« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
This Menelaus knows; expos'd to share
And let dull Ajax bear away my right With me the rough preludium of the war.
When all his days out-balance this one night. “ Endless it were to tell what I have done,
“ Nor fought I darkling still: the Sun beheld In arms, or counsel, since the siege begun: With slaughter'd Lycians when I strew'd the field: The first encounters past, the foe repellid,
You saw and counted, as I pass'd along, They skulk'd within the town, we kept the field, Alastor, Cromius, Ceranos the strong, War seem'd asleep for nine long years; at length, Alcander, Prytanis, and Halius, Both sides resolv'd to push, we try'd our strength, | Noemon, Charopes, and Ennomus, Now what did Ajax while our arms took breath, Choon, Chersidamas; and five beside, Vers'd only in the gross mechanic trade of death? | Men of obscure descent, but courage try'd: If you require my deeds, with ambush'd arms All these this hand laid breathless on the ground; I trapp'd the foe, or tip'd with false alarins; Nor want I proofs of many a manly wound : Secur'd the ships, drew lines along the plain, All honest, all before : believe pot me; The fainting cheer'd, chastis'd the rebel-train, Words may deceive, but credit what you see.” Provided forage, our spent arms renew'd;
At this he bar'd his breast, and show'd his scars, Employ'd at home, or sent abroad, the common As of a farrow'd field, well plough'd with wars; cause pursued.
“ Nor is this part unexercis'd," said he; " The king, deluded in a dream by Jove, “ That giant bulk of his from wounds is free : Despair'd to take the town, and order'd to remove. Safe in his shield he fears no foe to try, What subject durst arraign the power supreme, And better manages his blood than I: Producing Jove to justify his dream?
But this avails me not; our boaster strove Ajax might wish the soldiers to retain
Not with our foes alone, but partial Jove,
(Nor will I take from any man his due)
He did the best indeed, but did not all.
The chief he seem'd, with equal ardour fought; Who ply'd bis feet so fast to get aboard as he? Preserv'd the fleet, repell’d the raging fire, Then, speeding through the place, I made a | And forcd the fearful Trojans to retire. stand,
“ But Ajax boasts, that he was only thought And loudly cry'd, O base degenerate band, A match for Hector, who the combat sought: To leave a town already in your hand,
Sure he forgets the king, the chiefs, and me; After so long expense of blood, for fame,
All were as eager for the fight as he ; To bring home notbing but perpetual shaine!' He, but the ninth, and, not by public voice, These words, or what I have forgotten since, | Or ours preferr'd, was only Fortune's choice: (For grief inspir'd me then with eloquence) They fought; nor can our hero boast th' event, Reduc'd their minds, they leave the crowded port, For Hector from the field unwounded went. And to their late forsaken camp resort;
« Why am I forc'd to name that fatal day, Dismay'd the council met: this man was there, That snatch'd the prop and pride of Greece away? Bat mute, and not recover'd of his fear :
I saw Pelides sink, with pious grief, Thersites tax'd the king, and loudly rail'd,
Aud ran in vain, alas ! to his relief; But his wide-opening mouth with blows I seald. For the brave soul was fled: full of my friend, Then, rising, I excite their souls to fame,
I rush'd amid the war, his relics to defend : And kindle sleeping virtue into flame.
Nor ceas'd my toil till I redeem'd the prey, From thence, whatever he perform'd in fight And, loaded with Achilles, march'd away: Is justly mine who drew him back from flight. Those arms, which on these shoulders then I bore,
“Which of the Grecian chiefsconsorts with thee? | "Tis just you to these shoulders should restore. But Diomede desires my company,
You see I want not nerves, who could sustain
Or if in others equal force you find,
“ Did Thetis then, ambitious in her care, Whom such a man selects from such an host; These arms thus labour'd for her son prepare, Cnforc'd by lots, I went without affright,
That Ajax after him the heavenly gift should wear? To dare with him the dangers of the night : For that dull soul to stare with stupid eyes, On the same errand sent, we met the spy
On the learn’d unintelligible prize!
Undipp'd in seas; Orion's angry star;
“ Beside, what wise objections be prepares And him, and his, in their own strength, 1 slew; | Against my late accession to the wars ! Return'd a victor, all my vows complete,
Does not the fool perceive his argument
Is with more force against Achilles bent?
And if he taxes both of long delay,
“ Why point'st thou to my partner of the My guilt is less, who sooner came away.
war? His pious mother, anxious for his life,
Tydides had indeed a worthy share Detain'd her son; and me, my pious wife.
In all my toil and praise; but when thy might To them the blossoms of our youth were due: Our ships protected, didst thou singly fight? Our riper manhood we reserv'd for you.
| All join'd, and thou of many wert but one; But grant me guilty, 'tis not much my care, . I ask'd no friend, nor had, but him alone: When with so great a man my guilt I share: Who, had he not been well assur'd, that art My wit to war the matchless hero brought,
And conduct were of war the better part, But by this fool he never had been caught.
And more avail'd than strength, my valiant “ Nor need I wonder, that on me he threw
friend Such foul aspersions, when he spares not you : Had urg'd a better right, than Ajax can pretend : If Palamede unjustly fell by me,
As good at least Eurypylus may claim, Your honour suffer'd in th' unjust decree;
And the more moderate Ajax of the name: I but accus'd, you doom'd: and yet he dy'd, The Cretan king, and his brave charioteer, Convinc'd of treason, and was fairly try'd : And Menelaus bold with sword and spear: You heard not he was false ; your eyes beheld All these had been my rivals in the shield,, The traitor manifest; the bribe reveal'd.
And yet all these to my pretensions yield. “ That Philoctetes is on Lemnos left,
Thy boisterous hands are then of use, when I Wounded, forlorn, of human aid bereft,
With this directing head those hands apply. Is not my crime, or not my crime alone;
Brawn without brain is thine: my prudent care Defend your justice, for the fact's your own : Foresees, provides, administers the war: "Tis true, th' advice was mine; that staying there Thy province is to fight, but when shall be He might bis weary limbs with rest repair,
The time to fight, the king consults with me: From a long voyage free, and from a longer war. No dram of judgment with thy force is join'd; He took th' counsel, and he lives at least; | Thy body is of profit, and my mind. Th’ event declares I counsell'd for the best : By how much more the ship of safety owes Though faith is all, in ministers of state;
To him who steers, than him that only rows; For who can promise to be fortunate?
By how much more the captain merits praise Now since his arrows are the fate of Troy,
Than he who fights, and fighting but obeys; Do not my wit, or weak address, employ;
By so much greater is my worth than thine, Send Ajax there, with his persuasive sense,
Who canst but execute what I design. } To mollify the man, and draw him thence: What gain'st thou, brutal man, if I confess But Xanthus shall run backward ; Ida stand Thy strength superior, when thy wit is less ? A leafless mountain ; and the Grecian band Mind is the man: I claim my whole desert Shall fight for Troy; if, when my counsels fail, From the mind's vigour, and th' immortal part. The wit of heavy Ajax can prevail.
“But you, O Grecian chiefs, reward my care, “ Hard Philoctetes, exercise thy spleen
Be grateful to your watchman of the war:
Sure I may plead a title to your grace:
When I remov'd their tutelary fates.
By all our common hopes, if hopes they be “ Nor doubt the same success, as when before Which I have now reduc'd to certainty; The Phrygian prophet to these tents I bore, | By falling Troy, by yonder tottering towers, Surpriz'd by night, and forc'd him to declare And by their taken gods, which now are ours; In what was plac'd the fortune of the war;
Or if there yet a farther task remaius, Heaven's dark decrees and answers to display, To be perform'd by prudence or by pains; And how to take the town, and where the secret | If yet some desperate action rests behind, lay:
That asks high conduct, and a dauntless mind; Yet this I compass'd, and from Troy convey'd If ought be wanting to the Trojan doom, The fatal image of their guardian maid:
Which none but I can manage and o'ercome; That work was mine; for Pallas, though our friend, Award those arms I ask, by your decree: Yet while she was in Troy, did Troy defend. Or give to this what you refuse to me.” Now what has Ajax done, or what design'd?
He ceas'd : and ceasing with respect he bow'd, A noisy nothing, and an empty wind.
And with his hand at once the fatal statue show'd. If he be what he promises in show,
Heaven, air, and ocean rang, with loud applause, Why was I sent, and why fear'd he to go?. And by the general vote he gain'd his cause. Our boasting champion thought the task not light Thus conduct won the prize, when courage faild, To pass the guards, commit himself to night: And eloquence o'er brutal force prevail'd. Not only through a hostile town to pass, But scale, with steep ascent, the sacred place;
THE DEATH OF AJAX. With wandering steps to search the citadel, And from the priests their patroness to steal : He who could often, and alone, withstand Then through surrounding foes to force my way, The foe, the fire, and Jove's own partial hand, And bear in triumph home the heavenly prey; Now cannot bis unmaster'd grief sustain, Which had I not, Ajax in vain had held,
But yields to rage, to madness, and disdain; Before that monstrous bulk, his sevenfold shield. | Then snatching out his fauchion, “ Thon," said That night to conquer Troy I might be said,
he, When Troy was liable to conquest made,
“ Art mine; Ulysses lays no claim to thee
O often try'd, and ever trusty sword,
Thus, warn’d in vain, with stalking pace he'stode, Now do thy last kind office to thy lord :
And stamp'd the margin of the briny fcod
With heavy steps; and, weary, sought again
A promontory, sharpening by degrees,
Ends in a wedge, and overlooks the seas :
This airy walk the giant-lover chose;
A pine, so burly, and of length so vast,
He wielded for a staff, his steps to guide: Like his, whom, unaware, Apollo slew :
But laid it by, his whistle while he try'd.
A hundred reeds, of a prodigious growth,
Which, when he gave it wind, the rocks around,
I heard the ruffian shepherd rudely blow,
Where, in a hollow cave, I sat below;
On Acis' bosom I my head reclin'd:
“ O lovely Galatea, whiter far
Than falling snows and rising lilies are; OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.
More flowery than the meads, as crystal bright;
Erect as alders, and of equal height :
Pleasing, as winter suns, or summer shade:
And softer to the touch, than down of swans,
Than swelling grapes, that to the vintage haste: When Polyphemus first disturb'd our joy,
More clear than ice, or running streams, that stray And lov'd me fiercely, as I lov'd the boy.
Through garden plots, but ah! more swift than Ask not which passion in my soul was higher,
“ Yet, Galatea, harder to be broke (they. My last aversion, or my first desire :
Than bullocks, unreclaim'd to bear the yoke : Sor this the greater was, nor that the less;
And far more stubborn than the knotted oak: Both were alike, for both were in excess.
Like sliding streams, impossible to hold;
Like them fallacious; like their fountains, cold:
Rough, as these rocks, and of a harder grain;
And more outrageous than a mother-bear:
Deaf as the billows to the vows I make; Forgot his caverns, and his woolly care,
And more revengeful than a trodden snake: Assum'd the softness of a lover's air;
In swiftness feeter than the flying hind, And comb'd, with teeth of rakes, his rugged Or driven tempests, or the driving wind. hair,
All other faults with patience I can bear;
My love, but to my wish'd embraces run:
Would languish in your turn, and court my stay; His cruelty and thirst of blood are lost;
And much repent of your unwise delay.
16" My palace, in the living rock, is made
Some blushing bunches of a purple hue:
Red strawberries in shades expecting stand, " Vain augur, thou hast falsely prophesy'd; Proud to be gather'd by so white a hand. Already Love his flaming brand has tost;
Autumnal cornels latter fruit provide,
Not those of common kinds; but such alone, | Thy flood, ungrateful nymph; and Fate shall final
“ The flocks, you see, are all my own; beside Lamenting thus in vain, he rose, and strode The rest that woods and winding valleys hide, With furious paces to the neighbouring wood: And those that folded in the caves abide.
Restless his feet, distracted was his walk;
“ Help, Galatea, help, my parent gods,
A rib, which from the living rock he tore:
To crush all Acis; 'twas too late to save, “O raise, fair nymph, your beauteous face But what the Fates allow'd to give, I gave; above
That Acis to his lineage should return, The waves; nor scorn my presents, and my love, And roll, among the river gods, his urn. Come, Galatea, come, and view my face;
Straight issued from the stone a stream of blood; I late beheld it in the watery glass,
Which lost the purple, mingling with the food. And found it lovelier than I fear'd it was,
Then like a troubled torrent it appear'd: Survey my towering stature, and my size:
The torrent too, in little space, was cleard. Not Jove, the Jove you dream, that rules the skies, The stone was cleft, and through the yawning chick Bears such a bulk, or is so largely spread :
New reeds arose, on the new river's brink. My locks (the plenteous harvest of my head) The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd Hang o'er my manly face; and dangling down, A sound like water in its course oppos'd : As with a shady grove, my shoulders crown. When (wondrous to behold) full in the flood, Nor think, because my limbs and body bear Up starts a youth, and navel-high he stood. A thick-set underwood of bristling hair,
Horns from his temples rise ; and either horn My shape deform'd: what fouler sight can be, Thick wreaths of reeds (his native growth) adorn. Than the bald branches of a leafless tree? Were not his stature taller than before, Poul is the steed without a flowing mane;
His bulk augmented, and his beauty more,
| With rapid motion, and his name retains,
FROM THE FIFTEENTH BOOK OF
OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. Frown not, fair nymph; yet I could bear to be Disdain'd, if others were disdain'd with me, But to repulse the Cyclops, and prefer
The fourteenth book concludes with the death and The love of Acis, Heavens! I cannot bear.
deification of Romulus: the fifteenth begins But let the stripling please himself; nay more, with the election of Numa to the crown of Rome. Please you, though that's the thing I most abhor; On this occasion, Ovid, following the opinion of The boy shall find, if e'er we cope in fight,
some authors, makes Numa the scholar of PythaThese giant limbs endu'd with giant might:
goras; and to have begun his acquaintance His living bowels from his belly torn,
with that philosopher at Crotona, a town in And scatter'd limbs, shall ou the flood be borne, Italy; from thence he makes a digression to the moral and natural philosophy of Pythagoras : He leaves Tarentum, favour'd by the wind, on both which our author enlarges; and which And Thurine bays, and Temises, behind; are the most learned and beautiful parts of the Soft Sibaris, and all the capes that stand Metamorphoses.
Along the shore, he makes in sight of land;
Still doubling, and still coasting, till he found A KNG is sought, to guide the glowing state, The mouth of Æsaris, and promis'd ground: One able to support the public weight,
Then saw where, on the margin of the flood, And fill the throne where Romulus had sate.
The tomb that held the bones of Croton stood : Renown, which oft bespeaks the public voice, Here, by the god's command, he built and wall'd Had recommended Numa to their choice :
The place predicted ; and Crotona call's : A peaceful, pious prince; who, not content
Thus Fame, from time to time, delivers down To know the Sabine rites, his study bent
The sure tradition of th' Italian town.” To cultivate his mind: to learn the laws
Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore, Of Nature, and explore their hidden cause :
But now self-banish'd from his native shore, Urg'd by this care, his country he forsook,
Because he hated tyrants, nor could bear And to Crotona thence his journey took.
The chains which none but servile souls will wear: Arriv'd, he first inquir'd the founder's name
He, though from Heaven remote, to Heaven could Of this new colony: and whence he came.
move, Then thus a senior of the place replies,
With strength of mind, and tread th' abyss above; (Well read, and curious of antiquities)
And penetrate, with his interior light, « Tis said, Alcides hither took his way
Those upper depths, which Nature hid from sight : From Spain, and drove along his conquer'd prey;
And what he had observ'd, and learnt from thence, Then, leaving in the fields his grazing cows,
Lov'd in familiar language to dispense. He sought himself some hospitable house :
The crowd with silent admiration stand, Good Croton entertain'd his godlike guest, And heard him, as they heard their god's comWbile be repair'd his weary limbs with rest.
mand; The hero, thence departing, bless'd the place; | While he discours'd of Heaven's mysterious laws, * And here,' he said, in Time's revolving race, The World's original, and Nature's cause; A rising town shall take its name from thee;'
And what was God, and why the fleecy snows Revolving Time fulfill’d the prophecy ::
In silence fell, and rattling winds arose; For Myscelos, the justest man on Earth,
What shook the stedfast Earth, and whence begux Alemon's son, at Argos had his birth :
The dance of planets round the radiant Sun; Him Hercules, arm'd with his club of oak, If thunder was the voice of angry Jove, O'ershadow'd in a dream, and thus bespoke ; Or clouds, with nitre pregnant, burst above : *Go, leave thy native soil, and make abode Of these, and things beyond the common reach, Where Æsaris rolls down his rapid food;'
He spoke, and charm'd his audience with his He said; and sleep forsook him, and the god.
speech. Trembling he wak’d, and rose with anxious heart;! He first the taste of flesh from tables drove, His country laws forbad him to depart:
And argued well, if arguments could move. What should he do ? 'Twas death to go away;
“O mortals! from your fellows blood abstain, And the god menac'd if he dar'd to stay:
Nor taint your bodies with a food profane : All day he doubted; and when night came on,
While corn and pulse by Nature are bestow'd, Sleep, and the same forewarning dream, begun: And planted orchards bend their willing load; Once more the god stood threatening o'er his While labour'd gardens wholesome herbs produce, head;
And teeming vines afford their generous juice; With added curses if he disobey'd.
Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are lost, Twice warn'd, he study'd fight; but would convey, But tam'd with fire, or mellow'd by the frost; At once, his person and his wealth away :
While kine to pails distended udders bring, Thus while he linger'd, his design was heard; | And bees their honey redolent of spring; A speedy process form’d, and death declar'd. While Earth not only can your needs supply, Witness there needed none of his offence,
But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury; Against himself the wretch was evidence :
A guiltless feast administers with ease, Condemn'd, and destitute of human aid,
And without blood is prodigal to please. To him, for whom he suffered, thus he pray'd : Wild beasts their maws with their slain brethren O power, who hast deserv'd in Heaven a throne
fill, Not given, but by thy labours made thy own, And yet not all, for some refuse to kill: Pity thy suppliant, and protect his cause, Sheep, goats, and oxen, and the nobler steed, Whom thou hast made obnoxious to the laws.' On browz, and corn, the flowery meadows feed.
“ A custom was of old, and still remains, Bears, tigers, wolves, the lion's angry brood, Which life or death by suffrages ordains ;
Whom Heaven endued with principles of blood, White stones and black within an urn are cast, He wisely sunder'd from the rest, to yell The first absolve, but fate is in the last :
In forests, and in lonely caves to dwell, The judges to the common urn bequeath
Where stronger beasts oppress the weak by might, Their votes, and drop the sable signs of death; And all in prey and purple feasts delight. The box receives all black; but, pour'd from thence, “O impious use! to Nature's laws oppos'd, The stones came candid forth, the hue of inno- | Where bowels are in other bowels clos'd: Tims Alimonides his safety won,
[cence. Where, fatten'd by their fellows' fat, they thrive; Preserv'd from death by Alcumena's son:
Maintain'd by murder, and by death they live. Then to his kinsman god his vows he pays, 'Tis then for nought that mother Earth provides And cuts with prosperous gales th' lonia, seas : The stores of all she shows, and all she hides,