Bodycount II – The Shades of Hell

Videre med turen gennem Iliaden betragtet som et litterært bodycount fortrinsvis i Popes fantastiske gendigtning.

Ajax dræber Simoïsius (3)

In blooming youth fair Simoisius fell,
Sent by great Ajax to the shades of hell;
Fair Simoisius, whom his mother bore
Amid the flocks on silver Simois’ shore:
The nymph descending from the hills of Ide,
To seek her parents on his flowery side,
Brought forth the babe, their common care and joy,
And thence from Simois named the lovely boy.
Short was his date! by dreadful Ajax slain,
He falls, and renders all their cares in vain!
So falls a poplar, that in watery ground
Raised high the head, with stately branches crown’d,
(Fell’d by some artist with his shining steel,
To shape the circle of the bending wheel,)
Cut down it lies, tall, smooth, and largely spread,
With all its beauteous honours on its head
There, left a subject to the wind and rain,
And scorch’d by suns, it withers on the plain
Thus pierced by Ajax, Simoisius lies
Stretch’d on the shore, and thus neglected dies.

Antiphus dræber Leucus (4)

At Ajax, Antiphus his javelin threw;
The pointed lance with erring fury flew,
And Leucus, loved by wise Ulysses, slew.
He drops the corpse of Simoisius slain,
And sinks a breathless carcase on the plain.

Odysseus dræber Democoon (5)

This saw Ulysses, and with grief enraged,
Strode where the foremost of the foes engaged;
Arm’d with his spear, he meditates the wound,
In act to throw; but cautious look’d around,
Struck at his sight the Trojans backward drew,
And trembling heard the javelin as it flew.
A chief stood nigh, who from Abydos came,
Old Priam’s son, Democoon was his name.
The weapon entered close above his ear,
Cold through his temples glides the whizzing spear; (*)
With piercing shrieks the youth resigns his breath,
His eye-balls darken with the shades of death;
Ponderous he falls; his clanging arms resound,
And his broad buckler rings against the ground.

Seized with affright the boldest foes appear;
E’en godlike Hector seems himself to fear;
Slow he gave way, the rest tumultuous fled;
The Greeks with shouts press on, and spoil the dead:
But Phoebus now from Ilion’s towering height
Shines forth reveal’d, and animates the fight.
“Trojans, be bold, and force with force oppose;
Your foaming steeds urge headlong on the foes!
Nor are their bodies rocks, nor ribb’d with steel;
Your weapons enter, and your strokes they feel.
Have ye forgot what seem’d your dread before?
The great, the fierce Achilles fights no more.”

(*) Popes oversættelse er forsynet med meget pædagogiske noter af Rev. Theodore Alois Buckley, M.A., F.S.A og på dette sted har ham med følgende kommentar: I may, once for all, remark that Homer is most anatomically correct as to the parts of the body in which a wound would be immediately mortal. Og det er jo mægtigt rart at vide, men spørgsmålet er måske nok om man med denne smukke død: The weapon entered close above his ear, // Cold through his temples glides the whizzing spear;  // With piercing shrieks the youth resigns his breath, // His eye-balls darken with the shades of death; ville have anatomisk korrekt tid og overskud til at udgyde særligt mange piercing shrieks. Man kan have sin tvivl.

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