lance

Took from his tent, and overtook, most careful of the wars,

Idomenëus. And such two, in field, as harmful Mars,

And Terror, his belovéd son, that without terror fights,

And is of such strength that in war the frighter he affrights,

280 When, out of Thrace, they both take arms against th’ Ephyran bands,

Or ’gainst the great-soul’d Phlegians, nor favour their own hands,


But give the grace to others still; in such sort to the fight,

March’d these two managers of men, in armours full of light.

And first spake Merion: “On which part, son of Deucalion,

285 Serves thy mind to invade the fight? Is’t best to set upon

The Trojans, in our battle’s aid, the right or left-hand wing,

For all parts I suppose employ’d?” To this the Cretan king

Thus answer’d: “In our navy’s midst are others that assist;

The two Ajaces; Teucer too, with shafts the expertest

290 Of all the Grecians, and, though small, is great in fights of stand;

And these (though huge he be of strength) will serve to fill the hand

Of Hector’s self, that Priamist, that studier for blows.

It shall be called a deed of height for him (ev’n suff’ring throes

For knocks still) to outlabour them, and, bett’ring their tough hands,

295 Enflame our fleet. If Jove himself cast not his firebrands

Amongst our navy, that affair no man can bring to field.

Great Ajax Telamonius to none alive will yield

That yields to death, and whose life takes Ceres’ nutritións,

That can be cut with any iron, or pash’d with mighty stones;

300 Not to Æacides himself he yields for combats set,

Though clear he must give place for pace and free swing of his feet.

Since then, the battle (being our place of most care) is made good

By his high valour, let our aid see all pow’rs be withstood

That charge the left wing, and to that let us direct our course,

305 Where quickly feel we this hot foe, or make him feel our force.

This order’d, swift Meriones went, and forewent his king,

Till both arriv’d where one enjoin’d. When, in the Greeks’ left wing,

The Trojans saw the Cretan king, like fire in fortitude,

And his attendant, in bright arms so gloriously indu’d,

310 Both cheering the sinister troops, all at the king address’d,

And so the skirmish at their sterns on both parts were increas’d,


That, as from hollow bustling winds engender’d storms arise,

When dust doth chiefly clog the ways which up into the skies

The wanton tempest ravisheth, begetting night of day;

315 So came together both the foes, both lusted to assay,

And work with quick steel either’s death. Man’s fierce corruptress, Fight,

Set up her bristles in the field with lances long and light,

Which thick fell foul on either’s face. The splendour of the steel,

In new-scour’d curets, radiant casques, and burnish’d shields, did seel

320 Th’ assailer’s eyes up. He sustain’d a huge spirit, that was glad

To see that labour, or in soul that stood not stricken sad.

Thus these two disagreeing Gods, old Saturn’s mighty sons,

Afflicted these heroic men with huge oppressións.

Jove honouring Æacides (to let the Greeks still try

325 Their want without him) would bestow, yet still, the victory

On Hector, and the Trojan pow’r; yet for Æacides,

And honour of his mother-queen, great Goddess of the seas,

He would not let proud Ilion see the Grecians quite destroy’d,

And therefore from the hoary deep he suffer’d so employ’d

330 Great Neptune in the Grecian aid; who griev’d for them, and storm’d

Extremely at his brother Jove. Yet both one Goddess form’d,

And one soil bred, but Jupiter precedence took in birth,

And had more knowledge; for which cause, the other came not forth

Of his wet kingdom, but with care of not being seen t’ excite

335 The Grecian host, and like a man appear’d, and made the fight.

So these Gods made men’s valours great, but equall’d them with war

As harmful as their hearts were good; and stretch’d those chains as far


On both sides as their limbs could bear, in which they were involv’d

Past breach, or loosing, that their knees might therefore be dissolv’d.

340 Then, though a half-grey man he were, Crete’s sov’reign did excite

The Greeks to blows, and flew upon the Trojans, ev’n to flight;

For he, in sight of all the host, Othryonëus slew,

That from Cabesus, with the fame of those wars, thither drew

His new-come forces, and requir’d, without respect of dow’r,

345 Cassandra, fair’st of Priam’s race; assuring with his pow’r

A mighty labour, to expell, in their despite, from Troy

The sons of Greece. The king did vow, that done, he should enjoy

His goodliest daughter. He (in trust of that fair purchase) fought;

And at him threw the Cretan king a lance, that singled out

350 This great assumer, whom it strook just in his navel-stead.

His brazen curets helping nought, resign’d him to the dead.

Then did the conqueror exclaim, and thus insulted then:

“Othryonëus, I will praise, beyond all mortal men,

Thy living virtues, if thou wilt now perfect the brave vow

355 Thou mad’st to Priam, for the wife he promis’d to bestow.

And where he should have kept his word, there we assure thee here,

To give thee for thy princely wife the fairest and most dear

Of our great Gen’ral’s female race, which from his Argive hall

We all will wait upon to Troy, if, with our aids, and all,

360 Thou wilt but raze this well-built town. Come, therefore, follow me,

That in our ships we may conclude this royal match with thee.

I’ll be no jot worse than my word.” With that he took his feet,

And dragg’d him through the fervent fight; in which did Asius meet

The victor to inflict revenge. He came on foot before

365 His horse, that on his shoulders breath’d; so closely evermore

His coachman led them to his lord; who held a huge desire

To strike the king, but he strook first, and underneath his chin,

At his throat’s height, through th’ other side, his eager lance drave in;


And down he bustled like an oak, a poplar, or a pine,

370 Hewn down for shipwood, and so lay. His fall did so decline

The spirit of his charioteer, that, lest he should incense

The victor to impair his spoil, he durst not drive from thence

His horse and chariot; and so pleas’d, with that respective part,

Antilochus, that for his fear he reach’d him with a dart

375 About his belly’s midst, and down his sad corse fell beneath

The richly builded chariot, there labouring out his breath.

The horse Antilochus took off; when, griev’d for this event,

Deiphobus drew passing near, and at the victor sent

A shining jav’lin: which he saw, and shunn’d, with gath’ring round

380 His body in his all-round shield, at whose top, with a sound,

It overflew; yet, seizing there, it did not idly fly

From him that wing’d it, his strong hand still drave it mortally

On prince Hypsenor; it did pierce his liver, underneath

The veins it passeth; his shrunk knees submitted him to death.

385 And then did lov’d Deiphobus miraculously vaunt:

“Now Asius lies not unreveng’d, nor doth his spirit want

The joy I wish it, though it be now ent’ring the strong gate

Of mighty Pluto, since this hand hath sent him down a mate.”

This glory in him griev’d the Greeks, and chiefly the great mind

390 Of martial Antilochus, who though to grief inclin’d,

He left not yet his friend, but ran and hid him with his shield;

And to him came two lovely friends, that freed him from the field,

Mecisteus, son of Echius, and the right nobly born

Alastor, bearing him to fleet, and did extremely mourn.

395 Idomenëus sunk not yet, but held his nerves entire,

His mind much less deficient, being fed with firm desire

To hide more Trojans in dim night, or sink himself in guard

Of his lov’d countrymen. And then Alcathous prepar’d

Work for his valour, off’ring fate his own destructión.

400 A great heroë, and had grace to be the lovéd son


Of Æsyetes, son-in-law to prince Æneas’ sire,

Hippodamia marrying; who most enflam’d the fire

Of her dear parents’ love, and took precedence in her birth

Of all their daughters, and as much exceeded in her worth

405 (For beauty answer’d with her mind, and both with housewif’ry)

All the fair beauty of young dames that us’d her company,

And therefore, being the worthiest dame, the worthiest man did wed

Of ample Troy. Him Neptune stoop’d beneath the royal force

Of Idomen, his sparkling eyes deluding, and the course

410 Of his illustrious lineaments so out of nature bound,

That back nor forward he could stir, but as he grew to ground,

Stood like a pillar, or high tree, and neither mov’d, nor fear’d;

When straight the royal Cretan’s dart in his mid breast appear’d,

It brake the curets, that were proof to ev’ry other dart,

415 Yet now they cleft and rung; the lance stuck shaking in his heart;

His heart with panting made it shake; but Mars did now remit

The greatness of it, and the king, now quitting the brag fit

Of glory in Deiphobus, thus terribly exclaim’d:

“Deiphobus, now may we think that we are ev’nly fam’d,

420 That three for one have sent to Dis. But come, change blows with me,

Thy vaunts for him thou slew’st were vain. Come, wretch, that thou may’st see

What issue Jove hath. Jove begot Minos, the strength of Crete;

Minos begot Deucalion; Deucalion did beget

Me Idomen, now Creta’s king, that here my ships have brought

425 To bring thyself, thy father, friends, all Ilion’s pomp, to nought.”

Deiphobus at two ways stood, in doubt to call some one,

With some retreat, to be his aid, or try the chance alone.

At last, the first seem’d best to him, and back he went to call

Anchises’ son to friend, who stood in troop the last of all,

430 Where still he serv’d; which made him still incense against the king,

That, being amongst his best their peer, he grac’d not anything


His wrong’d deserts. Deiphobus spake, to him, standing near:

“Æneas, prince of Troïans, if any touch appear

Of glory in thee, thou must now assist thy sister’s lord,

435 And one that to thy tend’rest youth did careful guard afford,

Alcathous, whom Creta’s king hath chiefly slain to thee,

His right most challenging thy hand. Come, therefore, follow me.”

This much excited his good mind, and set his heart on fire

Against the Cretan, who child-like dissolv’d not in his ire,

440 But stood him firm. As when in hills a strength-relying boar,

Alone, and hearing hunters come, whom tumult flies before,

Up-thrusts his bristles, whets his tusks, sets fire on his red eyes,

And in his brave prepar’d repulse doth dogs and men despise;

So stood the famous-for-his-lance, nor shunn’d the coming charge

445 That resolute Æneas brought. Yet, since the odds was large,

He call’d with good right to his aid war-skill’d Ascalaphus,

Aphareüs, Meriones, the strong Deipyrus,

And Nestor’s honourable son: “Come near, my friends,” said he,

“And add your aids to me alone. Fear taints me worthily,

450 Though firm I stand, and show it not. Æneas great in fight,

And one that bears youth in his flow’r, that bears the greatest might,

Comes on with aim direct at me. Had I his youthful limb

To bear my mind, he should yield fame, or I would yield it him.”

This said, all held, in many souls, one ready helpful mind,

455 Clapp’d shields and shoulders, and stood close. Æneas, not inclin’d

With more presumption than the king, call’d aid as well as he,

Divine Agenor, Helen’s love, who follow’d instantly,

And all their forces following them; as after bell-wethers

The whole flocks follow to their drink, which sight the shepherd cheers.

460 Nor was Æneas’ joy less mov’d to see such troops attend

His honour’d person; and all these fought close about his friend;

But two of them, past all the rest, had strong desire to shed

The blood of either; Idomen, and Cytherea’s seed.


Æneas first bestow’d his lance, which th’ other seeing shunn’d,

465 And that, thrown from an idle hand, stuck trembling in the ground.

But Idomen’s, discharg’d at him, had no such vain success,

Which Œnomaus’ entrails found, in which it did impress

His sharp pile to his fall; his palms tore his returning earth.

Idomenëus straight stepp’d in, and pluck’d his jav’lin forth,

470 But could not spoil his goodly arms, they press’d him so with darts.

And now the long toil of the fight had spent his vig’rous parts,

And made them less apt to avoid the foe that should advance,

Or, when himself advanc’d again, to run and fetch his lance,

And therefore in stiff fights of stand he spent the cruel day.

475 When, coming softly from the slain, Deiphobus gave way

To his bright jav’lin at the king, whom he could never brook;

But then he lost his envy too. His lance yet deadly took

Ascalaphus, the son of Mars; quite through his shoulder flew

The violent head, and down he fell. Nor yet by all means knew

480 Wide-throated Mars his son was fall’n, but in Olympus’ top

Sat canopied with golden clouds; Jove’s counsel had shut up

Both him and all the other Gods from that time’s equal task,

Which now, about Ascalaphus, strife set. His shining casque

Deiphobus had forc’d from him, but instantly leap’d in

485 Mars-swift Meriones, and strook, with his long javelin,

The right arm of Deiphobus, which made his hand let fall

The sharp-topp’d helmet; the press’d earth resounding therewithall.

When, vulture-like, Meriones rush’d in again and drew,

From out the low part of his arm his jav’lin, and then flew

490 Back to his friends. Deiphobus, faint with the blood’s excess

Fall’n from his wound, was carefully convey’d out of the press

By his kind brother by both sides, Polites, till they gat

His horse and chariot that were still set fit for his retreat,


And bore him now to Ilion. The rest fought fiercely on,

495 And set a mighty fight on foot. When next, Anchises’ son

Aphareus Caletorides, that ran upon him, strook

Just in the throat with his keen lance; and straight his head forsook

His upright carriage; and his shield, his helm, and all, with him

Fell to the earth; where ruinous death made prise of every limb.

500 Antilochus, discov’ring well that Thoon’s heart took check,

Let fly, and cut the hollow vein, that runs up to his neck,

Along his back part, quite in twain; down in the dust he fell,

Upwards, and, with extended hands, bade all the world farewell.

Antilochus rush’d nimbly in, and, looking round, made prise

505 Of his fair arms: in which affair his round-set enemies

Let fly their lances, thundering on his advancéd targe,

But could not get his flesh. The God that shakes the earth took charge

Of Nestor’s son and kept him safe; who never was away,

But still amongst the thickest foes his busy lance did play,

510 Observing ever when he might, far off, or near, offend;

And watching Asius’ son, in prease he spied him, and did send,

Close coming on, a dart at him, that smote in midst his shield,

In which the sharp head of the lance the blue-hair’d God made yield,

Not pleas’d to yield his pupil’s life; in whose shield half the dart

515 Stuck like a truncheon burn’d with fire; on earth lay th’ other part.

He, seeing no better end of all, retir’d in fear of worse,

But him Meriones pursu’d; and his lance found full course

To th’ other’s life. It wounded him betwixt the privy parts

And navel, where, to wretched men that war’s most violent smarts

520 Must undergo, wounds chiefly vex. His dart Meriones

Pursu’d, and Adamas so striv’d with it, and his mis-ease,

As doth a bullock puff and storm, whom in disdainéd bands

The upland herdsmen strive to cast; so, fall’n beneath the hands

Of his stern foe, Asiades did struggle, pant, and rave.

525 But no long time; for when the lance was pluck’d out, up he gave


His tortur’d soul. Then Troy’s turn came; when with a Thracian sword

The temples of Deipyrus did Helenus afford

So huge a blow, it strook all light out of his cloudy eyes,

And cleft his helmet; which a Greek, there fighting, made his prise,

530 It fell so full beneath his feet. Atrides griev’d to see

That sight, and, threat’ning, shook a lance at Helenus, and he

A bow half drew at him; at once out flew both shaft and lance.

The shaft Atrides’ curets strook; and far away did glance.

Atrides’ dart of Helenus the thrust out bow-hand strook,

535 And, through the hand, stuck in the bow. Agenor’s hand did pluck

From forth the nailéd prisoner the jav’lin quickly out;

And fairly, with a little wool, enwrapping round about

The wounded hand, within a scarf he bore it, which his squire

Had ready for him. Yet the wound would needs he should retire.

540 Pisander, to revenge his hurt, right on the king ran he.

A bloody fate suggested him to let him run on thee,

O Menelaus, that he might, by thee, in dang’rous war

Be done to death. Both coming on, Atrides’ lance did err.

Pisander strook Atrides’ shield, that brake at point the dart

545 Not running through; yet he rejoic’d as playing a victor’s part.

Atrides, drawing his fair sword, upon Pisander flew;

Pisander, from beneath his shield, his goodly weapon drew,

Two-edg’d, with right sharp steel, and long, the handle olive-tree,

Well-polish’d; and to blows they go. Upon the top strook he

550 Atrides’ horse-hair’d-feather’d helm; Atrides on his brow,

Above th’ extreme part of his nose, laid such a heavy blow

That all the bones crash’d under it, and out his eyes did drop

Before his feet in bloody dust; he after, and shrunk up

His dying body, which the foot of his triumphing foe

555 Open’d, and stood upon his breast, and off his arms did go,


This insultation us’d the while: At length forsake our fleet,

Thus ye false Trojans, to whom war never enough is sweet.

Nor want ye more impieties, with which ye have abus’d

Me, ye bold dogs, that your chief friends so honourably us’d.

560 Nor fear you hospitable Jove, that lets such thunders go.

But build upon’t, he will unbuild your tow’rs that clamber so,

For ravishing my goods, and wife, in flow’r of all her years,

And without cause; nay, when that fair and lib’ral hand of hers

Had us’d you so most lovingly. And now again ye would

565 Cast fire into our fleet, and kill our princes if ye could.

Go to, one day you will be curb’d, though never so ye thirst

Rude war, by war. O father Jove, they say thou art the first

In wisdom of all Gods and men, yet all this comes from thee,

And still thou gratifiest these men, how lewd so e’er they be,

570 Though never they be cloy’d with sins, nor can be satiate,

As good men should, with this vile war. Satiety of state,

Satiety of sleep and love, satiety of ease,

Of music, dancing, can find place; yet harsh war still must please

Past all these pleasures, ev’n past these. They will be cloy’d with these

575 Before their war joys. Never war gives Troy satieties.”

This said, the bloody arms were off, and to his soldiers thrown,

He mixing in first fight again. And then Harpalion,

Kind king Pylæmen’s son gave charge; who to those wars of Troy

His lovéd father followéd, nor ever did enjoy

580 His country’s sight again. He strook the targe of Atreus’ son

Full in the midst; his jav’lin’s steel yet had no pow’r to run

The target through; nor had himself the heart to fetch his lance,

But took him to his strength, and cast on ev’ry side a glance,

Lest any his dear sides should dart. But Merion, as he fled,

585 Sent after him a brazen lance, that ran his eager head

Through his right hip, and all along the bladder’s región

Beneath the bone; it settled him, and set his spirit gone


Amongst the hands of his best friends; and like a worm he lay

Stretch’d on the earth, which his black blood imbru’d, and flow’d away.

590 His corse the Paphlagonians did sadly wait upon,

Repos’d in his rich chariot, to sacred Ilion;

The king his father following, dissolv’d in kindly tears,

And no wreak sought for his slain son. But, at his slaughterers

Incenséd Paris spent a lance, since he had been a guest

595 To many Paphlagonians; and through the prease it press’d.

There was a certain augur’s son, that did for wealth excell,

And yet was honest; he was born, and did at Corinth dwell;

Who, though he knew his harmful fate, would needs his ship ascend.

His father, Polyidus, oft would tell him that his end

600 Would either seize him at his house, upon a sharp disease,

Or else among the Grecian ships by Trojans slain. Both these

Together he desir’d to shun; but the disease, at last,

And ling’ring death in it, he left, and war’s quick stroke embrac’d.

The lance betwixt his ear and cheek ran in, and drave the mind

605 Of both those bitter fortunes out. Night strook his whole pow’rs blind.

Thus fought they, like the spirit of fire; nor Jove-lov’d Hector knew

How in the fleet’s left wing the Greeks his down-put soldiers slew

Almost to victory; the God that shakes the earth so well

Help’d with his own strength, and the Greeks so fiercely did impell.

610 Yet Hector made the first place good, where both the ports and wall

(The thick rank of the Greek shields broke) he enter’d, and did skall,

Where on the gray sea’s shore were drawn (the wall being there but slight)

Protesilaus’ ships, and those of Ajax, where the fight

Of men and horse where sharpest set. There the Bœotian bands,

615 Long-rob’d Iaons, Locrians, and, brave men of their hands,

The Phthian and Epeian troops did spritefully assail

The god-like Hector rushing in; and yet could not prevail


To his repulse, though choicest men of Athens there made head;

Amongst whom was Menestheus’ chief, whom Phidias followéd,

620 Stichius and Bias, huge in strength. Th’ Epeian troops were led

By Meges’ and Phylides’ cares, Amphion, Dracius.

Before the Phthians Medon march’d, and Meneptolemus;

And these, with the Bœotian pow’rs, bore up the fleet’s defence.

Oïleus by his brother’s side stood close, and would not thence

625 For any moment of that time. But, as through fallow fields

Black oxen draw a well-join’d plough, and either ev’nly yields

His thrifty labour, all heads couch’d so close to earth they plow

The fallow with their horns, till out the sweat begins to flow,

The stretch’d yokes crack, and yet at last the furrow forth is driven;

630 So toughly stood these to their task, and made their work as even.

But Ajax Telamonius had many helpful men

That, when sweat ran about his knees, and labour flow’d, would then

Help bear his mighty sev’n-fold shield; when swift Oïliades

The Locrians left, and would not make those murth’rous rights of prease,

635 Because they wore no bright steel casques, nor bristled plumes for show,

Bound shields, nor darts of solid ash, but with the trusty bow,

And jacks well-quilted with soft wool, they came to Troy, and were,

In their fit place, as confident as those that fought so near,

And reach’d their foes so thick with shafts, that these were they that brake

640 The Trojan orders first; and then, the brave arm’d men did make

Good work with their close fights before. Behind whom, having shot,

The Locrians hid still; and their foes all thought of fight forgot

With shows of those far-striking shafts, their eyes were troubled so.

And then, assur’dly, from the ships, and tents, th’ insulting foe

645 Had miserably fled to Troy, had not Polydamas

Thus spake to Hector: “Hector, still impossible ’tis to pass

Good counsel upon you. But say some God prefers thy deeds,

In counsels wouldst thou pass us too? In all things none exceeds.


To some God gives the pow’r of war, to some the sleight to dance,

650 To some the art of instruments, some doth for voice advance;

And that far-seeing God grants some, the wisdom of the mind,

Which no man can keep to himself, that, though but few can find,

Doth profit many, that preserves the public weal and state,

And that, who hath, he best can prize. But, for me, I’ll relate

655 Only my censure what’s our best. The very crown of war

Doth burn about thee; yet our men, when they have reach’d thus far,

Suppose their valours crown’d, and cease. A few still stir their feet,

And so a few with many fight, sperst thinly through the fleet.

Retire then, leave speech to the rout, and all thy princes call,

660 That, here, in counsels of most weight, we may resolve of all,

If having likelihood to believe that God will conquest give,

We shall charge through; or with this grace, make our retreat, and live.

For, I must needs affirm, I fear, the debt of yesterday

(Since war is such a God of change) the Grecians now will pay.

665 And since th’ insatiate man of war remains at fleet, if there

We tempt his safety, no hour more his hot soul can forbear.”

This sound stuff Hector lik’d, approv’d, jump’d from his chariot,

And said: “Polydamas make good this place, and suffer not

One prince to pass it; I myself will there go, where you see

670 Those friends in skirmish, and return (when they have heard from me

Command that your advice obeys) with utmost speed.” This said,

With day-bright arms, white plume, white scarf, his goodly limbs array’d,

He parted from them, like a hill, removing, all of snow,

And to the Trojan peers and chiefs he flew, to let them know

675 The counsel of Polydamas. All turn’d, and did rejoice,

To haste to Panthus’ gentle son, being call’d by Hector’s voice;


Who, through the forefights making way, look’d for Deiphobus,

King Helenus, Asiades, Hyrtasian Asius,

Of whom, some were not to be found unhurt, or undeceas’d,

680 Some only hurt, and gone from field. As further he address’d,

He found within the fight’s left wing the fair-hair’d Helen’s love

By all means moving men to blows; which could by no means move

Hector’s forbearance, his friends’ miss so put his pow’rs in storm,

But thus in wonted terms he chid: “You with the finest form,

685 Impostor, woman’s man! where are, in your care mark’d, all these,

Deiphobus, King Helenus, Asius Hyrtacides,

Othryonëus Acamas? Now haughty Ilion

Shakes to his lowest groundwork. Now just ruin falls upon

Thy head past rescue.” He replied: “Hector, why chid’st thou now,

690 When I am guiltless? Other times, there are for ease, I know,

Than these, for she that brought thee forth, not utterly left me

Without some portion of thy spirit, to make me brother thee.

But since thou first brought’st in thy force, to this our naval fight,

I and my friends have ceaseless fought, to do thy service right.

695 But all those friends thou seek’st are slain; excepting Helenus,

Who parted wounded in his hand, and so Deiphobus;

Jove yet averted death from them. And now lead thou as far

As thy great heart affects, all we will second any war

That thou endurest; and I hope, my own strength is not lost;

700 Though least, I’ll fight it to his best; nor further fights the most.”

This calmed hot Hector’s spleen; and both turn’d where they saw the face

Of war most fierce, and that was where their friends made good the place

About renowm’d Polydamas, and god-like Polypæt,

Palmus, Ascanius, Moras that Hippotion did beget,

705 And from Ascania’s wealthy fields but ev’n the day before

Arriv’d at Troy, that with their aid they kindly might restore

Some kindness they receiv’d from thence. And in fierce fight with these,

Phalces and tall Orthæus stood, and bold Cebriones.


And then the doubt that in advice Polydamas disclos’d,

710 To fight or fly, Jove took away, and all to fight dispos’d.

And as the floods of troubled air to pitchy storms increase

That after thunder sweeps the fields, and ravish up the seas,

Encount’ring with abhorréd roars, when the engrosséd waves

Boil into foam, and endlessly one after other raves;

715 So rank’d and guarded th’ Ilians march’d; some now, more now, and then

More upon more, in shining steel; now captains, then their men.

And Hector, like man-killing Mars, advanc’d before them all,

His huge round target before him, through thicken’d, like a wall,

With hides well-couch’d with store of brass; and on his temples shin’d

720 His bright helm, on which danc’d his plume; and in this horrid kind,

(All hid within his world-like shield) he ev’ry troop assay’d

For entry, that in his despite stood firm and undismay’d.

Which when he saw, and kept more off, Ajax came stalking then,

And thus provok’d him: “O good man, why fright’st thou thus our men?

725 Come nearer. Not art’s want in war makes us thus navy-bound,

But Jove’s direct scourge; his arm’d hand makes our hands give you ground.

Yet thou hop’st, of thyself, our spoil. But we have likewise hands

To hold our own, as you to spoil; and ere thy countermands

Stand good against our ransack’d fleet, your hugely-peopled town

730 Our hands shall take in, and her tow’rs from all their heights pull down.

And I must tell thee, time draws on, when, flying, thou shalt cry

To Jove and all the Gods to make thy fair-man’d horses fly

More swift than falcons, that their hoofs may rouse the dust, and bear

Thy body, hid, to Ilion.” This said, his bold words were

735 Confirm’d as soon as spoke. Jove’s bird, the high-flown eagle, took

The right hand of their host; whose wings high acclamations strook


From forth the glad breasts of the Greeks. Then Hector made reply:

“Vain-spoken man, and glorious, what hast thou said? Would I

As surely were the son of Jove, and of great Juno born,

740 Adorn’d like Pallas, and the God that lifts to earth the morn,

As this day shall bring harmful light to all your host, and thou,

If thou dar’st stand this lance, the earth before the ships shall strow,

Thy bosom turn up, and the dogs, with all the fowl of Troy,

Be satiate with thy fat and flesh.” This said, with shouting joy

745 His first troops follow’d, and the last their shouts with shouts repell’d.

Greece answer’d all, nor could her spirits from all show rest conceal’d.

And to so infinite a height all acclamations strove,

They reach’d the splendours stuck about the unreach’d throne of Jove.

Linenotes for Book XIII

* Hector.

5: See Commentary.

9: Indifferent—impartial. See Bk. VI. Argument.

10: Neptune.

24: Pac’d with wings—with wings on their feet, paces.

35: Hoves—hoofs.

53: i.e. Jove’s son.

96: Lëopards.—Leo-pards, the true pronunciation. So camelo-pard. See Bk. XVII. 15.

98: Expect—await.

118: See Commentary.

138: Upon the square—in squares.

146: Abodes—omens, prognostications. Infrà, 226. Shakespeare uses “abodement” in a similar manner, —

“Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us.”

3 Henry VI. IV. 7.

The verb is common.

148: Virtuous—in the classical sense of “valourous.”

166: Natural—legitimate. See Bk. III. 259.

167: Attain’d.—See Bk. XI. 175.

200: The second folio has “this” for “thus.”

225: Aland—on land.

226: Abodes—Suprà, 146.

233: Stings.—Bk. VIII. 253.

235: Taint.—Thus Shakespeare,—

“Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure

The taints and blames I laid upon myself.”

Macbeth, IV. 3.

292: Hector’s self.—The second folio has “Hector’s life.”

295: Firebrands.—Chapman pronounced fire here as a dissyllable, and prints fier-brands.

319: Seel.—See note on Bk. XVI. 314.

333: “The empire of Jove exceeded Neptune’s (saith Plut. upon this place) because he was more ancient, and excellent in knowledge and wisdom; and upon this verse, viz. ἀλλὰ Ζεὺς πρότερος, &c. sets down this his most worthy to be noted opinion: viz. I think also that the blessedness of eternal life, which God enjoys is this: that by any past time He forgets not notions presently apprehended; for otherwise, the knowledge and understanding of things taken away, immortality should not be life, but time, &c. (Plut. de Iside et Osiride.)” —Chapman. Iliad XIII.355.

350: Navel-stead.—Bk. V. 538, VII. 12.

373: RespectiveBk. XI. 689.

389: Glory—boast.

477: Envy.—The word seems here to mean aim. Chapman perhaps used it as “envoyé,” something hurled or thrust (see Cotgrave). Or he might have meant simply wish, desire (French “envie”).

510: Offend—(Latin) strike.

538: Scarf.—See Commentary.

551: His nose.—The second folio has “the nose.”

556: See Commentary.

611: Skall—scale. So printed doubtless for the rhyme’s sake.

615: Iaons.—“By Iaons (for Ionians) he intends the Athenians.” —Chapman.

637: Jacks—jerkins used by archers. See Chapman’s Commentary on this line.

655: Censure—opinion, judgment (Latin). See Bk. XIV. 81.

“Madam, and you, my sister, will you go

To give your censures in this weighty business?”

Shakespeare. Rich. III, II. 2.

677: Forefights.Bk. XII. 274.

719: Couched—laid close to one another. Bk. XVII. 235.

“And, over all, with brazen scales was arm’d

Like plated coat of steel, so couched near,

That nought might pierce.”

Spenser. F. Q.

738: Glorious—(Latin) boasting.

748: Unreach’d—that cannot be reached.





Ἀγαυῶν Ἱππημολγῶν, &c., illustrium Hippemolgorum: Γλακτοφάγων, lacte vescentium, &c. Laurentius Valla, and Eobanus Hessus (who I think translated Homer into hexameters out of Valla’s prose) take ἀγαυῶν, the epithet to Ἱππημολγῶν, for a nation so called, and Ἱππημολγῶν, Γλακτοφάγων ἀβίων τε translates, utque sine ullis divitiis equina victitat lacte; intending gens Agavorum, which he takes for those just men of life likewise which Homer commends; utterly mistaking ἀγαυὸς, signifying præclarus or illustris, whose genitive case plural is used here; and the word, epithet to Ἱππημολγῶν, together signifying illustrium Hippemolgorum, and they being bred, and continually fed with milk (which the next word γλακτοφάγων signifies) Homer calls most just, long-lived, and innocent, in the words ἀβίων τε δικαιοτάτων ἀνθρώπων—ἄβιος signifying longævus, ab α epitatico, and βίος vita, but of some inops, being a compound ex α privat., and βίος victus: and from thence had Valla his interpretation, utque sine ullis divitiis; but where is equino lacte? But not to show their errors, or that I understand how others take this place different from my translation, I use this note, so much as to intimate what Homer would have noted, and doth teach, that men brought up with that gentle and soft-spirit-begetting milk are long lived, and in nature most just and innocent. Which kind of food the most ingenious and grave Plutarch, in his oration De Esu Carnium, seems to prefer before the food of flesh, where he saith: “By this means also tyrants laid the foundations of their homicides, for (as amongst the Athenians) first they put to death the most notorious and vilest sycophant Epitedeius, so the second, and third; then, being accustomed to blood, they slew good like bad, as II.28 Niceratus, the emperor Theramenes, Polemarchus the philosopher, &c. So, at the first, men killed some harmful beast or other, then some kind of fowl, some fish; till taught by these, and stirred up with the lust of their palates, they proceeded to slaughter of the laborious ox, the man-clothing or adorning sheep, the house-guarding cock, &c., and by little and little cloyed with these, war, and the food of men, men fell to, &c.”

Iliad XIII.126

118. Ἀμφὶ δ’ ἄρ’ Αἴαντας, &c., Circum autem Ajaces, &c. To judgment of this place, Spondanus calleth all sound judgments to condemnation of one Panædes, a judge of games on Olympus, whose brother Amphi­damas being dead, Gamnictor his son celebrated his funerals, calling all the most excellent to contention, not only for strength and swiftness, but in learning likewise, and force of wisdom. To this general Contention came Homer and Hesiodus, who casting down verses on both parts, and of all measures (Homer by all consents questionless obtaining the garland) Panædes bade both recite briefly their best; for which Hesiodus cited these verses, which, as well as I could, in haste, I have translated out of the beginning of his Second Book of Works and Days:*

When Atlas birth (the Pleiades) arise,

Harvest begin; plough, when they leave the skies.

Twice twenty nights and days these hide their heads,

The year then turning, leave again their beds,

And show when first to whet the harvest steel.

This likewise is the field’s law, where men dwell

Near Neptune’s empire, and where, far away,

The winding valleys fly the flowing sea,

And men inhabit the fat region.

There naked plough, sow naked, nak’d cut down,

If Ceres’ labours thou wilt timely use,

That timely fruits, and timely revenues,

Serve thee at all parts, lest, at any, Need

Send thee to others’ grudging doors to feed, &c.

These verses, howsoever Spondanus stands for Homer’s, in respect of II.29 the peace and thrift they represent, are like enough to carry it for Hesiodus, even in these times’ judgments. Homer’s verses are these:—

——Thus Neptune rous’d these men.

And round about th’ Ajaces did their phalanxes maintain

Their station firm, whom Mars himself (had he amongst them gone)

Could not disparage, nor Jove’s Maid that sets men fiercer on.

For now the best were chosen out, and they receiv’d th’ advance

Of Hector and his men so full, that lance was lin’d with lance,

Shields thicken’d with opposed shields, targets to targets nail’d,

Helms stuck to helms, and man to man grew they so close assail’d,

Plum’d casques were hang’d in either’s plumes, all join’d so close their stands;

Their lances stood, thrust home so thick, by such all-daring hands.

All bent their firm breasts to the point, and made sad fight their joy

Of both. Troy all in heaps strook first, and Hector first of Troy.

And as a round piece of a rock, &c.

Which martial verses, though they are as high as may be for their place and end of our Homer, are yet infinitely short of his best in a thousand other places. Nor think I the Contention of any part true, Homer being affirmed by good authors to be a hundred years before Hesiodus; and by all others much the older, Hesiodus being near in blood to him. And this, for some variety in your delight, I thought not amiss to insert here.

Iliad XIII.600

538. Σφενδόνη, the Commentors translate in this place funda, most untruly, there being no slings spoken of in all these Iliads, nor any such service used in all these wars, which in my last annotation in this book will appear more apparent. But here, and in this place, to translate the word funda (though most commonly it signifieth so much) is most ridiculous; Σφενδόνη likewise signifying ornamentum quoddam muliebre, which therefore I translate a scarf, a fitter thing to hang his arm in than a sling, and likely that his squire carried about him, either as a favour of his own mistress, or his master’s, or for either’s ornament, scarfs being no unusual wear for soldiers.

Iliad XIII.620

556. Λείψετέ θην οὕτω, &c. Relinquetis demum sic, &c. At length forsake our fleet, &c. Now come we to the continuance (with clear notes) of Menelaus’ ridiculous character. This very beginning of his insultation, in the manner of it, preparing it, and the simply uttered II.30 upbraids of the Trojans following, confirming it most ingeniously. First, that the Trojans ravished his wife in the flower of her years, calling her κουριδίην ἄλοχον, which Spondanus translateth virginem uxorem, being here to be translated juvenilem uxorem (κουρίδιος signifying juvenilis) but they will have it virginem; because Homer must be taxed with ignorance of what the next age after Troy’s siege revealed of the age before, in which Theseus is remembered first to have ravished Helen, and that, by Theseus, Iphigenia was begotten of her; which being granted, maketh much against Homer, if you mark it, for making Menelaus think yet he married her a virgin, if Spondanus’ translation should pass. First, no man being so simple to think that the Poet thinketh always as he maketh others speak; and next, it being no very strange or rare credulity in men to believe they marry maids, when they do not; much more such a man made for the purpose as Menelaus, whose good husbandly imagination of his wife’s maidenhood at their marriage, I hope, answereth at full the most foolish taxation of Homer’s ignorance. In which a man may wonder at these learned Critics’ overlearnedness, and what ropes of sand they make with their kind of intelligencing knowledge; I mean in such as abuse the name of Critics, as many versers do of Poets; the rest for their industries I reverence. But all this time I lose my collection of Menelaus’ silly and ridiculous upbraids here given to the Trojans. First (as above said) for ravishing his wife in the flower of her years:—when should a man play such a part but then?—though indeed poor Menelaus had the more wrong or loss in it, and yet Paris the more reason. He added then, and without cause or injury, a most sharp one in Homer, and in Menelaus as much ridiculous; as though lovers looked for more cause in their love-suits than the beauties of their beloved; or that men were made cuckolds only for spite, or revenge of some wrong precedent. But indeed Menelaus’ true simplicity is this, to think harms should not be done without harms foregoing (no not in these unsmarting harms) making him well deserve his epithet ἀγαθός. Yet further see how his pure imbecility prevaileth: and how by a thread Homer cutteth him out here, ἐπεὶ φιλέεσθε παρ’ αὐτῇ, postquam amicè II.31 tractati fuistis apud ipsam, after ye had been kindly entertained at her hands. I hope you will think nothing could encourage them more than that. See how he speaketh against her in taking her part, and how ingeniously Homer giveth him still some colour of reason for his senselessness, which colour yet is enough to deceive our commentors; they find not yet the tame figure of our horned; but they and all translators still force his speeches to the best part. Yet further then make we our dissection. “And now” (saith our simplician) “you would again show your iniquities, even to the casting of pernicious fire into our fleet, and killing our princes if you could.” Would any man think this in an enemy, and such an enemy as the Trojans? Chide enemies in arms for offering to hurt their enemies? Would you have yet plainer this good king’s simplicity? But his slaughters sometimes, and wise words, are those mists our Homer casteth before the eyes of his readers, that hindereth their prospects to his more constant and predominant softness and simplicity. Which he doth, imagining his understanding readers’ eyes more sharp than not to see pervially through them; and yet, would not have these great ones themselves need so subtle flatteries but that every shadow of their worth might remove all the substance of their worthlessness. I am weary with beating this thin thicket for a woodcock, and yet, lest it prove still too thick for our sanguine and gentle complexions to shine through, in the next words of his lame reproof he crieth out against Jupiter, saying, ἦ τέ σε φασὶ περὶ φρένας ἔμμεναι ἄλλων‧ profectò te aiunt sapientiâ (vel circa mentem) superare cæteros homines atque deos; wherein he affirmeth that men say so, building, poor man, even that unknown secret to himself upon others, and now, I hope, showeth himself empty enough. But, lest you should say I strive to illustrate the sun, and make clear a thing plain, hear how dark and perplexed a riddle it showeth yet to our good Spondanus, being an excellent scholar, and Homer’s commentor; whose words upon this speech are these: Facundiam Menelai cum acumine, antea prædicavit Homerus (intending in Antenor’s speech, lib. iii. unto which I pray you turn) cujus hîc luculentum exemplum habes. Vehemens II.32 autem est ejus hoc loco oratio, ut qui injuriarum sibi à Trojanis in uxoris raptu illatarum recordetur, quâ præsens eorumdem in Græcos impetum exacerbavit. Primùm itaque in Trojanos invehitur, et eorum furorem tandem aliquando cohibitum ire comminatur. Deindè, per apostrophem, ad Jovem conqueritur de inexplebili pugnandi ardore, quibus Trojani vehementer inflammantur. Would any man believe this serious blindness in so great a scholar? Nor is he alone so taken in his eyes, but all the rest of our most profaned and holy Homer’s traducers.

Iliad XIII.716

637. Καὶ ἐϋστρόφῳ οἰὸς ἀώτῳ, &c. et benè torta ovis lana (or rather, bene torto ovis flore). Definitio fundæ (saith Spondanus) vel potius periphrastica descriptio. The definition, or rather paraphrastieal description of a sling. A most unsufferable exposition; not a sling being to be heard of (as I before affirmed) in all the services expressed in these Iliads. It is therefore the true periphrasis of a light kind of armour called a jack, that all our archers used to serve in of old, and were ever quilted with wool, and (because εὔστροφος signifieth as well qui facili motu versatur et circumagitur, as well as benè vel pulchre tortus) for their lightness and aptness to be worn, partaketh with the word in that signification. Besides note the words that follow, which are: ταρφέα βάλλοντες, and ὄπισθεν βάλλοντες, &c. frequenter jacientes, and à tergo jacientes, shooting, striking, or wounding so thick, and at the backs of the armed men, not hurling: here being no talk of any stones, but only συνεκλόνεον γὰρ ὀϊστοὶ, conturbabant enim sagittæ. And when saw any man slings lined with wool? To keep their stones warm? Or to dull their delivery? And I am sure they hurled not shafts out of them. The agreement of the Greeks with our English, as well in all other their greatest virtues, as this skill with their bows, other places of these annotations shall clearly demonstrate, and give, in my conceit, no little honour to our country.

* Chapman published a Translation of the “Georgics of Hesiod,” 4to. London 1618, which is now very rare. Warton was not aware of the existence of this volume, and supposed the present lines to be the sole published specimen of Chapman’s Hesiod. (See Hist. Engl. Poet III. 360, ed. 1840.) The version possesses much merit. It will be found in the fifth volume of this edition of Chapman’s Translations.

“Metri causâ usurpatur ὄπιθεν.” —Chapman.


Corrections for Book XIII

196 much fir’d to put his hand
text has hand. with superfluous full stop

444 So stood the famous-for-his-lance
text has famous-for his-lance

538 Comm.
text has 536
[This error is carried over from the second edition.]

718 through thicken’d, like a wall,
text has wall.

738 what hast thou said?
text has has




The Argument.

Atrides, to behold the skirmish, brings

Old Nestor, and the other wounded kings.

Juno (receiving of the Cyprian dame

Her Ceston,* whence her sweet enticements came)

Descends to Somnus, and gets him to bind

The pow’rs of Jove with sleep, to free her mind.

Neptune assists the Greeks, and of the foe

Slaughter inflicts a mighty overthrow.

Ajax so sore strikes Hector with a stone,

It makes him spit blood, and his sense sets gone.

Another Argument.

In Ξ with sleep, and bed, heav’n’s Queen

Ev’n Jove himself makes overseen.†


ot wine, nor feasts, could lay their soft chains on old Nestor’s ear

To this high clamour, who requir’d Machaon’s thoughts to bear

His care in part, about the cause; “For, methink, still,” said he,

“The cry increases. I must needs the watchtow’r mount, to see


5 Which way the flood of war doth drive. Still drink thou wine, and eat,

Till fair-hair’d Hecamed hath giv’n a little water heat

To cleanse the quitture from thy wound.” This said, the goodly shield

Of warlike Thrasymed, his son, who had his own in field,

He took, snatch’d up a mighty lance, and so stept forth to view

10 Cause of that clamour. Instantly th’ unworthy cause he knew,

The Grecians wholly put in rout, the Trojans routing still,

Close at the Greeks’ backs, their wall raz’d. The old man mourn’d this ill;

And, as when with unwieldy waves the great sea forefeels winds

That both ways murmur, and no way her certain current finds,

15 But pants and swells confusedly, here goes, and there will stay,

Till on it air casts one firm wind, and then it rolls away;

So stood old Nestor in debate, two thoughts at once on wing

In his discourse, if first to take direct course to the king,

Or to the multitude in fight. At last he did conclude

20 To visit Agamemnon first. Mean time both hosts imbrued

Their steel in one another’s blood, nought wrought their healths but harms,

Swords, huge stones, double-headed darts, still thumping on their arms.

And now the Jove-kept kings, whose wounds were yet in cure, did meet

Old Nestor, Diomed, Ithacus, and Atreus’ son, from fleet

25 Bent for the fight which was far off, the ships being drawn to shore

On heaps at first, till all their sterns a wall was rais’d before,

Which, though not great, it yet suffic’d to hide them, though their men

Were something straited; for whose scope, in form of battle then,

They drew them through the spacious shore, one by another still,

30 Till all the bosom of the strand their sable bulks did fill,

Ev’n till they took up all the space ’twixt both the promont’ries.

These kings, like Nestor, in desire to know for what those cries

Became so violent, came along, all leaning on their darts,

To see, though not of pow’r to fight, sad and suspicious hearts


35 Distemp’ring them; and, meeting now Nestor, the king in fear

Cried out: “O Nestor our renown! Why shows thy presence here,

The harmful fight abandonéd? Now Hector will make good

The threat’ning vow he made, I fear, that, till he had our blood,

And fir’d our fleet, he never more would turn to Ilion.

40 Nor is it long, I see, before his whole will will be done.

O Gods! I now see all the Greeks put on Achilles’ ire

Against my honour; no mean left to keep our fleet from fire.”

He answer’d: “’Tis an evident truth, not Jove himself can now,

With all the thunder in his hands, prevent our overthrow.

45 The wall we thought invincible, and trusted more than Jove,

Is scal’d, raz’d, enter’d; and our pow’rs (driv’n up) past breathing, prove

A most inevitable fight; both slaughters so commix’d,

That for your life you cannot put your diligent’st thought betwixt

The Greeks and Trojans, and as close their throats cleave to the sky.

50 Consult we then, if that will serve. For fight advise not I;

It fits not wounded men to fight.” Atrides answer’d him:

“If such a wall as cost the Greeks so many a tiréd limb,

And such a dike be pass’d, and raz’d, that, as yourself said well,

We all esteem’d invincible, and would past doubt repell

55 The world from both our fleet and us; it doth directly show

That here Jove vows our shames and deaths. I evermore did know

His hand from ours when he help’d us, and now I see as clear

That, like the blessèd Gods, he holds our hated enemies dear,

Supports their arms, and pinions ours. Conclude then, ’tis in vain

60 To strive with him. Our ships drawn up, now let us launch again,

And keep at anchor till calm night, that then, perhaps, our foes

May calm their storms, and in that time our scape we may dispose.

‘It is not any shame to fly from ill, although by night.

Known ill he better does that flies, than he it takes in fight.’”

65 Ulysses frown’d on him, and said: “Accurs’d, why talk’st thou thus?

Would thou hadst led some barb’rous host, and not commanded us


Whom Jove made soldiers from our youth, that age might scorn to fly

From any charge it undertakes, and ev’ry dazzled eye

The honour’d hand of war might close. Thus wouldst thou leave this town,

70 For which our many mis’ries felt entitle it our own?

Peace, let some other Greek give ear, and hear a sentence such

As no man’s palate should profane; at least that knew how much

His own right weigh’d, and being a prince, and such a prince as bears

Rule of so many Greeks as thou. This counsel loathes mine ears,

75 Let others toil in fight and cries, and we so light of heels

Upon their very noise, and groans, to hoise away our keels.

Thus we should fit the wish of Troy, that, being something near

The victory, we give it clear; and we were sure to bear

A slaughter to the utmost man, for no man will sustain

80 A stroke, the fleet gone, but at that, look still, and wish him slain.

And therefore, prince of men, be sure, thy censure is unfit.”

“O Ithacus,” replied the king, “thy bitter terms have smit

My heart in sunder. At no hand, ’gainst any prince’s will

Do I command this. Would to God, that any man of skill

85 To give a better counsel would, or old, or younger man!

My voice should gladly go with his.” Then Diomed began:

“The man not far is, nor shall ask much labour to bring in,

That willingly would speak his thoughts, if spoken they might win

Fit ear, and suffer no impair, that I discover them,

90 Being youngest of you; since my sire, that heir’d a diadem,

May make my speech to diadems decent enough, though he

Lies in his sepulchre at Thebes. I boast this pedigree:

Portheus three famous sons begot, that in high Calydon

And Pleuron kept, with state of kings, their habitatión;

95 Agrius, Melas, and the third the horseman Oeneus,

My father’s father, that excell’d in actions generous


The other two. But these kept home, my father being driv’n

With wand’ring and advent’rous spirits, for so the King of heav’n

And th’ other Gods set down their wills, and he to Argos came,

100 Where he begun the world, and dwelt. There marrying a dame,

One of Adrastus’ female race, he kept a royal house,

For he had great demesnes, good land, and, being industrious,

He planted many orchard-grounds about his house, and bred

Great store of sheep. Besides all this, he was well qualitied,

105 And pass’d all Argives, for his spear. And these digressive things

Are such as you may well endure, since (being deriv’d from kings,

And kings not poor nor virtueless) you cannot hold me base,

Nor scorn my words, which oft, though true, in mean men meet disgrace.

However, they are these in short: Let us be seen at fight,

110 And yield to strong necessity, though wounded, that our sight

May set those men on that, of late, have to Achilles’ spleen

Been too indulgent, and left blows; but be we only seen,

Not come within the reach of darts, lest wound on wound we lay;

Which rev’rend Nestor’s speech implied, and so far him obey.”

115 This counsel gladly all observ’d, went on, Atrides led.

Nor Neptune this advantage lost, but closely followéd,

And like an aged man appear’d t’ Atrides; whose right hand

He seiz’d, and said: “Atrides, this doth passing fitly stand

With stern Achilles’ wreakful spirit, that he can stand astern

120 His ship, and both in fight and death the Grecian bane discern,

Since not in his breast glows one spark of any human mind.

But be that his own bane. Let God by that loss make him find

How vile a thing he is. For know, the blest Gods have not giv’n

Thee ever over, but perhaps the Trojans may from heav’n

125 Receive that justice. Nay, ’tis sure, and thou shalt see their falls,

Your fleet soon freed, and for fights here they glad to take their walls.”


This said, he made known who he was, and parted with a cry

As if ten thousand men had join’d in battle then, so high

His throat flew through the host; and so this great Earth-shaking God

130 Cheer’d up the Greek hearts, that they wish their pains no period.

Saturnia from Olympus’ top saw her great brother there,

And her great husband’s brother too, exciting ev’rywhere

The glorious spirits of the Greeks; which as she joy’d to see,

So, on the fountful Ida’s top, Jove’s sight did disagree

135 With her contentment, since she fear’d that his hand would descend,

And check the Sea-god’s practices. And this she did contend

How to prevent, which thus seem’d best: To deck her curiously,

And visit the Idalian hill, that so the Lightner’s eye

She might enamour with her looks, and his high temples steep,

140 Ev’n to his wisdom, in the kind and golden juice of sleep.

So took she chamber, which her son, the God of ferrary,

With firm doors made, being joinèd close, and with a privy key

That no God could command but Jove; where, enter’d, she made fast

The shining gates, and then upon her lovely body cast

145 Ambrosia, that first made it clear, and after laid on it

An od’rous, rich, and sacred oil, that was so wondrous sweet

That ever, when it was but touch’d, it sweeten’d heav’n and earth.

Her body being cleans’d with this, her tresses she let forth,

And comb’d, her comb dipp’d in the oil, then wrapp’d them up in curls;

150 And, thus her deathless head adorn’d, a heav’nly veil she hurls

On her white shoulders, wrought by Her that rules in housewif’ries,

Who wove it full of antique works, of most divine device;

And this with goodly clasps of gold she fasten’d to her breast.

Then with a girdle, whose rich sphere a hundred studs impress’d,

155 She girt her small waist. In her ears, tenderly pierc’d, she wore

Pearls, great and orient. On her head, a wreath not worn before

Cast beams out like the sun. At last, she to her feet did tie

Fair shoes. And thus entire attir’d, she shin’d in open sky,


Call’d the fair Paphian Queen apart from th’ other Gods, and said:

160 “Lov’d daughter! Should I ask a grace, should I, or be obey’d?

Or wouldst thou cross me, being incens’d, since I cross thee and take

The Greeks’ part, thy hand helping Troy?” She answer’d, “That shall make

No diff’rence in a diff’rent cause. Ask, ancient Deity,

What most contents thee. My mind stands inclin’d as liberally

165 To grant it as thine own to ask; provided that it be

A favour fit and in my pow’r.” She, giv’n deceitfully,

Thus said: “Then give me those two pow’rs, with which both men and Gods

Thou vanquishest, Love and Desire; for now the periods

Of all the many-feeding earth, and the original

170 Of all the Gods, Oceanus, and Thetis whom we call

Our Mother, I am going to greet. They nurst me in their court,

And brought me up, receiving me in most respectful sort

From Phæa, when Jove under earth and the unfruitful seas

Cast Saturn. These I go to see, intending to appease

175 Jars grown betwixt them, having long abstain’d from speech and bed;

Which jars, could I so reconcile, that in their anger’s stead

I could place love, and so renew their first society,

I should their best lov’d be esteem’d, and honour’d endlessly.”

She answer’d: “’Tis not fit, nor just, thy will should be denied,

180 Whom Jove in his embraces holds.” This spoken, she untied,

And from her od’rous bosom took, her Ceston, in whose sphere

Were all enticements to delight, all loves, all longings were,

Kind conference, fair speech, whose pow’r the wisest doth inflame.

This she resigning to her hands, thus urg’d her by her name:

185 “Receive this bridle, thus fair-wrought, and put it ’twixt thy breasts,

Where all things to be done are done; and whatsoever rests

In thy desire return with it.” The great-ey’d Juno smil’d,

And put it ’twixt her breasts. Love’s Queen, thus cunningly beguil’d,

To Jove’s court flew. Saturnia, straight stooping from heav’n’s height,

190 Pieria and Emathia, those countries of delight,


Soon reach’d, and to the snowy mounts, where Thracian soldiers dwell,

Approaching, pass’d their tops untouch’d. From Athos then she fell,

Pass’d all the broad sea, and arriv’d in Lemnos, at the tow’rs

Of godlike Thoas, where she met the Prince of all men’s pow’rs,

195 Death’s brother, Sleep; whose hand she took, and said: “Thou king of men,

Prince of the Gods too, if before thou heard’st my suits, again

Give helpful ear, and through all times I’ll offer thanks to thee.

Lay slumber on Jove’s fi’ry eyes, that I may comfort me

With his embraces; for which grace I’ll grace thee with a throne

200 Incorruptible, all of gold, and elegantly done

By Mulciber, to which he forg’d a footstool for the ease

Of thy soft feet, when wine and feasts thy gulden humours please.”

Sweet Sleep replied: “Saturnia, there lives not any God,

Besides Jove, but I would becalm; aye if it were the Flood,

205 That fathers all the Deities, the great Oceanus;

But Jove we dare not come more near, than he commandeth us.

Now you command me as you did, when Jove’s great-minded son,

Alcides, having sack’d the town of stubborn Ilion,

Took sail from thence; when by your charge I pour’d about Jove’s mind

210 A pleasing slumber, calming him, till thou drav’st up the wind,

In all his cruelties, to sea, that set his son ashore

In Cous, far from all his friends. Which, waking, vex’d so sore

The supreme Godhead, that he cast the Gods about the sky,

And me, above them all, he sought, whom he had utterly

215 Hurl’d from the sparkling firmament, if all-gods-taming Night

(Whom, flying, I besought for aid) had suffer’d his despite,

And not preserv’d me; but his wrath with my offence dispens’d,

For fear t’ offend her, and so ceas’d, though never so incens’d.

And now another such escape, you wish I should prepare.”

220 She answer’d: “What hath thy deep rest to do with his deep care?

As though Jove’s love to Ilion in all degrees were such

As ’twas to Hercules his son, and so would storm as much


For their displeasure as for his? Away, I will remove

Thy fear with giving thee the dame, that thou didst ever love,

225 One of the fair young Graces born, divine Pasithae.”

This started Somnus into joy, who answer’d: “Swear to me,

By those inviolable springs, that feed the Stygian lake,

With one hand touch the nourishing earth, and in the other take

The marble sea, that all the Gods, of the infernal state,

230 Which circle Saturn, may to us be witnesses, and rate

What thou hast vow’d; That with all truth, thou wilt bestow on me,

The dame I grant I ever lov’d, divine Pasithae.”

She swore, as he enjoin’d, in all, and strengthen’d all his joys

By naming all th’ infernal Gods, surnam’d the Titanois.

235 The oath thus taken, both took way, and made their quick repair

To Ida from the town, and isle, all hid in liquid air.

At Lecton first they left the sea, and there the land they trod;

The fountful nurse of savages, with all her woods, did nod

Beneath their feet; there Somnus stay’d, lest Jove’s bright eye should see,

240 And yet, that he might see to Jove, he climbed the goodliest tree

That all th’ Idalian mountain bred, and crown’d her progeny,

A fir it was, that shot past air, and kiss’d the burning sky;

There sate he hid in his dark arms, and in the shape withall

Of that continual prating bird, whom all the Deities call

245 Chalcis, but men Cymmindis name. Saturnia tripp’d apace,

Up to the top of Gargarus, and show’d her heav’nly face

To Jupiter, who saw, and lov’d, and with as hot a fire,

Being curious in her tempting view, as when with first desire

(The pleasure of it being stol’n) they mix’d in love and bed;

250 And, gazing on her still, he said: “Saturnia, what hath bred

This haste in thee from our high cant, and whither tends thy gait,

That void of horse and chariot, fit for thy sov’reign state,

Thou lackiest here?” Her studied fraud replied: “My journey now

Leaves state and labours to do good; and where in right I owe


255 All kindness to the Sire of Gods, and our good Mother Queen

That nurst and kept me curiously in court (since both have been

Long time at discord) my desire is to atone their hearts;

And therefore go I now to see those earth’s extremest parts.

For whose far-seat I spar’d my horse the scaling of this hill,

260 And left them at the foot of it; for they must taste their fill

Of travail with me, and must draw my coach through earth and seas.

Whose far-intended reach, respect, and care not to displease

Thy graces, made me not attempt, without thy gracious leave.”

The cloud-compelling God her guile in this sort did receive:

265 “Juno, thou shalt have after leave, but, ere so far thou stray,

Convert we our kind thoughts to love, that now doth ev’ry way

Circle with victory my pow’rs, nor yet with any dame,

Woman, or Goddess, did his fires my bosom so inflame

As now with thee. Not when it lov’d the parts so generous

270 Ixion’s wife had, that brought forth the wise Pirithous;

Nor when the lovely dame Acrisius’ daughter stirr’d

My amorous pow’rs, that Perseus bore to all men else preferr’d;

Nor when the dame, that Phenix got, surpris’d me with her sight,

Who the divine-soul’d Rhadamanth and Minos brought to light;

275 Nor Semele, that bore to me the joy of mortal men,

The sprightly Bacchus; nor the dame that Thebes renownéd then,

Alcmena, that bore Hercules; Latona, so renown’d:

Queen Ceres, with the golden hair; nor thy fair eyes did wound

My entrails to such depth as now with thirst of amorous ease.”

280 The cunning Dame seem’d much incens’d, and said: “What words are these,

Insufferable Saturn’s son? What! Here! In Ida’s height!

Desir’st thou this? How fits it us? Or what if in the sight

Of any God thy will were pleas’d, that he the rest might bring

To witness thy incontinence? ’Twere a dishonour’d thing.


285 I would not show my face in heav’n, and rise from such a bed.

But, if love be so dear to thee, thou hast a chamber-stead,

Which Vulcan purposely contriv’d with all fit secrecy;

There sleep at pleasure.” He replied: “I fear not if the eye

Of either God or man observe, so thick a cloud of gold

290 I’ll cast about us that the sun, who furthest can behold,

Shall never find us.” This resolv’d, into his kind embrace

He took his wife. Beneath them both fair Tellus strew’d the place

With fresh-sprung herbs, so soft and thick that up aloft it bore

Their heav’nly bodies; with his leaves, did dewy lotus store

295 Th’ Elysian mountain; saffron flow’rs and hyacinths help’d make

The sacred bed; and there they slept. When suddenly there brake

A golden vapour out of air, whence shining dews did fall,

In which they wrapt them close, and slept, till Jove was tam’d withall.

Mean space flew Somnus to the ships, found Neptune out, and said:

300 “Now cheerfully assist the Greeks, and give them glorious head,

At least a little, while Jove sleeps; of whom through ev’ry limb

I pour’d dark sleep, Saturnia’s love hath so illuded him.”

This news made Neptune more secure in giving Grecians heart,

And through the first lights thus he stirr’d the men of most desert:

305 “Yet, Grecians, shall we put our ships, and conquest, in the hands

Of Priam’s Hector by our sloth? He thinks so, and commands

With pride according; all because, Achilles keeps away.

Alas, as we were nought but him! We little need to stay

On his assistance, if we would our own strengths call to field,

310 And mutually maintain repulse. Come on then, all men yield

To what I order. We that bear best arms in all our host,

Whose heads sustain the brightest helms, whose hands are bristled most

With longest lances, let us on. But stay, I’ll lead you all;

Nor think I but great Hector’s spirits will suffer some appall,

315 Though they be never so inspir’d. The ablest of us then,

That on our shoulders worst shields bear, exchange with worser men


That fight with better.” This propos’d, all heard it, and obey’d.

The kings, ev’n those that suffer’d wounds, Ulysses, Diomed,

And Agamemnon, helpt t’ instruct the cómplete army thus:

320 To good gave good arms, worse to worse, yet none were mutinous.

Thus, arm’d with order, forth they flew; the great Earth-shaker led,

A long sword in his sinewy hand, which when he brandishéd

It lighten’d still, there was no law for him and it, poor men

Must quake before them. These thus mann’d, illustrious Hector then

325 His host brought up. The blue-hair’d God and he stretch’d through the prease

A grievous fight; when to the ships and tents of Greece the seas

Brake loose, and rag’d. But when they join’d, the dreadful clamour rose

To such a height, as not the sea, when up the North-spirit blows

Her raging billows, bellows so against the beaten shore;

330 Nor such a rustling keeps a fire, driven with violent blore

Through woods that grow against a hill; nor so the fervent strokes

Of almost-bursting winds resound against a grove of oaks;

As did the clamour of these hosts, when both the battles clos’d.

Of all which noble Hector first at Ajax’ breast dispos’d

335 His jav’lin, since so right on him the great-soul’d soldier bore;

Nor miss’d it, but the bawdricks both that his broad bosom wore,

To hang his shield and sword, it strook; both which his flesh preserv’d.

Hector, disdaining that his lance had thus as good as swerv’d,

Trode to his strength; but, going off, great Ajax with a stone,

340 One of the many props for ships, that there lay trampled on,

Strook his broad breast above his shield, just underneath his throat,

And shook him piecemeal; when the stone sprung back again, and smote

Earth, like a whirlwind, gath’ring dust with whirring fiercely round,

For fervour of his unspent strength, in settling on the ground.

345 And as when Jove’s bolt by the roots rends from the earth an oak,

His sulphur casting with the blow a strong unsavoury smoke,


And on the fall’n plant none dare look but with amazéd eyes,

(Jove’s thunder being no laughing game) so bow’d strong Hector’s thighs,

And so with tost-up heels he fell, away his lance he flung,

350 His round shield follow’d, then his helm, and out his armour rung.

The Greeks then shouted, and ran in, and hop’d to hale him off,

And therefore pour’d on darts in storms, to keep his aid aloof;

But none could hurt the people’s Guide, nor stir him from his ground;

Sarpedon, prince of Lycia, and Glaucus so renown’d,

355 Divine Agenor, Venus’ son, and wise Polydamas,

Rush’d to his rescue, and the rest. No one neglective was

Of Hector’s safety. All their shields, they couch’d about him close,

Rais’d him from earth, and (giving him, in their kind arms, repose)

From off the labour carried him, to his rich chariot,

360 And bore him mourning towards Troy. But when the flood they got

Of gulfy Xanthus, that was got by deathless Jupiter,

There took they him from chariot, and all besprinkled there

His temples with the stream. He breath’d, look’d up, assay’d to rise,

And on his knees stay’d spitting blood. Again then clos’d his eyes,

365 And back again his body fell. The main blow had not done

Yet with his spirit. When the Greeks saw worthy Hector gone,

Then thought they of their work, then charg’d with much more cheer the foe,

And then, far first, Oïliades began the overthrow.

He darted Satnius Enops’ son, whom famous Nais bore

370 As she was keeping Enops’ flocks on Satnius’ river’s shore,

And strook him in his belly’s rim, who upwards fell, and rais’d

A mighty skirmish with his fall. And then Panthœdes seiz’d

Prothenor Areilycides, with his revengeful spear,

On his right shoulder, strook it through, and laid him breathless there;

375 For which he insolently bragg’d, and cried out: “Not a dart

From great-soul’d Panthus’ son, I think, shall ever vainlier part,

But some Greek’s bosom it shall take, and make him give his ghost.”

This brag the Grecians stomach’d much; but Telamonius most,


Who stood most near Prothenor’s fall, and out he sent a lance,

380 Which Panthus’ son, declining, ’scap’d, yet took it to sad chance

Archilochus, Antenor’s son, whom heav’n did destinate

To that stern end; ’twixt neck and head the jav’lin wrought his fate,

And ran in at the upper joint of all the back long bone,

Cut both the nerves; and such a load of strength laid Ajax on,

385 As that small part he seiz’d outweigh’d all th’ under limbs, and strook

His heels up, so that head and face the earth’s possessions took,

When all the low parts sprung in air; and thus did Ajax quit

Panthœdes’ brave: “Now, Panthus’ son, let thy prophetic wit

Consider, and disclose a truth, if this man do not weigh

390 Ev’n with Prothenor. I conceive, no one of you will say

That either he was base himself, or sprung of any base;

Antenor’s brother, or his son, he should be by his face;

One of his race, past question, his likeness shows he is.”

This spake he, knowing it well enough. The Trojans storm’d at this,

395 And then slew Acamas, to save his brother yet engag’d,

Bœotius, dragging him to spoil; and thus the Greeks enrag’d:

“O Greeks, ev’n born to bear our darts, yet ever breathing threats,

Not always under tears and toils ye see our fortune sweats,

But sometimes you drop under death. See now your quick among

400 Our dead, intranc’d with my weak lance, to prove I have ere long

Reveng’d my brother. ’Tis the wish of ev’ry honest man

His brother, slain in Mars’s field, may rest wreak’d in his fane.”

This stirr’d fresh envy in the Greeks, but urg’d Peneleus most,

Who hurl’d his lance at Acamas; he ’scap’d; nor yet it lost

405 The force he gave it, for it found the flock-rich Phorbas’ son,

Ilionëus, whose dear sire, past all in Ilion,

Was lov’d of Hermes, and enrich’d, and to him only bore

His mother this now slaughtered man. The dart did undergore

His eye-lid, by his eye’s dear roots, and out the apple fell,

410 The eye pierc’d through. Nor could the nerve that stays the neck repell


His strong-wing’d lance, but neck and all gave way, and down he dropp’d.

Peneleus then unsheath’d his sword, and from the shoulders chopp’d

His luckless head; which down he threw, the helm still sticking on,

And still the lance fix’d in his eye; which not to see alone

415 Contented him, but up again he snatch’d, and show’d it all,

With this stern brave: “Ilians, relate brave Ilionëus’ fall

To his kind parents, that their roofs their tears may overrun;

For so the house of Promachus, and Alegenor’s son,

Must with his wife’s eyes overflow, she never seeing more

420 Her dear lord, though we tell his death, when to our native shore

We bring from ruin’d Troy our fleet, and men so long forgone.”

This said, and seen, pale fear possess’d all those of Ilion,

And ev’ry man cast round his eye to see where death was not,

That he might fly him. Let not then his grac’d hand be forgot,

425 O Muses, you that dwell in heav’n, that first imbru’d the field

With Trojan spoil, when Neptune thus had made their irons yield.

First Ajax Telamonius the Mysian captain slew,

Great Hyrtius Gyrtiades. Antilochus o’erthrew

Phalces and Mermer, to their spoil. Meriones gave end

430 To Morys and Hippotion. Teucer to fate did send

Prothoon and Periphetes. Atrides’ jav’lin chac’d

Duke Hyperenor, wounding him in that part that is plac’d

Betwixt the short ribs and the bones, that to the triple gut

Have pertinence; the jav’lin’s head did out his entrails cut,

435 His forc’d soul breaking through the wound; night’s black hand clos’d his eyes.

Then Ajax, great Oïleus’ son, had divers victories,

For when Saturnius suffer’d flight, of all the Grecian race

Not one with swiftness of his feet could so enrich a chace.

Linenotes for Book XIV

* The Cestus, or magic girdle of Venus.


1: “This first verse (after the first four syllables) is to be read as one of our tens.” —Chapman.

7: Quitture—discharge, issue.

13: “Forefeels—feels beforehand. There is no more expressive description of that swelling of waves that portends a coming storm than is contained in this single word.”—Cooke Taylor.

64: These two lines are in inverted commas in both folios.

75: Let others—i.e. to let others, &c.

81: See Commentary.

81: Censure.— Bk. XIII. 655.

92: See Commentary.

104: Qualitied.—I do not remember to have met with this word elsewhere. Todd quotes “Hales’ Lett. from the Synod of Dort, (1618) p. 36.”

141: Ferrary—the art of working in iron. A word coined, probably, by Chapman.

210: The second folio, followed in its error by Dr. Taylor has “draw’st up.”

253: Lackiest—to lackey, to attend on foot.

271: This line wants a foot; unless we read Acrisius’s, which would destroy the rhythm.

286: Chamber-stead.—See Bk. V. 538, XIII. 350.

330: Blore.—Bk. II. 122.

343: See Commentary.

356: Neglective.—Like “respective,” Bk. XI. 689.

432: See Commentary.




Iliad XIV.102

Ὄρχαμε λαῶν. Princeps populorum (the end of Ulysses’ speech in the beginning of this book) which ascription our Spond. takes to be given in scorn, and that all Ulysses’ speech is σκωπτικὴ, or scoffing, which is spoken altogether seriously and bitterly to this title at the end, which was spoken ἤπιως, molliter, or benigne, of purpose to make Agamemnon bear the better the justice of his other austerity.

Iliad XIV.113

92. Καὶ ἐγὼ γένος εὔχομαι εἶναι, et ego quoad genus glorior esse. The long digression that follows this in the speech of Diomed (being next to Agamemnon’s reply to Ulysses) betrays an affectation he had by all anything-fit-means to talk of his pedigree; and by reason of that humour, hath shown his desire elsewhere to learn the pedigrees of others, as in the Sixth Book, in his inquiry of Glaucus’ pedigree. And herein is expressed part of his character.

Iliad XIV.413

343. Στρόμβον δ’ ὥς, ἔσσευε βαλὼν, &c. Overpassing, for speed, many things in this book that cry out for the praise of our Homer, and note of that which in most readers I know will be lost, I must only insist still on those parts that (in my poor understanding) could never yet find apprehension in any of our commentors or translators, as in this simile again of the whirlwind, to which the stone that Ajax hurled at Hector is resembled. Valla and Eobanus, Salel in French, so understanding, Hector turned about with the blow, like a whirlwind. Valla’s words are these (translating στρόμβον δ’ ὥς ἔσσευε βαλὼν περὶ δ’ ἔδραμε πάντη which, ad verbum, say thus much in every common translation: Trochum autem sicut concussit feriens, rotatusque est undique.) Quo ictu Hector velut turbo, quem Strombum dicunt, rotato corpore, &c. Eobanus converting it thus:—

——Stetit ille tremens, ceu turbo rotatus.


Which, though it harp upon the other, makes yet much worse music, saying, Hector stood trembling, bring wheeled about like a whirlwind, He stood, yet was turned about violently. How gross both are, I think the blindest see, and must needs acknowledge a monstrous unworthiness in these men to touch our Homer, esteeming it an extreme loss to the world to have this and the like undiscovered. For, as I apprehend it, being expressed no better than in my silly conversion (and the stone, not Hector, likened to the whirlwind) it is above the wit of a man to imitate our Homer’s wit for the most fiery illustration both of Ajax’ strength and Hector’s; of Ajax, for giving such a force to it as could not spend itself upon Hector, but turn after upon the earth in that whirlwind-like violence; of Hector, for standing it so solidly, for without that consideration the stone could never have recoiled so fiercely. And here have we a ruled case against our plain and smug writers that, because their own unwieldiness will not let them rise themselves, would have every man grovel like them, their feathers not passing the pitch of every woman’s capacity. And, indeed, where a man is understood, there is ever a proportion betwixt the writer’s wit and the writee’s (that I may speak with authority) according to my old lesson in philosophy: Intellectus in ipsa intelligibilia transit. But herein this case is ruled against such men, that they affirm these hyperthetical or superlative sort of expressions and illustrations are too bold and bombasted; and out of that word is spun that which they call our fustian, their plain writing being stuff nothing so substantial but such gross sowtege, or hairpatch, as every goose may eat oats through. Against which, and all these plebeian opinions, that a man is bound to write to every vulgar reader’s understanding, you see the great Master of all elocution hath written so darkly that almost three thousand suns have not discovered him, no more in five hundred other places than here; and yet all pervial enough, you may well say, when such a one as I comprehend them. But the chief end why I extend this annotation is only to intreat your note here of Homer’s manner of writing, which, to utter his after-store of matter and variety, is so press, and puts on with so strong a current, II.50 that it far overruns the most laborious pursuer, if he have not a poetical foot and poesy’s quick eye to guide it. The verse in question I refer you to before, which saith χερμάδιος, signifying a stone of an handful, or that with one hand may he raised and cast, spoken of before, and (here being understood) shook Hector at all parts, in striking him, and like a whirlwind wheeled or whirred about; wherein he speaks not of bounding to the earth again, and raising a dust with his violent turnings, in which the conceit and life of his simile lies, but leaves it to his reader, and he leaves it to him. Notwithstanding he utters enough to make a stone understand it, how stupidly soever all his interpreters would have Hector (being strook into a trembling, and almost dead) turn about like a whirlwind. I conclude then with this question: What fault is it in me, to furnish and adorn my verse (being his translator) with translating and adding the truth and fulness of his conceit, it being as like to pass my reader as his, and therefore necessary? If it be no fault in me, but fit, then may I justly be said to better Homer, or not to have all my invention, matter, and form, from him, though a little I enlarge his form. Virgil, in all places where he is compared and preferred to Homer, doth nothing more. And therefore my assertion in the Second Book is true, that Virgil hath in all places, wherein he is compared and preferred to Homer by Scaliger, &c., both his invention, matter, and form, from him.

Iliad XIV.517

432. Οἶτα κατὰ λαπάρην, &c. vulneravit ad ilia it is translated, and is in the last verses of this Book, where Menelaus is said to wound Hyperenor. But λαπάρη dicitur ea pars corporis quæ posita est inter costas nothas, et ossa quæ ad ilia pertinent, quòd inanis sit, et desiderat. Hipp. in lib. περὶ ἀγμῶν; and therefore I accordingly translate it. And note this beside, both out of this place, and many others, how excellent an anatomist our Homer was, whose skill in those times, methinks, should be a secret.


Corrections for Book XIV

3 “For, methink, still,” said he,
text unchanged; expected “methinks”

43 He answer’d: “’Tis an evident truth
apostrope in “’Tis” missing

81 Notes
[I have reversed the order of the two linenotes so they agree with the order of the body text (“prince of men” before “censure”).]

81 note Bk. XIII. 655
text has 653

95 the horseman Oeneus,
expected “Oeneüs” (three syllables)

286 note XIII. 350
text has 348




The Argument.

Jove waking, and beholding Troy in flight,

Chides Juno, and sends Iris to the fight

To charge the Sea-god to forsake the field,

And Phœbus to invade it, with his shield

Recov’ring Hector’s bruis’d and craséd* pow’rs.

To field he goes, and makes new conquerors,

The Trojans giving now the Grecians chace

Ev’n to their fleet. Then Ajax turns his face,

And feeds, with many Trojan lives, his ire;

Who then brought brands to set the fleet on fire.

Another Argument.

Jove sees in Ο his oversight,

Chides Juno, Neptune calls from fight.


he Trojans, beat past pale and dike, and numbers prostrate laid,

All got to chariot, fear-driv’n all, and fear’d as men dismay’d.

Then Jove on Ida’s top awak’d, rose from Saturnia’s side,

Stood up, and look’d upon the war; and all inverted spied

5 Since he had seen it; th’ Ilians now in rout, the Greeks in fight;

King Neptune, with his long sword, chief; great Hector put down quite,


Laid flat in field, and with a crown of princes compasséd.

So stopp’d up that he scarce could breathe, his mind’s sound habit fled,

And he still spitting blood. Indeed, his hurt was not set on

10 By one that was the weakest Greek. But him Jove look’d upon

With eyes of pity; on his wife with horrible aspéct,

To whom he said: “O thou in ill most cunning architect,

All arts and comments that exceed’st! not only to enforce

Hector from fight, but, with his men, to show the Greeks a course.

15 I fear, as formerly, so now, these ills have with thy hands

Their first fruits sown, and therefore could load all thy limbs with bands.

Forgett’st thou, when I hang’d thee up, how to thy feet I tied

Two anvils, golden manacles on thy false wrists implied,

And let thee mercilessly hang from our refinéd heav’n

20 Ev’n to earth’s vapours; all the Gods in great Olympus giv’n

To mutinies about thee, yet, though all stood staring on,

None durst dissolve thee, for these hands, had they but seiz’d upon

Thy friend, had headlong thrown him off from our star-bearing round,

Till he had tumbled out his breath, and piece-meal dash’d the ground?

25 Nor was my angry spirit calm’d so soon, for those foul seas,

On which, inducing northern flaws, thou shipwrack’dst Hercules,

And toss’d him to the Coan shore, that thou should’st tempt again

My wrath’s importance, when thou seest, besides, how grossly vain

My pow’rs can make thy policies; for from their utmost force

30 I freed my son, and set him safe in Argos, nurse of horse.

These I remember to thy thoughts, that thou may’st shun these sleights,

And know how badly bed-sports thrive, procur’d by base deceits.”

This frighted the offending queen, who with this state excus’d

Her kind unkindness: “Witness Earth, and Heav’n so far diffus’d,

35 Thou Flood whose silent gliding waves the under ground doth bear,

(Which is the great’st and gravest oath, that any God can swear)

Thy sacred head, those secret joys that our young bed gave forth,

By which I never rashly swore! that He who shakes the earth


Not by my counsel did this wrong to Hector and his host,

40 But, pitying th’ oppresséd Greeks, their fleet being nearly lost,

Reliev’d their hard conditión, yet utterly impell’d

By his free mind. Which since I see is so offensive held

To thy high pleasure, I will now advise him not to tread

But where thy tempest-raising feet, O Jupiter, shall lead.”

45 Jove laugh’d to hear her so submiss, and said: “My fair-ey’d love,

If still thus thou and I were one, in counsels held above,

Neptune would still in word and fact be ours, if not in heart.

If then thy tongue and heart agree, from hence to heav’n depart,

To call the excellent-in-bows, the Rain-bow, and the Sun,

50 That both may visit both the hosts; the Grecian army one,

And that is Iris, let her haste, and make the Sea-god cease

T’ assist the Greeks, and to his court retire from war in peace;

Let Phœbus, on the Trojan part, inspire with wonted pow’r

Great Hector’s spirits, make his thoughts forget the late stern hour,

55 And all his anguish, setting on his whole recover’d man

To make good his late grace in fight, and hold in constant wane

The Grecian glories, till they fall, in flight before the fleet

Of vex’d Achilles. Which extreme will prove the mean to greet

Thee with thy wish, for then the eyes of great Æacides

60 (Made witness of the gen’ral ill, that doth so near him prease)

Will make his own particular look out, and by degrees

Abate his wrath, that, though himself for no extremities

Will seem reflected, yet his friend may get of him the grace

To help his country in his arms; and he shall make fit place

65 For his full presence with his death, which shall be well fore-run;

For I will first renown his life with slaughter of my son,

Divine Sarpedon, and his death great Hector’s pow’r shall wreak,

Ending his ends. Then, at once, out shall the fury break

Of fierce Achilles, and, with that, the flight now felt shall turn,

70 And then last, till in wrathful flames the long-sieg’d Ilion burn.


Minerva’s counsel shall become grave mean to this my will,

Which no God shall neglect before Achilles take his fill

Of slaughter for his slaughter’d friend; ev’n Hector’s slaughter thrown

Under his anger; that these facts may then make fully known

75 My vow’s performance, made of late, and, with my bowéd head,

Confirm’d to Thetis, when her arms embrac’d my knees, and pray’d

That to her city-razing son I would all honour show.”

This heard, his charge she seem’d t’ intend, and to Olympus flew.

But, as the mind of such a man that hath a great way gone,

80 And either knowing not his way, or then would let alone

His purpos’d journey, is distract, and in his vexéd mind

Resolves now not to go, now goes, still many ways inclin’d;

So rev’rend Juno headlong flew, and ’gainst her stomach striv’d,

For, being amongst th’ immortal Gods in high heav’n soon arriv’d,

85 All rising, welcoming with cups her little absence thence,

She all their courtships overpass’d with solemn negligence,

Save that which fair-cheek’d Themis show’d, and her kind cup she took,

For first she ran and met with her, and ask’d: “What troubled look

She brought to heav’n? She thought, for truth, that Jove had terrified

90 Her spirits strangely since she went.” The fair-arm’d Queen replied:

“That truth may eas’ly be suppos’d; you, Goddess Themis, know

His old severity and pride, but you bear’t out with show,

And like the banquet’s arbiter amongst th’ Immortals’ fare,

Though well you hear amongst them all, how bad his actions are;

95 Nor are all here, or anywhere, mortals, nor Gods, I fear,

Entirely pleas’d with what he does, though thus ye banquet here.”

Thus took she place, displeasedly; the feast in general

Bewraying privy spleens at Jove; and then, to colour all,

She laugh’d, but merely from her lips, for over her black brows

100 Her still-bent forehead was not clear’d; yet this her passion’s throes

Brought forth in spite, being lately school’d: “Alas, what fools are we

That envy Jove! Or that by act, word, thought, can fantasy


Any resistance to his will! He sits far off, nor cares,

Nor moves, but says he knows his strength, to all degrees compares

105 His greatness past all other Gods, and that in fortitude,

And ev’ry other godlike pow’r, he reigns past all indu’d.

For which great eminence all you Gods, whatever ill he does,

Sustain with patience. Here is Mars, I think, not free from woes,

And yet he bears them like himself. The great God had a son,

110 Whom he himself yet justifies, one that from all men won

Just surname of their best belov’d, Ascalaphus; yet he,

By Jove’s high grace to Troy, is slain.” Mars started horribly,

As Juno knew he would, at this, beat with his hurl’d-out hands

His brawny thighs, cried out, and said: “O you that have commands

115 In these high temples, bear with me, if I revenge the death

Of such a son. I’ll to the fleet, and though I sink beneath

The fate of being shot to hell, by Jove’s fell thunder-stone,

And lie all grim’d amongst the dead with dust and blood, my son

Revenge shall honour.” Then he charg’d Fear and Dismay to join

120 His horse and chariot. He got arms, that over heav’n did shine.

And then a wrath more great and grave in Jove had been prepar’d

Against the Gods than Juno caus’d, if Pallas had not car’d

More for the peace of heav’n than Mars; who leap’d out of her throne,

Rapt up her helmet, lance, and shield, and made her fane’s porch groan

125 With her egression to his stay, and thus his rage defers:

“Furious and foolish, th’ art undone! Hast thou for nought thine ears?

Heard’st thou not Juno being arriv’d from heav’n’s great King but now?

Or wouldst thou he himself should rise, forc’d with thy rage, to show

The dreadful pow’r she urg’d in him, so justly being stirr’d?

130 Know, thou most impudent and mad, thy wrath had not inferr’d

Mischief to thee, but to us all. His spirit had instantly

Left both the hosts, and turn’d his hands to uproars in the sky,

Guilty and guiltless both to wrack in his high rage had gone.

And therefore, as thou lov’st thyself, cease fury for thy son;


135 Another, far exceeding him in heart and strength of hand,

Or is, or will be shortly, slain. It were a work would stand

Jove in much trouble, to free all from death that would not die.”

This threat ev’n nail’d him to his throne; when heav’n’s chief Majesty

Call’d bright Apollo from his fane, and Iris that had place

140 Of internunciess from the Gods, to whom she did the grace

Of Jupiter, to this effect: “It is Saturnius’ will,

That both, with utmost speed, should stoop to the Idalian hill,

To know his further pleasure there. And this let me advise,

When you arrive, and are in reach of his refulgent eyes,

145 His pleasure heard, perform it all, of whatsoever kind.”

Thus mov’d she back, and us’d her throne. Those two outstripp’d the wind,

And Ida all-enchas’d with springs they soon attain’d, and found

Where far-discerning Jupiter, in his repose, had crown’d

The brows of Gargarus, and wrapt an odorif’rous cloud

150 About his bosom. Coming near, they stood. Nor now he show’d

His angry count’nance, since so soon he saw they made th’ access

That his lov’d wife enjoin’d; but first the fair ambassadress

He thus commanded: “Iris, go to Neptune, and relate

Our pleasure truly, and at large. Command him from the fate

155 Of human war, and either greet the Gods’ society,

Or the divine sea make his seat. If proudly he deny,

Let better counsels be his guides, than such as bid me war,

And tempt my charge, though he be strong, for I am stronger far,

And elder born. Nor let him dare, to boast even state with me

160 Whom all Gods else prefer in fear.” This said, down hasted she

From Ida’s top to Ilion; and like a mighty snow,

Or gelid hail, that from the clouds the northern spirit doth blow;

So fell the windy-footed dame, and found with quick repair

The wat’ry God, to whom she said: “God with the sable hair,


165 I came from Ægis-bearing Jove, to bid thee cease from fight,

And visit heav’n, or th’ ample seas. Which if, in his despite,

Or disobedience, thou deniest, he threatens thee to come,

In opposite fight, to field himself; and therefore warns thee home,

His hands eschewing, since his pow’r is far superior,

170 His birth before thee; and affirms, thy lov’d heart should abhor

To vaunt equality with him, whom ev’ry Deity fears.”

He answer’d: “O unworthy thing! Though he be great, he bears

His tongue too proudly, that ourself, born to an equal share

Of state and freedom, he would force. Three brothers born we are

175 To Saturn, Rhea brought us forth, this Jupiter, and I,

And Pluto, God of under-grounds. The world indiff’rently

Dispos’d betwixt us; ev’ry one his kingdom; I the seas,

Pluto the black lot, Jupiter the principalities

Of broad heav’n, all the sky and clouds, was sorted out. The earth

180 And high Olympus common are, and due to either’s birth.

Why then should I be aw’d by him? Content he his great heart

With his third portion, and not think, to amplify his part,

With terrors of his stronger hands, on me, as if I were

The most ignoble of us all. Let him contain in fear

185 His daughters and his sons, begot by his own person. This

Holds more convenience. They must hear these violent threats of his.”

“Shall I,” said Iris, “bear from thee, an answer so austere?

Or wilt thou change it? Changing minds, all noble natures bear.

And well thou know’st, these greatest born, the Furies follow still.”

190 He answer’d: “Iris, thy reply keeps time, and shows thy skill.

O ’tis a most praiseworthy thing, when messengers can tell,

Besides their messages, such things, as fit th’ occasion well.

But this much grieves my heart and soul, that being in pow’r and state

All-ways his equal, and so fix’d by one decree in fate,

195 He should to me, as under him, ill language give, and chide.

Yet now, though still incens’d, I yield, affirming this beside,


And I enforce it with a threat: That if without consent

Of me, Minerva, Mercury, the Queen of regiment,

And Vulcan, he will either spare high Ilion, or not race

200 Her turrets to the lowest stone, and, with both these, not grace

The Greeks as victors absolute, inform him this from me—

His pride and my contempt shall live at endless enmity.”

This said, he left the Greeks, and rush’d into his wat’ry throne,

Much miss’d of all th’ heroic host. When Jove discern’d him gone,

205 Apollo’s service he employ’d, and said: “Lov’d Phœbus, go

To Hector; now th’ earth-shaking God hath taken sea, and so

Shrunk from the horrors I denounc’d; which standing, he, and all

The under-seated Deities, that circle Saturn’s fall,

Had heard of me in such a fight as had gone hard for them.

210 But both for them and me ’tis best, that thus they fly th’ extreme,

That had not pass’d us without sweat. Now then, in thy hands take

My adder-fring’d affrighting shield, which with such terror shake,

That fear may shake the Greeks to flight. Besides this, add thy care,

O Phœbus, far-off shooting God, that this so sickly fare

215 Of famous Hector be recur’d, and quickly so excite

His amplest pow’rs, that all the Greeks may grace him with their flight,

Ev’n to their ships, and Hellespont; and then will I devise

All words and facts again for Greece, that largely may suffice

To breathe them from their instant toils.” Thus from th’ Idæan height,

220 Like air’s swift pigeon-killer, stoop’d the far-shot God of light,

And found great Hector sitting up, not stretch’d upon his bed,

Not wheezing with a stopp’d-up spirit, not in cold sweats, but fed

With fresh and comfortable veins, but his mind all his own,

But round about him all his friends, as well as ever known.

225 And this was with the mind of Jove, that flew to him before

Apollo came; who, as he saw no sign of any sore,

Ask’d, like a cheerful visitant: “Why in this sickly kind,

Great Hector, sitt’st thou so apart? Can any grief of mind


Invade thy fortitude?” He spake, but with a feeble voice:

230 “O thou, the best of Deities! Why, since I thus rejoice

By thy so serious benefit, demand’st thou, as in mirth,

And to my face, if I were ill? For, more than what thy worth

Must needs take note of, doth not Fame from all mouths fill thine ears,

That, as my hand at th’ Achive fleet was making massacres

235 Of men whom valiant Ajax led, his strength strook with a stone

All pow’r of more hurt from my breast? My very soul was gone,

And once to-day I thought to see the house of Dis and Death.”

“Be strong,” said he, “for such a spirit now sends the God of breath

From airy Ida, as shall run through all Greek spirits in thee.

240 Apollo with the golden sword, the clear Far-seer, see,

Him, who betwixt death and thy life, ’twixt ruin and those tow’rs,

Ere this day oft hath held his shield. Come then, be all thy pow’rs

In wonted vigour, let thy knights with all their horse assay

The Grecian fleet, myself will lead, and scour so clear the way,

245 That flight shall leave no Greek a rub.” Thus instantly inspir’d

Were all his nerves with matchless strength; and then his friends he fir’d

Against their foes, when to his eyes his ears confirm’d the God.

Then, as a goodly-headed hart, or goat, bred in the wood,

A rout of country huntsmen chase, with all their hounds in cry,

250 The beast yet or the shady woods, or rocks excessive high,

Keep safe, or our unwieldy fates (that ev’n in hunters sway)

Bar them the poor beast’s pulling down; when straight the clam’rous fray

Calls out a lion, hugely-man’d, and his abhorréd view

Turns headlong in unturning flight (though vent’rous) all the crew;

255 So hitherto the chasing Greeks their slaughter dealt by troops;

But, after Hector was beheld range here and there, then stoops

The boldest courage, then their heels took in their dropping hearts,

And then spake Andræmonides, a man of far-best parts


Of all th’ Ætolians, skill’d in darts, strenuous in fights of stand,

260 And one of whom few of the Greeks could get the better hand

For rhetoric, when they fought with words; with all which being wise,

Thus spake he to his Grecian friends: “O mischief! Now mine eyes

Discern no little miracle; Hector escap’d from death,

And all-recover’d, when all thought his soul had sunk beneath

265 The hands of Ajax. But some God hath sav’d and freed again

Him that but now dissolv’d the knees of many a Grecian,

And now I fear will weaken more; for, not without the hand

Of Him that thunders, can his pow’rs thus still the forefights stand,

Thus still triumphant. Hear me then: Our troops in quick retreat

270 Let’s draw up to our fleet, and we, that boast ourselves the great,

Stand firm, and try if these that raise so high their charging darts

May be resisted. I believe, ev’n this great heart of hearts

Will fear himself to be too bold, in charging thorow us.”

They eas’ly heard him, and obey’d; when all the generous

275 They call’d t’ encounter Hector’s charge, and turn’d the common men

Back to the fleet. And these were they, that bravely furnish’d then

The fierce forefight: Th’ Ajaces both, the worthy Cretan king,

The Mars-like Meges, Merion, and Teucer. Up then bring

The Trojan chiefs their men in heaps; before whom, amply-pac’d,

280 March’d Hector, and in front of him Apollo, who had cast

About his bright aspéct a cloud, and did before him bear

Jove’s huge and each-where-shaggy shield, which, to contain in fear

Offending men, the God-smith gave to Jove; with this he led

The Trojan forces. The Greeks stood. A fervent clamour spread

285 The air on both sides as they join’d. Out flew the shafts and darts,

Some falling short, but other some found butts in breasts and hearts.

As long as Phœbus held but out his horrid shield, so long

The darts flew raging either way, and death grew both ways strong;

But when the Greeks had seen his face, and, who it was that shook

290 The bristled targe, knew by his voice, then all their strengths forsook


Their nerves and minds. And then look how a goodly herd of neat,

Or wealthy flock of sheep, being close, and dreadless at their meat,

In some black midnight, suddenly, and not a keeper near,

A brace of horrid bears rush in, and then fly here and there

295 The poor affrighted flocks or herds; so ev’ry way dispers’d

The heartless Grecians, so the Sun their headstrong chace revers’d

To headlong flight, and that day rais’d, with all grace, Hector’s head.

Arcesilaus then he slew, and Stichius; Stichius led

Bœotia’s brazen-coated men; the other was the friend

300 Of mighty-soul’d Menestheüs. Æneas brought to end

Medon and Jasus; Medon was the brother, though but base,

Of swift Oïliades, and dwelt, far from his breeding place,

In Phylace; the other led th’ Athenian bands, his sire

Was Spelus, Bucolus’s son. Mecistheus did expire

305 Beneath Polydamas’s hand. Polites, Echius slew,

Just at the joining of the hosts. Agenor overthrew

Clonius. Bold Deïochus felt Alexander’s lance;

It strook his shoulder’s upper part, and did his head advance

Quite through his breast, as from the fight he turn’d him for retreat.

310 While these stood spoiling of the slain, the Greeks found time to get

Beyond the dike and th’ undik’d pales; all scapes they gladly gain’d,

Till all had pass’d the utmost wall; Necessity so reign’d.

Then Hector cried out: “Take no spoil, but rush on to the fleet;

From whose assault, for spoil or flight, if any man I meet,

315 He meets his death; nor in the fire of holy funeral

His brother’s or his sister’s hands shall cast within our wall

His loathéd body; but, without, the throats of dogs shall grave

His manless limbs.” This said, the scourge his forward horses drave

Through ev’ry order; and, with him, all whipp’d their chariots on,

320 All threat’ningly, out-thund’ring shouts as earth were overthrown.


Before them march’d Apollo still, and, as he march’d, digg’d down,

Without all labour, with his feet the dike, till, with his own,

He fill’d it to the top, and made way both for man and horse

As broad and long as with a lance, cast out to try one’s force,

325 A man could measure. Into this they pour’d whole troops as fast

As num’rous; Phœbus still, before, for all their haste,

Still shaking Jove’s unvalu’d shield, and held it up to all.

And then, as he had chok’d their dike, he tumbled down their wall.

And look how eas’ly any boy, upon the sea-ebb’d shore,

330 Makes with a little sand a toy, and cares for it no more,

But as he rais’d it childishly, so in his wanton vein,

Both with his hands and feet he pulls, and spurns it down again;

So slight, O Phœbus, thy hands made of that huge Grecian toil,

And their late stand, so well-resolv’d, as eas’ly mad’st recoil.

335 Thus stood they driv’n up at their fleet; where each heard other’s thought,

Exhorted, passing humbly pray’d, all all the Gods besought,

With hands held up to heav’n, for help. ’Mongst all the good old man,

Grave Nestor, for his counsels call’d the Argives’ guardian,

Fell on his aged knees, and pray’d, and to the starry host

340 Stretch’d out his hands for aid to theirs, of all thus moving most:

“O father Jove, if ever man, of all our host, did burn

Fat thighs of oxen or of sheep, for grace of safe return,

In fruitful Argos, and obtain’d the bowing of thy head

For promise of his humble pray’rs, O now remember him,

345 Thou merely heav’nly, and clear up the foul brows of this dim

And cruel day; do not destroy our zeal for Trojan pride.”

He pray’d, and heav’n’s great Counsellor with store of thunder tried

His former grace good, and so heard the old man’s hearty pray’rs.

The Trojans took Jove’s sign for them, and pour’d out their affairs

350 In much more violence on the Greeks, and thought on nought but fight.

And as a huge wave of a sea, swoln to his rudest height,


Breaks over both sides of a ship, being all-urg’d by the wind,

For that’s it makes the wave so proud; in such a borne-up kind

The Trojans overgat the wall, and, getting in their horse,

355 Fought close at fleet, which now the Greeks ascended for their force.

Then from their chariots they with darts, the Greeks with bead-hooks fought,

Kept still aboard for naval fights, their heads with iron wrought

In hooks and pikes. Achilles’ friend, still while he saw the wall,

That stood without their fleet, afford employment for them all,

360 Was never absent from the tent of that man-loving Greek,

Late-hurt Eurypylus, but sate, and ev’ry way did seek

To spend the sharp time of his wound, with all the ease he could

In med’cines, and in kind discourse. But when he might behold

The Trojans past the wall, the Greeks flight-driv’n, and all in cries,

365 Then cried he out, cast down his hands, and beat with grief his thighs,

Then, “O Eurypylus,” he cried, “now all thy need of me

Must bear my absence, now a work of more necessity

Calls hence, and I must haste to call Achilles to the field.

Who knows, but, God assisting me, my words may make him yield?

370 The motion of a friend is strong.” His feet thus took him thence.

The rest yet stood their enemies firm; but all their violence

(Though Troy fought there with fewer men) lack’d vigour to repell

Those fewer from their navy’s charge, and so that charge as well

Lack’d force to spoil their fleet or tents. And as a shipwright’s line

375 (Dispos’d by such a hand as learn’d from th’ Artizan divine

The perfect practice of his art) directs or guards so well

The naval timber then in frame, that all the laid-on steel

Can hew no further than may serve, to give the timber th’ end

Fore-purpos’d by the skilful wright; so both hosts did contend

380 With such a line or law applied, to what their steel would gain.

At other ships fought other men; but Hector did maintain


His quarrel firm at Ajax’ ship. And so did both employ

About one vessel all their toil; nor could the one destroy

The ship with fire, nor force the man, nor that man yet get gone

385 The other from so near his ship, for God had brought him on.

But now did Ajax, with a dart, wound deadly in the breast

Caletor, son of Clytius, as he with fire address’d

To burn the vessel; as he fell, the brand fell from his hand.

When Hector saw his sister’s son lie slaughter’d in the sand,

390 He call’d to all his friends, and pray’d they would not in that strait

Forsake his nephew, but maintain about his corse the fight,

And save it from the spoil of Greece. Then sent he out a lance

At Ajax, in his nephew’s wreak; which miss’d, but made the chance

On Lycophron Mastorides, that was the household friend

395 Of Ajax, born in Cythera; whom Ajax did defend,

Being fled to his protectión, for killing of a man

Amongst the god-like Cytherans. The vengeful jav’lin ran

Quite through his head, above his ear, as he was standing by

His fautour then astern his ship, from whence his soul did fly,

400 And to the earth his body fell. The hair stood up an end

On Ajax, who to Teucer call’d (his brother) saying: “Friend,

Our lovéd consort, whom we brought from Cythera, and grac’d

So like our father, Hector’s hand hath made him breathe his last.

Where then are all thy death-borne shafts, and that unvalu’d bow

405 Apollo gave thee?” Teucer straight his brother’s thoughts did know,

Stood near him, and dispatch’d a shaft, amongst the Trojan fight.

It strook Pisenor’s goodly son, young Clitus, the delight

Of the renowm’d Polydamus, the bridle in his hand,

As he was labouring his horse, to please the high command

410 Of Hector and his Trojan friends, and bring him where the fight

Made greatest tumult; but his strife, for honour in their sight,

Wrought not what sight or wishes help’d; for, turning back his look,

The hollow of his neck the shaft came singing on, and strook,


And down he fell; his horses back, and hurried through the field

415 The empty chariot. Panthus’ son made all haste, and withheld

Their loose career, disposing them to Protiaon’s son,

Astynous, with special charge, to keep them ever on,

And in his sight. So he again, amongst the foremost went.

At Hector then another shaft, incenséd Teucer sent,

420 Which, had it hit him, sure had hurt, and, had it hurt him, slain,

And, had it slain him, it had driv’n all those to Troy again.

But Jove’s mind was not sleeping now, it wak’d to Hector’s fame,

And Teucer’s infamy; himself (in Teucer’s deadly aim)

His well-wrought string dissevering, that serv’d his bravest bow;

425 His shaft flew quite another way, his bow the earth did strow.

At all which Teucer stood amaz’d, and to his brother cried:

“O prodigy! Without all doubt, our angel doth deride

The counsels of our fight; he brake a string my hands put on

This morning, and was newly made, and well might have set gone

430 A hundred arrows; and, beside, he strook out of my hand

The bow Apollo gave.” He said: “Then, good friend, do not stand

More on thy archery, since God, preventer of all grace

Desir’d by Grecians, slights it so. Take therefore in the place

A good large lance, and on thy neck a target cast as bright,

435 With which come fight thyself with some, and other some excite,

That without labour at the least, though we prove worser men,

Troy may not brag it took our ships. Come, mind our business, then.”

This said, he hasted to his tent, left there his shafts and bow,

And then his double double shield did on his shoulders throw;

440 Upon his honour’d head he plac’d his helmet thickly-plum’d,

And then his strong and well-pil’d lance in his fair hand assum’d,

Return’d; and boldly took his place, by his great brother’s side.

When Hector saw his arrows broke, out to his friends he cried:

“O friends, be yet more comforted; I saw the hands of Jove

445 Break the great Grecian archer’s shafts. ’Tis easy to approve


That Jove’s pow’r is direct with men; as well in those set high

Upon the sudden, as in those depress’d as suddenly,

And those not put in state at all. As now he takes away

Strength from the Greeks, and gives it us; then use it, and assay

450 With join’d hands this approachéd fleet. If any bravely buy

His fame or fate with wounds or death, in Jove’s name let him die.

Who for his country suffers death, sustains no shameful thing,

His wife in honour shall survive, his progeny shall spring

In endless summers, and their roofs with patrimony swell.

455 And all this, though, with all their freight, the Greek ships we repell.”

His friends thus cheer’d; on th’ other part, strong Ajax stirr’d his friends:

“O Greeks,” said he, “what shame is this, that no man more defends

His fame and safety, than to live, and thus be forc’d to shrink!

Now either save your fleet, or die; unless ye vainly think

460 That you can live and they destroy’d. Perceives not ev’ry ear

How Hector heartens up his men, and hath his firebrands here

Now ready to inflame our fleet? He doth not bid them dance,

That you may take your ease and see, but to the fight advance.

No counsel can serve us but this: To mix both hands and hearts,

465 And bear up close. ’Tis better much, t’ expose our utmost parts

To one day’s certain life or death, than languish in a war

So base as this, beat to our ships by our inferiors far.”

Thus rous’d he up their spirits and strengths. To work then both sides went,

When Hector the Phocensian duke to fields of darkness sent,

470 Fierce Schedius, Perimedes’ son: which Ajax did requite

With slaughter of Laodamas, that led the foot to fight,

And was Antenor’s famous son. Polydamas did end

Otus, surnam’d Cyllenius, whom Phydas made his friend,

Being chief of the Epeians’ bands. Whose fall when Meges view’d,

475 He let fly at his feller’s life; who, shrinking in, eschew’d


The well-aim’d lance; Apollo’s will denied that Panthus’ son

Should fall amongst the foremost fights; the dart the mid-breast won

Of Crasmus; Meges won his arms. At Meges, Dolops then

Bestow’d his lance; he was the son of Lampus, best of men,

480 And Lampus of Laomedon, well-skill’d in strength of mind,

He strook Phylides’ shield quite through, whose curets, better lin’d,

And hollow’d fitly, sav’d his life. Phylëus left him them,

Who from Epirus brought them home, on that part where the stream

Of famous Seléés doth run; Euphetes did bestow,

485 Being guest with him, those well-prov’d arms, to wear against the foe,

And now they sav’d his son from death. At Dolops, Meges threw

A spear well-pil’d, that strook his casque full in the height; off flew

His purple feather, newly made, and in the dust it fell.

While these thus striv’d for victory, and either’s hope serv’d well,

490 Atrides came to Meges’ aid, and, hidden with his side,

Let loose a jav’lin at his foe, that through his back implied

His lusty head, ev’n past his breast; the ground receiv’d his weight.

While these made in to spoil his arms, great Hector did excite

All his allies to quick revenge; and first he wrought upon

495 Strong Menalippus, that was son to great Hycetaon,

With some reproof. Before these wars, he in Percote fed

Clov’n-footed oxen, but did since return where he was bred,

Excell’d amongst the Ilians, was much of Priam lov’d,

And in his court kept as his son. Him Hector thus reprov’d:

500 “Thus, Menalippus, shall our blood accuse us of neglect?

Nor moves it thy lov’d heart, thus urg’d, thy kinsman to protect?

Seest thou not how they seek his spoil? Come, follow, now no more

Our fight must stand at length, but close; nor leave the close before

We close the latest eye of them, or they the lowest stone

505 Tear up, and sack the citizens of lofty Ilion.”

He led; he follow’d, like a God. And then must Ajax needs,

As well as Hector, cheer his men, and thus their spirits he feeds:


“Good friends, bring but yourselves to feel the noble stings of shame

For what ye suffer, and be men. Respect each other’s fame;

510 For which who strives in shame’s fit fear, and puts on ne’er so far,

Comes oft’ner off. Then stick engag’d; these fugitives of war

Save neither life, nor get renown, nor bear more mind than sheep.”

This short speech fir’d them in his aid, his spirit touch’d them deep,

And turn’d them all before the fleet into a wall of brass;

515 To whose assault Jove stirr’d their foes, and young Atrides was

Jove’s instrument, who thus set on the young Antilochus:

“Antilochus, in all our host, there is not one of us

More young than thou, more swift of foot, nor, with both those, so strong.

O would thou wouldst then, for thou canst, one of this lusty throng,

520 That thus comes skipping out before (whoever, any where)

Make stick, for my sake, ’twixt both hosts, and leave his bold blood there!”

He said no sooner, and retir’d, but forth he rush’d before

The foremost fighters, yet his eye did ev’ry way explore

For doubt of odds; out flew his lance; the Trojans did abstain

525 While he was darting; yet his dart he cast not off in vain,

For Menalippus, that rare son of great Hycetaon,

As bravely he put forth to fight, it fiercely flew upon;

And at the nipple of his breast, his breast and life did part.

And then, much like an eager hound, cast off at some young hart

530 Hurt by the hunter, that had left his covert then but new,

The great-in-war Antilochus, O Menalippus, flew

On thy torn bosom for thy spoil. But thy death could not lie

Hid to great Hector; who all haste made to thee, and made fly

Antilochus, although in war he were at all parts skill’d.

535 But as some wild beast, having done some shrewd turn (either kill’d

The herdsman, or the herdsman’s dog) and skulks away before

The gather’d multitude makes in; so Nestor’s son forbore,


But after him, with horrid cries, both Hector and the rest

Show’rs of tear-thirsty lances pour’d; who having arm’d his breast

540 With all his friends, he turn’d it then. Then on the ships all Troy,

Like raw-flesh-nourish’d lions, rush’d, and knew they did employ

Their pow’rs to perfect Jove’s high will; who still their spirits enflam’d,

And quench’d the Grecians’; one renown’d, the other often sham’d.

For Hector’s glory still he stood, and ever went about

545 To make him cast the fleet such fire, as never should go out;

Heard Thetis’ foul petitión, and wish’d in any wise

The splendour of the burning ships might satiate his eyes.

From him yet the repulse was then to be on Troy conferr’d,

The honour of it giv’n the Greeks; which thinking on, he stirr’d,

550 With such addition of his spirit, the spirit Hector bore

To burn the fleet, that of itself was hot enough before.

But now he far’d like Mars himself, so brandishing his lance

As, through the deep shades of a wood, a raging fire should glance,

Held up to all eyes by a hill; about his lips a foam

555 Stood as when th’ ocean is enrag’d, his eyes were overcome

With fervour, and resembled flames, set off by his dark brows,

And from his temples his bright helm abhorréd lightnings throws;

For Jove, from forth the sphere of stars, to his state put his own,

And all the blaze of both the hosts confin’d in him alone.

560 And all this was, since after this he had not long to live,

This lightning flew before his death, which Pallas was to give

(A small time thence, and now prepar’d) beneath the violence

Of great Pelides. In mean time, his present eminence

Thought all things under it; and he, still where he saw the stands

565 Of greatest strength and bravest arm’d, there he would prove his hands,

Or nowhere; off’ring to break through, but that pass’d all his pow’r,

Although his will were past all theirs, they stood him like a tow’r,


Conjoin’d so firm, that as a rock, exceeding high and great,

And standing near the hoary sea, bears many a boist’rous threat

570 Of high-voic’d winds and billows huge, belch’d on it by the storms;

So stood the Greeks great Hector’s charge, nor stirr’d their battellous forms.

He, girt in fire borne for the fleet, still rush’d at ev’ry troop,

And fell upon it like a wave, high rais’d, that then doth stoop

Out from the clouds, grows, as it stoops, with storms, then down doth come

575 And cuff a ship, when all her sides are hid in brackish foam,

Strong gales still raging in her sails, her sailors’ minds dismay’d,

Death being but little from their lives; so Jove-like Hector fray’d

And plied the Greeks, who knew not what would chance, for all their guards.

And as the baneful king of beasts, leapt into oxen herds

580 Fed in the meadows of a fen, exceeding great; the beasts

In number infinite; ’mongst whom (their herdsmen wanting breasts

To fight with lions, for the price of a black ox’s life)

He here and there jumps, first and last, in his bloodthirsty strife,

Chas’d and assaulted; and, at length, down in the midst goes one,

585 And all the rest spers’d through the fen; so now all Greece was gone;

So Hector, in a flight from heav’n upon the Grecians cast,

Turn’d all their backs; yet only one his deadly lance laid fast,

Brave Mycenæus Periphes, Cypræus’ dearest son,

Who of the heav’n’s-Queen-lovéd king, great Eurysthæus, won

590 The grace to greet in ambassy the strength of Hercules,

Was far superior to his sire in feet, fight, nobleness

Of all the virtues, and all those did such a wisdom guide

As all Mycena could not match; and this man dignified,

Still making greater his renown, the state of Priam’s son,

595 For his unhappy hasty foot, as he address’d to run,

Stuck in th’ extreme ring of his shield, that to his ancles reach’d,

And down he upwards fell, his fall up from the centre fetch’d

A huge sound with his head and helm; which Hector quickly spied,

Ran in, and in his worthy breast his lance’s head did hide;


600 And slew about him all his friends, who could not give him aid,

They griev’d, and of his god-like foe fled so extreme afraid.

And now amongst the nearest ships, that first were drawn to shore,

The Greeks were driv’n; beneath whose sides, behind them, and before,

And into them they pour’d themselves, and thence were driv’n again

605 Up to their tents, and there they stood; not daring to maintain

Their guards more outward, but, betwixt the bounds of fear and shame,

Cheer’d still each other; when th’ old man, that of the Grecian name

Was call’d the Pillar, ev’ry man thus by his parents pray’d:

“O friends, be men, and in your minds let others’ shames be weigh’d.

610 Know you have friends besides yourselves, possessions, parents, wives,

As well those that are dead to you, as those ye love with lives;

All sharing still their good, or bad, with yours. By these I pray,

That are not present (and the more should therefore make ye weigh

Their miss of you, as yours of them) that you will bravely stand,

615 And this forc’d flight you have sustain’d, at length yet countermand.”

Supplies of good words thus supplied the deeds and spirits of all.

And so at last Minerva clear’d, the cloud that Jove let fall

Before their eyes; a mighty light flew beaming ev’ry way,

As well about their ships, as where their darts did hottest play.

620 Then saw they Hector great in arms, and his associates,

As well all those that then abstain’d, as those that help’d the fates,

And all their own fight at the fleet. Nor did it now content

Ajax to keep down like the rest; he up the hatches went,

Stalk’d here and there, and in his hand a huge great bead-hook held,

625 Twelve cubits long, and full of iron. And as a man well-skill’d

In horse, made to the martial race, when, of a number more,

He chooseth four, and brings them forth, to run them all before

Swarms of admiring citizens, amids their town’s high way,

And, in their full career, he leaps from one to one, no stay

630 Enforc’d on any, nor fails he, in either seat or leap;

So Ajax with his bead-hook leap’d nimbly from ship to ship,


As actively commanding all, them in their men as well

As men in them, most terribly exhorting to repell,

To save their navy and their tents. But Hector nothing needs

635 To stand on exhortations now at home, he strives for deeds.

And look how Jove’s great queen of birds, sharp-set, looks out for prey,

Knows floods that nourish wild-wing’d fowls, and, from her airy way,

Beholds where cranes, swans, cormorants, have made their foody fall,

Darkens the river with her wings, and stoops amongst them all;

640 So Hector flew amongst the Greeks, directing his command,

In chief, against one opposite ship; Jove with a mighty hand

Still backing him and all his men. And then again there grew

A bitter conflict at the fleet. You would have said none drew

A weary breath, nor ever would, they laid so freshly on.

645 And this was it that fir’d them both: The Greeks did build upon

No hope but what the field would yield, flight an impossible course;

The Trojans all hope entertain’d, that sword and fire should force

Both ships and lives of all the Greeks. And thus, unlike affects

Bred like strenuity in both. Great Hector still directs

650 His pow’rs against the first near ship. ’Twas that fair bark that brought

Protesilaus to those wars, and now her self to nought,

With many Greek and Trojan lives, all spoil’d about her spoil.

One slew another desp’rately, and close the deadly toil

Was pitch’d on both parts. Not a shaft, nor far-off striking dart

655 Was us’d through all. One fight fell out, of one despiteful heart.

Sharp axes, twybills, two-hand swords, and spears with two heads borne,

Were then the weapons; fair short swords, with sanguine hilts still worn,

Had use in like sort; of which last, ye might have numbers view’d

Drop with dissolv’d arms from their hands, as many down right hew’d

660 From off their shoulders as they fought, their bawdrics cut in twain.

And thus the black blood flow’d on earth, from soldiers hurt and slain.


When Hector once had seiz’d the ship, he clapt his fair broad hand

Fast on the stern, and held it there, and there gave this command:

“Bring fire, and all together shout. Now Jove hath drawn the veil

665 From such a day as makes amends, for all his storms of hail;

By whose blest light we take those ships, that, in despite of heav’n,

Took sea, and brought us worlds of woe, all since our peers were giv’n

To such a laziness and fear; they would not let me end

Our ling’ring banes, and charge thus home, but keep home and defend,

670 And so they rul’d the men I led. But though Jove then withheld

My natural spirit, now by Jove ’tis freed, and thus impell’d.”

This more inflam’d them; in so much that Ajax now no more

Kept up; he was so drown’d in darts; a little he forbore

The hatches to a seat beneath, of sev’n foot long, but thought

675 It was impossible to scape; he sat yet where he fought,

And hurl’d out lances thick as hail, at all men that assay’d

To fire the ship; with whom he found his hands so overlaid,

That on his soldiers thus he cried: “O friends, fight I alone?

Expect ye more walls at your backs? Towns rampir’d here are none,

680 No citizens to take ye in, no help in any kind.

We are, I tell you, in Troy’s fields; have nought but seas behind,

And foes before; far, far from Greece. For shame, obey commands,

There is no mercy in the wars; your healths lie in your hands.”

Thus rag’d he, and pour’d out his darts. Whoever he espied

685 Come near the vessel arm’d with fire, on his fierce dart he died.

All that pleas’d Hector made him mad, all that his thanks would earn;

Of which twelve men, his most resolv’d, lay dead before his stern.

Linenotes for Book XV

* Crased—stunned.

31: Remember—remind.

62: Though.—Dr. Taylor “through;” a typographical error.

138: Chief Majesty—Juno.

156: Deny—say nay, refuse.

“I clearly do deny

To yield my wife, but all her wealth I’ll render willingly.”

Bk. VII. 303.

198: Queen of regiment—Juno.

199: Race—rase, destroy.

245: Rub—chance.

245: Thus instantly, &c.—Chapman here curtails the original.

277: Dr. Taylor “foresight;” a typographical error.

279: Amply-paced—striding.

296: Heartless.—So Shakespeare,

“What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?”

Rom. and Jul. I. 1.

308: His head—i.e. its head.

327: Unvalued—inestimable, invaluable. See Bk. I. 12; and infrà, 404.

345: Merely.—See Bk. X. 482.

358: Patroclus.

515: Young Atrides—Menelaus.

521: Make.—The second folio, and Dr. Taylor, “may stick.”

553: Wood.—The second folio, followed by Dr. Taylor, has “hill,” but it had been corrected to “wood” in the list of errata in the first folio.

607: Nestor.

638: Foody fall—alighted to feed.

656: Twybills—two-edged bills, or axes. A kind of halberd.

678: Fight I alone?—Dr. Taylor has followed the error of the second folio, and printed “O friends, fight alone!

683: Healths—safety (Latin).

687: The sense is, “All that pleased Hector, and would earn his thanks, made him (Ajax) mad; of which twelve men, his (Hector’s) most resolved, lay dead, before his (Ajax’s) stern.”




Iliad XV.80

I  must here be enforced, for your easier examination of a simile before, to cite the original words of it; which of all Homer’s translators and commentors have been most grossly mistaken, his whole intent and sense in it utterly falsified. The simile illustrates the manner of Juno’s parting from Jove, being commanded by him to a business so abhorring from her will, is this:

Ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἂν ἀΐξῃ νόος ἀνέρος, ὅς τ᾽ ἐπὶ πολλὴν

Γαῖαν ἐληλουθὼς, φρεσὶ πευκαλίμῃσι νοήσῃ,

Ἔνθ᾽ εἴην ἢ ἔνθα μενοινήσειε τέ πολλά·

Ὧς κραιπνῶς μεμαυῖα διέπτατο πότνια Ἥρη.

Which is thus converted ad verbum by Spondanus:

Sicut autem quando discurrit mens viri, qui per multam

Terram profectus, mentibus prudentibus considerarit,

Huc iveram vel illuc, cogitâritque multa;

Sic citò properans pervolavit veneranda Juno.

Which Lauren. Valla in prose thus translates:

Subvolavit Juno in cœlum eâdem festinatione ac celeritate, quâ mens prudentis hominis, et qui multum terrarum peragravit, recursat, cum multa sibi agenda instant, huc se conferat an illuc.

Eobanus Hessus in verse thus:

Tam subitò, quàm sana viri mens plura scientis,

Quique peragrârit vastæ loca plurima terræ,

Multa movens animo, nunc huc nunc avolat illuc.

To this purpose likewise the Italian and French copies have it. All understanding Homer’s intent was (as by the speediness of a man’s thought or mind) to illustrate Juno’s swiftness in hasting about the commandment II.75 of Jupiter, which was utterly otherwise: viz., to show the distraction of Juno’s mind in going against her will, and in her despite, about Jove’s commandment; which all the history before, in her inveterate and inflexible grudge to do anything for the good of the Trojans, confirmeth without question. Besides, her morosity and solemn appearance amongst the Gods and Goddesses (which Themis notes in her looks) shows if she went willingly, much less swiftly, about that business. Nor can the illustration of swiftness be Homer’s end in this simile, because he makes the man’s mind, to which he resembles her going, stagger, inclining him to go this way and that, not resolved which way to go; which very poorly expresseth swiftness, and as properly agrees with the propriety of a wise man, when he hath undertaken, and gone far in, a journey, not to know whether he should go forward or backward. Let us therefore examine the original words.

Ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἂν ἀΐξῃ νόος ἀνέρος, ὅς τ᾽ ἐπὶ πολλὴν

Γαῖαν ἐληλουθὼς, &c.

Sicut verò quando discurrit vel prorumpit, vel cum impetu exsurgit, mens viri, ἀναΐσσω signifying ruo, prorumpo, vel cum impetu exsurgo, as having travelled far on an irksome journey (as Juno had done for the Greeks, feigning to Jove and Venus she was going to visit πολυφόρβου πείρατα γαίης, multa nutrientis fines terræ) and then knows not whether he should go backward or forward, sustains a vehement discourse with himself on what course to resolve, and vexed in mind; which the words φρεσὶ πευκαλίμῃσι express, being to be understood mentibus amaris, vexatis, or distractis, with a spiteful, sorrowful, vexed, or distracted mind, not mentibus prudentibus, as all most unwisely in this place convert it, though in other places it intimates so much. But here the other holds congruence with the rest of the simile, from which in the wise sense it abhors, πευκάλιμος signifying amarus more properly than prudens, being translated prudens merely metaphorically, according to the second deduction; where here it is used more properly according to the first deduction, which is taken from πευκὴ, the larcher tree, II.76 whose gum is exceeding bitter; and because things irksome and bitter (as afflictions, crosses, &c.) are means to make men wise, and take heed by others’ harms, therefore, according to the second deduction, πευκάλιμος is taken for cautus or prudens. But now that the ἀπόδοσις or application seems to make with their sense of swiftness, the words ὧς κραιπνῶς μεμαυῖα, being translated by them sic citò properans; it is thus to be turned in this place, sic rapidē et impetu pulsa, so snatchingly or headlongly driven, flew Juno. As we often see with a clap of thunder doves or other fowls driven headlong from their seats, not in direct flight, but as they would break their necks with a kind of reeling; μεμαυῖα being deprived of μαίω or μαιμάω signifying impetu ferri, vel furibundo impetu ferri, all which most aptly agreeth with Juno’s enforced and wrathful parting from Jove, and doing his charge distractedly. This for me. If another can give better, let him show it, and take it. But in infinite other places is this divine poet thus profaned, which for the extreme labour I cannot yet touch at.

Iliad XV.140

136. Ἀργάλεον, &c. Difficile est, it is a hard thing (saith Minerva to Mars, when she answers his anger for the slaughter of his son Ascalaphus) for Jove to deliver the generation and birth of all men from death. Which commentors thus understand: There were some men that never died, as Tithon the husband of Aurora, Chiron, Glaucus made a Sea-God, &c., and in Holy Writ (as Spondanus pleaseth to mix them) Enoch and Elias; but because these few were freed from death, Mars must not look that all others were. But this interpretation, I think, will appear to all men at first sight both ridiculous and profane—Homer making Minerva only jest at Mars here (as she doth in other places) bidding him not storm that his son should be slain more than better born, stronger, and worthier men; for Jove should have enough to do (or it were hard for Jove) to free all men from death that are unwilling to die. This mine, with the rest; the other others; accept which you please.


Corrections for Book XV

Arg. Jove sees in Ο his oversight,
[In Hooper’s text, most capital Greek letters are indistinguishable from Roman. I used Greek Ο (omicron), but for metre it has to be read as “O” (one syllable).]

16 load all thy limbs with bands.
final . (full stop) missing

68 Ending his ends. Then, at once, out shall the fury break
[Line printed as shown. One later editor proposed the emendation “evils” (two syllables) for “ends” (one syllable).]

76 embrac’d my knees,
text has keees

175 this Jupiter, and I,
text has I. with full stop for comma

277 note [forefight] Dr. Taylor “foresight;” a typographical error.
[Taylor seems to have had trouble with long ſ (s). Compare notes to XVI.179 (feeing:seeing), XVII.112 and XXI.303 (both fort:sort).]

326 As num’rous; Phœbus still, before, for all their haste,
[Full line printed as shown. There seems to be something wrong with the metre; Taylor has the same text, while the first edition gains a syllable by printing “numerous”.]

465 And bear up close. ’Tis better much
text has ’Tir

[Line added for consistency; as with Book VIII, there was no room on the page to print the line.]




The Argument.

Achilles, at Patroclus’ suit, doth yield

His arms and Myrmidons; which brought to field,

The Trojans fly. Patroclus hath the grace

Of great Sarpedon’s death, sprung of the race

Of Jupiter, he having slain the horse

Of Thetis’ son, fierce Pedasus. The force

Of Hector doth revenge the much-rued end

Of most renown’d Sarpedon on the friend

Of Thetides, first by Euphorbus harm’d,

And by Apollo’s personal pow’r disarm’d.

Another Argument.

In Πῖ Patroclus bears the chance

Of death, impos’d by Hector’s lance.


hus fighting for this well-built ship; Patroclus all that space

Stood by his friend, preparing words to win the Greeks his grace,

With pow’r of uncontainéd tears; and, like a fountain pour’d

In black streams from a lofty rock, the Greeks so plagu’d deplor’d.

5 Achilles, ruthful for his tears, said: “Wherefore weeps my friend

So like a girl, who, though she sees her mother cannot tend


Her childish humours, hangs on her, and would be taken up,

Still viewing her with tear-drown’d eyes, when she hath made her stoop.

To nothing liker I can shape thy so unseemly tears.

10 What causeth them? Hath any ill solicited thine ears

Befall’n my Myrmidons? Or news from lovéd Phthia brought,

Told only thee, lest I should grieve, and therefore thus hath wrought

On thy kind spirit? Actor’s son, the good Menœtius,

Thy father, lives, and Peleus, mine, great son of Æacus,

15 Amongst his Myrmidons; whose deaths, in duty we should mourn.

Or is it what the Greeks sustain, that doth thy stomach turn,

On whom, for their injustice’ sake, plagues are so justly laid?

Speak, man, let both know either’s heart.” Patroclus, sighing, said:

“O Peleus’ son, thou strongest Greek by all degrees that lives,

20 Still be not angry, our sad state such cause of pity gives.

Our greatest Greeks lie at their ships sore wounded; Ithacus,

King Agamemnon, Diomed, and good Eurypylus;

But these much-med’cine-knowing men, physicians, can recure,

Thou yet unmed’cinable still, though thy wound all endure.

25 Heav’n bless my bosom from such wrath as thou sooth’st as thy bliss,

Unprofitably virtuous. How shall our progenies,

Born in thine age, enjoy thine aid, when these friends, in thy flow’r,

Thou leav’st to such unworthy death? O idle, cruel, pow’r!

Great Peleus never did beget, nor Thetis bring forth thee,

30 Thou from the blue sea, and her rocks, deriv’st thy pedigree.

What so declines thee? If thy mind shuns any augury,

Belated by thy mother-queen from heav’n’s foreseeing eye,

And therefore thou forsak’st thy friends, let me go ease their moans

With those brave relics of our host, thy mighty Myrmidons,

35 That I may bring to field more light to conquest than hath been.

To which end grace me with thine arms, since, any shadow seen

Of thy resemblance, all the pow’r of perjur’d Troy will fly,

And our so-tiréd friends will breathe; our fresh-set-on supply


Will eas’ly drive their wearied off.” Thus, foolish man, he sued

40 For his sure death; of all whose speech Achilles first renew’d

The last part thus: “O worthy friend, what have thy speeches been?

I shun the fight for oracles, or what my mother queen

Hath told from Jove? I take no care, nor note of one such thing!

But this fit anger stings me still, that the insulting king

45 Should from his equal take his right, since he exceeds in pow’r.

This, still his wrong, is still my grief. He took my paramour

That all men gave, and whom I won by virtue of my spear,

That, for her, overturn’d a town. This rape he made of her,

And used me like a fugitive, an inmate in a town,

50 That is no city libertine, nor capable of their gown.

But bear we this as out of date; ’tis past, nor must we still

Feed anger in our noblest parts; yet thus, I have my will

As well as our great king of men, for I did ever vow

Never to cast off my disdain till, as it falls out now,

55 Their miss of me knock’d at my fleet, and told me in their cries

I was reveng’d, and had my wish of all my enemies.

And so of this repeat enough. Take thou my fame-blaz’d arms,

And my fight-thirsty Myrmidons lead to these hot alarms.

Whole clouds of Trojans circle us with hateful eminence;

60 The Greeks shut in a little shore, a sort of citizens

Skipping upon them; all because their proud eyes do not see

The radiance of my helmet there, whose beams had instantly

Thrust back, and all these ditches fill’d with carrion of their flesh,

If Agamemnon had been kind; where now they fight as fresh,

65 As thus far they had put at ease, and at our tents contend.

And may; for the repulsive hand of Diomed doth not spend

His raging darts there, that their death could fright out of our fleet;

Nor from that head of enmity, can my poor hearers meet


The voice of great Atrides now. Now Hector’s only voice

70 Breaks all the air about both hosts, and, with the very noise

Bred by his loud encouragements, his forces fill the field,

And fight the poor Achaians down. But on, put thou my shield

Betwixt the fire-plague and our fleet. Rush bravely on, and turn

War’s tide as headlong on their throats. No more let them ajourn

75 Our sweet home-turning. But observe the charge I lay on thee

To each least point, that thy rul’d hand may highly honour me,

And get such glory from the Greeks, that they may send again

My most sweet wench, and gifts to boot, when thou hast cast a rein

On these so headstrong citizens, and forc’d them from our fleet.

80 With which grace if the God of sounds thy kind egression greet,

Retire, and be not tempted on (with pride to see thy hand

Rain slaughtered carcasses on earth) to run forth thy command

As far as Ilion, lest the Gods, that favour Troy, come forth

To thy encounter, for the Sun much loves it; and my worth,

85 In what thou suffer’st, will be wrong’d, that I would let my friend

Assume an action of such weight without me, and transcend

His friend’s prescription. Do not then affect a further fight

Than I may strengthen. Let the rest, when thou hast done this right,

Perform the rest. O would to Jove, thou Pallas, and thou Sun,

90 That not a man hous’d underneath those tow’rs of Ilion,

Nor any one of all the Greeks, how infinite a sum

Soever all together make, might live unovercome,

But only we two, ’scaping death, might have the thund’ring down

Of ev’ry stone stuck in the walls of this so sacred town!”

95 Thus spake they only ’twixt themselves. And now the foe no more

Could Ajax stand, being so oppress’d with all the iron store

The Trojans pour’d on; with whose darts, and with Jove’s will beside,

His pow’rs were cloy’d, and his bright helm did deaf’ning blows abide,


His plume, and all head-ornaments, could never hang in rest.

100 His arm yet labour’d up his shield, and having done their best,

They could not stir him from his stand, although he wrought it out

With short respirings, and with sweat, that ceaseless flow’d about

His reeking limbs; no least time giv’n to take in any breath;

Ill strengthen’d ill; when one was up, another was beneath.

105 Now, Muses, you that dwell in heav’n, the dreadful mean inspire,

That first enforc’d the Grecian fleet, to take in Trojan fire.

First Hector, with his huge broad sword, cut off, at setting on,

The head of Ajax’ ashen lance; which Ajax seeing gone,

And that he shook a headless spear, a little while unware,

110 His wary spirits told him straight the hand of Heav’n was there;

And trembling under his conceit, which was that ’twas Jove’s deed,

Who, as he poll’d off his dart’s heads, so sure he had decreed

That all the counsels of their war, he would poll off like it,

And give the Trojans victory; so trusted he his wit,

115 And left his darts. And then the ship was heap’d with horrid brands

Of kindling fire; which instantly was seen through all the strands

In unextinguishable flames, that all the ship embrac’d.

And then Achilles beat his thighs, cried out, “Patroclus, haste,

Make way with horse. I see at fleet, a fire of fearful rage.

120 Arm, arm, lest all our fleet it fire, and all our pow’r engage.

Arm quickly, I’ll bring up the troops.” To these so dreadful wars

Patroclus, in Achilles’ arms, enlighten’d all with stars.

And richly amell’d, all haste made. He wore his sword, his shield,

His huge-plum’d helm, and two such spears, as he could nimbly wield.

125 But the most fam’d Achilles’ spear, big, solid, full of weight,

He only left of all his arms; for that far pass’d the might

Of any Greek to shake but his; Achilles’ only ire

Shook that huge weapon, that was giv’n by Chiron to his sire,


Cut from the top of Pelion, to be heroës’ deaths.

130 His steeds Automedon straight join’d; like whom no man that breathes,

Next Peleus’ son, Patroclus lov’d; for, like him, none so great

He found in faith at ev’ry fight, nor to out-look a threat.

Automedon did therefore guide for him Achilles’ steeds,

Xanthius and Balius swift as wind, begotten by the seeds

135 Of Zephyr, and the Harpy born, Podarge, in a mead

Close to the wavy oceán, where that fierce Harpy fed.

Automedon join’d these before, and with the hindmost gears

He fasten’d famous Pedasus, whom, from the massacres

Made by Achilles, when he took Eëtion’s wealthy town,

140 He brought, and, though of mortal race, yet gave him the renown

To follow his immortal horse. And now, before his tents,

Himself had seen his Myrmidons, in all habiliments

Of dreadful war. And when ye see, upon a mountain bred,

A den of wolves, about whose hearts unmeasur’d strengths are fed,

145 New come from currie of a stag, their jaws all blood-besmear’d,

And when from some black-water fount they all together herd,

There having plentifully lapp’d, with thin and thrust-out tongues,

The top and clearest of the spring, go belching from their lungs

The clotter’d gore, look dreadfully, and entertain no dread,

150 Their bellies gaunt all taken up, with being so rawly fed;

Then say, that such, in strength and look, were great Achilles’ men

Now order’d for the dreadful fight; and so with all them then

Their princes and their chiefs did show, about their Gen’ral’s friend;

His friend, and all, about himself; who chiefly did intend

155 Th’ embattelling of horse and foot. To that siege, held so long,

Twice-five-and-twenty sail he brought, twice-five-and-twenty strong

Of able men was ev’ry sail. Five colonels he made

Of all those forces; trusty men, and all of pow’r to lead,


But he of pow’r beyond them all. Menesthius was one,

160 That ever wore discolour’d arms; he was a river’s son

That fell from heav’n, and good to drink was his delightful stream,

His name unwearied Sperchius, he lov’d the lovely dame

Fair Polydora, Peleus’ seed, and dear in Borus’ sight,

And she to that celestial Flood gave this Menesthius light,

165 A woman mixing with a God. Yet Borus bore the name

Of father to Menesthius, he marrying the dame,

And giving her a mighty dow’r; he was the kind descent

Of Perieres. The next man, renown’d with regiment,

Was strong Eudorus, brought to life by one suppos’d a maid,

170 Bright Polymela, Phylas’ seed, but had the wanton play’d

With Argus-killing Mercury; who (fir’d with her fair eyes,

As she was singing in the quire of Her that makes the cries

In clam’rous hunting, and doth bear the crooked bow of gold)

Stole to her bed in that chaste room, that Phœbe chaste did hold,

175 And gave her that swift-warlike son, Eudorus, brought to light

As she was dancing; but as soon, as She that rules the plight

Of labouring women eas’d her throes, and show’d her son the sun,

Strong Echecæus, Actor’s heir, woo’d earnestly, and won

Her second favour, feeing her with gifts of infinite prize;

180 And after brought her to his house, where, in his grandsire’s eyes,

Old Phylas, Polymela’s son obtain’d exceeding grace,

And found as careful bringing up, as of his natural race

He had descended. The third chief was fair Mæmalides

Pisandrus, who in skill of darts obtain’d supremest praise

185 Of all the Myrmidons, except their lord’s companion.

The fourth charge, aged Phœnix had. The fifth, Alcimedon,

Son of Laerces, and much fam’d. All these digested thus

In fit place by the mighty son of royal Peleüs,


This stern remembrance he gave all: “You, Myrmidons,” said he,

190 “Lest any of you should forget his threat’nings us’d to me

In this place, and, through all the time, that my just anger reign’d,

Attempting me with bitter words, for being so restrain’d,

For my hot humour, from the fight, remember them as these:

‘Thou cruel son of Peleüs, whom She that rules the seas

195 Did only nourish with her gall, thou dost ungently hold

Our hands against our wills from fight. We will not be controll’d,

But take our ships, and sail for home, before we loiter here

And feed thy fury.’ These high words exceeding often were

The threats that, in your mutinous troops, ye us’d to me for wrath

200 To be detain’d so from the field. Now then, your spleens may bathe

In sweat of those great works ye wish’d; now, he that can employ

A gen’rous heart, go fight, and fright these bragging sons of Troy.”

This set their minds and strengths on fire, the speech enforcing well,

Being us’d in time; but, being their king’s, it much more did impell,

205 And closer rush’d in all the troops. And as, for buildings high,

The mason lays his stones more thick, against th’ extremity

Of wind and weather, and ev’n then, if any storm arise,

He thickens them the more for that, the present act so plies

His honest mind to make sure work; so, for the high estate

210 This work was brought to, these men’s minds, according to the rate,

Were rais’d, and all their bodies join’d; but their well-spoken king,

With his so timely-thought-on speech, more sharp made valour’s sting,

And thicken’d so their targets boss’d, so all their helmets then,

That shields propp’d shields, helms helmets knock’d, and men encourag’d men.

215 Patroclus and Automedon did arm before them all,

Two bodies with one mind inform’d; and then the General

Betook him to his private tent, where from a coffer wrought

Most rich and curiously, and giv’n by Thetis to be brought


In his own ship, top-fill’d with vests, warm robes to check cold wind,

220 And tapestries all gold’n-fring’d, and curl’d with thrumbs behind,

He took a most unvalu’d bowl, in which none drank but he;

Nor he but to the Deities, nor any Deity

But Jove himself was serv’d with that; and that he first did cleanse

With sulphur, then with fluences of sweetest water rense;

225 Then wash’d his hands, and drew himself a mighty bowl of wine,

Which (standing midst the place enclos’d for services divine,

And looking up to heav’n and Jove, who saw him well) he pour’d

Upon the place of sacrifice, and humbly thus implor’d:

“Great Dodonæus, president of cold Dodone’s tow’rs,

230 Divine Pelasgicus, that dwell’st far hence; about whose bow’rs

Th’ austere prophetic Selli dwell, that still sleep on the ground,

Go bare, and never cleanse their feet; as I before have found

Grace to my vows, and hurt to Greece, so now my pray’rs intend.

I still stay in the gather’d fleet, but have dismiss’d my friend,

235 Amongst my many Myrmidons, to danger of the dart;

O grant his valour my renown, arm with my mind his heart!

That Hector’s self may know my friend can work in single war,

And not then only show his hands, so hot and singular,

When my kind presence seconds him. But, fight he ne’er so well,

240 No further let him trust his fight, but, when he shall repell

Clamour and danger from our fleet, vouchsafe a safe retreat

To him and all his companies, with fames and arms complete.”

He pray’d, and heav’n’s great Counsellor gave satisfying ear

To one part of his orisons, but left the other there;

245 He let him free the fleet of foes, but safe retreat denied.

Achilles left that utter part where he his zeal applied,


And turn’d into his inner tent, made fast his cup, and then

Stood forth, and with his mind beheld the foes fight; and his men,

That follow’d his great-minded friend, embattled till they brake

250 With gallant spirit upon the foe. And as fell wasps, that make

Their dwellings in the broad high-way, which foolish children use

(Their cottages being near their nests) to anger and abuse

With ever vexing them, and breed (to soothe their childish war)

A common ill to many men, since if a traveller

255 (That would his journey’s end apply, and pass them unassay’d)

Come near and vex them, upon him the children’s faults are laid,

For on they fly as he were such, and still defend their own;

So far’d it with the fervent mind of ev’ry Myrmidon,

Who pour’d themselves out of their fleet upon their wanton foes,

260 That needs would stir them, thrust so near, and cause the overthrows

Of many others, that had else been never touch’d by them,

Nor would have touch’d. Patroclus then put his wind to the stream,

And thus exhorted: “Now, my friends, remember you express

Your late-urg’d virtue, and renown our great Æacides,

265 That, he being strong’st of all the Greeks, his eminence may dim

All others likewise in our strengths, that far off imitate him;

And Agamemnon now may see his fault as general

As his place high, dishonouring him that so much honours all.”

Thus made he sparkle their fresh fire, and on they rush’d; the fleet

270 Fill’d full her hollow sides with sounds, that terribly did greet

Th’ amazed Trojans; and their eyes did second their amaze

When great Menœtius’ son they saw, and his friend’s armour blaze.

All troops stood troubled, with conceit that Peleus’ son was there,

His anger cast off at the ships; and each look’d ev’rywhere

275 For some authority to lead the then preparéd flight.

Patroclus greeted with a lance the region where the fight

Made strongest tumult, near the ship Protesilaus brought,

And strook Pyræchmen; who before the fair-helm’d Pæons fought,


Led from Amydon, near whose walls the broad-stream’d Axius flows.

280 Through his right shoulder flew the dart, whose blow strook all the blows

In his pow’r from his pow’rless arm, and down he groaning fell;

His men all flying, their leader fled. This one dart did repell

The whole guard plac’d about the ship, whose fire extinct, half burn’d

The Pæons left her, and full cry to clam’rous flight return’d.

285 Then spread the Greeks about their ships; triumphant tumult flow’d:

And, as from top of some steep hill the Lightner strips a cloud,

And lets a great sky out from heav’n, in whose delightsome light,

All prominent foreheads, forests, tow’rs, and temples cheer the sight;

So clear’d these Greeks this Trojan cloud, and at their ships and tents

290 Obtain’d a little time to breathe, but found no present vents

To their inclusions; nor did Troy, though these Pæonians fled,

Lose any ground, but from this ship they needfully turn’d head.

Then ev’ry man a man subdu’d. Patroclus in the thigh

Strook Areilycus; his dart the bone did break, and fly

295 Quite through, and sunk him to the earth. Good Menelaus slew

Accomplish’d Thoas, in whose breast, being nak’d, his lance he threw

Above his shield, and freed his soul. Phylides, taking note

That bold Amphiclus bent at him, prevented him, and smote

His thigh’s extreme part, where of man his fattest muscle lies,

300 The nerves torn with his lance’s pile, and darkness clos’d his eyes.

Antilochus Atymnius seiz’d, his steel lance did impress

His first three guts, and loos’d his life. At young Nestorides,

Maris, Atymnius’ brother, flew; and at him Thrasymed,

The brother to Antilochus; his eager jav’lin’s head

305 The muscles of his arm cut out, and shiver’d all the bone;

Night clos’d his eyes, his lifeless corse his brother fell upon.


And so by two kind brothers’ hands, did two kind brothers bleed;

Both being divine Sarpedon’s friends, and were the darting seed

Of Amisodarus, that kept the bane of many men

310 Abhorr’d Chimæra; and such bane now caught his childeren.

Ajax Oïliades did take Cleobulus alive,

Invading him stay’d by the press; and at him then let drive

With his short sword that cut his neck; whose blood warm’d all the steel,

And cold Death with a violent fate his sable eyes did seel.

315 Peneleüs, and Lycon cast together off their darts;

Both miss’d, and both together then went with their swords; in parts

The blade and hilt went, laying on upon the helmet’s height.

Peneleus’ sword caught Lycon’s neck, and cut it thorough quite.

His head hung by the very skin. The swift Meriones,

320 Pursuing flying Acamas, just as he got access

To horse and chariot overtook, and took him such a blow

On his right shoulder, that he left his chariot, and did strow

The dusty earth; life left his limbs, and night his eyes possess’d.

Idomenæus his stern dart at Erymas address’d,

325 As, like to Acamas, he fled; it cut the sundry bones

Beneath his brain, betwixt his neck, and foreparts; and so runs,

Shaking his teeth out, through his mouth, his eyes all drown’d in blood,

So through his nostrils and his mouth, that now dart-open stood,

He breath’d his spirit. Thus had death from ev’ry Grecian chief

330 A chief of Troy. For, as to kids, or lambs, their cruell’st thief,

The wolf, steals in, and, when he sees that by the shepherd’s sloth

The dams are spers’d about the hills, then serves his rav’nous tooth

With ease, because his prey is weak; so serv’d the Greeks their foes,

Discerning well how shrieking flight did all their spirits dispose,

335 Their biding virtues quite forgot. And now the natural spleen

That Ajax bore to Hector still, by all means, would have been


Within his bosom with a dart; but he that knew the war,

Well-cover’d in a well-lin’d shield, did well perceive how far

The arrows and the jav’lins reach’d, by being within their sounds

340 And ominous singings; and observ’d the there-inclining bounds

Of Conquest in her aid of him, and so obey’d her change,

Took safest course for him and his, and stood to her as strange.

And as, when Jove intends a storm, he lets out of the stars,

From steep Olympus, a black cloud, that all heav’n’s splendour bars

345 From men on earth; so from the hearts of all the Trojan host

All comfort lately found from Jove, in flight and cries was lost.

Nor made they any fair retreat. Hector’s unruly horse

Would needs retire him, and he left engag’d his Trojan force,

Forc’d by the steepness of the dike, that in ill place they took,

350 And kept them that would fain have gone. Their horses quite forsook

A number of the Trojan kings, and left them in the dike;

Their chariots in their foreteams broke. Patroclus then did strike

While steel was hot, and cheer’d his friends; nor meant his enemies good,

Who, when they once began to fly, each way receiv’d a flood,

355 And chok’d themselves with drifts of dust. And now were clouds begot

Beneath the clouds; with flight and noise the horse neglected not

Their home intendments; and, where rout was busiest, there pour’d on

Patroclus most exhorts and threats; and then lay overthrown

Numbers beneath their axle-trees; who, lying in flight’s stream,

360 Made th’ after chariots jot and jump, in driving over them.

Th’ immortal horse Patroclus rode, did pass the dike with ease,

And wish’d the depth and danger more; and Menœtiades

As great a spirit had to reach, retiring Hector’s haste,

But his fleet horse had too much law, and fetch’d him off too fast.

365 And as in Autumn the black earth is loaden with the storms

That Jove in gluts of rain pours down, being angry with the forms

Of judgment in authoriz’d men, that in their courts maintain,

With violent office, wrested laws, and (fearing Gods, nor men)


Exile all justice; for whose fault, whole fields are overflown,

370 And many valleys cut away with torrents headlong thrown

From neighbour mountains, till the sea receive them roaring in,

And judg’d men’s labours then are vain, plagu’d for their judge’s sin;

So now the foul defaults of some all Troy wore laid upon;

So like those torrents roar’d they back to windy Ilion;

375 And so like tempests blew the horse with ravishing back again

Those hot assailants, all their works at fleet now render’d vain.

Patroclus, when he had dispers’d the foremost phalanxes,

Call’d back his forces to the fleet, and would not let them prease,

As they desir’d, too near the town; but ’twixt the ships and flood,

380 And their steep rampire, his hand steep’d Revenge in seas of blood.

Then Pronous was first that fell beneath his fi’ry lance,

Which strook his bare breast, near his shield. The second Thestor’s chance,

Old Enops’ son, did make himself; who shrinking, and set close

In his fair seat, ev’n with th’ approach Patroclus made, did lose

385 All manly courage, insomuch that from his hands his reins

Fell flowing down, and his right jaw Patroclus’ lance attains,

Strook through his teeth, and there it stuck, and by it to him drew

Dead Thestor to his chariot. It show’d, as when you view

An angler from some prominent rock draw with his line and hook

390 A mighty fish out of the sea; for so the Greek did pluck

The Trojan gaping from his seat, his jaws op’d with the dart;

Which when Patroclus drew, he fell; his life and breast did part.

Then rush’d he on Erylaus; at whom he hurl’d a stone,

Which strake his head so in the midst, that two was made of one;

395 Two ways it fell, cleft through his casque. And then Tlepolemus,

Epaltes, Damastorides, Evippus, Echius,

Ipheas, bold Amphoterus, and valiant Erymas,

And Polymelus, by his sire surnam’d Argeadas,

He heap’d upon the much-fed earth. When Jove’s most worthy son,

400 Divine Sarpedon, saw these friends thus stay’d, and others run,


“O shame! Why fly ye?” then he cried, “Now show ye feet enow.

On, keep your way, myself will meet the man that startles you,

To make me understand his name that flaunts in conquest thus,

And hath so many able knees so soon dissolv’d to us.”

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

And as, on some far-looking 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, and show’d as bitter galls.

410 Jove, turning eyes to this stern fight, his wife and sister calls,

And much mov’d for the Lycian prince, said: “O that to my son

Fate, by this day and man, should cut a thread so nobly spun!

Two minds distract me; if I should now ravish him from fight,

And set him safe in Lycia; or give the Fates their right.”

415 “Austere Saturnius,” she replied, “what unjust words are these?

A mortal, long since mark’d by fate, wouldst thou immortalize?

Do, but by no God be approv’d. Free him, and numbers more,

Sons of Immortals, will live free, that death must taste before

These gates of Ilion; ev’ry God will have his son a God,

420 Or storm extremely. Give him then an honest period

In brave fight by Patroclus’ sword, if he be dear to thee,

And grieves thee for his danger’d life; of which when he is free,

Let Death and Somnus bear him hence, till Lycia’s natural womb

Receive him from his brothers’ hands, and citizens’; a tomb

425 And column rais’d to him. This is the honour of the dead.”

She said, and her speech rul’d his pow’r; but in his safety’s stead,

For sad ostent of his near death, he steep’d his living name

In drops of blood heav’n swet for him, which earth drunk to his fame.

And now, as this high combat grew to this too humble end,

430 Sarpedon’s death had this state more; ’twas usher’d by his friend

And charioteer, brave Thrasymed; whom in his belly’s rim

Patroclus wounded with his lance, and endless ended him.


And then another act of name foreran his princely fate.

His first lance missing, he let fly a second that gave date

435 Of violent death to Pedasus; who, as he joy’d to die

By his so honourable hand, did ev’n in dying neigh.

His ruin startled th’ other steeds, the gears crack’d, and the reins

Strappled his fellows; whose misrule Automedon restrains

By cutting the intangling gears, and so dissund’ring quite

440 The brave slain beast; when both the rest obey’d, and went foreright.

And then the royal combatants fought for the final stroke;

When Lycia’s Gen’ral miss’d again, his high-rais’d jav’lin took

Above his shoulder empty way. But no such speedless flight

Patroclus let his spear perform, that on the breast did light

445 Of his brave foe, where life’s strings close about the solid heart,

Impressing a recureless wound; his knees then left their part,

And let him fall; when like an oak, a poplar, or a pine,

New fell’d by arts-men on the hills, he stretch’d his form divine

Before his horse and chariot. And as a lion leaps

450 Upon a goodly yellow bull, drives all the herd in heaps,

And, under his unconquer’d jaws, the brave beast sighing dies;

So sigh’d Sarpedon underneath this prince of enemies,

Call’d Glaucus to him, his dear friend, and said: “Now, friend, thy hands

Much duty owe to fight and arms; now for my love it stands

455 Thy heart in much hand to approve that war is harmful; now

How active all thy forces are, this one hour’s act must show.

First call our Lycian captains up, look round, and bring up all,

And all exhort to stand, like friends, about Sarpedon’s fall,

And spend thyself thy steel for me; for be assur’d no day

460 Of all thy life, to thy last hour, can clear thy black dismay

In woe and infamy for me, if I be taken hence

Spoil’d of mine arms, and thy renown despoil’d of my defence.


Stand firm then, and confirm thy men.” This said, the bounds of death

Concluded all sight to his eyes, and to his nosthrils breath.

465 Patroclus, though his guard was strong, forc’d way through ev’ry doubt,

Climb’d his high bosom with his foot, and pluck’d his jav’lin out,

And with it drew the film and strings of his yet panting heart;

And last, together with the pile, his princely soul did part.

His horse, spoil’d both of guide and king, thick-snoring and amaz’d,

470 And apt to flight, the Myrmidons made nimbly to, and seiz’d.

Glaucus, to hear his friend ask aid, of him past all the rest,

Though well he knew his wound uncur’d, confusion fill’d his breast

Not to have good in any pow’r, and yet so much good will.

And (laying his hand upon his wound, that pain’d him sharply still,

475 And was by Teucer’s hand set on from their assail’d steep wall,

In keeping hurt from other men) he did on Phœbus call,

The God of med’cines, for his cure: “Thou King of cures,” said he,

“That art perhaps in Lycia with her rich progeny,

Or here in Troy; but any where, since thou hast pow’r to hear,

480 O give a hurt and woeful man, as I am now, thine ear.

This arm sustains a cruel wound, whose pains shoot ev’ry way,

Afflict this shoulder, and this hand, and nothing long can stay

A flux of blood still issuing; nor therefore can I stand

With any enemy in fight, nor hardly make my hand

485 Support my lance; and here lies dead the worthiest of men,

Sarpedon, worthy son to Jove, whose pow’r could yet abstain

From all aid in this deadly need; give thou then aid to me,

O King of all aid to men hurt; assuage th’ extremity

Of this arm’s anguish, give it strength, that by my precedent

490 I may excite my men to blows, and this dead corse prevent

Of further violence.” He pray’d, and kind Apollo heard,

Allay’d his anguish, and his wound of all the black blood clear’d


That vex’d it so, infus’d fresh pow’rs into his weaken’d mind;

And all his spirits flow’d with joy that Phœbus stood inclin’d,

495 In such quick bounty, to his pray’rs. Then, as Sarpedon will’d,

He cast about his greedy eye; and first of all instill’d

To all his captains all the stings, that could inflame their fight

For good Sarpedon. And from them, he stretch’d his speedy pace

T’ Agenor, Hector, Venus’ son, and wise Polydamas;

500 And (only naming Hector) said: “Hector, you now forget

Your poor auxiliary friends, that in your toils have swet

Their friendless souls out far from home. Sarpedon, that sustain’d

With justice, and his virtues all, broad Lycia, hath not gain’d

The like guard for his person here; for yonder dead he lies

505 Beneath the great Patroclus’ lance. But come, let your supplies,

Good friends, stand near him. O disdain to see his corse defil’d

With Grecian fury; and his arms, by their oppressions spoil’d.

These Myrmidons are come enrag’d, that such a mighty boot

Of Greeks Troy’s darts have made at fleet.” This said, from head to foot

510 Grief strook their pow’rs past patience, and not to be restrain’d,

To hear news of Sarpedon’s death; who, though he appertain’d

To other cities, yet to theirs he was the very fort,

And led a mighty people there, of all whose better sort

Himself was best. This made them run in flames upon the foe;

515 The first man Hector, to whose heart Sarpedon’s death did go.

Patroclus stirr’d the Grecian spirits; and first th’ Ajaces, thus:

“Now, brothers, be it dear to you, to fight and succour us,

As ever heretofore ye did, with men first excellent.

The man lies slain that first did scale, and raze the battlement

520 That crown’d our wall, the Lycian prince. But if we now shall add

Force to his corse, and spoil his arms, a prise may more be had

Of many great ones, that for him will put on to the death.”

To this work these were prompt enough; and each side ordereth

Those phalanxes that most had rate of resolutions;

525 The Trojans and the Lycian pow’rs; the Greeks and Myrmidons.


These ran together for the corse, and clos’d with horrid cries,

Their armours thund’ring with the claps laid on about the prise.

And Jove, about th’ impetuous broil, pernicious night pour’d out,

As long as for his lovéd son, pernicious Labour fought.

530 The first of Troy the first Greeks foil’d; when, not the last indeed

Amongst the Myrmidons, was slain, the great Agacleus’ seed,

Divine Epigeus, that before had exercis’d command

In fair Budeïus; but because he laid a bloody hand

On his own sister’s valiant son, to Peleus and his queen

535 He came for pardon, and obtain’d; his slaughter being the mean

He came to Troy, and so to this. He ventur’d ev’n to touch

The princely carcass; when a stone did more to him by much,

Sent out of able Hector’s hand; it cut his skull in twain,

And strook him dead. Patroclus, griev’d to see his friend so slain,

540 Before the foremost thrust himself. And as a falcon frays

A flock of stares or caddesses; such fear brought his assays

Amongst the Trojans and their friends; and, angry at the heart,

As well as griev’d, for him so slain, another stony dart

As good as Hector’s he let fly, that dusted in the neck

545 Of Sthenelaus, thrust his head to earth first, and did break

The nerves in sunder with his fall; off fell the Trojans too,

Ev’n Hector’s self, and all as far as any man can throw

(Provok’d for games, or in the wars to shed an enemy’s soul)

A light long dart. The first that turn’d, was he that did control

550 The targeteers of Lycia, prince Glaucus; who to hell

Sent Bathyclæus, Chalcon’s son; he did in Hellas dwell,

And shin’d for wealth and happiness amongst the Myrmidons;

His bosom’s midst the jav’lin strook, his fall gat earth with groans.

The Greeks griev’d, and the Trojans joy’d, for so renowm’d a man;

555 About whom stood the Grecians firm. And then the death began


On Troy’s side by Meriones; he slew one great in war,

Laogonus, Onetor’s son, the priest of Jupiter,

Created in th’ Idæan hill. Betwixt his jaw and ear

The dart stuck fast, and loos’d his soul; sad mists of hate and fear

560 Invading him. Anchises’ son despatch’d a brazen lance

At bold Meriones; and hop’d to make an equal chance

On him with bold Laogonus, though under his broad shield

He lay so close. But he discern’d, and made his body yield

So low, that over him it flew, and trembling took the ground,

565 With which Mars made it quench his thirst; and since the head could wound

No better body, and yet thrown from ne’er the worse a hand,

It turn’d from earth, and look’d awry. Æneas let it stand,

Much angry at the vain event, and told Meriones

He scap’d but hardly, nor had cause to hope for such success

570 Another time, though well he knew his dancing faculty,

By whose agility he scap’d; for, had his dart gone by

With any least touch, instantly he had been ever slain.

He answer’d: “Though thy strength be good, it cannot render vain

The strength of others with thy jests; nor art thou so divine,

575 But when my lance shall touch at thee, with equal speed to thine,

Death will share with it thy life’s pow’rs; thy confidence can shun

No more than mine what his right claims.” Menœtius’ noble son

Rebuk’d Meriones, and said: “What need’st thou use this speech?

Nor thy strength is approv’d with words, good friend, nor can we reach

580 The body, nor make th’ enemy yield, with these our counterbraves.

We must enforce the binding earth, to hold them in her graves.

If you will war, fight. Will you speak? Give counsel. Counsel, blows,

Are th’ ends of wars and words. Talk here, the time in vain bestows.”

He said, and led; and, nothing less for any thing he said,

585 (His speech being season’d with such right) the worthy seconded.

And then, as in a sounding vale, near neighbour to a hill,

Wood-fellers make a far-heard noise, with chopping, chopping still,


And laying on, on blocks and trees; so they on men laid load,

And beat like noises into air, both as they strook and trode.

590 But, past their noise, so full of blood, of dust, of darts, lay smit

Divine Sarpedon, that a man must have an excellent wit

That could but know him, and might fail, so from his utmost head,

Ev’n to the low plants of his feet, his form was alteréd.

All thrusting near it ev’ry way, as thick as flies in spring,

595 That in a sheep-cote, when new milk assembles them, make wing,

And buzz about the top-full pails. Nor ever was the eye

Of Jove averted from the fight; he view’d, thought, ceaselessly

And diversely upon the death of great Achilles’ friend,

If Hector there, to wreak his son, should with his jav’lin end

600 His life, and force away his arms, or still augment the field;

He then concluded that the flight of much more soul should yield

Achilles’ good friend more renown, and that ev’n to their gates

He should drive Hector and his host; and so disanimates

The mind of Hector that he mounts his chariot, and takes Flight

605 Up with him, tempting all to her; affirming his insight

Knew evidently that the beam of Jove’s all-ord’ring scoles

Was then in sinking on their side, surcharg’d with flocks of souls.

Then not the noble Lycians stay’d, but left their slaughter’d lord

Amongst the corses’ common heap; for many more were pour’d

610 About and on him, while Jove’s hand held out the bitter broil.

And now they spoil’d Sarpedon’s arms, and to the ships the spoil

Was sent by Menœtiades. Then Jove thus charg’d the Sun:

“Haste, honour’d Phœbus, let no more Greek violence be done

To my Sarpedon; but his corse of all the sable blood

615 And jav’lins purg’d; then carry him, far hence to some clear flood,

With whose waves wash, and then embalm each thorough-cleanséd limb

With our ambrosia; which perform’d, divine weeds put on him,


And then to those swift mates and twins, sweet Sleep and Death, commit

His princely person, that with speed they both may carry it

620 To wealthy Lycia; where his friends and brothers will embrace,

And tomb it in some monument, as fits a prince’s place.”

Then flew Apollo to the fight, from the Idalian hill,

At all parts putting into act his great Commander’s will;

Drew all the darts, wash’d, balm’d the corse; which, deck’d with ornament,

625 By Sleep and Death, those feather’d twins, he into Lycia sent.

Patroclus then Automedon commands to give his steeds

Large reins, and all way to the chace; so madly he exceeds

The strict commission of his friend; which had he kept had kept

A black death from him. But Jove’s mind hath evermore outstept

630 The mind of man; who both affrights, and takes the victory

From any hardiest hand with ease; which he can justify,

Though he himself commands him fight, as now he puts this chace

In Menœtiades’s mind. How much then weighs the grace,

Patroclus, that Jove gives thee now, in scoles put with thy death,

635 Of all these great and famous men the honourable breath!

Of which Adrestus first he slew, and next Autonous,

Epistora, and Perimus, Pylartes, Elasus,

Swift Menalippus, Molius; all these were overthrown

By him, and all else put in rout; and then proud Ilion

640 Had stoop’d beneath his glorious hand, he rag’d so with his lance,

If Phœbus had not kept the tow’r, and help’d the Ilians,

Sustaining ill thoughts ’gainst the prince. Thrice to the prominence

Of Troy’s steep wall he bravely leap’d; thrice Phœbus thrust him thence,

Objecting his all-dazzling shield, with his resistless hand;

645 But fourthly, when, like one of heav’n, he would have stirr’d his stand,

Apollo threaten’d him, and said: “Cease, it exceeds thy fate,

Forward, Patroclus, to expugn with thy bold lance this state;


Nor under great Achilles’ pow’rs, to thine superior far,

Lies Troy’s grave ruin.” When he spake, Patroclus left that war,

650 Leap’d far back, and his anger shunn’d. Hector detain’d his horse

Within the Scæan port, in doubt to put his personal force

Amongst the rout, and turn their heads, or shun in Troy the storm.

Apollo, seeing his suspense, assum’d the goodly form

Of Hector’s uncle, Asius; the Phrygian Dymas’ son,

655 Who near the deep Sangarius had habitation,

Being brother to the Trojan queen. His shape Apollo took,

And ask’d of Hector, why his spirit so clear the fight forsook?

Affirming ’twas unfit for him, and wish’d his forces were

As much above his, as they mov’d in an inferior sphere.

660 He should, with shame to him, be gone; and so bade drive away

Against Patroclus, to approve, if He that gave them day

Would give the glory of his death to his preferréd lance.

So left he him, and to the light did his bright head advance,

Mix’d with the multitude, and stirr’d foul tumult for the foe.

665 Then Hector bade Cebriones put on; himself let go

All other Greeks within his reach, and only gave command

To front Patroclus. He at him; jump’d down; his strong left hand

A jav’lin held, his right a stone, a marble sharp and such

As his large hand had pow’r to gripe, and gave it strength as much

670 As he could lie to; nor stood long, in fear of that huge man

That made against him, but full on with his huge stone he ran,

Discharg’d, and drave it ’twixt the brows of bold Cebriones.

Nor could the thick bone there prepar’d extenuate so th’ access,

But out it drave his broken eyes, which in the dust fell down,

675 And he div’d after; which conceit of diving took the son

Of old Menœtius, who thus play’d upon the other’s bane.

“O heav’ns! For truth, this Trojan was a passing active man!

With what exceeding ease he dives, as if at work he were

Within the fishy seas! This man alone would furnish cheer


680 For twenty men, though ’twere a storm, to leap out of a sail,

And gather oysters for them all, he does it here as well.

And there are many such in Troy.” Thus jested he so near

His own grave death; and then made in, to spoil the charioteer,

With such a lion’s force and fate, as, often ruining

685 Stalls of fat oxen, gets at length a mortal wound to sting

His soul out of that rav’nous breast, that was so insolent,

And so his life’s bliss proves his bane; so deadly confident

Wert thou, Patroclus, in pursuit of good Cebriones,

To whose defence now Hector leap’d. The opposite address,

690 These masters of the cry in war now made, was of the kind

Of two fierce kings of beasts, oppos’d in strife about a hind

Slain on the forehead of a hill, both sharp and hungry set,

And to the currie never came but like two deaths they met;

Nor these two entertain’d less mind of mutual prejudice

695 About the body, close to which when each had press’d for prise,

Hector the head laid hand upon, which, once grip’d, never could

Be forc’d from him; Patroclus then upon the feet got hold,

And he pinch’d with as sure a nail. So both stood tugging there,

While all the rest made eager fight, and grappled ev’ry where.

700 And as the east and south winds strive, to make a lofty wood

Bow to their greatness, barky elms, wild ashes, beeches, bow’d

Ev’n with the earth, in whose thick arms the mighty vapours lie,

And toss by turns, all, either way, their leaves at random fly,

Boughs murmur, and their bodies crack, and with perpetual din

705 The sylvans falter, and the storms are never to begin;

So rag’d the fight, and all from Flight pluck’d her forgotten wings,

While some still stuck, still new-wing’d shafts flew dancing from their strings,

Huge stones sent after that did shake the shields about the corse,

Who now, in dust’s soft forehead stretch’d, forgat his guiding horse.


710 As long as Phœbus turn’d his wheels about the midst of heaven,

So long the touch of either’s darts the falls of both made even;

But, when his wain drew near the west, the Greeks past measure were

The abler soldiers, and so swept the Trojan tumult clear

From off the body, out of which they drew the hurl’d-in darts,

715 And from his shoulders stripp’d his arms; and then to more such parts

Patroclus turn’d his striving thoughts, to do the Trojans ill.

Thrice, like the God of war, he charg’d, his voice as horrible,

And thrice-nine those three charges slew; but in the fourth assay,

O then, Patroclus, show’d thy last; the dreadful Sun made way

720 Against that onset; yet the prince discern’d no Deity,

He kept the press so, and, besides, obscur’d his glorious eye

With such felt darkness. At his back, he made a sudden stand,

And ’twixt his neck and shoulders laid down-right with either hand

A blow so weighty, that his eyes a giddy darkness took,

725 And from his head his three-plum’d helm the bounding violence shook,

That rung beneath his horses’ hooves, and, like a water-spout,

Was crush’d together with the fall; the plumes that set it out,

All spatter’d with black blood and dust; when ever heretofore

It was a capital offence to have or dust or gore

730 Defile a triple-feather’d helm, but on the head divine

And youthful temples of their prince it us’d, untouch’d, to shine.

Yet now Jove gave it Hector’s hands, the other’s death was near.

Besides whose lost and filéd helm his huge long weighty spear,

Well-bound with iron, in his hand was shiver’d, and his shield

735 Fell from his shoulders to his feet, the bawdrick strewing the field;

His curets left him, like the rest. And all this only done

By great Apollo. Then his mind took in confusion,

The vig’rous knittings of his joints dissolv’d; and, thus dismay’d,

A Dardan, one of Panthus’ sons, and one that overlaid

740 All Trojans of his place with darts, swift footing, skill, and force

In noble horsemanship, and one that tumbled from their horse,


One after other, twenty men, and when he did but learn

The art of war; nay when he first did in the field discern

A horse and chariot of his guide; this man, with all these parts,

745 (His name Euphorbus) comes behind, and ’twixt the shoulders darts

Forlorn Patroclus, who yet liv’d, and th’ other (getting forth

His jav’lin) took him to his strength; nor durst he stand the worth

Of thee, Patroclus, though disarm’d, who yet (discomfited

By Phœbus’ and Euphorbus’ wound) the red heap of the dead

750 He now too late shunn’d, and retir’d. When Hector saw him yield,

And knew he yielded with a wound, he scour’d the arméd field,

Came close up to him, and both sides strook quite through with his lance.

He fell, and his most weighty fall gave fit tune to his chance;

For which all Greece extremely mourn’d. And as a mighty strife

755 About a little fount begins, and riseth to the life

Of some fell boar resolv’d to drink; when likewise to the spring

A lion comes alike dispos’d, the boar thirsts, and his king,

Both proud, and both will first be serv’d; and then the lion takes

Advantage of his sov’reign strength, and th’ other, fainting, makes

760 Resign his thirst up with his blood; Patroclus, so enforc’d

When he had forc’d so much brave life, was from his own divorc’d.

And thus his great divorcer brav’d: “Patroclus, thy conceit

Gave thee th’ eversion of our Troy, and to thy fleet a freight

Of Trojan ladies, their free lives put all in bands by thee;

765 But (too much prizer of thy self) all these are propp’d by me,

For these have my horse stretch’d their hoofs to this so long a war,

And I (far best of Troy in arms) keep off from Troy as far,

Ev’n to the last beam of my life, their necessary day.

And here, in place of us and ours, on thee shall vultures prey,

770 Poor wretch; nor shall thy mighty friend afford thee any aid,

That gave thy parting much deep charge, and this perhaps he said:

‘Martial Patroclus, turn not face, nor see my fleet before

The curets from great Hector’s breast, all gilded with his gore,


Thou hew’st in pieces.’ If thus vain were his far-stretch’d commands,

775 As vain was thy heart to believe his words lay in thy hands.”

He, languishing, replied: “This proves, thy glory worse than vain,

That when two Gods have giv’n thy hands what their pow’rs did obtain,

(They conqu’ring, and they spoiling me both of my arms and mind,

It being a work of ease for them) thy soul should be so blind

780 To oversee their evident deeds, and take their pow’rs to thee;

When, if the pow’rs of twenty such had dar’d t’ encounter me,

My lance had strew’d earth with them all. Thou only dost obtain

A third place in my death; whom, first, a harmful fate hath slain

Effected by Latona’s son; second, and first of men,

785 Euphorbus. And this one thing more concerns thee; note it then;

Thou shalt not long survive thyself; nay, now death calls for thee,

And violent fate; Achilles’ lance shall make this good for me.”

Thus death join’d to his words his end; his soul took instant wing,

And to the house that hath no lights descended, sorrowing

790 For his sad fate, to leave him young, and in his ablest age.

He dead, yet Hector ask’d him why, in that prophetic rage,

He so forespake him, when none knew but great Achilles might

Prevent his death, and on his lance receive his latest light?

Thus setting on his side his foot, he drew out of his wound

795 His brazen lance, and upwards cast the body on the ground;

When quickly, while the dart was hot, he charg’d Automedon,

Divine guide of Achilles’ steeds, in great contention

To seize him too; but his so swift and deathless horse, that fetch’d

Their gift to Peleus from the Gods, soon rapt him from his reach.

Linenotes for Book XVI

10: Solicited—vexed, made anxious (Latin).

26: Virtuous—valourous.

50: Libertine.—One admitted to the freedom of the city (Latin).

57: Repeat— repetition, repeated tale.

74: Ajourn—or as we now spell it, “adjourn.”

80: “Jupiter called the God of sounds, for the chief sound his thunder.” —Chapman.

97: The second folio and Dr. Taylor read “those darts.”

113: Poll off—strip off. These are the two best examples of the word I have met with. Dr. Taylor prints “pull’d off” in line 112, following the error of the second folio.

143: “A simile most lively expressive.” —Chapman.

145: Currie—quarry. Infrà, 693.

160: Discoloured—divers-coloured, variegated.

179: Feeing.—Dr. Taylor has incorrectly printed “seeing.”

182: Natural.—See Bk. XIII. 166.

220: Thrumbs—tufts. Properly the tufted part beyond the tie at the end of the warp in weaving. Hence any collection of tufts or tassels. The word is common.

221: Unvalued.—See Bk. I. 12.

246: Utter.—Dr. Taylor has unnecessarily printed “outer.”

288: Cheer the sight.—Thus the first folio; the second and Dr. Taylor have “clear the sight.”

291: Inclusions—shut in as they were by the enemy.

303: Maris.—Dr. Taylor, following the error of the second folio, prints “Mars.”

314: Seel.—To seel, especially applied to closing the eyes of hawks, or doves, by passing a thread through the lids; hence to close the eyes in any way. Nares has many excellent examples.

437: Ruin—fall (Latin).

438: Strappled—entangled.

464: Nosthrils.—The original and etymological spelling of nostril is nosethril, and the word is generally in that form in old writers. Nose and thirl (Anglo-Sax.) a perforation.

541: Caddesses—daws. Caddow in Halliwell. “In some places it is called a Caddesse or Choff.” —Randle Holme Academie of Arm. Bk. II. cap. XI. p. 248.

544: Dusted.—See Bk. XXI. 377.

606: Scoles—scales.

619: That with speed.—The second folio and Taylor, “and with speed.”

625: See Commentary.

644: His all-dazzling.—The second folio has, “objecting all his dazzling shield,” and so Dr. Taylor.

661: He that gave them day—Apollo.

681: As well.—The second folio has “all well.”

693: Currie.—Suprà, line 145.

733: Filed—defiled.

792: Forespake—predict, foreshow, specially foretell coming death.

“My mother was half a witch; never anything that she forespake, but came to pass.”

Beaum. and Fletcher. Hon. Man’s Fort.


That my bad tongue, by their bad usage made so,

Forespeaks their cattle, doth bewitch their corn.”

Rowley, Decker and Ford’s Witch of Edmonton.

793: Prevent—anticipate.




Iliad XVI.97

Αἲ γὰρ Ζεῦ τε πάτερ, &c. These last verses in the original by many austere ancients have suffered expunction, as being unworthy the mouth of an hero, because he seems to make such a wish in them. Which is as poorly conceited of the expungers* as the rest of the places in Homer that have groaned or laughed under their castigations, Achilles not out of his heart (which any true eye may see) wishing it, but out of a frolic and delightsome humour, being merry with his friend in private,* which the verse following in part expresseth:

Ὥς οἰ μὲν τοιαῦτα πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀγόρευον.

Sic hi quidem talia inter se loquebantur. Inter se intimating the meaning aforesaid. But our divine master’s most ingenious imitating the life of things (which is the soul of a poem) is never respected nor perceived by his interpreters, only standing pedantically on the grammar and words, utterly ignorant of the sense, and grace of him.

Iliad XVI.119

111. Γνῶ δ’ Αἴας κατὰ θυμὸν, &c. Ἔργα θεῶν, &c. Agnovit autem Ajax in animo inculpato opera deorum, ῥίγησέν τε, exhorruitque. Another most ingenious and spriteful imitation of the life and ridiculous humour of Ajax I must needs note here, because it flies all his translators and interpreters, who take it merely for serious, when it is apparently scoptical and ridiculous, with which our author would delight his understanding reader, and mix mirth with matter. He saith, that Hector cut off the head of Ajax’ lance, which he seeing would needs affect a kind of prophetic wisdom (with which he is never charged in Homer) II.105 and imagined strongly the cutting off his lance’s head cast a figure thus deep; that as Hector cut off that, Jove would utterly cut off the heads of their counsels to that fight, and give the Trojans victory. Which to take seriously and gravely is most dull, and, as I may say, Aiantical; the voice κείρει (which they expound præcidebat, and indeed is tondebat, κείρω signifying most properly tondeo) helping well to decipher the irony. But to understand gravely that the cutting off his lance’s head argued Jove’s intent to cut off their counsels, and to allow the wit of Ajax for his so far-fetch’d apprehension, I suppose no man can make less than idle, and witless. A plain continuance, therefore, it is of Ajax’ humour, whom in divers other places he plays upon, as in likening him, in the Eleventh Book, to a mill ass, and elsewhere to be noted hereafter.

Iliad XVI.672

625. Ὕπνῳ καὶ Θανάτῳ διδυμάοσιν. By Sleep and Death (which he ingeniously calleth twins) was the body of Jove’s son, Sarpedon, taken from the fight, and borne to Lycia. On which place Eustathius doubts whether truly and indeed it was transferred to Lycia, and he makes the cause of his doubt this: That Death and Sleep are inania quædam, things empty and void; οὐ στερέμνια πρόσωπα, not solid or firm persons, ἀλλ’ ἀνυπόστατα πάθη, but quæ nihil ferre possunt. And, therefore, he thought there was κενήριον quoddam, that is, some void or empty sepulchre or monument prepared for that hero in Lycia, &c., or else makes another strange translation of it by wonder; which Spondanus thinks to have happened truly, but rather would interpret it merely and nakedly a poetical fiction. His reason I will forbear to utter, because it is unworthy of him. But would not a man wonder that our great and grave Eustathius would doubt whether Sleep and Death carried Sarpedon’s person, personally, to Lycia; or not rather make no question of the contrary? Homer’s, nor any poet’s, end in such poetical relations, being to affirm the truth of things personally done; but to please with the truth of their matchless wits, and some worthy doctrine conveyed in it. Nor would Homer have any one believe the personal transportance of Sarpedon by Sleep and Death, II.106 but only varieth and graceth his poem with these prosopopeias, and delivers us this most ingenious and grave doctrine in it: That the hero’s body, for which both those mighty hosts so mightily contended, Sleep and Death (those same quædam inania) took from all their personal and solid forces. Wherein he would further note to us, that, from all the bitterest and deadliest conflicts and tyrannies of the world, Sleep and Death, when their worst is done, deliver and transfer men; a little mocking withal the vehement and greedy prosecutions of tyrants and soldiers against, or for that, which two such deedless poor things take from all their empery. And yet, against Eustathius’ manner of slighting their powers, what is there, of all things belonging to man, so powerful over him as Death and Sleep? And why may not our Homer (whose words I hold with Spondanus ought to be an undisputable deed and authority with us) as well personate Sleep and Death, as all men besides personate Love, Anger, Sloth, &c.? Thus only where the sense and soul of my most worthily reverenced author is abused, or not seen, I still insist, and glean these few poor corn ears after all other men’s harvests.

* Expungers.—The second folio has “expugners;” and so Taylor.

In private.—These words are wanting in the second folio, and Taylor.


Corrections for Book XVI

230 Divine Pelasgicus, that dwell’st
text has dwell’est




The Argument.

A dreadful fight about Patroclus’ corse;

Euphorbus slain by Menelaus’ force;

Hector in th’ armour of Æacides;

Antilochus relating the decease

Of slain Patroclus to fair Thetis’ son;

The body from the striving Trojans won:

Th’ Ajaces making good the after field;

Make all the subject that this book doth yield.

Another Argument.

In Rho the vent’rous hosts maintain

A slaught’rous conflict for the slain.*


or could his slaughter rest conceal’d from Menelaus’ ear;

Who flew amongst the foremost fights, and with his targe and spear

Circled the body, as much griev’d, and with as tender heed

To keep it theirs, as any dam about her first-born seed,


5 Not proving what the pain of birth would make the love before.

Nor to pursue his first attaint Euphorbus’ spirit forbore,

But, seeing Menelaus chief in rescue of the dead,

Assay’d him thus: “Atrides, cease, and leave the slaughteréd

With his embru’d spoil to the man, that first, of all our state,

10 And famous succours, in fair fight, made passage to his fate;

And therefore suffer me to wear the good name I have won

Amongst the Trojans, lest thy life repay what his hath done.”

“O Jupiter,” said he, incens’d, “thou art no honest man

To boast so past thy pow’r to do. Not any lion can,

15 Nor spotted lëopard, nor boar, whose mind is mightiest

In pouring fury from his strength, advance so proud a crest

As Panthus’ fighting progeny. But Hyperenor’s pride,

That joy’d so little time his youth, when he so vilified

My force in arms, and call’d me worst of all our chivalry,

20 And stood my worst, might teach ye all to shun this surcuidrie;

I think he came not safely home, to tell his wife his acts.

Nor less right of thy insolence my equal fate exacts,

And will obtain me, if thou stay’st. Retire then, take advice:

A fool sees nought before ’tis done, and still too late is wise.”

25 This mov’d not him but to the worse, since it renew’d the sting

That his slain brother shot in him, remember’d by the king,

To whom he answer’d: “Thou shalt pay, for all the pains endur’d

By that slain brother, all the wounds sustain’d for him, recur’d

With one made in thy heart by me. ’Tis true thou mad’st his wife

30 A heavy widow, when her joys of wedlock scarce had life,


And hurt’st our parents with his grief; all which thou gloriest in,

Forespeaking so thy death, that now their grief’s end shall begin.

To Panthus, and the snowy hand of Phrontes, I will bring

Those arms, and that proud head of thine. And this laborious thing

35 Shall ask no long time to perform. Nor be my words alone,

But their performance; Strength, and Fight, and Terror thus sets on.”

This said, he strook his all-round shield; nor shrunk that, but his lance

That turn’d head in it. Then the king assay’d the second chance;

First praying to the King of Gods; and his dart entry got

40 (The force much driving back his foe) in low part of his throat,

And ran his neck through. Then fell pride, and he; and all with gore

His locks, that like the Graces were, and which he ever wore

In gold and silver ribands wrapp’d, were piteously wet.

And when alone in some choice place, a husbandman hath set

45 The young plant of an olive tree, whose root being ever fed

With plenty of delicious springs, his branches bravely spread,

And all his fresh and lovely head, grown curl’d with snowy flow’rs,

That dance and flourish with the winds, that are of gentlest pow’rs;

But when a whirlwind, got aloft, stoops with a sudden gale,

50 Tears from his head his tender curls, and tosseth therewithal

His fix’d root from his hollow mines; it well presents the force

Of Sparta’s king; and so the plant, Euphorbus and his corse.

He slain, the king stripp’d off his arms; and with their worthy prise,

All fearing him, had clearly pass’d, if heaven’s fair Eye of eyes

55 Had not, in envy of his acts, to his encounter stirr’d

The Mars-like Hector; to whose pow’rs the rescue he preferred

Of those fair arms, and took the shape of Mentas, colonel

Of all the Cicones that near the Thracian Hebrus dwell.

Like him, he thus puts forth his voice: “Hector, thou scour’st the field

60 In headstrong pursuit of those horse, that hardly are compell’d


To take the draught of chariots, by any mortal’s hand;

The great grandchild of Æacus hath only their command,

Whom an immortal mother bore. While thou attend’st on these,

The young Atrides, in defence of Menœtiades,

65 Hath slain Euphorbus.” Thus the God took troop with men again;

And Hector, heartily perplex’d, look’d round, and saw the slain

Still shedding rivers from his wound; and then took envious view

Of brave Atrides with his spoil; in way to whom he flew

Like one of Vulcan’s quenchless flames. Atrides heard the cry

70 That ever usher’d him, and sigh’d, and said: “O me, if I

Should leave these goodly arms, and him, that here lies dead for me,

I fear I should offend the Greeks; if I should stay and be

Alone with Hector and his men, I may be compass’d in,

Some sleight or other they may use, many may quickly win

75 Their wills of one, and all Troy comes ever where Hector leads

But why, dear mind, dost thou thus talk? When men dare set their heads

Against the Gods, as sure they do that fight with men they love,

Straight one or other plague ensues. It cannot therefore move

The grudge of any Greek that sees I yield to Hector, he

80 Still fighting with a spirit from heav’n. And yet if I could see

Brave Ajax, he and I would stand, though ’gainst a God; and sure

’Tis best I seek him, and then see if we two can procure

This corse’s freedom through all these. A little then let rest

The body, and my mind be still. Of two bads choose the best.”

85 In this discourse, the troops of Troy were in with him, and he

Made such a lion-like retreat, as when the herdsmen see

The royal savage, and come on, with men, dogs, cries, and spears,

To clear their hornéd stall, and then the kingly heart he bears


(With all his high disdain) falls off; so from this odds of aid

90 The golden-hair’d Atrides fled, and in his strength display’d

Upon his left hand him he wish’d, extremely busiéd

About encouraging his men, to whom an extreme dread

Apollo had infus’d. The king reach’d Ajax instantly,

And said: “Come, friend, let us two haste, and from the tyranny

95 Of Hector free Patroclus’ corse.” He straight and gladly went;

And then was Hector haling off the body, with intent

To spoil the shoulders of the dead, and give the dogs the rest,

His arms he having pris’d before; when Ajax brought his breast

To bar all further spoil. With that he had, sure Hector thought

100 ’Twas best to satisfy his spleen; which temper Ajax wrought

With his mere sight, and Hector fled. The arms he sent to Troy,

To make his citizens admire, and pray Jove send him joy.

Then Ajax gathered to the corse, and hid it with his targe,

There setting down as sure a foot, as, in the tender charge

105 Of his lov’d whelps, a lion doth; two hundred hunters near

To give him onset, their more force makes him the more austere,

Drowns all their clamours in his roars, darts, dogs, doth all depise,

And lets his rough brows down so low, they cover all his eyes;

So Ajax look’d, and stood, and stay’d for great Priamides.

110 When Glaucus Hippolochides saw Ajax thus depress

The spirit of Hector, thus he chid: “O goodly man at arms,

In fight a Paris, why should fame make thee fort ’gainst our harms,

Being such a fugitive? Now mark, how well thy boasts defend

Thy city only with her own. Be sure it shall descend

115 To that proof wholly. Not a man of any Lycian rank

Shall strike one stroke more for thy town; for no man gets a thank

Should he eternally fight here, nor any guard of thee.

How wilt thou, worthless that thou art, keep off an enemy


From our poor soldiers, when their prince, Sarpedon, guest and friend

120 To thee, and most deservedly, thou flew’st from in his end,

And left’st to all the lust of Greece? O Gods, a man that was

(In life) so huge a good to Troy, and to thee such a grace,

(In death) not kept by thee from dogs! If my friends will do well,

We’ll take our shoulders from your walls, and let all sink to hell;

125 As all will, were our faces turn’d. Did such a spirit breathe

In all you Trojans, as becomes all men that fight beneath

Their country’s standard, you would see, that such as prop your cause

With like exposure of their lives, have all the honour’d laws

Of such a dear confederacy kept to them to a thread,

130 As now ye might reprise the arms Sarpedon forfeited

By forfeit of your rights to him, would you but lend your hands,

And force Patroclus to your Troy. Ye know how dear he stands

In his love, that of all the Greeks is, for himself, far best,

And leads the best near-fighting men; and therefore would at least

135 Redeem Sarpedon’s arms; nay him, whom you have likewise lost.

This body drawn to Ilion would after draw and cost

A greater ransom if you pleas’d; but Ajax startles you;

’Tis his breast bars this right to us; his looks are darts enow

To mix great Hector with his men. And not to blame ye are,

140 You choose foes underneath your strengths, Ajax exceeds ye far.”

Hector look’d passing sour at this, and answer’d: “Why dar’st thou,

So under, talk above me so? O friend, I thought till now

Thy wisdom was superior to all th’ inhabitants

Of gleby Lycia; but now impute apparent wants

145 To that discretion thy words show, to say I lost my ground

For Ajax’ greatness. Nor fear I the field in combats drown’d,

Nor force of chariots, but I fear a Pow’r much better seen

In right of all war than all we. That God, that holds between

Our victory and us his shield, lets conquest come and go

150 At his free pleasure, and with fear converts her changes so


Upon the strongest. Men must fight when his just spirit impels,

Not their vain glories. But come on, make thy steps parallels

To these of mine, and then be judge, how deep the work will draw.

If then I spend the day in shifts, or thou canst give such law

155 To thy detractive speeches then, or if the Grecian host

Holds any that in pride of strength holds up his spirit most,

Whom, for the carriage of this prince, that thou enforcest so,

I make not stoop in his defence. You, friends, ye hear and know

How much it fits ye to make good this Grecian I have slain,

160 For ransom of Jove’s son, our friend. Play then the worthy men,

Till I indue Achilles’ arms.” This said, he left the fight,

And call’d back those that bore the arms, not yet without his sight,

In convoy of them towards Troy. For them he chang’d his own,

Remov’d from where it rainéd tears, and sent them back to town.

165 Then put he on th’ eternal arms, that the Celestial States,

Gave Peleus; Peleus, being old, their use appropriates

To his Achilles, that, like him, forsook them not for age.

When He, whose empire is in clouds, saw Hector bent to wage

War in divine Achilles’ arms, he shook his head, and said:

170 “Poor wretch, thy thoughts are far from death, though he so near hath laid

His ambush for thee. Thou putt’st on those arms, as braving him

Whom others fear; hast slain his friend, and from his youthful limb

Torn rudely off his heav’nly arms, himself being gentle, kind,

And valiant. Equal measure then, thy life in youth must find.

175 Yet since the justice is so strict, that not Andromache,

In thy denied return from fight, must ever take of thee

Those arms, in glory of thy acts; thou shalt have that frail blaze

Of excellence that neighbours death, a strength ev’n to amaze.”

To this His sable brows did bow; and he made fit his limb

180 To those great arms, to fill which up the War-god enter’d him


Austere and terrible, his joints and ev’ry part extends

With strength and fortitude; and thus to his admiring friends

High Clamour brought him. He so shin’d, that all could think no less

But he resembled ev’ry way great-soul’d Æacides.

185 Then ev’ry way he scour’d the field, his captains calling on;

Asteropæus, Eunomus, that foresaw all things done,

Glaucus, and Medon, Desinor, and strong Thersilochus,

Phorcis, and Mesthles, Chromius, and great Hippothous;

To all these, and their populous troops, these his excitements were:

190 “Hear us, innumerable friends, near-bord’ring nations, hear.

We have not call’d you from our towns, to fill our idle eye

With number of so many men (no such vain empery

Did ever joy us) but to fight; and of our Trojan wives,

With all their children, manfully to save the innocent lives.

195 In whose cares we draw all our towns of aiding soldiers dry,

With gifts, guards, victual, all things fit; and hearten their supply

With all like rights; and therefore now let all sides set down this,

Or live, or perish; this of war the special secret is.

In which most resolute design, whoever bears to town

200 Patroclus, laid dead to his hand, by winning the renown

Of Ajax’ slaughter, the half-spoil we wholly will impart

To his free use, and to ourself the other half convert;

And so the glory shall be shar’d, ourself will have no more

Then he shall shine in.” This drew all to bring abroad their store

205 Before the body. Ev’ry man had hope it would be his,

And forc’d from Ajax. Silly fools, Ajax prevented this

By raising rampires to his friend with half their carcasses.

And yet his humour was to roar, and fear, and now no less

To startle Sparta’s king, to whom he cried out: “O my friend!

210 O Menelaus! Now no hope to get off; here’s the end


Of all our labours. Not so much I fear to lose the corse

(For that’s sure gone, the fowls of Troy and dogs will quickly force

That piece-meal) as I fear my head, and thine, O Atreus’ son.

Hector a cloud brings will hide all. Instant destructión,

215 Grievous and heavy, comes. O call our peers to aid us; fly.”

He hasted, and us’d all his voice, sent far and near his cry:

“O princes, chief lights of the Greeks, and you that publicly

Eat with our General and me, all men of charge, O know

Jove gives both grace and dignity to any that will show

220 Good minds for only good itself, though presently the eye

Of him that rules discern him not. ’Tis hard for me t’espy,

Through all this smoke of burning fight, each captain in his place,

And call assistance to our need. Be then each other’s grace,

And freely follow each his next. Disdain to let the joy

225 Of great Æacides be forc’d to feed the beasts of Troy.”

His voice was first heard and obey’d by swift Oïliades;

Idomenëus and his mate, renown’d Meriones,

Were seconds to Oïleus’ son; but, of the rest, whose mind

Can lay upon his voice the names, that after these combin’d

230 In setting up this fight on end? The Trojans first gave on.

And as into the sea’s vast mouth, when mighty rivers run,

Their billows and the sea resound, and all the utter shore

Rebellows in her angry shocks the sea’s repulsive roar;

With such sounds gave the Trojans charge, so was their charge repress’d.

235 One mind fill’d all Greeks, good brass shields close couch’d to ev’ry breast,

And on their bright helms Jove pour’d down a mighty deal of night,

To hide Patroclus; whom alive, and when he was the knight

Of that grandchild of Æacus, Saturnius did not hate,

Nor dead would see him dealt to dogs, and so did instigate


240 His fellows to his worthy guard. At first the Trojans drave

The black-ey’d Grecians from the corse; but not a blow they gave

That came at death. Awhile they hung about the body’s heels,

The Greeks quite gone. But all that while, did Ajax whet the steels

Of all his forces, that cut back way to the corse again.

245 Brave Ajax (that for form and fact, pass’d all that did maintain

The Grecian fame, next Thetis’ son) now flew before the first.

And as a sort of dogs and youths are by a boar disperst

About a mountain; so fled these from mighty Ajax, all

That stood in conflict for the corse, who thought no chance could fall

250 Betwixt them and the prise at Troy; for bold Hippothous,

Lethus’ Pelasgus’ famous son, was so adventurous

That he would stand to bore the corse about the ancle-bone,

Where all the nervy fibres meet and ligaments in one,

That make the motion of those parts; through which he did convey

255 The thong or bawdric of his shield, and so was drawing away

All thanks from Hector and his friends; but in their stead he drew

An ill that no man could avert; for Telamonius threw

A lance that strook quite through his helm, his brain came leaping out;

Down fell Letheides, and with him the body’s hoisted foot.

260 Far from Larissa’s soil he fell; a little time allow’d

To his industrious spirits to quit the benefits bestow’d

By his kind parents. But his wreak Priamides assay’d,

And threw at Ajax; but his dart, discover’d, pass’d, and stay’d

At Schedius, son of Iphitus, a man of ablest hand

265 Of all the strong Phocensians, and liv’d with great command

In Panopëus. The fell dart fell through his channel-bone,

Pierc’d through his shoulder’s upper part, and set his spirit gone.

When after his another flew, the same hand giving wing

To martial Phorcis’ startled soul, that was the after spring

270 Of Phænops’ seed. The jav’lin strook his curets through, and tore

The bowels from the belly’s midst. His fall made those before


Give back a little, Hector’s self enforc’d to turn his face.

And then the Greeks bestow’d their shouts, took vantage of the chace,

Drew off, and spoil’d Hippothous and Phorcis of their arms.

275 And then ascended Ilion had shaken with alarms,

Discov’ring th’ impotence of Troy, ev’n past the will of Jove,

And by the proper force of Greece, had Phœbus fail’d to move

Æneas in similitude of Periphas (the son

Of grave Epytes) king at arms, and had good service done

280 To old Anchises, being wise, and ev’n with him in years.

But, like this man, the far-seen God to Venus’ son appears,

And ask’d him how he would maintain steep Ilion in her height,

In spite of Gods, as he presum’d; when men approv’d so slight

All his presumptions, and all theirs that puff’d him with that pride,

285 Believing in their proper strengths, and gen’rally supplied

With such unfrighted multitudes? But he well knew that Jove,

Besides their self conceits, sustain’d their forces with more love

Than theirs of Greece; and yet all that lack’d pow’r to hearten them.

Æneas knew the God, and said: “It was a shame extreme,

290 That those of Greece should beat them so, and by their cowardice,

Not want of man’s aid nor the Gods’; and this before his eyes

A Deity stood ev’n now and vouch’d, affirming Jove their aid;

And so bade Hector and the rest, to whom all this he said,

Turn head, and not in that quick ease part with the corse to Greece.”

295 This said, before them all he flew, and all as of a piece

Against the Greeks flew. Venus’ son Leocritus did end,

Son of Arisbas, and had place of Lycomedes’ friend;

Whose fall he friendly pitiéd, and, in revenge, bestow’d

A lance that Apisaon strook, so sore that straight he strow’d

300 The dusty centre, it did stick in that congealéd blood

That forms the liver. Second man he was of all that stood

In name for arms amongst the troop that from Pæonia came,

Asteropæus being the first; who was in ruth the same


That Lycomedes was; like whom, he put forth for the wreak

305 Of his slain friend; but wrought it not, because he could not break

That bulwark made of Grecian shields, and bristled wood of spears,

Combin’d about the body slain. Amongst whom Ajax bears

The greatest labour, ev’ry way exhorting to abide,

And no man fly the corse a foot, nor break their ranks in pride

310 Of any foremost daring spirit, but each foot hold his stand,

And use the closest fight they could. And this was the command

Of mighty Ajax; which observ’d, they steep’d the earth in blood.

The Trojans and their friends fell thick. Nor all the Grecians stood

(Though far the fewer suffer’d fate) for ever they had care

315 To shun confusion, and the toil that still oppresseth there.

So set they all the field on fire; with which you would have thought

The sun and moon had been put out, in such a smoke they fought

About the person of the prince. But all the field beside

Fought underneath a lightsome heav’n; the sun was in his pride,

320 And such expansure of his beams he thrust out of his throne,

That not a vapour durst appear in all that region,

No, not upon the highest hill. There fought they still, and breath’d,

Shunn’d danger, cast their darts aloof, and not a sword unsheath’d.

The other plied it, and the war and night plied them as well,

325 The cruel steel afflicting all; the strongest did not dwell

Unhurt within their iron roofs. Two men of special name,

Antilochus and Thrasymed, were yet unserv’d by Fame

With notice of Patroclus’ death. They thought him still alive

In foremost tumult, and might well, for (seeing their fellows thrive

330 In no more comfortable sort than light and death would yield)

They fought apart; for so their sire, old Nestor, strictly will’d,

Enjoining fight more from the fleet. War here increas’d his heat

The whole day long, continually the labour and the sweat


The knees, calves, feet, hands, faces, smear’d, of men that Mars applied

335 About the good Achilles’ friend. And as a huge ox-hide

A currier gives amongst his men, to supple and extend

With oil till it be drunk withall; they tug, stretch out, and spend

Their oil and liquor lib’rally, and chafe the leather so

That out they make a vapour breathe, and in their oil doth go,

340 A number of them set on work, and in an orb they pull,

That all ways all parts of the hide they may extend at full;

So here and there did both parts hale the corse in little place,

And wrought it all ways with their sweat; the Trojans hop’d for grace

To make it reach to Ilion, the Grecians to their fleet,

345 A cruel tumult they stirr’d up, and such as should Mars see’t

(That horrid hurrier of men) or She that betters him,

Minerva, never so incens’d, they could not disesteem.

So baneful a contentión did Jove that day extend

Of men and horse about the slain. Of whom his god-like friend

350 Had no instruction, so far off, and underneath the wall

Of Troy, that conflict was maintain’d; which was not thought at all

By great Achilles, since he charg’d, that having set his foot

Upon the ports, he would retire, well knowing Troy no boot

For his assaults without himself, since not by him as well

355 He knew it was to be subdu’d. His mother oft would tell

The mind of mighty Jove therein, oft hearing it in heav’n;

But of that great ill to his friend was no instruction giv’n

By careful Thetis. By degrees must ill events be known.

The foes cleft one to other still, about the overthrown.

360 His death with death infected both. Ev’n private Greeks would say

Either to other: “’Twere a shame, for us to go our way,

And let the Trojans bear to Troy the praise of such a prise!

Which, let the black earth gasp, and drink our blood for sacrifice,

Before we suffer. ’Tis an act much less infortunate,

365 And then would those of Troy resolve, though certainly our fate


Will fell us altogether here. Of all not turn a face.”

Thus either side his fellows’ strength excited past his place,

And thus through all th’ unfruitful air, an iron sound ascended

Up to the golden firmament; when strange affects contended

370 In these immortal heav’n-bred horse of great Æacides,

Whom (once remov’d from forth the fight) a sudden sense did seize

Of good Patroclus’ death, whose hands they oft had undergone,

And bitterly they wept for him. Nor could Automedon

With any manage make them stir, oft use the scourge to them,

375 Oft use his fairest speech, as oft threats never so extreme,

They neither to the Hellespont would bear him, nor the fight;

But still as any tombstone lays his never stirréd weight

On some good man or woman’s grave for rites of funeral;

So unremovéd stood these steeds, their heads to earth let fall,

380 And warm tears gushing from their eyes, with passionate desire

Of their kind manager; their manes, that flourish’d with the fire

Of endless youth allotted them, fell through the yoky sphere,

Ruth fully ruffled and defil’d. Jove saw their heavy cheer,

And, pitying them, spake to his mind: “Poor wretched beasts,” said he,

385 “Why gave we you t’ a mortal king, when immortality

And incapacity of age so dignifies your states?

Was it to haste the miseries pour’d out on human fates?

Of all the miserablest things that breathe and creep on earth,

No one more wretched is than man. And for your deathless birth,

390 Hector must fail to make you prise. Is’t not enough he wears,

And glories vainly in those arms? Your chariots and rich gears,

Besides you, are too much for him. Your knees and spirits again

My care of you shall fill with strength, that so ye may sustain

Automedon, and bear him off. To Troy I still will give

395 The grace of slaughter, till at fleet their bloody feet arrive,


Till Phœbus drink the western sea, and sacred Darkness throws

Her sable mantle ’twixt their points.” Thus in the steeds he blows

Excessive spirit; and through the Greeks and Ilians they rapt

The whirring chariot, shaking off the crumbled centre wrapt

400 Amongst their tresses. And with them, Automedon let fly

Amongst the Trojans, making way through all as frightfully.

As through a jangling flock of geese a lordly vulture beats,

Giv’n way with shrikes by ev’ry goose, that comes but near his threats;

With such state fled he through the press, pursuing as he fled;

405 But made no slaughter; nor he could, alone being carried

Upon the sacred chariot. How could he both works do,

Direct his jav’lin, and command his fiery horses too?

At length he came where he beheld his friend Alcimedon,

That was the good Laercius’, the son of Æmon’s, son;

410 Who close came to his chariot side, and ask’d: “What God is he

That hath so robb’d thee of thy soul, to run thus franticly

Amongst these forefights, being alone; thy fighter being slain,

And Hector glorying in his arms?” He gave these words again:

“Alcimedon, what man is he, of all the Argive race,

415 So able as thyself to keep, in use of press and pace,

These deathless horse; himself being gone, that like the Gods had th’ art

Of their high manage? Therefore take to thy command his part,

And ease me of the double charge, which thou hast blam’d with right.”

He took the scourge and reins in hand, Automedon the fight.

420 Which Hector seeing, instantly, Æneas standing near,

He told him, he discern’d the horse, that mere immortal were,

Address’d to fight with coward guides, and therefore hop’d to make

A rich prise of them, if his mind would help to undertake,

For those two could not stand their charge. He granted, and both cast

425 Dry solid hides upon their necks, exceeding soundly brast;


And forth they went, associate with two more god-like men,

Aretus and bold Chromius; nor made they question then

To prise the goodly-crested horse, and safely send to hell

The souls of both their guardians. O fools, that could not tell

430 They could not work out their return from fierce Automedon

Without the lib’ral cost of blood; who first made orison

To father Jove, and then was fill’d with fortitude and strength;

When (counselling Alcimedon to keep at no great length

The horse from him, but let them breathe upon his back, because

435 He saw th’ advance that Hector made, whose fury had no laws

Propos’d to it, but both their lives and those horse made his prise,

Or his life theirs) he call’d to friend these well-approv’d supplies,

Th’ Ajaces, and the Spartan king, and said, “Come, princes, leave

A sure guard with the corse, and then to your kind care receive

440 Our threaten’d safeties. I discern the two chief props of Troy

Prepar’d against us. But herein, what best men can enjoy

Lies in the free knees of the Gods. My dart shall lead ye all.

The sequel to the care of Jove I leave, whatever fall.”

All this spake good Automedon; then, brandishing his lance,

445 He threw, and strook Aretus’ shield, that gave it enterance

Through all the steel, and, by his belt, his belly’s inmost part

It pierc’d, and all his trembling limbs gave life up to his dart.

Then Hector at Automedon a blazing lance let fly,

Whose flight he saw, and falling flat, the compass was too high,

450 And made it stick beyond in earth, th’ extreme part burst, and there

Mars buried all his violence. The sword then for the spear

Had chang’d the conflict, had not haste sent both th’ Ajaces in,

Both serving close their fellows’ call, who, where they did begin,

There drew the end. Priamides, Æneas, Chromius

455 (In doubt of what such aid might work) left broken hearted thus


Aretus to Automedon, who spoil’d his arms, and said:

“A little this revives my life for him so lately dead,

Though by this nothing countervail’d.” And with this little vent

Of inward grief, he took the spoil; with which he made ascent

460 Up to his chariot, hands and feet of bloody stains so full

That lion-like he look’d, new turn’d from tearing up a bull.

And now another bitter fight about Patroclus grew,

Tear-thirsty, and of toil enough; which Pallas did renew,

Descending from the cope of stars, dismiss’d by sharp-ey’d Jove

465 To animate the Greeks; for now, inconstant change did move

His mind from what he held of late. And as the purple bow

Jove bends at mortals, when of war he will the signal show,

Or make it a presage of cold, in such tempestuous sort

That men are of their labours eas’d, but labouring cattle hurt;

470 So Pallas in a purple cloud involv’d herself, and went

Amongst the Grecians, stirr’d up all; but first encouragement

She breath’d in Atreus’ younger sun, and, for disguise, made choice

Of aged Phœnix’ shape, and spake with his unwearied voice:

“O Menelaus, much defame, and equal heaviness,

475 Will touch at thee, if this true friend of great Æacides

Dogs tear beneath the Trojan walls; and therefore bear thee well,

Toil through the host, and ev’ry man with all thy spirit impell.”

He answer’d: “O thou long-since born, O Phœnix, that hast won

The honour’d foster-father’s name of Thetis’ god-like son,

480 I would Minerva would but give strength to me, and but keep

These busy darts off; I would then make in indeed, and steep

My income in their bloods, in aid of good Patroclus; much

His death afflicts me, much. But yet, this Hector’s grace is such

With Jove, and such a fi’ry strength and spirit he has, that still

485 His steel is killing, killing still.” The king’s so royal will


Minerva joy’d to hear, since she did all the Gods outgo

In his remembrance. For which grace she kindly did bestow

Strength on his shoulders, and did fill his knees as lib’rally

With swiftness, breathing in his breast the courage of a fly.

490 Which loves to bite so, and doth bear man’s blood so much good will,

That still though beaten from a man she flies upon him still;

With such a courage Pallas fill’d the black parts near his heart,

And then he hasted to the slain, cast off a shining dart,

And took one Podes, that was heir to old Eetion,

495 A rich man and a strenuous, and by the people done

Much honour, and by Hector too, being consort and his guest;

And him the yellow-headed king laid hold on at his waist

In off’ring flight, his iron pile strook through him, down he fell,

And up Atrides drew his corse. Then Phœbus did impell

500 The spirit of Hector, Phænops like, surnam’d Asiades,

Whom Hector us’d, of all his guests, with greatest friendliness,

And in Abydus stood his house; in whose form thus he spake:

“Hector! What man of all the Greeks will any terror make

Of meeting thy strength any more, when thou art terrified

505 By Menelaus, who, before he slew thy friend, was tried

A passing easy soldier, where now (besides his end

Impos’d by him) he draws him off, and not a man to friend,

From all the Trojans? This friend is Podes, Eetion’s son.”

This hid him in a cloud of grief, and set him foremost on.

510 And then Jove took his snake-fring’d shield, and Ida cover’d all

With sulphury clouds, from whence he let abhorréd lightnings fall,

And thunder’d till the mountain shook; and with this dreadful state

He usher’d victory to Troy, to Argos flight and fate.

Peneleüs Bœotius was he that foremost fled,

515 Being wounded in his shoulder’s height; but there the lance’s head

Strook lightly, glancing to his mouth, because it strook him near,

Thrown from Polydamas. Leitus next left the fight in fear


(Being hurt by Hector in his hand) because he doubted sore

His hand in wishéd fight with Troy would hold his lance no more.

520 Idomenëus sent a dart at Hector (rushing in,

And following Leitus) that strook his bosom near his chin,

And brake at top. The Ilians for his escape did shout.

When Hector at Deucalides another lance sent out,

As in his chariot he stood; it miss’d him narrowly,

525 For, as it fell, Cœranus drave his speedy chariot by,

And took the Trojan lance himself; he was the charioteer

Of stern Meriones, and first on foot did service there,

Which well he left to govern horse, for saving now his king,

With driving ’twixt him and his death, though thence his own did spring,

530 Which kept a mighty victory from Troy, in keeping death

From his great sov’reign. The fierce dart did enter him beneath

His ear, betwixt his jaw and it, drave down, cut through his tongue,

And strook his teeth out; from his hands the horses’ reins he flung,

Which now Meriones receiv’d as they bestrew’d the field,

535 And bade his sov’reign scourge away, he saw that day would yield

No hope of victory for them. He fear’d the same, and fled.

Nor from the mighty-minded son of Telamon lay hid,

For all his clouds, high Jove himself, nor from the Spartan king.

They saw him in the victory, He still was varying

540 For Troy. For which sight Ajax said: “O heav’ns, what fool is he

That sees, not Jove’s hand in the grace now done our enemy?

Not any dart they touch but takes, from whomsoever thrown,

Valiant or coward; what he wants Jove adds, not any one

Wants his direction to strike sure; nor ours to miss as sure.

545 But come, let us be sure of this, to put the best in ure

That lies in us; which two-fold is, both to fetch off our friend,

And so to fetch him off as we may likeliest contend


To fetch ourselves off; that our friends surviving may have right

In joy of our secure retreat, as he that fell in fight,

550 Being kept as sure from further wrong. Of which perhaps they doubt,

And looking this way, grieve for us, not able to work out

Our pass from this man-slaughterer, great Hector, and his hands

That are too hot for men to touch, but that these thirsty sands

Before our fleet will be enforc’d to drink our headlong death.

555 Which to prevent by all fit means, I would the parted breath

Of good Patroclus, to his friend, with speed imparted were,

By some he loves; for, I believe, no heavy messenger

Hath yet inform’d him. But alas! I see no man to send,

Both men and horse are hid in mists that ev’ry way descend.

560 O father Jupiter, do thou the suns of Greece release

Of this felt darkness; grace this day with fit transparences;

And give the eyes thou giv’st, their use; destroy us in the light,

And work thy will with us, since needs thou wilt against us fight.”

This spake he weeping, and his tears Saturnius pity show’d,

565 Dispers’d the darkness instantly, and drew away the cloud

From whence it fell; the sun shin’d out, and all the host appear’d;

And then spake Ajax, whose heard pray’r his spirits highly cheer’d:

“Brave Menelaus, look about; and if thou canst descry

Nestor’s Antilochus alive, incite him instantly

570 To tell Achilles that his friend, most dear to him, is dead.”

He said, nor Menelaus stuck at any thing he said,

As loth to do it, but he went. As from a grazier’s stall

A lion goes, when overlaid with men, dogs, darts, and all,

Not eas’ly losing a fat ox, but strong watch all night held,

575 His teeth yet wat’ring, oft he comes, and is as oft repell’d,

The adverse darts so thick are pour’d before his brow-hid eyes,

And burning firebrands which, for all his great heart’s heat, he flies,


And, grumbling, goes his way betimes; so from Patroclus went

Atrides, much against his mind, his doubts being vehement

580 Lest, he gone from his guard, the rest would leave for very fear

The person to the spoil of Greece. And yet his guardians were

Th’ Ajaces and Meriones; whom much his care did press,

And thus exhort: “Ajaces both, and you Meriones,

Now let some true friend call to mind the gentle and sweet nature

585 Of poor Patroclus; let him think, how kind to ev’ry creature

His heart was living, though now dead.” Thus urg’d the fair-hair’d king,

And parted, casting round his eye. As when upon her wing

An eagle is, whom men affirm to have the sharpest sight

Of all air’s region of fowls, and, though of mighty height,

590 Sees yet within her leavy form of humble shrubs, close laid,

A light-foot hare, which straight she stoops, trusses, and strikes her dead;

So dead thou strook’st thy charge, O king, through all war’s thickets so

Thou look’dst, and swiftly found’st thy man exhorting ’gainst the foe,

And heart’ning his plied men to blows us’d in the war’s left wing;

595 To whom thou saidst: “Thou god-lov’d man, come here, and hear a thing

Which I wish never were to hear. I think ev’n thy eye sees

What a destruction God hath laid upon the sons of Greece,

And what a conquest he gives Troy; in which the best of men,

Patroclus, lies exanimate, whose person passing fain

600 The Greeks would rescue and bear home; and therefore give thy speed

To his great friend, to prove if he will do so good a deed

To fetch the naked person off, for Hector’s shoulders wear

His priséd arms.” Antilochus was highly griev’d to hear

This heavy news, and stood surpris’d with stupid silence, long;

605 His fair eyes standing full of tears; his voice, so sweet and strong

Stuck in his bosom; yet all this wrought in him no neglect

Of what Atrides gave in charge, but for that quick effect

He gave Laodocus his arms (his friend that had the guide

Of his swift horse) and then his knees were speedily applied


610 In his sad message, which his eyes told all the way in tears.

Nor would thy gen’rous heart assist his sore charg’d soldiers,

O Menelaus, in mean time, though left in much distress;

Thou sent’st them god-like Thrasymede, and mad’st thy kind regress

Back to Patroclus; where arriv’d, half breathless thou didst say

615 To both th’ Ajaces: “I have sent this messenger away

To swift Achilles, who, I fear, will hardly help us now,

Though mad with Hector; without arms he cannot fight, ye know.

Let us then think of some best mean, both how we may remove

The body, and get off ourselves from this vocif’rous drove,

620 And fate of Trojans.” “Bravely spoke at all parts,” Ajax said,

“O glorious son of Atreüs. Take thou then straight the dead,

And thou, Meriones; we two, of one mind as one name,

Will back ye soundly, and on us receive the wild-fire flame

That Hector’s rage breathes after you, before it come at you.”

625 This said, they took into their arms the body; all the show,

That might be, made to those of Troy; at arm’s end bearing it.

Out shriek’d the Trojans when they saw the body borne to fleet,

And rush’d on. As at any boar, gash’d with the hunter’s wounds,

A kennel of the sharpest set and sorest bitten hounds

630 Before their youthful huntsmen haste, and eagerly awhile

Pursue, as if they were assur’d of their affected spoil;

But when the savage, in his strength as confident as they,

Turns head amongst them, back they fly, and ev’ry one his way;

So troop-meal Troy pursu’d awhile, laying on with swords and darts;

635 But when th’ Ajaces turn’d on them, and made their stand, their hearts


Drunk from their faces all their bloods, and not a man sustain’d

The forechace, nor the after-fight. And thus Greece nobly gain’d

The person towards home. But thus, the changing war was rack’d

Out to a passing bloody length; for as, once put in act,

640 A fire, invading city roofs, is suddenly engrost,

And made a wondrous mighty flame, in which is quickly lost

A house long building, all the while a boist’rous gust of wind

Lumb’ring amongst it; so the Greeks, in bearing of their friend,

More and more foes drew, at their heels a tumult thund’ring still

645 Of horse and foot. Yet as when mules, in haling from a hill

A beam or mast, through foul deep way, well-clapp’d, and hearten’d, close

Lie to their labour, tug and sweat, and passing hard it goes,

Urg’d by their drivers to all haste; so dragg’d they on the corse,

Still both th’ Ajaces at their backs, who back still turn’d the force,

650 Though after it grew still the more. Yet as a sylvan hill

Thrusts back a torrent, that hath kept a narrow channel still,

Till at his oaken breast it beats, but there a check it takes,

That sends it over all the vale, with all the stir it makes,

Nor can with all the confluence break through his rooty sides;

655 In no less firm and brave repulse, th’ Ajaces curb’d the prides

Of all the Trojans; yet all held the púrsuit in his strength,

Their chiefs being Hector, and the son of Venus, who at length

Put all the youth of Greece besides in most amazeful rout,

Forgetting all their fortitudes, distraught, and shrieking out;

660 A number of their rich arms lost, fall’n from them here and there,

About, and in the dike; and yet, the war concludes not here.

Linenotes for Book XVII

* This Argument is thus printed in the first folio. The second, which Dr. Taylor follows, has

“In Rho, the virtuous hosts maintain

A slaught’rous conflict for the same.”

6: “This Euphorbus was he that, in Ovid, Pythagoras saith he was in the wars of Troy.” —Chapman.

10: Succours—allies.

15: Leopard.—See Bk. XIII. 96.

20: Surcuidrie—often spelt “surquedry,” overweening pride, self-sufficiency; from “sur” and the old word “cuider” to ween, deem, presume (Cotgrave). Examples are numerous, from Chaucer to Donne. Chaucer defines it in his Persones Tale. “Presumption is when a man undertaketh an emprise that him ought not to do, or elles that he may not do; and this is called surquidrie.”

32: Forespeaking.—See Bk. XVI. 792.

38: Assay’d.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor “assailed.”

44: Dr. Taylor “as when.”

54: Fair Eye of eyes—Apollo.

64: The young Atrides—i.e. the younger, Menelaus.

70: “Note the manly and wise discourse of Menelaus with himself seeing Hector advancing towards him.” —Chapman.

79: Grudge—anger, ill-will.

84: Dr. Taylor from the second folio, erroneously, “the body of my mind.”

90: Displayed—saw. Bk. XI. 74; XXII. 280.

112: Fort.—So both folios; Dr. Taylor has wrongly changed it to sort, and favoured us with a note.

177: “That frail blaze of excellence that neighbours death.—Chapman has here made an unauthorised addition to the original; but it is a superstition almost universal that any remarkable exhibition of pre-eminence, success, or happiness, is an omen of speedy death.” —Cooke Taylor. Compare Judges XVI. 28.

210: Now no hope.—Both folios and Dr. Taylor have “ne’er more hope,” but in the list of errata to the first folio it is thus corrected.

235: Couched.—Bk. XIII. 719.

236: Bright.—The second folio, followed by Dr. Taylor, erroneously omits this word.

266: Channel-bone—collar-bone.

335: “An inimitable simile.” —Chapman. See Commentary.

369: Affects.—The second folio and Taylor, “effects.”

380: Desire—regret (Latin, desiderium).

382: Yoky sphere—the wooden collar to which the harness was attached.

387: Human.—The second folio and Taylor, “humans.”

403: Shrikes—shrieks, shrill notes.

425: Brast—brass’d, covered with brass. The original is πολὺς δ’ ἐπελήλατο χαλχός. It must not be confounded with the old word “brast,” burst, broken. Iliad XVII.493.

442: “In the Greek always this phrase is used, not in the hands, but ἐν γούνασι κεῖται, in the knees of the Gods lies our help, &c.” —Chapman. Iliad XVII.514.

458: This little vent.—Second folio and Taylor, “his.”

480: See Commentary.

482: Income—communication, or infusion, of courage from the Gods. The word in this sense Todd says was a favourite in Cromwell’s time; but, perhaps, Chapman here merely uses it for entrance, coming in.

489: See Commentary.

512: This dreadful.—The second folio, followed by Taylor, has “his dreadful.”

545: Ure—use. Skinner thinks it a contraction of usura. It is frequent in Chaucer. Todd gives examples from Hooker and L’Estrange.

551: Looking.—The second folio erroneously prints “look,” which Dr. Taylor has repeated.

572: A grazier’s.—The second folio and Taylor, “the.”

586: See Commentary.

590: Leavy.—See Bk. VI. 86, 127.

634: Troop-meal—in troops, troop by troop. So piece-meal. To meal was to mingle, mix together; from the French mêler. Shakespeare says,

“Were he mealed

With that which he corrects, then he were tyrannous.”

Measure for Measure, IV. 2.

Cotgrave, “Mesler: to mingle, mix, mell.” “Melling” and “medled” are frequent in Shakespeare and Spenser. Mêlée, in fact, is almost naturalised with us. The reader would do well to consult Dr. Jamieson’s excellent “Dictionary of the Scottish Language,” in voce “mell.”

640: Engrost—engrossed, made thick, large.

643: Lumb’ring—not usual in the sense of “noise.” Dr. Taylor (from Richardson’s Dict.) quotes Cowper,

“The post-boy’s horse right glad to miss

The lumb’ring of the wheels.”




Iliad XVII.389

Ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἀνὴρ ταύροιο βοὸς μεγάλοιο βοείην

Λαοῖσιν δώῃ τανύειν μεθύουσαν ἀλοιφῇ·

Δεξάμενοι δ᾽ ἄρα τοί γε διαστάντες τανύουσιν

Κυκλόσ᾽, ἄφαρ δέ τε ἰκμὰς ἔβη, δύνει δέ τ᾽ ἀλοιφὴ

Πολλῶν ἑλκόντων, τάνυται δέ τε πᾶσα διαπρό·

Ὣς οἵ γ᾽ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα νέκυν ὀλίγῃ ἐνὶ χώρῃ

Ἕλκεον ἀμφότεροι.

Thus translated ad verbum by Spondanus:—

Sicut autem quando vir tauri bovis magni pellem

Populis dederit distendendam temulentam pinguedine,

Accipientes autem utique hi dispositi extendunt

In orbem, statim autem humor exiit, penetratque adeps,

Multis trahentibus: tenditur autem tota undique;

Sic hi huc et illuc cadaver parvo in spatio

Trahebant utrique.

Laurent. Valla thus in prose:—

Et quemadmodum si quis pinguem tauri pellem à pluribus extendi juberet; inter extendendum et humor et pingue desudat; sic illi huc parvo in spatio distrahebant.

Eobanus thus in verse:—

—— Ac si quis distendere pellem

Taurinam jubeat, crassam pinguedine multâ,

Multorum manibus, terræ desudet omasum,

Et liquor omnis humi; sic ipsum tempore parvo

Patroclum in diversa, manus numerosa trahebat, &c.

To answer a hot objection made to me by a great scholar for not translating Homer word for word and letter for letter, as out of his heat he strained it, I am enforced to cite this admirable simile, like the other before in my Annotations at the end of the Fifteenth Book, and refer II.131 it to my judicial reader’s examination whether such a translation becomes Homer or not, by noting so much as needs to be by one example: whether the two last above-said translators, in being so short with our everlasting master, do him so much right as my poor conversion, expressing him by necessary exposition and illustration of his words and meaning with more words or not. The reason of his simile is to illustrate the strife of both the armies for the body of Patroclus; which it doth perform most inimitably, their toil and sweat about it being considered, which I must pray you to turn to before. The simile itself, yet, I thought not unfit to insert here to come up the closer to them with whom I am to be compared, my pains and understanding converting it thus:—

———— And as a huge ox hide

A currier gives amongst his men to supple and extend

With oil, till it be drunk withal, they tug, stretch out, and spend

Their oil and liquor liberally, and chafe the leather so

They make it breathe a vapour out, and in their liquors go,

A number of them set a-work, and in an orb they pull,

That all ways all parts of the hide they may extend at full;

So here and there did both hosts hale the corse in little place,*

And wrought it all ways with their sweat, &c.

In which last words of the application considered lies the life of this illustration, our Homer’s divine intention, wherein I see not in any of their shorter translations touched at. But what could express more the toil about this body, forcing it this way and that, as the opposing advantage served on both sides? An ox’s hide, after the tanning, asking so much labour and oil to supple and extend it, —— τανύειν μεθύουσαν ἀλοιφῇ, distendendam temulentam pinguedine; to be stretch’d out, being drunk, with tallow, oil, or liquor; the word μεθύουσαν, which signifies temulentam, of μεθύω signifying ebrius sum (being a metaphor) and used by Homer, I thought fit to express so, both because it is Homer’s, and doth much more illustrate than crassam pinguedine multâ, as Eoban turns it. But Valla leaves it clearly out, and with II.132 his briefness utterly maims the simile, which (to my understanding being so excellent) I could not but with thus much repetition and labour inculcate the sense of it, since I see not that any translator hath ever thought of it. And therefore (against the objector that would have no more words than Homer used in his translator) I hope those few words I use more, being necessary to express such a sense as I understand in Homer, will be at least borne withal; without which, and other such needful explanations, the most ingenious invention and sense of so matchless a writer might pass endlessly obscured and unthought on—my manner of translation being partly built on this learned and judicious authority: Est sciti interpretis, non verborum numerum et ordinem sectari, sed res ipsas et sententias attentè perpendere, easque verbis et formulis orationis vestire idoneis et aptis ei linguæ in quam convertitur.

Iliad XVII.561

480. ———— εἰ γὰρ Ἀθήνη, &c. Minerva appearing to Menelaus like Phœnix, and encouraging him (as you may read before) to fight, he speaks as to Phœnix, and wishes Minerva would but put away the force or violence of the darts, and he would aid and fight bravely; which is a continuance of his character, being expressed for the most part by Homer ridiculous and simple. The original words yet, because neither Eobanus nor Valla understood the character, they utterly pervert, as, if you please to examine them, you may see. The words are these, βελέων δ’ ἀπερύκοι ἐρωήν which Spondanus truly interprets, telorum vero depulerit impetum; ἀπερύκω being a compound of ἐρύκω, signifying arceo, repello, propulso, abigo; and yet they translate the words, et telis vim afferret, as if Menelaus wished that Pallas would give force to his darts; which Eobanus follows, saying, et tela valentia præstet, most ignorantly and unsufferably converting it, supposing them to be his own darts he spake of, and would have blest with Minerva’s addition of virtue and power; where Homer’s are plain; he spake of the enemy’s darts, whose force if she would avert, he would fight for Patroclus.

Iliad XVII.570

489. Καί οἱ μυίης θάρσος ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν ἐνῆκε, &c. Et ei muscæ audaciam II.133 in pectoribus immisit. Minerva inspired him with the courage of a fly, which all his interpreters very ridiculously laugh at in Homer, as if he heartily intended to praise Menelaus by it, not understanding his irony here, agreeing with all the other silliness noted in his character. Eobanus Hessus, in pity of Homer, leaves it utterly out; and Valla comes over him with a little salve for the sore disgrace he hath by his ignorant reader’s laughters, and expounds the words above-said thus: Lene namque ejus ingenium prudenti audaciâ implevit, laying his medicine nothing near the place. Spondanus (disliking Homer with the rest in this simile) would not have Lucian forgotten in his merry encomium of a fly, and therefore cites him upon this place, playing upon Homer; which, because it is already answered in the irony to be understood in Homer (he laughing at all men so ridiculous) I forbear to repeat, and cite only Eustathius, that would salve it with altering the word θάρσος, which signifies confidentia, or audacia (per metathesin literæ ρ) for θράσος which is temeritas; of which I see not the end, and yet cite all to show how such great clerks are perplexed, and abuse Homer, as not being satis compotes mentis poeticæ: for want of which (which all their reading and language cannot supply) they are thus often gravelled and mistaken.

Iliad XVII.674

586. Ως αἰετὸς, &c. Veluti aquila. The sport Homer makes with Menelaus is here likewise confirmed and amplified in another simile, resembling him intentionally to a hare-finder, though, for colour’s sake, he useth the word eagle; as in all other places where he presents him (being so eminent a person) he hides his simplicity with some shadow of glory or other. The circumstances making it clear, being here, and in divers other places, made a messenger from Ajax and others to call such and such to their aid; which was unfit for a man of his place, if he had been in magnanimity and valour equal, or any thing near it. But to confirm his imperfection therein in divers other places, he is called μαλθακὸς αἰχμητὴς, mollis bellator; and therefore was II.134 fittest to be employed to call up those that were hardier and abler. In going about which business, Homer shows how he looked about, leering like a hare-finder; for to make it simply a simile illustrating the state of his address in that base affair had neither wit nor decorum. Both which being at their height in the other sense (because our Homer was their great master to all accomplishment) let none detract so miserably from him as to take this otherwise than a continuance of his irony.

* The second folio, “space.”

The second folio, which is followed in Dr. Taylor’s edition, erroneously omits the words, “which because * * * in Homer.”


Corrections for Book XVII

Arg. note A slaught’rous conflict for the same.”
Final punctuation missing or invisible

64 of Menœtiades
text has Menætiades

70 note “Note the manly and wise discourse of Menelaus with himself seeing Hector advancing towards him.” —Chapman.
[Judging by Chapman’s expressed opinions about Menelaus elsewhere, he is probably being satirical.]

107 darts, dogs, doth all depise,
expected “despise”

127 such as prop your cause
text has such a prop
[Corrected from 1st edition; it is a long and convoluted sentence either way.]/p>

235 note Bk. XIII. 719

405 alone being carried
expected “carriéd” (three syllables)

442 note ἐν γούνασι κεῖται
text has κεὶται

561 with fit transparences;
expected “transparencies” for rhyme

Comm. 335 Λαοῖσιν δώῃ
text has δῴη




The Argument.

Achilles mourns, told of Patroclus’ end;

When Thetis doth from forth the sea ascend

And comfort him, advising to abstain

From any fight till her request could gain

Fit arms of Vulcan. Juno yet commands

To show himself. And at the dike he stands

In sight of th’ enemy, who with his sight

Flies; and a number perish in the flight.

Patroclus’ person (safe brought from the wars)

His soldiers wash. Vulcan the arms prepares.

Another Argument.

Sigma continues the alarms,

And fashions the renowméd arms.


hey fought still like the rage of fire. And now Antilochus

Came to Æacides, whose mind was much solicitous

For that which, as he fear’d, was fall’n. He found him near the fleet

With upright sail-yards, utt’ring this to his heroic conceit:

5 “Ah me! Why see the Greeks themselves thus beaten from the field,

And routed headlong to their fleet? O let not heaven yield

Effect to what my sad soul fears, that, as I was foretold,

The strongest Myrmidon next me, when I should still behold


The sun’s fair light, must part with it. Past doubt Menœtius’ son

10 Is he on whom that fate is wrought. O wretch, to leave undone

What I commanded; that, the fleet once freed of hostile fire,

Not meeting Hector, instantly he should his pow’rs retire.”

As thus his troubled mind discours’d, Antilochus appear’d,

And told with tears the sad news thus: “My lord, that must be heard

15 Which would to heav’n I might not tell! Menœtius’ son lies dead,

And for his naked corse (his arms already forfeited,

And worn by Hector) the debate is now most vehement.”

This said, grief darken’d all his pow’rs. With both his hands he rent

The black mould from the forcéd earth, and pour’d it on his head,

20 Smear’d all his lovely face; his weeds, divinely fashionéd,

All fil’d and mangled; and himself he threw upon the shore,

Lay, as laid out for funeral, then tumbled round, and tore

His gracious curls. His ecstasy he did so far extend,

That all the ladies won by him and his now slaughtered friend,

25 Afflicted strangely for his plight, came shrieking from the tents,

And fell about him, beat their breasts, their tender lineaments

Dissolv’d with sorrow. And with them wept Nestor’s warlike son,

Fell by him, holding his fair hands, in fear he would have done

His person violence; his heart, extremely straiten’d, burn’d,

30 Beat, swell’d, and sigh’d as it would burst. So terribly he mourn’d,

That Thetis, sitting in the deeps of her old father’s seas,

Heard, and lamented. To her plaints the bright Nereides

Flock’d all, how many those dark gulfs soever comprehend.

There Glauce, and Cymodoce, and Spio, did attend,

35 Nesæa, and Cymothoe, and calm Amphithoe,

Thalia, Thoa, Panope, and swift Dynamene,

Actæa, and Limnoria, and Halia the fair

Fam’d for the beauty of her eyes, Amathia for her hair,

Iæra, Proto, Clymene, and curl’d Dexamene,

40 Pherusa, Doris, and with these the smooth Amphinome,


Chaste Galatea so renowm’d, and Callianira, came,

With Doto and Orythia, to cheer the mournful dame.

Apseudes likewise visited, and Callianassa gave

Her kind attendance, and with her Agave grac’d her cave,

45 Nemertes, Mæra, followéd, Melita, Ianesse,

With Ianira, and the rest of those Nereides

That in the deep seas make abode; all which together beat

Their dewy bosoms; and to all, thus Thetis did repeat

Her cause of mourning: “Sisters, hear, how much the sorrows weigh,

50 Whose cries now call’d ye. Hapless I brought forth unhappily

The best of all the sons of men; who, like a well-set plant

In best soils, grew and flourishéd; and when his spirit did want

Employment for his youth and strength, I sent him with a fleet

To fight at Ilion; from whence his fate-confinéd feet

55 Pass all my deity to retire. The court of his high birth,

The glorious court of Peleüs, must entertain his worth

Never hereafter. All the life he hath to live with me

Must waste in sorrows. And this son I now am bent to see,

Being now afflicted with some grief not usually grave,

60 Whose knowledge and recure I seek.” This said, she left her cave,

Which all left with her; swimming forth, the green waves, as they swom,

Cleft with their bosoms, curl’d, and gave quick way to Troy. Being come,

They all ascended, two and two, and trod the honour’d shore,

Till where the fleet of Myrmidons, drawn up in heaps, it bore.

65 There stay’d they at Achilles’ ship; and there did Thetis lay

Her fair hand on her sun’s curl’d head, sigh’d, wept, and bade him say

What grief drew from his eyes those tears? “Conceal it not,” said she,

“Till this hour thy uplifted hands have all things granted thee.

The Greeks, all thrust up at their sterns, have pour’d out tears enow,

70 And in them seen how much they miss remission of thy vow.”


He said, “’Tis true, Olympius hath done me all that grace,

But what joy have I of it all, when thus thrusts in the place

Loss of my whole self in my friend? Whom, when his foe had slain,

He spoil’d of those profanéd arms, that Peleus did obtain

75 From heav’n’s high Pow’rs, solemnizing thy sacred nuptial bands,

As th’ only present of them all, and fitted well their hands,

Being lovely, radiant, marvellous. O would to heav’n thy throne,

With these fair Deities of the sea, thou still hadst sat upon,

And Peleus had a mortal wife; since by his means is done

80 So much wrong to thy grievéd mind, my death being set so soon,

And never suff’ring my return to grace of Peleus’ court!

Nor do I wish it; nor to live in any man’s resort,

But only that the crying blood, for vengeance of my friend

Mangled by Hector, may be still’d; his foe’s death paying his end.”

85 She, weeping, said: “That hour is near, and thy death’s hour then nigh

Which, in thy wish serv’d of thy foe, succeedeth instantly.”

“And instantly it shall succeed,” he answer’d, “since my fate

Allow’d not to my will a pow’r to rescue, ere the date

Of his late slaughter, my true friend. Far from his friends he died,

90 Whose wrong therein my eyes had light and right to see denied.

Yet now I neither light myself, nor have so spent my light,

That either this friend or the rest (in numbers infinite

Slaughter’d by Hector) I can help, nor grace with wish’d repair

To our dear country, but breathe here unprofitable air,

95 And only live a load to earth with all my strength, though none

Of all the Grecians equal it. In counsel many a one

Is my superior; what I have, no grace gets; what I want

Disgraceth all. How then too soon can hastiest death supplant

My fate-curst life? Her instrument to my indignity

100 Being that black fiend Contention; whom would to God might die

To Gods and men; and Anger too, that kindles tyranny

In men most wise, being much more sweet than liquid honey is

To men of pow’r to satiate their watchful enmities;


And like a pliant fume it spreads through all their breasts; as late

105 It stole stern passage thorough mine, which he did instigate

That is our Gen’ral. But the fact so long past, the effect

Must vanish with it, though both griev’d; nor must we still respect

Our soothéd humours. Need now takes the rule of either’s mind.

And when the loser of my friend his death in me shall find,

110 Let death take all. Send him, ye Gods, I’ll give him my embrace.

Not Hercules himself shunn’d death, though dearest in the grace

Of Jupiter; ev’n him Fate stoop’d, and Juno’s cruelty.

And if such fate expect my life, where death strikes I will lie.

Meantime I wish a good renowm, that these deep-breasted dames

115 Of Ilion and Dardania may, for the extinguish’d flames

Of their friends’ lives, with both their hands wipe miserable tears

From their so curiously-kept cheeks, and be the officers

To execute my sighs on Troy, when (seeing my long retreat

But gather’d strength, and gives my charge an answerable heat)

120 They well may know ’twas I lay still, and that my being away

Presented all their happiness. But any further stay

(Which your much love perhaps may wish) assay not to persuade;

All vows are kept, all pray’rs heard; now, free way for fight is made.”

The silver-footed Dame replied: “It fits thee well, my son,

125 To keep destruction from thy friends; but those fair arms are won

And worn by Hector, that should keep thyself in keeping them,

Though their fruition be but short, a long death being near him,

Whose cruel glory they are yet. By all means then forbear

To tread the massacres of war, till I again appear

130 From Mulciber with fit new arms; which, when thy eye shall see

The sun next rise, shall enter here with his first beams and me.”

Thus to her Sisters of the Sea she turn’d, and bade them ope

The doors and deeps of Nereüs; she in Olympus’ top


Must visit Vulcan for new arms to serve her wreakful son,

135 And bade inform her father so, with all things further done.

This said, they underwent the sea, herself flew up to heav’n.

In mean space, to the Hellespont and ships the Greeks were driv’n

In shameful rout; nor could they yet, from rage of Priam’s son,

Secure the dead of new assaults, both horse and men made on

140 With such impression. Thrice the feet the hands of Hector seiz’d,

And thrice th’ Ajaces thump’d him off. With whose repulse displeas’d,

He wreak’d his wrath upon the troops, then to the corse again

Made horrid turnings, crying out of his repulséd men,

And would not quit him quite for death. A lion almost sterv’d

145 Is not by upland herdsman driv’n, from urging to be serv’d,

With more contention, than his strength by those two of a name;

And had perhaps his much-prais’d will, if th’ airy-footed Dame,

Swift Iris, had not stoop’d in haste, ambassadress from heav’n

To Peleus’ son, to bid him arm; her message being giv’n

150 By Juno, kept from all the Cods; she thus excited him:

“Rise, thou most terrible of men, and save the precious limb

Of thy belov’d; in whose behalf, the conflict now runs high

Before the fleet, the either host fells other mutually,

These to retain, those to obtain. Amongst whom most of all

155 Is Hector prompt, he’s apt to drag thy friend home, he your pall

Will make his shoulders; his head forc’d, he’ll be most famous; rise,

No more lie idle, set the foe a much more costly prize

Of thy friend’s value than let dogs make him a monument,

Where thy name will be grav’n.” He ask’d, “What Deity hath sent

160 Thy presence hither?” She replied: “Saturnia, she alone,

Not high Jove knowing, nor one God that doth inhabit on

Snowy Olympus.” He again: “How shall I set upon

The work of slaughter, when mine arms are worn by Priam’s son?


How will my Goddess-mother grieve, that bade I should not arm

165 Till she brought arms from Mulciber! But should I do such harm

To her and duty, who is he, but Ajax, that can vaunt

The fitting my breast with his arms; and he is conversant

Amongst the first in use of his, and rampires of the foe

Slain near Patroclus builds to him?” “All this,” said she, “we know,

170 And wish thou only wouldst but show thy person to the eyes

Of these hot Ilians, that, afraid of further enterprise,

The Greeks may gain some little breath.” She woo’d, and he was won;

And straight Minerva honour’d him, who Jove’s shield clapp’d upon

His mighty shoulders, and his head girt with a cloud of gold

175 That cast beams round about his brows. And as when arms enfold

A city in an isle, from thence a fume at first appears,

Being in the day, but, when the even her cloudy forehead rears,

Thick show the fires, and up they cast their splendour, that men nigh,

Seeing their distress, perhaps may set ships out to their supply;

180 So (to show such aid) from his head a light rose, scaling heav’n,

And forth the wall he stept and stood, nor brake the precept giv’n

By his great mother, mix’d in fight, but sent abroad his voice;

Which Pallas far-off echoéd, who did betwixt them hoise

Shrill tumult to a topless height. And as a voice is heard

185 With emulous affectión, when any town is spher’d

With siege of such a foe as kills men’s minds, and for the town

Makes sound his trumpet; so the voice from Thetis’ issue thrown

Won emulously th’ ears of all. His brazen voice once heard,

The minds of all were startled so they yielded; and so fear’d

190 The fair-man’d horses, that they flew back, and their chariots turn’d,

Presaging in their augurous hearts the labours that they mourn’d

A little after; and their guides a repercussive dread

Took from the horrid radiance of his refulgent head,

Which Pallas set on fire with grace. Thrice great Achilles spake,

195 And thrice (in heat of all the charge) the Trojans started back.


Twelve men, of greatest strength in Troy, left with their lives exhal’d

Their chariots and their darts, to death with his three summons call’d.

And then the Grecians spritefully drew from the darts the corse,

And hears’d it, hearing it to fleet; his friends with all remorse

200 Marching about it. His great friend dissolving then in tears

To see his truly-lov’d return’d, so hors’d upon an hearse,

Whom with such horse and chariot he set out safe and whole,

Now wounded with unpitying steel, now sent without a soul,

Never again to be restor’d, never receiv’d but so,

205 He follow’d mourning bitterly. The sun (yet far to go)

Juno commanded to go down; who, in his pow’r’s despite,

Sunk to the ocean, over earth dispersing sudden night.

And then the Greeks and Trojans both gave up their horse and darts.

The Trojans all to council call’d, ere they refresh’d their hearts

210 With any supper, nor would sit; they grew so stiff with fear

To see, so long from heavy fight, Æacides appear.

Polydamus began to speak, who only could discern

Things future by things past, and was vow’d friend to Hector, born

In one night both. He thus advis’d: “Consider well, my friends,

215 In this so great and sudden change, that now itself extends,

What change is best for us t’ oppose. To this stands my command:

Make now the town our strength, not here abide light’s rosy hand,

Our wall being far off, and our foe, much greater, still as near.

Till this foe came, I well was pleas’d to keep our watches here,

220 My fit hope of the fleet’s surprise inclin’d me so; but now

’Tis stronglier guarded, and, their strength increas’d, we must allow

Our own proportionate amends. I doubt exceedingly

That this indiff’rency of fight ’twixt us and th’ enemy,

And these bounds we prefix to them, will nothing so confine

225 Th’ uncurb’d mind of Æacides. The height of his design

Aims at our city and our wives; and all bars in his way

(Being back’d with less than walls) his pow’r will scorn to make his stay,


And over-run, as over-seen and not his object. Then

Let Troy be freely our retreat; lest, being enforc’d, our men

230 ’Twixt this and that be taken up by vultures, who by night

May safe come off, it being a time untimely for his might

To spend at random; that being sure. If next light show us here

To his assaults, each man will wish, that Troy his refuge were,

And then feel what he hears not now. I would to heav’n mine ear

235 Were free ev’n now of those complaints, that you must after hear

If ye remove not! If ye yield, though wearied with a fight

So late and long, we shall have strength in council and the night.

And (where we here have no more force, than need will force us to,

And which must rise out of our nerves) high ports, tow’rs, walls will do

240 What wants in us; and in the morn, all arm’d upon our tow’rs,

We all will stand out to our foe. ’Twill trouble all his pow’rs,

To come from fleet and give us charge, when his high-crested horse

His rage shall satiate with the toil of this and that way’s course,

Vain entry seeking underneath our well-defended walls,

245 And he be glad to turn to fleet, about his funerals.

For of his entry here at home, what mind will serve his thirst,

Or ever feed him with sack’d Troy? The dogs shall eat him first.”

At this speech Hector bent his brows, and said: “This makes not great

Your grace with me, Polydamas, that argue for retreat

250 To Troy’s old prison. Have we not enough of those tow’rs yet?

And is not Troy yet charg’d enough, with impositions set

Upon her citizens, to keep our men from spoil without,

But still we must impose within? That houses with our rout

As well as purses may be plagu’d? Beforetime, Priam’s town

255 Traffick’d with divers-languag’d men, and all gave the renown

Of rich Troy to it, brass and gold abounding; but her store

Is now from ev’ry house exhaust; possessions evermore

Are sold out into Phrygia and lovely Mæony;

And have been ever since Jove’s wrath. And now his clemency


260 Gives me the mean to quit our want with glory, and conclude

The Greeks in sea-bords and our seas, to slack it, and extrude

His offer’d bounty by our flight. Fool that thou art, bewray

This counsel to no common ear, for no man shall obey;

If any will, I’ll cheek his will. But what our self command,

265 Let all observe. Take suppers all, keep watch of ev’ry hand.

If any Trojan have some spoil, that takes his too much care,

Make him dispose it publicly; ’tis better any fare

The better for him, than the Greeks. When light then decks the skies,

Let all arm for a fierce assault. If great Achilles rise,

270 And will enforce our greater toil, it may rise so to him.

On my back he shall find no wings, my spirit shall force my limb

To stand his worst, and give or take. Mars is our common lord,

And the desirous swordsman’s life he ever puts to sword.”

This counsel gat applause of all, so much were all unwise;

275 Minerva robb’d them of their brains, to like the ill advice

The great man gave, and leave the good since by the meaner given.

All took their suppers; but the Greeks spent all the heavy even

About Patroclus’ mournful rites, Pelides leading all

In all the forms of heaviness. He by his side did fall,

280 And his man-slaught’ring hands impos’d into his oft-kiss’d breast,

Sighs blew up sighs; and lion-like, grac’d with a goodly crest,

That in his absence being robb’d by hunters of his whelps,

Returns to his so desolate den, and, for his wanted helps,

Beholding his unlook’d-for wants, flies roaring back again,

285 Hunts the sly hunter, many a vale resounding his disdain;

So mourn’d Pelides his late loss, so weighty were his moans,

Which, for their dumb sounds, now gave words to all his Myrmidons:

“O Gods,” said he, “how vain a vow I made, to cheer the mind

Of sad Menœtius, when his son his hand to mine resign’d,

290 That high tow’r’d Opus he should see, and leave ras’d Ilion

With spoil and honour, ev’n with me! But Jove vouchsafes to none


Wish’d passages to all his vows; we both were destinate

To bloody one earth here in Troy; nor any more estate

In my return hath Peleüs or Thetis; but because

295 I last must undergo the ground, I’ll keep no fun’ral laws,

O my Patroclus, for thy corse, before I hither bring

The arms of Hector and his head to thee for offering.

Twelve youths, the most renown’d of Troy, I’ll sacrifice beside,

Before thy heap of funeral, to thee unpacified.

300 In mean time, by our crooked sterns lie, drawing tears from me,

And round about thy honour’d corse, these dames of Dardanie,

And Ilion, with the ample breasts (whom our long spears and pow’rs

And labours purchas’d from the rich and by-us-ruin’d tow’rs,

And cities strong and populous with divers-languag’d men)

305 Shall kneel, and neither day nor night be licens’d to abstain

From solemn watches, their toil’d eyes held ope with endless tears.”

This passion past, he gave command to his near soldiers

To put a tripod to the fire, to cleanse the fester’d gore

From off the person. They obey’d, and presently did pour

310 Fresh water in it, kindled wood, and with an instant flame

The belly of the tripod girt, till fire’s hot quality came

Up to the water. Then they wash’d, and fill’d the mortal wound

With wealthy oil of nine years old; then wrapp’d the body round

In largeness of a fine white sheet, and put it then in bed;

315 When all watch’d all night with their lord, and spent sighs on the dead.

Then Jove ask’d Juno: “If at length she had suffic’d her spleen,

Achilles being won to arms? Or if she had not been

The natural mother of the Greeks, she did so still prefer

Their quarrel?” She, incens’d, ask’d: “Why he still was taunting her,

320 For doing good to those she lov’d? since man to man might show

Kind offices, though thrall to death, and though they did not know

Half such deep counsels as disclos’d beneath her far-seeing state,

She, reigning queen of Goddesses, and being ingenerate


Of one stock with himself, besides the state of being his wife.

325 And must her wrath, and ill to Troy, continue such a strife

From time to time ’twixt him and her?” This private speech they had.

And now the silver-footed Queen had her ascension made

To that incorruptible house, that starry golden court

Of fi’ry Vulcan, beautiful amongst th’ immortal sort,

330 Which yet the lame God built himself. She found him in a sweat

About his bellows, and in haste had twenty tripods beat.

To set for stools about the sides of his well-builded hall,

To whose feet little wheels of gold he put, to go withal,

And enter his rich dining room, alone, their motion free,

335 And back again go out alone, miraculous to see.

And thus much he had done of them, yet handles were to add,

For which he now was making studs. And while their fashion had

Employment of his skilful hand, bright Thetis was come near;

Whom first fair well-hair’d Charis saw, that was the nuptial fere

340 Of famous Vulcan, who the hand of Thetis took, and said:

“Why, fair-train’d, lov’d, and honour’d dame, are we thus visited

By your kind presence? You, I think, were never here before.

Come near, that I may banquet you, and make you visit more.”

She led her in, and in a chair of silver (being the fruit

345 Of Vulcan’s hand) she made her sit, a footstool of a suit

Apposing to her crystal feet; and call’d the God of fire,

For Thetis was arriv’d, she said, and entertain’d desire

Of some grace that his art might grant. “Thetis to me,” said he,

“Is mighty, and most reverend, as one that nourish’d me,

350 When grief consum’d me, being cast from heav’n by want of shame

In my proud mother, who, because she brought me forth so lame,

Would have me made away; and then, had I been much distress’d

Had Thetis and Eurynome in either’s silver breast


Not rescu’d me; Eurynome that to her father had

355 Reciprocal Oceanus. Nine years with them I made

A number of well-arted things, round bracelets, buttons brave,

Whistles, and carquenets. My forge stood in a hollow cave,

About which, murmuring with foam, th’ unmeasur’d ocean

Was ever beating; my abode known nor to God nor man,

360 But Thetis and Eurynome, and they would see me still,

They were my loving guardians. Now then the starry hill,

And our particular roof, thus grac’d with bright-hair’d Thetis here,

It fits me always to repay, a recompense as dear

To her thoughts, as my life to me. Haste, Charis, and appose

365 Some dainty guest-rites to our friend, while I my bellows loose

From fire, and lay up all my tools.” Then from an anvil rose

Th’ unwieldy monster, halted down, and all awry he went.

He took his bellows from the fire, and ev’ry instrument

Lock’d safe up in a silver chest. Then with a sponge he drest

370 His face all over, neck and hands, and all his hairy breast;

Put on his coat, his sceptre took, and then went halting forth,

Handmaids of gold attending him, resembling in all worth

Living young damsels, fill’d with minds and wisdom, and were train’d

In all immortal ministry, virtue and voice contain’d,

375 And mov’d with voluntary pow’rs; and these still waited on

Their fi’ry sov’reign, who (not apt to walk) sate near the throne

Of fair-hair’d Thetis, took her hand, and thus he courted her:

“For what affair, O fair-train’d queen, rev’rend to me, and dear,

Is our court honour’d with thy state, that hast not heretofore

380 Perform’d this kindness? Speak thy thoughts, thy suit can be no more

Than my mind gives me charge to grant. Can my pow’r get it wrought?

Or that it have not only pow’r of only act in thought.”

She thus: “O Vulcan, is there one, of all that are of heav’n,

That in her never-quiet mind Saturnius hath giv’n


385 So much affliction as to me; whom only he subjects,

Of all the sea-nymphs, to a man; and makes me bear th’ affects

Of his frail bed; and all against the freedom of my will;

And he worn to his root with age? From him another ill

Ariseth to me; Jupiter, you know, hath giv’n a son,

390 The excellent’st of men, to me; whose education

On my part well hath answeréd his own worth, having grown

As in a fruitful soil a tree, that puts not up alone

His body to a naked height, but jointly gives his growth

A thousand branches; yet to him so short a life I brought,

395 That never I shall see him more return’d to Peleus’ court.

And all that short life he hath spent in most unhappy sort;

For first he won a worthy dame, and had her by the hands

Of all the Grecians, yet this dame Atrides countermands;

For which in much disdain he mourn’d, and almost pin’d away.

400 And yet for this wrong he receiv’d some honour, I must say;

The Greeks, being shut up at their ships, not suffer’d to advance

A head out of their batter’d sterns; and mighty suppliance

By all their grave men hath been made, gifts, honours, all propos’d

For his reflection; yet he still kept close, and saw enclos’d

405 Their whole host in this gen’ral plague. But now his friend put on

His arms, being sent by him to field, and many a Myrmidon

In conduct of him. All the day, they fought before the gates

Of Scæa, and, most certainly, that day had seen the dates

Of all Troy’s honours in her dust, if Phœbus (having done

410 Much mischief more) the envied life of good Menœtius’ son

Had not with partial hands enforc’d, and all the honour giv’n

To Hector, who hath pris’d his arms. And therefore I am driv’n

T’ embrace thy knees for new defence to my lov’d son. Alas!

His life, prefix’d so short a date, had need spend that with grace.


415 A shield then for him, and a helm, fair greaves, and curets, such

As may renown thy workmanship, and honour him as much,

I sue for at thy famous hands.” “Be confident,” said he,

“Let these wants breed thy thoughts no care. I would it lay in me

To hide him from his heavy death, when fate shall seek for him,

420 As well as with renownéd arms to fit his goodly limb;

Which thy hands shall convey to him; and all eyes shall admire,

See, and desire again to see, thy satisfied desire.”

This said, he left her there, and forth did to his bellows go,

Appos’d them to the fire again, commanding them to blow.

425 Through twenty holes made to his hearth at once blew twenty pair,

That fir’d his coals, sometimes with soft, sometimes with vehement, air,

As he will’d, and his work requir’d. Amids the flame he cast

Tin, silver, precious gold, and brass; and in the stock he plac’d

A mighty anvil; his right hand a weighty hammer held,

430 His left his tongs. And first he forg’d a strong and spacious shield

Adorn’d with twenty sev’ral hues; about whose verge he beat

A ring, three-fold and radiant, and on the back he set

A silver handle; five-fold were the equal lines he drew

About the whole circumference, in which his hand did shew

435 (Directed with a knowing mind) a rare variety;

For in it he presented Earth; in it the Sea and Sky;

In it the never-wearied Sun, the Moon exactly round,

And all those Stars with which the brows of ample heav’n are crown’d,

Orion, all the Pleiades, and those sev’n Atlas got,

440 The close-beam’d Hyades, the Bear, surnam’d the Chariot,

That turns about heav’n’s axle-tree, holds ope a constant eye

Upon Orion, and, of all the cressets in the sky,

His golden forehead never bows to th’ Ocean empery.

Two cities in the spacious shield he built, with goodly state

445 Of divers-languag’d men. The one did nuptials celebrate,


Observing at them solemn feasts, the brides from forth their bow’rs

With torches usher’d through the streets, a world of paramours

Excited by them; youths and maids in lovely circles danc’d,

To whom the merry pipe and harp their spritely sounds advanc’d,

450 The matrons standing in their doors admiring. Otherwhere

A solemn court of law was kept, where throngs of people were.

The case in question was a fine, impos’d on one that slew

The friend of him that follow’d it, and for the fine did sue;

Which th’ other pleaded he had paid. The adverse part denied,

455 And openly affirm’d he had no penny satisfied.

Both put it to arbitrement. The people cried ’twas best

For both parts, and th’ assistants too gave their dooms like the rest.

The heralds made the people peace. The seniors then did bear

The voiceful heralds’ sceptres, sat within a sacred sphere,

460 On polish’d stones, and gave by turns their sentence. In the court

Two talents’ gold were cast, for him that judg’d in justest sort.

The other city other wars employ’d as busily;

Two armies glittering in arms, of one confed’racy,

Besieg’d it; and a parlè had with those within the town.

465 Two ways they stood resolv’d; to see the city overthrown,

Or that the citizens should heap in two parts all their wealth,

And give them half. They neither lik’d, but arm’d themselves by stealth,

Left all their old men, wives, and boys, behind to man their walls,

And stole out to their enemy’s town. The Queen of martiáls,

470 And Mars himself, conducted them; both which, being forg’d of gold,

Must needs have golden furniture, and men might so behold

They were presented Deities. The people, Vulcan forg’d

Of meaner metal. When they came, where that was to be urg’d

For which they went, within a vale close to a flood, whose stream

475 Us’d to give all their cattle drink, they there enambush’d them,


And sent two scouts out to descry, when th’ enemy’s herds and sheep

Were setting out. They straight came forth, with two that us’d to keep

Their passage always; both which pip’d, and went on merrily,

Nor dream’d of ambuscadoes there. The ambush then let fly,

480 Slew all their white-fleec’d sheep, and neat, and by them laid their guard.

When those in siege before the town so strange an uproar heard,

Behind, amongst their flocks and herds (being then in council set)

They then start up, took horse, and soon their subtle enemy met,

Fought with them on the river’s shore, where both gave mutual blows

485 With well-pil’d darts. Amongst them all perverse Contention rose,

Amongst them Tumult was enrag’d, amongst them ruinous Fate

Had her red-finger; some they took in an unhurt estate,

Some hurt yet living, some quite slain, and those they tugg’d to them

By both the feet, stripp’d off and took their weeds, with all the stream

490 Of blood upon them that their steels had manfully let out.

They far’d as men alive indeed drew dead indeed about.

To these the fi’ry Artizan did add a new-ear’d field,

Large and thrice plough’d, the soil being soft, and of a wealthy yield;

And many men at plough he made, that drave earth here and there,

495 And turn’d up stitches orderly; at whose end when they were,

A fellow ever gave their hands full cups of luscious wine;

Which emptied, for another stitch, the earth they undermine,

And long till th’ utmost bound be reach’d of all the ample close.

The soil turn’d up behind the plough, all black like earth arose,

500 Though forg’d of nothing else but gold, and lay in show as light

As if it had been plough’d indeed, miraculous to sight.


There grew by this a field of corn, high, ripe, where reapers wrought,

And let thick handfuls fall to earth, for which some other brought

Bands, and made sheaves. Three binders stood, and took the handfuls reap’d

505 From boys that gather’d quickly up, and by them armfuls heap’d.

Amongst these at a furrow’s end, the king stood pleas’d at heart,

Said no word, but his sceptre show’d. And from him, much apart,

His harvest-bailiffs underneath an oak a feast prepar’d,

And having kill’d a mighty ox, stood there to see him shar’d,

510 Which women for their harvest folks (then come to sup) had dress’d,

And many white wheat-cakes bestow’d, to make it up a feast.

He set near this a vine of gold, that crack’d beneath the weight

Of bunches black with being ripe; to keep which at the height,

A silver rail ran all along, and round about it flow’d

515 An azure moat, and to this guard, a quickset was bestow’d

Of tin, one only path to all, by which the pressmen came

In time of vintage. Youths and maids, that bore not yet the flame

Of manly Hymen, baskets bore, of grapes and mellow fruit.

A lad that sweetly touch’d a harp, to which his voice did suit,

520 Center’d the circles of that youth, all whose skill could not do

The wanton’s pleasure to their minds, that danc’d, sung, whistled too.

A herd of oxen then he carv’d, with high rais’d heads, forg’d all

Of gold and tin, for colour mix’d, and bellowing from their stall

Rush’d to their pastures at a flood, that echo’d all their throats,

525 Exceeding swift, and full of reeds; and all in yellow coats

Four herdsmen follow’d; after whom, nine mastiffs went. In head

Of all the herd, upon a bull, that deadly bellowéd,

Two horrid lions rampt, and seiz’d, and tugg’d off bellowing still;

Both men and dogs came; yet they tore the hide, and lapp’d their fill


530 Of black blood, and the entrails ate. In vain the men assay’d

To set their dogs on; none durst pinch, but cur-like stood and bay’d

In both the faces of their kings, and all their onsets fled.

Then in a passing pleasant vale, the famous Artsman fed,

Upon a goodly pasture ground, rich flocks of white-fleec’d sheep,

535 Built stables, cottages, and cotes, that did the shepherds keep

From wind and weather. Next to these, he cut a dancing place,

All full of turnings, that was like the admirable maze

For fair-hair’d Ariadne made, by cunning Dædalus;

And in it youths and virgins danc’d, all young and beauteous,

540 And glewéd in another’s palms. Weeds that the wind did toss

The virgins wore: the youths wov’n coats, that cast a faint dim gloss

Like that of oil. Fresh garlands too, the virgins’ temples crown’d;

The youths gilt swords wore at their thighs, with silver bawdries bound.

Sometimes all wound close in a ring, to which as fast they spun

545 As any wheel a turner makes, being tried how it will run,

While he is set; and out again, as full of speed they wound,

Not one left fast, or breaking hands. A multitude stood round,

Delighted with their nimble sport; to end which two begun,

Mids all, a song, and turning sung the sport’s conclusión.

550 All this he circled in the shield, with pouring round about,

In all his rage, the Ocean, that it might never out.

This shield thus done, he forg’d for him, such curets as outshin’d

The blaze of fire. A helmet then (through which no steel could find

Forc’d passage) he compos’d, whose hue a hundred colours took,

555 And in the crest a plume of gold, that each breath stirr’d, he stuck.

All done, he all to Thetis brought, and held all up to her.

She took them all, and like t’ the hawk, surnam’d the osspringer,

From Vulcan to her mighty son, with that so glorious show,

Stoop’d from the steep Olympian hill, hid in eternal snow.

Linenotes for Book XVIII

21: Fil’d—defiled.

23: Gracious—graceful.

55: Pass all my deity to retire—surpass all my divine powers to bring back.

59: Not usually—more than usually.

109: Loser—destroyer, the one who has caused the loss of my friend.

113: Expect—await.

120: They well.—The second folio incorrectly, “that well may know.”

144: Sterv’d.—Although used by Chapman perhaps only for rhyme’s sake (like perse, Bk. XI. 395, an old English word) this is the real and etymological spelling. To sterve is to die; and the sense of starve, with cold or hunger, originated in the 17th Century.

146: Two of a name—Ajaces.

155: Pall—pale.

176: Fume—smoke.

184: See Commentary.

221: Stronglier.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor have “stronger.”

339: Fere—companion, lover.

352: Had I.—The second folio and Taylor, “I had.”

355: Reciprocal—i.e. father to her as well as Thetis.

357: Carquenets—necklaces. Spelt “carcanet,” “carkanet,” “carknett,” &c.

402: Suppliance— supplication.

404: Reflection—to turn him from his purpose.

414: Prefixed—previously-fixed, fore-doomed.

436: Presented.—The second folio, and Taylor, “represented.”

449: Thus the first folio “spritely,” i.e. “spiritly.” The second and Dr. Taylor have “spriteful,” i.e. “spiritful,” “spirited,” a word frequently used by Chapman.

457: Dooms—decisions.

461: Talents’ gold.—The second folio and Taylor, “talents of gold.”

477: The second folio erroneously omits “out.”

480: Neat—oxen.

483: Start—past tense, started. See Bk. XXIV. 462.

491: Fared.—The second folio and Taylor, “feared.”

492: New-ear’d—newly ploughed. It might have been thought that such a common word (occurring in the Bible, see Isai. XXX. 24, 1 Sam. VIII. 12.) would have been understood by Dr. Taylor, witness however his note: “Covered with corn just ripened into ears. The epithet is very picturesque and expressive(!)”

495: Stitches—furrows.

519: The second folio has strangely omitted this line. Dr. Taylor of course printing from that copy has also omitted it, yet it surely ought to have caught his eye, both from the sense and rhyme.

524: At a flood.—“At” is omitted in the second folio and Dr. Taylor’s edition.

540: Glewed—joined; i.e. with hands clasped.

557: Osspringer—osprey.




Iliad XVIII.219

Ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἀριζήλη φωνὴ, ὅτε τ’ ἴαχε σάλπιγξ

Ἄστυ περιπλομένων δηΐων ὑπὸ θυμοραϊστέων·

Ὣς τότ’ ἀριζήλη φωνὴ γένετ’ Αἰακίδαο.

Οἳ δ’ ὡς οὖν ἄϊον ὄπα χάλκεον Αἰακίδαο,

Πᾶσιν ὀρίνθη θυμός.

Thus turned by Spondanus ad verbum:

“Ut autem cum cognitu facilis vox est, cum clangit tuba

Urbem obsidentes hostes propter perniciosos:

Sic tunc clara vox fuit Æacidæ.

Hi autem postquam igitur audiverunt vocem ferream Æacidæ,

Omnibus commotus est animus.”

Valla thus:

“Sicut enim cum obsidentibus sævis urbem hostibus, vel clarior vox, vel classicum perstrepit; ita nunc Achilles magnâ voce inclamavit. Quam cum audirent Trojani, perturbati sunt animis.”

Eobanus Hessus thus:—

“Nam sicut ab urbe

Obsessâ increpuere tubæ, vel classica cantu

Ferrea; sic Troas vox perturbabat Achillis.”

Mine own harsh conversion (which I will be bold to repeat, after these, thus closely for your easier examination) in this, as before:—

“———And as a voice is heard

With emulous attention, when any town is spher’d

With siege of such a foe as kills men’s minds, and for the town

Makes sound his trumpet; so the voice from Thetis’ issue thrown

Won emulously the ears of all. His brazen voice once heard,

The minds of all were startled so, they yielded.”

In conference of all our translations, I would gladly learn of my more learned reader if the two last conversions do anything near express II.155 the conceit of Homer, or if they bear any grace worth the signification of his words, and the sense of his illustration; whose intent was not to express the clearness or shrillness of his voice in itself, but the envious terror it wrought in the Trojans—ἀριζήλη φωνὴ not signifying in this place clara, or cognitu facilis, vox, but æmulanda vox; ἀρίζηλος signifying quem valdè æmulamur, aut valdè æmulandus, though these interpreters would rather receive it here for ἀρίδηλος, verso δ in ζ, ut sit clarus, illustris, &c. But how silly a curiosity is it to alter the word upon ignorance of the signification it hath in its place: the word ἀρίζηλος being a compound of ἀρι, which signifieth valdè, and ζῆλος, which is æmulatio: or of ζηλόω, which signifies æmulor. To this effect then (saith Homer, in this simile)—as a voice that works a terror, carrying an envy with it, sounds to a city besieged when the trumpet of a dreadful and mind-destroying enemy summons it, (for so δηΐων θυμοραϊστέων signifies; θυμοραϊστὴς signifying animum destruens, being a compound of ῥαίω, which signifies destruo, and θυμὸς, which is animus,) —that is, when the parle comes, after the trumpet’s sound, uttering the resolution of the dreadful enemy before it. The further application of this simile is left out by mischance.


Corrections for Book XVIII

61 the green waves, as they swom,
spelling unchanged

492 note “. . . The epithet is very picturesque and expressive(!)”
[Quotation marks printed as shown; the exclamation mark is Hooper’s, not Taylor’s.]

549 the sport’s conclusión
text has sports

Comm. 184 θυμοραϊστέων ... Οἳ δ’ ὡς οὖν
text has θυμοραϊστεων ... Οἱ without accents




The Argument.

Thetis presenting armour to her son,

He calls a court, with full reflection*

Of all his wrath; takes of the king of men

Free-offer’d gifts. All take their breakfast then;

He only fasting, arms, and brings abroad

The Grecian host, and (hearing the abode†

Of his near death by Xanthus prophesied)

The horse, for his so bold presage, doth chide.

Another Argument.

Ταῦ gives the anger period,

And great Achilles comes abroad.


he morn arose, and from the ocean, in her saffron robe,

Gave light to all, as well to Gods, as men of th’ under globe.

Thetis stoop’d home, and found the prostrate person of her son

About his friend, still pouring out himself in passión;

5 A number more being heavy consorts to him in his cares.

Amongst them all Thetis appear’d and, sacred comforters,


Made these short words: “Though we must grieve, yet bear it thus, my son,

It was no man that prostrated, in this sad fashión,

Thy dearest friend; it was a God that first laid on his hand,

10 Whose will is law. The Gods’ decrees, no human must withstand.

Do thou embrace this fabric of a God, whose hand before

Ne’er forg’d the like; and such as yet, no human shoulder wore.”

Thus, setting down, the precious metal of the arms was such

That all the room rung with the weight of every slend’rest touch.

15 Cold tremblings took the Myrmidons; none durst sustain, all fear’d

T’ oppose their eyes; Achilles yet, as soon as they appear’d,

Stern Anger enter’d. From his eyes, as if the day-star rose,

A radiance terrifying men did all the state enclose.

At length he took into his hands the rich gift of the God,

20 And, much pleas’d to behold the art that in the shield he show’d,

He brake forth into this applause: “O mother, these right well

Show an immortal finger’s touch; man’s hand must never deal

With arms again. Now I will arm; yet, that no honour make

My friend forgotten, I much fear, lest with the blows of flies

25 His brass-inflicted wounds are fil’d; life gone, his person lies

All apt to putrefactiòn.” She bade him doubt no harm

Of those offences, she would care, to keep the petulant swarm

Of flies, that usually taint the bodies of the slain,

From his friend’s person. Though a year, the earth’s top should sustain

30 His slaughter’d body, it should still rest sound, and rather hold

A better state than worse, since time that death first made him cold.

And so bade call a council, to dispose of new alarms,

Where, to the king, that was the pastor of that flock in arms,

He should depose all anger, and put on a fortitude

35 Fit for his arms. All this his pow’rs with dreadful strength indued.

She, with her fair hand, still’d into the nostrils of his friend

Red nectar and ambrosia; with which she did defend


The corse from putrefactión. He trod along the shore,

And summon’d all th’ heroic Greeks, with all that spent before

40 The time in exercise with him, the masters, pilots too,

Vict’lers, and all. All, when they saw Achilles summon so,

Swarm’d to the council, having long left the laborious wars.

To all these came two halting kings, true servitors of Mars,

Tydides and wise Ithacus, both leaning on their spears,

45 Their wounds still painful; and both these sat first of all the peers.

The last come was the king of men, sore wounded with the lance

Of Coon Antenorides. All set, the first in utterance

Was Thetis’ son, who rose and said: “Atrides, had not this

Conferr’d most profit to us both, when both our enmities

50 Consum’d us so, and for a wench, whom, when I choos’d for prise,

In laying Lyrnessus’ ruin’d walls amongst our victories,

I would to heav’n, as first she set her dainty foot aboard,

Diana’s hand had tumbled off, and with a jav’lin gor’d!

For then th’ immeasurable earth had not so thick been gnawn,

55 In death’s convulsions, by our friends, since my affects were drawn

To such distemper. To our foe, and to our foe’s chief friend,

Our jar brought profit; but the Greeks will never give an end

To thought of what it prejudic’d them. Past things yet past our aid;

Fit grief for what wrath rul’d in them, must make th’ amends repaid

60 With that necessity of love, that now forbids our ire;

Which I with free affects obey. ’Tis for the senseless fire

Still to be burning, having stuff; but men must curb rage still,

Being fram’d with voluntary pow’rs, as well to check the will

As give it reins. Give you then charge, that for our instant fight

65 The Greeks may follow me to field, to try if still the night

Will bear out Trojans at our ships. I hope there is some one,

Amongst their chief encouragers, will thank me to be gone,

And bring his heart down to his knees in that submissión.”

The Greeks rejoic’d to hear the heart of Peleus’ mighty son

70 So qualified. And then the king (not rising from his throne


For his late hurt) to get good ear, thus order’d his reply:

“Princes of Greece, your states shall suffer no indignity,

If, being far off, ye stand and hear; nor fits it such as stand

At greater distance, to disturb the council now in hand

75 By uproar, in their too much care of hearing. Some, of force,

Must lose some words; for hard it is, in such a great concourse

(Though hearers’ ears be ne’er so sharp) to touch at all things spoke;

And in assemblies of such thrust, how can a man provoke

Fit pow’r to hear, or leave to speak? Best auditors may there

80 Lose fittest words, and the most vocal orator fit ear.

My main end then, to satisfy Pelides with reply,

My words shall prosecute; to him my speech especially

Shall bear direction. Yet I wish, the court in general

Would give fit ear; my speech shall need attentión of all.

85 Oft have our peers of Greece much blam’d my forcing of the prise

Due to Achilles; of which act, not I, but destinies,

And Jove himself, and black Erinnys (that casts false mists still

Betwixt us and our actions done, both by her pow’r and will)

Are authors. What could I do then? The very day and hour

90 Of our debate, that Fury stole in that act on my pow’r.

And more; all things are done by strife; that ancient seed of Jove,

Ate, that hurts all, perfects all, her feet are soft, and move

Not on the earth, they bear her still aloft men’s heads, and there

The harmful hurts them. Nor was I alone her prisoner,

95 Jove, best of men and Gods, hath been; not he himself hath gone

Beyond her fetters, no, she made a woman put them on;

For when Alcmena was to vent the force of Hercules

In well-wall’d Thebes, thus Jove triumph’d: ’Hear, Gods and Goddesses,

The words my joys urg’d: In this day, Lucina, bringing pain

100 To labouring women, shall produce into the light of men

A man that all his neighbour kings shall in his empire hold,

And vaunt that more than manly race whose honour’d veins enfold


My eminent blood.’ Saturnia conceiv’d a present sleight,

And urg’d confirmance of his vaunt t’ infringe it; her conceit

105 In this sort urg’d: ‘Thou wilt not hold thy word with this rare man;

Or, if thou wilt, confirm it with the oath Olympian,

That whosoever falls this day betwixt a woman’s knees,

Of those men’s stocks that from thy blood derive their pedigrees,

Shall all his neighbour towns command.’ Jove, ignorant of fraud,

110 Took that great oath, which his great ill gave little cause t’ applaud.

Down from Olympus’ top she stoop’d, and quickly reach’d the place

In Argos where the famous wife of Sthenelus, whose race

He fetch’d from Jove by Perseus, dwelt. She was but sev’n months gone

With issue, yet she brought it forth; Alcmena’s matchless son

115 Delay’d from light, Saturnia repress’d the teeming throes

Of his great mother. Up to heav’n she mounts again, and shows,

In glory, her deceit to Jove. ‘Bright-light’ning Jove,’ said she,

‘Now th’ Argives have an emperor; a son deriv’d from thee

Is born to Persean Sthenelus, Eurystheüs his name,

120 Noble and worthy of the rule thou swor’st to him.’ This came

Close to the heart of Jupiter; and Ate, that had wrought

This anger by Saturnia, by her bright hair he caught,

Held down her head, and over her made this infallible vow:

’That never to the cope of stars should reascend that brow,

125 Being so infortunate to all.’ Thus, swinging her about,

He cast her from the fi’ry heav’n; who ever since thrust out

Her fork’d sting in th’ affairs of men. Jove ever since did grieve,

Since his dear issue Hercules did by his vow achieve

The unjust toils of Eurystheus. Thus fares it now with me,

130 Since under Hector’s violence the Grecian progeny

Fell so unfitly by my spleen; whose falls will ever stick

In my griev’d thoughts: my weakness yet (Saturnius making sick

The state my mind held) now recur’d, th’ amends shall make ev’n weight

With my offence. And therefore rouse thy spirits to the fight


135 With all thy forces; all the gifts, propos’d thee at thy tent

Last day by royal Ithacus, my officers shall present.

And, if it like thee, strike no stroke, though never so on thorns

Thy mind stands to thy friend’s revenge, till my command adorns

Thy tents and coffers with such gifts, as well may let thee know

140 How much I wish, thee satisfied.” He answer’d: “Let thy vow,

Renown’d Atrides, at thy will be kept, as justice would,

Or keep thy gifts; ’tis all in thee. The council now we hold

Is for repairing our main field with all our fortitude.

My fair show made brooks no retreat, nor must delays delude

145 Our deed’s expectance. Yet undone the great work is. All eyes

Must see Achilles in first fight depeopling enemies,

As well as counsel it in court; that ev’ry man set on

May choose his man to imitate my exercise upon.”

Ulysses answer’d: “Do not yet, thou man made like the Gods,

150 Take fasting men to field. Suppose, that whatsoever odds

It brings against them with full men, thy boundless eminence

Can amply answer, yet refrain to’ tempt a violence.

The conflict wearing out our men was late, and held as long,

Wherein, though most Jove stood for Troy, he yet made our part strong

155 To bear that most. But ’twas to bear, and that breeds little heart.

Let wine and bread then add to it; they help the twofold part,

The soul and body, in a man, both force and fortitude.

All day men cannot fight and fast, though never so indued

With minds to fight, for, that suppos’d, there lurks yet secretly

160 Thirst, hunger, in th’ oppresséd joints, which no mind can supply.

They take away a marcher’s knees. Men’s bodies throughly fed,

Their minds share with them in their strength; and, all day combated,

One stirs not, till you call off all. Dismiss them then to meat,

And let Atrides tender here, in sight of all this seat,


165 The gifts he promis’d. Let him swear before us all, and rise

To that oath, that he never touch’d in any wanton wise

The lady he enforc’d. Besides, that he remains in mind

As chastely satisfied; not touch’d, or privily inclin’d

With future vantages. And last, ’tis fit he should approve

170 All these rites at a solemn feast in honour of your love,

That so you take no mangled law for merits absolute.

And thus the honours you receive, resolving the pursuit

Of your friend’s quarrel, well will quit your sorrow for your friend.

And thou, Atrides, in the taste of so severe an end,

175 Hereafter may on others hold a juster government;

Nor will it aught impair a king, to give a sound content

To any subject soundly wrong’d.” “I joy,” replied the king,

“O Laertiades, to hear thy lib’ral counselling;

In which is all decorum kept, nor any point lacks touch

180 That might be thought on to conclude a reconcilement such

As fits example, and us two. My mind yet makes me swear,

Not your impulsion; and that mind shall rest so kind and clear,

That I will not forswear to God. Let then Achilles stay,

Though never so inflam’d for fight, and all men here I pray

185 To stay, till from my tents these gifts be brought here, and the truce

At all parts finish’d before all. And thou of all I choose,

Divine Ulysses, and command to choose of all your host

Youths of most honour, to present, to him we honour most,

The gifts we late vow’d, and the dames. Mean space about our tents

190 Talthybius shall provide a boar, to crown these kind events

With thankful sacrifice to Jove, and to the God of Light.”

Achilles answer’d: “These affairs will show more requisite,

Great king of men, some other time, when our more free estates

Yield fit cessation from the war, and when my spleen abates;

195 But now, to all our shames besides, our friends by Hector slain

(And Jove to friend) lie unfetch’d off. Haste, then, and meat your men;


Though, I must still say, my command would lead them fasting forth,

And all together feast at night. Meat will be something worth,

When stomachs first have made it way with venting infamy,

200 And other sorrows late sustain’d, with long’d-for wreaks, that lie

Heavy upon them, for right’s sake. Before which load be got

From off my stomach, meat nor drink, I vow, shall down my throat,

My friend being dead, who digg’d with wounds, and bor’d through both his feet,

Lies in the entry of my tent, and in the tears doth fleet

205 Of his associates. Meat and drink have little merit then

To comfort me; but blood, and death, and deadly groans of men.”

The great in counsels yet made good his former counsels thus:

“O Peleus’ son, of all the Greeks by much most valorous,

Better and mightier than myself no little with thy lance

210 I yield thy worth; in wisdom, yet, no less I dare advance

My right above thee, since above in years, and knowing more.

Let then thy mind rest in thy words. We quickly shall have store

And all satiety of fight, whose steel heaps store of straw

And little corn upon a floor, when Jove, that doth withdraw

215 And join all battles, once begins t’ incline his balances,

In which he weighs the lives of men. The Greeks you must not press

To mourning with the belly; death hath nought to do with that

In healthful men that mourn for friends. His steel we stumble at,

And fall at, ev’ry day, you see, sufficient store, and fast.

220 What hour is it that any breathes? We must not use more haste,

Than speed holds fit for our revenge. Nor should we mourn too much.

Who dead is, must be buriéd. Men’s patience should be such,

That one day’s moan should serve one man. The dead must end with death,

And life last with what strengthens life. All those that held their breath

225 From death in fight the more should eat, that so they may supply

Their fellows that have stuck in field, and fight incessantly.


Let none expect reply to this, nor stay; for this shall stand

Or fall with some offence to him that looks for new command,

Whoever in dislike holds back. All join them, all things fit

230 Allow’d for all; set on a charge, at all parts answering it.”

This said, he chose, for noblest youths to bear the presents, these:

The sons of Nestor, and with them renown’d Meriones,

Phylides, Thoas, Lycomed, and Meges, all which went,

And Menalippus, following Ulysses to the tent

235 Of Agamemnon. He but spake, and with the word the deed

Had join’d effect. The fitness well was answer’d in the speed.

The presents, added to the dame the Gen’ral did enforce,

Were twenty caldrons, tripods sev’n, twelve young and goodly horse;

Sev’n ladies excellently seen in all Minerva’s skill,

240 The eighth Briseis who had pow’r to ravish ev’ry will;

Twelve talents of the finest gold, all which Ulysses weigh’d

And carried first; and after him, the other youths convey’d

The other presents, tender’d all in face of all the court.

Up rose the king. Talthybiús, whose voice had a report

245 Like to a God, call’d to the rites. There having brought the boar,

Atrides with his knife took say upon the part before,

And lifting up his sacred hands, to Jove to make his vows,

Grave silence strook the complete court; when, casting his high brows

Up to the broad heav’n, thus he spake: “Now witness, Jupiter,

250 First, highest, and thou best of Gods; thou Earth that all dost bear;

Thou Sun; ye Furies under earth that ev’ry soul torment

Whom impious perjury distains; that nought incontinent


In bed, or any other act to any slend’rest touch

Of my light vows, hath wrong’d the dame; and, let my plagues be such

255 As are inflicted by the Gods, in all extremity

Of whomsoever perjur’d men, if godless perjury

In least degree dishonour me.” This said, the bristled throat

Of the submitted sacrifice, with ruthless steel he cut;

Which straight into the hoary sea Talthybius cast, to feed

260 The sea-born nation. Then stood up the half-celestial seed

Of fair-hair’d Thetis, strength’ning thus Atrides’ innocence:

“O father Jupiter, from thee descends the confluence

Of all man’s ill; for now I see the mighty king of men

At no hand forc’d away my prise, nor first inflam’d my spleen

265 With any set ill in himself, but thou, the King of Gods,

Incens’d with Greece, made that the mean to all their periods.

Which now amend we as we may, and give all suffrages

To what wise Ithacus advis’d; take breakfasts, and address

For instant conflict.” Thus he rais’d the court, and all took way

270 To sev’ral ships. The Myrmidons the presents did convey

T’ Achilles’ fleet, and in his tents dispos’d them; doing grace

Of seat and all rites to the dames; the horses put in place

With others of Æacides. When, like love’s golden Queen,

Briseis all in ghastly wounds had dead Patroclus seen,

275 She fell about him, shrieking out, and with her white hands tore

Her hair, breasts, radiant cheeks, and, drown’d in warm tears, did deplore

His cruel destiny. At length she gat pow’r to express

Her violent passion, and thus spake this like-the-goddesses:

“O good Patroclus, to my life the dearest grace it had,

280 I, wretched dame, departing hence, enforc’d, and dying sad,

Left thee alive, when thou hadst cheer’d my poor captivity,

And now return’d I find thee dead; misery on misery

Ever increasing with my steps. The lord to whom my sire

And dearest mother gave my life in nuptials, his life’s fire


285 I saw before our city gates extinguish’d: and his fate

Three of my worthy brothers’ lives, in one womb generate,

Felt all in that black day of death. And when Achilles’ hand

Had slain all these, and ras’d the town Mynetes did command,

(All cause of never-ending griefs presented) thou took’st all

290 On thy endeavour to convert to joy as general,

Affirming, he that hurt should heal, and thou wouldst make thy friend,

Brave captain that thou wert, supply my vowéd husband’s end,

And in rich Phthia celebrate, amongst his Myrmidons,

Our nuptial banquets; for which grace, with these most worthy moans

295 I never shall be satiate, thou ever being kind,

Ever delightsome, one sweet grace fed still with one sweet mind.”

Thus spake she weeping; and with her, did th’ other ladies moan

Patroclus’ fortunes in pretext, but in sad truth their own.

About Æacides himself the kings of Greece were plac’d,

300 Entreating him to food; and he entreated them as fast,

Still intermixing words and sighs, if any friend were there

Of all his dearest, they would cease, and offer him no cheer

But his due sorrows; for before the sun had left that sky

He would not eat, but of that day sustain th’ extremity.

305 Thus all the kings, in res’lute grief and fasting, he dismiss’d;

But both th’ Atrides, Ithacus, and war’s old Martialist,

Idomenëus and his friend, and Phœnix, these remain’d

Endeavouring comfort, but no thought of his vow’d woe restrain’d.

Nor could, till that day’s bloody fight had calm’d his blood; he still

310 Remember’d something of his friend, whose good was all his ill.

Their urging meat the diligent fashion of his friend renew’d

In that excitement: “Thou,” said he, “O when this speed was pursued

Against the Trojans, evermore apposedst in my tent

A pleasing breakfast; being so free, and sweetly diligent,

315 Thou mad’st all meat sweet. Then the war was tearful to our foe

But now to me; thy wounds so wound me, and thy overthrow;


For which my ready food I fly, and on thy longings feed.

Nothing could more afflict me; Fame relating the foul deed

Of my dear father’s slaughter, blood drawn from my sole son’s heart,

320 No more could wound me. Curséd man, that in this foreign part

(For hateful Helen) my true love, my country, sire, and son,

I thus should part with. Scyros now gives educatión,

O Neoptolemus, to thee, if living yet; from whence

I hop’d, dear friend, thy longer life safely return’d from hence,

325 And my life quitting thine, had pow’r to ship him home, and show

His young eyes Phthia, subjects, court: my father being now

Dead, or most short-liv’d, troublous age oppressing him, and fear

Still of my death’s news.” These sad words, he blew into the ear

Of ev’ry visitant with sighs, all echo’d by the peers,

330 Rememb’ring who they left at home. All whose so humane tears

Jove pitied; and, since they all would in the good of one

Be much reviv’d, he thus bespake Minerva: “Thetis’ son,

Now, daughter, thou hast quite forgot. O, is Achilles’ care

Extinguish’d in thee? Prostrated in most extreme ill fare,

335 He lies before his high-sail’d fleet, for his dead friend; the rest

Are strength’ning them with meat, but he lies desp’rately oppress’d

With heartless fasting. Go thy ways, and to his breast instill

Red nectar and ambrosia, that fast procure no ill

To his near enterprise.” This spur he added to the free,

340 And, like a harpy, with a voice that shrieks so dreadfully,

And feathers that like needles prick’d, she stoop’d through all the stars,

Amongst the Grecians, all whose tents were now fill’d for the wars;

Her seres strook through Achilles’ tent, and closely she instill’d

Heav’n’s most-to-be-desiréd feast to his great breast, and fill’d

345 His sinews with that sweet supply, for fear unsavoury fast

Should creep into his knees. Herself the skies again enchas’d.


The host set forth, and pour’d his steel waves far out of the fleet.

And as from air the frosty north wind blows a cold thick sleet,

That dazzles eyes, flakes after flakes incessantly descending;

350 So thick, helms, curets, ashen darts, and round shields, never ending,

Flow’d from the navy’s hollow womb. Their splendours gave heav’n’s eye

His beams again. Earth laugh’d to see her face so like the sky;

Arms shin’d so hot, and she such clouds make with the dust she cast,

She thunder’d, feet of men and horse importun’d her so fast.

355 In midst of all, divine Achilles his fair person arm’d,

His teeth gnash’d as he stood, his eyes so full of fire they warm’d,

Unsuffer’d grief and anger at the Trojans so combin’d.

His greaves first us’d, his goodly curets on his bosom shin’d,

His sword, his shield that cast a brightness from it like the moon.

360 And as from sea sailors discern a harmful fire let run

By herdsmen’s faults, till all their stall flies up in wrastling flame;

Which being on hills is seen far off; but being alone, none came

To give it quench, at shore no neighbours, and at sea their friends

Driv’n off with tempests; such a fire, from his bright shield extends

365 His ominous radiance, and in heav’n impress’d his fervent blaze.

His crested helmet, grave and high, had next triumphant place

On his curl’d head, and like a star it cast a spurry ray,

About which a bright thicken’d bush of golden hair did play,

Which Vulcan forg’d him for his plume. Thus cómplete arm’d, he tried

370 How fit they were, and if his motion could with ease abide

Their brave instruction; and so far they were from hind’ring it,

That to it they were nimble wings, and made so light his spirit,

That from the earth the princely captain they took up to air.

Then from his armoury he drew his lance, his father’s spear,

375 Huge, weighty, firm, that not a Greek but he himself alone

Knew how to shake; it grew upon the mountain Pelion,

From whóse height Chiron hew’d it for his sire, and fatal ’twas

To great-soul’d men, of Peleus and Pelion surnam’d Pelias.


Then from the stable their bright horse, Automedon withdraws

380 And Alcymus; put poitrils on, and cast upon their jaws

Their bridles, hurling back the reins, and hung them on the seat.

The fair scourge then Automedon takes up, and up doth get

To guide the horse. The fight’s seat last, Achilles took behind;

Who look’d so arm’d as if the sun, there fall’n from heav’n, had shin’d,

385 And terribly thus charg’d his steeds: “Xanthus and Balius,

Seed of the Harpy, in the charge ye undertake of us,

Discharge it not as when Patroclus ye left dead in field,

But, when with blood, for this day’s fast observ’d, revenge shall yield

Our heart satiety, bring us off.” Thus, since Achilles spake

390 As if his aw’d steeds understood, ’twas Juno’s will to make

Vocal the palate of the one; who, shaking his fair head,

(Which in his mane, let fall to earth, he almost buriéd)

Thus Xanthus spake: “Ablest Achilles, now, at least, our care

Shall bring thee off; but not far hence the fatal minutes are

395 Of thy grave ruin. Nor shall we be then to be reprov’d,

But mightiest Fate, and the great God. Nor was thy best belov’d

Spoiled so of arms by our slow pace, or courage’s impair;

The best of Gods, Latona’s son, that wears the golden hair,

Gave him his death’s wound; though the grace he gave to Hector’s hand.

400 We, like the spirit of the west, that all spirits can command

For pow’r of wing, could run him off; but thou thyself must go,

So fate ordains; God and a man must give thee overthrow.”

This said, the Furies stopp’d his voice. Achilles, far in rage,

Thus answer’d him: “It fits not thee, thus proudly to presage

405 My overthrow. I know myself, it is my fate to fall

Thus far from Phthia; yet that fate shall fail to vent her gall,

Till mine vent thousands.” These words us’d, he fell to horrid deeds,

Gave dreadful signal, and forthright made fly his one-hoof’d steeds.

Linenotes for Book XIX

* Reflection—turning, change. See Bk. XVIII. 404.

Abode—omen. Bk. XIII. 146.

97: Vent—give birth to.

160: Which.—The second folio omits, and so Dr. Taylor.

164: This.—The second folio and Taylor, “his.”

191: See Commentary.

193: Of men.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor erroneously omit these words.

204: Fleet—float.

246: Took say—assay, sample. Nares has fully illustrated this word. “To give the say at court, was for the royal taster to declare the goodness of the wine or dishes. In hunting the say was taken of the venison, when the deer was killed, in this form:—

“‘The person that takes say is to draw the edge of the knife leisurely along the very middle of the belly, beginning near the brisket, and drawing a little upon it, to discover how fat the deer is.’

Gent. Recreat. p. 75.”

258: Submitted—(Latin) placed under.

260: Half-celestial seed—Achilles.

306: War’s old Martialist—Nestor.

322: “Scyros was an isle in the sea Ægeum, where Achilles himself was brought up, as well as his son.” —Chapman.

346: Enchas’d—enclosed; i.e. the skies enshrined her.

380: Poitrils—breast-harness. See Bk. V. 738.




Iliad XIX.197

Κάπρον ἑτοιμασάτω, &c. Aprum præparet mactandum Jovique Solique: he shall prepare a boar for sacrifice to Jove and the Sun. It is the end of Agamemnon’s speech in this book before to Ulysses, and promiseth that sacrifice to Jove and the Sun at the reconciliation of himself and Achilles. Our Commentors (Eustathius and Spondanus, &c.) will by no means allow the word κάπρος here for Homer’s, but an unskilfulness in the divulger; and will needs have it ὗς or οῦς, which Spondanus says is altogether here to be understood, as Eustathius’ words teach,—for to offer so fierce a beast to Jove as a boar, he says, is absurd, and cites Natalis, lib. i. cap. xvii., where he says Homer in this place makes a tame sow sacrificed to Jove, who was as tamely and simply deceived as the rest. Eustathius’ reason for it is, that sus is animal salax: and since the oath Agamemnon takes at this sacrifice to satisfy Achilles, that he hath not touch’d Briseis, is concerning a woman, very fitly is a sow here sacrificed. But this seems to Spondanus something ridiculous (as I hope you will easily judge it) and, as I conceive, so is his own opinion to have the original word κάπρον altered, and expounded suem. His reason for it he makes nice to utter, saying, he knows what is set down amongst the learned touching the sacrifice of a sow. But because it is (he says) ἀπροσδιόνυσον, nihil ad rem (though, as they expound it, it is too much ad rem,) he is willing to keep his opinion in silence, unless you will take it for a splayed or gelded sow; as if Agamemnon would innuate that as this sow, being splayed, is free from Venus, so had he never attempted the dishonour of Briseis. And peradventure, says Spondanus, you cannot think of a better exposition; when a worse cannot be conjectured, II.171 unless that of Eustathius, as I hope you will clearly grant me when you hear but mine, which is this,—the sacrifice is not made by Agamemnon for any resemblance or reference it hath to the lady now to be restored (which since these clerks will need have it a sow, in behalf of ladies, I disdain) but only to the reconciliation of Agamemnon and Achilles; for a sacred sign whereof, and that their wraths were now absolutely appeased, Agamemnon thought fit a boar (being the most wrathful of all beasts) should be sacrificed to Jove; intimating that in that boar they sacrificed their wraths to Jupiter, and became friends. And thus is the original word preserved, which (together with the sacred sense of our Homer) in a thousand other places suffers most ignorant and barbarous violence. But here (being weary both with finding faults and my labour) till a refreshing come, I will end my poor Comment; holding it not altogether unfit, with this ridiculous contention of our Commentors, a little to quicken you, and make it something probable that their oversight in this trifle is accompanied with a thousand other errors in matter of our divine Homer’s depth and gravity; which will not open itself to the curious austerity of belabouring art, but only to the natural and most ingenious soul of our thrice-sacred Poesy.


Corrections for Book XIX

92 Ate, that hurts all
expected “Até” or “Atë”

331 Jove pitied; and, since they all
expected “pitiéd” (three syllables)

377 From whóse height Chiron hew’d
text unchanged




The Argument.

By Jove’s permission, all the Gods descend

To aid on both parts. For the Greeks contend

Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Mulciber,

And Mercury. The Deities that prefer

The Trojan part are Phœbus, Cyprides,

Phœbe, Latona, and the Foe to peace,*

With bright Scamander. Neptune in a mist

Preserves Æneas daring to resist

Achilles; by whose hand much scathe is done;

Besides the slaughter of old Priam’s son

Young Polydor, whose rescue Hector makes;

Him flying, Phœbus to his rescue takes.

The rest, all shunning their importun’d fates,

Achilles beats ev’n to the Ilian gates.

Another Argument.

In Upsilon, Strife stirs in heav’n;

The day’s grace to the Greeks is giv’n.


he Greeks thus arm’d, and made insatiate with desire of fight,

About thee, Peleus’ son, the foe, in ground of greatest height,

Stood opposite, rang’d. Then Jove charg’d Themis from Olympus’ top

To call a court. She ev’ry way dispers’d, and summon’d up


5 All Deities; not any flood, besides Oceanus,

But made appearance; not a nymph (that arbours odorous,

The heads of floods, and flow’ry meadows, make their sweet abodes)

Was absent there; but all at his court, that is King of Gods,

Assembled, and, in lightsome seats of admirable frame,

10 Performed for Jove by Vulcan, sat. Ev’n angry Neptune came,

Nor heard the Goddess with unwilling ear, but with the rest

Made free ascension from the sea, and did his state invest

In midst of all, began the council, and inquir’d of Jove

His reason for that sessión, and on what point did move

15 His high intention for the foes; he thought the heat of war

Was then near breaking out in flames? To him the Thunderer:

“Thou knowest this council by the rest of those fore-purposes

That still inclin’d me; my cares still must succour the distress

Of Troy; though in the mouth of Fate, yet vow I not to stir

20 One step from off this top of heav’n, but all th’ affair refer

To any one. Here I’ll hold state, and freely take the joy

Of either’s fate. Help whom ye please; for ’tis assur’d that Troy

Not one day’s conflict can sustain against Æacides,

If Heav’n oppose not. His mere looks threw darts enow t’ impress

25 Their pow’rs with trembling; but when blows, sent from his fi’ry hand,

(Thrice heat by slaughter of his friend) shall come and countermand

Their former glories, we have fear, that though Fate keep their wall,

He’ll overturn it. Then descend; and cease not till ye all

Add all your aids; mix earth and heav’n together with the fight.

30 Achilles urgeth.” These his words did such a war excite

As no man’s pow’r could wrastle down; the Gods with parted hearts

Departed heav’n, and made earth war. To guide the Grecian darts,

Juno and Pallas, with the God that doth the earth embrace,

And most-for-man’s-use Mercury (whom good wise inwards grace)

35 Were partially and all employ’d; and with them halted down

(Proud of his strength) lame Mulciber, his walkers quite misgrown,


But made him tread exceeding sure. To aid the Ilian side,

The changeable in arms went, Mars; and him accompanied

Diana that delights in shafts, and Phœbus never shorn,

40 And Aphrodite laughter-pleas’d, and She of whom was born

Still young Apollo, and the Flood that runs on golden sands

Bright Xanthus. All these aided Troy; and, till these lent their hands,

The Grecians triumph’d in the aid Æacides did add;

The Trojans trembling with his sight; so gloriously clad

45 He overshin’d the field, and Mars no harmfuller than he,

He bore the iron stream on clear. But when Jove’s high decree

Let fall the Gods amongst their troops, the field swell’d, and the fight

Grew fierce and horrible. The Dame, that armies doth excite,

Thunder’d with clamour, sometimes set at dike without the wall,

50 And sometimes on the bellowing shore. On th’ other side, the call

Of Mars to fight was terrible, he cried out like a storm,

Set on the city’s pinnacles; and there he would inform

Sometimes his heart’nings, other times where Simois pours on

His silver current at the foot of high Callicolon.

55 And thus the bless’d Gods both sides urg’d; they all stood in the mids,

And brake contention to the hosts. And over all their heads

The Gods’ King in abhorréd claps his thunder rattled out.

Beneath them Neptune toss’d the earth; the mountains round about

Bow’d with affright and shook their heads; Jove’s hill the earthquake felt,

60 (Steep Ida) trembling at her roots, and all her fountains spilt,

Their brows all crannied; Troy did nod; the Grecian navy play’d

As on the sea; th’ Infernal King, that all things frays, was fray’d,

And leap’d affrighted from his throne, cried out, lest over him

Neptune should rend in two the earth, and so his house, so dim,

65 So loathsome, filthy, and aborr’d of all the Gods beside,

Should open both to Gods and men. Thus all things shook and cried,


When this black battle of the Gods was joining. Thus array’d

’Gainst Neptune, Phœbus with wing’d shafts; ’gainst Mars, the blue-ey’d Maid;

’Gainst Juno, Phœbe, whose bright hands bore singing darts of gold,

70 Her side arm’d with a sheaf of shafts, and (by the birth twofold

Of bright Latona) sister twin to Him that shoots so far.

Against Latona, Hermes stood, grave guard, in peace and war,

Of human beings. ’Gainst the God, whose empire is in fire,

The wat’ry Godhead, that great Flood, to show whose pow’r entire

75 In spoil as th’ other, all his stream on lurking whirlpits trod,

Xanthus by Gods, by men Scamander, call’d. Thus God ’gainst God

Enter’d the field, Æacides sustain’d a fervent mind

To cope with Hector; past all these, his spirit stood inclin’d

To glut Mars with the blood of him. And at Æacides

80 Apollo sent Anchises’ son; but first he did impress

A more than natural strength in him, and made him feel th’ excess

Infus’d from heav’n; Lycaon’s shape gave show to his address,

(Old Priam’s son) and thus he spake: “Thou counsellor of Troy,

Where now fly out those threats that late put all our peers in joy

85 Of thy fight with Æacides? Thy tongue once, steep’d in wine,

Durst vaunt as much.” He answer’d him: “But why wouldst thou incline

My pow’rs ’gainst that proud enemy, and ’gainst my present heat?

I mean not now to bid him blows. That fear sounds my retreat,

That heretofore discourag’d me, when after he had ras’d

90 Lyrnessus, and strong Pedasus, his still breath’d fury chas’d

Our oxen from th’ Idæan hill, and set on me; but Jove

Gave strength and knees, and bore me off, that had not walk’d above

This centre now but propp’d by him; Minerva’s hand (that held

A light to this her favourite, whose beams show’d and impell’d

95 His pow’rs to spoil) had ruin’d me, for these ears heard her cry:

‘Kill, kill the seed of Ilion, kill th’ Asian Lelegi.’


Mere man then must not fight with him that still hath Gods to friend,

Averting death on others’ darts, and giving his no end

But with the ends of men. If God like fortune in the fight

100 Would give my forces, not with ease wing’d victory should light

On his proud shoulders, nor he ’scape, though all of brass he boasts

His plight consisteth.” He replied: “Pray thou those Gods of hosts,

Whom he implores, as well as he; and his chance may be thine;

Thou cam’st of Gods like him; the Queen that reigns in Salamine

105 Fame sounds thy mother; he deriv’d of lower Deity,

Old Nereus’ daughter bearing him. Bear then thy heart as high,

And thy unwearied steel as right; nor utterly be beat

With only cruelty of words, not proof against a threat.”

This strengthen’d him, and forth he rush’d; nor could his strength’ning fly

110 White-wristed Juno, nor his drifts. She ev’ry Deity

Of th’ Achive faction called to her, and said: “Ye must have care,

Neptune and Pallas, for the frame of this important war

Ye undertake here. Venus’ son, by Phœbus being impell’d,

Runs on Achilles; turn him back, or see our friend upheld

115 By one of us. Let not the spirit of Æacides

Be over-dar’d, but make him know the mightiest Deities

Stand kind to him: and that the Gods, protectors of these tow’rs

That fight against Greece, and were here before our eminent pow’rs,

Bear no importance. And besides, that all we stoop from heav’n,

120 To curb this fight, that no impair be to his person giv’n

By any Trojans, nor their aids, while this day bears the sun.

Hereafter, all things that are wrapp’d in his birth-thread, and spun

By Parcas in that point of time his mother gave him air,

He must sustain. But if report perform not the repair

125 Of all this to him, by the voice of some Immortal State,

He may be fearful (if some God should set on him) that Fate

Makes him her minister. The Gods, when they appear to men,

And manifest their proper forms, are passing dreadful then.”


Neptune replied: “Saturnia, at no time let your care

130 Exceed your reason; ’tis not fit. Where only humans are,

We must not mix the hands of Gods, our odds is too extreme.

Sit we by, in some place of height, where we may see to them,

And leave the wars of men to men. But if we see from thence

Or Mars or Phœbus enter fight, or offer least offence

135 To Thetis’ son, not giving free way to his conqu’ring rage,

Then comes the conflict to our cares; we soon shall disengage

Achilles, and send them to heav’n, to settle their abode

With equals, flying under-strifes.” This said, the black-hair’d God

Led to the tow’r of Hercules, built circular and high

140 By Pallas and the Ilians, for fit security

To Jove’s divine son ’gainst the whale, that drave him from the shore

To th’ ample field. There Neptune sat, and all the Gods that bore

The Greeks good meaning, casting all thick mantles made of clouds

On their bright shoulders. Th’ oppos’d Gods sat hid in other shrouds

145 On top of steep Callicolon, about thy golden sides,

O Phœbus, brandisher of darts, and thine, whose rage abides

No peace in cities. In this state, these Gods in council sate,

All ling’ring purpos’d fight, to try who first would elevate

His heav’nly weapon. High-thron’d Jove cried out to set them on,

150 Said, all the field was full of men, and that the earth did groan

With feet of proud encounterers, burn’d with the arms of men

And barbéd horse. Two champions for both the armies then

Met in their midst prepar’d for blows; divine Æacides,

And Venus’ son. Æneas first stepp’d threat’ning forth the prease,

155 His high helm nodding, and his breast barr’d with a shady shield,

And shook his jav’lin. Thetis’ son did his part to the field.

As when the harmful king of beasts (sore threaten’d to be slain

By all the country up in arms) at first makes coy disdain

Prepare resistance, but at last, when any one hath led

160 Bold charge upon him with his dart, he then turns yawning head,


Fell anger lathers in his jaws, his great heart swells, his stern

Lasheth his strength up, sides and thighs waddled with stripes to learn

Their own pow’r, his eyes glow, he roars, and in he leaps to kill,

Secure of killing; so his pow’r then rous’d up to his will

165 Matchless Achilles, coming on to meet Anchises’ son.

Both near, Achilles thus inquir’d: “Why stand’st thou thus alone,

Thou son of Venus? Calls thy heart to change of blows with me?

Sure Troy’s whole kingdom is propos’d; some one hath promis’d thee

The throne of Priam for my life; but Priam’s self is wise,

170 And, for my slaughter, not so mad to make his throne thy prise.

Priam hath sons to second him. Is’t then some piece of land,

Past others fit to set and sow, that thy victorious hand

The Ilians offer for my head? I hope that prise will prove

No easy conquest. Once, I think, my busy jav’lin drove,

175 With terror, those thoughts from your spleen. Retain’st thou not the time,

When single on th’ Idæan hill I took thee with the crime

Of runaway, thy oxen left, and when thou hadst no face

That I could see; thy knees bereft it, and Lyrnessus was

The mask for that? Then that mask, too, I open’d to the air

180 (By Jove and Pallas’ help) and took the free light from the fair

Your ladies bearing prisoners; but Jove and th’ other Gods

Then saft thee. Yet again I hope, they will not add their odds

To save thy wants, as thou presum’st. Retire then, aim not at

Troy’s throne by me; fly ere thy soul flies; fools are wise too late.”

185 He answer’d him: “Hope not that words can child-like terrify

My stroke-proof breast. I well could speak in this indecency,

And use tart terms; but we know well what stock us both put out,

Too gentle to bear fruits so rude. Our parents ring about

The world’s round bosom, and by fame their dignities are blown

190 To both our knowledges, by sight neither to either known,

Thine to mine eyes, nor mine to thine. Fame sounds thy worthiness

From famous Peleus; the sea-nymph, that hath the lovely tress,


Thetis, thy mother; I myself affirm my sire to be

Great-soul’d Anchises; she that holds the Paphian Deity,

195 My mother. And of these this light is now t’ exhale the tears

For their lov’d issue; thee or me; childish, unworthy, dares

Are not enough to part our pow’rs; for if thy spirits want

Due excitation, by distrust of that desert I vaunt,

To set up all rests for my life, I’ll lineally prove

200 (Which many will confirm) my race. First, cloud-commanding Jove

Was sire to Dardanus, that built Dardania; for the walls

Of sacred Ilion spread not yet these fields; those fair-built halls

Of divers-languag’d men, not rais’d; all then made populous

The foot of Ida’s fountful hill. This Jove-got Dardanus

205 Begot king Erichthonius, for wealth past all compares

Of living mortals; in his fens he fed three thousand mares,

All neighing by their tender foals, of which twice-six were bred

By lofty Boreas, their dams lov’d by him as they fed,

He took the brave form of a horse that shook an azure mane,

210 And slept with them. These twice-six colts had pace so swift, they ran

Upon the top-ayles of corn-ears, nor bent them any whit;

And when the broad back of the sea their pleasure was to sit,

The superficies of his waves they slid upon, their hoves

Not dipp’d in dank sweat of his brows. Of Erichthonius’ loves

215 Sprang Tros, the king of Trojans. Tros three young princes bred,

Ilus, renowm’d Assaracus, and heav’nly Ganymed

The fairest youth of all that breath’d, whom, for his beauty’s love,

The Gods did ravish to their state, to bear the cup to Jove.

Ilus begot Laomedon. God-like Laomedon

220 Got Tithon, Priam, Clytius, Mars-like Hycetaon,


And Lampus. Great Assaracus, Capys begot; and he

Anchises. Prince Anchises, me. King Priam, Hector. We

Sprang both of one high family. Thus fortunate men give birth,

But Jove gives virtue; he augments, and he impairs the worth

225 Of all men; and his will their rule; he, strong’st, all strength affords.

Why then paint we, like dames, the face of conflict with our words?

Both may give language that a ship, driv’n with a hundred oars,

Would overburthen. A man’s tongue is voluble, and pours

Words out of all sorts ev’ry way. Such as you speak you hear.

230 What then need we vie calumnies, like women that will wear

Their tongues out, being once incens’d, and strive for strife to part

(Being on their way) they travel so? From words, words may avert;

From virtue, not. It is your steel, divine Æacides,

Must prove my proof, as mine shall yours.” Thus amply did he ease

235 His great heart of his pedigree; and sharply sent away

A dart that caught Achilles’ shield, and rung so it did fray

The son of Thetis, his fair hand far-thrusting out his shield,

For fear the long lance had driv’n through. O fool, to think ’twould yield,

And not to know the God’s firm gifts want want to yield so soon

240 To men’s poor pow’rs. The eager lance had only conquest won

Of two plates, and the shield had five, two forg’d of tin, two brass,

One, that was centre-plate, of gold; and that forbad the pass

Of Anchisiades’s lance. Then sent Achilles forth

His lance, that through the first fold strook, where brass of little worth

245 And no great proof of hides was laid; through all which Pelias ran

His iron head, and after it his ashen body wan

Pass to the earth, and there it stuck, his top on th’ other side,

And hung the shield up; which hard down Æneas pluck’d, to hide

His breast from sword blows, shrunk up round, and in his heavy eye

250 Was much grief shadow’d, much afraid that Pelias stuck so nigh.


Then prompt Achilles rushing in, his sword drew; and the field

Rung with his voice. Æneas now, left and let hang his shield,

And, all-distracted, up he snatch’d a two-men’s strength of stone,

And either at his shield or casque he set it rudely gone,

255 Nor car’d where, so it strook a place that put on arms for death.

But he (Achilles came so close) had doubtless sunk beneath

His own death, had not Neptune seen and interpos’d the odds

Of his divine pow’r, utt’ring this to the Achaian Gods:

“I grieve for this great-hearted man; he will be sent to hell,

260 Ev’n instantly, by Peleus’ son, being only mov’d to deal

By Phœbus’ words. What fool is he! Phœbus did never mean

To add to his great words his guard against the ruin then

Summon’d against him. And what cause, hath he to head him on

To others’ mis’ries, he being clear of any trespass done

265 Against the Grecians? Thankful gifts he oft hath giv’n to us.

Let us then quit him, and withdraw this combat; for if thus

Achilles end him, Jove will rage; since his escape in fate

Is purpos’d, lest the progeny of Dardanus take date,

Whom Jove, past all his issue, lov’d, begot of mortal dames.

270 All Priam’s race he hates; and this must propagate the names

Of Trojans, and their sons’ sons’ rule, to all posterity.”

Saturnia said: “Make free your pleasure. Save, or let him die.

Pallas and I have taken many, and most public, oaths,

That th’ ill day never shall avert her eye, red with our wroths,

275 From hated Troy; no, not when all in studied fire she flames

The Greek rage, blowing her last coal.” This nothing turn’d his aims

From present rescue, but through all the whizzing spears he pass’d,

And came where both were combating; when instantly he cast

A mist before Achilles’ eyes, drew from the earth and shield

280 His lance, and laid it at his feet; and then took up and held

Aloft the light Anchises’ son, who pass’d, with Neptune’s force,

Whole orders of heröes heads, and many a troop of horse


Leap’d over, till the bounds he reach’d of all the fervent broil,

Where all the Caucons’ quarters lay. Thus, far freed from the toil,

285 Neptune had time to use these words: “Æneas, who was he

Of all the Gods, that did so much neglect thy good and thee

To urge thy fight with Thetis’ son, who in immortal rates

Is better and more dear than thee? Hereafter, lest, past fates,

Hell be thy headlong home, retire, make bold stand never near

290 Where he advanceth. But his fate once satisfied, then bear

A free and full sail; no Greek else shall end thee.” This reveal’d,

He left him, and dispers’d the cloud, that all this act conceal’d

From vex’d Achilles; who again had clear light from the skies,

And, much disdaining the escape, said: “O ye Gods, mine eyes

295 Discover miracles! My lance submitted, and he gone

At whom I sent it with desire of his confusion!

Æneas sure was lov’d of heav’n. I thought his vaunt from thence

Had flow’d from glory. Let him go, no more experience

Will his mind long for of my hands, he flies them now so clear.

300 Cheer then the Greeks, and others try.” Thus rang’d he ev’rywhere

The Grecian orders; ev’ry man (of which the most look’d on

To see their fresh lord shake his lance) he thus put charge upon:

“Divine Greeks, stand not thus at gaze, but man to man apply

Your sev’ral valours. ’Tis a task laid too unequally

305 On me left to so many men, one man oppos’d to all.

Not Mars, immortal and a God, not war’s She-General,

A field of so much fight could chase, and work it out with blows.

But what a man may execute, that all limbs will expose,

And all their strength to th’ utmost nerve (though now I lost some play

310 By some strange miracle) no more shall burn in vain the day

To any least beam. All this host, I’ll ransack, and have hope,

Of all not one again will scape, whoever gives such scope


To his adventure, and so near dares tempt my angry lance.”

Thus he excited. Hector then as much strives to advance

315 The hearts of his men, adding threats, affirming he would stand

In combat with Æacides: “Give fear,” said he, “no hand

Of your great hearts, brave Ilians, for Peleus’ talking son.

I’ll fight with any God with words; but when their spears put on,

The work runs high, their strength exceeds mortality so far,

320 And they may make works crown their words; which holds not in the war

Achilles makes; his hands have bounds; this word he shall make good,

And leave another to the field. His worst shall be withstood

With sole objection of myself; though in his hands he bear

A rage like fire, though fire itself his raging fingers were,

325 And burning steel flew in his strength.” Thus he incited his;

And they rais’d lances, and to work with mixéd courages;

And up flew Clamour. But the heat in Hector, Phœbus gave

This temper: “Do not meet,” said he, “in any single brave

The man thou threaten’st, but in press; and in thy strength impeach

330 His violence; for, far off, or near, his sword or dart will reach.”

The God’s voice made a difference in Hector’s own conceit

Betwixt his and Achilles’ words, and gave such overweight

As weigh’d him back into his strength, and curb’d his flying out.

At all threw fierce Æacides, and gave a horrid shout.

335 The first, of all he put to dart, was fierce Iphition,

Surnam’d Otryntides, whom Nais the water-nymph made son

To town-destroy’r Otrynteüs. Beneath the snowy hill

Of Tmolus, in the wealthy town of Hyda, at his will

Were many able men at arms. He, rushing in, took full

340 Pelides’ lance in his head’s midst, that cleft in two his skull.

Achilles knew him one much fam’d, and thus insulted then:

“Th’ art dead, Otryntides, though call’d the terriblest of men.

Thy race runs at Gygæus’ lake, there thy inheritance lay,

Near fishy Hyllus and the gulfs of Hermus; but this day


345 Removes it to the fields of Troy.” Thus left he night to seize

His closéd eyes, his body laid in course of all the prease,

Which Grecian horse broke with the strakes nail’d to their chariot wheels.

Next, through the temples, the burst eyes his deadly jav’lin seels

Of great-in-Troy Antenor’s son, renown’d Demoleon,

350 A mighty turner of a field. His overthrow set gone

Hippodamas; who leap’d from horse, and, as he fled before

Æacides’s turnéd back, he made fell Pelias gore,

And forth he puff’d his flying soul. And as a tortur’d bull,

To Neptune brought for sacrifice, a troop of youngsters pull

355 Down to the earth, and drag him round about the hallow’d shore,

To please the wat’ry Deity with forcing him to roar,

And forth he pours his utmost throat; so bellow’d this slain friend

Of flying Ilion, with the breath that gave his being end.

Then rush’d he on, and in his eye had heav’nly Polydore,

360 Old Priam’s son, whom last of all his fruitful princess bore,

And for his youth, being dear to him, the king forbad to fight.

Yet (hot of unexperienc’d blood, to show how exquisite

He was of foot, for which of all the fifty sons he held

The special name) he flew before the first heat of the field,

365 Ev’n till he flew out breath and soul; which, through the back, the lance

Of swift Achilles put in air, and did his head advance

Out at his navel. On his knees the poor prince crying fell,

And gather’d with his tender hands his entrails, that did swell

Quite through the wide wound, till a cloud as black as death conceal’d

370 Their sight, and all the world from him. When Hector had beheld

His brother tumbled so to earth, his entrails still in hand,

Dark sorrow overcast his eyes; nor far off could he stand

A minute longer, but like fire he brake out of the throng,

Shook his long lance at Thetis’ son; and then came he along


375 To feed th’ encounter: “O,” said he, “here comes the man that most

Of all the world destroys my mind, the man by whom I lost

My dear Patroclus. Now not long the crooked paths of war

Can yield us any privy scapes. ’Come, keep not off so far,’

He cried to Hector, ’make the pain of thy sure death as short,

380 As one so desp’rate of his life hath reason.’” In no sort

This frighted Hector, who bore close, and said: “Æacides,

Leave threats for children. I have pow’r to thunder calumnies

As well as others, and well know thy strength superior far

To that my nerves hold; but the Gods, not nerves, determine war.

385 And yet, for nerves, there will be found a strength of pow’r in mine

To drive a lance home to thy life. My lance as well as thine

Hath point and sharpness, and ’tis this.” Thus brandishing his spear,

He set it flying; which a breath of Pallas back did bear

From Thetis’ son to Hector’s self, and at his feet it fell.

390 Achilles us’d no dart, but close flew in; and thought to deal

With no strokes but of sure dispatch, but, what with all his blood

He labour’d, Phœbus clear’d with ease, as being a God, and stood

For Hector’s guard, as Pallas did, Æacides, for thine.

He rapt him from him, and a cloud of much night cast between

395 His person and the point oppos’d. Achilles then exclaim’d:

“O see, yet more Gods are at work. Apollo’s hand hath fram’d,

Dog that thou art, thy rescue now; to whom go pay thy vows

Thy safety owes him, I shall vent in time those fatal blows

That yet beat in my heart on thine, if any God remain

400 My equal fautor. In mean time, my anger must maintain

His fire on other Ilians.” Then laid he at his feet

Great Demuchus, Philetor’s son; and Dryope did greet

With like encounter. Dardanus and strong Laogonus,

Wise Bias’ sons, he hurl’d from horse; of one victorious

405 With his close sword, the other’s life he conquer’d with his lance.

Then Tros, Alastor’s son, made in, and sought to scape their chance


With free submission. Down he fell, and pray’d about his knees

He would not kill him, but take ruth, as one that destinies

Made to that purpose, being a man born in the self same year

410 That he himself was. O poor fool, to sue to him to bear

A ruthful mind! He well might know, he could not fashion him

In ruth’s soft mould, he had no spirit to brook that interim

In his hot fury, he was none of these remorseful men,

Gentle and affable, but fierce at all times, and mad then.

415 He gladly would have made a pray’r, and still so hugg’d his knee

He could not quit him; till at last his sword was fain to free

His fetter’d knees, that made a vent for his white liver’s blood

That caus’d such pitiful affects; of which it pour’d a flood

About his bosom, which it fill’d, ev’n till it drown’d his eyes,

420 And all sense fail’d him. Forth then flew this prince of tragedies;

Who next stoop’d Mulius ev’n to death with his insatiate spear;

One ear it enter’d, and made good his pass to th’ other ear.

Echeclus then, Agenor’s son, he strook betwixt the brows;

Whose blood set fire upon his sword, that cool’d it till the throes

425 Of his then labouring brain let out his soul to fixéd fate,

And gave cold entry to black death. Deucalion then had state

In these men’s beings, where the nerves about the elbow knit,

Down to his hand his spear’s steel pierc’d, and brought such pain to it

As led death jointly; whom he saw before his fainting eyes,

430 And in his neck felt, with a stroke, laid on so, that off flies

His head. One of the twice-twelve bones, that all the backbone make,

Let out his marrow; when the head he, helm and all, did take,

And hurl’d amongst the Ilians; the body stretch’d on earth.

Rhigmus of fruitful Thrace next fell. He was the famous birth

435 Of Pireüs; his belly’s midst the lance took, whose stern force

Quite tumbled him from chariot. In turning back the horse,

Their guider Areithous receiv’d another lance

That threw him to his lord. No end was put to the mischance


Achilles enter’d. But as fire, fall’n in a flash from heav’n,

440 Inflames the high woods of dry hills, and with a storm is driv’n

Through all the sylvan deeps; and raves, till down goes ev’rywhere

The smother’d hill; so ev’ry way Achilles and his spear

Consum’d the champain, the black earth flow’d with the veins he tore.

And look how oxen, yok’d and driv’n about the circular floor

445 Of some fair barn, tread suddenly the thick sheaves thin of corn,

And all the corn consum’d with chaff; so mix’d and overborne,

Beneath Achilles’ one-hoof’d horse, shields, spears, and men, lay trod,

His axle-trees and chariot wheels, all spatter’d with the blood

Hurl’d from the steeds’ hooves and the strakes. Thus, to be magnified,

450 His most inaccessible hands in human blood he dyed.

Linenotes for Book XX

* Mars.

33: Neptune.

36: Walkers—feet.

48: Pallas.

52: Inform—animate, actuate by vital powers. A common use. See Todd.

62: Pluto.

73: The God whose empire, &c.—Vulcan.

141: Hercules.

146: Mars.

196: Dares—defiance.

“Sextus Pompeius

Hath giv’n the dare to Cæsar, and commands

The empire of the sea.”

Shakespeare. Ant. and Cleop. I. 2.

211: Top-ayles—the beards of corn. Halliwell says “ails” is the term for beards of barley in Essex. It is common in West Berks. Probably from French aile, Latin ala.

213: Hoves—hoofs.

239: Want want.—So both folios. Perhaps we should read, “want wont,” i.e. are not wont to yield, &c.

250: Stuck.—Dr. Taylor prints “struck.”

288: Past fates—beyond control of fates.

295: Submitted.— Bk. XIX. 258.

298: Glory—boasting. Bk. XIII. 389.

306: Minerva.

328: Brave—challenge.

347: Strakes—the iron with which the wheels are bound. Infrà, 449.

348: Seels.—See Bk. XVI. 314. The second folio and Taylor, “steels.”

413: Remorseful—See Bk. VIII. 208.


Corrections for Book XX

51 Of Mars to fight
text has Marst

65 So loathsome, filthy, and abhorr’d
text has aborr’d

295 My lance submitted, and he gone / At whom I sent it
[“he gone” looks odd but is correct]




The Argument.

In two parts Troy’s host parted; Thetis’ son

One to Scamander, one to Ilion,

Pursues. Twelve lords he takes alive, to end

In sacrifice for vengeance to his friend.

Asteropæus dies by his fierce hand,

And, Priam’s son, Lycaon. Over land

The Flood breaks where Achilles being engag’d,

Vulcan preserves him, and with spirit enrag’d

Sets all the champain and the floods on fire.

Contention then doth all the Gods inspire.

Apollo in Agenor’s shape doth stay

Achilles’ fury, and, by giving way,

Makes him pursue, till the deceit gives leave

That Troy in safety might her friends receive.

Another Argument.

Phy at the flood’s shore doth express

The labours of Æacides.


nd now they reach’d the goodly swelling channel of the flood,

Gulf-eating Xanthus, whom Jove mix’d with his immortal brood;

And there Achilles cleft the host of Ilion; one side fell

On Xanthus, th’ other on the town; and that did he impell


5 The same way that the last day’s rage put all the Greeks in rout,

When Hector’s fury reign’d; these now Achilles pour’d about

The scatter’d field. To stay the flight, Saturnia cast before

Their hasty feet a standing fog; and then flight’s violence bore

The other half full on the flood. The silver-gulféd deep

10 Receiv’d them with a mighty cry, the billows vast and steep

Roar’d at their armours, which the shores did round about resound;

This way and that they swum, and shriek’d as in the gulfs they drown’d

And as in fir’d fields locusts rise, as the unwearied blaze

Plies still their rising, till in swarms all rush as in amaze,

15 For scape into some neighbour flood; so th’ Achilleian stroke

Here drave the foe, the gulfy flood with men and horse did choke.

Then on the shore the Worthy hid and left his horrid lance

Amids the tamarisks, and sprite-like did with his sword advance

Up to the river; ill affairs took up his furious brain

20 For Troy’s engagements; ev’ry way he doubled slain on slain.

A most unmanly noise was made, with those he put to sword,

Of groans and outcries. The flood blush’d, to be so much engor’d

With such base souls. And as small fish the swift-finn’d dolphin fly,

Filling the deep pits in the ports, on whose close strength they lie,

25 And there he swallows them in shoals; so here, to rocks and holes

About the flood, the Trojans fled, and there most lost their souls,

Ev’n till he tir’d his slaught’rous arm. Twelve fair young princes then

He chose of all to take alive, to have them freshly slain

On that most solemn day of wreak, resolv’d on for his friend.

30 These led he trembling forth the flood, as fearful of their end

As any hind calves. All their hands he pinionéd behind

With their own girdles worn upon their rich weeds, and resign’d

Their persons to his Myrmidons to bear to fleet; and he

Plung’d in the stream again to take more work of tragedy.


35 He met, then issuing the flood with all intent of flight,

Lycaon, Dardan Priam’s son; whom lately in the night

He had surpris’d, as in a wood of Priam’s he had cut

The green arms of a wild fig-tree, to make him spokes to put

In naves of his new chariot. An ill then, all unthought,

40 Stole on him in Achilles’ shape, who took him thence, and brought

To well-built Lemnos, selling him to famous Jason’s son.

From whom a guest then in his house (Imbrius Eetion)

Redeem’d at high rate, and sent home t’ Arisba, whence he fled,

And saw again his father’s court; elev’n days banqueted

45 Amongst his friends; the twelfth God thrust his hapless head again

In t’ hands of stern Æacides, who now must send him slain

To Pluto’s court, and ’gainst his will. Him, when Achilles knew,

Naked of helmet, shield, sword, lance (all which for ease he threw

To earth, being overcome with sweat, and labour wearying

50 His flying knees) he storm’d, and said: “O heav’n, a wondrous thing

Invades mine eyes! Those Ilians, that heretofore I slew,

Rise from the dark dead quick again. This man Fate makes eschew

Her own steel fingers. He was sold in Lemnos, and the deep

Of all seas ’twixt this Troy, and that (that many a man doth keep

55 From his lov’d country) bars not him. Come then, he now shall taste

The head of Pelias, and try if steel will down as fast

As other fortunes, or kind earth can any surer seize

On his sly person, whose strong arms have held down Hercules.”

His thoughts thus mov’d, while he stood firm, to see if he, he spied,

60 Would offer flight (which first he thought) but when he had descried

He was descried and flight was vain, fearful, he made more nigh,

With purpose to embrace his knees, and now long’d much to fly

His black fate and abhorréd death by coming in. His foe

Observ’d all this, and up he rais’d his lance as he would throw;

65 And then Lycaon close ran in, fell on his breast, and took

Achilles’ knees; whose lance, on earth now staid, did overlook


His still turn’d back, with thirst to glut his sharp point with the blood

That lay so ready. But that thirst Lycaon’s thirst withstood

To save his blood; Achilles’ knee in his one hand he knit,

70 His other held the long lance hard, and would not part with it,

But thus besought: “I kiss thy knees, divine Æacides!

Respect me, and my fortunes rue. I now present th’ access

Of a poor suppliant for thy ruth; and I am one that is

Worthy thy ruth, O Jove’s belov’d. First hour my miseries

75 Fell into any hand, ’twas thine. I tasted all my bread

By thy gift since, O since that hour that thy surprisal led

From forth the fair wood my sad feet, far from my lov’d allies,

To famous Lemnos, where I found a hundred oxen’s prize

To make my ransom; for which now I thrice the worth will raise.

80 This day makes twelve, since I arriv’d in Ilion, many days

Being spent before in sufferance: and now a cruel fate

Thrusts me again into thy hands. I should haunt Jove with hate,

That with such set malignity gives thee my life again.

There were but two of us for whom Laothoe suffer’d pain,

85 Laothoe, old Alte’s seed; Alte, whose palace stood

In height of upper Pedasus, near Satnius’ silver flood,

And rul’d the war-like Lelegi. Whose seed (as many more)

King Priam married, and begot the god-like Polydore,

And me accurs’d. Thou slaughter’dst him; and now thy hand on me

90 Will prove as mortal. I did think, when here I met with thee,

I could not ’scape thee; yet give ear, and add thy mind to it:

I told my birth to intimate, though one sire did beget

Yet one womb brought not into light Hector that slew thy friend,

And me. O do not kill me then, but let the wretched end

95 Of Polydore excuse my life. For half our being bred

Brothers to Hector, he (half) paid, no more is forfeited.”

Thus sued he humbly; but he heard, with this austere reply:

“Fool, urge not ruth nor price to me, till that solemnity,


Resolv’d on for Patroclus’ death, pay all his rites to fate.

100 Till his death I did grace to Troy, and many lives did rate

At price of ransom; but none now, of all the brood of Troy,

(Whoever Jove throws to my hands) shall any breath enjoy

That death can beat out, specially that touch at Priam’s race.

Die, die, my friend. What tears are these? What sad looks spoil thy face?

105 Patroclus died, that far pass’d thee. Nay, seest thou not beside,

Myself, ev’n I, a fair young man, and rarely magnified,

And, to my father being a king, a mother have that sits

In rank with Goddesses; and yet, when thou hast spent thy spirits,

Death and as violent a fate must overtake ev’n me,

110 By twilight, morn-light, day, high noon, whenever destiny

Sets on her man to hurl a lance, or knit out of his string

An arrow that must reach my life.” This said, a languishing

Lycaon’s heart bent like his knees, yet left him strength t’ advance

Both hands for mercy as he kneel’d. His foe yet leaves his lance,

115 And forth his sword flies, which he hid in furrow of a wound

Driv’n through the jointure of his neck; flat fell he on the ground,

Stretch’d with death’s pangs, and all the earth imbru’d with timeless blood.

Then gript Æacides his heel, and to the lofty flood

Flung, swinging, his unpitied corse, to see it swim, and toss

120 Upon the rough waves, and said: “Go, feed fat the fish with loss

Of thy left blood, they clean will suck thy green wounds; and this saves

Thy mother’s tears upon thy bed. Deep Xanthus on his waves

Shall hoise thee bravely to a tomb, that in her burly breast

The sea shall open, where great fish may keep thy fun’ral feast

125 With thy white fat, and on the waves dance at thy wedding fate,

Clad in black horror, keeping close inaccessible state.

So perish Ilians, till we pluck the brows of Ilion

Down to her feet, you flying still, I flying still upon


Thus in the rear, and (as my brows were fork’d with rabid horns)

130 Toss ye together. This brave flood, that strengthens and adorns

Your city with his silver gulfs, to whom so many bulls

Your zeal hath offer’d, which blind zeal his sacred current gulls,

With casting chariots and horse quick to his pray’d-for aid,

Shall nothing profit. Perish then, till cruell’st death hath laid

135 All at the red feet of Revenge for my slain friend, and all

With whom the absence of my hands made yours a festival.”

This speech great Xanthus more enrag’d, and made his spirit contend

For means to shut up the op’d vein against him, and defend

The Trojans in it from his plague. In mean time Peleus’ son,

140 And now with that long lance he hid, for more blood set upon

Asteropæus, the descent of Pelegon, and he

Of broad-stream’d Axius, and the dame, of first nativity

To all the daughters that renown’d Acesamenus’ seed,

Bright Peribœa, whom the Flood, arm’d thick with lofty reed,

145 Compress’d. At her grandchild now went Thetis’ great son, whose foe

Stood arm’d with two darts, being set on by Xanthus anger’d so

For those youths’ blood shed in his stream by vengeful Thetis’ son

Without all mercy. Both being near, great Thetides begun

With this high question: “Of what race art thou that dar’st oppose

150 Thy pow’r to mine thus? Curséd wombs they ever did disclose,

That stood my anger.” He replied: “What makes thy fury’s heat

Talk, and seek pedigrees? Far hence lies my innative seat,

In rich Pæonia. My race from broad-stream’d Axius runs;

Axius, that gives earth purest drink, of all the wat’ry sons

155 Of great Oceanus, and got the famous for his spear,

Pelegonus, that father’d me; and these Pæonians here,


Arm’d with long lances, here I lead; and here th’ elev’nth fair light

Shines on us since we enter’d Troy. Come now, brave man, let’s fight.”

Thus spake he, threat’ning; and to him Pelides made reply

160 With shaken Pelias; but his foe with two at once let fly,

For both his hands were dexterous. One jav’lin strook the shield

Of Thetis’ son, but strook not through; the gold, God’s gift, repell’d

The eager point; the other lance fell lightly on the part

Of his fair right hand’s cubit; forth the black blood spun; the dart

165 Glanc’d over, fast’ning on the earth, and there his spleen was spent

That wish’d the body. With which wish Achilles his lance sent,

That quite miss’d, and infix’d itself fast in the steep-up shore;

Ev’n to the midst it enter’d it. Himself then fiercely bore

Upon his enemy with his sword. His foe was tugging hard

170 To get his lance out; thrice he pluck’d, and thrice sure Pelias barr’d

His wish’d evulsion; the fourth pluck, he bow’d and meant to break

The ashen plant, but, ere that act, Achilles’ sword did check

His bent pow’r, and brake out his soul. Full in the navel-stead

He ripp’d his belly up, and out his entrails fell, and dead

175 His breathless body; whence his arms Achilles drew, and said:

“Lie there, and prove it dangerous to lift up adverse head

Against Jove’s sons, although a Flood were ancestor to thee.

Thy vaunts urg’d him, but I may vaunt a higher pedigree

From Jove himself. King Peleüs was son to Æacus,

180 Infernal Æacus to Jove, and I to Peleüs.

Thunder-voic’d Jove far passeth floods, that only murmurs raise

With earth and water as they run with tribute to the seas;

And his seed theirs exceeds as far. A Flood, a mighty Flood,

Rag’d near thee now, but with no aid; Jove must not be withstood.

185 King Achelous yields to him, and great Oceanus,

Whence all floods, all the sea, all founts, wells, all deeps humorous,


Fetch their beginnings; yet ev’n he fears Jove’s flash, and the crack

His thunder gives, when out of heav’n it tears atwo his rack.”

Thus pluck’d he from the shore his lance, and left the waves to wash

190 The wave-sprung entrails, about which fausens and other fish

Did shoal, to nibble at the fat which his sweet kidneys hid.

This for himself. Now to his men, the well-rode Pæons, did

His rage contend, all which cold fear shook into flight, to see

Their captain slain. At whose maz’d flight, as much enrag’d, flew he.

195 And then fell all these, Thrasius, Mydon, Astypylus,

Great Ophelestes, Enius, Mnesus, Thersilochus.

And on these many more had fall’n, unless the angry Flood

Had took the figure of a man, and in a whirlpit stood,

Thus speaking to Æacides: “Past all, pow’r feeds thy will,

200 Thou great grandchild of Æacus, and, past all, th’ art in ill,

And Gods themselves confederates, and Jove, the best of Gods,

All deaths gives thee, all places not. Make my shores periods

To all shore service. In the field let thy field-acts run high,

Not in my waters. My sweet streams choke with mortality

205 Of men slain by thee. Carcasses so glut me, that I fail

To pour into the sacred sea my waves; yet still assail

Thy cruel forces. Cease, amaze affects me with thy rage,

Prince of the people.” He replied: “Shall thy command assuage,

Gulf-fed Scamander, my free wrath? I’ll never leave pursu’d

210 Proud Ilion’s slaughters, till this hand in her fill’d walls conclude

Her flying forces, and hath tried in single fight the chance

Of war with Hector; whose event with stark death shall advance


One of our conquests.” Thus again he like a fury flew

Upon the Trojans; when the flood his sad plaint did pursue

215 To bright Apollo, telling him he was too negligent

Of Jove’s high charge, importuning by all means vehement

His help of Troy till latest even should her black shadows pour

On Earth’s broad breast. In all his worst, Achilles yet from shore

Leapt to his midst. Then swell’d his waves, then rag’d, then boil’d again

220 Against Achilles. Up flew all, and all the bodies slain

In all his deeps (of which the heaps made bridges to his waves)

He belch’d out, roaring like a bull. The unslain yet he saves

In his black whirlpits vast and deep. A horrid billow stood

About Achilles. On his shield the violence of the Flood

225 Beat so, it drave him back, and took his feet up, his fair palm

Enforc’d to catch into his stay a broad and lofty elm,

Whose roots he toss’d up with his hold, and tore up all the shore.

With this then he repell’d the waves, and those thick arms it bore

He made a bridge to bear him off; (for all fell in) when he

230 Forth from the channel threw himself. The rage did terrify

Ev’n his great spirit, and made him add wings to his swiftest feet,

And tread the land. And yet not there the Flood left his retreat,

But thrust his billows after him, and black’d them all at top,

To make him fear, and fly his charge, and set the broad field ope

235 For Troy to ’scape in. He sprung out a dart’s cast, but came on

Again with a redoubled force. As when the swiftest flown,

And strong’st of all fowls, Jove’s black hawk, the huntress, stoops upon

A much lov’d quarry; so charg’d he; his arms with horror rung

Against the black waves. Yet again he was so urg’d, he flung

240 His body from the Flood, and fled; and after him again

The waves flew roaring. As a man that finds a water-vein,

And from some black fount is to bring his streams through plants and groves,

Goes with his mattock, and all checks, set to his course, removes;


When that runs freely, under it the pebbles all give way,

245 And, where it finds a fall, runs swift; nor can the leader stay

His current then, before himself full-pac’d it murmurs on;

So of Achilles evermore the strong Flood vantage won;

Though most deliver, Gods are still above the pow’rs of men.

As oft as th’ able god-like man endeavour’d to maintain

250 His charge on them that kept the flood, and charg’d as he would try

If all the Gods inhabiting the broad unreachéd sky

Could daunt his spirit; so oft still, the rude waves charg’d him round,

Rampt on his shoulders; from whose depth his strength and spirit would bound

Up to the free air, vex’d in soul. And now the vehement Flood

255 Made faint his knees; so overthwart his waves were, they withstood

All the denied dust, which he wish’d, and now was fain to cry,

Casting his eyes to that broad heav’n, that late he long’d to try,

And said: “O Jove, how am I left! No God vouchsafes to free

Me, miserable man. Help now, and after torture me

260 With any outrage. Would to heaven, Hector, the mightiest

Bred in this region, had imbru’d his jav’lin in my breast,

That strong may fall by strong! Where now weak water’s luxury

Must make my death blush, one, heav’n-born, shall like a hog-herd die,

Drown’d in a dirty torrent’s rage. Yet none of you in heav’n

265 I blame for this, but She alone by whom this life was giv’n

That now must die thus. She would still delude me with her tales,

Affirming Phœbus’ shafts should end within the Trojan walls

My curs’d beginning.” In this strait, Neptune and Pallas flew,

To fetch him off. In men’s shapes both close to his danger drew,

270 And, taking both both hands, thus spake the Shaker of the world:

“Pelides, do not stir a foot, nor these waves, proudly curl’d

Against thy bold breast, fear a jot; thou hast us two thy friends,

Neptune and Pallas, Jove himself approving th’ aid we lend.


’Tis nothing as thou fear’st with Fate; she will not see thee drown’d.

275 This height shall soon down, thine own eyes shall see it set aground.

Be rul’d then, we’ll advise thee well; take not thy hand away

From putting all, indiff’rently, to all that it can lay

Upon the Trojans, till the walls of haughty Ilion

Conclude all in a desp’rate flight. And when thou hast set gone

280 The soul of Hector, turn to fleet; our hands shall plant a wreath

Of endless glory on thy brows.” Thus to the free from death

Both made retreat. He, much impell’d by charge the Godheads gave,

The field, that now was overcome with many a boundless wave,

He overcame. On their wild breasts they toss’d the carcasses,

285 And arms, of many a slaughter’d man. And now the wingéd knees

Of this great captain bore aloft; against the Flood he flies

With full assault; nor could that God make shrink his rescu’d thighs.

Nor shrunk the Flood, but, as his foe grew pow’rful, he grew mad,

Thrust up a billow to the sky, and crystal Simoïs bad

290 To his assistance: “Simoïs, ho, brother,” out he cried,

“Come, add thy current, and resist this man half-deified,

Or Ilion he will pull down straight; the Trojans cannot stand

A minute longer. Come, assist, and instantly command

All fountains in thy rule to rise, all torrents to make in,

295 And stuff thy billows; with whose height, engender such a din,

With trees torn up and justling stones, as so immane a man

May shrink beneath us; whose pow’r thrives do my pow’r all it can;

He dares things fitter for a God. But, nor his form, nor force,

Nor glorious arms shall profit it; all which, and his dead corse,

300 I vow to roll up in my sands, nay, bury in my mud,

Nay, in the very sinks of Troy, that, pour’d into my flood,


Shall make him drowning work enough; and, being drown’d, I’ll set

A fort of such strong filth on him, that Greece shall never get

His bones from it. There, there shall stand Achilles’ sepulchre,

305 And save a burial for his friends.” This fury did transfer

His high-ridg’d billows on the prince, roaring with blood and foam

And carcasses. The crimson stream did snatch into her womb

Surpris’d Achilles; and her height stood, held up by the hand

Of Jove himself. Then Juno cried, and call’d (to countermand

310 This wat’ry Deity) the God that holds command in fire,

Afraid lest that gulf-stomach’d Flood would satiate his desire

On great Achilles: “Mulciber, my best lov’d son!” she cried,

“Rouse thee, for all the Gods conceive this Flood thus amplified

Is rais’d at thee, and shows as if his waves would drown the sky,

315 And put out all the sphere of fire. Haste, help thy empery.

Light flames deep as his pits. Ourself the west wind and the south

Will call out of the sea, and breathe in either’s full-charg’d mouth

A storm t’ enrage thy fires ’gainst Troy; which shall (in one exhal’d)

Blow flames of sweat about their brows, and make their armours scald.

320 Go thou then, and, ’gainst these winds rise, make work on Xanthus’ shore,

With setting all his trees on fire, and in his own breast pour

A fervor that shall make it burn; nor let fair words or threats

Avert thy fury till I speak, and then subdue the heats

Of all thy blazes.” Mulciber prepar’d a mighty fire,

325 First in the field us’d; burning up the bodies that the ire

Of great Achilles reft of souls; the quite-drown’d field it dried,

And shrunk the flood up. And as fields, that have been long time cloy’d

With catching weather, when their corn lies on the gavel heap,

Are with a constant north wind dried, with which for comfort leap


330 Their hearts that sow’d them; so this field was dried, the bodies burn’d,

And ev’n the flood into a fire as bright as day was turn’d.

Elms, willows, tam’risks, were inflam’d; the lote trees, sea-grass reeds,

And rushes, with the galingale roots, of which abundance breeds

About the sweet flood, all were fir’d; the gliding fishes flew

335 Upwards in flames; the grov’lling eels crept upright; all which slew

Wise Vulcan’s unresisted spirit. The Flood out of a flame

Cried to him: “Cease, O Mulciber, no Deity can tame

Thy matchless virtue; nor would I, since thou art thus hot, strive.

Cease then thy strife; let Thetis’ son, with all thy wish’d haste, drive

340 Ev’n to their gates these Ilians. What toucheth me their aid,

Or this contention?” Thus in flames the burning River pray’d.

And as a caldron, underput with store of fire, and wrought

With boiling of a well-fed brawn, up leaps his wave aloft,

Bavins of sere wood urging it, and spending flames apace,

345 Till all the caldron be engirt with a consuming blaze;

So round this Flood burn’d, and so sod his sweet and tortur’d streams,

Nor could flow forth, bound in the fumes of Vulcan’s fi’ry beams;

Who, then not mov’d, his mother’s ruth by all his means he craves,

And ask’d, why Vulcan should invade and so torment his waves

350 Past other floods, when his offence rose not to such degree;

As that of other Gods for Troy; and that himself would free

Her wrath to it, if she were pleas’d; and pray’d her, that her son

Might be reflected; adding this, that he would ne’er be won

To help keep off the ruinous day, in which all Troy should burn,

355 Fir’d by the Grecians. This vow heard, she charg’d her son to turn

His fi’ry spirits to their homes, and said it was not fit

A God should suffer so for men. Then Vulcan did remit


His so unmeasur’d violence, and back the pleasant Flood.

Ran to his channel. Thus these Gods she made friends; th’ other stood

360 At weighty diff’rence; both sides ran together with a sound,

That earth resounded, and great heav’n about did surrebound.

Jove heard it, sitting on his hill, and laugh’d to see the Gods

Buckle to arms like angry men; and, he pleas’d with their odds,

They laid it freely. Of them all, thump-buckler Mars began,

365 And at Minerva with a lance of brass he headlong ran,

These vile words ushering his blows: “Thou dog-fly, what’s the cause

Thou mak’st Gods fight thus? Thy huge heart breaks all our peaceful laws

With thy insatiate shamelessness. Rememb’rest thou the hour

When Diomed charg’d me, and by thee, and thou with all thy pow’r

370 Took’st lance thyself, and, in all sights, rush’d on me with a wound?

Now vengeance falls on thee for all.” This said, the shield fring’d round

With fighting adders, borne by Jove, that not to thunder yields,

He clapt his lance on; and this God, that with the blood of fields

Pollutes his godhead, that shield pierc’d, and hurt the arméd Maid.

375 But back she leapt, and with her strong band rapt a huge stone, laid

Above the champain, black and sharp, that did in old time break

Partitions to men’s lands; and that she dusted in the neck

Of that impetuous challenger. Down to the earth he sway’d,

And overlaid sev’n acres’ land. His hair was all beray’d

380 With dust and blood mix’d; and his arms rung out. Minerva laugh’d,

And thus insulted: “O thou fool, yet hast thou not been taught

To know mine eminence? Thy strength opposest thou to mine?

So pay thy mother’s furies then, who for these aids of thine,


(Ever afforded perjur’d Troy, Greece ever left) takes spleen,

385 And vows thee mischief.” Thus she turn’d her blue eyes, when love’s Queen

The hand of Mars took, and from earth rais’d him with thick-drawn breath,

His spirits not yet got up again. But from the press of death

King Aphrodite was his guide. Which Juno seeing, exclaim’d:

“Pallas, see, Mars is help’d from field! Dog-fly, his rude tongue nam’d

390 Thyself ev’n now; but that his love, that dog-fly, will not leave

Her old consort. Upon her fly.” Minerva did receive

This excitation joyfully, and at the Cyprian flew,

Strook with her hard hand her soft breast, a blow that overthrew

Both her and Mars; and there both lay together in broad field.

395 When thus she triumph’d: “So lie all, that any succours yield

To these false Trojans ’gainst the Greeks; so bold and patient

As Venus, shunning charge of me; and no less impotent

Be all their aids, than hers to Mars, so short work would be made

In our depopulating Troy, this hardiest to invade

400 Of all earth’s cities.” At this wish, white-wristed Juno smil’d.

Next Neptune and Apollo stood upon the point of field,

And thus spake Neptune: “Phœbus! Come, why at the lance’s end

Stand we two thus? ’Twill be a shame, for us to re-ascend

Jove’s golden house, being thus in field and not to fight. Begin:

405 For ’tis no graceful work for me; thou hast the younger chin,

I older and know more. O fool, what a forgetful heart

Thou bear’st about thee, to stand here, prest to take th’ Ilian part,

And fight with me! Forgett’st thou then, what we two, we alone

Of all the Gods, have suffer’d here, when proud Laomedon

410 Enjoy’d our service a whole year, for our agreed reward?

Jove in his sway would have it so; and in that year I rear’d

This broad brave wall about this town, that (being a work of mine)

It might be inexpugnable. This service then was thine,


In Ida, that so many hills and curl’d-head forests crown,

415 To feed his oxen, crooked-shank’d, and headed like the moon.

But when the much-joy-bringing Hours brought term for our reward,

The terrible Laomedon dismiss’d us both, and scar’d

Our high deservings, not alone to hold our promis’d fee,

But give us threats too. Hands and feet he swore to fetter thee,

420 And sell thee as a slave, dismiss’d far hence to foreign isles.

Nay more, he would have both our ears. His vow’s breach, and reviles,

Made us part angry with him then; and dost thou gratulate now

Such a king’s subjects? Or with us not their destruction vow,

Ev’n to their chaste wives and their babes?” He answer’d: “He might hold

425 His wisdom little, if with him, a God, for men he would

Maintain contention; wretched men that flourish for a time

Like leaves, eat some of that earth yields, and give earth in their prime

Their whole selves for it. Quickly then, let us fly fight for them,

Nor show it offer’d. Let themselves bear out their own extreme.”

430 Thus he retir’d, and fear’d to change blows with his uncle’s hands;

His sister therefore chid him much, the Goddess that commands

In games of hunting, and thus spake: “Fly’st thou, and leav’st the field

To Neptune’s glory, and no blows? O fool, why dost thou wield

Thy idle bow? No more my ears shall hear thee vaunt in skies

435 Dares to meet Neptune, but I’ll tell thy coward’s tongue it lies.”

He answer’d nothing; yet Jove’s wife could put on no such reins,

But spake thus loosely: “How dar’st thou, dog, whom no fear contains,

Encounter me? ’Twill prove a match of hard conditión.

Though the great Lady of the bow and Jove hath set thee down

440 For lion of thy sex, with gift to slaughter any dame

Thy proud will envies; yet some dames will prove th’ hadst better tame

Wild lions upon hills than them. But if this question rests

Yet under judgment in thy thoughts, and that thy mind contests,


I’ll make thee know it.” Suddenly with her left hand she catch’d

445 Both Cynthia’s palms, lock’d fingers fast, and with her right she snatch’d

From her fair shoulders her gilt bow, and, laughing, laid it on

About her ears, and ev’ry way her turnings seiz’d upon,

Till all her arrows scatter’d out, her quiver emptied quite.

And as a dove, that, flying a hawk, takes to some rock her flight,

450 And in his hollow breasts sits safe, her fate not yet to die;

So fled she mourning, and her bow left there. Then Mercury

His opposite thus undertook: “Latona, at no hand

Will I bide combat. ’Tis a work right dangerous to stand

At diff’rence with the wives of Jove. Go, therefore, freely vaunt

455 Amongst the Deities, th’ hast subdu’d, and made thy combatant

Yield with plain pow’r.” She answer’d not, but gather’d up the bow

And shafts fall’n from her daughter’s side, retiring. Up did go

Diana to Jove’s starry hall, her incorrupted veil

Trembling about her so she shook. Phœbus, lest Troy should fail

460 Before her fate, flew to her walls; the other Deities flew

Up to Olympus, some enrag’d, some glad. Achilles slew

Both men and horse of Ilion. And as a city fir’d

Casts up a heat that purples heav’n, clamours and shrieks expir’d

In ev’ry corner, toil to all, to many misery,

465 Which fire th’ incenséd Gods let fall; Achilles so let fly

Rage on the Trojans, toils and shrieks as much by him impos’d.

Old Priam in his sacred tow’r stood, and the flight disclos’d

Of his forc’d people, all in rout, and not a stroke return’d

By fled resistance. His eyes saw in what a fury burn’d

470 The son of Peleüs, and down went weeping from the tow’r

To all the port-guards, and their chiefs told of his flying pow’r,


Commanding th’ op’ning of the ports, but not to let their hands

Stir from them, for Æacides would pour in with his bands.

“Destruction comes, O shut them strait, when we are in,” he pray’d,

475 “For not our walls I fear will check this violent man.” This said,

Off lifted they the bars, the ports hal’d open, and they gave

Safety her entry with the host; which yet they could not save,

Had not Apollo sallied out, and strook destructión,

Brought by Achilles in their necks, back; when they right upon

480 The ports bore all, dry, dusty, spent: and on their shoulders rode

Rabid Achilles with his lance, still glory being the goad

That prick’d his fury. Then the Greeks high-ported Ilion

Had seized, had not Apollo stirr’d Antenor’s famous son,

Divine Agenor, and cast in an undertaking spirit

485 To his bold bosom, and himself stood by to strengthen it,

And keep the heavy hand of death from breaking in. The God

Stood by him, leaning on a beech, and cover’d his abode.

With night-like darkness; yet for all the spirit he inspir’d,

When that great city-razer’s force his thoughts strook, he retir’d,

490 Stood, and went on; a world of doubts still falling in his way;

When, angry with himself, he said: “Why suffer I this stay

In this so strong need to go on? If, like the rest, I fly,

’Tis his best weapon to give chace, being swift, and I should die

Like to a coward. If I stand, I fall too. These two ways

495 Please not my purpose; I would live. What if I suffer these

Still to be routed, and, my feet affording further length,

Pass all these fields of Ilion, till Ida’s sylvan strength

And steep heights shroud me, and at even refresh me in the flood,

And turn to Ilion? O my soul! why drown’st thou in the blood

500 Of these discourses? If this course, that talks of further flight,

I give my feet, his feet move swift have more odds. Get he sight

Of that pass, I pass least; for pace, and length of pace, his thighs

Will stand out all men. Meet him then; my steel hath faculties


Of pow’r to pierce him; his great breast but one soul holds, and that

505 Death claims his right in, all men say; but he holds special state

In Jove’s high bounty; that’s past man, that ev’ry way will hold,

And that serves all men ev’ry way.” This last heart made him bold

To stand Achilles, and stirr’d up a mighty sound to blows.

And as a panther, having heard the hounds’ trail, doth disclose

510 Her freckled forehead, and stares forth from out some deep-grown wood

To try what strength dares her abroad; and when her fi’ry blood

The hounds have kindled, no quench serves of love to live or fear,

Though strook, though wounded, though quite through she feels the mortal spear,

But till the man’s close strength she tries, or strows each with his dart,

515 She puts her strength out; so it far’d with brave Agenor’s heart,

And till Achilles he had prov’d, no thoughts, no deeds, once stirr’d

His fixéd foot. To his broad breast his round shield he preferr’d,

And up his arm went with his aim, his voice out with this cry:

“Thy hope is too great, Peleus’ son, this day to show thine eye

520 Troy’s Ilion at thy foot. O fool! the Greeks with much more woes,

More than are suffer’d yet, must buy great Ilion’s overthrows.

We are within her many strong, that for our parents’ sakes,

Our wives and children, will save Troy; and thou, though he that makes

Thy name so terrible, shalt make a sacrifice to her

525 With thine own ruins.” Thus he threw, nor did his jav’lin err,

But strook his foe’s leg near his knee; the fervent steel did ring

Against his tin greaves, and leapt back; the fire’s strong-handed king

Gave virtue of repulse. And then Æacides assail’d

Divine Agenor; but in vain, Apollo’s pow’r prevail’d,

530 And rapt Agenor from his reach; whom quietly he plac’d

Without the skirmish, casting mists to save from being chac’d


His tender’d person; and (he gone) to give his soldiers ’scape,

The Deity turn’d Achilles still, by putting on the shape

Of him he thirsted; evermore he fed his eye, and fled,

535 And he with all his knees pursu’d. So cunningly he led,

That still he would be near his reach, to draw his rage, with hope,

Far from the conflict; to the flood maintaining still the scope

Of his attraction. In mean time, the other frighted pow’rs

Came to the city, comforted; when Troy and all her tow’rs

540 Strooted with fillers; none would stand to see who stay’d without,

Who scap’d, and who came short. The ports cleft to receive the rout

That pour’d itself in. Ev’ry man was for himself. Most fleet

Most fortunate. Whoever scap’d, his head might thank his feet.

Linenotes for Book XXI

18: And sprite-like.—Dr. Taylor, following the second folio, has “the sprite-like.”

56: Down—keep down.

129: “The word is κεραίζων, which they translate cædens, but properly signifies dissipans, ut boves infestis cornibus.” —Chapman. Iliad XXI.129.

132: Which.—both folios and Dr. Taylor have “with;” but it is corrected in the list of errata prefixed to the first folio.

132: Gulls—swallows. Latin gula. Richardson gives an example from Bale’s “Pageant of Popes.”

151: Heat.—The second folio and Taylor, “beat.”

160: Pelias—Achilles’ spear. Bk. XIX. 378.

180: Infernal.—Æacus, after his death, became one of the three judges in Hades

186: Humorous—watery. Bk. XXIII. 259.

188: “The rack or motion of the clouds, for the clouds.” —Chapman.

190: Fausens—a kind of eel. Skinner thinks so called from falx, a reaping-hook, hence falchion, fauchion, from its shape. Willughby mentions an anguilliform fish found at Venice called a falx, a worthless kind of eel. (Hist. Piscium, ed. Ray, fol. Oxon. 1686, p. 117.) Hilpert, in his Deutsch-Englisches Wörterbuch (Carlsruhe, 1845), suggests hausen, the sturgeon, huso. However I cannot find any other authority for the word than this passage of Chapman. It might be derived from the French “fausser,” to bend. I cannot discover that it is a provincialism.

230: “Note the continued height and admired expression of Achilles’ glory.” —Chapman.

251: Unreached.— Bk. XIII. 748.

281: i.e. Thus to the Immortals, the Gods.

296: Immane—huge, or cruel; both which senses exhibit the original Latin.

300: Sands.—Both folios and Dr. Taylor have “hands,” but it is corrected in the list of errata of the first folio.

303: Fort.—Thus the folios. Dr. Taylor prints sort (see Bk. IV. 460), but there is no need to change the text, as fort, or mound, of sand is probably meant.

328: Gavel—a sheaf of corn. The word is still used in the Eastern Counties. It is hardly necessary to observe that it has nothing to do with the “Anglo-Saxon custom of gavel-kind,” as explained by Dr. Taylor.

333: Galingale.—The rush called “sweet cyperus.”

336: Unresisted—irresistible.

344: Bavins—small fagots of brushwood, or split wood for lighting fires. The word is still in use in some counties.

346: Sod—past tense of the verb “seethe.”

353: Reflected—turned back.

377: Dusted.—Chapman uses this word several times. All the Dictionaries, even Halliwell’s, want it. Cotgrave has “a dust, or thumpe.” See Horion and Orion in Cotgrave’s Dict.

379: Beray’d.—Another form of bewrayed, exposed; hence, in a bad sense, soiled, defiled. “It is an ill bird that berays its own nest.” Ray’s Proverbs (quoted by Latham, who marks the form as rare, but ?) Phillips seems to use bewray only in this sense, and under beray refers to bewray.

407: Prest—ready. Old French prest. See Nares.

422: Gratulate—confer favour on.

435: Dares.—See Bk. XX. 196.

467: Disclosed—here seems to be used for looked upon. See “display,” Bk. XI. 74.

469: By fled resistance.—So both folios.—Dr. Taylor has altered it to “but fled resistance.” This however is not Chapman’s meaning, as he personifies “Resistance” (printing it with a capital) and the sense is, “Resistance fled, and returned no stroke.”

507: Every way.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor, “every man.” This sentence is not in the Greek, and is to me unintelligible.

509: Trail.—The second folio and Taylor, “trails.”

527: The fire’s strong-handed king, &c.—simply, the armour, the gift of Vulcan, repelled it.

540: Strooted.—Bk. I. 464.


Corrections for Book XXI

Arg. Phy at the flood’s shore doth express
Spelling unchanged

46 In t’ hands of stern Æacides
expected “In th’ hands”

109 Death and as violent a fate
text has and as a violent a corrected from 1st edition

168 fast in the steep-up shore;
missing word “the” supplied from 1st edition

186 note Bk. XXIII. 259
text has XIII.

346 So round this Flood burn’d, and so sod
text has burn’d ,and so with misplaced comma




The Argument.

All Trojans hous’d but Hector, only he

Keeps field, and undergoes th’ extremity.

Æacides assaulting, Hector flies,

Minerva stays him, he resists, and dies.

Achilles to his chariot doth enforce,

And to the naval station drags his corse.

Another Argument.

Hector, in Chi, to death is done,

By pow’r of Peleus’ angry son.


hus, chas’d like hinds, the Ilians took time to drink and eat,

And to refresh them, getting off the mingled dust and sweat,

And good strong rampires on instead. The Greeks then cast their shields

Aloft their shoulders; and now Fate their near invasion yields

5 Of those tough walls, her deadly hand compelling Hector’s stay

Before Troy at the Scæan ports. Achilles still made way

At Phœbus, who his bright head turn’d, and ask’d: “Why, Peleus’ son,

Pursu’st thou, being a man, a God? Thy rage hath never done.


Acknowledge not thine eyes my state? Esteems thy mind no more

10 Thy honour in the chase of Troy, but puts my chase before

Their utter conquest? They are all now hous’d in Ilion,

While thou hunt’st me. What wishest thou? My blood will never run

On thy proud jav’lin.” “It is thou,” replied Æacides,

“That putt’st dishonour thus on me, thou worst of Deities.

15 Thou turn’dst me from the walls, whose ports had never entertain’d

Numbers now enter’d, over whom thy saving hand hath reign’d,

And robb’d my honour; and all is, since all thy actions stand

Past fear of reck’ning. But held I the measure in my hand,

It should afford thee dear-bought scapes.” Thus with elated spirits,

20 Steed-like, that at Olympus’ games wears garlands for his merits,

And rattles home his chariot, extending all his pride,

Achilles so parts with the God. When aged Priam spied

The great Greek come, spher’d round with beams, and showing as if the star,

Surnam’d Orion’s hound, that springs in autumn, and sends far

25 His radiance through a world of stars, of all whose beams his own

Cast greatest splendour, the midnight that renders them most shown

Then being their foil; and on their points, cure-passing fevers then

Come shaking down into the joints of miserable men;

As this were fall’n to earth, and shot along the field his rays

30 Now towards Priam, when he saw in great Æacides,

Out flew his tender voice in shrieks, and with rais’d hands he smit

His rev’rend head, then up to heav’n he cast them, showing it

What plagues it sent him, down again then threw them to his son,

To make him shun them. He now stood without steep Ilion,

35 Thirsting the combat; and to him thus miserably cried

The kind old king: “O Hector, fly this man, this homicide,

That straight will stroy thee. He’s too strong, and would to heav’n he were

As strong in heav’n’s love as in mine! Vultures and dogs should tear


His prostrate carcass, all my woes quench’d with his bloody spirits.

40 He has robb’d me of many sons and worthy, and their merits

Sold to far islands. Two of them, ah me! I miss but now,

They are not enter’d, nor stay here. Laothoe, O ’twas thou,

O queen of women, from whose womb they breath’d. O did the tents

Detain them only, brass and gold would purchase safe events

45 To their sad durance; ’tis within; old Altes, young in fame,

Gave plenty for his daughter’s dow’r; but if they fed the flame

Of this man’s fury, woe is me, woe to my wretched queen!

But in our state’s woe their two deaths will nought at all be seen,

So thy life quit them. Take the town, retire, dear son, and save

50 Troy’s husbands and her wives, nor give thine own life to the grave

For this man’s glory. Pity me, me, wretch, so long alive,

Whom in the door of age Jove keeps; that so he may deprive

My being, in fortune’s utmost curse, to see the blackest thread

Of this life’s mis’ries, my sons slain, my daughters ravishéd,

55 Their resting chambers sack’d, their babes, torn from them, on their knees

Pleading for mercy, themselves dragg’d to Grecian slaveries,

And all this drawn through my red eyes. Then last of all kneel I,

Alone, all helpless at my gates, before my enemy,

That ruthless gives me to my dogs, all the deformity

60 Of age discover’d; and all this thy death, sought wilfully,

Will pour on me. A fair young man at all parts it beseems,

Being bravely slain, to lie all gash’d, and wear the worst extremes

Of war’s most cruelty; no wound, of whatsoever ruth,

But is his ornament; but I, a man so far from youth,

65 White head, white-bearded, wrinkled, pin’d, all shames must show the eye.

Live, prevent this then, this most shame of all man’s misery.”

Thus wept the old king, and tore off his white hair; yet all these

Retir’d not Hector. Hecuba then fell upon her knees,


Stripp’d nak’d her bosom, show’d her breasts, and bad him rev’rence them,

70 And pity her. If ever she had quieted his exclaim,

He would cease hers, and take the town, not tempting the rude field

When all had left it: “Think,” said she, “I gave thee life to yield

My life recomfort; thy rich wife shall have no rites of thee,

Nor do thee rites; our tears shall pay thy corse no obsequy,

75 Being ravish’d from us, Grecian dogs nourish’d with what I nurs’d.”

Thus wept both these, and to his ruth propos’d the utmost worst

Of what could chance them; yet he stay’d. And now drew deadly near

Mighty Achilles; yet he still kept deadly station there.

Look how a dragon, when she sees a traveller bent upon

80 Her breeding den, her bosom fed with fell contagión,

Gathers her forces, sits him firm, and at his nearest pace

Wraps all her cavern in her folds, and thrusts a horrid face

Out at his entry; Hector so, with unextinguish’d spirit,

Stood great Achilles, stirr’d no foot, but at the prominent turret

85 Bent to his bright shield, and resolv’d to bear fall’n heav’n on it.

Yet all this resolute abode did not so truly fit

His free election; but he felt a much more galling spur

To the performance, with conceit of what he should incur

Ent’ring, like others, for this cause; to which he thus gave way:

90 “O me, if I shall take the town, Polydamas will lay

This flight and all this death on me; who counsell’d me to lead

My pow’rs to Troy this last black night, when so I saw make head

Incens’d Achilles. I yet stay’d, though, past all doubt, that course

Had much more profited than mine; which, being by so much worse

95 As comes to all our flight and death, my folly now I fear

Hath bred this scandal, all our town now burns my ominous ear

With whisp’ring: ‘Hector’s self-conceit hath cast away his host.’

And, this true, this extremity that I rely on most

Is best for me: stay, and retire with this man’s life; or die

100 Here for our city with renowme, since all else fled but I.


And yet one way cuts both these ways: What if I hang my shield

My helm and lance here on these walls, and meet in humble field

Renowm’d Achilles, off’ring him Helen and all the wealth,

Whatever in his hollow keels bore Alexander’s stealth

105 For both th’ Atrides? For the rest, whatever is possess’d

In all this city, known or hid, by oath shall be confess’d

Of all our citizens; of which one half the Greeks shall have,

One half themselves. But why, lov’d soul, would these suggestions save

Thy state still in me? I’ll not sue; nor would he grant, but I,

110 Mine arms cast off, should be assur’d a woman’s death to die.

To men of oak and rock, no words; virgins and youths talk thus,

Virgins and youths that love and woo; there’s other war with us;

What blows and conflicts urge, we cry, hates and defiances,

And, with the garlands these trees bear, try which hand Jove will bless.”

115 These thoughts employ’d his stay; and now Achilles comes, now near

His Mars-like presence terribly came brandishing his spear,

His right arm shook it, his bright arms like day came glitt’ring on,

Like fire-light, or the light of heav’n shot from the rising sun.

This sight outwrought discourse, cold fear shook Hector from his stand;

120 No more stay now; all ports were left: he fled in fear the hand

Of that Fear-Master; who, hawk-like, air’s swiftest passenger,

That holds a tim’rous dove in chase, and with command doth bear

His fi’ry onset, the dove hastes, the hawk comes whizzing on,

This way and that he turns and winds, and cuffs the pigeón,

125 And, till he truss it, his great spirit lays hot charge on his wing;

So urg’d Achilles Hector’s flight: so still fear’s point did sting

His troubled spirit, his knees wrought hard, along the wall he flew,

In that fair chariot-way that runs, beneath the tow’r of view,

And Troy’s wild fig-tree, till they reach’d where those two mother-springs

130 Of deep Scamander pour’d abroad their silver murmurings;

One warm and casts out fumes as fire; the other cold as snow,

Or hail dissolv’d. And when the sun made ardent summer glow,


There water’s concrete crystal shin’d; near which were cisterns made,

All pav’d and clear, where Trojan wives and their fair daughters had

135 Laundry for their fine linen weeds, in times of cleanly peace,

Before the Grecians brought their siege. These captains noted these,

One flying, th’ other in pursuit; a strong man flew before,

A stronger follow’d him by far, and close up to him bore;

Both did their best, for neither now ran for a sacrifice,

140 Or for the sacrificer’s hide, our runners’ usual prize;

These ran for tame-horse Hector’s soul. And as two running steeds,

Back’d in some set race for a game, that tries their swiftest speeds,

(A tripod, or a woman, giv’n for some man’s funerals)

Such speed made these men, and on foot ran thrice about the walls.

145 The Gods beheld them, all much mov’d; and Jove said: “O ill sight!

A man I love much, I see forc’d in most unworthy flight

About great Ilion. My heart grieves; he paid so many vows,

With thighs of sacrificéd beeves, both on the lofty brows

Of Ida, and in Ilion’s height. Consult we, shall we free

150 His life from death, or give it now t’ Achilles’ victory?”

Minerva answer’d: “Alter Fate? One long since mark’d for death

Now take from death? Do thou; but know, he still shall run beneath

Our other censures.” “Be it then,” replied the Thunderer,

“My lov’d Tritonia, at thy will; in this I will prefer

155 Thy free intention, work it all.” Then stoop’d She from the sky

To this great combat. Peleus’ son pursu’d incessantly

Still-flying Hector. As a hound that having rous’d a hart,

Although he tappish ne’er so oft, and ev’ry shrubby part

Attempts for strength, and trembles in, the hound doth still pursue

160 So close that not a foot he fails, but hunts it still at view;


So plied Achilles Hector’s steps; as oft as he assay’d

The Dardan ports and tow’rs for strength (to fetch from thence some aid

With wingéd shafts) so oft forc’d he amends of pace, and stept

’Twixt him and all his hopes, and still upon the field he kept

165 His utmost turnings to the town. And yet, as in a dream,

One thinks he gives another chase, when such a fain’d extreme

Possesseth both, that he in chase the chaser cannot fly,

Nor can the chaser get to hand his flying enemy;

So nor Achilles’ chase could reach the flight of Hector’s pace,

170 Nor Hector’s flight enlarge itself of swift Achilles’ chace.

But how chanc’d this? How, all this time, could Hector bear the knees

Of fierce Achilles with his own, and keep off destinies,

If Phœbus, for his last and best, through all that course had fail’d

To add his succours to his nerves, and, as his foe assail’d

175 Near and within him, fed his ’scape? Achilles yet well knew

His knees would fetch him, and gave signs to some friends (making shew

Of shooting at him) to forbear, lest they detracted so

From his full glory in first wounds, and in the overthrow

Make his hand last. But when they reach’d the fourth time the two founts,

180 Then Jove his golden scales weigh’d up, and took the last accounts

Of fate for Hector, putting in for him and Peleus’ son

Two fates of bitter death; of which high heav’n receiv’d the one,

The other hell; so low declin’d the light of Hector’s life.

Then Phœbus left him, when war’s Queen came to resolve the strife

185 In th’ other’s knowledge: “Now,” said she, “Jove-lov’d Æacides,

I hope at last to make renowme perform a brave access

To all the Grecians; we shall now lay low this champion’s height,

Though never so insatiate was his great heart of fight.

Nor must he ’scape our púrsuit still, though at the feet of Jove

190 Apollo bows into a sphere, soliciting more love


To his most favour’d. Breathe thee then, stand firm, myself will haste

And hearten Hector to change blows.” She went, and he stood fast,

Lean’d on his lance, and much was joy’d that single strokes should try

This fadging conflict. Then came close the changéd Deity

195 To Hector, like Deiphobus in shape and voice, and said:

“O brother, thou art too much urg’d to be thus combated

About our own walls; let us stand, and force to a retreat

Th’ insulting chaser.” Hector joy’d at this so kind deceit,

And said: “O good Deiphobus, thy love was most before

200 (Of all my brothers) dear to me, but now exceeding more

It costs me honour, that, thus urg’d, thou com’st to part the charge

Of my last fortunes; other friends keep town, and leave at large

My rack’d endeavours.” She replied: “Good brother, ’tis most true,

One after other, king and queen, and all our friends, did sue,

205 Ev’n on their knees, to stay me there, such tremblings shake them all

With this man’s terror; but my mind so griev’d to see our wall

Girt with thy chases, that to death I long’d to urge thy stay.

Come, fight we, thirsty of his blood; no more let’s fear to lay

Cost on our lances, but approve, if, bloodied with our spoils,

210 He can bear glory to their fleet, or shut up all their toils

In his one suff’rance of thy lance.” With this deceit she led,

And, both come near, thus Hector spake: “Thrice have I compasséd

This great town, Peleus’ son, in flight, with aversation

That out of fate put off my steps; but now all flight is flown,

215 The short course set up, death or life. Our resolutions yet

Must shun all rudeness, and the Gods before our valour set

For use of victory; and they being worthiest witnesses

Of all vows, since they keep vows best, before their Deities

Let vows of fit respect pass both, when conquest hath bestow’d

220 Her wreath on either. Here I vow no fury shall be show’d,


That is not manly, on thy corse, but, having spoil’d thy arms,

Resign thy person; which swear thou.” These fair and temp’rate terms

Far fled Achilles; his brows bent, and out flew this reply:

“Hector, thou only pestilence in all mortality

225 To my sere spirits, never set the point ’twixt thee and me

Any conditions; but as far as men and lions fly

All terms of cov’nant, lambs and wolves; in so far opposite state,

Impossible for love t’ atone, stand we, till our souls satiate

The God of soldiers. Do not dream that our disjunction can

230 Endure condition. Therefore now, all worth that fits a man

Call to thee, all particular parts that fit a soldier,

And they all this include (besides the skill and spirit of war)

Hunger for slaughter, and a hate that eats thy heart to eat

Thy foe’s heart. This stirs, this supplies in death the killing heat;

235 And all this need’st thou. No more flight. Pallas Athenia

Will quickly cast thee to my lance. Now, now together draw

All griefs for vengeance, both in me, and all my friends late dead

That bled thee, raging with thy lance.” This said, he brandishéd

His long lance, and away it sung; which Hector giving view,

240 Stoop’d low, stood firm, foreseeing it best, and quite it overflew,

Fast’ning on earth. Athenia drew it, and gave her friend,

Unseen of Hector. Hector then thus spake: “Thou want’st thy end,

God-like Achilles. Now I see, thou hast not learn’d my fate

Of Jove at all, as thy high words would bravely intimate.

245 Much tongue affects thee. Cunning words well serve thee to prepare

Thy blows with threats, that mine might faint with want of spirit to dare.

But my back never turns with breath; it was not born to bear

Burthens of wounds; strike home before; drive at my breast thy spear,

As mine at thine shall, and try then if heav’n’s will favour thee

250 With scape of my lance. O would Jove would take it after me,


And make thy bosom take it all! An easy end would crown

Our difficult wars, were thy soul fled, thou most bane of our town.”

Thus flew his dart, touch’d at the midst of his vast shield, and flew

A huge way from it; but his heart wrath enter’d with the view

255 Of that hard scape, and heavy thoughts strook through him, when he spied

His brother vanish’d, and no lance beside left; out he cried:

“Deiphobus, another lance.” Lance nor Deiphobus

Stood near his call. And then his mind saw all things ominous,

And thus suggested: “Woe is me, the Gods have call’d, and I

260 Must meet death here! Deiphobus I well hop’d had been by

With his white shield; but our strong walls shield him, and this deceit

Flows from Minerva. Now, O now, ill death comes, no more flight,

No more recovery. O Jove, this hath been otherwise;

Thy bright son and thyself have set the Greeks a greater prize

265 Of Hector’s blood than now; of which, ev’n jealous, you had care.

But Fate now conquers; I am hers; and yet not she shall share

In my renowme; that life is left to every noble spirit,

And that some great deed shall beget that all lives shall inherit.”

Thus, forth his sword flew, sharp and broad, and bore a deadly weight,

270 With which he rush’d in. And look how an eagle from her height

Stoops to the rapture of a lamb, or cuffs a tim’rous hare;

So fell in Hector; and at him Achilles; his mind’s fare

Was fierce and mighty, his shield cast a sun-like radiance,

Helm nodded, and his four plumes shook, and, when he rais’d his lance,

275 Up Hesp’rus rose ’mongst th’ evening stars. His bright and sparkling eyes

Look’d through the body of his foe, and sought through all that prise

The next way to his thirsted life. Of all ways, only one

Appear’d to him, and that was where th’ unequal winding bone,

That joins the shoulders and the neck, had place, and where there lay

280 The speeding way to death; and there his quick eye could display


The place it sought, e’en through those arms his friend Patroclus wore

When Hector slew him. There he aim’d, and there his jav’lin tore

Stern passage quite through Hector’s neck; yet miss’d it so his throat

It gave him pow’r to change some words; but down to earth it got

285 His fainting body. Then triumph’d divine Æacides:

“Hector,” said he, “thy heart suppos’d that in my friend’s decease

Thy life was safe; my absent arm not car’d for. Fool! he left

One at the fleet that better’d him, and he it is that reft

Thy strong knees thus; and now the dogs and fowls in foulest use

290 Shall tear thee up, thy corse expos’d to all the Greeks’ abuse.”

He, fainting, said: “Let me implore, ev’n by thy knees and soul,

And thy great parents, do not see a cruelty so foul

Inflicted on me. Brass and gold receive at any rate,

And quit my person, that the peers and ladies of our state

295 May tomb it, and to sacred fire turn thy profane decrees.”

“Dog,” he replied, “urge not my ruth, by parents, soul, nor knees.

I would to God that any rage would let me eat thee raw,

Slic’d into pieces, so beyond the right of any law

I taste thy merits! And, believe, it flies the force of man

300 To rescue thy head from the dogs. Give all the gold they can,

If ten or twenty times so much as friends would rate thy price

Were tender’d here, with vows of more, to buy the cruelties

I here have vow’d, and after that thy father with his gold

Would free thyself; all that should fail to let thy mother hold

305 Solemnities of death with thee, and do thee such a grace

To mourn thy whole corse on a bed; which piecemeal I’ll deface

With fowls and dogs.” He, dying, said: “I, knowing thee well, foresaw

Thy now tried tyranny, nor hop’d for any other law,

Of nature, or of nations; and that fear forc’d much more

310 Than death my flight, which never touch’d at Hector’s foot before.

A soul of iron informs thee. Mark, what vengeance th’ equal fates

Will give me of thee for this rage, when in the Scæan gates


Phœbus and Paris meet with thee.” Thus death’s hand clos’d his eyes,

His soul flying his fair limbs to hell, mourning his destinies,

315 To part so with his youth and strength. Thus dead, thus Thetis’ son

His prophecy answer’d: “Die thou now. When my short thread is spun,

I’ll bear it as the will of Jove.” This said, his brazen spear

He drew, and stuck by; then his arms, that all embruéd were,

He spoil’d his shoulders of. Then all the Greeks ran in to him,

320 To see his person, and admir’d his terror-stirring limb;

Yet none stood by that gave no wound to his so goodly form;

When each to other said: “O Jove, he is not in the storm

He came to fleet in with his fire, he handles now more soft.”

“O friends,” said stern Æacides, “now that the Gods have brought

325 This man thus down, I’ll freely say, he brought more bane to Greece

Than all his aiders. Try we then, thus arm’d at ev’ry piece,

And girding all Troy with our host, if now their hearts will leave

Their city clear, her clear stay slain, and all their lives receive,

Or hold yet, Hector being no more. But why use I a word

330 Of any act but what concerns my friend? Dead, undeplor’d,

Unsepulchred, he lies at fleet, unthought on! Never hour

Shall make his dead state, while the quick enjoys me, and this pow’r

To move these movers. Though in hell, men say, that such as die

Oblivion seizeth, yet in hell in me shall Memory

335 Hold all her forms still of my friend. Now, youths of Greece, to fleet

Bear we this body, pæans sing, and all our navy greet

With endless honour; we have slain Hector, the period

Of all Troy’s glory, to whose worth all vow’d as to a God.”

This said, a work not worthy him he set to; of both feet

340 He bor’d the nerves through from the heel to th’ ankle, and then knit

Both to his chariot with a thong of whitleather, his head

Trailing the centre. Up he got to chariot, where he laid


The arms repurchas’d, and scourg’d on his horse that freely flew.

A whirlwind made of startled dust drave with them as they drew,

345 With which were all his black-brown curls knotted in heaps and fil’d.

And there lay Troy’s late Gracious, by Jupiter exil’d

To all disgrace in his own land, and by his parents seen;

When, like her son’s head, all with dust Troy’s miserable queen

Distain’d her temples, plucking off her honour’d hair, and tore

350 Her royal garments, shrieking out. In like kind Priam bore

His sacred person, like a wretch that never saw good day,

Broken with outcries. About both the people prostrate lay,

Held down with clamour; all the town veil’d with a cloud of tears.

Ilion, with all his tops on fire, and all the massacres,

355 Left for the Greeks, could put on looks of no more overthrow

Than now fraid life. And yet the king did all their looks outshow.

The wretched people could not bear his sov’reign wretchedness,

Plaguing himself so, thrusting out, and praying all the press

To open him the Dardan ports, that he alone might fetch

360 His dearest son in, and (all fil’d with tumbling) did beseech

Each man by name, thus: “Lov’d friends, be you content, let me,

Though much ye grieve, be that poor mean to our sad remedy

Now in our wishes; I will go and pray this impious man,

Author of horrors, making proof if age’s rev’rence can

365 Excite his pity. His own sire is old like me; and he

That got him to our griefs, perhaps, may, for my likeness, be

Mean for our ruth to him. Alas, you have no cause of cares,

Compar’d with me! I many sons, grac’d with their freshest years,

Have lost by him, and all their deaths in slaughter of this one

370 (Afflicted man) are doubled. This will bitterly set gone

My soul to hell. O would to heav’n, I could but hold him dead

In these pin’d arms, then tears on tears might fall, till all were shed


In common fortune! Now amaze their natural course doth stop,

And pricks a mad vein.” Thus he mourn’d, and with him all brake ope

375 Their store of sorrows. The poor Queen amongst the women wept,

Turn’d into anguish: “O my son,” she cried out, “why still kept

Patient of horrors is my life, when thine is vanishéd?

My days thou glorifi’dst, my nights rung of some honour’d deed

Done by thy virtues, joy to me, profit to all our care.

380 All made a God of thee, and thou mad’st them all that they are,

Now under fate, now dead.” These two thus vented as they could

There sorrow’s furnace; Hector’s wife not having yet been told

So much as of his stay without. She in her chamber close

Sat at her loom; a piece of work, grac’d with a both sides’ gloss,

385 Strew’d curiously with varied flow’rs, her pleasure was; her care,

To heat a caldron for her lord, to bathe him turn’d from war,

Of which she chief charge gave her maids. Poor dame, she little knew

How much her cares lack’d of his case! But now the clamour flew

Up to her turret; then she shook, her work fell from her hand,

390 And up she started, call’d her maids, she needs must understand

That ominous outcry: “Come,” said she, “I hear through all this cry

My mother’s voice shriek; to my throat my heart bounds; ecstasy

Utterly alters me; some fate is near the hapless sons

Of fading Priam. Would to God my words’ suspicións

395 No ear had heard yet! O I fear, and that most heartily,

That, with some stratagem, the son of Peleus hath put by

The wall of Ilion my lord, and, trusty of his feet,

Obtain’d the chase of him alone, and now the curious heat

Of his still desp’rate spirit is cool’d. It let him never keep

400 In guard of others; before all his violent foot must step,

Or his place forfeited he held.” Thus fury-like she went,

Two women, as she will’d, at hand; and made her quick ascent

Up to the tow’r and press of men, her spirit in uproar. Round

She cast her greedy eye, and saw her Hector slain, and bound


405 T’ Achilles’ chariot, manlessly dragg’d to the Grecian fleet.

Black night strook through her, under her trance took away her feet,

And back she shrunk with such a sway that off her head-tire flew,

Her coronet, caul, ribands, veil that golden Venus threw

On her white shoulders that high day when warlike Hector won

410 Her hand in nuptials in the court of king Eetion,

And that great dow’r then giv’n with her. About her, on their knees,

Her husband’s sisters, brothers’ wives, fell round, and by degrees

Recover’d her. Then, when again her respirations found

Free pass (her mind and spirit met) these thoughts her words did sound:

415 “O Hector, O me, curséd dame, both born beneath one fate,

Thou here, I in Cilician Thebes, where Placus doth elate

His shady forehead, in the court where king Eetion,

Hapless, begot unhappy me; which would he had not done,

To live past thee! Thou now art div’d to Pluto’s gloomy throne,

420 Sunk through the coverts of the earth; I, in a hell of moan,

Left here thy widow; one poor babe born to unhappy both,

Whom thou leav’st helpless as he thee, he born to all the wroth

Of woe and labour. Lands left him will others seize upon;

The orphan day of all friends’ helps robs ev’ry mother’s son.

425 An orphan all men suffer sad; his eyes stand still with tears;

Need tries his father’s friends, and fails; of all his favourers,

If one the cup gives, ’tis not long, the wine he finds in it

Scarce moists his palate; if he chance to gain the grace to sit,

Surviving fathers’ sons repine, use contumelies, strike,

430 Bid, ’leave us, where’s thy father’s place?’ He, weeping with dislike,

Retires to me, to me, alas! Astyanax is he

Born to these mis’ries; he that late fed on his father’s knee,

To whom all knees bow’d, daintiest fare appos’d him; and when sleep

Lay on his temples, his cries still’d, his heart ev’n laid in steep

435 Of all things precious, a soft bed, a careful nurse’s arms,

Took him to guardiance. But now as huge a world of harms


Lies on his suff’rance; now thou want’st thy father’s hand to friend,

O my Astyanax; my lord, thy hand that did defend

These gates of Ilion, these long walls by thy arm measur’d still

440 Amply and only. Yet at fleet thy naked corse must fill

Vile worms, when dogs are satiate, far from thy parents’ care,

Far from those fun’ral ornaments that thy mind would prepare

(So sudden being the chance of arms) ever expecting death.

Which task, though my heart would not serve t’ employ my hands beneath,

445 I made my women yet perform. Many, and much in price,

Were those integuments they wrought t’ adorn thy exsequies;

Which, since they fly thy use, thy corse not laid in their attire,

Thy sacrifice they shall be made; these hands in mischievous fire

Shall vent their vanities. And yet, being consecrate to thee,

450 They shall be kept for citizens, and their fair wives, to see.”

Thus spake she weeping; all the dames endeavouring to cheer

Her desert state, fearing their own, wept with her tear for tear.

Linenotes for Book XXII

24: The Dog Star.

27: Cure-passing—cure-surpassing, not to be cured.

37: Stroy—destroy.

41: Islands.—Taylor, “lands.”

52: So.—Omitted by second folio and Taylor.

65: Pin’d—withered.

66: Man’s.—Second folio and Taylor, “men’s.”

71: Take the town—betake himself to the town. See 90.

144: “Up and down the walls, it is to be understood.” —Chapman.

158: Tappish—hide, seek cover. A hunting term. From the French. Fairfax uses it,—

“When the slie beast tapisht in bush and brire

No art nor paines can rowse out of his place.”

Tasso. G. L. VII. 2.

161: Assay’d.—The folio has assail’d, but assaid, tried, is evidently the word.

168: “A most ingenious simile, used (as all our Homer besides) by Virgil, but this as a translator merely.” —Chapman.

194: Fadging—seems here fagging, fatiguing. Nares says to fadge is to suit, to fit, but such a sense does not appear applicable here.

229: Do not dream, &c.—do not imagine that any conditions can be made to part us.

280: Display.—See Bks. XI. 74, XVII. 90.

311: Informs.—See Bk. XX. 52.

341: “Achilles’ tyranny to Hector’s person, which we lay on his fury and love to his slain friend, for whom himself living suffered so much.” —Chapman.

341: Whitleatheri.e., white leather; leather dressed with alum to give it toughness.

360: In. —Dr. Taylor has erroneously omitted this word.

360: Fil’d with tumbling.—Fil’d, i.e. defiled. Dr. Taylor has committed a strange error in printing “all fill’d with rumbling,” conveying to the reader a most unhappy picture of the effects of poor Priam’s distress.

407: That off.—The second folio and Taylor, “then off.”


Corrections for Book XXII

155 note Tasso. G. L.
name “Tasso” printed in italics by mistake for small capitals

341 note
[Labeled (by Hooper?) 341, but passage really begins at 339]

361 Each man by name, thus: “Lov’d friends
expected “Lovéd” or “O lov’d” (two syllables)

445 I made my women yet perform.
full stop invisible




The Argument.

Achilles orders justs of exsequies*

For his Patroclus; and doth sacrifice

Twelve Trojan princes, most lov’d hounds and horse,

And other off’rings, to the honour’d corse.

He institutes, besides, a Funeral Game;

Where Diomed, for horse-race, wins the fame;

For foot, Ulysses; others otherwise

Strive, and obtain; and end the Exsequies.

Another Argument.

Psi sings the rites of the decease,

Ordain’d by great Æacides.


hus mourn’d all Troy. But when at fleet and Hellespontus’ shore

The Greeks arriv’d, each to his ship; only the Conqueror

Kept undispers’d his Myrmidons, and said, “Lov’d countrymen,

Disjoin not we chariots and horse, but, bearing hard our rein,

5 With state of both, march soft and close, and mourn about the corse;

’Tis proper honour to the dead. Then take we out our horse,

When with our friends’ kind woe our hearts have felt delight to do

A virtuous soul right, and then sup.” This said, all full of woe


Circled the corse; Achilles led, and thrice, about him close,

10 All bore their goodly-coated horse. Amongst all Thetis rose,

And stirr’d up a delight in grief, till all their arms with tears,

And all the sands, were wet; so much they lov’d that Lord of Fears.

Then to the centre fell the prince; and, putting in the breast

Of his slain friend his slaught’ring hands, began to all the rest

15 Words to their tears: “Rejoice,” said he, “O my Patroclus, thou

Courted by Dis now. Now I pay to thy late overthrow

All my revenges vow’d before. Hector lies slaughter’d here

Dragg’d at my chariot, and our dogs shall all in pieces tear

His hated limbs. Twelve Trojan youths, born of their noblest strains,

20 I took alive; and, yet enrag’d, will empty all their veins

Of vital spirits, sacrific’d before thy heap of fire.”

This said, a work unworthy him he put upon his ire,

And trampled Hector under foot at his friend’s feet. The rest

Disarm’d, took horse from chariot, and all to sleep address’d

25 At his black vessel. Infinite were those that rested there.

Himself yet sleeps not, now his spirits were wrought about the cheer

Fit for so high a funeral. About the steel us’d then

Oxen in heaps lay bellowing, preparing food for men;

Bleating of sheep and goats fill’d air; numbers of white-tooth’d swine,

30 Swimming in fat, lay singeing there. The person of the slain

Was girt with slaughter. All this done, all the Greek kings convey’d

Achilles to the King of men; his rage not yet allay’d

For his Patroclus. Being arriv’d at Agamemnon’s tent,

Himself bade heralds put to fire a caldron, and present

35 The service of it to the prince, to try if they could win

His pleasure to admit their pains to cleanse the blood soak’d in

About his conqu’ring hands and brows. “Not by the King of Heav’n,”

He swore. “The laws of friendship damn this false-heart licence giv’n


To men that lose friends. Not a drop shall touch me till I put

40 Patroclus in the fun’ral pile, before these curls be cut,

His tomb erected. ’Tis the last of all care I shall take,

While I consort the careful. Yet, for your entreaties’ sake,

And though I loathe food, I will eat. But early in the morn,

Atrides, use your strict command that loads of wood be borne

45 To our design’d place, all that fits to light home such a one

As is to pass the shades of death, that fire enough set gone

His person quickly from our eyes, and our diverted men

May ply their business.” This all ears did freely entertain,

And found observance. Then they supp’d with all thing fit, and all

50 Repair’d to tents and rest. The friend the shores maritimal

Sought for his bed, and found a place, fair, and upon which play’d

The murmuring billows. There his limbs to rest, not sleep, he laid,

Heavily sighing. Round about, silent and not too near,

Stood all his Myrmidons; when straight, so over-labour’d were

55 His goodly lineaments with chase of Hector, that, beyond

His resolution not to sleep, Sleep cast his sudden bond

Over his sense, and loos’d his care. Then of his wretched friend

The Soul appear’d; at ev’ry part the form did comprehend

His likeness; his fair eyes, his voice, his stature, ev’ry weed

60 His person wore, it fantasied; and stood above his head,

This sad speech utt’ring: “Dost thou sleep? Æacides, am I

Forgotten of thee? Being alive, I found thy memory

Ever respectful; but now, dead, thy dying love abates.

Inter me quickly, enter me in Pluto’s iron gates,

65 For now the souls (the shades) of men, fled from this being, beat

My spirit from rest, and stay my much-desir’d receipt

Amongst souls plac’d beyond the flood. Now ev’ry way I err

About this broad-door’d house of Dis. O help then to prefer


My soul yet further! Here I mourn, but, had the fun’ral fire

70 Consum’d my body, never more my spirit should retire

From hell’s low región; from thence souls never are retriev’d

To talk with friends here; nor shall I; a hateful fate depriv’d

My being here, that at my birth was fix’d; and to such fate

Ev’n thou, O god-like man, art mark’d; the deadly Ilion gate

75 Must entertain thy death. O then, I charge thee now, take care

That our bones part not; but as life combin’d in equal fare

Our loving beings, so let death. When from Opunta’s tow’rs

My father brought me to your roofs (since, ’gainst my will, my pow’rs

Incens’d, and indiscreet at dice, slew fair Amphidamas)

80 Then Peleus entertain’d me well; then in thy charge I was

By his injunction and thy love; and therein let me still

Receive protection. Both our bones, provide in thy last will,

That one urn may contain; and make that vessel all of gold,

That Thetis gave thee, that rich urn.” This said, Sleep ceas’d to hold

85 Achilles’ temples, and the Shade thus he receiv’d: “O friend,

What needed these commands? My care, before, meant to commend

My bones to thine, and in that urn. Be sure thy will is done.

A little stay yet, let’s delight, with some full passión

Of woe enough, either’s affects; embrace we.” Op’ning thus

90 His greedy arms, he felt no friend; like matter vaporous

The Spirit vanish’d under earth, and murmur’d in his stoop.

Achilles started, both his hands he clapp’d, and lifted up,

In this sort wond’ring: “O ye Gods, I see we have a soul

In th’ under-dwellings, and a kind of man-resembling idol;

95 The soul’s seat yet, all matter felt, slays with the carcass here.

O friends, hapless Patroclus’ soul did all this night appear

Weeping and making moan to me, commanding ev’ry thing

That I intended towards him; so truly figuring


Himself at all parts, as was strange.” This accident did turn

100 To much more sorrow, and begat a greediness to mourn

In all that heard. When mourning thus, the rosy Morn arose,

And Agamemnon through the tents wak’d all, and did dispose

Both men and mules for carriage of matter for the fire;

Of all which work Meriones, the Cretan sov’reign’s squire,

105 Was captain; and abroad they went. Wood-cutting tools they bore

Of all hands, and well-twisted cords. The mules march’d all before.

Up hill, and down hill, overthwarts, and break-neck cliffs they pass’d;

But, when the fountful Ida’s tops they scal’d with utmost haste,

All fell upon the high-hair’d oaks, and down their curléd brows,

110 Fell bustling to the earth, and up went all the boles and boughs

Bound to the mules; and back again they parted the harsh way

Amongst them through the tangling shrubs, and long they thought the day

Till in the plain field all arriv’d, for all the woodmen bore

Logs on their necks; Meriones would have it so. The shore

115 At last they reach’d yet, and then down their carriages they cast,

And sat upon them, where the son of Peleüs had plac’d

The ground for his great sepulchre, and for his friend’s, in one.

They rais’d a huge pile, and to arms went ev’ry Myrmidon,

Charg’d by Achilles; chariots and horse were harnesséd,

120 Fighters and charioteers got up, and they the sad march led,

A cloud of infinite foot behind. In midst of all was borne

Patroclus’ person by his peers. On him were all heads shorn,

Ev’n till they cover’d him with curls. Next to him march’d his friend

Embracing his cold neck all sad, since now he was to send


125 His dearest to his endless home. Arriv’d all where the wood

Was heap’d for fun’ral, they set down. Apart Achilles stood,

And when enough wood was heap’d on, he cut his golden hair,

Long kept for Sperchius the flood, in hope of safe repair

To Phthia by that river’s pow’r; but now left hopeless thus,

130 Enrag’d, and looking on the sea, he cried out: “Sperchius,

In vain my father’s piety vow’d, at my implor’d return

To my lov’d country, that these curls should on thy shores be shorn,

Besides a sacred hecatomb, and sacrifice beside

Of fifty wethers, at those founts, where men have edified

135 A lofty temple, and perfum’d an altar to thy name.

There vow’d he all these offerings; but fate prevents thy fame,

His hopes not suff’ring satisfied. And since I never more

Shall see my lov’d soil, my friend’s hands shall to the Stygian shore

Convey these tresses.” Thus he put in his friend’s hands the hair;

140 And this bred fresh desire of moan; and in that sad affair

The sun had set amongst them all, had Thetis’ son not spoke

Thus to Atrides: “King of men, thy aid I still invoke,

Since thy command all men still hear. Dismiss thy soldiers now,

And let them victual; they have mourn’d sufficient; ’tis we owe

145 The dead this honour; and with us let all the captains stay.”

This heard, Atrides instantly the soldiers sent away;

The fun’ral officers remain’d, and heap’d on matter still,

Till of an hundred foot about they made the fun’ral pile,

In whose hot height they cast the corse, and then they pour’d on tears.

150 Numbers of fat sheep, and like store of crooked-going steers,

They slew before the solemn fire; stripp’d off their hides and dress’d.

Of which Achilles took the fat, and cover’d the deceas’d

From head to foot; and round about he made the officers pile

The beasts’ nak’d bodies, vessels full of honey and of oil


155 Pour’d in them, laid upon a bier, and cast into the fire.

Four goodly horse; and of nine hounds, two most in the desire

Of that great prince, and trencher-fed; all fed that hungry flame.

Twelve Trojan princes last stood forth, young, and of toward fame,

All which (set on with wicked spirits) there strook he, there he slew,

160 And to the iron strength of fire their noble limbs he threw.

Then breath’d his last sighs, and these words: “Again rejoice, my friend,

Ev’n in the joyless depth of hell. Now give I cómplete end

To all my vows. Alone thy life sustain’d not violence,

Twelve Trojan princes wait on thee, and labour to incense

165 Thy glorious heap of funeral. Great Hector I’ll excuse,

The dogs shall eat him.” These high threats perform’d not their abuse;

Jove’s daughter, Venus, took the guard of noble Hector’s corse,

And kept the dogs off, night and day applying sov’reign force

Of rosy balms, that to the dogs were horrible in taste,

170 And with which she the body fill’d. Renowm’d Apollo cast

A cloud from heav’n, lest with the sun the nerves and lineaments

Might dry and putrefy. And now some Pow’rs denied consents

To this solemnity; the Fire (for all the oily fuel

It had injected) would not burn; and then the loving Cruel

175 Studied for help, and, standing off, invok’d the two fair Winds,

Zephyr and Boreas, to afford the rage of both their kinds

To aid his outrage. Precious gifts his earnest zeal did vow,

Pour’d from a golden bowl much wine, and pray’d them both to blow,

That quickly his friend’s corse might burn, and that heap’s sturdy breast

180 Embrace consumption. Iris heard. The winds were at a feast,

All in the court of Zephyrus, that boist’rous blowing Air,

Gather’d together. She that wears the thousand-colour’d hair

Flew thither, standing in the porch. They, seeing her, all arose,

Call’d to her, ev’ry one desir’d she would awhile repose,


185 And eat with them. She answer’d: “No, no place of seat is here;

Retreat calls to the Ocean and Æthiopia, where

A hecatomb is off’ring now to heav’n, and there must I

Partake the feast of sacrifice. I come to signify

That Thetis’ son implores your aids, princes of North and West,

190 With vows of much fair sacrifice, if each will set his breast

Against his heap of funeral, and make it quickly burn;

Patroclus lies there, whose decease all the Achaians mourn.”

She said, and parted; and out rush’d, with an unmeasur’d roar,

Those two Winds, tumbling clouds in heaps, ushers to either’s blore,

195 And instantly they reach’d the sea; up flew the waves; the gale

Was strong; reach’d fruitful Troy; and full upon the fire they fall.

The huge heap thunder’d. All night long from his chok’d breast they blew

A lib’ral flame up; and all night swift-foot Achilles threw

Wine from a golden bowl on earth, and steep’d the soil in wine,

200 Still calling on Patroclus’ soul. No father could incline

More to a son most dear, nor more mourn at his burnéd bones,

Than did the great prince to his friend at his combustións,

Still creeping near and near the heap, still sighing, weeping still.

But when the Day-star look’d abroad, and promis’d from his hill

205 Light, which the saffron Morn made good, and sprinkled on the seas,

Then languish’d the great pile, then sunk the flames, and then calm Peace

Turn’d back the rough Winds to their homes; the Thracian billow rings

Their high retreat, ruffled with cuffs of their triumphant wings.

Pelides then forsook the pile, and to his tiréd limb

210 Choos’d place of rest; where laid, sweet sleep fell to his wish on him.

When all the king’s guard (waiting then, perceiving will to rise

In that great session) hurried in, and op’d again his eyes

With tumult of their troop, and haste. A little then he rear’d

His troubled person, sitting up, and this affair referr’d

215 To wish’d commandment of the kings: “Atrides, and the rest

Of our commanders general, vouchsafe me this request


Before your parting: Give in charge the quenching with black wine

Of this heap’s relics, ev’ry brand the yellow fire made shine;

And then let search Patroclus’ bones, distinguishing them well;

220 As well ye may, they kept the midst, the rest at random fell

About th’ extreme part of the pile; men’s bones and horses’ mixed.

Being found, I’ll find an urn of gold t’ enclose them, and betwixt

The air and them two kels of fat lay on them, and to rest

Commit them, till mine own bones seal our love, my soul deceas’d.

225 The sepulchre I have not charg’d to make of too much state,

But of a model something mean, that you of younger fate,

When I am gone, may amplify with such a breadth and height

As fits your judgments and our worths.” This charge receiv’d his weight

In all observance. First they quench’d with sable wine the heap,

230 As far as it had fed the flame. The ash fell wondrous deep,

In which his consorts, that his life religiously lov’d,

Search’d, weeping, for his bones; which found, they conscionably prov’d

His will made to Æacides, and what his love did add.

A golden vessel, double fat, contain’d them. All which, clad

235 In veils of linen, pure and rich, were solemnly convey’d

T’ Achilles’ tent. The platform then about the pile they laid

Of his fit sepulchre, and rais’d a heap of earth, and then

Offer’d departure. But the prince retain’d there still his men,

Employing them to fetch from fleet rich tripods for his games,

240 Caldrons, horses, mules, broad-headed beeves, bright steel, and brighter dames.

The best at horse-race he ordain’d a lady for his prize,

Gen’rally praiseful, fair and young, and skill’d in housewif’ries

Of all kinds fitting; and withal a trivet, that inclos’d

Twenty-two measures’ room, with ears. The next prize he propos’d


245 Was (that which then had high respect) a mare of six years old,

Unhandled, horséd with a mule, and ready to have foal’d.

The third game was a caldron, new, fair, bright, and could for size

Contain two measures. For the fourth, two talents’ quantities

Of finest gold. The fifth game was a great new standing bowl,

250 To set down both ways. These brought in, Achilles then stood up,

And said: “Atrides and my lords, chief horsemen of our host,

These games expect ye. If myself should interpose my most

For our horse-race, I make no doubt that I should take again

These gifts propos’d. Ye all know well, of how divine a strain

255 My horse are, and how eminent. Of Neptune’s gift they are

To Peleus, and of his to me. Myself then will not share

In gifts giv’n others, nor my steeds breathe any spirit to shake

Their airy pasterns; so they mourn for their kind guider’s sake,

Late lost, that us’d with humorous oil to slick their lofty manes,

260 Clear water having cleans’d them first, and, his bane being their banes,

Those lofty manes now strew the earth, their heads held shaken down.

You then that trust in chariots, and hope with horse to crown

Your conqu’ring temples, gird yourselves; now, fame and prize stretch for,

All that have spirits.” This fir’d all. The first competitor

265 Was king Eumelus, whom the art of horsemanship did grace,

Son to Admetus. Next to him rose Diomed to the race,

That under reins rul’d Trojan horse, of late forc’d from the son

Of lord Anchises, himself freed of near confusion

By Phœbus. Next to him set forth the yellow-headed king

270 Of Lacedæmon, Jove’s high seed; and, in his managing,

Podargus and swift Æthe trod, steeds to the King of men;

Æthe giv’n by Echepolus, the Anchisiaden,

As bribe to free him from the war resolv’d for Ilion;

So Delicacy feasted him, whom Jove bestow’d upon


275 A mighty wealth; his dwelling was in broad Sicyone.

Old Nestor’s son, Antilochus, was fourth for chivalry

In this contention; his fair horse were of the Pylian breed,

And his old father, coming near, inform’d him, for good speed,

With good race notes, in which himself could good instruction give:

280 “Antilochus, though young thou art, yet thy grave virtues live

Belov’d of Neptune and of Jove. Their spirits have taught thee all

The art of horsemanship, for which the less thy merits fall

In need of doctrine. Well thy skill can wield a chariot

In all fit turnings, yet thy horse their slow feet handle not

285 As fits thy manage, which makes me cast doubts of thy success.

I well know all these are not seen in art of this address

More than thyself; their horses yet superior are to thine

For their parts, thine want speed to make discharge of a design

To please an artist. But go on, show but thy art and heart

290 At all points, and set them against their horses’ heart and art;

Good judges will not see thee lose. A carpenter’s desert

Stands more in cunning than in pow’r. A pilot doth avert

His vessel from the rock, and wrack, tost with the churlish winds,

By skill, not strength. So sorts it here; one charioteer that finds

295 Want of another’s pow’r in horse must in his own skill set

An overplus of that to that; and so the proof will get

Skill, that still rests within a man, more grace, than pow’r without.

He that in horse and chariots trust, is often hurl’d about

This way and that, unhandsomely, all-heaven wide of his end.

300 He, better skill’d, that rules worse horse, will all observance bend

Right on the scope still of a race, bear near, know ever when to rein,

When give rein, as his foe before, well noted in his vein


Of manage and his steeds’ estate, presents occasion.

I’ll give thee instance now, as plain as if thou saw’st it done:

305 Here stands a dry stub of some tree, a cubit from the ground,

(Suppose the stub of oak or larch, for either are so sound

That neither rots with wet) two stones, white (mark you), white for view,

Parted on either side the stub; and these lay where they drew

The way into a strait; the race betwixt both lying clear.

310 Imagine them some monument of one long since tomb’d there,

Or that they had been lists of race for men of former years,

As now the lists Achilles sets may serve for charioteers

Many years hence. When near to these the race grows, then as right

Drive on them as thy eye can judge; then lay thy bridle’s weight

315 Most of thy left side; thy right horse then switching, all thy throat,

Spent in encouragements, give him, and all the rein let float

About his shoulders; thy near horse will yet be he that gave

Thy skill the prize, and him rein so his head may touch the nave

Of thy left wheel; but then take care thou runn’st not on the stone

320 (With wrack of horse and chariot) which so thou bear’st upon.

Shipwrack within the hav’n avoid, by all means; that will breed

Others delight and thee a shame. Be wise then, and take heed,

My lov’d son, get but to be first at turning in the course,

He lives not that can cote thee then, not if he back’d the horse

325 The Gods bred, and Adrastus ow’d; divine Arion’s speed

Could not outpace thee, or the horse Laomedon did breed,

Whose race is famous, and fed here.” Thus sat Neleides,

When all that could be said was said. And then Meriones


Set fifthly forth his fair-man’d horse. All leap’d to chariot;

330 And ev’ry man then for the start cast in his proper lot.

Achilles drew; Antilochus the lot set foremost forth;

Eumelus next; Atrides third; Meriones the fourth;

The fifth and last was Diomed, far first in excellence.

All stood in order, and the lists Achilles fix’d far thence

335 In plain field; and a seat ordain’d fast by, in which he set

Renowméd Phœnix, that in grace of Peleus was so great,

To see the race, and give a truth of all their passages.

All start together, scourg’d, and cried, and gave their business

Study and order. Through the field they held a wingéd pace.

340 Beneath the bosom of their steeds a dust so dimm’d the race,

It stood above their heads in clouds, or like to storms amaz’d.

Manes flew like ensigns with the wind. The chariots sometime graz’d,

And sometimes jump’d up to the air; yet still sat fast the men,

Their spirits ev’n panting in their breasts with fervour to obtain.

345 But when they turn’d to fleet again, then all men’s skills were tried,

Then stretch’d the pasterns of their steeds. Eumelus’ horse in pride

Still bore their sov’reign. After them came Diomed’s coursers close,

Still apt to leap their chariot, and ready to repose

Upon the shoulders of their king their heads; his back ev’n burned

350 With fire that from their nostrils flew; and then their lord had turn’d

The race for him, or giv’n it doubt, if Phœbus had not smit

The scourge out of his hands, and tears of helpless wrath with it

From forth his eyes, to see his horse for want of scourge made slow,

And th’ others, by Apollo’s help, with much more swiftness go.

355 Apollo’s spite Pallas discern’d, and flew to Tydeus’ son,

His scourge reach’d, and his horse made fresh. Then took her angry run

At king Eumelus, brake his gears; his mares on both sides flew,

His draught-tree fell to earth, and him the toss’d-up chariot threw


Down to the earth, his elbows torn, his forehead, all his face

360 Strook at the centre, his speech lost. And then the turnéd race

Fell to Tydides; before all his conqu’ring horse he drave,

And first he glitter’d in the race; divine Athenia gave

Strength to his horse, and fame to him. Next him drave Sparta’s king.

Antilochus his father’s horse then urg’d with all his sting

365 Of scourge and voice: “Run low,” said he, “stretch out your limbs, and fly;

With Diomed’s horse I bid not strive, nor with himself strive I;

Athenia wings his horse, and him renowms; Atrides’ steeds

Are they ye must not fail but reach; and soon, lest soon succeeds

The blot of all your fames, to yield in swiftness to a mare,

370 To female Æthe. What’s the cause, ye best that ever were,

That thus ye fail us? Be assur’d, that Nestor’s love ye lose

For ever, if ye fail his son. Through both your both sides goes

His hot steel, if ye suffer me to bring the last prize home.

Haste, overtake them instantly; we needs must overcome.

375 This harsh way next us, this my mind will take, this I despise

For peril, this I’ll creep through. Hard the way to honour lies,

And that take I, and that shall yield.” His horse by all this knew

He was not pleas’d, and fear’d his voice, and for a while they flew.

But straight more clear appear’d the strait Antilochus foresaw,

380 It was a gasp the earth gave, forc’d by humours cold and raw,

Pour’d out of Winter’s wat’ry breast, met there, and cleaving deep

All that near passage to the lists. This Nestor’s son would keep,

And left the roadway, being about. Atrides fear’d, and cried:

“Antilochus, thy course is mad; contain thy horse, we ride

385 A way most dangerous; turn head, betime take larger field,

We shall be splitted.” Nestor’s son with much more scourge impell’d

His horse for this, as if not heard; and got as far before

As any youth can cast a quoit. Atrides would no more;


He back again, for fear himself, his goodly chariot,

390 And horse together, strew’d the dust, in being so dusty hot

Of thirsted conquest. But he chid, at parting, passing sore:

“Antilochus,” said he, “a worse than thee earth never bore.

Farewell, we never thought thee wise that were wise; but not so

Without oaths shall the wreath, be sure, crown thy mad temples. Go.”

395 Yet he bethought him, and went too, thus stirring up his steeds:

“Leave me not last thus, nor stand vex’d. Let these fail in the speeds

Of feet and knees, not you. Shall these, these old jades, past the flow’r

Of youth that you have, pass you?” This the horse fear’d, and more pow’r

Put to their knees, straight getting ground. Both flew, and so the rest.

400 All came in smokes, like spirits. The Greeks, set, to see who did best,

Without the race, aloft, now made a new discovery,

Other than that they made at first. Idomenëus’ eye

Distinguish’d all, he knew the voice of Diomed, seeing a horse

Of special mark, of colour bay, and was the first in course,

405 His forehead putting forth a star, round like the moon, and white.

Up stood the Cretan, utt’ring this: “Is it alone my sight,

Princes and captains, that discerns another leads the race

With other horse than led of late? Eumelus made most pace

With his fleet mares, and he began the flexure as we thought;

410 Now all the field I search, and find nowhere his view; hath nought

Befall’n amiss to him? Perhaps he hath not with success

Perform’d his flexure; his reins lost, or seat, or with the tress

His chariot fail’d him, and his mares have outray’d with affright.

Stand up, try you your eyes, for mine hold with the second sight;

415 This seems to me th’ Ætolian king, the Tydean Diomed.”

“To you it seems so,” rusticly Ajax Oïleus said,

“Your words are suited to your eyes. Those mares lead still that led,

Eumelus owes them, and he still holds reins and place that did,

Not fall’n as you hop’d. You must prate before us all, though last

420 In judgment of all. Y’ are too old, your tongue goes still too fast,


You must not talk so. Here are those that better thee, and look

For first place in the censure.” This Idomenëus took

In much disdain, and thus replied: “Thou best in speeches worst,

Barbarous-languag’d, others here might have reprov’d me first,

425 Not thou, unfitt’st of all. I hold a tripod with thee here,

Or caldron, and our Gen’ral make our equal arbiter,

Those horse are first, that when thou pay’st thou then may’st know.” This fir’d

Oïliades more, and more than words this quarrel had inspir’d,

Had not Achilles rose, and us’d this pacifying speech:

430 “No more. Away with words in war. It toucheth both with breach

Of that which fits ye. Your deserts should others reprehend

That give such foul terms. Sit ye still, the men themselves will end

The strife betwixt you instantly, and either’s own load bear

On his own shoulders. Then to both the first horse will appear,

435 And which is second.” These words us’d, Tydides was at hand,

His horse ran high, glanc’d on the way, and up they toss’d the sand

Thick on their coachman; on their pace their chariot deck’d with gold

Swiftly attended, no wheel seen, nor wheel’s print in the mould

Impress’d behind them. These horse flew a flight, not ran a race.

440 Arriv’d, amids the lists they stood, sweat trickling down apace

Their high manes and their prominent breasts; and down jump’d Diomed,

Laid up his scourge aloft the seat, and straight his prize was led

Home to his tent. Rough Sthenelus laid quick hand on the dame,

And handled trivet, and sent both home by his men. Next came

445 Antilochus, that won with wiles, not swiftness of his horse,

Precedence of the gold-lock’d king, who yet maintained the course

So close, that not the king’s own horse gat more before the wheel

Of his rich chariot, that might still the insecution feel


With the extreme hairs of his tail (and that sufficient close

450 Held to his leader, no great space it let him interpose

Considered in so great a field) that Nestor’s wily son

Gat of the king, now at his heels, though at the breach he won

A quoit’s cast of him, which the king again at th’ instant gain’d.

Æthe Agamemnonides, that was so richly man’d,

455 Gat strength still as she spent; which words her worth had prov’d with deeds,

Had more ground been allow’d the race; and coted far his steeds,

No question leaving for the prize. And now Meriones

A dart’s cast came behind the king, his horse of speed much less,

Himself less skill’d t’ importune them, and give a chariot wing.

460 Admetus’ son was last, whose plight Achilles pitying

Thus spake: “Best man comes last; yet right must see his prize not least,

The second his deserts must bear, and Diomed the best.”

He said, and all allow’d; and sure the mare had been his own,

Had not Antilochus stood forth, and in his answer shown

465 Good reason for his interest: “Achilles,” he replied,

“I should be angry with you much to see this ratified.

Ought you to take from me my right, because his horse had wrong,

Himself being good? He should have us’d, as good men do, his tongue

In pray’r to Their pow’rs that bless good, not trusting to his own,

470 Not to have been in this good last. His chariot overthrown

O’erthrew not me. Who’s last! Who’s first? Men’s goodness without these

Is not our question. If his good you pity yet, and please

Princely to grace it, your tents hold a goodly deal of gold,

Brass, horse, sheep, women; out of these your bounty may be bold,

475 To take a much more worthy prize than my poor merit seeks,

And give it here before my face, and all these, that the Greeks

May glorify your lib’ral hands. This prize I will not yield.

Who bears this, whatsoever man, he bears a triéd field.


His hand and mine must change some blows.” Achilles laugh’d, and said:

480 “If thy will be, Antilochus, I’ll see Eumelus paid

Out of my tents. I’ll give him th’ arms, which late I conquer’d in

Asteropæus, forg’d of brass, and wav’d about with tin;

’Twill be a present worthy him.” This said, Automedon

He sent for them. He went, and brought; and to Admetus’ son

485 Achilles gave them. He, well pleas’d, receiv’d them. Then arose

Wrong’d Menelaus, much incens’d with young Antilochus.

He bent to speak, a herald took his sceptre and gave charge

Of silence to the other Greeks; then did the king enlarge

The spleen he prison’d, utt’ring this: “Antilochus, till now

490 We grant thee wise, but in this act what wisdom utter’st thou?

Thou hast disgrac’d my virtue, wrong’d my horse, preferring thine

Much their inferiors. But go to, Princes, nor his nor mine

Judge of with favour, him nor me; lest any Grecian use

This scandal: ‘Menelaus won, with Nestor’s son’s abuse,

495 The prize in question, his horse worst; himself yet wan the best

By pow’r and greatness.’ Yet, because I would not thus contest

To make parts taking, I’ll be judge; and I suppose none here

Will blame my judgment, I’ll do right: Antilochus, come near,

Come, noble gentleman, ’tis your place, swear by th’ earth-circling God,

500 (Standing before your chariot and horse, and that self rod

With which you scourg’d them in your hand) if both with will and wile

You did not cross my chariot.” He thus did reconcile

Grace with his disgrace, and with wit restor’d him to his wit:

Now crave I patiénce. O king, whatever was unfit,

505 Ascribe to much more youth in me than you. You, more in age

And more in excellence, know well, the outrays that engage


All young men’s actions; sharper wits, but duller wisdoms, still

From us flow than from you; for which, curb, with your wisdom, will.

The prize I thought mine, I yield yours, and, if you please, a prize

510 Of greater value to my tent I’ll send for, and suffice

Your will at full, and instantly; for, in this point of time,

I rather wish to be enjoin’d your favour’s top to climb,

Than to be falling all my time from height of such a grace,

O Jove-lov’d king, and of the Gods receive a curse in place.”

515 This said, he fetch’d his prize to him; and it rejoic’d him so,

That as corn-ears shine with the dew, yet having time to grow,

When fields set all their bristles up; in such a ruff wert thou,

O Menelaus, answ’ring thus: “Antilochus, I now,

Though I were angry, yield to thee, because I see th’ hadst wit,

520 When I thought not; thy youth hath got the mast’ry of thy spirit.

And yet, for all this, ’tis more safe not to abuse at all

Great men, than, vent’ring, trust to wit to take up what may fall;

For no man in our host beside had eas’ly calm’d my spleen,

Stirr’d with like tempest. But thyself hast a sustainer been

525 Of much affliction in my cause; so thy good father too,

And so thy brother; at thy suit, I therefore let all go,

Give thee the game here, though mine own, that all these may discern

King Menelaus bears a mind at no part proud or stern.”

The king thus calm’d, Antilochus receiv’d, and gave the steed

530 To lov’d Noemon to lead thence; and then receiv’d beside

The caldron. Next, Meriones, for fourth game, was to have

Two talents’ gold. The fifth, unwon, renowm’d Achilles gave

To rev’rend Nestor, being a bowl to set on either end;

Which through the press he carried him: “Receive,” said he, “old friend,

535 This gift as fun’ral monument of my dear friend deceas’d,

Whom never you must see again. I make it his bequest


To you as, without any strife, obtaining it from all.

Your shoulders must not undergo the churlish whoorlbat’s fall,

Wrastling is past you, strife in darts, the foot’s celerity;

540 Harsh age in his years fetters you, and honour sets you free.”

Thus gave he it. He took, and joy’d; but, ere he thank’d, he said:

“Now sure, my honourable son, in all points thou hast play’d

The comely orator; no more must I contend with nerves;

Feet fail, and hands; arms want that strength, that this and that swing serves

545 Under your shoulders. Would to heav’n, I were so young chinn’d now,

And strength threw such a many of bones, to celebrate this show,

As when the Epians brought to fire, actively honouring thus,

King Amaryncea’s funerals in fair Buprasius!

His sons put prizes down for him; where not a man match’d me

550 Of all the Epians, or the sons of great-soul’d Ætolie,

No, nor the Pylians themselves, my countrymen. I beat

Great Clytomedeus, Enops’ son, at buffets. At the feat

Of wrastling, I laid under me one that against me rose,

Ancæus, call’d Pleuronius. I made Iphiclus lose

555 The foot-game to me. At the spear, I conquer’d Polydore,

And strong Phylëus. Actor’s sons, of all men, only bore

The palm at horse-race, conquering with lashing on more horse,

And envying my victory, because, before their course,

All the best games were gone with me. These men were twins; one was

560 A most sure guide, a most sure guide; the other gave the pass

With rod and mettle. This was then. But now young men must wage

These works, and my joints undergo the sad defects of age;

Though then I was another man. At that time I excell’d

Amongst th’ heroës. But forth now; let th’ other rites be held

565 For thy deceas’d friend; this thy gift in all kind part I take,

And much it joys my heart, that still, for my true kindness’ sake,


You give me mem’ry. You perceive, in what fit grace I stand

Amongst the Grecians; and to theirs you set your graceful hand.

The Gods give ample recompense of grace again to thee,

570 For this and all thy favours!” Thus, back through the thrust drave he,

When he had stay’d out all the praise of old Neleides.

And now for buffets, that rough game, he order’d passages;

Proposing a laborious mule, of six years old, untam’d,

And fierce in handling, brought, and bound, in that place where they gam’d;

575 And, to the conquer’d, a round cup. Both which he thus proclaims:

“Atrides and all friends of Greece, two men, for these two games,

I bid stand forth. Who best can strike, with high contracted fists,

(Apollo giving him the wreath) know all about these lists,

Shall win a mule, patient of toil; the vanquished, this round cup.”

580 This utter’d; Panopëus’ son, Epëus, straight stood up,

A tall huge man, that to the nail knew that red sport of hand,

And, seizing the tough mule, thus spake: “Now let some other stand

Forth for the cup; this mule is mine, at cuffs I boast me best.

Is’t not enough I am no soldier? Who is worthiest

585 At all works? None; not possible. At this yet this I say

And will perform this: Who stands forth, I’ll burst him, I will bray

His bones as in a mortar. Fetch surgeons enow to take

His corse from under me.” This speech did all men silent make.

At last stood forth Euryalus, a man god-like, and son

590 To king Mecisteus, the grandchild of honour’d Talaon.

He was so strong that, coming once to Thebes, when Œdipus

Had like rites solemniz’d for him, he went victorious

From all the Thebans. This rare man Tydides would prepare,

Put on his girdle, oxhide cords, fair wrought; and spent much care


595 That he might conquer, hearten’d him, and taught him tricks. Both dress’d

Fit for th’ affair, both forth were brought; then breast oppos’d to breast,

Fists against fists rose, and, they join’d, rattling of jaws was there,

Gnashing of teeth, and heavy blows dash’d blood out ev’rywhere.

At length Epëus spy’d clear way, rush’d in, and such a blow

600 Drave underneath the other’s ear, that his neat limbs did strow

The knock’d earth, no more legs had he; but as a huge fish laid

Near to the cold-weed-gath’ring shore, is with a north flaw fraid,

Shoots back, and in the black deep hides; so, sent against the ground,

Was foil’d Euryalus, his strength so hid in more profound

605 Deeps of Epëus, who took up th’ intranc’d competitor;

About whom rush’d a crowd of friends, that through the clusters bore

His falt’ring knees, he spitting up thick clods of blood, his head

Totter’d of one side, his sense gone; when, to a by-place led,

Thither they brought him the round cup. Pelides then set forth

610 Prize for a wrastling; to the best a trivet, that was worth

Twelve oxen, great and fit for fire; the conquer’d was t’ obtain

A woman excellent in works; her beauty, and her gain,

Priz’d at four oxen. Up he stood, and thus proclaimed: “Arise,

You wrastlers, that will prove for these.” Out stepp’d the ample size

615 Of mighty Ajax, huge in strength; to him Laertes’ son,

The crafty one, as huge in sleight. Their ceremony done

Of making ready, forth they stepp’d, catch elbows with strong hands,

And as the beams of some high house crack with a storm, yet stands

The house, being built by well-skill’d men; so crack’d their backbones, wrinch’d

620 With horrid twitches; in their sides, arms, shoulders, all bepinch’d,

Ran thick the wales, red with the blood, ready to start out. Both

Long’d for the conquest and the prize; yet show’d no play, being loth


To lose both. Nor could Ithacus stir Ajax; nor could he

Hale down Ulysses, being more strong than with mere strength to be

625 Hurl’d from all vantage of his sleight. Tir’d then with tugging play,

Great Ajax Telamonins said: “Thou wisest man, or lay

My face up, or let me lay thine; let Jove take care for these.”

This said, he hois’d him up to air; when Laertiades

His wiles forgat not, Ajax’ thigh he strook behind, and flat

630 He on his back fell; on his breast Ulysses. Wonder’d at

Was this of all; all stood amaz’d. Then the much-suff’ring man,

Divine Ulysses, at next close the Telamonian

A little rais’d from earth, not quite, but with his knee implied

Lock’d legs; and down fell both on earth, close by each other’s side,

635 Both fil’d with dust; but starting up, the third close they had made,

Had not Achilles’ self stood up, restraining them, and bade:

“No more tug one another thus, nor moil yourselves; receive

Prize equal; conquest crowns ye both; the lists to others leave.”

They heard, and yielded willingly, brush’d off the dust, and on

640 Put other vests. Pelides then, to those that swiftest run,

Propos’d another prize; a bowl, beyond comparison,

Both for the size and workmanship, past all the bowls of earth.

It held six measures; silver all; but had his special worth

For workmanship, receiving form from those ingenious men

645 Of Sidon. The Phœnicians made choice, and brought it then

Along the green sea, giving it to Thoas; by degrees

It came t’ Eunæus, Jason’s son, who young Priamides,

Lycaon, of Achilles’ friend bought with it; and this here

Achilles made best game for him, that best his feet could bear.

650 For second he propos’d an ox, a huge one, and a fat;

And half a talent gold for last. These thus he set them at:

“Rise, you that will assay for these.” Forth stepp’d Oïliades;

Ulysses answer’d; and the third was, one esteem’d past these


For footmanship, Antilochus. All rank’d, Achilles show’d

655 The race-scope. From the start they glid. Oïliades bestow’d

His feet the swiftest; close to him flew god-like Ithacus.

And as a lady at her loom, being young and beauteous,

Her silk-shuttle close to her breast, with grace that doth inflame,

And her white hand, lifts quick and oft, in drawing from her frame

660 Her gentle thread, which she unwinds with ever at her breast

Gracing her fair hand; so close still, and with such interest

In all men’s likings, Ithacus unwound, and spent the race

By him before, took out his steps with putting in their place

Promptly and gracefully his own, sprinkled the dust before,

665 And clouded with his breath his head. So facilie he bore

His royal person, that he strook shouts from the Greeks, with thirst

That he should conquer, though he flew: “Yet come, come, O come first,”

Ever they cried to him. And this ev’n his wise breast did move

To more desire of victory; it made him pray, and prove,

670 Minerva’s aid, his fautress still: “O Goddess, hear,” said he,

“And to my feet stoop with thy help, now happy fautress be.”

She was, and light made all his limbs. And now, both near their crown,

Minerva tripp’d up Ajax’ heels, and headlong he fell down

Amids the ordure of the beasts, there negligently left

675 Since they were slain there; and by this, Minerva’s friend bereft

Oïliades of that rich bowl, and left his lips, nose, eyes,

Ruthfully smear’d. The fat ox yet he seiz’d for second prize,

Held by the horn, spit out the tail, and thus spake all-besmear’d:

“O villainous chance! This Ithacus so highly is endear’d

680 To his Minerva, that her hand is ever in his deeds.

She, like his mother, nestles him; for from her it proceeds,

I know, that I am us’d thus.” This all in light laughter cast;

Amongst whom quick Antilochus laugh’d out his coming last

Thus wittily: “Know, all my friends, that all times past, and now,

685 The Gods most honour most-liv’d men. Oïliades ye know


More old than I, but Ithacus is of the foremost race,

First generation of men. Give the old man his grace,

They count him of the green-hair’d eld; they may; or in his flow’r;

For not our greatest flourisher can equal him in pow’r

690 Of foot-strife, but Æacides.” Thus sooth’d he Thetis’ son

Who thus accepted it: “Well, youth, your praises shall not run

With unrewarded feet on mine, your half a talent’s prize

I’ll make a whole one. Take you, sir.” He took, and joy’d. Then flies

Another game forth. Thetis’ son set in the lists a lance,

695 A shield, and helmet, being th’ arms Sarpedon did advance

Against Patroclus, and he pris’d. And thus he nam’d th’ address:

“Stand forth two the most excellent, arm’d, and before all these

Give mutual onset to the touch and wound of either’s flesh.

Who first shall wound, through other’s arms his blood appearing fresh,

700 Shall win this sword, silver’d, and hatch’d; the blade is right of Thrace;

Asteropæus yielded it. These arms shall part their grace

With either’s valour; and the men I’ll liberally feast

At my pavilion.” To this game the first man that address’d

Was Ajax Telamonius; to him king Diomed.

705 Both, in oppos’d parts of the press, full arm’d, both enteréd

The lists amids the multitude, put looks on so austere,

And join’d so roughly, that amaze surpris’d the Greeks in fear

Of either’s mischief. Thrice they threw their fierce darts, and clos’d thrice.

Then Ajax strook through Diomed’s shield, but did no prejudice,

710 His curets saft him. Diomed’s dart still over shoulders flew,

Still mounting with the spirit it bore. And now rough Ajax grew

So violent, that the Greeks cried: “Hold, no more. Let them no more.

Give equal prize to either.” Yet the sword, propos’d before


For him did best, Achilles gave to Diomed. Then a stone,

715 In fashion of a sphere, he show’d; of no invention,

But natural, only melted through with iron. ’Twas the bowl

That king Eetion us’d to hurl; but he bereft of soul

By great Achilles, to the fleet, with store of other prise,

He brought it, and propos’d it now both for the exercise

720 And prize itself. He stood, and said: “Rise you that will approve

Your arms’ strengths now in this brave strife. His vigour that can move

This furthest, needs no game but this; for reach he ne’er so far

With large fields of his own in Greece (and so needs for his car,

His plough, or other tools of thrift, much iron) I’ll able this

725 For five revolvéd years; no need shall use his messages

To any town to furnish him, this only bowl shall yield

Iron enough for all affairs.” This said; to try this field,

First Polypœtes issuéd; next Leontëus; third

Great Ajax; huge Epëus fourth, yet he was first that stirr’d

730 That mine of iron. Up it went, and up he toss’d it so,

That laughter took up all the field. The next man that did throw

Was Leontëus; Ajax third, who gave it such a hand,

That far past both their marks it flew. But now ’twas to be mann’d

By Polypœtes, and, as far as at an ox that strays

735 A herdsman can swing out his goad, so far did he outraise

The stone past all men; all the field rose in a shout to see’t;

About him flock’d his friends, and bore the royal game to fleet.

For archery he then set forth ten axes edg’d two ways,

And ten of one edge. On the shore, far-off, he caus’d to raise

740 A ship-mast; to whose top they tied a fearful dove by th’ foot,

At which all shot, the game put thus: He that the dove could shoot,

Nor touch the string that fasten’d her, the two-edg’d tools should bear

All to the fleet. Who touch’d the string, and miss’d the dove, should share

The one-edg’d axes. This propos’d; king Teucer’s force arose,

745 And with him rose Meriones. And now lots must dispose


Their shooting first; both which let fall into a helm of brass,

First Teucer’s came, and first he shot, and his cross fortune was

To shoot the string, the dove untouch’d; Apollo did envy

His skill, since not to him he vow’d, being God of archery,

750 A first-fall’n lamb. The bitter shaft yet cut in two the cord,

That down fell, and the dove aloft up to the welkin soar’d.

The Greeks gave shouts. Meriones first made a hearty vow

To sacrifice a first-fall’n lamb to Him that rules the bow,

And then fell to his aim, his shaft being ready nock’d before.

755 He spy’d her in the clouds that here, there, ev’rywhere, did soar,

Yet at her height he reach’d her side, strook her quite through, and down

The shaft fell at his feet; the dove the mast again did crown,

There hung the head, and all her plumes were ruffled, she stark dead,

And there, far off from him, she fell. The people wonderéd,

760 And stood astonish’d; th’ archer pleas’d. Æacides then shows

A long lance, and a caldron new, engrail’d with twenty hues,

Priz’d at an ox. These games were show’d for men at darts; and then

Up rose the General of all, up rose the King of men,

Up rose late-crown’d Meriones. Achilles, seeing the King

765 Do him this grace, prevents more deed, his royal offering

Thus interrupting: “King of men, we well conceive how far

Thy worth superior is to all, how much most singular

Thy pow’r is, and thy skill in darts! Accept then this poor prize

Without contention, and (your will pleas’d with what I advise)

770 Afford Meriones the lance.” The King was nothing slow

To that fit grace. Achilles then the brass lance did bestow

On good Meriones. The King his present would not save,

But to renowm’d Talthybius the goodly caldron gave.

Linenotes for Book XXIII

* Justs of exsequies—funeral games.

7: In the folio it is, “When with our friends kinds woe our hearts,” &c. As I cannot understand this, and it is not in the Greek, I have read as above. It is possible Chapman may have meant, “And with our friend’s kin’s woe,” with the woe of the kin of Patroclus, but this seems far fetched.

47: Diverted—turned from their proper duty of fighting.

58: Comprehend—i.e. contain (Latin).

83: That vessel.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor, “the.”

94: Idol—εἴδωλον, the image, figure, of a disembodied spirit. Iliad XXIII.104.

106: Hands.—Thus both folios. Chapman, following the original, says, “all hands bore wood-cutting tools, &c.” Dr. Taylor has wrongly altered it to “all kinds.” Iliad XXIII.114.

106: March’d.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor erroneously, “march.”

107: Overthwarts.—This is the celebrated line,

Πολλὰ δ’ ἅπαντα κάταντα πάραντά τε δόχμιά τ’ ἦλθον.

Both folios have overthwarts in one word, which I prefer. Dr. Taylor has printed over thwarts; but overthwarts, adverbially, as we say athwart, conveys the sense and sound intended in the original. Iliad XXIII.116.

115: Carriages—burdens.

126: Set down.—So both folios, the Greek being κάτθεσαν. Dr. Taylor, however, has “sat down.” Iliad XXIII.139.

134: Those founts.—Dr. Taylor, following the error of the second folio, has “whose founts.”

164: Incense—(Latin) burn.

174: Loving Cruel—Achilles, loving to his friend, cruel to his enemy.

182: Iris.

194: Blore.—Bk. II. 122.

218: Made shine.—Thus both folios. Dr. Taylor has erroneously printed, “make shine.”

220: Kept.—The second folio and Taylor, “keep.”

223: Kels—cauls.

239: Employing.—The second folio has “employed.”

243: Kinds.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor have “kind.”

255: Horse.—The second folio and Taylor have “horses.” They both also omit “of” before “Neptune’s;” likewise “and” before “of his” in the following line.

259: Humorous—moist. See Bk. XXI. 186. Slick—sleek, to make sleek.

267: Trojan horse—the horses of Tros.

283: Wield.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor have “yield;” and “turning” for “turnings” in the next line.

297: Skill.—Dr. Taylor has followed the typographical error of the second folio in printing “still.”

299: Heaven—the past participle of the verb to heave. The Greek is ἑλίσσεται. Iliad XXIII.320.

304: Thee.—So both folios; Dr. Taylor, “the.”

305: “A comment might well be bestowed upon this speech of Nestor.” —Chapman.

324: Cote—pass by, outstrip. See Nares. The word seems a hunting term, when the greyhound passes by and turns the hare into its fellow’s mouth. Thus Drayton uses it. (Polyolbion, XXIII. p. 1115, quoted by Nares.)

325: Owed—owned. Bk. II. 736.

328: When all, &c.—“Nestor’s aged love of speech was here briefly noted.” —Chapman.

329: Fifthly.—Dr. Taylor, erroneously, “fitly.”

338: Start—started. See Bk. XXIV. 462.

383: “Menelaus in fear to follow Antilochus, who ye may see played upon him.” —Chapman.

409: Flexure—the turning at the goal.

412: Tress—trace.

422: Censure.—See Bk. XIII. 655.

441: Breasts.—The second folio and Taylor, “breast.”

446: Gold-lock’d king—Menelaus.

448: Insecution—Close pursuit (Latin).

456: Coted—Suprà, 324.

485: The second folio and Dr. Taylor erroneously omit “them.”

489: “Note Menelaus’ ridiculous speech for conclusion of his character.” —Chapman.

504: “Antilochus’s ironical reply.” —Chapman.

513: “Ironicè.” —Chapman.

517: “This simile likewise is merely ironical.” —Chapman.

538: Whoorlbat’s—whirlbats, missiles for hurling, quoits, &c. George Sandys in a marginal note to his Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Bk. V. p. 174 (ed. 1632), says a hurl-bat is “a weapon with plummets of lead hung at the end of a staff.” Again in Bk. VIII. p. 272, is a similar note, where he says “whorl-bats, plummets of lead hung at the end staves: weapons used in their solemn games.”

545: Young chinn’d—newly bearded.

552: Buffets—boxing.

561: “His desire of praise pants still.” —Chapman.

571: “Another note of Nestor’s humour, not so much being to be plainly observed in all these Iliads as in this book.” —Chapman.

571: Praise.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor, erroneously, “prize.”

572: Passages—as we say, “passages at arms.”

576: The second folio and Dr. Taylor, erroneously, “all his friends,” &c.

581: To the nail—exactly, accurately. Like the ad unguem of Horace (Sat. I. v. 32), and the in unguem of Virgil (Georg. II. 277).

587: “Note the sharpness of wit in our Homer; if where you look not for it you can find it.” —Chapman.

603: The second folio has erroneously printed “back” for “black,” which Dr. Taylor has followed.

606: Clusters.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor read “blusters.”

635: Dr. Taylor has improperly printed “fill’d.”

637: Moil—trouble, labour.

665: Facilie.— easily.

670: Fautress.— Bk. I. 441.

688: Eld.—This is a grand old word, meaning “old age.” The reader may remember the fine personification of “Eld” in Chaucer’s “Romaunt of the Rose,” and Sackville’s “Induction” to the “Mirrour for Magistrates.”

696: He pris’d.—The second folio and Taylor erroneously omit “he.” Dr. Taylor has also wrongly printed priz’d; the word being “prised,” took, captured, from Sarpedon.

700: Hatch’d—inlaid with silver, &c.

740: Fearful—timid.

761: Engrail’d—here variegated. The word is derived from (French) grêle, hail, as we should say, spotted with hail. Now chiefly used in heraldry, indented in lines.

770: It may be observed that Chapman reverses the order here. In the Greek, Agamemnon gives Meriones the lance, Achilles the caldron to Talthybius.


Corrections for Book XXIII

66 My spirit from rest, and stay my much-desir’d receipt
Full line as shown; it seems to be one foot short.

106 note Thus both folios.
text has folios, with comma for full stop

301 Right on the scope still of a race, bear near, know ever when to rein,
Full line as shown; there seems to be an extra foot.

He sent for them. He went, and brought; and to Admetus’ son
Achilles gave them. He, well pleas’d, receiv’d them. Then arose

[The third edition skips from one “them. He” to the next, leaving the single line
He sent for them. He, well pleas’d, receiv’d them. Then arose

485 note erroneously omit “them.”
That is, the second “them” (there are two in the line)

694 Another game forth.
final . invisible




The Argument.

Jove, entertaining care of Hector’s corse,

Sends Thetis to her son for his remorse,*

And fit dismission of it. Iris then

He sends to Priam; willing him to gain

His son for ransom. He, by Hermes led,

Gets through Achilles’ guards; sleeps deep and dead

Cast on them by his guide; when, with access

And humble suit made to Æacides,

He gains the body; which to Troy he bears,

And buries it with feasts, buried in tears.

Another Argument.

Omega sings the Exsequies,

And Hector’s redemptory prise.


he games perform’d; the soldiers wholly dispers’d to fleet,

Supper and sleep their only care. Constant Achilles yet

Wept for his friend, nor sleep itself, that all things doth subdue,

Could touch at him; this way and that he turn’d, and did renew

5 His friend’s dear memory, his grace in managing his strength,

And his strength’s greatness, how life rack’d into their utmost length


Griefs, battles, and the wraths of seas, in their joint sufferance.

Each thought of which turn’d to a tear. Sometimes he would advance,

In tumbling on the shore, his side; sometimes his face; then turn

10 Flat on his bosom; start upright. Although he saw the morn

Show sea and shore his ecstasy, he left not, till at last

Rage varied his distraction; horse, chariot, in haste

He call’d for; and, those join’d, the corse was to his chariot tied,

And thrice about the sepulchre he made his fury ride,

15 Dragging the person. All this past; in his pavilion

Rest seiz’d him, but with Hector’s corse his rage had never done,

Still suff’ring it t’ oppress the dust. Apollo yet, ev’n dead,

Pitied the prince, and would not see inhuman tyranny fed

With more pollution of his limbs; and therefore cover’d round

20 His person with his golden shield, that rude dogs might not wound

His manly lineaments, which threat Achilles cruelly

Had us’d in fury. But now Heav’n let fall a gen’ral eye

Of pity on him; the blest Gods persuaded Mercury,

Their good observer, to his stealth; and ev’ry Deity

25 Stood pleas’d with it: Juno except, green Neptune, and the Maid

Grac’d with the blue eyes, all their hearts stood hatefully appaid

Long since, and held it, as at first, to Priam, Ilion,

And all his subjects, for the rape of his licentious son,

Proud Paris, that despis’d these Dames in their divine access

30 Made to his cottage, and prais’d Her that his sad wantonness

So costly nourish’d. The twelfth morn now shin’d on the delay

Of Hector’s rescue, and then spake the Deity of the Day

Thus to th’ Immortals: “Shameless Gods, authors of ill ye are

To suffer ill. Hath Hector’s life at all times show’d his care

35 Of all your rights, in burning thighs of beeves and goats to you,

And are your cares no more of him? Vouchsafe ye not ev’n now,

Ev’n dead, to keep him, that his wife, his mother, and his son,

Father, and subjects, may be mov’d to those deeds he hath done,


Seeing you preserve him that serv’d you, and sending to their hands

40 His person for the rites of fire? Achilles, that withstands

All help to others, you can help; one that hath neither heart

Nor soul within him, that will move or yield to any part

That fits a man, but lion-like, uplandish, and mere wild,

Slave to his pride, and all his nerves being naturally compil’d

45 Of eminent strength, stalks out and preys upon a silly sheep.

And so fares this man, that fit ruth that now should draw so deep

In all the world being lost in him; and shame, a quality

Of so much weight, that both it helps and hurts excessively

Men in their manners, is not known, nor hath the pow’r to be,

50 In this man’s being. Other men a greater loss than he

Have undergone, a son, suppose, or brother of one womb;

Yet, after dues of woes and tears, they bury in his tomb

All their deplorings. Fates have giv’n to all that are true men

True manly patience; but this man so soothes his bloody vein

55 That no blood serves it, he must have divine-soul’d Hector bound

To his proud chariot, and danc’d in a most barbarous round

About his lov’d friend’s sepulchre, when he is slain. ’Tis vile

And draws no profit after it. But let him now awhile

Mark but our angers; he is spent; let all his strength take heed

60 It tempts not our wraths; he begets, in this outrageous deed,

The dull earth with his fury’s hate.” White-wristed Juno said,

Being much incens’d, “This doom is one that thou wouldst have obey’d,

Thou bearer of the silver bow, that we in equal care

And honour should hold Hector’s worth, with him that claims a share

65 In our deservings. Hector suck’d a mortal woman’s breast,

Æacides a Goddess’s; ourself had interest

Both in his infant nourishment, and bringing up with state,

And to the human Peleüs we gave his bridal mate,

Because he had th’ Immortals’ love. To celebrate the feast

70 Of their high nuptials, ev’ry God was glad to be a guest;


And thou fedd’st of his father’s cates, touching thy harp in grace

Of that beginning of our friend, whom thy perfidious face,

In his perfection, blusheth not to match with Priam’s son,

O thou that to betray and shame art still companion!”

75 Jove thus receiv’d her: “Never give these broad terms to a God.

Those two men shall not be compar’d; and yet, of all that trod

The well-pav’d Ilion, none so dear to all the Deities

As Hector was; at least to me, for off’rings most of prize

His hands would never pretermit. Our altars ever stood

80 Furnish’d with banquets fitting us, odours and ev’ry good

Smok’d in our temples; and for this, forseeing it, his fate

We mark’d with honour, which must stand. But, to give stealth estate

In his deliv’rance, shun we that; nor must we favour one

To shame another. Privily, with wrong to Thetis’ son,

85 We must not work out Hector’s right. There is a ransom due,

And open course, by laws of arms; in which must humbly sue

The friends of Hector. Which just mean if any God would stay,

And use the other, ’twould not serve; for Thetis night and day

Is guardian to him. But would one call Iris hither, I

90 Would give directions that for gifts the Trojan king should buy

His Hector’s body, which the sun of Thetis shall resign.”

This said, his will was done; the Dame that doth in vapours shine,

Dewy and thin, footed with storms, jump’d to the sable seas

’Twixt Samos and sharp Imber’s cliffs; the lake groan’d with the press

95 Of her rough feet, and, plummet-like, put in an ox’s horn

That bears death to the raw-fed fish, she div’d, and found forlorn

Thetis lamenting her son’s fate, who was in Troy to have,

Far from his country, his death serv’d. Close to her Iris stood,

And said: “Rise, Thetis, prudent Jove, whose counsels thirst not blood,

100 Calls for thee.” Thetis answer’d her with asking: “What’s the cause

The great God calls? My sad pow’rs fear’d to break th’ immortal laws,


In going fil’d with griefs to heav’n. But He sets snares for none

With colour’d counsels; not a word of him but shall be done.”

She said, and took a sable veil (a blacker never wore

105 A heav’nly shoulder) and gave way. Swift Iris swum before.

About both roll’d the brackish waves. They took their banks, and flew

Up to Olympus; where they found Saturnius far-of-view

Spher’d with heav’n’s ever-being States. Minerva rose, and gave

Her place to Thetis near to Jove; and Juno did receive

110 Her entry with a cup of gold, in which she drank to her,

Grac’d her with comfort, and the cup to her hand did refer.

She drank, resigning it; and then the Sire of men and Gods

Thus entertain’d her: “Com’st thou up to these our blest abodes,

Fair Goddess Thetis, yet art sad; and that in so high kind

115 As passeth suff’rance? This I know, and tried thee, and now find

Thy will by mine rul’d, which is rule to all worlds’ government.

Besides this trial yet, this cause sent down for thy ascent,

Nine days’ contention hath been held amongst th’ Immortals here

For Hector’s person and thy son; and some advices were

120 To have our good spy Mercury steal from thy son the corse;

But that reproach I kept far off, to keep in future force

Thy former love and reverence. Haste then, and tell thy son

The Gods are angry, and myself take that wrong he hath done

To Hector in worst part of all, the rather since he still

125 Detains his person. Charge him then, if he respect my will

For any reason, to resign slain Hector. I will send

Iris to Priam to redeem his son, and recommend

Fit ransom to Achilles’ grace, in which right he may joy

And end his vain grief.” To this charge bright Thetis did employ

130 Instant endeavour. From heav’n’s tops she reach’d Achilles’ tent,

Found him still sighing, and some friends with all their complement


Soothing his Humour; other some with all contentión

Dressing his dinner, all their pains and skills consum’d upon

A huge wool-bearer, slaughtered there. His rev’rend mother then

135 Came near, took kindly his fair hand, and ask’d him: “Dear son, when

Will sorrow leave thee? How long time wilt thou thus eat thy heart,

Fed with no other food, nor rest? ’Twere good thou wouldst divert

Thy friend’s love to some lady, cheer thy spirits with such kind parts

As she can quit thy grace withal. The joy of thy deserts

140 I shall not long have, death is near, and thy all-conqu’ring fate,

Whose haste thou must not haste with grief, but understand the state

Of things belonging to thy life, which quickly order. I

Am sent from Jove t’ advértise thee, that ev’ry Deity

Is angry with thee, himself most, that rage thus reigns in thee

145 Still to keep Hector. Quit him then, and, for fit ransom, free

His injur’d person.” He replied: “Let him come that shall give

The ransom, and the person take. Jove’s pleasure must deprive

Men of all pleasures.” This good speech, and many more, the son

And mother us’d, in ear of all the naval statión.

150 And now to holy Ilion Saturnius Iris sent:

“Go, swift-foot Iris, bid Troy’s king bear fit gifts, and content

Achilles for his son’s release; but let him greet alone

The Grecian navy; not a man, excepting such a one

As may his horse and chariot guide, a herald, or one old,

155 Attending him; and let him take his Hector. Be he bold,

Discourag’d nor with death nor fear, wise Mercury shall guide

His passage till the prince be near; and, he gone, let him ride

Resolv’d ev’n in Achilles’ tent. He shall not touch the state

Of his high person, nor admit the deadliest desperate

160 Of all about him; for, though fierce, he is not yet unwise,

Nor inconsid’rate, nor a man past awe of Deities,

But passing free and curious to do a suppliant grace.”

This said, the Rainbow to her feet tied whirlwinds, and the place


Reach’d instantly. The heavy court Clamour and Mourning fill’d;

165 The sons all set about the sire; and there stood Grief, and still’d

Tears on their garments. In the midst the old king sate, his weed

All wrinkled, head and neck dust-fil’d; the princesses his seed,

The princesses his sons’ fair wives, all mourning by; the thought

Of friends so many, and so good, being turn’d so soon to nought

170 By Grecian hands, consum’d their youth, rain’d beauty from their eyes.

Iris came near the king; her sight shook all his faculties,

And therefore spake she soft, and said: “Be glad, Dardanides;

Of good occurrents, and none ill, am I ambassadress.

Jove greets thee, who, in care, as much as he is distant, deigns

175 Eye to thy sorrows, pitying thee. My ambassy contains

This charge to thee from him: He wills thou shouldst redeem thy son,

Bear gifts t’ Achilles, cheer him so; but visit him alone,

None but some herald let attend, thy mules and chariot

To manage for thee. Fear nor death let daunt thee, Jove hath got

180 Hermes to guide thee, who as near to Thetis’ son as needs

Shall guard thee; and being once with him, nor his, nor others’, deeds

Stand touch’d with, he will all contain; nor is he mad, nor vain,

Nor impious, but with all his nerves studious to entertain

One that submits with all fit grace.” Thus vanish’d she like wind.

185 He mules and chariot calls, his sons bids see them join’d, and bind

A trunk behind it; he himself down to his wardrobe goes,

Built all of cedar, highly roof’d, and odoriferous,

That much stuff, worth the sight, contain’d. To him he call’d his queen,

Thus greeting her: “Come, hapless dame, an angel I have seen,

190 Sent down from Jove, that bade me free our dear son from the fleet

With ransom pleasing to our foe. What holds thy judgment meet?

My strength and spirit lays high charge on all my being to bear

The Greeks’ worst, vent’ring through their host.” The queen cried out to hear


His vent’rous purpose, and replied: “O whither now is fled

195 The late discretion that renown’d thy grave and knowing head

In foreign and thine own rul’d realms, that thus thou dar’st assay

Sight of that man, in whose brow sticks the horrible decay

Of sons so many, and so strong? Thy heart is iron I think.

If this stern man, whose thirst of blood makes cruelty his drink,

200 Take, or but see, thee, thou art dead. He nothing pities woe,

Nor honours age. Without his sight, we have enough to do

To mourn with thought of him. Keep we our palace, weep we here,

Our son is past our helps. Those throes, that my deliv’rers were

Of his unhappy lineaments, told me they should be torn

205 With black-foot dogs. Almighty Fate, that black hour he was born,

Spun in his springing thread that end; far from his parents’ reach,

This bloody fellow then ordain’d to be their mean, this wretch,

Whose stony liver would to heav’n I might devour, my teeth

My son’s revengers made! Curs’d Greek, he gave him not his death

210 Doing an ill work; he alone fought for his country, he

Fled not, nor fear’d, but stood his worst; and curséd policy

Was his undoing.” He replied: “Whatever was his end

Is not our question, we must now use all means to defend

His end from scandal; from which act dissuade not my just will,

215 Nor let me nourish in my house a bird presaging ill

To my good actions; ’tis in vain. Had any earthly spirit

Giv’n this suggestion, if our priests, or soothsay’rs, challenging merit

Of prophets, I might hold it false, and be the rather mov’d

To keep my palace, but these ears and these self eyes approv’d

220 It was a Goddess. I will go; for not a word She spake

I know was idle. If it were, and that my fate will make

Quick riddance of me at the fleet, kill me, Achilles; come,

When getting to thee, I shall find a happy dying room


On Hector’s bosom, when enough thirst of my tears finds there

225 Quench to his fervour.” This resolv’d, the works most fair and dear

Of his rich screens he brought abroad; twelve veils wrought curiously;

Twelve plain gowns; and as many suits of wealthy tapestry;

As many mantles; horsemen’s coats; ten talents of fine gold;

Two tripods; caldrons four; a bowl, whose value he did hold

230 Beyond all price, presented by th’ ambassadors of Thrace.

The old king nothing held too dear, to rescue from disgrace

His gracious Hector. Forth he came. At entry of his court

The Trojan citizens so press’d, that this opprobrious sort

Of check he us’d: “Hence, cast-aways! Away, ye impious crew!

235 Are not your griefs enough at home? What come ye here to view?

Care ye for my griefs? Would ye see how miserable I am?

Is’t not enough, imagine ye? Ye might know, ere ye came,

What such a son’s loss weigh’d with me. But know this for your pains,

Your houses have the weaker doors; the Greeks will find their gains

240 The easier for his loss, be sure. But O Troy! ere I see

Thy ruin, let the doors of hell receive and ruin me!”

Thus with his sceptre set he on the crowding citizens,

Who gave back, seeing him so urge. And now he entertains

His sons as roughly, Helenus, Paris, Hippothous,

245 Pammon, divine Agathones, renowm’d Deiphobus,

Agavus, and Antiphonus, and last, not least in arms,

The strong Polites: these nine sons the violence of his harms

Help’d him to vent in these sharp terms: “Haste, you infámous brood,

And get my chariot. Would to heav’n that all the abject blood

250 In all your veins had Hector ’scus’d! O me, accurséd man,

All my good sons are gone, my light the shades Cimmerian

Have swallow’d from me. I have lost Mestor, surnam’d the fair;

Troilus, that ready knight at arms, that made his field repair

Ever so prompt and joyfully; and Hector, amongst men

255 Esteem’d a God, not from a mortal’s seed, but of th’ Eternal strain,


He seem’d to all eyes. These are gone, you that survive are base,

Liars and common freebooters; all faulty, not a grace,

But in your heels, in all your parts; dancing companions

Ye all are excellent. Hence, ye brats! Love ye to hear my moans?

260 Will ye not get my chariot? Command it quickly, fly,

That I may perfect this dear work.” This all did terrify;

And straight his mule-drawn chariot came, to which they fast did bind

The trunk with gifts. And then came forth, with an afflicted mind,

Old Hecuba. In her right hand a bowl of gold she bore

265 With sweet wine crown’d, stood near, and said: “Receive this, and implore,

With sacrificing it to Jove, thy safe return. I see

Thy mind likes still to go, though mine dislikes it utterly.

Pray to the black-cloud-gath’ring God, Idæan Jove, that views

All Troy, and all her miseries, that he will deign to use

270 His most-lov’d bird to ratify thy hopes, that, her broad wing

Spread on thy right hand, thou mayst know thy zealous offering

Accepted, and thy safe return confirm’d; but if he fail,

Fail thy intent, though never so it labours to prevail.”

“This I refuse not,” he replied, “for no faith is so great

275 In Jove’s high favour, but it must with held-up hands intreat.”

This said, the chambermaid, that held the ewer and basin by,

He bade pour water on his hands; when, looking to the sky,

He took the bowl, did sacrifice, and thus implor’d: “O Jove,

From Ida using thy commands, in all deserts above

280 All other Gods, vouchsafe me safe, and pity in the sight

Of great Achilles; and, for trust to that wish’d grace, excite

Thy swift-wing’d Messenger, most strong, most of air’s region lov’d,

To soar on my right hand; which sight may firmly see approv’d

Thy former summons, and my speed.” He pray’d, and heav’n’s King heard,

285 And instantly cast from his fist air’s all-commanding bird,

The black-wing’d huntress, perfectest of all fowls, which Gods call

Percnos, the eagle. And how broad the chamber nuptial


Of any mighty man hath doors, such breadth cast either wing;

Which now she us’d, and spread them wide on right hand of the king.

290 All saw it, and rejoic’d, and up to chariot he arose,

Drave forth, the portal and the porch resounding as he goes.

His friends all follow’d him, and mourn’d as if he went to die;

And bringing him past town to field, all left him; and the eye

Of Jupiter was then his guard, who pitied him, and us’d

295 These words to Hermes: “Mercury, thy help hath been profus’d

Ever with most grace in consórts of travellers distress’d,

Now cónsort Priam to the fleet; but so, that not the least

Suspicion of him be attain’d, till at Achilles’ tent

The convoy hath arriv’d him safe.” This charge incontinent

300 He put in practice. To his feet his feather’d shoes he tied,

Immortal, and made all of gold, with which he us’d to ride

The rough sea and th’ unmeasur’d earth, and equall’d in his pace

The puffs of wind. Then took he up his rod, that hath the grace

To shut what eyes he lists with sleep, and open them again

305 In strongest trances. This he held, flew forth, and did attain

To Troy and Hellespontus straight. Then like a fair young prince,

First-down-chinn’d, and of such a grace as makes his looks convince

Contending eyes to view him, forth he went to meet the king.

He, having pass’d the mighty tomb of Ilus, watering

310 His mules in Xanthus, the dark even fell on the earth; and then

Idæus (guider of the mules) discern’d this grace of men,

And spake afraid to Priamus: “Beware, Dardanides,

Our states ask counsel; I discern the dangerous access

Of some man near us; now I fear we perish. Is it best

315 To fly, or kiss his knees and ask his ruth of men distress’d?”

Confusion strook the king, cold fear extremely quench’d his veins,

Upright upon his languishing head his hair stood, and the chains


Of strong amaze bound all his pow’rs. To both which then came near

The prince turn’d Deity, took his hand, and thus bespake the peer:

320 “To what place, father, driv’st thou out through solitary night,

When others sleep? Give not the Greeks sufficient cause of fright

To these late travels, being so near, and such vow’d enemies?

Of all which, if with all this load any should cast his eyes

On thy adventures, what would then thy mind esteem thy state,

325 Thyself old, and thy follow’r old? Resistance could not rate

At any value; as for me, be sure I mind no harm

To thy grave person, but against the hurt of others arm.

Mine own lov’d father did not get a greater love in me

To his good, than thou dost to thine.” He answer’d: “The degree

330 Of danger in my course, fair son, is nothing less than that

Thou urgest; but some God’s fair hand puts in for my safe state,

That sends so sweet a guardian in this so stern a time

Of night, and danger, as thyself, that all grace in his prime

Of body and of beauty show’st, all answer’d with a mind

335 So knowing, that it cannot be but of some blessed kind

Thou are descended.” “Not untrue,” said Hermes, “thy conceit

In all this holds; but further truth relate, if of such weight

As I conceive thy carriage be, and that thy care conveys

Thy goods of most price to more guard; or go ye all your ways

340 Frighted from holy Ilion, so excellent a son

As thou hadst (being your special strength) fallen to destructión,

Whom no Greek better’d for his fight?” “O, what art thou,” said he,

“Most worthy youth, of what race born, that thus recount’st to me

My wretched son’s death with such truth?” “Now, father,” he replied,

345 “You tempt me far, in wond’ring how the death was signified

Of your divine son to a man so mere a stranger here

As you hold me; but I am one that oft have seen him bear


His person like a God in field; and when in heaps he slew

The Greeks, all routed to their fleet, his so victorious view

350 Made me admire, not feel his hand; because Æacides,

Incens’d, admitted not our fight, myself being of access

To his high person, serving him, and both to Ilion

In one ship sail’d. Besides, by birth I breathe a Myrmidon,

Polyctor, call’d the rich, my sire, declin’d with age like you.

355 Six sons he hath, and me a seventh; and all those six live now

In Phthia, since, all casting lots, my chance did only fall

To follow hither. Now for walk I left my General.

To-morrow all the sun-burn’d Greeks will circle Troy with arms,

The princes rage to be withheld so idly, your alarms

360 Not giv’n half hot enough they think, and can contain no more.”

He answer’d: “If you serve the prince, let me be bold t’ implore

This grace of thee, and tell me true: “Lies Hector here at fleet,

Or have the dogs his flesh?” He said: “Nor dogs nor fowl have yet

Touch’d at his person; still he lies at fleet, and in the tent

365 Of our great Captain, who indeed is much too negligent

Of his fit usage. But, though now twelve days have spent their heat

On his cold body, neither worms with any taint have eat,

Nor putrefaction perish’d it; yet ever, when the Morn

Lifts her divine light from the sea, unmercifully borne

370 About Patroclus’ sepulchre, it bears his friend’s disdain,

Bound to his chariot; but no fits of further outrage reign

In his distemper. You would muse to see how deep a dew

Ev’n steeps the body, all the blood wash’d off, no slend’rest shew

Of gore or quitture, but his wounds all clos’d, though many were

375 Open’d about him. Such a love the blest Immortals bear,

Ev’n dead, to thy dear son, because his life show’d love to them.”

He joyful answer’d: “O my son, it is a grace supreme

In any man to serve the Gods. And I must needs say this;

For no cause, having season fit, my Hector’s hands would miss


380 Advancement to the Gods with gifts, and therefore do not they

Miss his remembrance after death. Now let an old man pray

Thy graces to receive this cup, and keep it for my love,

Nor leave me till the Gods and thee have made my pray’rs approve

Achilles’ pity, by thy guide brought to his princely tent.”

385 Hermes replied: “You tempt me now, old king, to a consent

Far from me, though youth aptly errs. I secretly receive

Gifts that I cannot broadly vouch, take graces that will give

My lord dishonour, or what he knows not, or will esteem

Perhaps unfit? Such briberies perhaps at first may seem

390 Sweet and secure; but futurely they still prove sour, and breed

Both fear and danger. I could wish thy grave affairs did need

My guide to Argos, either shipp’d, or lackeying by thy side,

And would be studious in thy guard, so nothing could be tried

But care in me to keep thee safe, for that I could excuse,

395 And vouch to all men.” These words past, he put the deeds in use

For which Jove sent him; up he leapt to Priam’s chariot,

Took scourge and reins, and blew in strength to his free steeds, and got

The naval tow’rs and deep dike straight. The guards were all at meat;

Those he enslumber’d, op’d the ports, and in he safely let

400 Old Priam with his wealthy prize. Forthwith they reach’d the tent

Of great Achilles, large and high, and in his most ascent

A shaggy roof of seedy reeds mown from the meads; a hall

Of state they made their king in it, and strengthen’d it withall

Thick with fir rafters; whose approach was let in by a door

405 That had but one bar, but so big that three men evermore

Rais’d it to shut, three fresh take down; which yet Æacides

Would shut and ope himself. And this with far more ease

Hermes set ope, ent’ring the king; then leapt from horse, and said:

“Now know, old king, that Mercury, a God, hath giv’n this aid

410 To thy endeavour, sent by Jove; and now away must I,

For men would envy thy estate to see a Deity


Affect a man thus. Enter thou, embrace Achilles’ knee

And by his sire, son, mother, pray his ruth and grace to thee.”

This said, he high Olympus reach’d. The king then left his coach

415 To grave Idæus, and went on, made his resolv’d approach,

And enter’d in a goodly room, where with his princes sate

Jove-lov’d Achilles, at their feast; two only kept the state

Of his attendance, Alcimus, and lord Automedon,

At Priam’s entry. A great time Achilles gaz’d upon

420 His wonder’d-at approach, nor ate; the rest did nothing see,

While close he came up, with his hands fast holding the bent knee

Of Hector’s conqueror, and kiss’d that large man-slaught’ring hand

That much blood from his sons had drawn. And as in some strange land,

And great man’s house, a man is driv’n (with that abhorr’d dismay

425 That follows wilful bloodshed still, his fortune being to slay

One whose blood cries aloud for his) to plead protectión,

In such a miserable plight as frights the lookers on;

In such a stupified estate Achilles sat to see

So unexpected, so in night, and so incredibly,

430 Old Priam’s entry. All his friends one on another star’d

To see his strange looks, seeing no cause. Thus Priam then prepar’d

His son’s redemption: “See in me, O God-like Thetis’ son,

Thy aged father; and perhaps ev’n now being outrun

With some of my woes, neighbour foes (thou absent) taking time

435 To do him mischief; no mean left to terrify the crime

Of his oppression; yet he hears thy graces still survive,

And joys to hear it, hoping still to see thee safe arrive

From ruin’d Troy; but I, curs’d man, of all my race shall live

To see none living. Fifty sons the Deities did give

440 My hopes to live in; all alive when near our trembling shore

The Greek ships harbour’d, and one womb nineteen of those sons bore.

Now Mars a number of their knees hath strengthless left; and he

That was, of all, my only joy, and Troy’s sole guard, by thee,


Late fighting for his country, slain; whose tender’d person now

445 I come to ransom. Infinite is that I offer you,

Myself conferring it, expos’d alone to all your odds,

Only imploring right of arms. Achilles! Fear the Gods,

Pity an old man like thy sire; diff’rent in only this,

That I am wretcheder, and bear that weight of miseries

450 That never man did, my curs’d lips enforc’d to kiss that hand

That slew my children.” This mov’d tears; his father’s name did stand,

Mention’d by Priam, in much help to his compassion,

And mov’d Æacides so much, he could not look upon

The weeping father. With his hand he gently put away

455 His grave face. Calm remission now did mutually display

Her pow’r in either’s heaviness. Old Priam, to record

His son’s death and his deathsman see, his tears and bosom pour’d

Before Achilles; at his feet he laid his rev’rend head.

Achilles’ thoughts, now with his sire, now with his friend, were fed.

460 Betwixt both sorrow fill’d the tent. But now Æacides

(Satiate at all parts with the ruth of their calamities)

Start up, and up he rais’d the king. His milk-white head and beard

With pity he beheld, and said: “Poor man, thy mind is scar’d

With much afflictión. How durst thy person thus alone

465 Venture on his sight, that hath slain so many a worthy son,

And so dear to thee? Thy old heart is made of iron. Sit,

And settle we our woes, though huge, for nothing profits it.

Cold mourning wastes but our lives’ heats. The Gods have destinate

That wretched mortals must live sad; ’tis the Immortal State

470 Of Deity that lives secure. Two tuns of gifts there lie

In Jove’s gate, one of good, one ill, that our mortality

Maintain, spoil, order; which when Jove doth mix to any man,

One while he frolics, one while mourns. If of his mournful can

A man drinks only, only wrongs he doth expose him to,

475 Sad hunger in th’ abundant earth doth toss him to and fro,


Respected nor of Gods nor men. The mix’d cup Peleus drank

Ev’n from his birth; Heav’n blest his life; he liv’d not that could thank

The Gods for such rare benefits as set forth his estate.

He reign’d among his Myrmidons most rich, most fortunate,

480 And, though a mortal, had his bed deck’d with a deathless dame.

And yet, with all this good, one ill God mix’d, that takes all name

From all that goodness; his name now, whose preservation here

Men count the crown of their most good, not bless’d with pow’r to bear

One blossom but myself, and I shaken as soon as blown;

485 Nor shall I live to cheer his age, and give nutritión

To him that nourished me. Far off my rest is set in Troy,

To leave thee restless and thy seed; thyself that did enjoy,

As we have heard, a happy life; what Lesbos doth contain,

In times past being a bless’d man’s seat, what the unmeasur’d main

490 Of Hellespontus, Phrygia, holds, are all said to adorn

Thy empire, wealth and sons enow; but, when the Gods did turn

Thy blest state to partake with bane, war and the bloods of men

Circled thy city, never clear. Sit down and suffer then;

Mourn not inevitable things; thy tears can spring no deeds

495 To help thee, nor recall thy son; impatience ever breeds

Ill upon ill, makes worst things worse, and therefore sit.” He said:

“Give me no seat, great seed of Jove, when yet unransoméd

Hector lies riteless in thy tents, but deign with utmost speed

His resignation, that these eyes may see his person freed,

500 And thy grace satisfied with gifts. Accept what I have brought,

And turn to Phthia; ’tis enough thy conqu’ring hand hath fought

Till Hector falter’d under it, and Hector’s father stood

With free humanity safe.” He frown’d and said: “Give not my blood

Fresh cause of fury. I know well I must resign thy son,

505 Jove by my mother utter’d it; and what besides is done

I know as amply; and thyself, old Priam, I know too.

Some God hath brought thee; for no man durst use a thought to go


On such a service. I have guards, and I have gates to stay

Easy accesses; do not then presume thy will can sway,

Like Jove’s will, and incense again my quench’d blood, lest nor thou

510 Nor Jove get the command of me.” This made the old king bow,

And down he sat in fear. The prince leapt like a lion forth,

Automedon and Alcimus attending; all the worth

Brought for the body they took down and brought in, and with it

Idæus, herald to the king; a coat embroider’d yet,

515 And two rich cloaks, they left to hide the person. Thetis’ son

Call’d out his women, to anoint and quickly overrun

The corse with water, lifting it in private to the coach,

Lest Priam saw, and his cold blood embrac’d a fi’ry touch

Of anger at the turpitude profaning it, and blew

520 Again his wrath’s fire to his death. This done, his women threw

The coat and cloak on; but the corse Achilles’ own hand laid

Upon a bed, and with his friends to chariot it convey’d.

For which forc’d grace, abhorring so from his free mind, he wept,

Cried out for anger, and thus pray’d: “O friend, do not except

525 Against this favour to our foe, if in the deep thou hear,

And that I give him to his sire; he gave fair ransom; dear

In my observance is Jove’s will; and whatsoever part

Of all these gifts by any mean I fitly may convert

To thy renown here, and will there, it shall be pour’d upon

530 Thy honour’d sepulchre. This said, he went, and what was done

Told Priam, saying: “Father, now thy will’s fit rites are paid,

Thy son is giv’n up; in the morn thine eyes shall see him laid

Deck’d in thy chariot on his bed; in mean space let us eat.

The rich-hair’d Niobe found thoughts that made her take her meat,

535 Though twelve dear children she saw slain, six daughters, six young sons.

The sons incens’d Apollo slew; the maids’ confusions

Diana wrought, since Niobe her merits durst compare

With great Latona’s, arguing that she did only bear


540 Two children, and herself had twelve; for which those only two

Slew all her twelve. Nine days they lay steep’d in their blood, her woe

Found no friend to afford them fire, Saturnius had turn’d

Humans to stones. The tenth day yet, the good Celestials burn’d

The trunks themselves, and Niobe, when she was tir’d with tears,

545 Fell to her food, and now with rocks and wild hills mix’d she bears

In Sipylus the Gods’ wrath still, in that place where ’tis said

The Goddess Fairies use to dance about the fun’ral bed

Of Achelous, where, though turn’d with cold grief to a stone,

Heav’n gives her heat enough to feel what plague comparison

550 With his pow’rs made by earth deserves. Affect not then too far

Without grief, like a God, being a man, but for a man’s life care,

And take fit food; thou shalt have time beside to mourn thy son;

He shall be tearful, thou being full; not here, but Ilion

Shall find thee weeping-rooms enow.” He said, and so arose,

555 And caus’d a silver-fleec’d sheep kill’d; his friends’ skills did dispose

The flaying, cutting of it up, and cookly spitted it,

Roasted, and drew it artfully. Automedon, as fit

Was for the rev’rend sewer’s place; and all the brown joints serv’d

On wicker vessel to the board; Achilles’ own hand kerv’d;

560 And close they fell to. Hunger stanch’d; talk, and observing time,

Was us’d of all hands. Priam sat amaz’d to see the prime

Of Thetis’ son, accomplish’d so with stature, looks, and grace,

In which the fashion of a God he thought had chang’d his place.

Achilles fell to him as fast, admir’d as much his years

565 Told in his grave and good aspéct; his speech ev’n charm’d his ears,

So order’d, so material. With this food feasted too,

Old Priam spake thus: “Now, Jove’s seed, command that I may go,

And add to this feast grace of rest. These lids ne’er clos’d mine eyes,

Since under thy hands fled the soul of my dear son; sighs, cries,

570 And woes, all use from food and sleep have taken; the base courts

Of my sad palace made my beds, where all the abject sorts


Of sorrow I have variéd, tumbled in dust, and hid;

No bit, no drop, of sust’nance touch’d.” Then did Achilles bid

575 His men and women see his bed laid down, and coveréd

With purple blankets, and on them an arras coverlid,

Waistcoats of silk plush laying by. The women straight took lights,

And two beds made with utmost speed, and all the other rites

Their lord nam’d us’d, who pleasantly the king in hand thus bore:

“Good father, you must sleep without; lest any counsellor

580 Make his access in depth of night, as oft their industry

Brings them t’ impart our war-affairs; of whom should any eye

Discern your presence, his next steps to Agamemnon fly,

And then shall I lose all these gifts. But go to, signify,

And that with truth, how many days you mean to keep the state

585 Of Hector’s funerals; because so long would I rebate

Mine own edge set to sack your town, and all our host contain

From interruption of your rites.” He answer’d: “If you mean

To suffer such rites to my son, you shall perform a part

Of most grace to me. But you know with how dismay’d a heart

590 Our host took Troy; and how much fear will therefore apprehend

Their spirits to make out again, so far as we must send

For wood to raise our heap of death; unless I may assure

That this your high grace will stand good, and make their pass secure;

Which if you seriously confirm, nine days I mean to mourn;

595 The tenth keep funeral and feast; th’ eleventh raise and adorn

My son’s fit sepulchre; the twelfth, if we must needs, we’ll fight.”

“Be it,” replied Æacides, “do Hector all this right;

I’ll hold war back those whole twelve days; of which, to free all fear,

Take this my right hand.” This confirm’d, the old king rested there:

600 His herald lodg’d by him; and both in forepart of the tent;

Achilles in an inmost room of wondrous ornament,

Whose side bright-cheek’d Briseis warm’d. Soft sleep tam’d Gods and men,

All but most-useful Mercury; sleep could not lay one chain


On his quick temples, taking care for getting off again

605 Engagéd Priam undiscern’d of those that did maintain

The sacred watch. Above his head he stood with this demand:

“O father, sleep’st thou so secure, still lying in the hand

Of so much ill, and being dismiss’d by great Æacides?

’Tis true thou hast redeem’d the dead; but for thy life’s release,

610 Should Agamemnon hear thee here, three times the price now paid

Thy sons’ hands must repay for thee.” This said, the king, afraid,

Start from his sleep, Idæus call’d, and, for both, Mercury

The horse and mules, before loos’d, join’d so soft and curiously

That no ear heard, and through the host drave; but when they drew

615 To gulfy Xanthus’ bright-wav’d stream, up to Olympus flew

Industrious Mercury. And now the saffron Morning rose,

Spreading her white robe over all the world; when, full of woes,

They scourg’d on with the corse to Troy, from whence no eye had seen,

Before Cassandra, their return. She, like love’s golden Queen,

620 Ascending Pergamus, discern’d her father’s person nigh,

His herald, and her brother’s corse; and then she cast this cry

Round about Troy: “O Troïans, if ever ye did greet

Hector return’d from fight alive, now look ye out and meet

His ransom’d person. Then his worth was all your city’s joy,

625 Now do it honour.” Out all rush’d; woman nor man in Troy

Was left, a most unmeasur’d cry took up their voices. Close

To Scæa’s ports they met the corse; and to it headlong goes

The rev’rend mother, the dear wife; upon it strow their hair,

And lie entrancéd. Round about the people broke the air

630 In lamentations; and all day had stay’d the people there,

If Priam had not cried: “Give way, give me but leave to bear

The body home, and mourn your fills.” Then cleft the press, and gave

Way to the chariot. To the court herald Idæus drave,

Where on a rich bed they bestow’d the honour’d person, round

635 Girt it with singers that the woe with skilful voices crown’d.


A woeful elegy they sung, wept singing, and the dames

Sigh’d as they sung. Andromache the downright prose exclaims

Began to all; she on the neck of slaughter’d Hector fell,

And cried out: “O my husband, thou in youth bad’st youth farewell,

640 Left’st me a widow, thy sole son an infant; ourselves curs’d

In our birth made him right our child; for all my care that nurs’d

His infancy will never give life to his youth, ere that

Troy from her top will be destroy’d; thou guardian of our state,

Thou ev’n of all her strength the strength, thou, that in care wert past

645 Her careful mothers of their babes, being gone, how can she last?

Soon will the swoln fleet fill her womb with all their servitude,

Myself with them, and thou with me, dear son, in labours rude

Shalt be employ’d, sternly survey’d by cruel conquerors;

Or, rage not suff’ring life so long, some one, whose hate abhors

650 Thy presence (putting him in mind of his sire slain by thine,

His brother, son, or friend) shall work thy ruin before mine,

Toss’d from some tow’r, for many Greeks have ate earth from the hand

Of thy strong father; in sad fight his spirit was too much mann’d,

And therefore mourn his people; we, thy parents, my dear lord,

655 For that thou mak’st endure a woe, black, and to be abhorr’d.

Of all yet thou hast left me worst, not dying in thy bed,

And reaching me thy last-rais’d hand, in nothing counselléd

Nothing commanded by that pow’r thou hadst of me to do

Some deed for thy sake. O for these never will end my woe,

660 Never my tears cease.” Thus wept she, and all the ladies clos’d

Her passion with a gen’ral shriek. Then Hecuba dispos’d

Her thoughts in like words: “O my son, of all mine much most dear,

Dear while thou liv’dst too ev’n to Gods, and after death they were


Careful to save thee. Being best, thou most wert enviéd;

665 My other sons Achilles sold; but thee he left not dead.

Imber and Samos, the false ports of Lemnos entertain’d

Their persons; thine, no port but death. Nor there in rest remain’d

Thy violated corse, the tomb of his great friend was spher’d

With thy dragg’d person; yet from death he was not therefore rear’d.

670 But, all his rage us’d, so the Gods have tender’d thy dead state,

Thou liest as living, sweet and fresh, as he that felt the fate

Of Phœbus’ holy shafts.” These words the queen us’d for her moan,

And, next her, Helen held that state of speech and passión:

“O Hector, all my brothers more were not so lov’d of me

675 As thy most virtues. Not my lord I held so dear, as thee,

That brought me hither; before which I would I had been brought

To ruin; for what breeds that wish (which is the mischief wrought

By my access) yet never found one harsh taunt, one word’s ill,

From thy sweet carriage. Twenty years do now their circles fill

680 Since my arrival; all which time thou didst not only bear

Thyself without check, but all else, that my lord’s brothers were,

Their sisters’ lords, sisters themselves, the queen my mother-in-law,

(The king being never but most mild) when thy man’s spirit saw

Sour and reproachful, it would still reprove their bitterness

685 With sweet words, and thy gentle soul. And therefore thy decease

I truly mourn for; and myself curse as the wretched cause;

All broad Troy yielding me not one, that any human laws

Of pity or forgiveness mov’d t’ entreat me humanly,

But only thee, all else abhorr’d me for my destiny.”

690 These words made ev’n the commons mourn; to whom the king said: “Friends,

Now fetch wood for our fun’ral fire, nor fear the foe intends

Ambush, or any violence; Achilles gave his word,

At my dismission, that twelve days he would keep sheath’d his sword,

And all men’s else.” Thus oxen, mules, in chariots straight they put,

695 Went forth, and an unmeasur’d pile of sylvan matter cut;


Nine days employ’d in carriage, but when the tenth morn shin’d

On wretched mortals, then they brought the fit-to-be-divin’d

Forth to be burn’d. Troy swum in tears. Upon the pile’s most height

They laid the person, and gave fire. All day it burn’d, all night.

700 But when th’ elev’nth morn let on earth her rosy fingers shine,

The people flock’d about the pile, and first with blackish wine

Quench’d all the flames. His brothers then, and friends, the snowy bones

Gather’d into an urn of gold, still pouring on their moans.

Then wrapt they in soft purple veils the rich urn, digg’d a pit,

705 Grav’d it, ramm’d up the grave with stones, and quickly built to it

A sepulchre. But, while that work and all the fun’ral rites

Were in performance, guards were held at all parts, days and nights,

For fear of false surprise before they had impos’d the crown

To these solemnities. The tomb advanc’d once, all the town

710 In Jove-nurs’d Priam’s Court partook a passing sumptuous feast.

And so horse-taming Hector’s rites gave up his soul to rest.

Linenotes for Book XXIV

* Remorse.— See Bk. VIII. 409.

32: Apollo.

47: “Shame a quality that hurts and helps men exceedingly.” —Chapman.

71: Cates——delicacies.

95: See note on Odyssey, XII. 370.

131: Complement.—Both folios, “complements;” Dr. Taylor, “compliments.” See Nares under the word complement.

134: Wool-bearer—i.e. sheep.

162: Curious—careful.

189: Angel—simply “messenger,” ἄγγελος. Iliad XXIV.194.

206: Springing thread—the thread supposed to be spun by the Fates at birth, and cut at death. See Bk. XX. 122.

295: Profused—(Latin) poured forth.

299: Incontinent—without restraint, instantly.

306: Straight.—Dr. Taylor has printed “Hellespontus’ strait,” but straight, immediately, is the true word. Iliad XXIV.346.

340: Frighted.—Thus both folios, and rightly, for the Greek is δειδιότες. Dr. Taylor, however, without consulting the original, has changed it to “freighted.” Iliad XXIV.384.

374: Quitture.—Bk. XIV. 7.

392: Lackeying.—Bk. XIV. 253.

411: Would envy.—The second folio and Dr. Taylor read “must.”

462: Start—here and in 612 is the past tense, i.e. “started up.”

494: Spring—cause to spring, produce.

556: Cookly—cook-like.

559: Kerved—carved.

612: Start.— See suprà, 462.

637: The downright prose exclaims.—I am afraid this may appear downright prose to old Chapman’s readers. It is needless to say that it is not in the original, but he means that Andromache used no funeral hymn, but used plain prose.

659: Never will.—Thus the first folio; the second and Dr. Taylor, “will never.”


Corrections for Book XXIV

46 And so fares this man, that fit ruth that now should draw so deep
missing word “that” (“that now should”) supplied from 1st edition

95 note See note on Odyssey, XII. 370
[The line reference is definitely correct—the passages are similar—but there is no linenote anywhere near XII.370 in Hooper’s edition of Chapman’s Odyssey.]

255 Esteem’d a God, not from a mortal’s seed, but of th’ Eternal strain,
full line as shown

407 Would shut and ope himself. And this with far more ease
full line as shown

445 I come to ransom.
text has ranson
[corrected from 1st edition]

551 Without grief, like a God, being a man, but for a man’s life care,
full line as shown



Thus far the Ilian ruins I have laid

Open to English eyes. In which, repaid

With thine own value, go, unvalued* book,

Live, and be lov’d. If any envious look

Hurt thy clear fame, learn that no state more high

Attends on virtue than pin’d envy’s eye.

Would thou wert worth it that the best doth wound,

Which this age feeds, and which the last shall bound!

Thus, with labour enough, though with more comfort in the merits of my divine author, I have brought my translation of his Iliads to an end. If, either therein, or in the harsh utterance or matter of my Comment before, I have, for haste, scattered with my burthen (less than fifteen weeks being the whole time that the last Twelve Books’ translation stood me in) I desire my present will (and I doubt not hability, if God give life, to reform and perfect all hereafter) may be ingenuously accepted for the absolute work. The rather, considering the most learned, with all their helps and time, have been so often, and unanswerably, miserably taken halting. In the mean time, that most assistful and unspeakable Spirit, by Whose thrice sacred conduct and inspiration I have finished this labour, diffuse the fruitful horn of His blessings through these goodness-thirsting watchings; without which, utterly dry and bloodless is whatsoever mortality soweth.

But where our most diligent Spondanus ends his work with a prayer to be taken out of these Mæanders and Euripian rivers (as he terms them) of Ethnic and Profane Writers (being quite contrary to himself at the beginning) I thrice humbly beseech the Most Dear and Divine Mercy (ever most incomparably preferring the great light of His Truth II.276 in His direct and infallible Scriptures) I may ever be enabled, by resting wondering in His right comfortable shadows in these, to magnify the clearness of His Almighty apparance in the other.

And with this salutation of Poesy given by our Spondanus in his Preface to these Iliads (“All hail saint-sacred Poesy, that, under so much gall of fiction, such abundance of honey doctrine hast hidden, not revealing them to the unworthy worldly! Wouldst thou but so much make me, that amongst thy novices I might be numbered, no time should ever come near my life that could make me forsake thee”) I will conclude with this my daily and nightly prayer, learned of the most learned Simplicius:—

Supplico tibi, Domine, Pater, et Dux rationis nostræ, ut nostræ nobilitatis recordemur quâ Tu nos ornasti; et ut Tu nobis præstò sis ut iis qui per sese moventur; id et à corporis contagio brutorumque affectuum repurgemur, eosque superemus et regamus, et, sicut decet, pro instrumentis iis utamur. Deinde ut nobis adjumento sis, ad accuratam rationis nostræ correctionem, et conjunctionem cum iis qui verè sunt per lucem veritatis. Et tertium, Salvatori supplex oro, ut ab oculis animorum nostrorum caliginem prorsus abstergas, id (quod apud Homerum est) norimus bene qui Deus, aut mortalis, habendus. Amen.

* Unvalued.—Bk. I. 12.



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.