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If he be what he promises in show,
Why was I sent, and why fear'd he to go?
Our boafting champion thought the talk not light
To pass the guards, commit himself to night;
Not only through a hostile town to pass,
But scale, with steep ascent, the sacred place;
With wand'ring steps to search the citadel,
And from the prielts their patroness to steal :
Then through surrounding foes to force my way,
And bear in triumph home the heav'nly prey;
Which had I not, Ajax in vain had held,
Before that monstrous bulk, his sev’nfold shield.
That night to conquer Troy I might be said,
When Troy was liable to conqueit made.
Why point'st thou to my partner of the war?
Tydides had indeed a worthy share
In all my toil, and praise; but when thy miglit
Our ships protected, didst thou singly fight?
All join'd, and thou of many wert but one;
I ask'd no friend, nor had, but him alone :
Who, had he not been well assur'd, that art
And conduct were of war the better part,
And more avail'd than strength, my valiant friend
Had urg'd a better right, than Ajax can pretend;
As good at least Eurypylus may claim,
And the more moderate Ajax of the name :
The Cretan king, and his brave charioteer,
And Menelaus bold with sword and spear :
All these had been my rivals in the field,
And yet all these to my pretenfions yield.
Thy boist'rous hands are then of ufe, when I
With this directing head those hands apply.
Brawn without brain is thine : my prudent care
Foresees, provides, adminifters the war :
Thy province is to fight; but when shall be
The time to fight, the king consults with me :
No dram of judgment with thy force is join'd;
Thy body is of profit, and my mind.
By how much more the ship her safety owes
To him who steers, than him that only rows,
By how much more the captain merits praise
Than he who fights, and fighting but obeys;
By so much greater is my worth than thine,
Who canft but execute what I design.
What gain'it thou, brutal man, if I confess
Thy strength superior, when thy wit is less ?
Mind is the man: I claim my whole desert
From the mind's vigour, and th' immortal part,
But you, O Grecian chiefs, reward my care,
Be grateful to your watchman of the war :
For all my labours in so long a space,
Sure I may plead a title to your grace :
Enter the town; I then unbarr'd the gates,
When I remov'd their tutelary fates.
By all our common hopes, if hopes they be
Which I have now reduc'd to certainty ;
By falling Troy, by yonder toti'ring tow'rs,
And by their taken Gods, which now are ours ;
Or if there yet a farther task remains,
To be perform’d by prudence or by pains ;
If yet fome defp'rate action rests behind,
That asks high conduct, and a dauntless mind;
If ought be wanting to the Trojan doom,
Which none but I can manage and o’ercome ;
Award those arms I ask, by your decree :
Or give to this what you refuse to me.
He ceas’d : and cealing with respect he bow'd,
And with his hand at once the fatal ftatue shew'd.
Heav'n, air, and ocean rung with loud applause,
And by the gen’ral vote he gain’d his cause.
Thus conduct won the prize, when courage faild,
And eloquence o'er brutal force prevaild.
He who could often, and alone, withstand The foe, the fire, and Jove's own partial hand, Now cannot his unmaster'd grief sustain, But yields to rage, to madness, and disdain ; Then snatching out his fauchion, Thou, said he, Art mine ; Ulysses lays no claim to thee. O often try'd, and ever trufty sword, Now do thy last kind office to thy lord : 'Tis Ajax who requests thy aid, to show None but himself, himself could overthrow. He said, and with so good a will to die Did to his breast the fatal point apply, It found his heart, a way till then unknown, Where never weapon enter'd but his own: No hands could force it thence, so fixt it stood, 'Till out it rush'd, expell’d by streams of spouting blood. The fruitful blood produc'd a flow'r, which grew On a green stem ; and of a purple hue : Like his, whom unaware Apollo slew : Inscrib’d in both, the letters are the same, But those express the grief, and these the name,
Story of Acis, POLYPHEMUS, and GALATEA.
From the Thirteenth Book of
From Faunus, and the nymph Symethis born, Was both his parents pleasure; but to me Was all that love could make a lover be. The Gods our minds in mutual bands did join : I was his only joy, and he was mine. Now fixteen summers the sweet 'youth had seen ; And doubtful down began to made his chin: When Polyphemus first disturb’d our joy, And lov'd me fiercely, as I lov'd the boy. Ask not which paffion in my soul was high'r, My last averfion, or my first desire : Nor this the greater was, nor that the less ; Both were alike, for both were in excess. Thee, Venus, thee both heav'n and earth obey ; Immense thy pow's, and boundless is thy sway. The Cyclops, who defy'd th' ætherial throne, And thought no thunder louder than his own. The terrour of the woods, and wilder far Than wolves in plains, or bears in forests are, Th'inhuman host, who made his bloody feasts On mangled members of his butcher'd guests, Yet felt the force of love, and fierce desire, And burnt for me with unrelenting fire : Forgot his caverns, and his woolly care, Assum'd the softness of a lover's air ; And comb'd, with teeth of rakes, his rugged hair.
Now with a crooked scythe his beard he sleeks,
And mows the stubborn stubble of his cheeks :
Now in the crystal stream he looks, to try
His fimagres, and rolls his glaring eye.
His cruelty and thirst of blood are loft ;
And ships securely fail along the coast.
The prophet Telemus (arriv'd by chance
Where Ætna's summits to the seas advance,
Who mark'd the tracks of ev'ry bird that few,
And sure presages. from their flying drew)
Foretold the Cyclops, that Ulysses' hand
In his broad eye should thrust a faming brand.
The giant, with a scornful grin, reply'd,
Vain augur, thou haft falfly prophesy'd ;
Already Love his flaming brand has toft ;
Looking on two fair eyes, my fight I loft.
Thus, warn’d in vain, with stalking pace he ftrode,
And stamp'd the margin of the briny flood
With heavy steps ; and, weary, sought agen
The cool retirement of his gloomy den.
A promontory, sharp’ning by degrees,
Ends in a wedge, and overlooks the seas :
On either side, below, the water flows :
This airy walk the giant-lover chose ;
Here on the midst he fate ; his flocks, unled,
Their shepherd follow'd, and securely fed.
A pine so burly, and of length fo vaft,
That sailing ships requir'd it for a mast,
He wielded for a staff, his steps to guide :
But laid it by, his whistle while he try'd.
A hundred reeds, of a prodigious growth,
Scarce made a pipe proportion'd to his mouth:
Which when he gave it wind, the rocks around,
And wat'ry plains, the dreadful hiss resound.
I heard the ruffian shepherd rudely blow,
Where, in a hollow cave, I sat below;