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But basely fled that memorable day,
When I from Hector's hands redeem'd the flaming

prey.
So much 'tis safer at the noisy bar
With words to flourish, than engage in war.
By diff'rent methods we maintain'd our right,
Nor am I made to talk, nor he to fight.
In bloody fields I labour to be great;
His arms are a smooth tongue, and soft deceft.
Nor need I speak my deeds, for those you see;
The sun and day are witnesses for me.
Let him who fights unseen relate his own,
And vouch the silent stars, and conscious moon,
Great is the prize demanded, I confess,
But such an abject rival makes it less.
That gift, those honors, he but hop'd to gain,
Can leave no room for Ajax to be vain :
Losing 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 : 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:

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my line,

ft decelt. you see;

Great Telamon from Æacus derives
His birth (th’inquisitor of guilty lives
In Thades below; where Sisyphus, whose son
This thief is thought, rolls up the restless heavy

stone,)
Just Æacus the king of Gods above
Begot: thus Ajax is the third from Jove.
Nor should I seek advantage from
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?
Nòr fhunn'd the cause, but offer'd
While he long lurking was to war betray’d:
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 snare,
(Ill for himself) and dragg'd him into war,
Now let a hero's arms á coward vest,
And he, who shunn'd all honors, gain the best;

B. 2

n, moon

you my aid,

in,

2 me.

Lood

1:

3

And let me stand excluded from my right,
Robb'd of

my

kinsman's arms, who first appear'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, The less his counsellid crime, which brands the

Grecian name; Nor Philoctetes had been left inclos'd In a bare ifle, to wants and pains expos’d, Where to the rocks, with solitary groans, His suff'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 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,
Because he left Ulysses' 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 spite, Who sham'd him out of madness into fight: Nor daring otherwise to vent his hate, Accus'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, 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 Nestor less in both is found: But that he might without a rival reign, He left his faithful Nestor on the plain ; Forsook 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 cowardise has neither ears nor shame : 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 Ulyssean lye,

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I vouch 'ev'n Diomede, who, tho' 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 durst not hear.

The Gods with equal eyes on mortals look ;
He justly was forsaken, who forsook :
Wanted that succour 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 ;)
And from impending fate the coward freed:
Good heav'n forgive me for fo bad a deer!!
If still he will perfist, and urge the strife,
First let him give me back his forfeit life:
Let him return to that opprobrious field;
Again creep

my protecting shield: Let him lie wounded, let the foe be near, And let his quiv’ring heart confess his fear ;

under

1

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