The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 667 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
stood, but standing, felt his mind Troubled with doubts; he groan’d, and thus he mused. 645
  [10]Alas! if following the tumultuous flight
Of these, I shun Achilles, swifter far He soon will lop my ignominious head.  But if, these leaving to be thus dispersed Before him, from the city-wall I fly 650 Across the plain of Troy into the groves Of Ida, and in Ida’s thickets lurk, I may, at evening, to the town return Bathed and refresh’d.  But whither tend my thoughts?  Should he my flight into the plain observe 655 And swift pursuing seize me, then, farewell All hope to scape a miserable death, For he hath strength passing the strength of man.  How then—­shall I withstand him here before The city?  He hath also flesh to steel 660 Pervious, within it but a single life, And men report him mortal, howsoe’er Saturnian Jove lift him to glory now. 
  So saying, he turn’d and stood, his dauntless heart
Beating for battle.  As the pard springs forth 665 To meet the hunter from her gloomy lair, Nor, hearing loud the hounds, fears or retires, But whether from afar or nigh at hand He pierce her first, although transfixt, the fight Still tries, and combats desperate till she fall, 670 So, brave Antenor’s son fled not, or shrank, Till he had proved Achilles, but his breast O’ershadowing with his buckler and his spear Aiming well-poised against him, loud exclaim’d. 
  Renown’d Achilles!  Thou art high in hope 675
Doubtless, that thou shalt this day overthrow The city of the glorious sons of Troy.  Fool! ye must labor yet ere she be won, For numerous are her citizens and bold, And we will guard her for our parents’ sake 680 Our wives and little ones.  But here thou diest Terrible Chief and dauntless as thou art. 
  He said, and with full force hurling his lance
Smote, and err’d not, his greave beneath his knee The glittering tin, forged newly, at the stroke 685 Tremendous rang, but quick recoil’d and vain The weapon, weak against that guard divine.  Then sprang Achilles in his turn to assail Godlike Agenor, but Apollo took That glory from him, snatching wrapt in clouds 690 Agenor thence, whom calm he sent away. 
  Then Phoebus from pursuit of Ilium’s host
By art averted Peleus’ son; the form Assuming of Agenor, swift he fled Before him, and Achilles swift pursued. 695 While him Apollo thus lured to the chase Wide o’er the fruitful plain, inclining still Toward Scamander’s dizzy stream his course Nor flying far before, but with false hope Always beguiling him, the scatter’d host 700 Meantime, in joyful throngs, regain’d the town.  They fill’d and shut it fast, nor dared to wait Each other in the field, or to inquire Who lived and who had fallen, but all, whom flight Had rescued, like a flood pour’d into Troy. 705

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The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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