Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Now he, with us to Troy's Destruction fworn,
Our Brother of the War, by whom are born
Alcides’Arrows,pent in narrow Bounds, [Wounds,
With Cold and Hunger pinch’d, and pain’d with
To find him Food and Cloathing, must employ
A cainit the Birds the Shafts due to the Fate of Troy.
ict still he lives, and lives from Treason free,
Secầuse he left Vlyses? Company:
Poor Palamede might wish, so void of Aid,
Rather to have been left, than soto Death betray'd :
The Coward bore the Man immortal Spight,
Who Tham'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 Vlyles, thus his Famé extends,
A formidable Man, but to his Friends:
Great, for what Greatnessis in Words and Sound,
Ev’n faithful Nestor less in both is found;

But that he might without a Rival reign,
He left this faithful Nestor on the Plain;
Forsook his Friend ev’n at his utmost Need,
Who tir'd, and tardy with his wounded Steed
Cryd out for Aid, and call'd him by his Name;
But Cowardice 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 vwlean Lie,
I vouch ev'n Diomede, who tho' his Friend
Cannot that Ad 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 ev'ry 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.

With my

Though he had judg’d himself by his own Laws, And stood condemn'd, I help'd the common Cause:

broad Buckler hid him from the Foe; (Ev’n the Shield trembled as he lay below ;) And from impending Fate the Coward freed: Good Heay’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 quiv’ring 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 beMy lifted Shield I loos’d, and let him

[low

go: Good Heav'ns 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 seiz'd alike the Feeble and the Strong:

Each Greek was an Vlyres; such a Dread
Th’ Approach, and ev’n the Sound of Hector bred:
Him, flesh'd with Slaughter, and with Conquest

crown'd,
I met, and over-turn’d him to the Ground;
When after, matchless as he deem'd in Might,
He challeng'd all our Hoft to single Fight;
All Eyes were fix'd on me: The Lots were thrown;
But for your Champion I was wish'd alone:
Your Vows were heard, we fought, and neither
Yet Ireturn’d unvanquish’d from the Field. [yield;
With Jove to friend th' insulting Trojan came,
And menac'd us with Force, our Fleet withFlame:
Was it the Strength of this Tongue-valiant Lord,
In that black Hour, that sav'd you from the Sword?
Or was my Breast exposd alone, to brave
A thousand Swords, a thousand Ships to save?
The hopes of your return! And can you yield,
For a fav’d Fleet, less than a single Shield?
Think it no Boaft, O Grecians, if I deem
These Arms want thjax, more than Ajax them;
Or, I with them an equal Honour share;
They honour'd to be worn, and I to wear.

[ocr errors]

Will he compare my Courage with his Slight?
As well he may compare the Day with Night.
Night is indeed the Province of his Reign:
Yet all his dark Exploits no more contain
Than a Spy taken, and a Sleeper slain.
A Priest made Pris'ner, Pallas made a Prey,
But none of all these Actions done by Day:
Nor ought of these was done, and Diomedeaway.
If on such petty Merits you confer
So vast a Prize, let each his Portion share;
Make a just Dividend; and if not all,
The

greater part to Diomede will fall.
But why, for Ithacus such Arms as those,
Who naked and by Night invades his Foes?
The glitt’ring Helm by Moonlight will proclaim
The latent Robber, and prevent his Game:
Nor cou'd he hold his tott'ring Head upright
Beneath that Motion, or sustain the Weight;
Nor that right Arm cou'd toss the beamy Lance;
Much less the left that ampler Shield advance;
Pond'rous with precious Weight,and rough with

Cost
Of the round World in risin. Gold emboss'd.

« PreviousContinue »