Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1788–1820
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 1788–1820
 
The Triumph of Hector
By William Munford (1775–1825)
 
[Born in Mecklenburg Co., Va., 1775. Died at Richmond, Va., 1825. From the Translation of the Iliad, completed in 1825.—Homer’s Iliad: Translated by William Munford. 1846.]

SO equal, then, the war and battle hung,
Till Jove at length superior glory gave
To Hector, Priam’s son, who entered first
Achaia’s wall. With loud, tremendous shout,
He called his Trojan heroes. Sons of Troy,        5
Equestrian warriors, to the onset come!
Break now the Grecian wall, and on their ships
Throw flaming brands, like thunder-bolts of Jove!
He said, inspiring fury; they his call
With transport heard throughout that numerous host!        10
Thronging together, to the wall they ran,
Armed with keen spears, before them held erect,
And mounting scaling-ladders. Hector seized
And bore a stone which stood before the gates,
Heavy and craggy, pointed sharp at top,        15
Which not two men, though stoutest of the race
Earth now sustains, could without toil have moved
By levers from the ground and heaved its mass
Into a wagon; yet did singly he
Toss it with ease, so light Saturnian Jove        20
Made it to him! For, as a shepherd brings
In one hand joyfully, a ram’s rich fleece,
And feels but small the weight, so Hector bore
That rock enormous towards the lofty gates,
Strong-framed, with double valves, of panels thick,        25
Compact and firm; two irons bars within
Transverse secured them, fastened by a bolt.
He near them took his stand, with legs astride,
That not in vain that weapon should be thrown;
Then smote them in the midst with all his strength,        30
And broke both hinges. Thundering on, the stone,
With force o’erwhelming, fell within the wall.
Loud rang the yielding gates, asunder riven,
Nor could the bars retain them; flew the planks
In splintered fragments, scattered every way.        35
Into the pass illustrious Hector leaped;
Gloomy as night, with aspect stem and dread!
Arrayed in brazen panoply, he shone
Terrific; in his hands two javelins keen!
And surely no one could have checked him then,        40
Except the gods, when through those gates he sprang!
His eyes, tremendous, flashed with living fire;
And, turning to his host, he called them all
To pass the barrier. They that call obeyed.
Some clambered o’er the wall, while others through        45
The portals poured; and, terror-struck, the Greeks
Fled to their hollow ships. Confusion dire,
And uproar wild and horrible ensued.
 
 
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