Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Extract from The Iliad, Book VIII
By Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
 
(See full text.)

  THE TROOPS exulting sat in order round,
And beaming fires illumin’d all the ground.
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night!
O’er heaven’s clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,        5
And not a cloud o’ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber’d gild the glowing pole,
O’er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain’s head;        10
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,        15
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays:
The long reflections of the distant fires
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
And shoot a shady lustre o’er the field.        20
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Whose umber’d arms, by fits, thick flashes send.
Loud neigh the coursers o’er their heaps of corn,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
 
 
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