The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 667 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
But as the tawny eagle on full wing
Assails the feather’d nations, geese or cranes
Or swans lithe-neck’d grazing the river’s verge,
So Hector at a galley sable-prow’d 840
Darted; for, from behind, Jove urged him on
With mighty hand, and his host after him. 
And now again the battle at the ships
Grew furious; thou hadst deem’d them of a kind
By toil untameable, so fierce they strove, 845
And, striving, thus they fought.  The Grecians judged
Hope vain, and the whole host’s destruction sure;
But nought expected every Trojan less
Than to consume the fleet with fire, and leave
Achaia’s heroes lifeless on the field. 850
With such persuasions occupied, they fought. 

    Then Hector seized the stern of a brave bark

Well-built, sharp-keel’d, and of the swiftest sail,
Which had to Troy Protesilaeus brought,
But bore him never thence.  For that same ship 855
Contending, Greeks and Trojans hand to hand
Dealt slaughter mutual.  Javelins now no more
Might serve them, or the arrow-starting bow,
But close conflicting and of one mind all
With bill and battle-axe, with ponderous swords, 860
And with long lances double-edged they fought. 
Many a black-hilted falchion huge of haft
Fell to the ground, some from the grasp, and some
From shoulders of embattled warriors hewn,
And pools of blood soak’d all the sable glebe. 865
Hector that ship once grappled by the stern
Left not, but griping fast her upper edge
With both hands, to his Trojans call’d aloud. 

    Fire!  Bring me fire!  Stand fast and shout to heaven! 

Jove gives us now a day worth all the past; 870
The ships are ours which, in the Gods’ despite
Steer’d hither, such calamities to us
Have caused, for which our seniors most I blame
Who me withheld from battle at the fleet
And check’d the people; but if then the hand 875
Of Thunderer Jove our better judgment marr’d,
Himself now urges and commands us on. 

    He ceased; they still more violent assail’d

The Grecians.  Even Ajax could endure,
Whelm’d under weapons numberless, that storm 880
No longer, but expecting death retired
Down from the decks to an inferior stand,
Where still he watch’d, and if a Trojan bore
Fire thither, he repulsed him with his spear,
Roaring continual to the host of Greece. 885

    Friends!  Grecian heroes! ministers of Mars! 

Be men, my friends! now summon all your might! 
Think we that we have thousands at our backs
To succor us, or yet some stronger wall
To guard our warriors from the battle’s force? 890
Not so.  No tower’d city is at hand,
None that presents us with a safe retreat
Project Gutenberg
The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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