The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.

THE ILIAD.

BOOK XII.

ARGUMENT OF THE TWELFTH BOOK.

    The Trojans assail the ramparts, and Hector forces the gates.

BOOK XII.

  So was Menoetius’ gallant son employ’d
  Healing Eurypylus.  The Greeks, meantime,
  And Trojans with tumultuous fury fought. 
  Nor was the foss ordain’d long time to exclude
  The host of Troy, nor yet the rampart built 5
  Beside it for protection of the fleet;
  For hecatomb the Greeks had offer’d none,
  Nor prayer to heaven, that it might keep secure
  Their ships with all their spoils.  The mighty work
  As in defiance of the Immortal Powers 10
  Had risen, and could not therefore long endure. 
  While Hector lived, and while Achilles held
  His wrathful purpose; while the city yet
  Of royal Priam was unsack’d, so long
  The massy structure stood; but when the best 15
  And bravest of the Trojan host were slain,
  And of the Grecian heroes, some had fallen
  And some survived, when Priam’s towers had blazed
  In the tenth year, and to their native shores
  The Grecians with their ships, at length, return’d, 20
  Then Neptune, with Apollo leagued, devised
  Its ruin; every river that descends
  From the Idaean heights into the sea
  They brought against it, gathering all their force. 
  Rhesus, Caresus, Rhodius, the wide-branch’d 25
  Heptaporus, AEsepus, Granicus,
  Scamander’s sacred current, and thy stream
  Simoeis, whose banks with helmets and with shields
  Were strew’d, and Chiefs of origin divine;
  All these with refluent course Apollo drove 30
  Nine days against the rampart, and Jove rain’d
  Incessant, that the Grecian wall wave-whelm’d
  Through all its length might sudden disappear. 
  Neptune with his tridental mace, himself,
  Led them, and beam and buttress to the flood 35
  Consigning, laid by the laborious Greeks,
  Swept the foundation, and the level bank
  Of the swift-rolling Hellespont restored. 
  The structure thus effaced, the spacious beach
  He spread with sand as at the first; then bade 40
  Subside the streams, and in their channels wind
  With limpid course, and pleasant as before,
    Apollo thus and Neptune, from the first,
  Design’d its fall; but now the battle raved
  And clamors of the warriors all around 45
  The strong-built turrets, whose assaulted planks
  Rang, while the Grecians, by the scourge of Jove
  Subdued, stood close within their fleet immured,
  At Hector’s phalanx-scattering force appall’d. 
  He, as before, with whirlwind fury fought. 50

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The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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