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His boiling rage, he roll'd his eyes around
The fhore, and Grecian gallies hal'd a-ground.
Then ftretching out his hands, O Jove, he cry'd,
Muft then our caufe before the fleet be try'd?
And dares Ulyffes for the prize contend,
In fight of what he durft not once defend? 10
But bafely fled, that memorable day,
When I from Hector's hands redeem'd the flam-
So much 'tis fafer 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 fight.
In bloody fields I labour to be great;
His arms are a fmooth tongue, and foft deceit.
Nor need I fpeak my deeds, for thofe
The fun and day are witneffes for me.
Let him who fights unfeen relate his own,
And vouch the filent ftars, and confcious moon.
Great is the prize demanded, I confefs,
But fuch an abject rival makes it lefs.
That gift, thofe honours, he but hop'd to gain,
Can leave no room for Ajax to be vain:
Lofing he wins, becaufe his name will be
Ennobled by defeat, who durft 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, whofe arms, employ'd
With Hercules, thefe Trojan walls destroy'd;
And who before, with Jafon, fent from Greece, In the first ship brought home the golden fleece: Great Telamon from Eacus derives
His birth (the inquifitor of guilty lives
In fhades below; where Sifyphus, whose fon
This thief is thought, rolls up the restless heavy
Juft Eacus the king of gods above
Begot: thus Ajax is the third from Jove.
Nor fhould I feek 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 Sifyphian feed
By fraud and theft afferts his father's breed.
Then muft I lose these arms, because I came
To fight uncall'd, a voluntary name?
Nor fhunn'd the caufe, 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 diftraction 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 veft,
And he, who fhunn'd all honours, gain the beft;
And let me ftand excluded from my right,
Robb'd of my kinfman's
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 fo believ'd; the lefs had been our fhame, 61
The lefs his counfell'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 (fo may heav'n his wish fulfil)
The due reward to him who caus'd his ill.
Now he, with us to Troy's deftruction fworn,
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
To find him food and clothing, must employ Against the birds the fhafts due to the fate of Troy.
Yet ftill he lives, and lives from treafon free, 75 Because he left Ulyffes' company:
Poor Palamede might wish, fo void of aid
Rather to have been left, than fo to death betray'd.
The coward bore the man immortal fpite,
Who fham'd him out of madness into fight: 30
Nor daring otherwife to vent his hate,
Accus'd him firft of treason to the state;
And then, for proof, produc'd the golden ftore
Himfelf had hidden in his tent before:
Thus of two champions he depriv'd our hoft, 85
By exile one, and one by treafon loft.
Thus fights Ulyffes, thus his fame extends,
A formidable man, but to his friends:
Great, for what greatness is in words and found:
Ev'n faithful Neftor lefs in both is found:
But that he might without a rival reign,
He left his faithful Neftor on the plain;
Forfook his friend ev'n at his utmoft 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 fhame: 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 excufe, much lefs defend:
He call'd him back aloud, and tax'd his fear;
And fure enough he heard, but durst not hear,
The gods with equal eyes on mortals look ;
He juftly was forfaken, who forfook:
Wanted that fuccour he refus'd to lend,
Found every fellow fuch 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 caufe:
With my broad buckler hid him from the foe;
(Ev'n the fhield trembled as he lay below;) 116
And from impending fate the coward freed :
Good heav'n forgive me for fo bad a deed!
If ftill he will perfift, and urge the ftrife,
First let him give me back his forfeit life:
Let him return to that opprobrious field:
Again creep under my protecting fhield:
Let him lie wounded, let the foe be near,
And let his quivering heart confefs his fear;
There put him in the very jaws of fate;
And let him plead his cause in that estate :
And yet, when fnatch'd from death, when from
My lifted fhield I loos'd, and let him go, Good heavens, how light he rofe, with what a bound
He fprung from earth, forgetful of his wound: How fresh, how eager then his feet to ply; Who had not strength to ftand, had speed to
Hector came on, and brought the gods along; Fear feiz'd alike the feeble and the strong: