Meanwhile awaken'd from his dream of Love


Meanwhile awaken'd from his dream of Love,
On Ida's summit sate imperial Jove:
Round the wide fields he cast a careful view,
There saw the Trojans fly, the Greeks pursue,
These proud in arms, those scatter'd o'er the plain;
And, 'midst the war, the Monarch of the main.
Not far, great Hector on the dust he spies,
(His sad associates round with weeping eyes)
Ejecting blood, and panting yet for breath,
His senses wand'ring to the verge of death.
The God beheld him with a pitying look,
And thus, incens'd, to fraudful Juno spoke.
      O thou, still adverse to th'eternal will,
For ever studious in promoting ill!
Thy arts have made the god-like Hector yield,
And driv'n his conqu'ring squadrons from the field.
Can'st thou, unhappy in thy wiles! withstand
Our pow'r immense, and brave th' almighty hand?
Hast thou forgot, when bound and fix'd on high,
From the vast concave of the spangled sky,
I hung thee trembling, in a golden chain;
And all the raging Gods oppos'd in vain?
Headlong I hurl'd them from th' Olympian hall,
Stunn'd in the whirl, and breathless with the fall.
For godlike Hercules these deeds were done,
Nor seem'd the vengeance worthy such a son;
When by thy wiles induc'd, fierce Boreas tost
The shipwrack'd hero on the Coan coast:
Him thro' a thousand forms of death I bore,
And sent to Argos, and his native shore.
Hear this, remember, and our fury dread,
Nor pull th' unwilling vengeance on thy head,
Lest arts and blandishments successless prove,
Thy soft deceits, adn well-dissembled love.
      The Thund'rer spoke: Imperial Juno mourn'd,
And trembling, these submissive words return'd.
      By ev'ry oath that pow'rs immortal ties,
The foodful earth, and all-infolding skies,
By thy black waves, tremendous Styx! that flow
Thro' the drear realms of gliding ghosts below:
By the dread honours of thy sacred head,
And that unbroken vow, our virgin bed!
Not by my arts the ruler of the main
Steeps Troy in blood, and rages round the plain;
By his own ardour, his own pity sway'd
To help his Greeks; he fought, and disobey'd:
Else had thy Juno better counsel giv'n,
And taught submission to the Sire of heav'n.
      Think'st thou with me? fair Empress of the skies!
(Th' immortal Father with a smile replies!)
Then soon the haughty Sea-God shall obey,
Nor dare to act, but when we point the way.
If truth inspires thy tongue, proclaim our will
To yon' bright synod on th' Olympian hill;
Our high decree let various Iris know,
And call the God that bears the silver bow.
Let her descend, and from th' embattl'd plain
Command the Sea-god to his wat'ry reign:
While Phoebus hastes, great Hector to prepare
To rise afresh, and once more wake the war,
His lab'ring bosom re-inspires with breath,
And calls his senses from the verge of death.
Greece chas'd by Troy ev'n to Achilles' fleet,
Shall fall by thousands at the hero's feet.
He, not untouch'd with pity, to the plain
Shall send Patroclus, but shall send in vain.
What youth he slaughters under Ilion's walls?
Ev'n my lov'd son, divine Sarpedon falls!
Vanquish'd at last by Hector's lance he lies.
Then, not till then, shall great Achilles rise:
And lo! that instant, godlike Hector dies.
From that great hour the war's whole fortune turns,
Pallas assists, and lofty Ilion burns.
Not till that day shall Jove relax his rage,
Nor one of all the heav'nly host engage
In aid of Greece. The promise of a God
I gave, and seal'd it with th' almighty nod,
Achilles' glory to the stars to raise;
Such was our word, and fate the word obeys.
      The trembling Queen (th' almighty order giv'n)
Swift from th' Idaean summit shot to heav'n.
As some way-faring man, who wanders o'er
In thought, a length of lands he trod before,
Sends forth his active mind from place to place,
Joins hill to dale, and measures space with space,
So swift flew Juno to the blest abodes,
If thought of man can match the speed of Gods.


                                         –The Iliad, XV, 6-91
                         Greek; trans. Alexander Pope


Homer, Greek,trans. Alexander Pope, The Iliad, Penguin Books, 1996.