And he fashioned therein a vineyard, rich with clusters of black grapes, which the youths and maidens, in their glee, carried in baskets; while a boy, in their midst, made sweet music on a clear-sounding harp; and he sang the “Song of Linos,” and the rest kept time with their feet.
And there was a herd of straight-horned oxen, all of gold and tin, hurrying to the pasture beside the gently murmuring stream and the waving rushes. Four herdsmen, of gold, followed them, and nine fleet dogs. And two terrible lions seized a bellowing bull. The herdsmen followed, but they could not set on their dogs to bite the lions, for the dogs shrank back, barking and whining, and turned away.
And therein the glorious divine artist placed a wide pasture full of white sheep, with folds and tents and huts. And he made a dancing-ground, like that which Daedalus wrought at Gnosos for lovely fair-haired Ariadne. There, lusty youths in shining tunics glistening with oil, danced with fair maidens of costly wooing. The maidens had wreaths of flowers upon their heads; and the youths wore daggers banging from silver sword-belts. They whirled round, with lightly tripping feet, swift as the potter’s wheel, holding each other by the wrist; and then they ran, in lines, to meet each other. A crowd of friends stood round and joyfully watched the dance, and a divine minstrel made sweet music with his harp, while a pair of tumblers diverted the crowd.
Lastly, around the margin of the shield, Vulcan made the stream of the mighty river Oceanus, which encircleth the earth.
And when he had finished this strong and splendid shield, he wrought the breastplate, glowing with blazing fire; and he made a heavy helmet for the head, beautiful, and adorned with curious art; upon it was a crest of gold. But the goodly greaves he made of flexible tin. When he had completed the whole suit of glorious armor, he laid it before the silver-footed Thetis, the mother of Achilles; and she darted, swift as a hawk, from snowy Olympus, bearing the brightly glittering arms to her dear son.
THE SLAYING OF HECTOR
By Walter C. Perry
Meantime, Achilles went on slaughtering the Trojans; and the aged Priam stood on the sacred tower, and saw the son of Peleus driving the Trojans before him. And he shouted aloud to the brave warders of the gates, “Open the gates, that the fugitives may enter!” And the Far-Darter went to the front, to save the Trojans who were fleeing to the sheltering walls, with Achilles behind them in hot pursuit.
Then would the Achaians have stormed the lofty gates of Troy, had not Phoebus Apollo roused Agenor, a brave and noble prince, son of Antenor. Apollo stood by this man’s side, leaning on an oak, and shrouded in mist, and put courage into his heart, that he might ward off fate from the Trojans. And when Agenor saw Achilles, he stood irresolute, and said to his mighty heart, “If I too flee before Achilles, he will catch me and slay me as a coward. Or shall I fly by another way, and hide me in the spurs of Ida? How, then, if I go forth to meet him? for his flesh, too, may surely be pierced by the keen bronze, and he has but one life, like other mortals.”