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ARGU M E N T.
The Duel of Menelaus and Paris.
The Armies being ready to engage, a fingle combat is
agreed upon between Menelaus and Paris (by the intervention of Hector) for the determination of the war. Iris is sent to call 'Helena to behold the fight. She leads her to the walls of Troy, where Priam sat with his counsellors, observing the Grecian leaders on the plain below, to whom Helen gives an account of the chief of them. The kings on either part take the folemn oath for the conditions of the combat. The duel ensues; wherein Paris being overcome, he is snatched away in a cloud by Venus, and transported to his apartment. She then calls Helen from the walls, and brings the lovers together. Agamemnon, on the part of the Grecians, demands the restoration of Helen, and the performance of the articles.
The three and twentieth day still continues throughout this book. The scene is sometimes in the Fields before Troy, and sometimes in Troy itself.
Τ Η Ε
1 L Ι Α
Moves into ranks, and stretches o’er the land.
the wing. But filent, breathing rage, refolv'd and 'skill'd By mutual aids to fix a doubtful field, Swift march the Greeks : the rapid duft around Darkening arises from the labour'd ground. Thus from his flaggy wings when Notus Theds 15 A night of vapours round the mountain-heads, Swift gliding mifts the dufky fields invade, To thieves more grateful than the midnight shade ; While scarce the Twains their feeding Blocks furvey, Loft and confus'd amidst the thicken'd day : 20 So, wrapt in gathering duft, the Grecian train, A moving cloud, Twept on, and hid the plain.
Now front to front the hostile armies stand, Eager of fight, and only wait command; When, to the van, before the sons of fame
25 Whom Troy sent forth, the beauteous Paris came, In form a God! the panther's speckled hide Flow'd o'er his armour with an easy pride, His bended bow across his shoulders flung, His sword beside him regligently hung,
30 Two pointed spears he shook with gallant grace, And dar'd the bravest of the Grecian race.
As thus, with glorious air and proud disdain, He boldly stalk'd, the foremost on the plain, Him Menelaus, lov'd of Mars, espies,
35 With heart elated, and with joyful eyes: So joys a lion, if the branching deer, Or mountain goat, his bulky prize, appear ; Eager he seizes and devours the sain, Prest by bold youths and baying dogs in vain. Thus fond of vengeance, with a furious bound, In clanging arms he leaps upon the ground From his high chariot : him, approaching near, The beauteous champion yiews with marks of fear; Smit with a conscious sense, retires behind, 45 And shuns the fate he well deserv'd to find. As when some shepherd, from the rustling trees Shot forth to view, a scaly serpent sees ; Trembling and pale, he starts with wild affright, And all confus'd precipitates his flight :
50 So from the king the shining warriour flies, And plung d amid the thickest Trojans lies..
As God-like Hector sees the prince retreat, He thus upbraids him with a generous heat : Unhappy Paris! but to women brare !
55 So fairly form’d, and only to deceive! Oh, hadst thou died when first thou saw'st the light, Or died at least before thy nuptial rite! A better fate than vainly thus to boast, And Ay, the scandal of the Trojan hoft.
60 Gods! how the feornful Greeks exult to see Their fears of danger undeceiv'd in thee! Thy figure promis'd with a martial air, But ill thy soul supplies a form so fair. In former days, in all thy gallant pride When thy tall ships triumphant ftemm’d the tide, When Greece beheld thy painted canvass flow, And crowds stood wondering at the passing show; Say, was it thus, with such a baffled mien, You met th' approaches of the Spartan queen, 70 Thus from her realm convey'd the beauteous prize, And * both her warlike lords outshin’d in Helen's eyes ? This deed, thy foes delight, thy own disgrace, Thy father's grief, and ruin of thy race; This deed recalls thee to the proffer'd fight; 75 Or haft thou injur'd whom thou dar'st not right? Soon to thy cost the field would make thee know Thou keep'it the consort of a braver foe.
. Thy graceful form instilling soft desire, Thy curling tresses, and thy silver lyre,
80 Beauty and youth; in vain to these you trust, When youth and beauty shall be laid in duft:
Troy * Theseus and Menelaus.
Troy yet may wake, and one avenging blow
His filence here, with blushes, Paris breaks ;
10$ And Troy possefs hér fertile fields in peace; Thus may the Greeks review their native srore, Much fam'd for generous steeds, for beauty more.
He said. The challenge Hector heard with joy, Then with his spear restrain'd the youth of Troy, 110 Held by the midst, athwart; and near the foe Advanc'd with steps majestically low: