The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
Then Polypoetes brave in fight arose,
Arose Leonteus also, godlike chief,
With Ajax son of Telamon.  Each took
His station, and Epeues seized the clod. 1040
He swung, he cast it, and the Grecians laugh’d. 
Leonteus, branch of Mars, quoited it next. 
Huge Telamonian Ajax with strong arm
Dismiss’d it third, and overpitch’d them both. 
But when brave Polypoetes seized the mass 1045
Far as the vigorous herdsman flings his staff
That twirling flies his numerous beeves between,[26]
So far his cast outmeasured all beside,
And the host shouted.  Then the friends arose
Of Polypoetes valiant chief, and bore 1050
His ponderous acquisition to the ships. 
The archers’ prize Achilles next proposed,
Ten double and ten single axes, form’d
Of steel convertible to arrow-points. 
He fix’d, far distant on the sands, the mast 1055
Of a brave bark cerulean-prow’d, to which
With small cord fasten’d by the foot he tied
A timorous dove, their mark at which to aim.
[27]Who strikes the dove, he conquers, and shall bear
These double axes all into his tent. 1060
But who the cord alone, missing the bird,
Successful less, he wins the single blades. 
The might of royal Teucer then arose,
And, fellow-warrior of the King of Crete,
Valiant Meriones.  A brazen casque 1065
Received the lots; they shook them, and the lot
Fell first to Teucer.  He, at once, a shaft
Sent smartly forth, but vow’d not to the King[28]
A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock. 
He therefore (for Apollo greater praise 1070
Denied him) miss’d the dove, but struck the cord
That tied her, at small distance from the knot,
And with his arrow sever’d it.  Upsprang
The bird into the air, and to the ground
Depending fell the cord.  Shouts rent the skies. 1075
Then, all in haste, Meriones the bow
Caught from his hand holding a shaft the while
Already aim’d, and to Apollo vow’d
A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock. 
He eyed the dove aloft, under a cloud, 1080
And, while she wheel’d around, struck her beneath
The pinion; through her and beyond her pass’d
The arrow, and, returning, pierced the soil
Fast by the foot of brave Meriones. 
She, perching on the mast again, her head 1085
Reclined, and hung her wide-unfolded wing,
But, soon expiring, dropp’d and fell remote. 
Amazement seized the people.  To his tent
Meriones the ten best axes bore,
And Teucer the inferior ten to his.[29] 1090
Then, last, Achilles in the circus placed
A ponderous spear and caldron yet unfired,
Emboss’d with flowers around, its worth an ox. 
Upstood the spear-expert; Atrides first,
Wide-ruling Agamemnon, King of men,
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The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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