Lycaon's utmost skill had grac'd the steel,
For friends to envy and for foes to feel:
A tawny hide, the Moorish lion's spoil,
Slain 'midst the forest in the hunter's toil,
Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestows,
And old Alethes' casque defends his brows;
Arm'd, thence they go, while all th' assembl'd train,
To aid their cause, implore the gods in vain.
More than a boy, in wisdom and in grace,
Iulus holds amidst the chiefs his place:220
His prayer he sends; but what can prayers avail,
Lost in the murmurs of the sighing gale?
Here lies our path; lest any hand arise,
The trench is pass'd, and favour'd by the night,
Through sleeping foes, they wheel their wary flight.
When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er?
Alas! some slumber, who shall wake no more!
Chariots and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen,
And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between:
Bacchus and Mars, to rule the camp, combine;
A mingled Chaos this of war and wine.230
"Now," cries the first, "for deeds of blood prepare,
With me the conquest and the labour share:
- A tawny skin the furious lion's spoil.—[MS. Newstead.]
Mnestheus presented, and the Warrior's mask
Alethes gave a doubly temper'd casque.—[MS. Newstead.]
- To glad their journey, follow them in vain.—[MS. Newstead.]
- Dispersed and scattered on the sighing gale.—[MS. Newstead.]