Straightway Achilles arose, the belov’d of Jove,
round his shoulders
Brawny her AEgis spread, fair fring’d, his guardian Athena,
And his head with a cloud of golden hue and transparent
She has encircled about, whence darted fire resplendent.
As when fire from the town ascending clambers the ether
Out of the island afar, around which enemies gather—
Fierce the defenders all day engage in desperate warfare,
Forth from the town advanc’d; but soon as the sun has descended
Flame with beacons the dense, huge turrets; upwards the blazes
Flaring, struggling ascend to be seen by friends and by neighbours,
If with assistance in war o’er the sea in ships they are coming—
So from Achilles’s head uptower’d the blazes to heaven;
Striding from out the wall, he stood o’er the trench, but he mingled
Not with the Greeks, for he heeded his mother’s solemn injunction;
Standing, he shouted there, conjointly Pallas Athena
Scream’d, and trouble immense was caus’d thereby to the Trojans;
Like to the clamorous sound that’s heard, when pealing the trumpet
Thrills through the city, besieg’d by bands of turbulent foemen,
E’en was the clamorous sound sent forth by Eacus’ grandson—
Soon as the dreadful voice was heard of Eacus’ grandson,
All their minds were amaz’d—the fair-man’d beautiful horses
Back’d with the chariots amain, such fear was awak’d in their bosoms;
Ghasted the charioteers survey’d the untameable blazes
Horribly round the brow of high, heroic Peleides
Burning, ignited by her the blue-eyed Goddess Athena
Thrice then o’er the deep trench loud shouted god-like Achilles,
Thrice were the Trojans confus’d and all their illustrious aiders;
Already round that trench had twice six champions fallen,
Spoil’d of their chariots and arms, so that gladly now the Achaians
Out of the tempest of darts the slain Patroclus dragging
Plac’d on the sorrowful couch; his comrades round it arrang’d them
Loudly lamenting, and thither there came swift-footed Achilles
Shedding the hottest of tears, when he saw his comrade so faithful
Stretch’d on that sorrowful couch, transfixt with the sharp pointed iron—
Him he had lately despatch’d with chariot and steeds to the war-field
Never, alas, to receive from that red war-field returning.
THE MEETING OF ODYSSES AND ACHILLES.
From the Odyssey.
Tow’rds me came the Shade of Peleidean Achilles,
And of Patroclus belov’d, and Antilochus daring and blameless,
And of Aias—of Him, who in bulk and beauty of figure
Far excell’d every Greek, to Peleides only inferior.
Me on the instant knew the Shade of Eacus’ grandson,
And in sorrowful mood with words swift flowing address’d me.
Tell me Laertes’ son, Odysses matchless in wisdom,
What fresh wondrous deed within thy brain thou art brooding,
That to the vasty deep of Hades down thou descendest,
Where the poor dead abide, mere idle shapes of the living.