Dauntless he rose, and to the fight return’d; With shame his glowing cheeks, his eyes with fury burn’d.
I, who so bold and dauntless, just before, The Grecian darts and shock of lances bore, At ev’ry shadow now am seiz’d with fear, Not for myself, but for the charge I bear; Till, near the ruin’d gate arriv’d at last, Secure, and deeming all the danger past, A frightful noise of trampling feet we hear.
But, when they saw the ships that stemm’d the flood, And glitter’d thro’ the covert of the wood, They rose with fear, and left th’ unfinish’d feast, Till dauntless Pallas reassur’d the rest To pay the rites.
He ceas’d; and old Alethes took the word: "Our country gods, in whom our trust we place, Will yet from ruin save the Trojan race, While we behold such dauntless worth appear In dawning youth, and souls so void of fear."
With fear and wonder seiz’d, the crowd beholds The gloves of death, with sev’n distinguish’d folds Of tough bull hides; the space within is spread With iron, or with loads of heavy lead: Dares himself was daunted at the sight, Renounc’d his challenge, and refus’d to fight.
The Trojan prince beheld him from afar, And dauntless undertook the doubtful war.
The race thus ended, and rewards bestow’d, Once more the princes bespeaks th’ attentive crowd: "If there he here whose dauntless courage dare In gauntlet-fight, with limbs and body bare, His opposite sustain in open view, Stand forth the champion, and the games renew.
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It is a challenge that would daunt a lesser diplomat.