Now, on the golden floor of Jove’s
The Gods all sat consulting; Hebe them,
Graceful, with nectar served; they pledging each
His next, alternate quaff’d from cups of gold,
And at their ease reclined, look’d down on Troy, 5
When, sudden, Jove essay’d by piercing speech
Invidious, to enkindle Juno’s ire.
Two Goddesses on Menelaus’ part
Confederate stand, Juno in Argos known,
Pallas in Alalcomene; yet they 10
Sequester’d sit, look on, and are amused.
Not so smile-loving Venus; she, beside
Her champion station’d, saves him from his fate,
And at this moment, by her aid, he lives.
But now, since victory hath proved the lot 15
Of warlike Menelaus, weigh ye well
The matter; shall we yet the ruinous strife
Prolong between the nations, or consent
To give them peace? should peace your preference win,
And prove alike acceptable to all, 20
Stand Ilium, and let Menelaus bear
Helen of Argos back to Greece again.
He ended; Juno and Minerva heard,
Low-murmuring deep disgust; for side by side
They forging sat calamity to Troy. 25
Minerva through displeasure against Jove
Nought utter’d, for with rage her bosom boil’d;
But Juno check’d not hers, who thus replied.
What word hath pass’d thy lips, Jove most severe!
How? wouldst thou render fruitless all my pains? 30
The sweat that I have pour’d? my steeds themselves
Have fainted while I gather’d Greece in arms
For punishment of Priam and his sons.
Do it. But small thy praise shall be in heaven.
Then her the Thunderer answer’d sore displeased. 35
Ah shameless! how have Priam and his sons
So much transgress’d against thee, that thou burn’st
With ceaseless rage to ruin populous Troy?
Go, make thine entrance at her lofty gates,
Priam and all his house, and all his host 40
Alive devour; then, haply, thou wilt rest;
Do even as thou wilt, that this dispute
Live not between us a consuming fire
For ever. But attend; mark well the word.
When I shall also doom in future time 45
Some city to destruction, dear to thee,
Oppose me not, but give my fury way
As I give way to thine, not pleased myself,
Yet not unsatisfied, so thou be pleased.
For of all cities of the sons of men, 50
And which the sun and stars from heaven behold,
Me sacred Troy most pleases, Priam me
Most, and the people of the warrior King.
Nor without cause. They feed mine altar well;
Libation there, and steam of savory scent 55
Fail not, the tribute which by lot is ours.
Him answer’d, then, the Goddess ample-eyed,
Majestic Juno: Three fair cities me,
Of all the earth, most interest and engage,