But when within the horse, the wondrous work of Epeius,
Enter’d the noble Greeks, with me their chosen commander,
Where we reclin’d thick and close, and one o’er the other we panted,—
Then whilst the rest of the chiefs and princes high of the Argives
Wip’d away feminine tears, and each shook in every member,
Him in that hour of dread these orbs of vision beheld not
Either grow pallid or quake, or away from his cheek fresh and downy
Wiping the tears—O no! and ever he begg’d for the signal
Forth from the horse to emerge; and with ill intent to the Trojan,
Ever his spear he grip’d, or rattled the hilt of his falchion—
But when with ruin dread we raz’d the city of Priam
Fraught with the choicest prey the hero mounted his vessel,
Free from all scathe; his form nor smit from afar by the jav’lin,
Nor by the sword from near; no rare result of the combat,
For the tremendous Mars is no respecter of persons.
Scarce had I spoke when the Shade of Eacus’
Stalk’d with huge strides away o’er the flowery grass of the meadow,
Glad at the heart that its boy was fam’d ’mongst the brave as a warrior.
To Thetis and Neoptolemus.
From the Greek of Heliodorus.
Of Thetis I sing with her locks of gold-shine,
The daughter of Nereus, lord of the brine,
To Peleus wedded, by Jove’s high decree;
I sing her, the Venus so fair of the sea.
Of the spearman tremendous, the Mars of the fight,
Thunderbolt of old Greece, she was quickly made light,
Of Achilles divine, to whom Pyrrha an heir,
The boy Neoptolemus, gladly did bear,
The destroyer of Trojans, of Grecians the shield—
Thy protection to us, Neoptolemus yield!
Who blessed doth slumber in Pythia’s green plain;
To accept this oblation of hymns from us deign,
And each peril drive far from our city benign.—
Of Thetis I sing with her locks of gold-shine.
From the Modern Greek.
Thus old Demos spoke, as sinking sought the sun the
Now, my brave lads, fetch us water, after supping let us lave;
O Lamprakes, O my nephew, down beside thy uncle sit—
When I’m gone, wear thou my trappings, and be captain, as is fit;
And do ye, my merry fellows, now my vacant sabre take,
And therewith green branches cutting, straight for me a pallet make;
Some one for the holy father, that I may confess me, run,
And that I to him may whisper all the crimes, in life I’ve done;
I’ve full thirty years as warrior, twenty five as robber pass’d;
Now I feel my end approaching, and I fain would breathe my last;
Me a tomb that’s broad and lofty, O forget not to prepare,
For erect I’ll stand within it, as in war, and weapons bear:
On the right side leave an opening, that the merry larks in spring,
Of its coming, welcome coming, may to me the tiding bring,
And for me in May’s sweet season nightingales may sweetly sing.