« FöregåendeFortsätt »
His boiling rage, he rolld his eyes around 5
The shore, and Grecian gallies hal’d a-ground.
Then stretching out his hands, O Jove, he cry'd,
Must then our cause before the fleet be try'd ?
And dares Ulyffes for the prize contend,
In fight of what he durst not once defend ? 10
But basely fled, that memorable day,
When I from Hector's hands redeem'd the flam-
So much 'tis safer at the noisy bar
With words to flourish, than engage in war.
By different methods we maintain'd our right, 15
Nor am I made to talk, nor he to figlit.
In bloody fields I labour to be great ;
His arms are a smooth tongue, and soft deceit.
Nor need I speak my deeds, for those
you The fun and day are witnesses for me. Let him who fights unseen relate his own, And vouch the filent stars, and conscious moon. Great is the prize demanded, I confess, But such an abject rival makes it less. That gift, those honours, he but hop'd to gain, Can leave no room for Ajax to be vain : Lofing he wins, because his name will be Ennobled by defeat, who durst contend with me. Were mine own valour question'd, yet my blood Without that plea would make my title good :30 My fire was Telamon, whose arms, employ'd With Hercules, these Trojan walls destroy’d;
And who before, with Jason, sent from Greece,
In the first ship brought home the golden fleece:
Great Telamon from Xacus derives
His birth (the inquisitor of guilty lives
In shades below; where Sisyphus, whose fon
This thief is thought, rolls up
the restless heavy
Just Æacus the king of gods above
Begot: thus Ajax is the third from Jove.
Nor should I seek advantage from my line,
Unless (Achilles) it were mix'd with thine :
As next of kin Achilles' arms I claim ;
This fellow would ingraft a foreign name
Upon our stock, and the Sisyphian feed
By fraud and theft asserts his father's breed.
Then must I lose these arms, because I came
To fight uncall’d, a voluntary name?
Nor shunn'd the cause, but offer'd you my aid,
While he long lurking was to war betray’d: 50
Forc'd to the field he came, but in the rear;
And feign’d distraction to conceal his fear:
Till one more cunning caught him in the fnare,
(Ill for himself) and dragg'd him into war.
Now let a hero's arms a coward vest,
And he, who thunn'd all honours, gain the best;
And let me stand excluded from my right,
Robb’d of my kinsman's arms, who first ap-
pear'd in fight.
Better for us, at home he had remain'd,
Had it been true the madness which he feign'd,
Or so believ'd; the less had been our shame, 61
The less his counsell'd crime, which brands the
Nor Philoctetes had been left inclos'd
In a bare ifle, to wants and pains expos’d,
Where to the rocks, with folitary groans,
His fuff’rings and our baseness he bemoans ;
And wishes (so may heav'n his wish fulfil)
The due reward to him who caus'd his ill.
Now he, with us to Troy's destruction sworn,
Our brother of the war, by whom are borne 70
Alcides’ arrows, pent in narrow bounds,
With cold and hunger pinch'd, and pain’d with
wounds, To find him food and clothing, must employ Against the birds the shafts due to the fate of
Troy. Yet still he lives, and lives from treason free, 75 Because he left Ulysses' company : Poor Palamede might wish, so void of aid Rather to have been left, than fo to death be
tray'd. The coward bore the man immortal fpite, Who sham'd him out of madness into fight: 30 Nor daring otherwise to vent his hate, Accu'd him first of treason to the state;
And then, for proof, produc'd the golden store
Himself had hidden in his tent before :
Thus of two champions he depriv'd our host, 85
By exile one, and one by treason loft.
Thus fights Ulysses, thus his fame extends,
A formidable man, but to his friends :
Great, for what greatness is in words and found:
Ev'n faithful Neftor less in both is found : 90
But that he might without a rival reign,
He left his faithful Neftor on the plain;
Forfook his friend ev'n at his utmost need,
Who tir’d and tardy, with his wounded steed,
Cry'd out for aid, and call’d him by his name;
But cowardice has neither ears nor shame : 96
Thus fled the good old man, bereft of aid,
And, for as much as lay in him, betray’d.
That this is not a fable forg'd by me,
Like one of his, an Ulyffean lye,
I vouch ev’n Diomede, who, though his friend,
Cannot that act excuse, much less defend :
He call'd him back aloud, and tax'd his fear;
And sure enough he heard, but durft not hear,
The gods with equal eyes on mortals look ;
He justly was forsaken, who forsook : 106
Wanted that fuccour he refus'd to lend,
Found every fellow such another friend :
No wonder, if he roar'd that all might hear,
His elocution was increas'd by fear:
I heard, I ran, I found him out of breath,
Pale, trembling, and half dead with fear of
death. Though he had judg’d himself by his own laws, And stood condemn’d, I help'd the common
cause : With my broad buckler hid him from the foe; (Ev’n the shield trembled as he lay below;) 116 And from impending fate the coward freed : Good heav’n forgive me for so bad a deed ! If still he will persist, and urge the strife, First let him give me back his forfeit life : Let him return to that opprobrious field : Again creep under my protecting shield: Let him lie wounded, let the foe be near, And let his quivering heart confess his fear; There put him in the very jaws of fate; And let him plead his cause in that estate : And yet, when snatch'd from death, when from
below My lifted Thield I loos’d, and let him go, Good heavens, how light he rose, with what a
bound He sprung from earth, forgetful of his wound: How fresh, how eager then his feet to ply; Who had not strength to stand, had speed to
fly! Hector came on, and brought the gods along; Fear feiz'd alike the feeble and the strong :