And warn their children from a Trojan war.
Now, through the circuit of our Ilion wall,
Let sacred heralds sound the solemn call;
To bid the sires with hoary honours crowned,
And beardless youths, our battlements surround.
Firm be the guard, while distant lie our powers,
And let the matrons hang with lights the towers:
Lest, under covert of the midnight shade,
The insidious foe the naked town invade.
Suffice, to-night, these orders to obey;
A nobler charge shall rouse the dawning day.
The gods, I trust, shall give to Hector’s hand,
From these detested foes to free the land,
Who ploughed, with fates averse, the watery way;
For Trojan vultures a predestined prey.
Our common safety must be now the care;
But soon as morning paints the fields of air,
Sheathed in bright arms let every troop engage,
And the fired fleet behold the battle rage.
Then, then shall Hector and Tydides prove,
Whose fates are heaviest in the scale of Jove.
To-morrow’s light (O haste the glorious morn!)
Shall see his bloody spoils in triumph borne,
With this keen javelin shall his breast be gored,
And prostrate heroes bleed around their lord.
Certain as this, oh! might my days endure,
From age inglorious, and black death secure;
So might my life and glory know no bound,
Like Pallas worshipped, like the sun renowned!
As the next dawn, the last they shall enjoy,
Shall crush the Greeks, and end the woes of Troy.”
spoke. From all his host around
Shouts of applause along the shores resound.
Each from the yoke the smoking steeds untied,
And fixed their headstalls to his chariot-side.
Fat sheep and oxen from the town are led,
With generous wine, and all-sustaining bread.
Full hecatombs lay burning on the shore;
The winds to heaven the curling vapours bore;
Ungrateful offering to the immortal powers!
Whose wrath hung heavy o’er the Trojan towers;
Nor Priam nor his sons obtained their grace;
Proud Troy they hated, and her guilty race.
The troops exulting sat in order round,
And beaming fires illumined all the ground.
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night!
O’er heaven’s clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o’ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole;
O’er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain’s head.