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ARGUM

Ε Ν Τ.

.

The Embasly to Achilles.

Agamemnon, after the last day's defeat, proposes to

the Greeks to quit the siege, and return to their country. Diomed opposes this; and Nestor seconds him, praising his wisdom and resolution : he orders the guard to be strengthened, and a council lumnioned to deliberate what measures are to be followed in this emergency. Agamemnon pursues this advice: and Nestor farther prevails upon him to lend ambassadors to Achilles, in order to move him to a reconciliation. Ulysses and Ajax are made choice of, who are accompanied by old Phænix. They make, each of them, very moving and pres. Sing speeches; but are rejected, with roughness, by Achilles, who notwithstanding retains Phoenix in his tent. The ambassadors return unsaccessfully to the camp; and the troops betake themselves to feep.

This book, and the next following, take up the space of one night, which is the twenty-seventh from the beginning of the poem. The scene lies on the sea Ahore, the station of the Grecian fhips.

Τ Η Ε

>

I L I A A D.

BOOK IX.

TH

HUS joyful Troy maintain'd the watch of night;

While fear, pale comrade of inglorious flight, And heaven-bred horrour, on the Grecian party

, Sat on each face, and ladden'd

every

heart. As, from its cloudy dungeon issuing forth,

5 A double tempest of the west and north Swells o'er the sea, from Thracia's frozen shore, Heaps waves on waves, and bids th' Ægean roar; This way and that, the boiling deeps are tolt; Such various pafsions urge the troubled host. Great Agamemnon griev'd above the rest ; Superior sorrows swellid his royal breast; Himself his orders to the heralds bears, To bid to council all the Grecian peers; But bid in whispers : these surround their chief,

15 In folemn sadness, and majestic grief. The king amidst the mournful circle rose;. Down his wan cheek a briny torrent flows : So silent fountains, from a rock's tall head, In fable streams foft-trickling waters Thed. With more than vulgar grief he stood opprest, Words, mixt with fighs, thus bursting from his breast;

Ye

20

Ye fons of Greece ! partake your leader's care ;
Fellows in arms, and princes of the war!
Of partial Jove too justly we complain,

25
And heavenly oracles believ'd in vain.
A fafe return was promis'd to our toils,
With conquest honour'd, and enrich'd with spoils:
Now shameful flight alone can save the host;
Our wealth, our people, and our glory loft.

30 So Jove decrees. Almighty Lord of all ! Jove, at whose nod whole empires rise or fall, Who shakes the feeble props of human trust, And towers and armies humbles to the dust. Haste then, for ever quit these fatal fields,

35 Haste to the joys our native country yields ; Spread all your canvas, all your oars employ; Nor hope the fall of heaven-defended Troy.

He said; deep silence held the Grecian band, Silent, unmovid, in dire dismay they stand, 40 A pensive scene! till Tydeus' warlike fon Rolld on the king his eyes, and thus begun :

When kings advise us to renounce our fame, First let him speak, who first has suffer'd fhanic, If I oppose thee, prince, thy wrath with-hold, 43 The laws of council bid my tongue be bold. Thou first, and thou alone, in fields of fight, Durst brand my courage, and defame my might: Nor from a friend th' unkind reproach appear'd, The Greeks stood witness, all our army heard. 50 The Gods, O chief! from whom our honours spring, The Gods have made thee but by halves a king.

They

60

65

They gave thee sceptres, and a wide command,
They gave dominion o'er the seas and land;
The noblest power that might the world control

55
They gave thee not-a brave and virtuous soul.
Is this a general's voice, that would suggest
Fears like his own to every Grecian breaft?
Confiding in our want of worth, he stands;
And if we fly, 'tis what our king commands.
Go thou, inglorious! from th’embattled plain;
Ships thou haft store, and nearest to the main ;
A nobler care the Grecians shall employ,
To combat, conquer, and extirpate Troy.
Here Greece shall stay; or, if all Greece retire,
Myself will stay, till Troy or I expire;
Myself and Sthelenus will fight for fame;
God bade us fight, and 'twas with God we came.

He ceas'd; the Greeks loud acclamations raise,
And voice to voice resounds Tydides? praise.
Wife Nestor then his reverend figure rear'd';
He spoke ; the hoft in ftill attention heard :
O truly great! in whom the Gods have join'd
Such strength of body with such force of mind;
In conduct, as in courage, you excel,

75
Still first to act what you advise fo well.
Those wholesome counsels which thy wisdom moves,
Applauding Greece, with common voice, approves.
Kings thou canst blame ; a bold, but prudent youth;
And blame ev'n kings with praise, because with truth.
And yet

those

years that since thy birth have run, Would hardly style thee Neftor's youngest son. 3

Then

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