The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 667 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
  As when the boar or lion fiery-eyed
  Turns short, the hunters and the hounds among,
  The close-embattled troop him firm oppose,
  And ply him fast with spears; he no dismay
  Conceives or terror in his noble heart, 55
  But by his courage falls; frequent he turns
  Attempting bold the ranks, and where he points
  Direct his onset, there the ranks retire;
  So, through the concourse on his rolling wheels
  Borne rapid, Hector animated loud 60
  His fellow-warriors to surpass the trench. 
  But not his own swift-footed steeds would dare
  That hazard; standing on the dangerous brink
  They neigh’d aloud, for by its breadth the foss
  Deterr’d them; neither was the effort slight 65
  To leap that gulf, nor easy the attempt
  To pass it through; steep were the banks profound
  On both sides, and with massy piles acute
  Thick-planted, interdicting all assault. 
  No courser to the rapid chariot braced 70
  Had enter’d there with ease; yet strong desires
  Possess’d the infantry of that emprize,
  And thus Polydamas the ear address’d
  Of dauntless Hector, standing at his side. 
    Hector, and ye the leaders of our host, 75
  Both Trojans and allies! rash the attempt
  I deem, and vain, to push our horses through,
  So dangerous is the pass; rough is the trench
  With pointed stakes, and the Achaian wall
  Meets us beyond.  No chariot may descend 80
  Or charioteer fight there; strait are the bounds,
  And incommodious, and his death were sure. 
  If Jove, high-thundering Ruler of the skies,
  Will succor Ilium, and nought less intend
  Than utter devastation of the Greeks, 85
  I am content; now perish all their host
  Inglorious, from their country far remote. 
  But should they turn, and should ourselves be driven
  Back from the fleet impeded and perplex’d
  In this deep foss, I judge that not a man, 90
  ’Scaping the rallied Grecians, should survive
  To bear the tidings of our fate to Troy. 
  Now, therefore, act we all as I advise. 
  Let every charioteer his coursers hold
  Fast-rein’d beside the foss, while we on foot, 95
  With order undisturb’d and arms in hand,
  Shall follow Hector.  If destruction borne
  On wings of destiny this day approach
  The Grecians, they will fly our first assault. 
    So spake Polydamas, whose safe advice 100
  Pleased Hector; from his chariot to the ground
  All arm’d he leap’d, nor would a Trojan there
  (When once they saw the Hero on his feet)
  Ride into battle, but unanimous
  Descending with a leap, all trod the plain. 105
  Each gave command that at the trench his
Project Gutenberg
The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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