This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I know not rightly, though one well may guess.1
'Tis hard to land at night, with such a press
Of spears, on a strange coast, where rumours tell
Of foes through all the plain-land. We that dwell
On Ida, in the rock, Troy's ancient root
And hearth-stone, were well frighted, through the
And wolfish thickets thus to hear him break.
A great and rushing noise those Thracians make,
Marching. We, all astonied, ran to drive
Our sheep to the upmost heights. 'Twas some
We thought, who came to sweep the mountain clear
And waste thy folds; till suddenly our ear
Caught at their speech, and knew 'twas nothing Greek.
Then all our terror fled. I ran to seek
Some scout or pioneer who led the van
And called in Thracian: "Ho, what child of man
Doth lead you? From what nation do ye bring
This host with aid to Ilion and her king?"
He told me what I sought, and there I stood
Watching; and saw one gleaming like a God,
Tall in the darkness on a Thracian car.
A plate of red gold mated, like a bar,
His coursers' necks, white, white as fallen snow.
A carven targe, with golden shapes aglow,
Hung o'er his back. Before each courser's head
A Gorgon, to the frontlet riveted,
With bells set round-like stories that they tell
Of Pallas' shield-made music terrible.
The numbers of that host no pen could write
Nor reckon; 'tis a multitudinous sight,
Long lines of horsemen, lines of targeteers,
Archers abundant; and behind them veers
A wavering horde, light-armed, in Thracian weed.
A friend is come to Ilion in her need
'Gainst whom no Argive, let him fly or stand,
Shall aught avail nor 'scape his conquering hand.
Lo, when the Gods breathe gently o'er a town,
All runs to good, as water-streams run down.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.