Chapman’s Homer’s Iliad, Book 2




Jove calls a vision up from Somnus’ den
To bid Atrides muster up his men.
The King, to Greeks dissembling his desire,
Persuades them to their country to retire.
By Pallas’ will, Ulysses stays their flight:
And wise old Nestor heartens them to fight.
They take their meat; which done, to arms they go,
And march in good array against the foe.
So those of Troy; when Iris, from the sky,
Of Saturn’s son performs the embassy.

Another Argument

Beta the dream and synod cites;
And catalogues the naval knights.

The other Gods, and knights at arms, all night slept; only Jove
Sweet slumber seiz’d not; he discours’d how best he might approve
His vow made for Achilles’ grace, and make the Grecians find
His miss in much death. All ways cast, this counsel serv’d his mind
With most allowance; to despatch a harmful Dream to greet
The king of men, and gave this charge: ‘Go to the Achive fleet,
Pernicious Dream, and, being arriv’d in Agamemnon’s tent,
Deliver truly all this charge. Command him to convent
His whole host arm’d before these tow’rs; for now Troy’s broad-way’d town
He shall take in; the heav’n-hous’d Gods are now indiff’rent grown:
Juno’s request hath won them; Troy now under imminent ills
At all parts labours.’ This charge heard, the Vision straight fulfils;
The ships reach’d, and Atrides’ tent, in which he found him laid,
Divine sleep pour’d about his pow’rs. He stood above his head
Like Nestor, grac’d of old men most, and this did intimate:

‘Sleeps the wise Atreus’ tame-horse son? A councillor of state
Must not the whole night spend in sleep, to whom the people are
For guard committed, and whose life stands bound to so much care.
Now hear me, then, Jove’s messenger, who, though far off from thee,
Is near thee yet in ruth and care, and gives command by me
To arm thy whole host. Thy strong hand the broad-way’d town of Troy
Shall now take in; no more the Gods dissentiously employ
Their high-hous’d powers; Juno’s suit hath won them all to her;
And ill fates overhang these tow’rs, address’d by Jupiter.
Fix in thy mind this, nor forget to give it action, when
Sweet sleep shall leave thee.’ Thus, he fled; and left the king of men
Repeating in discourse his dream, and dreaming still, awake,
Of pow’r, not ready yet for act. O fool, he thought to take
In that next day old Priam’s town; not knowing what affairs
Jove had in purpose, who prepar’d, by strong fight, sighs and cares
For Greeks and Trojans. The Dream gone, his voice still murmured
About the king’s ears; who sate up, put on him in his bed
His silken inner weed, fair, new; and then in haste arose,
Cast on his ample mantle, tied to his soft feet fair shoes,
His silver-hilted sword he hung about his shoulder, took
His father’s sceptre never stain’d, which then abroad he shook,
And went to fleet. And now great heav’n Goddess Aurora scal’d,
To Jove, and all Gods, bringing light; when Agamemnon call’d
His heralds, charging them aloud to call to instant court
The thick-hair’d Greeks. The heralds call’d; the Greeks made quick resort.
The Council chiefly he compos’d of old great-minded men,
At Nestor’s ships, the Pylian king. All there assembled then,
Thus Atreus’ son begun the court: ‘Hear, friends: A Dream divine,
Amidst the calm night in my sleep, did through my shut eyes shine,
Within my fantasy. His form did passing naturally
Resemble Nestor; such attire, a stature just as high.
He stood above my head, and words thus fashion’d did relate:
’Sleeps the wise Atreus’ tame-horse son? A councillor of state
Must not the whole night spend in sleep, to whom the people are
For guard committed, and whose life stands bound to so much care.
Now hear me then, Jove’s messenger, who, though far off from thee,
Is near thee yet in love and care, and gives command by me
To arm thy whole host. Thy strong hand the broad-way’d town of Troy
Shall now take in; no more the Gods dissentiously employ
Their high-hous’d pow’rs; Saturnia’s suit hath won them all to her;
And ill fates over-hang these tow’rs, address’d by Jupiter.
Fix in thy mind this.’ This express’d, he took wing and away,
And sweet sleep left me. Let us then by all our means assay
To arm our army; I will first (as far as fits our right)
Try their addictions, and command with full-sail’d ships our flight;
Which if they yield to, oppose you.’ He sate, and up arose
Nestor, of sandy Pylos king, who, willing to dispose
Their counsel to the public good, propos’d this to the state:

‘Princes and Councillors of Greece, if any should relate
This vision but the king himself, it might be held a tale,
And move the rather our retreat; but since our General
Affirms he saw it, hold it true, and all our best means make
To arm our army.’ This speech us’d, he first the Council brake;
The other sceptre-bearing States arose too, and obey’d
The people’s Rector. Being abroad, the earth was overlaid
With flockers to them, that came forth, as when of frequent bees
Swarms rise out of a hollow rock, repairing the degrees
Of their egression endlessly, with ever rising new
From forth their sweet nest; as their store, still as it faded, grew,
And never would cease sending forth her clusters to the spring,
They still crowd out so; this fleck flock here, that there, belabouring
The loaded flow’rs; so from the ships and tents the army’s store
Troop’d to these princes and the court, along th’ unmeasur’d shore;
Amongst whom, Jove’s ambassadress, Fame, in her virtue shin’d,
Exciting greediness to hear. The rabble, thus inclin’d,
Hurried together; uproar seiz’d the high court; earth did groan
Beneath the settling multitude; tumult was there alone.
Thrice-three vocif’rous heralds rose, to check the rout, and get
Ear to their Jove-kept governors; and instantly was set
That huge confusion; ev’ry man set fast, the clamour ceas’d.
Then stood divine Atrides up, and in his hand compress’d
His sceptre, th’ elaborate work of fi’ry Mulciber,
Who gave it to Saturnian Jove; Jove to his messenger;
His messenger, Argicides, to Pelops, skill’d in horse;
Pelops to Atreus, chief of men; he, dying, gave it course
To prince Thyestes, rich in herds; Thyestes to the hand
Of Agamemnon render’d it, and with it the command
Of many isles, and Argos all. On this he leaning, said:

‘O friends, great sons of Danaus, servants of Mars, Jove laid
A heavy curse on me, to vow, and bind it with the bent
Of his high forehead; that, this Troy of all her people spent,
I should return; yet now to mock our hopes built on his vow,
And charge ingloriously my flight, when such an overthrow
Of brave friends I have authored. But to his mightiest will
We must submit us, that hath raz’d, and will be razing still,
Men’s footsteps from so many towns; because his pow’r is most,
He will destroy most. But how vile such and so great an host
Will show to future times, that, match’d with lesser numbers far,
We fly, not putting on the crown of our so-long-held war,
Of which there yet appears no end! Yet should our foes and we
Strike truce, and number both our pow’rs; Troy taking all that be
Her arm’d inhabitants, and we, in tens, should all sit down
At our truce banquet, ev’ry ten allow’d one of the town
To fill his feast-cup; many tens would their attendant want;
So much I must affirm our pow’r exceeds th’ inhabitant.
But their auxiliáry bands, those brandishers of spears,
From many cities drawn, are they that are our hinderers,
Not suff’ring well-rais’d Troy to fall. Nine years are ended now,
Since Jove our conquest vow’d; and now, our vessels rotten grow,
Our tackling falls; our wives, young sons, sit in their doors and long
For our arrival; yet the work, that should have wreak’d our wrong,
And made us welcome, lies unwrought. Come then, as I bid, all
Obey, and fly to our lov’d home; for now, nor ever, shall
Our utmost take-in broad-way’d Troy.’ This said, the multitude
Was all for home; and all men else that what this would conclude
Had not discover’d. All the crowd was shov’d about the shore,
In sway, like rude and raging waves, rous’d with the fervent blore
Of th’ east and south winds, when they break from Jove’s clouds, and are borne
On rough backs of th’ Icarian seas: or like a field of corn
High grown, that Zephyr’s vehement gusts bring eas’ly underneath,
And make the stiff up-bristled ears do homage to his breath;
For ev’n so eas’ly, with the breath Atrides us’d, was sway’d
The violent multitude. To fleet with shouts, and disarray’d,
All rush’d; and, with a fog of dust, their rude feet dimm’d the day;
Each cried to other, ‘Cleanse our ships, come, launch, aboard, away.’
The clamour of the runners home reach’d heav’n; and then, past fate,
The Greeks had left Troy, had not then the Goddess of estate
Thus spoke to Pallas: ‘O foul shame, thou untam’d seed of Jove,
Shall thus the sea’s broad back be charg’d with these our friends’ remove,
Thus leaving Argive Helen here, thus Priam grac’d, thus Troy,
In whose fields, far from their lov’d own, for Helen’s sake, the joy
And life of so much Grecian birth is vanish’d? Take thy way
T’ our brass-arm’d people, speak them fair, let not a man obey
The charge now giv’n, nor launch one ship.’ She said, and Pallas did
As she commanded; from the tops of heav’n’s steep hill she slid,
And straight the Greeks’ swift ships she reach’d; Ulysses (like to Jove
In gifts of counsel) she found out; who to that base remove
Stirr’d not a foot, nor touch’d a ship, but griev’d at heart to see
That fault in others. To him close the blue-eyed Deity
Made way, and said: ‘Thou wisest Greek, divine Laertes’ son,
Thus fly ye homewards to your ships? Shall all thus headlong run?
Glory to Priam thus ye leave, glory to all his friends,
If thus ye leave her here, for whom so many violent ends
Have clos’d your Greek eyes, and so far from their so loved home.
Go to these people, use no stay, with fair terms overcome
Their foul endeavour, not a man a flying sail let hoice.’
Thus spake she; and Ulysses knew ’twas Pallas by her voice,
Ran to the runners, cast from him his mantle, which his man
And herald, grave Eurybates, the Ithacensian
That follow’d him, took up. Himself to Agamemnon went,
His incorrupted sceptre took, his sceptre of descent,
And with it went about the fleet. What prince, or man of name,
He found flight-giv’n, he would restrain with words of gentlest blame:
‘Good sir, it fits not you to fly, or fare as one afraid,
You should not only stay yourself, but see the people staid.
You know not clearly, though you heard the king’s words, yet his mind;
He only tries men’s spirits now, and, whom his trials find
Apt to this course, he will chastise, Nor you, nor I, heard all
He spake in council; nor durst press too near our General,
Lest we incens’d him to our hurt. The anger of a king
Is mighty; he is kept of Jove, and from Jove likewise spring
His honours, which, out of the love of wise Jove, he enjoys.’
Thus he the best sort us’d; the worst, whose spirits brake out in noise,
He cudgell’d with his sceptre, chid, and said: ‘Stay, wretch, be still,
And hear thy betters; thou art base, and both in pow’r and skill
Poor and unworthy, without name in council or in war.
We must not all be kings. The rule is most irregular,
Where many rule. One lord, one king, propose to thee; and he,
To whom wise Saturn’s son, hath giv’n both law and empery
To rule the public, is that king.’ Thus ruling, he restrain’d
The host from flight; and then again the Council was maintain’d
With such a concourse, that the shore rung with the tumult made;
As when the far-resounding sea doth in its rage invade
His sandy confines, whose sides groan with his involvéd wave,
And make his own breast echo sighs. All sate, and audience gave.
Thersites only would speak all. A most disorder’d store
Of words he foolishly pour’d out, of which his mind held more
Than it could manage; any thing, with which he could procure
Laughter, he never could contain. He should have yet been sure
To touch no kings; t’ oppose their states becomes not jesters’ parts.
But he the filthiest fellow was of all that had deserts
In Troy’s brave siege; he was squint-ey’d, and lame of either foot;
So crook-back’d, that he had no breast; sharp-headed, where did shoot
(Here and there spers’d) thin mossy hair. He most of all envíed
Ulysses and Æacides, whom still his spleen would chide.
Nor could the sacred King himself avoid his saucy vein;
Against whom since he knew the Greeks did vehement hates sustain,
Being angry for Achilles’ wrong, he cried out, railing thus:
‘Atrides, why complain’st thou now? What would’st thou more of us?
Thy tents are full of brass; and dames, the choice of all, are thine,
With whom we must present thee first, when any towns resign
To our invasion. Want’st thou then, besides all this, more gold
From Troy’s knights to redeem their sons, whom to be dearly sold
I or some other Greek must take? Or would’st thou yet again
Force from some other lord his prise, to soothe the lusts that reign
In thy encroaching appetite? It fits no prince to be
A prince of ill, and govern us, or lead our progeny
By rape to ruin. O base Greeks, deserving infamy,
And ills eternal! Greekish girls, not Greeks, ye are! Come, fly
Home with our ships; leave this man here to perish with his preys,
And try if we help’d him or not; he wrong’d a man that weighs
Far more than he himself in worth; he forc’d from Thetis’ son,
And keeps his prise still. Nor think I that mighty man hath won
The style of wrathful worthily; he’s soft, he’s too remiss;
Or else, Atrides, his had been thy last of injuries.’

Thus he the people’s Pastor chid; but straight stood up to him
Divine Ulysses, who, with looks exceeding grave and grim,
This bitter check gave: ‘Cease, vain fool, to vent thy railing vein
On kings thus, though it serve thee well; nor think thou canst restrain,
With that thy railing faculty, their wills in least degree;
For not a worse, of all this host, came with our King than thee,
To Troy’s great siege; then do not take into that mouth of thine
The names of kings, much less revile the dignities that shine
In their supreme states, wresting thus this motion for our home,
To soothe thy cowardice; since ourselves yet know not what will come
Of these designments, if it be our good to stay, or go.
Nor is it that thou stand’st on; thou revil’st our Gen’ral so,
Only because he hath so much, not giv’n by such as thou
But our heroës. Therefore this thy rude vein makes me vow
(Which shall be curiously observ’d) if ever I shall hear
This madness from thy mouth again, let not Ulysses bear
This head, nor be the father call’d of young Telemachus,
If to thy nakedness I take and strip thee not, and thus
Whip thee to fleet from council; send, with sharp stripes, weeping hence
This glory thou affect’st to rail.’ This said, his insolence
He settled with his sceptre; strook his back and shoulders so
That bloody wales rose. He shrunk round; and from his eyes did flow
Moist tears, and, looking filthily, he sate, fear’d, smarted, dried
His blubber’d cheeks; and all the prease, though griev’d to be denied
Their wish’d retreat for home, yet laugh’d delightsomely, and spake
Either to other: ‘O ye Gods, how infinitely take
Ulysses’ virtues in our good! Author of counsels, great
In ord’ring armies, how most well this act became his heat,
To beat from council this rude fool! I think his saucy spirit,
Hereafter, will not let his tongue abuse the sov’reign merit,
Exempt from such base tongues as his.’ Thus spake the people; then
The city-razer Ithacus stood up to speak again,
Holding his sceptre. Close to him gray-eyed Minerva stood,
And, like a herald, silence caus’d, that all the Achive brood
(From first to last) might hear and know the counsel; when, inclin’d
To all their good, Ulysses said: ‘Atrides, now I find
These men would render thee the shame of all men; nor would pay
Their own vows to thee, when they took their free and honour’d way
From Argos hither, that, till Troy were by their brave hands rac’d,
They would not turn home. Yet, like babes, and widows, now they haste
To that base refuge, ’Tis a spite to see men melted so
In womanish changes; though ’tis true, that if a man do go
Only a month to sea, and leave his wife far off, and he,
Tortur’d with winter’s storms, and toss’d with a tumultuous sea,
Grows heavy, and would home. Us then, to whom the thrice-three year
Hath fill’d his revoluble orb since our arrival here,
I blame not to wish home much more; yet all this time to stay,
Out of our judgments, for our end; and now to take our way
Without it, were absurd and vile. Sustain then, friends; abide
The time set to our object; try if Calchas prophesied
True of the time or not. We know, ye all can witness well,
(Whom these late death-conferring fates have fail’d to send to hell)
That when in Aulis, all our fleet, assembled with a freight
Of ills to Ilion and her friends, beneath the fair grown height
A platane bore, about a fount, whence crystal water flow’d,
And near our holy altar, we upon the Gods bestow’d
Accomplish’d hecatombs; and there appear’d a huge portent,
A dragon with a bloody scale, horrid to sight, and sent
To light by great Olympius; which, crawling from beneath
The altar, to the platane climb’d, and ruthless crash’d to death
A sparrow’s young, in number eight, that in a top-bough lay
Hid under leaves; the dam the ninth, that hover’d every way,
Mourning her lov’d birth, till at length, the serpent, watching her,
Her wing caught, and devour’d her too. This dragon, Jupiter,
That brought him forth, turn’d to a stone, and made a pow’rful mean
To stir our zeals up, that admir’d, when of a fact so clean
Of all ill as our sacrifice, so fearful an ostent
Should be the issue. Calchas, then, thus prophesied th’ event
’Why are ye dumb-strook, fair-hair’d Greeks? Wise Jove is he hath shown
This strange ostent to us. ’Twas late, and passing lately done,
But that grace it foregoes to us, for suff’ring all the state
Of his appearance (being so slow) nor time shall end, nor fate.
As these eight sparrows, and the dam (that made the ninth) were eat
By this stern serpent; so nine years we are t’ endure the heat
Of rav’nous war, and, in the tenth, take-in this broad-way’d town.’

Thus he interpreted this sign; and all things have their crown
As he interpreted, till now. The rest, then, to succeed
Believe as certain. Stay we all, till, that most glorious deed
Of taking this rich town, our hands are honour’d with.’ This said,
The Greeks gave an unmeasur’d shout; which back the ships repaid
With terrible echoes, in applause of that persuasion
Divine Ulysses us’d; which yet held no comparison
With Nestor’s next speech, which was this: ‘O shameful thing! Ye talk
Like children all, that know not war. In what air’s region walk
Our oaths, and cov’nants? Now, I see the fit respects of men
Are vanish’d quite; our right hands giv’n, our faiths, our counsels vain,
Our sacrifice with wine, all fled in that profanéd flame
We made to bind all; for thus still we vain persuasions frame,
And strive to work our end with words, not joining stratagemes
And hands together, though, thus long, the pow’r of our extremes
Hath urg’d us to them. Atreus’ son, firm as at first hour stand!
Make good thy purpose; talk no more in councils, but command
In active field. Let two or three, that by themselves advise,
Faint in their crowning; they are such as are not truly wise;
They will for Argos, ere they knew if that which Jove hath said
Be false or true. I tell them all, that high Jove bow’d his head,
As first we went aboard our fleet, for sign we should confer
These Trojans their due fate and death; almighty Jupiter
All that day darting forth his flames, in an unmeasur’d light,
On our right hand. Let therefore none once dream of coward flight,
Till (for his own) some wife of Troy he sleeps withal, the rape
Of Helen wreaking, and our sighs enforc’d for her escape.
If any yet dare dote on home, let his dishonour’d haste
His black and well-built bark but touch, that (as he first disgrac’d
His country’s spirit) fate, and death, may first his spirit let go.
But be thou wise, king, do not trust thyself, but others. Know
I will not use an abject word. See all thy men array’d
In tribes and nations, that tribes tribes, nations may nations, aid.
Which doing, thou shalt know what chiefs, what soldiers, play the men,
And what the cowards; for they all will fight in sev’ral then,
Easy for note. And then shalt thou, if thou destroy’st not Troy,
Know if the prophecy’s defect, or men thou dost employ
In their approv’d arts want in war, or lack of that brave heat
Fit for the vent’rous spirits of Greece, was cause to thy defeat.’

To this the king of men replied: ‘O father, all the sons
Of Greece thou conquer’st in the strife of consultations.
I would to Jove, Athenia, and Phœbus, I could make,
Of all, but ten such counsellors; then instantly would shake
King Priam’s city, by our hands laid hold on and laid waste.
But Jove hath order’d I should grieve, and to that end hath cast
My life into debates past end. Myself, and Thetis’ son,
Like girls, in words fought for a girl, and I th’ offence begun.
But if we ever talk as friends, Troy’s thus deferréd fall
Shall never vex us more one hour. Come then, to victuals all,
That strong Mars all may bring to field. Each man his lance’s steel
See sharpen’d well, his shield well lin’d, his horses meated well,
His chariot carefully made strong, that these affairs of death
We all day may hold fiercely out. No man must rest, or breath;
The bosoms of our targeteers must all be steeped in sweat;
The lancer’s arm must fall dissolv’d; our chariot-horse with heat
Must seem to melt. But if I find one soldier take the chace,
Or stir from fight, or fight not still fix’d in his enemy’s face,
Or hid a-ship-board, all the world, for force, nor price, shall save
His hated life, but fowls and dogs be his abhorréd grave.’

He said; and such a murmur rose, as on a lofty shore
The waves make, when the south wind comes, and tumbles them before
Against a rock, grown near the strand which diversely beset
Is never free, but, here and there, with varied uproars beat.

All rose then, rushing to the fleet, perfum’d their tents, and eat;
Each off’ring to th’ immortal gods, and praying to ’scape the heat
Of war and death. The king of men an ox of five years’ spring
T’ almighty Jove slew, call’d the peers; first Nestor; then the king
Idomenëus; after them th’ Ajaces; and the son
Of Tydeus; Ithacus the sixth, in counsel paragon
To Jove himself. All these he bade; but at-a-martial-cry
Good Menelaus, since he saw his brother busily
Employ’d at that time, would not stand on invitation,
But of himself came. All about the off’ring over-thrown
Stood round, took salt-cakes, and the king himself thus pray’d for all:

‘O Jove, most great, most glorious, that, in that starry hall,
Sitt’st drawing dark clouds up to air, let not the sun go down,
Darkness supplying it, till my hands the palace and the town
Of Priam overthrow and burn; the arm, on Hector’s breast
Dividing, spoiling with my sword thousands, in interest
Of his bad quarrel, laid by him in dust, and eating earth.’

He pray’d; Jove heard him not, but made more plentiful the birth
Of his sad toils, yet took his gifts. Pray’rs past, cakes on they threw;
The ox then, to the altar drawn, they kill’d, and from him drew
His hide, then cut him up, his thighs; in two hewn, dubb’d with fat,
Prick’d on the sweetbreads, and with wood, leaveless, and kindled at
Apposéd fire, they burn the thighs; which done, the inwards, slit,
They broil’d on coals and eat; the rest, in giggots cut, they spit,
Roast cunningly, draw, sit, and feast; nought lack’d to leave allay’d
Each temp’rate appetite; which serv’d, Nestor began and said:

‘Atrides, most grac’d king of men, now no more words allow,
Nor more defer the deed Jove vows. Let heralds summon now
The brazen-coated Greeks, and us range ev’rywhere the host,
To stir a strong war quickly up.’ This speech no syllable lost;
The high-voic’d heralds instantly he, charg’d to call to arms
The curl’d-head Greeks; they call’d; the Greeks straight answer’d their alarms.
The Jove-kept kings, about the king all gather’d, with their aid
Rang’d all in tribes and nations. With them the gray-eyed Maid
Great Ægis (Jove’s bright shield) sustain’d, that can be never old,
Never corrupted, fring’d about with serpents forg’d of gold,
As many all suffic’d to make an hundred fringes, worth
An hundred oxen, ev’ry snake all sprawling, all set forth
With wondrous spirit. Through the host with this the Goddess ran,
In fury casting round her eyes, and furnish’d ev’ry man
With strength, exciting all to arms, and fight incessant. None
Now lik’d their lov’d homes like the wars. And as a fire upon
A huge wood, on the heights of hills, that far off hurls his light;
So the divine brass shin’d on these thus thrusting on for fight,
Their splendour through the air reach’d heav’n. And as about the flood
Caïster, in an Asian mead, flocks of the airy brood,
Cranes, geese, or long-neck’d swans, here, there, proud of their pinions fly,
And in their falls layout such throats, that with their spiritful cry
The meadow shrieks again; so here, these many-nation’d men
Flow’d over the Scamandrian field, from tents and ships; the din
Was dreadful that the feet of men and horse beat out of earth.
And in the flourishing mead they stood, thick as the odorous birth
Of flow’rs, or leaves bred in the spring; or thick as swarms of flies
Throng then to sheep-cotes, when each swarm his erring wing applies
To milk dew’d on the milk-maid’s pails; all eagerly dispos’d
To give to ruin th’ Ilians. And as in rude heaps clos’d,
Though huge goatherds are at their food, the goatherds eas’ly yet
Sort into sundry herds; so here the chiefs in battle set
Here tribes, here nations, ord’ring all. Amongst whom shin’d the king,
With eyes like lightning-loving Jove, his forehead answering,
In breast like Neptune, Mars in waist. And as a goodly bull
Most eminent of all a herd, most wrong, most masterful,
So Agamemnon, Jove that day made overheighten clear
That heav’n-bright army, and preferr’d to all th’ heroës there.

Now tell me, Muses, you that dwell in heav’nly roofs, (for you
Are Goddesses, are present here, are wise, and all things know,
We only trust the voice of fame, know nothing,) who they were
That here were captains of the Greeks, commanding princes here.
The multitude exceed my song, though fitted to my choice
Ten tongues were, harden’d palates ten, a breast of brass, a voice
Infract and trump-like; that great work, unless the seed of Jove,
The deathless Muses, undertake, maintains a pitch above
All mortal pow’rs. The princes then, and navy that did bring
Those so inenarrable troops, and all their soils, I sing.

The Catalogue of the Grecian Ships and Captaines.

Peleüs, and Leitus, all that Bœotia bred,
Arcesilaus, Clonius, and Prothoenor led;
Th’ inhabitants of Hyria, and stony Aulida,
Schæne, Scole, the hilly Eteon, and holy Thespia,
Of Græa, and great Mycalesse, that hath the ample plain,
Of Harma, and Ilesius, and all that did remain
In Eryth, and in Eleon, in Hylen, Peteona,
In fair Ocalea, and, the town well-builded, Medeona,
Copas, Eutresis, Thisbe, that for pigeons doth surpass,
Of Coroneia, Haliart, that hath such store of grass,
All those that in Platæa dwelt, that Glissa did possess,
And Hypothebs, whose well-built walls are rare and fellowless,
In rich Onchestus’ famous wood, to wat’ry Neptune vow’d,
And Arne, where the vine-trees are with vig’rous bunches bow’d,
With them that dwelt in Midea, and Nissa most divine,
All those whom utmost Anthedon did wealthily confine.
From all these coasts, in general, full fifty sail were sent;
And six score strong Bœotian youths in ev’ry burthen went.
But those who in Aspledon dwelt, and Minian Orchomen,
God Mars’s sons did lead (Ascalaphus and Ialmen)
Who in Azidon Actor’s house did of Astyoche come;
The bashful maid, as she went up into the higher room,
The War-god secretly compress’d. In safe conduct of these,
Did thirty hollow-bottom’d barks divide the wavy seas.

Brave Schedius and Epistrophus, the Phocian captains were,
(Naubolida-Iphitus’ sons) all proof ’gainst any fear;
With them the Cyparissians went, and bold Pythonians,
Men of religious Chrysa’s soil, and fat Daulidians,
Panopæans, Anemores, and fierce Hyampolists;
And those that dwell where Cephisus casts up his silken mists;
The men that fair Lilæa held, near the Cephisian spring;
All which did forty sable barks to that designment bring.
About th’ entoil’d Phocensian fleet had these their sail assign’d;
And near to the sinister wing the arm’d Bœotians shin’d.

Ajax the less, Oïleus’ son, the Locrians led to war;
Not like to Ajax Telamon, but lesser man by far,
Little he was, and ever wore a breastplate made of linne,
But for the manage of his lance he gen’ral praise did win.
The dwellers of Caliarus, of Bessa, Opoën,
The youths of Cynus, Scarphis, and Augias, lovely men,
Of Tarphis, and of Thronius, near flood Boagrius’ fall;
Twice-twenty martial barks of these, less Ajax sail’d withal.
Who near Eubœa’s blesséd soil their habitations had,
Strength-breathing Abants, who their seats in sweet Eubœa made,
The Histiæans rich in grapes, the men of Chalcida,
The Cerinths bord’ring on the sea, of rich Eretria,
Of Dion’s highly-seated town, Charistus, and of Styre,
All these the duke Alphenor led, a flame of Mars’s fire,
Surnam’d Chalcodontiades, the mighty Abants’ guide,
Swift men of foot, whose broad-set backs their trailing hair did bide,
Well-seen in fight, and soon could pierce with far extended darts
The breastplates of their enemies, and reach their dearest hearts.
Forty black men of war did sail in this Alphenor’s charge.

The soldiers that in Athens dwelt, a city builded large,
The people of Eristhius, whom Jove-sprung Pallas fed,
And plenteous-feeding Tellus brought out of her flow’ry bed;
Him Pallas placed in her rich fane, and, ev’ry ended year,
Of bulls and lambs th’ Athenian youths please him with off’rings there;
Mighty Menestheus, Peteus’ son, had their divided care;
For horsemen and for targeteers none could with him compare,
Nor put them into better place, to hurt or to defend;
But Nestor (for he elder was) with him did sole contend;
With him came fifty sable sail. And out of Salamine
Great Ajax brought twelve sail, that with th’ Athenians did combine.

Who did in fruitful Argos dwell, or strong Tiryntha keep,
Hennion, or in Asinen whose bosom is so deep,
Trœzena, Eïon, Epidaure where Bacchus crowns his head,
Ægina, and Maseta’s soil, did follow Diomed,
And Sthenelus, the dear-lov’d son of famous Capaneus
Together with Euryalus, heir of Mecisteus,
The king of Talæonides; past whom in deeds of war,
The famous soldier Diomed of all was held by far.
Four score black ships did follow these. The men fair Mycene held,
The wealthy Corinth, Cleon that for beauteous site excell’d,
Aræthyrea’s lovely seat, and in Ornia’s plain,
And Sicyona, where at first did king Adrastus reign,
High-seated Gonoëssa’s towers, and Hyperisius,
That dwelt in fruitful Pellenen, and in divine Ægius,
With all the sea-side borderers, and wide Helice’s friends,
To Agamemnon ev’ry town her native birth commends,
In double-fifty sable barks. With him a world of men
Most strong and full of valour went, and he in triumph then
Put on his most resplendent arms, since he did over-shine
The whole heroic host of Greece, in pow’r of that design.

Who did in Lacedæmon’s rule th’ unmeasur’d concave hold,
High Pharis, Sparta, Messe’s tow’rs, for doves so much extoll’d,
Bryseia’s and Augia’s grounds, strong Laa, Oetylon,
Amyclas, Helos’ harbour-town, that Neptune beats upon,
All these did Menelaus lead (his brother, that in cries
Of war was famous). Sixty ships convey’d these enemies
To Troy in chief, because their king was chiefly injur’d there,
In Helen’s rape, and did his best to make them buy it dear.

Who dwelt in Pylos’ sandy soil, and Arene the fair,
In Thryon, near Alpheus’ flood, and Aepy full of air,
In Cyparisscus, Amphigen, and little Pteleon,
The town where all the Iliots dwelt, and famous Doreon,
Where all the Muses, opposite, in strife of poesy,
To ancient Thamyris of Thrace, did use him cruelly,
(He coming from Eurytus’ court, the wise Œchalian king,)
Because he proudly durst affirm he could more sweetly sing
Than that Pierian race of Jove; who, angry with his vaunt,
Bereft his eyesight, and his song, that did the ear enchant,
And of his skill to touch his harp disfurnishéd his hand.
All these in ninety hollow keels grave Nestor did command.

The richly-blest inhabitants of the Arcadian land
Below Cyllene’s mount (that by Epytus’ tomb did stand)
Where dwelt the bold near-fighting men, who did in Phæneus live,
And Orchomen, where flocks of sheep the shepherds clust’ring drive,
In Ripe, and in Stratié, the fair Mantinean town,
And strong Enispe, that for height is ever weather-blown,
Tegea, and in Stymphalus, Parrhasia strongly wall’d,
All these Alcæus’ son to field (king Agapenor) call’d;
In sixty barks he brought them on, and ev’ry bark well-mann’d
With fierce Arcadian’s, skill’d to use the utmost of a band.
King Agamemnon, on these men, did well-built ships bestow
To pass the gulfy purple sea, that did no sea rites know.

They, who in Hermin, Buphrasis, and Elis, did remain,
What Olen’s cliffs, Alisius, and Myrsin did contain,
Were led to war by twice-two dukes (and each ten ships did bring,
Which many vent’rous Epians did serve for burthening,)

Beneath Amphimachus’s charge, and valiant Thalpius,
(Son of Eurytus-Actor one, the other Cteatus,)
Diores Amaryncides the other did employ,
The fourth divine Polixenus (Agasthenes’s joy).
The king of fair Angeiades, who from Dulichius came,
And from Echinaus’ sweet isles, which hold their holy frame
By ample Elis region, Meges Phylides led;
Whom duke Phyleus, Jove’s belov’d, begat, and whilome fled
To large Dulichius, for the wrath that fir’d his father’s breast.
Twice-twenty ships with ebon sails were in his charge address’d.

The warlike men of Cephale, and those of Ithaca,
Woody Neritus, and the men of wet Crocylia,
Sharp Ægilipa, Samos’ isle, Zacynthus sea inclos’d,
Epirus, and the men that hold the continent oppos’d,
All these did wise Ulysses lead, in counsel peer to Jove;
Twelve ships he brought, which in their course vermilion sterns did move.

Thoas, Andremon’s well-spoke son, did guide th’ Ætolians well,
Those that in Pleuron, Olenon, and strong Pylene dwell,
Great Chalcis, that by sea-side stands, and stony Calydon;
(For now no more of Œneus’ sons surviv’d; they all were gone;
No more his royal self did live, no more his noble son
The golden Meleager now, their glasses all were run)
All things were left to him in charge, th’ Ætolians’ chief he was,
And forty ships to Trojan wars the seas with him did pass.

The royal soldier Idomen did lead the Cretans stout,
The men of Gnossus, and the town Gortyna wall’d about,
Of Lictus, and Miletus’ tow’rs, of white Lycastus’ state,
Of Phæstus, and of Rhytius, the cities fortunate.
And all the rest inhabiting the hundred towns of Crete;
Whom warlike Idomen did lead, co-partner in the fleet
With kill-man Merion. Eighty ships with them did Troy invade.

Tlepolemus Heraclides, right strong and bigly made,
Brought nine tall ships of war from Rhodes, which haughty Rhodians mann’d,
Who dwelt in three dissever’d parts of that most pleasant land,
Which Lyndus and Jalissus were, and bright Camirus, call’d.
Tlepolemus commanded these, in battle unappall’d;
Whom fair Astyoche brought forth, by force of Hercules,
Led out of Ephyr with his hand, from river Selleës,
When many towns of princely youths he levell’d with the ground.
Tlepolem, in his father’s house (for building much renown’d)
Brought up to headstrong state of youth, his mother’s brother slew,
The flow’r of arms, Licymnius, that somewhat aged grew;
Then straight he gather’d him a fleet, assembling bands of men,
And fled by sea, to shun the threats’ that were denouncéd then
By other sons and nephews of th’ Alciden fortitude.
He in his exile came to Rhodes, driv’n in with tempests rude.
The Rhodians were distinct in tribes, and great with Jove did stand,
The King of men and Gods, who gave much treasure to their land.

Nirëus, out of Syma’s hav’n three well-built barks did bring;
Nirëus, fair Aglaia’s son, and Charopes’ the king;
Nirëus was the fairest man that to fair Ilion came
Of all the Greeks, save Peleus’ son, who pass’d for gen’ral frame;
But weak this was, not fit for war, and therefore few did guide.

Who did in Cassus, Nisyrus, and Crapathus, abide,
In Co, Eurypylus’s town, and in Calydna’s soils,
Phidippus and bold Antiphus did guide to Trojan toils,
(The sons of crownéd Thessalus, deriv’d from Hercules)
Who went with thirty hollow ships well-order’d to the seas.

Now will I sing the sackful troops Pelasgian Argos held,
That in deep Alus, Alopé, and soft Trechina dwell’d,
In Phthia, and in Hellade where live the lovely dames,
The Myrmidons, Hellenians, and Achives, rob’d of fames;
All which the great Æacides in fifty ships did lead.
For these forgat war’s horrid voice, because they lack’d their head
That would have brought them bravely forth; but now at fleet did lie
That wind-like user of his feet, fair Thetis’ progeny,
Wroth for bright-cheek’d Briseis’ loss, whom from Lyrnessus’ spoils
(His own exploit) he brought away as trophy of his toils,
When that town was depopulate; he sunk the Theban tow’rs;
Myneta, and Epistrophus, he sent to Pluto’s bow’rs,
Who came of king Evenus’ race, great Helepiades;
Yet now he idly lives enrag’d, but soon must leave his ease.

Of those that dwelt in Phylace, and flow’ry Pyrason
The wood of Ceres, and the soil that sheep are fed upon
Iton, and Antron built by sea, and Pteleus full of grass,
Protesilaus, while he liv’d, the worthy captain was,
Whom now the sable earth detains; his tear-torn-facéd spouse
He woeful left in Phylace, and his half-finish’d house;
A fatal Dardan first his life, of all the Greeks, bereft,
As he was leaping from his ship; yet were his men unleft
Without a chief, for though they wish’d to have no other man
But good Protesilay their guide, Podarces yet began
To govern them, (Iphitis’ son, the son of Phylacus)
Most rich in sheep, and brother to short-liv’d Protesilaus,
Of younger birth, less, and less strong, yet serv’d he to direct
The companies, that still did more their ancient duke affect.
Twice-twenty jetty sails with him the swelling stream did take.

But those that did in Pheres dwell, at the Bœbeian lake,
In Bœbe, and in Glaphyra, Iaolcus builded fair,
In thrice-six ships to Pergamus did through the seas repair,
With old Admetus’ tender son, Eumelus, whom he bred
Of Alcest, Pelius’ fairest child of all his female seed.

The soldiers that before the siege Methone’s vales did hold,
Thaumacie, flow’ry Melibœ, and Olison the cold,
Duke Philoctetes governéd, in darts of finest sleight;
Sev’n vessels in his charge convey’d their honourable freight,
By fifty rowers in a bark, most expert in the bow;
But he in sacred Lemnos lay, brought miserably low
By torment of an ulcer grown with Hydra’s poison’d blood,
Whose sting was such, Greece left him there in most impatient mood;
Yet thought they on him at his ship and choos’d, to lead his men,
Medon, Oïleus’ bastard son, brought forth to him by Rhen.

From Tricce, bleak Ithomen’s clifts, and hapless Oechaly,
(Eurytus’ city, rul’d by him in wilful tyranny,)
In charge of Æsculapius’ sons, physician highly prais’d,
Machaon, Podalirius, were thirty vessels rais’d.

Who near Hyperia’s fountain dwelt, and in Ormenius,
The snowy tops of Titanus, and in Asterius,
Evemon’s son, Eurypylus, did lead into the field;
Whose towns did forty black-sail’d ships to that encounter yield.

Who Gyrton, and Argissa, held, Orthen, and Elon’s seat,
And chalky Oloössone, were led by Polypœte,
The issue of Pirithous, the son of Jupiter.
Him the Athenian Theseus’ friend Hippodamy did bear,
When he the bristled savages did give Ramnusia,
And drove them out of Pelius, as far as Æthica.
He came not single, but with him Leonteus, Coron’s son,
An arm of Mars, and Coron’s life Cenëus’ seed begun.

Twice-twenty ships attended these. Gunëus next did bring
From Cyphus twenty sail and two; the Enians following;
And fierce Peræbi, that about Dodon’s frozen mould
Did plant their houses; and the men that did the meadows hold,
Which Titaresius decks with flow’rs and his sweet current leads
Into the bright Peneïus, that hath the silver heads,
Yet with his admirable stream doth not his waves commix,
But glides aloft on it like oil; for ’tis the flood of Styx,
By which th’ immortal Gods do swear. Teuthredon’s honour’d birth,
Prothous, led the Magnets forth, who near the shady earth
Of Pelius, and Peneïon, dwelt; forty revengeful sail
Did follow him. These were the dukes and princes of avail
That came from Greece. But now the man, that overshin’d them all,
Sing, Muse; and their most famous steeds to my recital call,
That both th’ Atrides followéd. Fair Pheretiades
The bravest mares did bring by much; Eumelius manag’d these,
Swift of their feet as birds of wing, both of one hair did shine,
Both of an age, both of a height, as measur’d by a line,
Whom silver-bow’d Apollo bred in the Pierian mead,
Both slick and dainty, yet were both in war of wondrous dread.

Great Ajax Telamon for strength pass’d all the peers of war,
While vex’d Achilles was away; but he surpass’d him far.
The horse that bore that faultless man were likewise past compare;
Yet lay he at the crook’d-stern’d ships, and fury was his fare,
For Atreus’ son’s ungracious deed, his men yet pleas’d their hearts
With throwing of the holéd stone, with hurling of their darts,
And shooting fairly on the shore; their horse at chariots fed
On greatest parsley, and on sedge that in the fens is bred.
His princes’ tents their chariots held, that richly cover’d were.
His princes, amorous of their chief, walk’d storming here and there
About the host, and scorn’d to fight: their breaths as they did pass
Before them flew, as if a fire fed on the trembling grass;
Earth under-groan’d their high-rais’d feet, as when offended Jove,
In Arime, Typhœius with rattling thunder drove
Beneath the earth; in Arime, men say, the grave is still,
Where thunder tomb’d Typhœius, and is a monstrous hill;
And as that thunder made earth groan, so groan’d it as they past,
They trod with such hard-set-down steps, and so exceeding fast.

To Troy the rainbow-girded Dame right heavy news relates
From Jove, as all to council drew in Priam’s palace-gates,
Resembling Priam’s son in voice, Polites, swift of feet;
In trust whereof, as sentinel, to see when from the fleet
The Grecians sallied, he was set upon the lofty brow
Of aged Æsyetes’ tomb; and this did Iris show:

‘O Priam, thou art always pleas’d with indiscreet advice,
And fram’st thy life to times of peace, when such a war doth rise
As threats inevitable spoil. I never did behold
Such and so mighty troops of men, who trample on the mould
In number like Autumnus’ leaves, or like the marine sand,
All ready round about the walls to use a ruining hand.
Hector, I therefore charge thee most, this charge to undertake.
A multitude remain in Troy, will fight for Priam’s sake,
Of other lands and languages; let ev’ry leader then
Bring forth well-arm’d into the field his sev’ral bands of men.’

Strong Hector knew a Deity gave charge to this assay,
Dismiss’d the council straight; like waves, clusters to arms do sway;
The ports are all wide open set; out rush’d the troops in swarms,
Both horse and foot; the city run with sudden-cried alarms.

A column stands without the town, that high his head doth raise,
A little distant, in a plain trod down with divers ways,
Which men do Batieia call, but the Immortals name
Myrine’s famous sepulchre, the wondrous active dame.
Here were th’ auxiliary bands, that came in Troy’s defence,
Distinguish’d under sev’ral guides of special excellence.

The duke of all the Trojan pow’r great helm-deck’d Hector was,
Which stood of many mighty men well-skill’d in darts of brass.
Æneas of commixéd seed (a Goddess with a man,
Anchises with the Queen of love) the troops Dardanian
Led to the field; his lovely sire in Ida’s lower shade
Begat him of sweet Cyprides; he solely was not made
Chief leader of the Dardan pow’rs, Antenor’s valiant sons,
Archilochus and Acamas, were joind companions.

Who in Zelia dwelt beneath the sacred foot of Ide,
That drank of black Æsepus’ stream, and wealth made full of pride,
The Aphnii, Lycaon’s son, whom Phœbus gave his bow,
Prince Pandarus did lead to field. Who Adrestinus owe,
Apesus’ city, Pityæ, and mount Tereiës,
Adrestus and stout Amphius led; who did their sire displease,
(Merops Percosius, that excell’d all Troy in heav’nly skill
Of futures-searching prophecy) for, much against his will,
His sons were agents in those arms; whom since they disobey’d,
The fates, in letting slip their threads, their hasty valours stay’d.

Who in Percotes, Practius, Arisba, did abide,
Who Sestus and Abydus bred, Hyrtacides did guide;
Prince Asius Hyrtacides, that, through great Selees’ force,
Brought from Arisba to that fight the great and fiery horse.

Pylæus, and Hippothous, the stout Pelasgians led,
Of them Larissa’s fruitful soil before bad nourishéd;
These were Pelasgian Pithus’ sons, son of Teutamidas.

The Thracian guides were Pirous, and valiant Acamas,
Of all that the impetuous flood of Hellespont enclos’d.
Euphemus, the Ciconian troops, in his command dispos’d,
Who from Trœzenius-Ceades right nobly did descend.

Pyræchmes did the Pæons rule, that crookéd bows do bend;
From Axius, out of Amydon, he had them in command,
From Axius, whose most beauteous stream still overflows the land.

Pylæmen with the well-arm’d heart, the Paphlagonians led,
From Enes, where the race of mules fit for the plough is bred.
The men that broad Cytorus’ bounds, and Sesamus, enfold,
About Parthenius’ lofty flood, in houses much extoll’d,
From Cromna and Ægialus, the men that arms did bear,
And Erythinus situate high, Pylæmen’s soldiers were.

Epistrophus and Dius did the Halizonians guide,
Far-fetch’d from Alybe, where first the silver mines were tried.

Chromis, and augur Ennomus, the Mysians did command,
Who could not with his auguries the strength of death withstand,
But suffer’d it beneath the stroke of great Æacides,
In Xanthus; where he made more souls dive to the Stygian seas.

Phorcys, and fair Ascanius, the Phrygians brought to war,
Well train’d for battle, and were come out of Ascania far.
With Methles, and with Antiphus, (Pylæmen’s sons) did fight
The men of Meïon, whom the fen Gygæa brought to light,
And those Meionians that beneath the mountain Tmolus sprung.

The rude unletter’d Caribæ, that barbarous were of tongue,
Did under Nastes’ colours march, and young Amphimachus,
(Nomion’s famous sons) to whom, the mountain Phthirorus
That with the famous wood is crown’d, Miletus, Mycales
That hath so many lofty marks for men that love the seas,
The crooked arms Mæander bow’d with his so snaky flood,
Resign’d for conduct the choice youth of all their martial brood.
The fool Amphimachus, to field, brought gold to be his wrack,
Proud-girl-like that doth ever bear her dow’r upon her back;
Which wise Achilles mark’d, slew him, and took his gold in strife,
At Xanthus’ flood; so little Death did fear his golden life.

Sarpedon led the Lycians, and Glaucus unreprov’d,
From Lycia, and the gulfy flood of Xanthus far remov’d.

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