The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
Mars 1020
Loud as nine thousand warriors, or as ten
Join’d in close combat.  Grecians, Trojans shook
Appall’d alike at the tremendous voice
Of Mars insatiable with deeds of blood. 
Such as the dimness is when summer winds 1025
Breathe hot, and sultry mist obscures the sky,
Such brazen Mars to Diomede appear’d
By clouds accompanied in his ascent
Into the boundless ether.  Reaching soon
The Olympian heights, seat of the Gods, he sat 1030
Beside Saturnian Jove; wo fill’d his heart;
He show’d fast-streaming from the wound his blood
Immortal, and impatient thus complain’d. 

    Jove, Father!  Seest thou these outrageous acts

Unmoved with anger?  Such are day by day 1035
The dreadful mischiefs by the Gods contrived
Against each other, for the sake of man. 
Thou art thyself the cause.  Thou hast produced
A foolish daughter petulant, addict
To evil only and injurious deeds; 1040
There is not in Olympus, save herself,
Who feels not thy control; but she her will
Gratifies ever, and reproof from thee
Finds none, because, pernicious as she is,
She is thy daughter.  She hath now the mind 1045
Of haughty Diomede with madness fill’d
Against the immortal Gods; first Venus bled;
Her hand he pierced impetuous, then assail’d,
As if himself immortal, even me,
But me my feet stole thence, or overwhelm’d 1050
Beneath yon heaps of carcases impure,
What had I not sustain’d?  And if at last
I lived, had halted crippled by the sword. 

    To whom with dark displeasure Jove replied. 

Base and side-shifting traitor! vex not me 1055
Here sitting querulous; of all who dwell
On the Olympian heights, thee most I hate
Contentious, whose delight is war alone. 
Thou hast thy mother’s moods, the very spleen
Of Juno, uncontrolable as she. 1060
Whom even I, reprove her as I may,
Scarce rule by mere commands; I therefore judge
Thy sufferings a contrivance all her own. 
But soft.  Thou art my son whom I begat. 
And Juno bare thee.  I can not endure 1065
That thou shouldst suffer long.  Hadst thou been born
Of other parents thus detestable,
What Deity soe’er had brought thee forth,
Thou shouldst have found long since a humbler sphere. 

    He ceased, and to the care his son consign’d 1070

Of Paeon; he with drugs of lenient powers,
Soon heal’d whom immortality secured
From dissolution.  As the juice from figs
Express’d what fluid was in milk before
Coagulates, stirr’d rapidly around, 1075
So soon was Mars by Paeon skill restored. 
Him Hebe bathed, and with divine attire
Graceful adorn’d; when at the side of Jove
Again his glorious seat sublime he took. 

    Meantime to the abode of Jove supreme 1080

Ascended Juno throughout Argos known
And mighty Pallas; Mars the plague of man,
By their successful force from slaughter driven.

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The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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