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A barren island boasts his glorious birth :
His fame for wisdom fills the spacious earth.
Antenor took the word, and thus began : 265
Myself, o king! have seen that wondrous man:
When, trusting Jove and hospitable laws,
To Troy he came, to plead the Grecian cause ;
(Great Menelaus urg'd the same request)
My house was honour'd with each royal guest : 270
I knew their persons, and admir'd their parts,
Both brave in arms, and both approv'd in arts.
Erect, the Spartan molt engag'd our view;
Ulysses seated greater reverence drew,
When Atreus' son harangu'd the listening train, 275
Just was his sense, and his expression plain,
His words succinct, yet full, without a fault;
He spoke no more than just the thing he ought.
But when Ulysses rose, in thought profound,
His modest eyes he fixt upon the ground,
280 As one unskill'd or dumb, he feem'd to stand, Nor rais'd his head, nor stretch'd his scepter'd hand; But, when he speaks, what elocution flows ! Soft as the fleeces of descending snows, The copious accents fall, with easy art;
285 Melting they fall, and sink into the heart ! Wondering we hear, and fix'd in deep surprize ; Our ears refute the censure of our eyes.
The king then alk'd (as yet the camp he view'd) What chief is that, with giant strength endued ;
29.0 Whose brawny shoulders, and whose swelling chest, And lofty ftature, far exceed the rest ?
Ajax the great (the beauteous queen replied)
Himself a host: the Grecian strength and pride.
See! bold Idomeneus superior towers
Amidst yon circle of his Cretan powers,
Great as a God! I saw him once before,
With Menelaus, on the Spartan fhore.
The rest I know, and could in order name ;
All valiant chiefs, and men of mighty fame. 300
Yet two are wanting of the numerous train,
Whom long my eyes have fought, but sought in vain ;
Castor and Pollux, first in martial force,
One bold on foot, and one renown'd for horse.
My brothers these; the same our native fore, 305
One house contain'd us, as one mother bore.
Perhaps the chiefs, from warlike toils at ease,
For distant Troy refus’d to sail the seas :
Perhaps their swords fome nobler quarrel draws,
Alham'd to combat in their sister's cause.
So spoke the fair, nor knew her brothers' doom,
Wrapt in the cold embraces of the tomb;
Adorn’d with honours in their native shore.
Silent they slept, and heard of wars no more.
Meantime the heralds, through the crowded town,
Bring the rich wine and destin'd victims down.
Idæus' arms the golden goblets prest,
Who thus the venerable king addrest :
Arise, O father of the Trojan state !
The nations call, thy joyful people wait.
To seal the truce, and end the dire debate.
Paris thy son, and Sparta's king advance,
In measur'd lifts to toss the weighty lance ;
And who his rival shall in arms subdue
His be the dame, and his the treasure too.
Thus with a lasting league our toils may cease,
And Troy poffefs her fertile fields in peace ;
So fhall the Greeks review their native shore,
Much fam'd for generous steeds, for beauty more.
With grief he heard, and bade the chiefs prepare
To join his milk-white coursers to the car :
He mounts the feat, Antenor at his fide;
The gentle steeds through Scæa's gates they guide :
Next from the car descending on the plain,
Amid the Grecian host and Trojan train
Slow they proceed: the sage Ulyffes then
Arose, and with him rose the king of men.
On either side a facred herald stands,
The wine they mix, and on each monarch's hands
Pour the full urn; then draws the Grecian lord
His cutlace sheath'd beside his ponderous sword;
From the sign’d victims crops the curling hair,
The heralds part it, and the princes Mare;
Then loudly thus before th' attentive bands
He calls the Gods, and spreads his lifted hands : 345
O first and greatest power! whom all obey,
Who high on Ida's holy mountain fway,
Eternal Jove! and you bright orb that roll
From east to west, and view from pole to pole!
Thɔn mother Earth ! and all ye living Floods ! 350
Infernal Furies and Tartarian Gods,
Who rule the dead, and horrid woes prepare
For perjur'd kings, and all who falsely swear!
Hear, and be witness. If, by Paris lain,
Great Menelaus press the fatal plain ;
The dame and treasures let the Trojan keep,
And Greece returning plow the watery deep.
If by my brother's lance the Trojan bleed;
Be his the wealth and beauteous dame decreed. :
Th’appointed fine let Ilion justly pay,
And every age record the signal day.
Thus if the Phrygians Thall refuse to yield,
Arms must revenge, and Mars decide the field,
With that the chief the tender victims new,
And in the dust their bleeding bodies threw. : 365
The vital fpirit issued at the wound,
And left the members quivering on the gound.
From the same urn they drink the mingled wine,
And add libations to the powers divine.
While thus their prayers united mount the sky; 37
Hear, mighty Jove ! and hear, ye Gods on high !
And may their blood, who first the league confound,
Shed like this wine, diftain the thirsty ground;
May all their conforts. serve promiscuous last,
And all their race be scatter'd as the dust!
375 Thus either host their imprecations join'd, Which Jove refus'd, and mingled with the wind.
The rites now finishid, reverend Priam rose,
And thus express’d a heart o'ercharg’d with woes :
Ye Greeks and Trojans, let the chiefs engage,
But spare the weakness of my feeble age :
In yonder walls that object let me thun,
Nor view the danger of so dear a fon.
Whose arms shall conquer, and what prince shall fall,
Heaven only knows, for Heaven disposes all.
This faid, the hoary king no longer stay'd,
But on his car the Naughter'd victims laid;
Then feiz'd the reins his gentle steeds to guide,
And drove to Troy, Antenor at his side.
Bold Hector and Ulysses now dispose
The lists of combat, and the ground inclose :
Next to decide by facred lots prepare,
Who first shall launch his pointed spear in air.
The people pray with elevated hands,
And words like these are heard through all the bands.
Immortal Jove, high heaven's superiour lord,
On lofty Ida's holy mount ador'd !
Whoe'er involv'd us in this dire debate,
Oh give that author of the war to fate
And shades eternal ! let division cease,
400 And joyful nations join in leagues of peace.
With eyes averred, Hector haftes to turn
The lots of fight, and shakes the brazen urn.
Then, Paris, thine leap'd forth ; by fatal chance
Ordain’d the first to whirl the weighty lance. 405
Both armies sat the combat to survey,
Beside each chief his azure armour lay,
And round the lists the generous coursers neigh.
The beauteous warriour now arrays for fight,
In gilded arms magnificently bright:
The purple cuisies clasp his thighs around,
With Aowers adorn'd, with silver buckles bound :
non's corselet his fair body drest,
, and fitted to his fofter breaft: