previous next
Forthwith Aeneas summons all who will
to contest of swift arrows, and displays
reward and prize. With mighty hand he rears
a mast within th' arena, from the ship
of good Sergestus taken; and thereto
a fluttering dove by winding cord is bound
for target of their shafts. Soon to the match
the rival bowmen came and cast the lots
into a brazen helmet. First came forth
Hippocoon's number, son of Hyrtacus,
by cheers applauded; Mnestheus was the next,
late victor in the ship-race, Mnestheus crowned
with olive-garland; next Eurytion,
brother of thee, O bowman most renowned,
Pandarus, breaker of the truce, who hurled
his shaft upon the Achaeans, at the word
the goddess gave. Acestes' Iot and name
came from the helmet last, whose royal hand
the deeds of youth dared even yet to try.
Each then with strong arm bends his pliant bow,
each from the quiver plucks a chosen shaft.
First, with loud arrow whizzing from the string,
the young Hippocoon with skyward aim
cuts through the yielding air; and lo! his barb
pierces the very wood, and makes the mast
tremble; while with a fluttering, frighted wing
the bird tugs hard,—and plaudits fill the sky.
Boldly rose Mnestheus, and with bow full-drawn
aimed both his eye and shaft aloft; but he
failing, unhappy man, to bring his barb
up to the dove herself, just cut the cord
and broke the hempen bond, whereby her feet
were captive to the tree: she, taking flight,
clove through the shadowing clouds her path of air.
But swiftly—for upon his waiting bow
he held a shaft in rest—Eurytion
invoked his brother's shade, and, marking well
the dove, whose happy pinions fluttered free
in vacant sky, pierced her, hard by a cloud;
lifeless she fell, and left in light of heaven
her spark of life, as, floating down, she bore
the arrow back to earth.

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Notes (Georgius Thilo, 1881)
load focus Notes (John Conington, 1876)
load focus English (John Dryden)
load focus Latin (J. B. Greenough, 1900)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.850
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: