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And now the Terror of the Trojan Field
The Grecian Honour, Ornament, and Shield,
High on a Pile, th' Unconquer'd Chief is placid,
The God that arm’d him first, consum'd at last,
Of all the Mighty Man, the small Remains
A little Urn, and scarcely fill'd, contains.
Yet great in Homer, still Achilles lives;
And equal to himself, himself survives.
His Buckler owns its former Lord; and brings
New cause of Strife, betwixt contending Kings;
Who Worthiest after him, his Sword to wield,
Or wear his Armour, or sustain his Shield.
Ev’n Diomede fate Mute, with down-cast Eyes;
Conscious of wanted Worth to win the Prize:
Nor Menelaus presum’d these Arms to claim,
Nor He the King of Men, a greater Name.
Two Rivals only rose: Laertes' Son,
And the vast Bulk of Ajax Telamon:
The King, who cherish'd each, with equal Love,
And from himself all Envy wou'd remove,
Left both to be determind by the Laws;
And to the Grecian Chiefs transferr'd the Cause.
From the Thirteenth Book of
HE Chiefs were set; the Soldiers
crown'd the Field: To these the Master of the seven
fold Shield, Upstarted fierce: And kindled with Disdain Eager to speak, unable to contain
His boiling Rage, he rowld his Eyes around
The Shore, and Grecian Gallies halld a-ground.
Then stretching out his Hands, O Jove, he cry'd,
Must then our Cause before the Fleet be try'd ?
And dares Vlyles for the Prize contend,
In sight of what he durft not once defend ?
But basely fled that memorable Day,
When I from Hector's Hands redeem'd the flaming
So much 'tis safer at the noisie Bar
With Words to flourish, than ingage in War.
By diff'rent Methods we maintain 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 Deceit:
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 Honours, he but hop'd to gain,
Can leave no room for Ajax to be vain :
Losing he wins, because his Name will be
Enobled by Defeat, who durst contend with me.
Weremy known Valour question’d, yet my Blood
Without that Plea wou'd make my Title good:
My Sire 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 Æacus derives
His Birth (th’ Inquisitor of guilty Lives
In Shades below; where Sysiphus, whose Son
This Thief is thought, rouls up the restless heavy
Just Æacus, the King of Gods above
Begot: Thus Ajax is the third from Jove.
Nor fhou'd I seek Advantage from my Line,
Unless (Achilles) it were mix'd with thine:
As next of Kin Achilles' Arms I claim;
1 This Fellow wou'd ingraft a Foreign Name Upon our Stock, and the Sysiphian Seed 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:
Forc'd to the Field he came, but in the Reer;
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 a Coward vest,
And he who shunn'd all Honour's, gain the best:
And let me stand excluded from my Right,
Robb’d of my Kinsman's Arms, who first appear'd
Better for us at home had he 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
Nor Pbiločtetes 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 With fulfill)
The due Reward to him who caus'd his Ill.