A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays:
The long reflections of the distant fires
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
And shoot a shady lustre o’er the field.
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Whose umbered arms, by fits, thick flashes send,
Loud neigh the coursers o’er their heaps of corn,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
[Notes:_Rest from battle_. This is part of Pope’s translation of the Iliad of Homer (Book 8, l. 605).
Stamander. One of the rivers in the neighbourhood of Troy.
Dardan bands. Trojan lands. Dardanus was the mythical ancestor of the Trojans.
Generous aids = allies.
From age inglorious and black death secure = safe from inglorious age and from black death.
Hecatombs. Sacrifices of 100 oxen.
Ungrateful offering = unpleasing offering.
Xanthus. The other river in the neighbourhood of Troy.
Umbered = thrown into shadow, and glimmering in the darkness.]
* * * * *
Aristides at first was loved and respected for his surname of the Just, and afterwards envied as much; the latter, chiefly by the management of Themistocles, who gave it out among the people that Aristides had abolished the courts of judicature, by drawing the arbitration of all causes to himself, and so was insensibly gaining sovereign power, though without guards and the other ensigns of it. The people, elevated with the late victory at Marathon, thought themselves capable of everything, and the highest respect little enough for them. Uneasy, therefore, at finding any one citizen rose to such extraordinary honour and distinction, they assembled at Athens from all the towns in Attica, and banished Aristides by the Ostracism; disguising their envy of his character under the specious pretence of guarding against tyranny.
For the Ostracism was not a punishment for crimes and misdemeanours, but was very decently called an humbling and lessening of some excessive influence and power. In reality it was a mild gratification of envy; for by this means, whoever was offended at the growing greatness of another, discharged his spleen, not in anything cruel or inhuman, but only in voting a ten years’ banishment. But when it once began to fall upon mean and profligate persons, it was for ever after entirely laid aside; Hyperbolus being the last that was exiled by it.