Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

That work was mine; for Pallas, tho our friend,
Yet while she was in Troy, did Troy defend.
Now what has Ajax done, or what defign'd?
A noify nothing, and an empty wind.
If he be what he promises in fhow,
Why was I fent, and why fear'd he to go?
Our boasting champion thought the task not light
To pass the guards, commit himself to night;
Not only through a hoftile town to pass,
But scale, with fteep afcent, the facred place;
With wand'ring steps to fearch the citadel,
And from the priests their patroness to steal:
Then through furrounding 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 monftrous bulk, his fev'nfold shield.
That night to conquer Troy I might be said,
When Troy was liable to conquest 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 might
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 affur'd, that art
And conduct were of war the better part,
And more avail'd than ftrength, 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 fword and spear:
All these had been my rivals in the shield,
And yet all these to my pretenfions yield.
Thy boift'rous hands are then of ufe, when I
With this directing head those hands apply.
Brawn without brain is thine: my prudent care
Forefees, provides, adminifters the war :
Thy province is to fight; but when shall be
The time to fight, the king confults 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 fo much greater is my worth than thine,
Who canft but execute what I defign.

3

What gain't thou, brutal man, if I confefs
Thy ftrength fuperior, when thy wit is lefs?
Mind is the man: I claim my whole defert
From the mind's vigor, 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 fo 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 tott'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; yet fome defp'rate action refts behind,

If

That afks high conduct, and a dauntless mind;
If ought be wanting to the Trojan doom,
Which none but I can manage and o'ercome;
Award thofe arms I afk, by your decree :
Or give to this what you refufe to me.

He ceas'd: and ceafing with respect he bow'd, And with his hand at once the fatal ftatue fhew'd.

Heav'n, air, and ocean rung, with loud applause,
And by the gen'ral vote he gain'd his caufe.
Thus conduct won the prize, when courage fail'd,
And eloquence o'er brutal force prevail'd.

The Death of AJAX.

He who could often, and alone, withstand The foe, the fire, and Jove's own partial hand, Now cannot his unmafter'd grief sustain, But yields to rage, to madness, and disdain; Then fnatching out his fauchion, Thou, faid he,

Art mine; Ulyffes lays no claim to thee.
O often try'd, and ever trusty sword,
Now do thy laft kind office to thy lord:
'Tis Ajax who requests thy aid, to show
None but himself, himself could overthrow.
He said, and with fo 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, fo fixt it ftood,
'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 flew :
Infcrib'd in both, the letters are the fame,
But those express the grief, and these the name.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »