The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
The clusters, and the vines supported stood
By poles of silver set in even rows. 
The trench he color’d sable, and around 705
Fenced it with tin.  One only path it show’d
By which the gatherers when they stripp’d the vines
Pass’d and repass’d.  There, youths and maidens blithe
In frails of wicker bore the luscious fruit,
While, in the midst, a boy on his shrill harp 710
Harmonious play’d, still as he struck the chord
Carolling to it with a slender voice. 
They smote the ground together, and with song
And sprightly reed came dancing on behind.[12]
There too a herd he fashion’d of tall beeves 715
Part gold, part tin.  They, lowing, from the stalls
Rush’d forth to pasture by a river-side
Rapid, sonorous, fringed with whispering reeds. 
Four golden herdsmen drove the kine a-field
By nine swift dogs attended.  Dreadful sprang 720
Two lions forth, and of the foremost herd
Seized fast a bull.  Him bellowing they dragg’d,
While dogs and peasants all flew to his aid. 
The lions tore the hide of the huge prey
And lapp’d his entrails and his blood.  Meantime 725
The herdsmen, troubling them in vain, their hounds
Encouraged; but no tooth for lions’ flesh
Found they, and therefore stood aside and bark’d. 
There also, the illustrious smith divine
Amidst a pleasant grove a pasture form’d 730
Spacious, and sprinkled o’er with silver sheep
Numerous, and stalls and huts and shepherds’ tents. 
To these the glorious artist added next,
With various skill delineated exact,
A labyrinth for the dance, such as of old 735
In Crete’s broad island Daedalus composed
For bright-hair’d Ariadne.[13] There the youths
And youth-alluring maidens, hand in hand,
Danced jocund, every maiden neat-attired
In finest linen, and the youths in vests 740
Well-woven, glossy as the glaze of oil. 
These all wore garlands, and bright falchions, those,
Of burnish’d gold in silver trappings hung:—­[14]
They with well-tutor’d step, now nimbly ran
The circle, swift, as when, before his wheel 745
Seated, the potter twirls it with both hands
For trial of its speed,[15] now, crossing quick
They pass’d at once into each other’s place. 
On either side spectators numerous stood
Delighted, and two tumblers roll’d themselves 750
Between the dancers, singing as they roll’d. 
Last, with the might of ocean’s boundless flood
He fill’d the border of the wondrous shield. 
When thus the massy shield magnificent
He had accomplish’d, for the hero next 755
He forged, more ardent than the blaze of fire,
A corselet; then, a ponderous helmet bright
Well fitted to his brows, crested with gold,
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Project Gutenberg
The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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