THE ILIAD OF HOMER

 

 

PREFATORY NOTE

 

 

The execution of this version of the ILIAD has been entrusted to the

three Translators in the following three parts:

 

     Books      I. - IX.     .  .  .  .  W. Leaf.

       "        X. - XVI.    .  .  .  .  A. Lang.

       "     XVII. - XXIV.   .  .  .  .  E. Myers.

 

Each Translator is therefore responsible for his own portion; but

the whole has been revised by all three Translators, and the

rendering of passages or phrases recurring in more than one portion

has been determined after deliberation in common. Even in these,

however, a certain elasticity has been deemed desirable.

 

On a few doubtful points, though very rarely, the opinion of two of

the translators has had to be adopted to the suppression of that

held by the third. Thus, for instance, the Translator of Books

X. - XVI. Would have preferred "c" and "us" to "k" and "os" in the

spelling of all proper names.

 

The text followed has been that of La Roche (Leipzig, 1873), except

where the adoption of a different reading has been specified in a

footnote. Where the balance of evidence, external and internal, has

seemed to the Translator to be against the genuineness of the

passage, such passage has been enclosed in brackets [].

 

The Translator of Books X. - XVI. Has to thank Mr. R.W. Raper,

Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, for his valuable aid in revising

the proof-sheets of these Books.

 

 

NOTE TO REVISED EDITION

 

 

In the present Edition the translation has been carefully revised

throughout, and numerous minor corrections have been made. The Notes

at the end of the volume have been, with a few exceptions, omitted;

one of the Translators hopes to publish very shortly a Companion to

the Iliad for English readers, which will deal fully with most of

the points therein referred to.

 

The use of square brackets has in this edition been restricted to

passages where there is external evidence, such as absence from the

best MSS., for believing in interpolation. One or two departures

from this Rule are noticed in footnotes.

 

November 1891

 

 

 

The reader will perhaps also be helped by the following list of the

Greek and Latin names of the gods and goddesses who play important parts

in the narrative. When the Greek names and new to him, there

corresponding Latin names may be more familiar.

 

      Greek                 Latin

      -----                 -----

      Zeus.                 Jupiter.

      Hera.                 Juno.

      (Pallas) Athene.      Minerva.

      Aphrodite.            Venus.

      Poseidon.             Neptune.

      Ares.                 Mars.

      Hephaestus.           Vulcan.

 

 

 

 

 

The sacred soil of Ilios is rent

  With shaft and pit; foiled waters wander slow

Through plains where Simois and Scamander went

  To war with gods and heroes long ago.

Not yet to dark Cassandra lying low

  In rich Mycenae do the Fates relent;

The bones of Agamemnon are a show,

  And ruined is his royal monument.

The dust and awful treasures of the dead

  Hath learning scattered wide; but vainly thee,

Homer, she meteth with her Lesbian lead,

  And strives to rend thy songs, too blind is she

To know the crown on thine immortal head

  Of indivisible supremacy.                      A.I.

 

 

Athwart the sunrise of our western day

  The form of great Achilles, high and clear,

  Stands forth in arms, wielding the Pelian spear.

The sanguine tides of that immortal fray,

Swept on by gods, around him surge and sway,

  Wherethrough the helms of many a warrior peer,

  Strong men and swift, their tossing plumes uprear.

But stronger, swifter, goodlier he than they,

More awful, more divine. Yet mark anigh;

  Some fiery pang hath rent his soul within,

   Some hovering shade his brows encompasseth.

What gifts hath Fate for all his chivalry?

  Even such as hearts heroic oftenest win;

   Honour, a friend, anguish, untimely death.   E.M.

 

 

 

 

THE ILIAD OF HOMER

 

 

BOOK I.

 

    How Agamemnon and Achilles fell out at the siege of Troy;

    and Achilles withdrew himself from battle, and won from Zeus

    a pledge that his wrong should be avenged on Agamemnon and

    the Achaians.

 

Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that

brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades

many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs

and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its

accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of

men and noble Achilles.

 

Who among the gods set the twain at strife and variance? Apollo, the son

of Leto and of Zeus; for he in anger at the king sent a sore plague upon

the host, so that the folk began to perish, because Atreides had done

dishonour to Chryses the priest. For the priest had come to the

Achaians' fleet ships to win his daughter's freedom, and brought a

ransom beyond telling; and bare in his hands the fillet of Apollo the

Far-darter upon a golden staff; and made his prayer unto all the

Achaians, and most of all to the two sons of Atreus, orderers of the

host; "Ye sons of Atreus and all ye well-greaved Achaians, now may the

gods that dwell in the mansions of Olympus grant you to lay waste the

city of Priam, and to fare happily homeward; only set ye my dear child

free, and accept the ransom in reverence to the son of Zeus, far-darting

Apollo."

 

Then all the other Achaians cried assent, to reverence the priest and

accept his goodly ransom; yet the thing pleased not the heart of

Agamemnon son of Atreus, but he roughly sent him away, and laid stern

charge upon him, saying: "Let me not find thee, old man, amid the hollow

ships, whether tarrying now or returning again hereafter, lest the staff

and fillet of the god avail thee naught. And her will I not set free;

nay, ere that shall old age come on her in our house, in Argos, far from

her native land, where she shall ply the loom and serve my couch. But

depart, provoke me not, that thou mayest the rather go in peace."

 

So said he, and the old man was afraid and obeyed his word, and fared

silently along the shore of the loud-sounding sea. Then went that aged

man apart and prayed aloud to king Apollo, whom Leto of the fair locks

bare: "Hear me, god of the silver bow, that standest over Chryse and

holy Killa, and rulest Tenedos with might, O Smintheus! If ever I built

a temple gracious in thine eyes, or if ever I burnt to thee fat flesh of

thighs of bulls or goats, fulfil thou this my desire; let the Danaans

pay by thine arrows for my tears."

 

So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him, and came down from

the peaks of Olympus wroth at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow

and covered quiver. And the arrows clanged upon his shoulders in wrath,

as the god moved; and he descended like to night. Then he sate him aloof

from the ships, and let an arrow fly; and there was heard a dread

clanging of the silver bow. First did the assail the mules and fleet

dogs, but afterward, aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and

the pyres of the dead burnt continually in multitude.

 

Now for nine days ranged the god's shafts through the host; but on the

tenth Achilles summoned the folk to assembly, for in his mind did

goddess Hera of white arms put the thought, because she had pity on the

Danaans when she beheld them perishing. Now when they had gathered and

were met in assembly, then Achilles fleet of foot stood up and spake

among them: "Son of Atreus, now deem I that we shall return wandering

home again--if verily we might escape death--if war at once and

pestilence must indeed ravage the Achaians. But come, let us now inquire

of some soothsayer or priest, yea, or an interpreter of dreams--seeing

that a dream too is of Zeus--who shall say wherefore Phoebus Apollo is

so wroth, whether he blame us by reason of vow or hecatomb; if perchance

he would accept the savour of lambs or unblemished goats, and so would

take away the pestilence from us."

 

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up before them Kalchas

son of Thestor, most excellent far of augurs, who knew both things that

were and that should be and that had been before, and guided the ships

of the Achaians to Ilios by his soothsaying that Phoebus Apollo bestowed

on him. He of good intent made harangue and spake amid them: "Achilles,

dear to Zeus, thou biddest me tell the wrath of Apollo, the king that

smiteth afar. Therefore will I speak; but do thou make covenant with me,

and swear that verily with all thy heart thou wilt aid me both by word

and deed. For of a truth I deem that I shall provoke one that ruleth all

the Argives with might, and whom the Achaians obey. For a king is more

of might when he is wroth with a meaner man; even though for the one day

he swallow his anger, yet doth he still keep his displeasure thereafter

in his breast till he accomplish it. Consider thou, then, if thou wilt

hold me safe."

 

And Achilles fleet of foot made answer and spake to him: "Yea, be of

good courage, speak whatever soothsaying thou knowest; for by Apollo

dear to Zeus, him by whose worship thou, O Kalchas, declarest thy

soothsaying to the Danaans, not even if thou mean Agamemnon, that now

avoweth him to be greatest far of the Achaians."

 

Then was the noble seer of good courage, and spake: "Neither by reason

of a vow is he displeased, nor for any hecatomb, but for his priest's

sake to whom Agamemnon did despite, and set not his daughter free and

accepted not the ransom; therefore hath the Far-darter brought woes upon

us, yea, and will bring. Nor will he ever remove the loathly pestilence

from the Danaans till we have given the bright-eyed damsel to her

father, unbought, unransomed, and carried a holy hecatomb to Chryse;

then might we propitiate him to our prayer."

 

So said he and sate him down, and there stood up before them the hero

son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, sore displeased; and his dark

heart within him was greatly filled with anger, and his eyes were like

flashing fire. To Kalchas first spake he with look of ill: "Thou seer of

evil, never yet hast thou told me the thing that is pleasant. Evil is

ever the joy of thy heart to prophesy, but never yet didst thou tell any

good matter nor bring to pass. And now with soothsaying thou makest

harangue among the Danaans, how that the Far-darter bringeth woes upon

them because, forsooth, I would not take the goodly ransom of the damsel

Chryseis, seeing I am the rather fain to keep her own self within mine

house. Yea, I prefer her before Klytaimnestra my wedded wife; in no wise

is she lacking beside her, neither in favour nor stature, nor wit nor

skill. Yet for all this will I give her back, if that is better; rather

would I see my folk whole than perishing. Only make ye me ready a prize

of honour forthwith, lest I alone of all the Argives be disprized, which

thing beseemeth not; for ye all behold how my prize is departing from

me."

 

To him then made answer fleet-footed goodly Achilles: "Most noble son of

Atreus, of all men most covetous, how shall the great-hearted Achaians

give thee a meed of honour? We know naught of any wealth of common

store, but what spoil soe'er we took from captured cities hath been

apportioned, and it beseemeth not to beg all this back from the folk.

Nay, yield thou the damsel to the god, and we Achaians will pay thee

back threefold and fourfold, if ever Zeus grant us to sack some

well-walled town of Troy-land."

 

To him lord Agamemnon made answer and said: "Not in this wise, strong as

thou art, O godlike Achilles, beguile thou me by craft; thou shalt not

outwit me nor persuade me. Dost thou wish, that thou mayest keep thy

meed of honour, for me to sit idle in bereavement, and biddest me give

her back? Nay, if the great-hearted Achaians will give me a meed suited

to my mind, that the recompense be equal--but if they give it not, then

I myself will go and take a meed of honour, thine be it or Aias', or

Odysseus' that I will take unto me; wroth shall he be to whomsoever I

come. But for this we will take counsel hereafter; now let us launch a

black ship on the great sea, and gather picked oarsmen, and set therein

a hecatomb, and embark Chryseis of the fair cheeks herself, and let one

of our counsellors be captain, Aias or Idomeneus or goodly Odysseus, or

thou, Peleides, most redoubtable of men, to do sacrifice for us and

propitiate the Far-darter."

 

Then Achilles fleet of foot looked at him scowling and said: "Ah me,

thou clothed in shamelessness, thou of crafty mind, how shall any

Achaian hearken to thy bidding with all his heart, be it to go a journey

or to fight the foe amain? Not by reason of the Trojan spearmen came I

hither to fight, for they have not wronged me; never did they harry mine

oxen nor my horses, nor ever waste my harvest in deep-soiled Phthia, the

nurse of men; seeing there lieth between us long space of shadowy

mountains and sounding sea; but thee, thou shameless one, followed we

hither to make thee glad, by earning recompense at the Trojans' hands

for Menelaos and for thee, thou dog-face! All this thou threatenest

thyself to take my meed of honour, wherefor I travailed much, and the

sons of the Achaians gave it me. Never win I meed like unto thine, when

the Achaians sack any populous citadel of Trojan men; my hands bear the

brunt of furious war, but when the apportioning cometh then is thy meed

far ampler, and I betake me to the ships with some small thing, yet my

own, when I have fought to weariness. Now will I depart to Phthia,

seeing it is far better to return home on my beaked ships; nor am I

minded here in dishonour to draw thee thy fill of riches and wealth."

 

Then Agamemnon king of men made answer to him "yea, flee, if thy soul be

set thereon. It is not I that beseech thee to tarry for my sake; I have

others by my side that shall do me honour, and above all Zeus, lord of

counsel. Most hateful art thou to me of all kings, fosterlings of Zeus;

thou ever lovest strife and wars and fightings. Though thou be very

strong, yet that I ween is a gift to thee of God. Go home with thy ships

and company and lord it among thy Myrmidons.; I reck not aught of thee

nor care I for thine indignation; and all this shall be my threat to

thee: seeing Phoebus Apollo bereaveth me of Chryseis, her with my ship

and my company will I send back; and mine own self will I go to thy hut

and take Briseis of the fair cheeks, even that thy meed of honour, that

thou mayest well know how far greater I am than thou, and so shall

another hereafter abhor to match his words with mine and rival me to my

face."

 

So said he, and grief came upon Peleus' son, and his heart within his

shaggy breast was divided in counsel, whether to draw his keen blade

from his thigh and set the company aside and so slay Atreides, or to

assuage his anger and curb his soul. While yet he doubted thereof in

heart and soul, and was drawing his great sword from his sheath, Athene

came to him from heaven, sent forth of the white-armed goddess Hera,

whose heart loved both alike and had care for them. She stood behind

Peleus' son and caught him by his golden hair, to him only visible, and

of the rest no man beheld her. Then Achilles marvelled, and turned him

about, and straightway knew Pallas Athene; and terribly shone her eyes.

He spake to her winged words, and said: "Why now art thou come hither,

thou daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus? Is it to behold the insolence of

Agamemnon, son of Atreus. Yea, I will tell thee that I deem shall even

be brought to pass: by his own haughtinesses shall he soon lose his

life."

 

Then the bright-eyed goddess Athene spake to him again: "I came from

heaven to stay thine anger, if perchance thou wilt hearken to me, being

sent forth if the white-armed goddess Hera, that loveth you twain alike

and careth for you. Go to now, cease from strife, and let not thine hand

draw the sword; yet with words indeed revile him, even as it shall come

to pass. For thus will I say to thee, and so it shall be fulfilled;

hereafter shall goodly gifts come to thee, yea in threefold measure, by

reason of this despite; hold thou thine hand, and hearken to us."

 

And Achilles fleet of foot made answer and said to her: "Goddess, needs

must a man observe the saying of you twain, even though he be very wroth

at heart; for so is the better way. Whosoever obeyeth the gods, to him

they gladly hearken."

 

He said, and stayed his heavy hand on the silver hilt, and thrust the

great Sword back into the sheath, and was not disobedient to the saying

of Athene; and she forthwith was departed to Olympus, to the other gods

in the palace of aegis-bearing Zeus.

 

Then Peleus' son spake again with bitter words to Atreus' son, and in no

wise ceased from anger: "Thou heavy with wine, thou with face of dog and

heart of deer, never didst thou take courage to arm for battle among thy

folk or to lay ambush with the princes of the Achaians; that to thee

were even as death. Far better booteth it, for sooth, to seize for

thyself the meed of honour of every man through the wide host of the

Achaians that speaketh contrary to thee. Folk-devouring king! seeing

thou rulest men of naught; else were this despite, thou son of Atreus,

thy last. But I will speak my word to thee, and swear a mighty oath

therewith: verily by this staff that shall no more put forth leaf or

twig, seeing it hath for ever left its trunk among the hills, neither

shall it grow green again, because the axe hath stripped it of leaves

and bark; and now the sons of the Achaians that exercise judgment bear

it in their hands, even they that by Zeus' command watch over the

traditions--so shall this be a mighty oath in thine eyes--verily shall

longing for Achilles come hereafter upon the sons of the Achaians one

and all; and then wilt thou in no wise avail to save them, for all thy

grief, when multitudes fall dying before manslaying Hector. Then shalt

thou tear thy heart within thee for anger that thou didst in no wise

honour the best of the Achaians."

 

So said Peleides and dashed to earth the staff studded with golden

nails, and himself sat down; and over against him Atreides waxed

furious. Then in their midst rose up Nestor, pleasant of speech, the

clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, he from whose tongue flowed

discourse sweeter than honey. Two generations of mortal men already had

he seen perish, that had been of old time born and nurtured with him in

goodly Pylos, and he was king among the third. He of good intent made

harangue to them and said: "Alas, of a truth sore lamentation cometh

upon the land of Achaia. Verily Priam would be glad and Priam's sons,

and all the Trojans would have great joy of heart, were they to hear all

this tale of strife between you twain that are chiefest of the Danaans

in counsel and chiefest in battle. Nay, hearken to me; ye are younger

both than I. Of old days held I converse with better men even than you,

and never did they make light of me. Yea, I never beheld such warriors,

nor shall behold, as were Peirithoos and Dryas shepherd of the host and

Kaineus and Exadios and godlike Polyphemos [and Theseus son of Aigeus,

like to the Immortals]. Mightiest of growth were they of all men upon

the earth; mightiest they were and with the mightiest fought they, even

the wild tribes of the Mountain caves, and destroyed them utterly. And

with these held I converse, being come from Pylos, from a distant land

afar; for of themselves they summoned me. So I played my part in fight;

and with them could none of men that are now on earth do battle. And

they laid to heart my counsels and hearkened to my voice. Even so

hearken ye also, for better is it to hearken. Neither do thou, though

thou art very great, seize from him his damsel, but leave her as she was

given at the first by the sons of the Achaians to be a meed of honour;

nor do thou, son of Peleus, think to strive with a king, might against

might; seeing that no common honour pertaineth to a sceptred king to

whom Zeus apportioneth glory. Though thou be strong, and a goddess

mother bare thee, yet his is the greater place, for he is king over

more. And thou, Atreides, abate thy fury; nay, it is even I that beseech

thee to let go thine anger with Achilles, who is made unto all the

Achaians a mighty bulwark of evil war."

 

Then lord Agamemnon answered and said: "Yea verily, old man, all this

thou sayest is according unto right. But this fellow would be above all

others, he would be lord of all and king among all and captain to all;

wherein I deem none will hearken to him. Though the immortal gods made

him a spearman, do they therefore put revilings in his mouth for him to

utter?"

 

Then goodly Achilles brake in on him and answered: "Yea, for I should be

called coward and man of naught, if I yield to thee in every matter,

howsoe'er thou bid. To others give now thine orders, not to me [play

master; for thee I deem that I shall no more obey]. This, moreover, will

I say to thee, and do thou lay it to thy heart. Know that not by

violence will I strive for the damsel's sake, neither with thee nor any

other; ye gave and ye have taken away. But of all else that is mine

beside my fleet black ship, thereof shalt thou not take anything or bear

it away against my will. Yea, go to now, make trial, that all these may

see; forthwith thy dark blood shall gush about my spear."

 

Now when the twain had thus finished the battle of violent words, they

stood up and dissolved the assembly beside the Achaian ships. Peleides

went his way to his huts and trim ships with Menoitios' son [Patroklos]

and his company; and Atreides launched a fleet ship on the sea, and

picked twenty oarsmen therefor, and embarked the hecatomb for the god,

and brought Chryseis of the fair cheeks and set her therein; and

Odysseus of many devices went to be their captain.

 

So these embarked and sailed over the wet ways; and Atreides bade the

folk purify themselves. So they purified themselves, and cast the

defilements into the sea and did sacrafice to Apollo, even unblemished

hecatombs of bulls and goats, along the shore of the unvintaged sea; and

the sweet savour arose to heaven eddying amid the smoke.

 

Thus were they busied throughout the host; but Agamemnon ceased not from

the strife wherewith he threatened Achilles at the first; he spake to

Talthybios and Eurybates that were his heralds and nimble squires: "Go

ye to the tent of Achilles Peleus' son, and take Briseis of the fair

cheeks by the hand and lead her hither; and if he give her not, then

will I myself go, and more with me, and seize her; and that will be yet

more grievous for him."

 

So saying he sent them forth, and laid stern charge upon them.

Unwillingly went they along the beach of the unvintaged sea, and came to

the huts and ships of the Myrmidons. Him found they sitting beside his

hut and black ship; nor when he saw them was Achilles glad. So they in

dread and reverence of the king stood, and spake to him no word, nor

questioned him. But he knew in his heart, and spake to them: "All hail,

ye heralds, messengers of Zeus and men, come near; ye are not guilty in

my sight, but Agamemnon that sent you for the sake of the damsel

Briseis. Go now, heaven-sprung Patroklos, bring forth the damsel, and

give them her to lead away. Moreover, let the twain themselves be my

witnesses before the face of the blessed gods and mortal men, yea and of

him, that king untoward, against the day when there cometh need of me

hereafter to save them all from shameful wreck. Of a truth he raveth

with baleful mind, and hath not knowledge to look before and after, that

so his Achaians might battle in safety beside their ships."

 

So said he, and Patroklos hearkened to his dear comrade, and led forth

from the hut Briseis of the fair cheeks, and gave them her to lead away.

So these twain took their way back along the Achaians' ships, and with

them went the woman all unwilling. Then Achilles wept anon, and sat him

down apart, aloof from his comrades on the beach of the grey sea, gazing

across the boundless main; he stretched forth his hands and prayed

instantly to his dear mother: "Mother, seeing thou didst of a truth bear

me to so brief span of life, honour at the least ought the Olympian to

have granted me, even Zeus that thundereth on high; but now doth he not

honour me, no, not one whit. Verily Atreus' son, wide-ruling Agamemnon,

hath done me dishonour; for he hath taken away my meed of honour and

keepeth her of his own violent deed."

 

So spake he weeping, and his lady mother heard him as she sate in the

sea-depths beside her aged sire. With speed arose she from the grey sea,

like a mist, and sate her before the face of her weeping son, and

stroked him with her hand, and spake and called on his name: "My child,

why weepest thou? What sorrow hath entered into they heart? Speak it

forth, hide it not in thy mind, that both may know it."

 

Then with heavy moan Achilles fleet of foot spake to her: "Thou knowest

it; why should I tell this to thee that knowest all! We had fared to

Thebe, the holy city of Eetion, and laid it waste and carried hither all

the spoils. So the sons of the Achaians divided among them all aright;

and for Atreides they set apart Chryseis of the fair cheeks. But

Chryses, priest of Apollo the Far-darter, came unto the fleet ships of

the mail-clad Achaians to win his daughter's freedom, and brought a

ransom beyond telling, and bare in his hands the fillet of Apollo the

Far-darter upon a golden staff, and made his prayer unto all the

Achaians, and most of all to the two sons of Atreus, orderers of the

host. Then all the other Achaians cried assent, to reverence the priest

and accept his goodly ransom; yet the thing pleased not the heart of

Agamemnon son of Atreus, but he roughly sent him away and laid stern

charge upon him. So the old man went back in anger; and Apollo heard his

prayers, seeing he loved him greatly, and he aimed against the Argives

his deadly darts. So the people began to perish in multitudes, and the

god's shafts ranged everywhither throughout the wide host of the

Achaians. Then of full knowledge the seer declared to us the oracle of

the Far-darter. Forthwith I first bade propitiate the god; but wrath gat

hold upon Atreus' son thereat, and anon he stood up and spake a

threatening word, that hath now been accomplished. Her the glancing-

eyed Achaians are bringing on their fleet ship to Chryse, and bear with

them offerings to the king; and the other but now the heralds went and

took from my hut, even the daughter of Briseus, whom the sons of the

Achaians gave me. Thou therefore, if indeed thou canst, guard thine own

son; betake thee to Olympus and beseech Zeus by any word whereby thou

ever didst make glad his heart. For oft have I heard thee proclaiming in

my father's halls and telling that thou alone amid the immortals didst

save the son of Kronos, lord of the storm-cloud, from shameful wreck,

when all the other Olympians would have bound him, even Hera and

Poseidon and Pallas Athene. Then didst thou, O goddess, enter in and

loose him from his bonds, having with speed summoned to high Olympus him

of the hundred arms whom gods call Briareus, but all men call Aigaion;

for he is mightier even than his father--so he sate him by Kronion's

side rejoicing in his triumph, and the blessed gods feared him withal

and bound not Zeus. This bring thou to his remembrance and sit by him

and clasp his knees, if perchance he will give succour to the Trojans;

and for the Achaians, hem them among their ships' sterns about the bay,

given over to slaughter; that they may make trial of their king, and

that even Atreides, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may perceive his blindness,

in that he honoured not at all the best of the Achaians."

 

Then Thetis weeping made answer to him: "Ah me, my child, why reared I

thee, cursed in my motherhood? Would thou hadst been left tearless and

griefless amid the ships, seeing thy lot is very brief and endureth no

long while; but now art thou made short-lived alike and lamentable

beyond all men; in an evil hour I bare thee in our halls. But I will go

myself to snow-clad Olympus to tell this thy saying to Zeus, whose joy

is in the thunder, [perhaps rather, "hurler of the thunderbolt."] if

perchance he may hearken to me. But tarry thou now amid thy fleet-faring

ships, and continue wroth with the Achaians, and refrain utterly from

battle: for Zeus went yesterday to Okeanos, unto the noble Ethiopians

for a feast, and all the gods followed with him; but on the twelfth day

will he return to Olympus, and then will I fare to Zeus' palace of the

bronze threshold, and will kneel to him and think to win him."

 

So saying she went her way and left him there, vexed in spirit for the

fair-girdled woman's sake, whom they had taken perforce despite his

will: and meanwhile Odysseus came to Chryse with the holy hecatomb. When

they were now entered within the deep haven, they furled their sails and

laid them in the black ship, and lowered the mast by the forestays and

brought it to the crutch with speed, and rowed her with oars to the

anchorage. Then they cast out the mooring stones and made fast the

hawsers, and so themselves went forth on to the sea-beach, and forth

they brought the hecatomb for the Far-darter Apollo, and forth came

Chryseis withal from the seafaring ship. Then Odysseus of many counsels

brought her to the altar and gave her into her father's arms, and spake

unto him: "Chryses, Agamemnon king of men sent me hither to bring thee

thy daughter, and to offer to Phoebus a holy hecatomb on the Danaans'

behalf, wherewith to propitiate the king that hath now brought sorrow

and lamentation on the Argives."

 

So saying he gave her to his arms, and he gladly took his dear child;

and anon they set in order for the god the holy hecatomb about his

well-builded altar; next washed they their hands and took up the barley

meal. Then Chryses lifted up his hands and prayed aloud for them:

"Hearken to me, god of the silver bow that standest over Chryse and holy

Killa, and rulest Tenedos with might; even as erst thou heardest my

prayer, and didst me honour, and mightily afflictest the people of the

Achaians, even so now fulfil me this my desire: remove thou from the

Danaans forthwith the loathly pestilence."

 

So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Now when they had

prayed and sprinkled the barley meal, first they drew back the victims'

heads and slaughtered them and flayed them, and cut slices from the

thighs and wrapped them in fat, making a double fold, and laid raw

collops thereon, and the old man burnt them on cleft wood and made

libation over them of gleaming wine; and at his side the young men in

their hands held five-pronged forks. Now when the thighs were burnt and

they had tasted the vitals, then sliced they all the rest and pierced it

through with spits, and roasted it carefully, and drew all off again. So

when they had rest from the task and had made ready the banquet, they

feasted, nor was their heart aught stinted of the fair banquet. But when

they had put away from them the desire of meat and drink, the young men

crowned the bowls with wine, and gave each man his portion after the

drink-offering had been poured into the cups. So all day long worshipped

they the god with music, singing the beautiful paean, the sons of the

Achaians making music to the Far-darter [or, "the Averter" (of

pestilence)]; and his heart was glad to hear. And when the sun went down

and darkness came on them, they laid them to sleep beside the ship's

hawsers; and when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, the child of morning,

then set they sail for the wide camp of the Achaians; and Apollo the

Far-darter sent them a favouring gale. They set up their mast and spread

the white sails forth, and the wind filled the sail's belly and the dark

wave sang loud about the stem as the ship made way, and she sped across

the wave, accomplishing her journey. So when they were now come to the

wide camp of the Achaians, they drew up their black ship to land high

upon the sands, and set in line the long props beneath her; and

themselves were scattered amid their huts and ships.

 

But he sat by his swift-faring ships, still wroth, even the heaven-

sprung son of Peleus, Achilles fleet of foot; he betook him neither to

the assembly that is the hero's glory, neither to war, but consumed his

heart in tarrying in his place, and yearned for the war-cry and for

battle.

 

Now when the twelfth morn thereafter was come, then the gods that are

for ever fared to Olympus all in company, led of Zeus. And Thetis forgat

not her son's charge, but rose up from the sea-wave, and at early morn

mounted up to great heaven and Olympus. There found she Kronos' son of

the far-sounding voice sitting apart from all on the topmost peak of

many-ridged Olympus. So she sat before his face and with her left hand

clasped his knees, and with her right touched him beneath his chin, and

spake in prayer to king Zeus son of Kronos: "Father Zeus, if ever I gave

thee aid amid the immortal gods, whether by word or deed, fulfil thou

this my desire: do honour to my son, that is doomed to earliest death of

all men: now hath Agamemnon king of men done him dishonour, for he hath

taken away his meed of honour and keepeth her of his own violent deed.

But honour thou him, Zeus of Olympus, lord of counsel; grant thou

victory to the Trojans the while until the Achaians do my son honour and

exalt him with recompense."

 

So spake she; but Zeus the cloud-gatherer said no word to her, and sat

long time in silence. But even as Thetis had clasped his knees, so held

she by him clinging, and questioned him yet a second time: "Promise me

now this thing verily, and bow thy head thereto; or else deny me, seeing

there is naught for thee to fear; that I may know full well how I among

all gods am least in honour."

 

Then Zeus the cloud-gatherer, sore troubled, spake to her: "Verily it is

a sorry matter, if thou wilt set me at variance with Hera, whene'er she

provoketh me with taunting words. Even now she upbraideth me ever amid

the immortal gods, and saith that I aid the Trojans in battle. But do

thou now depart again, lest Hera mark aught; and I will take thought for

these things to fulfil them. Come now, I will bow my head to thee, that

thou mayest be of good courage; for that, of my part, is the surest

token amid the immortals; no word of mine is revocable nor false nor

unfulfilled when the bowing of my head hath pledged it."

 

Kronion spake, and bowed his dark brow, and the ambrosial locks waved

from the king's immortal head; and he made great Olympus quake.

 

Thus the twain took counsel and parted; she leapt therewith into the

deep sea from glittering Olympus, and Zeus fared to his own palace. All

the gods in company arose from their seats before their father's face;

neither ventured any to await his coming, but stood up all before him.

So he sate him there upon his throne; but Hera saw, and was not ignorant

how that the daughter of the Ancient of the sea, Thetis the

silver-footed, had devised counsel with him. Anon with taunting words

spake she to Zeus the son of Kronos: "Now who among the gods, thou

crafty of mind, hath devised counsel with thee? It is ever thy good

pleasure to hold aloof from me and in secret meditation to give thy

judgments, nor of thine own good will hast thou ever brought thyself to

declare unto me the thing thou purposest."

 

Then the father of gods and men made answer her: "Hera, think not thou

to know all my sayings; hard they are for thee, even though thou art my

wife. But whichsoever it is seemly for thee to hear, none sooner than

thou shall know, be he god or man. Only when I will to take thought

aloof from the gods, then do not thou ask of every matter nor make

question."

 

Then Hera the ox-eyed queen made answer to him. "Most dread son of

Kronos, what word is this thou hast spoken? Yea, surely of old I have

not asked thee nor made question, but in my heart sore afraid lest thou

have been won over by silver-footed Thetis, daughter of the Ancient of

the sea, for she at early morn sat by thee and clasped thy knees. To her

I deem thou gavest a sure pledge that thou wilt do honour to Achilles,

and lay many low beside the Achaians' ships."

 

To her made answer Zeus the cloud-gatherer: "Lady, Good lack! ever art

thou imagining, nor can I escape thee; yet shalt thou in no wise have

power to fulfil, but wilt be the further from my heart; that shall be

even the worse for thee. And if it be so, then such must my good

pleasure be. Abide thou in silence and hearken to my bidding, lest all

the gods that are in Olympus keep not off from thee my visitation, when

I put forth my hands unapproachable against thee."

 

He said, and Hera the ox-eyed queen was afraid, and sat in silence,

curbing her heart; but throughout Zeus' palace the gods of heaven were

troubled. Then Hephaistos the famed craftsman began to make harangue

among them, to do kindness to his mother, white-armed Hera: "Verily this

will be a sorry matter, neither any more endurable, if ye twain thus

fight for mortals' sakes, and bring wrangling among the gods; neither

will there any more be joy of the goodly feast, seeing that evil

triumpheth. So I give counsel to my mother, though herself is wise, to

do kindness to our dear father Zeus, that our father upbraid us not

again and cast the banquet in confusion. What if the Olympian, the lord

of the lightning, will to dash us from our seats! for he is strongest

far. Nay, approach thou him with gentle words, then will the Olympian

forthwith be gracious unto us."

 

So speaking he rose up and sat in his dear mother's hand the twy-handled

cup, and spake to her: "Be of good courage, mother mine, and endure,

though thou art vexed, lest I behold thee, thou art so dear, chastised

before mine eyes, and then shall I not be able for all my sorrow to save

thee; for the Olympian is a hard foe to face. Yea, once ere this, when I

was fain to save thee, he caught me by my foot and hurled me from the

heavenly threshold; all day I flew, and at the set of sun I fell in

Lemnos, and little life was in me. There did the Sintian folk forthwith

tend me for my fall."

 

He spake, and the white-armed goddess Hera smiled, and smiling took the

cup at her son's hand. Then he poured wine to all the other gods from

right to left, ladling the sweet nectar from the bowl. And laughter

unquenchable arose amid the blessed gods to see Hephaistos bustling

through the palace.

 

So feasted they al day till the setting of the sun; nor was their soul

aught stinted of the fair banquet, nor of the beauteous lyre that Apollo

held, and the Muses singing alternately with sweet voice.

 

Now when the bright light of the sun was set, these went each to his own

house to sleep, where each one had his palace made with cunning device

by famed Hephaistos the lame god; and Zeus the Olympian, the lord of

lightning, departed to his couch where he was wont of old to take his

rest, whenever sweet sleep visited him. There went he up and slept, and

beside him was Hera of the golden throne.

 

 

 

BOOK II.

 

    How Zeus beguiled Agamemnon by a dream; and of the assembly

    of the Achaians and their marching forth to battle. And of

    the names and numbers of the hosts of the Achaians and the

    Trojans.

 

Now all other gods and chariot-driving men slept all night long, only

Zeus was not holden of sweet sleep; rather was he pondering in his heart

how he should do honour to Achilles and destroy many beside the

Achaians' ships. And this design seemed to his mind the best, to wit, to

send a baneful dream upon Agamemnon son of Atreus. So he spake, and

uttered to him winged words: "Come now, thou baneful Dream, go to the

Achaians' fleet ships, enter into the hut of Agamemnon son of Atreus,

and tell him every word plainly as I charge thee. Bid him call to arms

the flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now he may take the

wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that dwell in the

halls of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath

turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the Trojans sorrows

hang."

 

So spake he, and the Dream went his way when he had heard the charge.

With speed he came to the Achaians' fleet ships, and went to Agamemnon

son of Atreus, and found him sleeping in his hut, and ambrosial slumber

poured over him. So he stood over his head in seeming like unto the son

of Neleus, even Nestor, whom most of all the elders Agamemnon honoured;

in his likeness spake to him the heavenly Dream:

 

"Sleepest thou, son of wise Atreus tamer of horses? To sleep all night

through beseemeth not one that is a counsellor, to whom peoples are

entrusted and so many cares belong. But now hearken straightway to me,

for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who though he be afar yet hath

great care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee call to arms the

flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now thou mayest take

the wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that dwell in the

halls of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath

turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the Trojans sorrows

hang by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy heart, not let

forgetfulness come upon thee when honeyed sleep shall leave thee."

 

So spake the Dream, and departed and left him there, deeming in his mind

things that were not to be fulfilled. For indeed he thought to take

Priam's city that very day; fond man, in that he knew not the plans that

Zeus had in mind, who was willed to bring yet more grief and wailing on

Trojans alike and Danaans throughout the course of stubborn fights. Then

woke he from sleep, and the heavenly voice was in his ears. So he rose

up sitting, and donned his soft tunic, fair and bright, and cast around

him his great cloak, and beneath his glistering feet he bound his fair

sandals, and over his shoulders cast his silver-studded sword, and

grasped his sires' sceptre, imperishable for ever, wherewith he took his

way amid the mail-clad Achaians' ships.

 

Now went the goddess Dawn to high Olympus, foretelling daylight to Zeus

and all the immortals; and the king bade the clear-voiced heralds summon

to the assembly the flowing-haired Achaians. So did those summon, and

these gathered with speed.

 

But first the council of the great-hearted elders met beside the ship of

king Nestor the Pylos-born. And he that had assembled them framed his

cunning counsel: "Hearken, my friends. A dream from heaven came to me in

my sleep through the ambrosial night, and chiefly to goodly Nestor was

very like in shape and bulk and stature. And it stood over my head and

charged me saying: 'Sleepest thou, son of wise Atreus tamer of horses?

To sleep all night through beseemeth not one that is a counsellor, to

whom peoples are entrusted and so many cares belong. But now hearken

straightway to me, for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who though he

be afar yet hath great care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee call to

arms the flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now thou

mayest take the wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that

dwell in the palaces of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since

Hera hath turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the

Trojans sorrows hang by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy

heart.' So spake the dream and was flown away, and sweet sleep left me.

So come, let us now call to arms as we may the sons of the Achaians. But

first I will speak to make trial of them as is fitting, and bid them

flee with their benched ships; only do ye from this side and from that

speak to hold them back."

 

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up among them Nestor, who

was king of sandy Pylos. He of good intent made harangue to them and

said: "My friends, captains and rulers of the Argives, had any other of

the Achaians told us this dream we might deem it a false thing, and

rather turn away therefrom; but now he hath seen it who of all Achaians

avoweth himself far greatest. So come, let us call to arms as we may the

sons of the Achaians."

 

So spake he, and led the way forth from the council, and all the other

sceptred chiefs rose with him and obeyed the shepherd of the host; and

the people hastened to them. Even as when the tribes of thronging bees

issue from the hollow rock, ever in fresh procession, and fly clustering

among the flowers of spring, and some on this hand and some on that fly

thick; even so from ships and huts before the low beach marched forth

their many tribes by companies to the place of assembly. And in their

midst blazed forth Rumour, messenger of Zeus, urging them to go; and so

they gathered. And the place of assemblage was in an uproar, and the

earth echoed again as the hosts sate them down, and there was turmoil.

Nine heralds restrained them with shouting, if perchance they might

refrain from clamour, and hearken to their kings, the fosterlings of

Zeus. And hardly at the last would the people sit, and keep them to

their benches and cease from noise. Then stood up lord Agamemnon bearing

his sceptre, that Hephaistos had wrought curiously. Hephaistos gave it

to king Zeus son of Kronos, and then Zeus gave it to the messenger-god

the slayer of Argus [Or, possibly, "the swift-appearing"]; and king

Hermes gave it to Pelops the charioteer, and Pelops again gave it to

Atreus shepherd of the host. And Atreus dying left it to Thyestes rich

in flocks, and Thyestes in his turn left it to Agamemnon to bear, that

over many islands and all Argos he should be lord. Thereon he leaned and

spake his saying to the Argives:

 

"My friends, Danaan warriors, men of Ares' company, Zeus Kronos' son

hath bound me with might in grievous blindness of soul; hard of heart is

he, for that erewhile he promised me and pledged his nod that not till I

had wasted well-walled Ilios should I return; but now see I that he

planned a cruel wile and biddeth me return to Argos dishonoured, with

the loss of many of my folk. So meseems it pleaseth most mighty Zeus,

who hath laid low the head of many a city, yea, and shall lay low; for

his is highest power. Shame is this even for them that come after to

hear; how so goodly and great a folk of the Achaians thus vainly warred

a bootless war, and fought scantier enemies, and no end thereof is yet

seen. For if perchance we were minded, both Achaians and Trojans, to

swear a solemn truce, and to number ourselves, and if the Trojans should

gather together all that have their dwellings in the city, and we

Achaians should marshal ourselves by tens, and every company choose a

Trojan to pour their wine, then would many tens lack a cup-bearer: so

much, I say, do the sons of the Achaians outnumber the Trojans that

dwell within the city. But allies from many cities, even warriors that

wield the spear, are therein, and they hinder me perforce, and for all

my will suffer me not to waste the populous citadel of Ilios. Already

have nine years of great Zeus passed away, and our ships' timbers have

rotted and the tackling is loosed; while there our wives and little

children sit in our halls awaiting us; yet is our task utterly

unaccomplished wherefor we came hither. So come, even as I bid let us

all obey. Let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for now

shall we never take wide-wayed Troy."

 

So spake he, and stirred the spirit in the breasts of all throughout the

multitude, as many as had not heard the council. And the assembly swayed

like high sea-waves of the Icarian Main that east wind and south wind

raise, rushing upon them from the clouds of father Zeus; and even as

when the west wind cometh to stir a deep cornfield with violent blast,

and the ears bow down, so was all the assembly stirred, and they with

shouting hasted toward the ships; and the dust from beneath their feet

rose and stood on high. And they bade each man his neighbor to seize the

shps and drag them into the bright salt sea, and cleared out the

launching-ways, and the noise went up to heaven of their hurrying

homewards; and they began to take the props from beneath the ships.

 

Then would the Argives have accomplished their return against the will

of fate, but that Hera spake a word to Athene: "Out on it, daughter of

aegis-bearing Zeus, unwearied maiden! Shall the Argives thus indeed flee

homeward to their dear native land over the sea's broad back? But they

would leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos,

for whose sake many an Achaian hath perished in Troy, far away from his

dear native land. But go thou now amid the host of the mail-clad

Achaians; with thy gentle words refrain thou every man, neither suffer

them to draw their curved ships down to the salt sea."

 

So spake she, and the bright-eyed goddess Athene disregarded not; but

went darting down from the peaks of Olympus, and came with speed to the

fleet ships of the Achaians. There found she Odysseus standing, peer of

Zeus in counsel, neither laid he any hand upon his decked black ship,

because grief had entered into his heart and soul. And bright-eyed

Athene stood by him and said: "Heaven-sprung son of Laertes, Odysseus of

many devices, will ye indeed fling yourselves upon your benched ships to

flee homeward to your dear native land? But ye would leave to Priam and

the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos, for whose sake many an

Achaian hath perished in Troy, far from his dear native land. But go

thou now amid the host of the Achaians, and tarry not; and with gentle

words refrain every man, neither suffer them to draw their curved ships

down to the salt sea."

 

So said she, and he knew the voice of the goddess speaking to him, and

set him to run, and cast away his mantle, the which his herald gathered

up, even Eurybated of Ithaca, that waited on him. And himself he went to

meet Agamemnon son of Atreus, and at his hand received the sceptre of

his sires, imperishable for ever, wherewith he took his way amid the

ships of the mail-clad Achaians.

 

Whenever he found one that was a captain and a man of mark, he stood by

his side, and refrained him with gentle words: "Good sir, it is not

seemly to affright thee like a coward, but do thou sit thyself and make

all thy folk sit down. For thou knowest not yet clearly what is the

purpose of Atreus' son; now is he but making trial, and soon he will

afflict the sons of the Achaians. And heard we not all of us what he

spake in the council? Beware lest in his anger he evilly entreat the

sons of the Achaians. For proud is the soul of heaven-fostered kings;

because their honour is of Zeus, and the god of counsel loveth them."

 

But whatever man of the people he saw and found him shouting, him he

drave with his sceptre and chode him with loud words: "Good sir, sit

still and hearken to the words of others that are thy betters; but thou

art no warrior, and a weakling, never reckoned whether in battle or in

council. In no wise can we Achaians all be kings here. A multitude of

masters is no good thing; let there be one master, one king, to whom the

son of crooked-counselling Kronos hath granted it, [even the sceptre and

judgments, that he may rule among you"].

 

So masterfully ranged he the host; and they hasted back to the assembly

from ships and huts, with noise as when a wave of loud-sounding sea

roareth on the long beach and the main resoundeth.

 

Now all the rest sat down and kept their place upon the benches, only

Thersites still chattered on, the uncontrolled speech, whose mind was

full of words many and disorderly, wherewith to strive against the

chiefs idly and in no good order, but even as he deemed that he should

make the Argives laugh. And he was ill-favored beyond all men that came

to Ilios. Bandy-legged was he, and lame of one foot, and his two

shoulders rounded, arched down upon his chest; and over them his head

was warped, and a scanty stubble sprouted on it. Hateful was he to

Achilles above all and to Odysseus, for them he was wont to revile. But

now with shrill shout he poured forth his upbraidings upon goodly

Agamemnon. With him the Achaians were sore vexed and had indignation in

their souls. But he with loud shout spake and reviled Agamemnon:

"Atreides, for what art thou now ill content and lacking? Surely thy

huts are full of bronze and many women are in they huts, the chosen

spoils that we Achaians give thee first of all, whene'er we take a town.

Can it be that thou yet wantest gold as well, such as some one of the

horse-taming Trojans may bring from Ilios to ransom his son, whom I

perchance or some other Achaian have led captive; or else some young

girl, to know in love, whom thou mayest keep apart to thyself? But it is

not seemly for one that is their captain to bring the sons of the

Achaians to ill. Soft fools, base things of shame, ye women of Achaia

and men no more, let us depart home with our ships, and leave this

fellow here in Troy-land to gorge him with meeds of honour, that he may

see whether our aid avail him aught or no; even he that hath now done

dishonour to Achilles, a far better man than he; for he hath taken away

his meed of honour and keepeth it by his own violent deed. Of a very

surety is there no wrath at all in Achilles' mind, but he is slack; else

this despite, thou son of Atreus, were thy last."

 

So spake Thersites, reviling Agamemnon shepherd of the host. But goodly

Odysseus came straight to his side, and looking sternly at him with hard

words rebuked him: "Thersites, reckless in words, shrill orator though

thou art, refrain thyself, nor aim to strive singly against kings. For I

deem that no mortal is baser than thou of all that with the sons of

Atreus came before Ilios. Therefore were it well that thou shouldest not

have kings in thy mouth as thou talkest, and utter revilings against

them and be on the watch for departure. We know not yet clearly how

these things shall be, whether we sons of the Achaians shall return for

good or ill. Therefore now dost thou revile continually Agamemnon son of

Atreus, shepherd of the host, because the Danaan warriors give him many

gifts, and so thou talkest tauntingly. But I will tell thee plain, and

that I say shall even be brought to pass: if I find thee again raving as

now thou art, then may Odysseus' head no longer abide upon his

shoulders, nor may I any more be called father of Telemachos, if I take

thee not and strip from thee thy garments, thy mantle and tunic that

cover thy nakedness, and for thyself send thee weeping to the fleet

ships, and beat thee out of the assembly with shameful blows."

 

So spake he, and with his staff smote his back and shoulders: and he

bowed down and a big tear fell from him, and a bloody weal stood up from

his back beneath the golden sceptre. Then he sat down and was amazed,

and in pain with helpless look wiped away the tear. But the rest, though

they were sotty, laughed lightly at him, and thus would one speak

looking at another standing by: "Go to, of a truth Odysseus hath wrought

good deeds without number ere now, standing foremost in wise counsels

and setting battle in array, but now is this thing the best by fat that

he hath wrought among the Argives, to wit, that he hath stayed this

prating railer from his harangues. Never again, forsooth, will his proud

soul henceforth bid him revile the kings with slanderous words."

 

So said the common sort; but up rose Odysseus waster of cities, with

sceptre in his hand. And by his side bright-eyed Athene in the likeness

of a herald bade the multitude keep silence, that the sons of the

Achaians, both the nearest and the farthest, might hear his words

together and give heed to his counsel. He of good intent made harangue

to them and said: "Atreides, now surely are the Achaians for making

thee, O king, most despised among all mortal men, nor will they fulfil

the promise that they pledged thee when they still were marching hither

from horse-pasturing Argos; that thou shouldest not return till thou

hadst laid well-walled Ilios waste. For like young children or widow

women do they wail each to the other of returning home. Yea, here is

toil to make a man depart disheartened. For he that stayeth away but one

single month far from his wife in his benched ship fretteth himself when

winter storms and the furious sea imprison him; but for us, the ninth

year of our stay here is upon us in its course. Therefore do I not

marvel that the Achaians should fret beside their beaked ships; yet

nevertheless is it shameful to wait long and to depart empty. Be of good

heart, my friends, and wait a while, until we learn whether Kalchas be a

true prophet or no. For this thing verily we know well in our hearts,

and ye all are witnesses thereof, even as many as the fates of death

have not borne away. It was as it were but yesterday or the day before

that the Achaians' ships were gathering in Aulis, freighted with trouble

for Priam and the Trojans; and we round about a spring were offering on

the holy altars unblemished hecatombs to the immortals, beneath a fair

plane-tree whence flowed bright water, when there was seen a great

portent: a snake blood-red on the back, terrible, whom the god of

Olympus himself had sent forth to the light of day, sprang from beneath

the altar and darted to the plane-tree. Now there were there the brood

of a sparrow, tender little ones, upon the topmost branch, nestling

beneath the leaves; eight were they and the mother of the little ones

was the ninth, and the snake swallowed these cheeping pitifully. And the

mother fluttered around wailing for her dear little ones; but he coiled

himself and caught her by the wing as she screamed about him. Now when

he had swallowed the sparrow's little ones and the mother with them, the

god who revealed him made of him a sign; for the son of

crooked-counselling Kronos turned him to stone, and we stood by and

marvelled to see what was done. So when the dread portent brake in upon

the hecatombs of the gods, then did Kalchas forthwith prophesy, and

said: 'Why hold ye your peace, ye flowing-haired Achaians? To us hath

Zeus the counsellor shown this great sign, late come, of late

fulfilment, the fame whereof shall never perish. Even as he swallowed

the sparrow's little ones and herself, the eight wherewith the mother

that bare the little ones was the ninth, so shall we war there so many

years, but in the tenth year shall we take the wide-wayed city.' So

spake the seer; and now are all these things being fulfilled. So come,

abide ye all, ye well-greaved Achaians, even where ye are, until we have

taken the great city of Priam."

 

So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud, and all round the ships

echoed terribly to the voice of the Achaians as they praised the saying

of god-like Odysseus. And then spake among them knightly Nestor of

Gerenia: "Out on it; in very truth ye hold assembly like silly boys that

have no care for deeds of war. What shall come of our covenants and our

oaths? Let all counsels be cast into the fire and all devices of

warriors and the pure drink-offerings and the right hands of fellow-

ship wherein we trusted. For we are vainly striving with words nor can

we find any device at all, for all our long tarrying here. Son of

Atreus, do thou still, as erst, keep steadfast purpose and lead the

Argives amid the violent fray; and for these, let them perish, the one

or two Achaians that take secret counsel--to depart to Argos first,

before they know whether the promise of aegis-bearing Zeus be a lie or

no. Yea, for I say that most mighty Kronion pledged us his word that day

when the Argives embarked upon their fleet ships, bearing unto the

Trojans death and fate; for by his lightning upon our right he

manifested signs of good. Therefore let Trojan's wife and paid back his

strivings and groans for Helen's sake. But if any man is overmuch

desirous to black ship, that before all men he may encounter death and

fate. But do thou, my king, take good counsel thyself, and whate'er it

be, shall not be cast away. Separate thy warriors by tribes and by

clans, Agamemnon, that clan may give aid to clan and tribe to tribe. If

thou do thus and the Achaians hearken to thee, then wilt thou know who

among thy captains and who of the common sort is a coward, and who too

is brave; for they will fight each after their sort. So wilt thou know

whether it is even by divine command that thou shalt not take the city,

or by the baseness of thy warriors and their ill skill in battle."

 

And lord Agamemnon answered and said to him: "Verily hast thou again

outdone the sons of the Achaians in speech, old man. Ah, father Zeus and

Athene and Apollo, would that among the Achaians I had ten such

councillors; then would the city of king Priam soon bow beneath our

hands, captive and wasted. But aegis-bearing Zeus, the son of Kronos,

hath brought sorrows upon me, in that he casteth my lot amid fruitless

wranglings and strifes. For in truth I and Achilles fought about a

damsel with violent words, and I was first to be angry; but if we can

only be at one in council, then will there no more be any putting off

the day of evil for the Trojans, no not for an instant. But now go ye to

your meal that we may join battle. Let each man sharpen well his spear

and bestow well his shield, and let him well give his fleet-footed

steeds their meal, and look well to his chariot on every side and take

thought for battle, that all day long we may contend in hateful war. For

of respite shall there intervene no, not a whit, only that the coming of

night shall part the fury of warriors. On each man's breast shall the

baldrick of his covering shield be wet with sweat, and his hand shall

grow faint about the spear, and each man's horse shall sweat as he

draweth the polished chariot. And whomsoever I perceive minded to tarry

far from the fight beside the beaked ships, for him shall there be no

hope hereafter to escape the dogs and birds of prey."

 

So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud, like to a wave on a steep

shore, when the south wind cometh and stirreth it; even on a jutting

rock, that is never left at peace by the waves of all winds that rise

from this side and from that. And they did sacrifice each man to one of

the everlasting gods, praying for escape from death and the tumult of

battle. But Agamemnon king of men slew a fat bull of five years to most

mighty Kronion, and called the elders, the princes of the Achaian host,

Nestor first and king Idomeneus, and then the two Aiantes and Tydeus'

son, and sixthly Odysseus peer of Zeus in counsel. And Menelaos of the

loud war-cry came to him unbidden, for he knew in his heart how his

brother toiled. Then stood they around the bull and took the

barley-meal. And Agamemnon made his prayer in their midst and said:

"Zeus, most glorious, most great, god of the storm-cloud, that dwellest

in the heaven, vouchsafe that the sun set not upon us nor the darkness

come near, till I have laid low upon the earth Priam's palace smirched

with smoke, and burnt the doorways thereof with consuming fire, and rent

on Hector's breast his doublet cleft with the blade; and about him may

full many of his comrades prone in the dust bite the earth."

 

So spake he, but not as yet would Kronion grant him fulfilment; he

accepted the sacrifice, but made toil to wax increasingly.

 

Now when they had prayed and sprinkled the barley-meal they first drew

back the bull's head and cut his throat and flayed him, and cut slices

from the thigh's and wrapped them in fat, making a double fold, and laid

raw collops thereon. And these they burnt on cleft wood stript of

leaves, and spitted the vitals and held them over Hephaistos' flame. Now

when the thighs were burnt and they had tasted the vitals, then sliced

they all the rest and pierced it through with spits, and roasted it

carefully and drew all off again. So when they had rest from the task

and had made ready the banquet, they feasted, nor was their heart aught

stinted of the fair banquet. But when they had put away from them the

desire of meat and drink, then did knightly Nestor of Gerenia open his

saying to them: "Most noble son of Atreus, Agamemnon king of men, let us

not any more hold long converse here, nor for long delay the work that

god putteth in our hands; but come, let the heralds of the mail-clad

Achaians make proclamation to the folk and gather them throughout the

ships; and let us go thus in concert through the wide host of the

Achaians, that the speedier we may arouse keen war."

 

So spake he and Agamemnon king of men disregarded not. Straightway he

bade the clear-voiced heralds summon to battle the flowing-haired

Achaians. So those summoned and these gathered with all speed. And the

kings, the fosterlings of Zeus that were about Atreus' son, eagerly

marshalled them, and bright-eyed Athene in the midst, bearing the holy

aegis that knoweth neither age nor death, whereon wave an hundred

tassels of pure gold, all deftly woven and each one an hundred oxen

worth. Therewith she passed dazzling through the Achaian folk, urging

them forth; and in every man's heart she roused strength to battle

without ceasing and to fight. So was war made sweeter to them than to

depart in their hollow ships to their dear native land. Even as ravaging

fire kindleth a boundless forest on a mountain's peaks, and the blaze is

seen from afar, even so as they marched went the dazzling gleam from the

innumerable bronze through the sky even unto the heavens.

 

And as the many tribes of feathered birds, wild geese or cranes or

long-necked swans, on the Asian mead by Kaystrios' stream, fly hither

and thither joying in their plumage, and with loud cries settle ever

onwards, and the mead resounds; even so poured forth the many tribes of

warriors from ships and huts into the Skamandrian plain. And the earth

echoed terribly beneath the tread of men and horses. So stood they in

the flowery Skamandrian plain, unnumbered as are leaves and flowers in

their season. Even as the many tribes of thick flies that hover about a

herdsman's steading in the spring season, when milk drencheth the pails,

even in like number stood the flowing-haired Achaians upon the plain in

face of the Trojans, eager to rend them asunder. And even as the

goatherds easily divide the ranging flocks of goats when they mingle in

the pasture, so did their captains marshal them on this side and that,

to enter into the fray, and in their midst lord Agamemnon, his head and

eyes like unto Zeus whose joy is in the thunder, and his waist like unto

Ares and his breast unto Poseidon. Even as a bull standeth out far

foremost amid the herd, for his is pre-eminent amid the pasturing kine,

even such did Zeus make Atreides on that day, pre-eminent among many and

chief amid heroes.

 

Tell me now, ye Muses that dwell in the mansions of Olympus--seeing that

ye are goddesses and are at hand and know all things, but we hear only a

rumour and know not anything--who were the captains of the Danaans and

their lords. But the common sort could I not number nor name, nay, not

if ten tongues were mine and ten mouths, and a voice unwearied, and my

heart of bronze within me, did not the Muses of Olympus, daughters of

aegis-bearing Zeus, put into my mind all that came to Ilios. So will I

tell the captains of the ships and all the ships in order.

 

Of the Boiotians Peneleos and Leitos were captains, and Arkesilaos and

Prothoenor and Klonios; these were they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky

Aulis and Schoinos and Skolos and Eteonos full of ridges, Thespeia and

Graia and Mykalessos with wide lawns; and that dwelt about Harma and

Eilesion and Erythrai, and they that possessed Eleon and Peteon and

Hyle, Okalea and the stablished fortress of Medeon, Kopai and Eutresis

and Thisbe haunt of doves; and they of Koroneia and grassy Haliartos,

and that possessed Plataia and that dwelt in Glisas, and that possessed

the stablished fortress of lesser Thebes and holy Onchestos, Poseidon's

bright grove; and that possessed Arne rich in vineyards, and Mideia and

sacred Nisa and Anthedon on the furthest borders. Of these there came

fifty ships, and in each one embarked young men of the Boiotians an

hundred and twenty. And they that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenos of

the Minyai were led of Askalaphos and Ialmenos, sons of Ares, whom

Astyoche conceived of the mighty god in the palace of Aktor son of

Azeus, having entered her upper chamber, a stately maiden; for mighty

Ares lay with her privily. And with them sailed thirty hollow ships.

 

And the Phokians were led of Schedios and Epistrophos, sons of great-

hearted Iphitos son of Naubolos; these were they that possessed

Kyparissos and rocky Pytho and sacred Krisa and Daulis and Panopeus, and

they that dwelt about Anemoreia and Hyampolis, yea, and they that lived

by the goodly river Kephisos and possessed Lilaia by Kephisos' springs.

And with them followed thirty black ships. So they marshalled the ranks

of the Phokians diligently, and had their station hard by the Boiotians

on the left.

 

And of the Lokrians the fleet son of Oileus was captain, Aias the less,

that was not so great as was the Telamonian Aias but far less. Small was

he, with linen corslet, but with the spear he far outdid all the

Hellenes and Achaians. These were they that dwelt in Kynos and Opus and

Kalliaros and Bessa and Skarphe and lovely Augeiai and Tarphe and

Thronion, about the streams of Boagrios. And with Aias followed forty

black ships of the Lokrians that dwell over against holy Euboia.

 

And the Abantes breathing fury, they that possessed Euboia and Chalkis

and Eiretria and Histiaia rich in vines, and Kerinthos by the sea and

the steep fortress of Dios and they that possessed Karytos, and they

that dwelt in Styra, all these again were led of Elephenor of the stock

of Ares, even the son of Chalkodon, and captain of the proud Abantes.

And with him followed the fleet Abantes with hair flowing behind,

spearmen eager with ashen shafts outstretched to tear the corslets on

the breasts of the foes. And with him forty black ships followed.

 

And they that possessed the goodly citadel of Athens, the domain of

Erechtheus the high-hearted, whom erst Athene daughter of Zeus fostered

when Earth, the grain-giver, brought him to birth;--and she gave him a

resting-place in Athens in her own rich sanctuary; and there the sons of

the Athenians worship him with bulls and rams as the years turn in their

courses--these again were led of Menestheus son of Peteos. And there was

no man upon the face of earth that was like him for the marshalling of

horsemen and warriors that bear the shield. Only Nestor rivalled him,

for he was the elder by birth. And with him rivalled him, for he was the

elder by birth. And with him fifty black ships followed.

 

And Aias led twelve ships from Salamis, [and brought them and set them

where the battalions of the Athenians stood.]

 

And they that possessed Argos and Tiryns of the great walls, Hermione

and Asine that enfold the deep gulf, Troizen and Eionai and Epidauros

full of vines, and the youths of the Achaians that possessed Aigina and

Mases, these were led of Diomedes of the loud war-cary and Sthenelos,

dear son of famous Kapaneus. And the third with them came Euryalos, a

godlike warrior, the son of king Mekisteus son of Talaos. But Diomedes

of the loud war-cry was lord over all. And with them eighty black ships

followed.

 

And of them that possessed the stablished fortress of Mykene and wealthy

Corinth and stablished Kleonai, and dwelt in Orneiai and lovely

Araithyrea and Sikyon, wherein Adrestos was king at the first; and of

them that possessed Hyperesie and steep Gonoessa and Pellene, and dwelt

about Aigion and through all the coast-land and about broad Helike, of

them did lord Agamemnon son of Atreus lead an hundred ships. With him

followed most and goodliest folk by far; and in their midst himself was

clad in flashing bronze, all glorious, and was pre-eminent amid all

warriors, because he was goodliest and led folk far greatest in number.

 

And of them that possessed Lakedaimon lying low amid the rifted hills,

and Pharis and Sparta and Messe, the haunt of doves, and dwelt in

Bryseiai and lovely Augeiai, and of them too that possessed Amyklai and

the sea-coast fortress of Helos, and that possessed Laas and dwelt about

Oitylos, of these was the king's brother leader, even Menelaos of the

loud war-cry, leader of sixty ships, and these were arrayed apart. And

himself marched among them confident in his zeal, urging his men to

battle: and his heart most of all was set to take vengeance for his

strivings and groans for Helen's sake [Or, "for Helen's searchings of

heart and groans."].

 

And of them that dwelt in Pylos and lovely Arene and Thryon the

fording-place of Alpheios, and in established Aipy, and were inhabitants

of Kyparisseis and Amphigeneia and Pteleos and Helos and Dorion--where

the Muses met Thamyris the Thracian, and made an end of his singing, as

he was faring from Oichalia, from Eurytos the Oichalian; for he averred

with boasting that he would conquer, even did the Muses themselves sing

against him, the daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus; but they in their

anger maimed him, moreover they took from him the high gift of song and

made him to forget his harping--of all these was knightly Nestor of

Gerenia leader, and with him sailed ninety hollow ships.

 

And of them that possessed Arkadia beneath the steep mountain of

Kyllene, beside the tomb of Aipytos, where are warriors that fight hand

to hand; and of them that dwelt in Pheneos and Orchomenos abounding in

flocks, and Rhipe and Stratie and windy Enispe, and that possessed Tegea

and lovely Mantineia, and possessed Stymphelos and dwelt in Parhasie, of

these was Ankaios' son lord Agapenor leader, even of sixty ships; and in

each ship embarked many Arkadian warriors skilled in fight. For

Agamemnon king of men himself gave them benched ships wherewith to cross

the wine-dark sea, even he the son of Atreus; for matters of seafaring

concerned them not.

 

And they too that inhabited Bouprasion and goodly Elis, so much thereof

as Hyrmine and Myrsinos upon the borders and the Olenian rock and

Aleision bound between them, of these men there were four captains, and

ten swift ships followed each one, and many Epeians embarked thereon. So

some were led of Amphimachos and Thalpios, of the lineage of Aktor, sons

one of Kteatos and one of Eurytos; and of some was stalwart Diores

captain, son of Amarynkes; and of the fourth company godlike Polyxeinos

was captain, son of king Agasthenes Augeias' son.

 

And them of Doulichion and the holy Echinean Isles that stand beyond the

sea over against Elis, even these did Meges lead, the peer of Ares,

Phyleides to wit, for he was begotten of knightly Phyleus dear to Zeus,

him that erst changed his habitation to Doulichion for anger against his

father. And with him followed forty black ships.

 

And Odysseus led the great-hearted Kephallenians, them that possessed

Ithaka and Neriton with quivering leafage, and dwelt in Krokyleia and

rugged Aigilips, and them that possessed Zakynthos and that dwelt in

Samos, and possessed the mainland and dwelt in the parts over against

the isles. Them did Odysseus lead, the peer of Zeus in counsel, and with

him followed twelve ships with vermillion prow.

 

And of the Aitolians Thoas was captain, the son of Andraimon, even of

them that dwelt in Pleuron and Olenos and Pylene, and Chalkis on the

sea-shore and rocky Kalydon. For the sons of great-hearted Oineus were

no more, neither did he still live, and golden-haired Meleagros was

dead, to whose hands all had been committed, for him to be king of the

Aitolians. And with Thoas there followed forty black ships.

 

And of the Cretans Idomeneus the famous spearman was leader, even of

them that possessed Knosos and Gortys of the great walls, Lyktos and

Miletos and chalky Lykastos and Phaistos and Rhytion, stablished cities

all; and of all others that dwelt in Crete of the hundred cities. Of

these men was Idomeneus the famous spearman leader, and Meriones peer of

the man-slaying war-god. With these followed eighty black ships.

 

And Tlepolemmos, Herakles' son goodly and tall, led from Rhodes nine

ships of the lordly Rhodians, that dwelt in Rhodes in threefold

ordering, in Lindos and Ialysos and chalky Kameiros. These were led of

Tlepolemos the famous spearman, that was born to great Herakles by

Astyocheia, whom he had brought away from Ephyre by the river Selleeis,

when he laid waste many cities of strong men, fosterlings of Zeus. Now

when Tlepolemos had grown to manhood within the strong palace walls,

anon he slew his own father's dear uncle, an old man now, Likymnios of

the stock of Ares. Then with speed built he ships and gathered much folk

together, and went fleeing across the deep, because the other sons and

grandsons of great Herakles threatened him. So he came to Rhodes a

wanderer, enduring hardships, and his folk settled by kinship in three

tribes, and were loved of Zeus that is king among gods and men; and

Kronion poured upon them exceeding great wealth.

 

Nireus, moreover, led three trim ships from Syme, Nireus son of Aglaia

and king Charopos, Nireus the most beauteous man that came up under

Ilios of all the Danaans, after the noble son of Peleus. Howbeit he was

a weakling, and a scanty host followed him.

 

And of them that possessed Nisyros and Krapathos and Kasos and Kos the

city of Eurypylos, and the Kalydnian Isles, of them Pheidippos and

Antiphos were leaders, the two sons of king Thessalos son of Herakles.

With them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.

 

Now all moreover that dwelt in the Pelasgian Argos and inhabited Alos

and Alope and Trachis and possessed Phthia and Hellas the home of fair

women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaians; of all

these, even fifty ships, Achilles was captain. But these took no thought

of noisy war; for there was no man to array them in line of battle. For

fleet-footed goodly Achilles lay idle amid the ships, wroth for the sake

of a damsel, Briseis of the lovely hair, whom he had won from Lyrnessos

and the walls of Thebe, and overthrew Mynes and Epistrophos, warriors

that bare the spear, sons of king Euenos Selepos' son. For her sake lay

Achilles sorrowing; but soon was he to arise again.

 

And of them that possessed Phylake and flowery Pyrasos, Demeter's

sanctuary, and Iton mother of flocks, and Antron by the sea-shore and

Pteleos couched in grass, of all these was warlike Protesilaos leader

while yet he lived; but now ere this the black earth held him fast. His

wife with marred visage was left alone in Phylake, yea, and his bridal

chamber half builded; for a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt from

his ship far first of the Achaians. Yet neither were his men leaderless,

though they sorrowed for their leader; for Podarkes of the stock of Ares

marshalled them, son of Phylakos' son Iphiklos was he, the lord of many

flocks, own brother of great-hearted Protesilaos, and younger-born than

he: but the other was alike the elder and the braver, even Protesilaos,

that mighty man of war. Yet did not the host lack at all a leader, only

they yearned for the noble dead. With him followed forty black ships.

 

And of them that dwelt in Pherai by the Boibeian mere, in Boibe and

Glaphyre and stablished Iolkos, of them, even eleven ships, Admetos'

dear son was leader, Eumelos whom Alkestis, fair among women, bare to

Admetos, she that was most beauteous to look upon of the daughters of

Pelias.

 

And of them that dwelt in Methone and Thaumakie, and possessed Meliboia

and rugged Olizon, of these, even seven ships, was Philoktetes leader,

the cunning archer; and in each ship sailed fifty oarsmen skilled to

fight amain with the bow. But their captain lay enduring sore pain in

the isle of goodly Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaians left him sick

of a grievous wound from a deadly water-snake. There lay he pining; yet

were the Argives soon to bethink them beside their ships of king

Philoktetes. Yet neither were his men leaderless, only they sorrowed for

their leader; but Medon marshalled them, Oileus' bastard son, whom Rhene

bare to Oileus waster of cities.

 

And of them that possessed Trikke and terraced ithome and that possessed

Oichalia city of Eurytos the Oichalian, of these again Asklepios' two

sons were leaders, the cunning leeches Podaleirios and Machaon. And with

them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.

 

And of them that possessed Ormenios and the fountain of Hypereia, and

possessed Asterion and the white crests of Titanos, of these was

Eurypylos leader, Euaimon's glorious son; and with him, forty black

ships followed.

 

And of them that possessed Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtona, Orthe and Elone

and the white city of Olooson, of these was captain unflinching

Polypoites, son of Peirithoos that immortal Zeus begat: and Polypoites

did famed Hippodameia conceive of Peirithoos on that day when he took

vengeance of the shaggy wild folk, and thrust them forth from Pelion and

drave them to the Aithikes. And Polypoites ruled not alone, but with him

was Leonteus of the stock of Ares, son of high-hearted Koronos Kaineus'

son. And with them forty black ships followed.

 

And Gouneus from Kyphos led two-and-twenty ships, and with him followed

the Enienes and unflinching Peraibians that had pitched their homes

about wintry Dodona, and dwelt on the tilth about lovely Titaresios that

poureth his fair-flowing stream into Peneios. Yet doth he not mingle

with the silver eddies of Peneios, but floweth on over him like unto

oil, seeing that he is an offspring from the water of Styx, the dread

river of the oath.

 

And the Magnetes were led of Prothoos son of Tenthredon, even they that

dwelt about Peneios and Pelion with trembling leafage. These did fleet

Prothoos lead, and with him forty black ships followed.

 

So these were the leaders of the Danaans and their captains. Now tell

me, O Muse, who among them was first and foremost, of warriors alike and

horses that followed the sons of Atreus. Of horses they of Pheres' son

were far goodliest, those that Eumelos drave, swift as birds, like of

coat, like of age, matched to the measure of a levelling line across

their backs. These were reared in Peraia by Apollo of the silver bow,

two mares carrying onward the terror of battle. But of warriors far best

was the Telamonian Aias, while the wrath of Achilles yet endured; for he

was greatest of all, he and his horses that bore him, even Peleus' noble

son. But he lay idle among his seafaring ships, in sore wrath against

Agamemnon Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; and his folk along the

sea-shore sported with quoits and with casting of javelins and archery;

and the horses each beside his own chariot stood idle, champing clover

and parsley of the marsh, and their lords' chariots lay well covered up

within the huts, while the men yearned for their warrior chief, and

wandered hither and thither through the camp and fought not.

 

So marched they then as though all the land were consuming with fire;

and the earth groaned beneath them as at the wrath of Zeus whose joy is

in the thunder, when he lasheth the earth about Typhoeus in the country

of the Arimoi, where men say is Typhoeus' couch. Even so groaned the

earth aloud at their tread as they went: and with speed advanced they

across the plain.

 

Now fleet Iris the wind-footed went to the Trojans, a messenger from

aegis-bearing Zeus, with a grievous message. These were holding assembly

at Priam's gate, being gathered all together both young men and old. And

fleet-footed Iris stood hard by and spake to them; and she made her

voice like to the voice of Polites son of Priam, who was the sentinel of

the Trojans and was wont to sit trusting in his fleetness upon the

barrow of Aisyetes of old, and on the top thereof wait the sallying of

the Achaians forth from their ships. Even in his likeness did

fleet-footed Iris speak to Priam: "Old man, words beyond number are

still pleasant to thee as erst in the days of peace; but war without

respite is upon us. Of a truth have I very oft ere now entered into

battles of the warriors, yet have I never seen so goodly a host and so

great; for in the very likeness of the leaves of the forest or the sands

of the sea are they marching along the plain to fight against the city.

But Hector, thee do I charge beyond all to do even as I shall say.

Seeing that the allies are very many throughout Priam's great city, and

diverse men, being scattered abroad, have diverse tongues; therefore let

each one give the word to those whose chieftain he is, and them let him

lead forth and have the ordering of his countrymen."

 

So spake she, and Hector failed not to know the voice of the goddess,

and straightway dismissed the assembly, and they rushed to arms. And the

gates were thrown open wide, and the host issued forth, footmen and

horsemen, and mighty din arose.

 

Now there is before the city a certain steep mound apart in the plain,

with a clear way about it on this side and on that; and men indeed call

this "Batieia," but the immortals call it "The tomb of lithe Myrine."

There did the Trojans and their allies divide their companies.

 

Amid the Trojans great Hector of the glancing helm was leader, the son

of Priam; with him the greatest hosts by far and the goodliest were

arrayed, eager warriors of the spear.

 

But the Dardanians were led of the princely son of Anchises, Aineias,

whom bright Aphrodite conceived to Anchises amids the spurs of Ida, a

goddess wedded to a mortal. Neither was he alone; with him were

Antenor's two sons, Archelochos and Akamas, well skilled in all the ways

of war.

 

And of them that dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida, the

men of substance that drink the dark waters of Aisepos, even the Troes;

of these Lykaon's glorious son was leader, Pandaros, to whom Apollo

himself gave the bow.

 

And of them that possessed Adresteia and the land of Apaisos and

possessed Pityeia and the steep hill of Tereia, of these Adrestos was

captain, and Amphios of the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of

Perkote, that beyond all men knew soothsaying, and would have hindered

his children marching to murderous war. But they gave him no heed, for

the fates of black death led them on.

 

And they that dwelt about Perkote and Praktios and possessed Sestos and

Abydos and bright Arisbe, these were led of Hyrtakos' son Asios, a

prince of men, Asios son of Hyrtakos, whom his tall sorrel steeds

brought from Arisbe, from the river Selleeis.

 

And Hippothoos led the tribes of the Pelasgians that fight with spears,

them that inhabited deep-soiled Larisa. These were led of Hippothoos and

Pylaios of the stock of Ares, twain sons of Pelasgian Lethos son of

Teutamos.

 

And the Thracians were led of Akamas and hero Peiroos, even all they

that the strong stream of Hellespont shutteth in. And Euphemos was

captain of the Kikonian spearmen, the son of Troizenos Keos' son,

fosterling of Zeus.

 

But Pyraichmes led the Paionians with curving bows, from far away in

Amydon, from the broad stream of Axios, Axios whose water is the fairest

that floweth over the face of the earth.

 

And Pylaimenes of rugged heart led the Paphlagonians from the land of

the Eneti, whence is the breed of wild mules. This folk were they that

possessed Kytoros and dwelt about Sesamon, and inhabited their famed

dwellings round the river Parthenios and Kromna and Aigialos and lofty

Erythini.

 

And the Alizones were led of Odios and Epistrophos, from far away in

Alybe, where is the birthplace of silver.

 

And the Mysians were led of Chromis and Ennomos the augur, yet with all

his auguries wardedhe not black fate from him, but was vanguished by the

hand of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, when he made havoc of the

Trojans there and of the rest.

 

And Phorkys and godlike Askanios led the Phrygians from far Askania, and

these were eager to fight in the battle-throng.

 

And the Maionians were commanded of Mesthles and Antiphos, Talaimenes'

two sons, whose mother was the Gygaian mere. So these led the Maionians,

whose birthplace was under Tmolos.

 

But Nastes led the Karians, uncouth of speech, that possessed Miletos

and the mountain of Phthires, of leafage numberless, and the streams of

Maiandros and the steep crest of Mykale. These were led of Amphimachos

and Nastes: Nastes and Amphimachos the glorious children of Nomion. And

he came, forsooth, to battle with golden attire like a girl--fond man:

that held not back in any wise grievous destruction, but he was

vanguished by the hands of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, and

wise-hearted Achilles carried away his gold.

 

And Sarpedon and blameless Glaukos led the Lykians from far away in

Lykia by eddying Xanthos.

 

 

 

BOOK III.

 

    How Menelaos and Paris fought in single combat; and

    Aphrodite rescued Paris. And how Helen and Priam beheld the

    Achaian host from the walls of Troy.

 

Now when they were arrayed, each company with their captains, the

Trojans marched with clamour and with shouting like unto birds, even as

when there goeth up before heaven a clamour of cranes which flee from

the coming of winter and sudden rain, and fly with clamour towards the

streams of ocean, bearing slaughter and fate to the Pigmy men, and in

early morn offer cruel battle. But on the other side marched the

Achaians in silence breathing courage, eager at heart to give succour

man to man.

 

Even as when the south wind sheddeth mist over the crests of a mountain,

mist unwelcome to the shepherd, but to the robber better than night,

and a man can see no further than he casteth a stone; even so thick

arose the gathering dust-clouds at their tread as they went; and

with all speed they advanced across the plain.

 

So when they were now come nigh in onset on each other, godlike

Alexandros played champion to the Trojans, wearing upon his shoulders

panther-skin and curved bow and sword; and he brandished two bronze-

headed spears and challenged all the chieftains of the Argives to fight

him man to man in deadly combat. But when Menelaos dear to Ares marked

him coming in the forefront of the multitude with long strides, then

even as a lion is glad when he lighteth upon a great carcase, a horned

stag, or a wild goat that he hath found, being an hungered; and so he

devoureth it amain, even though the fleet hounds and lusty youths set

upon him; even thus was Menelaos glad when his eyes beheld godlike

Alexandros; for he thought to take vengeance upon the sinner. So

straightway he leap in his armour from his chariot to the ground.

 

But when godlike Alexandros marked him appear amid the champions, his

heart was smitten, and he shrank back into the host of his comrades,

avoiding death. And even as a man that hath seen a serpent in a mountain

glade starteth backward and trembling seizeth his feet beneath him,

and he retreateth back again, and paleness hath hold of his cheeks, even

so did godlike Alexandros for fear of Atreus' son shrink back into the

throng of lordly Trojans. But Hector beheld and upbraided him with

scornful words: "Ill Paris, most fair in semblance, thou deceiver

woman-mad, would thou hadst been unborn and died unwed. Yea, that were

my desire, and it were far better than thus to be our shame and looked

at askance of all men. I ween that the flowing-haired Achaians laugh,

deeming that a prince is our champion only because a goodly favour is

his; but in his heart is there no strength nor any courage. Art thou

indeed such an one that in thy seafaring ships thou didst sail over the

deep with the company of thy trusty comrades, and in converse with

strangers didst bring back a fair woman from a far country, one that was

by marriage daughter to warriors that bear the spear, that she might be

a sore mischief to they father and city and all the realm, but to our

foes a rejoicing, and to thyself a hanging of the head? And canst thou

not indeed abide Menelaos dear to Ares? Thou mightest see what sort of

warrior is he whose lovely wife thou hast. Thy lyre will not avail thee

nor the gifts of Aphrodite, those thy locks and fair favour, when thou

grovellest in the dust. But the Trojans are very cowards: else ere this

hadst thou donned a robe of stone [i.e., been stoned by the people] for

all the ill thou hast wrought."

 

And godlike Alexandros made answer to him again: "Hector, since in

measure thou chidest me and not beyond measure--they heart is ever keen,

even as an axe that pierceth a beam at the hand of a man that shapeth a

ship's timber with skill, and thereby is the man's blow strengthened;

even such is thy heart undaunted in thy breast. Cast not in my teeth the

lovely gifts of golden Aphrodite; not to be flung aside are the gods'

glorious gifts that of their own good will they give; for by his desire

can no man win them. But now if thou wilt have me do battle and fight,

make the other Trojans sit down and all the Achaians, and set ye me in

the midst, and Menelaos dear to Ares, to fight for Helen and all her

wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him

take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home. And let

the rest pledge friendship and sure oaths; so may ye dwell in

deep-soiled Troy, and let them depart to Argos pasture-land of horses,

and Achaia home of fair women."

 

So spake he, and Hector rejoiced greatly to hear his saying, and went

into the midst and restrained the battalions of the Trojans, with his

spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down. But the

flowing-haired Achaians kept shooting at him, aiming with arrows and

casting stones. But Agamemnon king of men cried aloud: "Refrain, ye

Argives; shoot not, ye sons of the Achaians; for Hector of the glancing

helm hath set himself to say somewhat."

 

So spake he, and they refrained from battle and made silence speedily.

And Hector spake between the two hosts, "Hear of me, Trojans and well-

greaved Achaians, the saying of Alexandros, for whose sake strife hath

come about. He biddeth the other Trojans and all the Achaians to lay

down their goodly armour on the bounteous earth, and himself in the

midst and Menelaos dear to Ares to fight alone for Helen and all her

wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him

take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home; but let

all of us pledge friendship and sure oaths."

 

So spake he, and they all kept silence and were still. Then in their

midst spake Menelaos of the loud war-cry: "Hearken ye now to me, too;

for into my heart most of all is grief entered; and I deem that the

parting of Argives and Trojans hath come at last; seeing ye have endured

many ills because of my quarrel and the first sin of Alexandros. And for

whichsoever of us death and fate are prepared, let him lie dead: and be

ye all parted with speed. Bring ye two lambs, one white ram and one

black ewe, for earth and sun; and let us bring one for Zeus. And call

hither great Priam, that he may pledge the oath himself, seeing he hath

sons that are overweening and faithless, lest any by transgression do

violence to the oath of Zeus; for young men's hearts are ever lifted up.

But wheresoever an old man entereth in, he looketh both before and

after, whereby the best issue shall come for either side."

 

So spake he, and Achaians and Trojans were glad, deeming that they

should have rest from grievous war. So they refrained their chariots to

the ranks, and themselves alighted and doffed their arms. And these they

laid upon the earth each close to each, and there was but small space

between. And Hector sent two heralds to the city will all speed, to

bring the lambs, and to call Priam. And lord Agamemnon sent forth

Talthybios to go to the hollow ships, and bade him bring a ram; and he

was not disobedient to noble Agamemnon.

 

Now Iris went with a message to white-armed Helen in the likeness of her

husband's sister, the spouse of Antenor's son, even her that lord

Helikaon Antenor's son had to wife, Laodike fairest favoured of Priam's

daughters. And in the hall she found Helen weaving a great purple web of

double fold, and embroidering thereon many battles of horse-taming

Trojans and mail-clad Achaians, that they had endured for her sake at

the hands of Ares. So fleet-footed Iris stood by her side and said:

"Come hither, dear sister, that thou mayest see the wondrous doings of

horse-taming Trojans and mail-clad Achaians. They that erst waged

tearful war upon each other in the plain, eager for deadly battle, even

they sit now in silence, and the tall spears are planted by their sides.

But Alexandros and Menelaos dear to Ares will fight with their tall

spears for thee; and thou wilt be declared the dear wife of him that

conquereth."

 

So spake the goddess, and put into her heart sweet longing for her

former husband and her city and parents.

 

Forthwith she veiled her face in shining linen, and hastened from her

chamber, letting fall a round tear; not unattended, for there followed

with her two handmaidens, Aithre daughter of Pittheus and ox-eyed

Klymene. Then came she straightway to the place of the Skaian gates. And

they that were with Priam and Panthoos and Thymoites and Lampos and

Klytios and Hiketaon of the stock of Ares, Oukalegon withal and Antenor,

twain sages, being elders of the people, sat at the Skaian gates. These

had now ceased from battle for old age, yet were they right good

orators, like grasshoppers that in a forest sit upon a tree and utter

their lily-like [supposed to mean "delicate" or "tender"] voice; even so

sat the elders of the Trojans upon the tower. Now when they saw Helen

coming to the tower they softly spake winged words one to the other:

"Small blame is it that Trojans and well-greaved Achaians should for

such a woman long time suffer hardships; marvellously like is she to the

immortal goddesses to look upon. Yet even so, though she be so goodly,

let her go upon their ships and not stay to vex us and our children

after us."

 

So said they, and Priam lifted up his voice and called to Helen: "Come

hither, dear child, and sit before me, that thou mayest see thy former

husband and they kinsfolk and thy friends. I hold thee not to blame;

nay, I hold the gods to blame who brought on me the dolorous war of the

Achaians--so mayest thou now tell me who is this huge hero, this Achaian

warrior so goodly and great. Of a truth there are others even taller by

a head; yet mine eyes never behold a man so beautiful nor so royal; for

he is like unto one that is a king."

 

And Helen, fair among women, spake and answered him: "Reverend art thou

to me and dread, dear father of my lord; would that sore death had been

my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my home and my

kinsfolk and my daughter in her girlhood and the lovely company of mine

age-fellows. But that was not so, wherefore I pine with weeping. Now

will I tell thee that whereof thou askest me and enquirest. This is

Atreides, wide-ruling Agamemnon, one that is both a goodly king and

mighty spearman. And he was my husband's brother to me, ah shameless me;

if ever such an one there was."

 

So said she, and the old man marvelled at him, and said: "Ah, happy

Atreides, child of fortune, blest of heaven; now know I that many sons

of the Achaians are subject to thee. Erewhile fared I to Phrygia, the

land of vines, and there saw I that the men of Phrygia, they of the

nimble steeds, were very many, even the hosts of Otreus and godlike

Mygdon, that were then encamped along the banks of Sangarios. For I too

being their ally was numbered among them on the day that the Amazons

came, the peers of men. Yet were not even they so many as are the

glancing-eyed Achaians."

 

And next the old man saw Odysseus, and asked: "Come now, tell me of this

man too, dear child, who is he, shorter by a head than Agamemnon son of

Atreus, but broader of shoulder and of chest to behold? His armour lieth

upon the bounteous earth, and himself like a bell-wether rangeth the

ranks of warriors. Yea, I liken him to a thick-fleeced ram ordering a

great flock of ewes."

 

Then Helen sprung of Zeus made answer to him: "Now this is Laertes' son,

crafty Odysseus, that was reared in the realm of Ithaka, rugged though

it be, and skilled in all the ways of wile and cunning device."

 

Then sage Antenor made answer to her: "Lady, verily the thing thou

sayest is true indeed, for erst came goodly Odysseus hither also on an

embassage for thee, in the company of Menelaos dear to Ares; and I gave

them entertainment and welcomed them in my halls, and learnt the aspect

of both and their wise devices. Now when they mingled with the Trojans

in the assembly, while all stood up Menelaos overpassed them all by the

measure of his broad shoulders; but when both sat down, Odysseus was the

more stately. And when they began to weave the web of words and counsel

in the face of all, then Menelaos harangued fluently, in few words, but

very clearly, seeing he was not long of speech, neither random, though

in years he was the younger. But whenever Odysseus full of wiles rose

up, he stood and looked down, with eyes fixed upon the ground, and waved

not his staff whether backwards or forwards, but held it stiff, like to

a man of no understanding; one would deem him to be churlish, and naught

but a fool. But when he uttered his great voice from his chest, and

words like unto the snowflakes of winter, then could no mortal man

contend with Odysseus; then marvelled we not thus to behold Odysseus'

aspect."

 

And thirdly the old man say Aias, and asked: "Who then is this other

Achaian warrior, goodly and great, preeminent among the Archives by the

measure of his head and broad shoulders?"

 

And long-robed Helen, fair among women, answered: "This is huge Aias,

bulwark of the Achaians. And on the other side amid the Cretans standeth

Idomeneus like a god, and about him are gathered the captains of the

Cretans. Oft did Menelaos dear to Ares entertain him in our house

whene'er he came from Crete. And now behold I all the other

glancing-eyed Achaians, whom well I could discern and tell their names;

but two captains of the host can I not see, even Kastor tamer of horses

and Polydeukes the skilful boxer, mine own brethren, whom the same mother

bare. Either they came not in the company from lovely Lakedaimon; or

they came hither indeed in their seafaring ships, but now will not enter

into the battle of the warriors, for fear of the many scornings and

revilings that are mine."

 

So said she; but them the life-giving earth held fast there in

Lakedaimon, in their dear native land.

 

Meanwhile were the heralds bearing through the city the holy oath-

offerings, two lambs and strong-hearted wine, the fruit of the earth, in

a goat-skin bottle. And the herald Idaios bare the shining bowl and

golden cups; and came to the old man and summoned him and said: "Rise,

thou son of Laomedon. The chieftains of the horse-taming Trojans and

mail-clad Achaians call on thee to go down into the plain, that ye may

pledge a trusty oath. But Alexandros and Menelaos dear to Ares will

fight with their long spears for the lady's sake; and let lady and

treasure go with him that shall conquer. And may we that are left pledge

friendship and trusty oaths and dwell in deep-soiled Troy, and they

shall depart to Argos pasture-land of horses and Achaia home of fair

women."

 

So said he, and the old man shuddered and base his companions yoke the

horses; and they with speed obeyed. Then Priam mounted and drew back the

reins, and by his side Antenor mounted the splendid chariot. So the two

drave the fleet horses through the Skaian gates to the plain. And when

they had come even to the Trojans and Achaians, they went down from the

chariots upon the bounteous earth, and marched into the midst of Trojans

and Achaians. Then forthwith rose up Agamemnon king of men, and up rose

Odysseus the man of wiles; and the lordly heralds gathered together the

holy oath-offerings of the gods, and mingled the wine in a bowl, and

poured water over the princes' hands. And Atreides put forth his hand

and drew his knife that hung ever beside his sword's great sheath, and

cut the hair from off the lambs' heads; and then the heralds portioned

it among the chief of the Trojans and Achaians. Then in their midst

Atreus' son lifted up his hands and prayed aloud: "Father Zeus, that

rulest from Ida, most glorious, most great, and thou Sun that seest all

things and hearest all things, and ye Rivers and thou Earth, and ye that

in the underworld punish men outworn, whosoever sweareth falsely; be ye

witnesses, and watch over the faithful oath. If Alexandros slay

Menelaos, then let him have Helen to himself and all her possessions;

and we will depart on our seafaring ships. But if golden-haired Menelaos

slay Alexandros, then let the Trojans give back Helen and all her

possessions and pay the Argives the recompense that is seemly, such as

shall live among men that shall be hereafter. But if so be that Priam

and Priam's sons will not pay the recompense unto me when Alexandros

falleth, then will I fight on thereafter for the price of sin, and abide

here till I compass the end of war."

 

So said he, and cut the lambs' throats with the pitiless knife. Them he

laid gasping upon the ground, failing of breath, for the knife had taken

their strength from them; and next they drew the wine from the bowl into

the cups, and poured it forth and prayed to the gods that live for ever.

And thus would say many an one of Achaians and Trojans: "Zeus most

glorious, most great, and all ye immortal gods, which folk soe'er be

first to sin against the oaths, may their brains be so poured forth upon

the earth even as this wine, theirs and their children's; and let their

wives be made subject unto strangers."

 

So spake they, but the son of Kronos vouchsafed not yet fulfilment. And

in their midst Priam of the seed of Dardanos uttered his saying:

"Hearken to me, Trojans and well-greaved Achaians. I verily will return

back to windy Ilios, seeing that I can in no wise bear to behold with

mine eyes my dear son fighting with Menelaos dear to Ares. But Zeus

knoweth, and all the immortal gods, for whether of the twain the doom of

death is appointed."

 

So spake the godlike man, and laid the lambs in his chariot, and entered

in himself, and drew back the reins; and by his side Antenor mounted the

splendid chariot. So they departed back again to Ilios; and Hector son

of Priam and goodly Odysseus first meted out a space, and then they took

the lots, and shook them in a bronze-bound helmet, to know whether of

the twain should first cast his spear of bronze. And the people prayed

and lifted up their hands to the gods; and thus would say many an one of

Achaians and Trojans: "Father Zeus, that rulest from Ida, most glorious,

most great; whichsoe'er it be that brought this trouble upon both

peoples, vouchsafe that he may die and enter the house of Hades; that so

for us peace may be assured and trusty oaths."

 

So said they; and great Hector of the glancing plume shook the helmet,

looking behind him; and quickly leapt forth the lot of Paris. Then the

people sat them down by ranks where each man's high-stepping horses and

inwrought armour lay. And upon his shoulders goodly Alexandros donned

his beauteous armour, even he that was lord to Helen of the lovely hair.

First upon his legs set he his greaves, beautiful, fastened with silver

ankle-clasps; next upon his breast he donned the corslet of his brother

Lykaon, and fitted it upon himself. And over his shoulders cast he his

silver-studded sword of bronze, and then a shield great and sturdy. And

on his mighty head he set a wrought helmet of horse-hair crest,

whereover the plume nodded terribly, and he took him a strong spear

fitted to his grasp. And in like wise warlike Menelaos donned his

armour.

 

So when they had armed themselves on either side in the throng, they

strode between Trojans and Achaians, fierce of aspect, and wonder came

on them that beheld, both on the Trojans tamers of horses and on the

well-greaved Achaians. Then took they their stand near together in the

measured space, brandishing their spears in wrath each against other.

First Alexandros hurled his far shadowing spear, and smote on Atreides'

round shield; but the bronze brake not through, for its point was turned

in the stout shield. Next Menelaos son of Atreus lifted up his hand to

cast, and made prayer to father Zeus: "King Zeus, grant me revenge on

him that was first to do me wrong, even on goodly Alexandros, and subdue

thou him at my hands; so that many an one of men that shall be hereafter

may shudder to wrong his host that hath shown him kindness."

 

So said he, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled, and smote on

the round shield of the son of Priam. Through the bright shield went the

ponderous spear and through the inwrought breastplate it pressed on; and

straight beside his flank the spear rent the tunic, but he swerved and

escaped black death. Then Atreides drew his silver-studded sword, and

lifted up his hand and smote the helmet-ridge; but the sword shattered

upon it into three, yea four, and fell from his hand. Thereat Atreides

looked up to the wide heaven and cried: "Father Zeus, surely none of the

gods is crueller than thou. Verily I thought to have gotten vengeance on

Alexandros for his wickedness, but now my sword breaketh in my hand, and

my spear sped from my grasp in vain, and I have not smitten him."

 

So saying, he leapt upon him and caught him by his horse-hair crest, and

swinging him round dragged him towards the well-greaved Achaians; and he

was strangled by the embroidered strap beneath his soft throat, drawn

tight below his chin to hold his helm. Now would Menelaos have dragged

him away and won glory unspeakable, but that Zeus' daughter Aphrodite

was swift to mark, and tore asunder for him the strap of slaughtered

ox's hide; so the helmet came away empty in his stalwart hand. Thereat

Menelaos cast it with a swing toward the well-greaved Achaians, and his

trusty comrades took it up; and himself sprang back again eager to slay

him with spear of bronze. But Aphrodite snatched up Paris, very easily

as a goddess may, and hid him in thick darkness, and sent him down in

his fragrant perfumed chamber; and herself went to summon Helen. Her she

found on the high tower, and about her the Trojan women thronged. So

with her hand she plucked her perfumed raiment and shook it and spake to

her in the likeness of an aged dame, a wool-comber that was wont to work

for her fair wool when she dwelt in Lakedaimon, whom too she greatly

loved. Even in her likeness fair Aphrodite spake: "Come hither;

Alexandros summoneth thee to go homeward. There is he in his chamber and

inlaid bed, radiant in beauty and vesture; nor wouldst thou deem him to

be come from fighting his foe, but rather to be faring to the dance, or

from the dance to be just resting and set down."

 

So said she, and stirred Helen's soul within her breast; and when now

she marked the fair neck and lovely breast and sparkling eyes of the

goddess, she marvelled straightway and spake a word and called upon her

name: "Strange queen, why art thou desirous now to beguile me? Verily

thou wilt lead me further on to some one of the people cities of Phrygia

or lovely Maionia, if there too thou hast perchance some other darling

among mortal men, because even now Menelaos hath conquered goodly

Alexandros, and will lead me, accursed me, to his home. Therefore thou

comest hither with guileful intent. Go and sit thou by his side and

depart from the way of the gods; neither let thy feet ever bear thee

back to Olympus, but still be vexed for his sake and guard him till he

make thee his wife or perchance his slave. But thither will I not go--

that were a sinful thing--to array the bed of him; all the women of Troy

will blame me thereafter; and I have griefs untold within my soul."

 

Then in wrath bright Aphrodite spake to her: "Provoke me not, rash

woman, lest in mine anger I desert thee, and hate thee even as now I

love thee beyond measure, and lest I devise grievous enmities between

both, even betwixt Trojans and Achaians, and so thou perish in evil

wise."

 

So said she, and Helen sprung of Zeus was afraid, and went wrapped in

her bright radiant vesture, silently, and the Trojan women marked her

not; and the goddess led the way.

 

Now when they were come to the beautiful house of Alexandros the hand-

maidens turned straightway to their tasks, and the fair lady went to the

high-roofed chamber; and laughter-loving Aphrodite took for her a chair

and brought it, even she the goddess, and set it before the face of

Paris. There Helen took her seat, the child of aegis-bearing Zeus, and

with eyes turned askance spake and chode her lord: "Thou comest back

from battle; would thou hadst perished there, vanquished of that great

warrior that was my former husband. Verily it was once thy boast that

thou wast a better man than Menelaos dear to Ares, in the might of thine

arm and thy spear. But go now, challenge Menelaos, dear to Ares to fight

thee again face to face. Nay, but I, even I, bid thee refrain, nor fight

a fight with golden-haired Menelaos man to man, neither attack him

recklessly, lest perchance thou fall to his spear anon."

 

And Paris made answer to her and said: "Chide not my soul, lady, with

cruel taunts. For now indeed hath Menelaos vanquished me with Athene's

aid, but another day may I do so unto him; for we too have gods with us.

But come now, let us have joy of love upon our couch; for never yet hath

love so enwrapped my heart--not even then when first I snatched thee

from lovely Lakedaimon and sailed with thee on my sea-faring ships, and

in the isle of Kranae had converse with thee upon thy couch in love--as

I love thee now and sweet desire taketh hold upon me." So saying he led

the way to the couch, and the lady followed with him.

 

Thus laid they them upon their fretted couch; but Atreides the while

strode through the host like to a wild beast, if anywhere he might set

eyes on godlike Alexandros. But none of the Trojans or their famed

allies could discover Alexandros to Menelaos dear to Ares. Yet surely

did they in no wise hide him for kindliness, could any have seen him;

for he was hated of all even as black death. So Agamemnon king of men

spake among them there: "Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and

allies. Now is victory declared for Menelaos dear to Ares; give ye back

Helen of Argos and the possessions with her, and pay ye the recompense

such as is seemly, that it may live even among men that shall be

hereafter." So said Atreides, and all the Achaians gave assent.

 

 

 

BOOK IV.

 

    How Pandaros wounded Menelaos by treachery; and Agamemnon

    exhorted his chief captains to battle.

 

Now the gods sat by Zeus and held assembly on the golden floor, and in

the midst the lady Hebe poured them their nectar: they with golden

goblets pledged one another, and gazed upon the city of the Trojans.

Then did Kronos' son essay to provoke Hera with vexing words, and spake

maliciously: "Twain goddesses hath Menelaos for his helpers, even Hera

of Argos and Alalkomenean Athene. Yet these sit apart and take there

pleasure in beholding; but beside that other ever standeth

laughter-loving Aphrodite and wardeth off fate from him, and now hath

she saved him as he thought to perish. But of a truth the victory is to

Menelaos dear to Ares; so let us take thought how these things shall be;

whether once more we shall arouse ill war and the dread battle-din, or

put friendship between the foes. Moreover if this were welcome to all

and well pleasing, may the city of king Priam yet be an habitation, and

Menelaos take back Helen of Argos."

 

So said he, but Athene and Hera murmured thereat, who were sitting by

him and devising ills for the Trojans. Now Athene held her peace and

said not anything, for wrath at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold

upon her: But Hera's breast contained not her anger, and she spake:

"Most dread son of Kronos, what word is this thou hast spoken? How hast

thou the will to make my labour void and of none effect, and the sweat

of my toil that I sweated, when my horses were wearied with my summon-

ing of the host, to be the plague of Priam and his sons? Do as thou

wilt; but we other gods do not all approve thee."

 

Then in sore anger Zeus the cloud-gatherer spake to her: "Good lack, how

have Priam and Priam's sons done thee such great wrong that thou art

furiously minded to sack the established citadel of Ilios? Perchance

wert thou to enter within the gates and long walls and devour Priam raw,

and Priam's sons and all the Trojans, then mightest thou assuage thine

anger. Do as thou art minded, only let not this quarrel hereafter be to

me and thee a sore strife between us both. And this moreover will I say

to thee, and do thou lay it to they heart; whene'er I too be of eager

mind to lay waste to a city where is the race of men that are dear to

thee, hinder thou not my wrath, but let me be, even as I yield to thee

of free will, yet with soul unwilling. For all cities beneath sun and

starry heaven that are the dwelling of mortal men, holy Ilios was most

honoured of my heart, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen

spear. For never did mine altar lack the seemly feast, even

drink-offering and burnt-offering, the worship that is our due."

 

Then Helen the ox-eyed queen made answer to him: "Of a surety three

cities are there that are dearest far to me, Argos and Sparta and wide-

wayed Mykene; these lay thou waste whene'er they are found hateful to

thy heart; not for them will I stand forth, nor do I grudge thee them.

For even if I be jealous and would forbid thee to overthrow them, yet

will my jealousy not avail, seeing that thou art stronger far than I.

Still must my labour too not be made of none effect; for I also am a

god, and my lineage is even as thine, and Kronos the crooked counsellor

begat me to the place of honour in double wise, by birthright, and

because I am named thy spouse, and thou art king among all the

immortals. Let us indeed yield each to other herein, I to thee and thou

to me, and the rest of the immortal gods will follow with us; and do

thou with speed charge Athene to betake her to the fierce battle din of

Trojans and Achaians, and to essay that the Trojans may first take upon

them to do violence to the Achaians in their triumph, despite the

oaths."

 

So said she, and the father of men and gods disregarded not; forthwith

he spake to Athene winged words: "Betake thee with all speed to the

host, to the midst of Trojans and Achaians, and essay that the Trojans

may first take upon them to do violence to the Achaians in their

triumph, despite the oaths."

 

So spake he, and roused Athene that already was set thereon; and from

Olympus' heights she darted down. Even as the son of Kronos the crook-

ed counsellor sendeth a star, a portent for mariners or a wide host of

men, bright shining, and therefrom are scattered sparks in multitude;

even in such guise sped Pallas Athene to earth, and leapt into their

midst; and astonishment came on them that beheld, on horse-taming

Trojans and well-greaved Achaians. And thus would many an one say,

looking at his neighbor: "Of a surety either shall sore war and the

fierce battle din return again; or else Zeus doth stablish peace between

the foes, even he that is men's dispenser of battle."

 

Thus would many an one of Achaians and Trojans say. Then the goddess

entered the throng of Trojans in the likeness of a man, even Antenor's

son Laodokos, a stalwart warrior, and sought for godlike Pandaros, if

haply she might find him. Lykaon's son found she, the noble and

stalwart, standing, and about him the stalwart ranks of the

shield-bearing host that followed him from the streams of Aisepos. So

she came near and spake winged words: "Wilt thou now hearken to me, thou

wise son of Lykaon? Then wouldst thou take heart to shoot a swift arrow

at Menelaos, and wouldst win favour and glory before all the Trojans,

and before king Alexandros most of all. Surely from him first of any

wouldst thou receive glorious gifts, if perchance he see Menelaos,

Atreus' warrior son, vanquished by thy dart and brought to the grievous

pyre. Go to now, shoot at glorious Menelaos, and vow to Apollo, the son

of light [Or, perhaps, "the Wolf-born"], the lord of archery, to

sacrifice a goodly hecatomb of firstling lambs when thou art returned to

thy home, in the city of holy Zeleia."

 

So spake Athene, and persuaded his fool's heart. Forthwith he unsheathed

his polished bow of horn of a wild ibex that he himself had erst smitten

beneath the breast as it came forth from a rock, the while he awaited in

a lurking-place; and had pierced it in the chest, so that it fell

backward on the rock. Now from its head sprang there horns of sixteen

palms; these the artificer, even the worker in horn, joined cunningly

together, and polished them all well and set the top of gold thereon. So

he laid it down when he had well strung it, by resting it upon the

ground; and his staunch comrades held their shields before him, lest the

warrior sons of the Achaians should first set on them, ere Menelaos,

Atreus' son, were smitten. Then opened he the lid of his quiver and took

forth a feathered arrow, never yet shot, a source of grievous pangs; and

anon he laid the bitter dart upon the string and vowed to Apollo, the

son of light, the lord of archery, to sacrifice a goodly hecatomb of

firstling lambs when he should have returned to his home in the city of

holy Zeleia. Then he took the notch and string of oxes' sinew together,

and drew, bringing to his breast the string, and to the bow the iron

head. So when he had now bent the great bow into a round, the horn

twanged, and the string sang aloud, and the keen arrow leapt eager to

wing his way amid the throng.

 

But the blessed gods immortal forgat not thee, Menelaos; and before all

the daughter of Zeus, the driver of the spoil, who stood before thee and

warded off the piercing dart. She turned it just aside from the flesh,

even as a mother driveth a fly from her child that lieth in sweet

slumber; and with her own hand guided it where the golden buckles of the

belt were clasped and the doubled breastplate met them. So the bitter

arrow lighted upon the firm belt; through the inwrought belt it sped and

through the curiously wrought breastplate it pressed on and through the

taslet [and apron or belt set with metal, worn below the corslet] he

wore to shield his flesh, a barrier against darts; and this best

shielded him, yet it passed on even through this. Then did the arrow

graze the warrior's outermost flesh, and forthwith the dusky blood

flowed from the wound.

 

As when some woman of Maionia or Karia staineth ivory with purple, to

make a cheek-piece for horses, and it is laid up in the treasure

chamber, and many a horseman prayeth for it to wear; but it is laid up

to be a king's boast, alike an adornment for his horse and a glory for

his charioteer; even in such wise, Menelaos, were thy shapely thighs

stained with blood and thy legs and thy fair ankles beneath.

 

Thereat shuddered Agamemnon king of men when he saw the black blood

flowing from the wound. And Menelaos dear to Ares likewise shuddered;

but when he saw how thread [by which the iron head was attached to the

shaft] and bards were without, his spirit was gathered in his breast

again. Then lord Agamemnon moaned deep, and spake among them, holding

Menelaos by the hand; and his comrades made moan the while: "Dear

brother, to thy death, meseemeth, pledged I these oaths, setting thee

forth to fight the Trojans alone before the face of the Achaians; seeing

that the Trojans have so smitten thee, and trodden under floor the trusty

oaths. Yet in no wise is and oath of none effect, and the blood of lambs

and pure drink-offerings and the right hands of fellowship wherein we

trusted. For even if the Olympian bring not about the fulfilment

forthwith, yet doth he fulfil at last, and men make dear amends, even

with their own heads and their wives and little ones. Yea of a surety I

know this in heart and soul; the day shall come for holy Ilios to be

laid low, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen spear; and

Zeus the son of Kronos enthroned on high, that dwelleth in the heaven,

himself shall brandish over them all his lowring aegis, in indignation

at this deceit. Then shall all this not be void; yet shall I have sore

sorrow for thee, Menelaos, if thou die and fulfil the lot of life. Yea

in utter shame should I return to thirsty Argos, seeing that the

Achaians will forthwith bethink them of their native land, and so should

we leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos. And

the earth shall rot thy bones as thou liest in Troy with thy task

unfinished: and thus shall many an overweening Trojan say as he leapeth

upon the tomb of glorious Menelaos: 'Would to God Agamemnon might so

fulfil his wrath in every matter, even as now he led hither the host of

the Achaians for naught, and hath gone home again to his dear native

land with empty ships, and hath left noble Menelaos behind.' Thus shall

men say hereafter: in that day let the wide earth gape for me."

 

But golden-haired Menelaos encouraged him and said: "Be of good courage,

neither dismay at all the host of the Achaians. The keen dart lighted

not upon a deadly spot; my glistening belt in front stayed it, and the

kirtle of mail beneath, and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned."

 

Then lord Agamemnon answered him and said: "Would it may be so, dear

Menelaos. But the leech shall feel the wound, and lay thereon drugs that

shall assuage thy dire pangs."

 

So saying he spake to godlike Talthybios, his herald: "Talthybios, with

all speed call Machaon hither, the hero son of Asklepios the noble

leech, to see Menelaos, Atreus' warrior son, whom one well skilled in

archery, some Trojan or Lykian, hath wounded with a bow-shot, to his

glory and our grief."

 

So said he, and the herald heard him and disregarded not, and went his

way through the host of mail-clad Achaians to spy out the hero Machaon.

Him he found standing, and about him the stalwart ranks of the shield-

bearing host that followed him from Trike, pasture land of horses. So he

came near and spake his winged words: "Arise, thou son of Asklepios.

Lord Agamemnon calleth thee to see Menelaos, captain of the Achaians,

whom one well skilled in archery, some Trojan or Lykian, hath wounded

with a bow-shot, to his glory and our grief."

 

So saying he aroused his spirit in his breast, and they went their way

amid the throng, through the wide host of the Achaians. And when they

were now come where was golden-haired Menelaos wounded, and all as many

as were chieftains gathered around him in a circle, the godlike hero

came and stood in their midst, and anon drew forth the arrow from the

clasped belt; and as it was drawn forth the keen barbs were broken

backwards. Then he loosed the glistering belt and kirtle of mail beneath

and taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned; and when he saw the wound

where the bitter arrow had lighted, he sucked out the blood and

cunningly spread thereon soothing drugs, such as Cheiron of his good

will had imparted to his sire.

 

While these were tending Menelaos of the loud war-cry, the ranks of

shield-bearing Trojans came on; so the Achaians donned their arms again,

and bethought them of the fray. Now wouldest thou not see noble

Agamemnon slumbering, nor cowering, unready to fight, but very eager for

glorious battle. He left his horses and his chariot adorned with bronze;

and his squire, even Eurymedon son of Ptolemaios Peiraieus' son, kept

apart the snorting steeds; and he straitly charged him to have them at

hand whenever weariness should come upon his limbs with marshalling so

many; and thus on foot ranged he through the ranks of warriors. And

whomsoever of all the fleet-horsed Danaans he found eager, he stood by

them and by his words encouraged them: "Ye Argives, relax not in any

wise your impetuous valour; for father Zeus will be no helper of liars,

but as these were first to transgress against the oaths, so shall their

own tender flesh be eaten of the vultures, and we shall bear away their

dear wives and little children in our ships, when once we take the

stronghold."

 

But whomsoever he found shrinking from hateful battle, these he chode

sore with angry words: "Ye Argives, warriors of the bow, ye men of

dishonour, have ye no shame? Why stand ye thus dazed like fawns that are

weary with running over the long plain and so stand still, and no valour

is found in their hearts at all? Even thus stand ye dazed, and fight

not. Is it that ye wait for the Trojans to come near where your good

ships' sterns are drawn up on the shore of the grey sea, to see if

Kronion will stretch his arm over you indeed?"

 

So masterfully ranged he through the ranks of warriors. Then came he to

the Cretans as he went through the throng of warriors; and these were

taking arms around wise Idomeneus; Idomeneus amid the foremost, valiant

as a wild boar, and Meriones the while was hastening his hindermost

battalions. Then Agamemnon king of men rejoiced to see them, and anon

spake to Idomeneus with kindly words: "Idomeneus, more than all the

fleet-horsed Danaans do I honour thee, whether in war or in task of

other sort or in the feast, when the chieftains of the Argives mingle in

the bowl the gleaming wine of the counsellor. For even though all the

other flowing-haired Achaians drink one allotted portion, yet thy cup

standeth ever full even as mine, to drink as oft as they soul biddeth

thee. Now arouse thee to war like such an one as thou avowest thyself to

be of old."

 

And Idomeneus the captain of the Cretans made answer to him: "Atreides,

of very truth will I be to thee a trusty comrade even as at the first I

promised and gave my pledge; but do thou urge on all the flowing-haired

Achaians, that we may fight will all speed, seeing the Trojans have

disannulled the oaths. But for all that death and sorrow hereafter shall

be their lot, because they were the first to transgress against the

oaths."

 

So said he, and Agamemnon passed on glad at heart. Then came he to the

Aiantes as he went through the throng of warriors; and these twain were

arming, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when a

goatherd from a place of outlook seeth a cloud coming across the deep

before the blast of the west wind; and to him being afar it seemeth ever

blacker, even as pitch, as it goeth along the deep, and bringeth a great

whirlwind, and he shuddereth to see it and driveth his flock beneath a

cave; even in such wise moved the serried battalions of young men, the

fosterlings of Zeus, by the side of the Aiantes into furious war,

battalions dark of line, bristling with shields and spears. And lord

Agamemnon rejoiced to see them and spake to them winged words, and said:

"Aiantes, leaders of the mail-clad Argives, to you twain, seeing it is

not seemly to urge you, give I no charge; for of your own selves ye do

indeed bid your folk to fight amain. Ah, father Zeus and Athene and

Apollo, would that all had like spirit in their breasts; then would king

Priam's city soon bow captive and wasted beneath our hands."

 

So saying he left them there, and went to others. Then found he Nestor,

the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, arraying his comrades, and

urging them to fight, around great Pelegon and Alastor and Chromios and

lord Haimon and Bias shepherd of the host. And first he arrayed the

horsemen with horses and chariots, and behind them the footmen many and

brave, to be a bulwark of battle; but the cowards he drave into the

midst, that every man, even though he would not, yet of necessity must

fight. First he laid charge upon the horsemen; these he bade hold in

their horses nor be entangled in the throng. "Neither let any man,

trusting in his horsemanship and manhood, be eager to fight the Trojans

alone and before the rest, nor yet let him draw back, for so will ye be

enfeebled. But whomsoever a warrior from the place of his own car can

come at a chariot of the foe, let him thrust forth with his spear; even

so is the far better way. Thus moreover did men of old time lay low

cities and walls, because they had this mind and spirit in their

breasts."

 

So did the old man charge them, being well skilled of yore in battles.

And lord Agamemnon rejoiced to see hem, and spake to him winged words,

and said: "Old man, would to god that, even as thy spirit is in thine

own breast, thy limbs might obey and thy strength be unabated. But the

common lot of age is heavy upon thee; would that it had come upon some

other man, and thou wert amid the young."

 

Then knightly Nestor of Gerenia answered him: "Atreides, I verily, even

I too, would wish to be as on the day when I slew noble Ereuthalion. But

the gods in no wise grant men all things at once. As I was then a youth,

so doth old age now beset me. Yet even so will I abide among the

horsemen and urge them by counsel and words; for that is the right of

elders. But the young men shall wield the spear, they that are more

youthful than I and have confidence in their strength."

 

So spake he, and Atreides passed on glad at heart. He found Menestheus

the charioteer, the son of Peteos, standing still, and round him were

the Athenians, masters of the battle-cry. And hard by stood crafty

Odysseus, and round about him the ranks of Kephallenians, no feeble

folk, stood still; for their host had not yet heard the battle-cry,

seeing the battalions of horse-taming Trojans and Achaians had but just

bestirred them to move; so these stood still tarrying till some other

column of the Achaians should advance to set upon the Trojans and begin

the battle. But when Agamemnon king of men saw it, he upbraided them,

and spake to them winged words, saying: "O son of king Peteos fosterling

of Zeus, and thou skilled in evil wiles, thou cunning of mind, why stand

ye shrinking apart, and tarry for others? You beseemeth it to stand in

your place amid the foremost and to front the fiery battle; for ye are

the first to hear my bidding to the feast, as oft as we Achaians prepare

a feast for the counsellors. Then are ye glad to eat roast meat and

drink your cups of honey-sweet wine as long as ye will. But now would ye

gladly behold it, yea, if ten columns of Achaians in front of you were

fighting with the pitiless sword."

 

But Odysseus of many counsels looked fiercely at him and said:

"Atreides, what word is this that hath escaped the barrier of thy lips?

How sayest thou that we are slack in battle? When once our [Or, "that we

are slack in battle, when once we Achaians," putting the note of

interrogation after "tamers of horses."] Achaians launch furious war on

the Trojans, tamers of horses, then shalt thou, if thou wilt, and if

thou hast any care therefor, behold Telemachos' dear father mingling

with the champions of the Trojans, the tamers of horses. But that thou

sayest is empty as air."

 

Then lord Agamemnon spake to him smiling, seeing how he was wroth, and

took back his saying: "Heaven-sprung son of Laertes, Odysseus full of

devices, neither do I chide thee beyond measure nor urge thee; for I

know that thy heart within thy breast is kindly disposed; for thy

thoughts are as my thoughts. Go to, we will make amends hereafter, if

any ill word hath been spoken now; may the gods bring it all to none

effect."

 

So saying he left them there and went on to others. The son of Tydeus

found he, high-hearted Diomedes, standing still with horses and chariot

well compact; and by him stood Sthenelos son of Kapaneus. Him lord

Agamemnon saw and upbraided, and spake to him winged words, and said:

"Ah me, thou son of wise Tydeus tamer of horses, why shrinkest thou, why

gazest thou at the highways of the battle? Not thus was Tydeus wont to

shrink, but rather to fight his enemies far in front of his dear comrades,

as they say that beheld him at the task; for never did I meet him

nor behold him, but men say that he was preeminent amid all. Of a truth

he came to Mykene, not in enmity, but as a guest with godlike

Polyneikes, to raise him an army for the war that they were levying

against the holy walls of Thebes; and they besought earnestly that

valiant allies might be given them, and our folk were fain to grant them

and made assent to their entreaty, only Zeus showed omens of ill and

turned their minds. So when these were departed and were come on their

way, and had attained to Asopos deep in rushes, that maketh his bed in

grass, there did the Achaians appoint Tydeus to be their ambassador. So

he went and found the multitude of the sons of Kadmos feasting in the

palace of mighty Eteokles. Yet was knightly Tydeus, even though a

stranger, not afraid, being alone amid the multitude of the Kadmeians,

but challenged them all to feats of strength, and in every one

vanquished he them easily; so present a helper was Athene unto him. But

the Kadmeians, the urgers of horses, were wroth, and as he fared back

again they brought and set a strong ambush, even fifty young men, whose

leaders were twain, Maion son of Haimon, like to the immortals, and

Autophonos' son Polyphontes staunch in battle. Still even on the Tydeus

brought shameful death; he slew them all, save one that he sent home

alone; Maion to wit he sent away in obediance to the omens of heaven.

Such was Tydeus of Aitolia; but he begat a son that in battle is worse

than he; only in harangue is he the better."

 

So said he, and stalwart Diomedes made no answer, but had respect to the

chiding of the king revered. But the son of glorious Kapaneus answered

him: "Atreides, utter not falsehood, seeing thou knowest how to speak

truly. We avow ourselves to be better men by far than our fathers were:

we did take the seat of Thebes the seven gated, though we led a scantier

host against a stronger wall, because we followed the omens of the gods

and the salvation of Zeus; but they perished by their own iniquities. Do

not thou therefore in any wise have our fathers in like honour with us."

 

But stalwart Diomedes looked sternly at him, and said: "Brother, sit

silent and obey my saying. I grudge not that Agamemnon shepherd of the

host should urge on the well-greaved Achaians to fight; for him the

glory will attend if the Achaians lay the Trojans low and take holy

Ilios; and his will be the great sorrow if the Achaians be laid low. Go

to now, let us too bethink us of impetuous valour."

 

He spake and leapt in his armour from the chariot to earth, and terribly

rang the bronze upon the chieftain's breast as he moved; thereat might

fear have come even upon one stout-hearted.

 

As when on the  echoing beach the sea-wave lifteth up itself in close

array before the driving of the west wind; out on the deep doth it first

raise its head, and then breaketh upon the land and belloweth aloud and

goeth with arching crest about the promontories, and speweth the foaming

brine afar; even so in close array moved the battalions of the Danaans

without pause to battle. Each captain gave his men the word, and the

rest went silently; thou wouldest not deem that all the great host

following them had any voice within their breasts; in silence feared

they their captains. On every man glittered the inwrought armour

wherewith they went clad. But for the Trojans, like sheep beyond number

that stand in the courtyard of a man of great substance, to be milked of

their white milk, and bleat without ceasing to hear their lambs' cry,

even so arose the clamour of the Trojans through the wide host. For they

had not all like speech nor one language, but their tongues were

mingled, and they were brought from many lands. These were urged on of

Ares, and those of bright-eyed Athene, and Terror and Rout, and Strife

whose fury wearieth not, sister and friend of murderous Ares; her crest

is but lowly at the first, but afterward she holdeth up her head in

heaven and her feet walk upon the earth. She now cast common discord in

their midst, as she fared through the throng and made the lamentation of

men to wax.

 

Now when they were met together and come unto one spot, then clashed

they targe and spear and fury of bronze-clad warrior; the bossed shields

pressed each on each and mighty din arose. Then were heard the voice of

groaning and the voice of triumph together of the slayers and the slain,

and the earth streamed with blood. As when two winter torrents flow down

the mountains to a watersmeet and join their furious flood within the

ravine from their great springs, and the shepherd heareth the roaring

far off among the hills: even so from the joining of battle came there

forth shouting and travail. Antilochos first slew a Trojan warrior in

full array, valiant amid the champions, Echepolos son of Thalysios; him

was he first to smite upon the ridge of his crested helmet, and he drave

the spear into his brow and the point of bronze passed within the bone;

darkness clouded his eyes, and he crashed like a tower amid the press of

fight. As he fell lord Elephenor caught him by the foot, Chalkodon's

son, captain of the great-hearted Abantes, and dragged him from beneath

the darts, eager with all speed to despoil him of his armour. Yet but

for a little endured his essay; great-hearted Agenor saw him haling away

the corpse, and where his side was left uncovered of his buckler as he

bowed him down, there smote he him with bronze-tipped spear-shaft and

unstrung his limbs. So his life departed from him, and over his corpse

the task of Trojans and Achaians grew hot; like wolves leapt they one at

another, and man lashed at man.

 

Next Telamonian Aias smote Anthemion's son, the lusty stripling

Simoeisios, whose erst is mother bare beside the banks of Simoeis on the

way down from Ida whither she had followed with her parents to see their

flocks. Therefore they called him Simoeisios, but he repaid not his dear

parents the recompense of his nurture; scanty was his span of life by

reason of the spear of great-hearted Aias that laid him low. For as he

went he first was smitten on his right breast beside the pap; straight

though his shoulder passed the spear of bronze, and he fell to the

ground in the dust like a poplar-tree, that hath grown up smooth in the

lowland of a great marsh, and its branches grow upon the top thereof;

this hath a wainwright felled with gleaming steel, to bend him a felloe

for a goodly chariot, and so it lies drying by a river's banks. In such

a fashion did heaven-sprung Aias slay Simoeisios son of Anthemion; then

at him Antiphos of the glancing corslet, Priam's son, made a cast with

his keen javelin across the throng. Him he missed, but smote Odysseus'

valient comrade Leukos in the groin as he drew the corpse his way, so

that he fell upon it and the body dropped from his hands. Then Odysseus

was very wroth at heart for the slaying of him, and strode through the

forefront of the battle harnessed in flashing bronze, and went and stood

hard by and glanced around him, and cast his bright javelin; and the

Trojans shrank before the casting of the hero. He sped not the dart in

vain, but smote Demokoon, Priam's bastard son that had come to him from

tending his fleet mares in Abydos. Him Odysseus, being wroth for his

comrade's sake, smote with his javelin on one temple; and through both

temples passed the point of bronze, and darkness clouded his eyes, and

he fell with a crash and his armour clanged upon him. Then the

forefighters and glorious Hector yielded, and the Argives shouted aloud,

and drew the bodies unto them, and pressed yet further onward. But

Apollo looked down from Pergamos, and had indignation, and with a shout

called to the Trojans: "Arise, ye Trojans, tamers of horses; yield not

to the Argives in fight; not of stone nor iron is their flesh, that it

should resist the piercing bronze when they are smitten. Moreover

Achilles, son of Thetis of the fair tresses, fighteth not, but amid the

ships broodeth on his bitter anger."

 

So spake the dread god from the city; and the Achaians likewise were

urged on of Zeus' daughter the Triton-born, most glorious, as she passed

through the throng wheresoever she beheld them slackening.

 

Next was Diores son of Amrynkeus caught in the snare of fate; for he was

smitten by a jagged stone on the right leg hard by the ankle, and the

caster thereof was captain of the men of Thrace, Peirros son of Imbrasos

that had come from Ainos. The pitiless stone crushed utterly the two

sinews and the bones; back fell he in the dust, and stretched out both

his hands to his dear comrades, gasping out his soul. Then he that smote

him, even Peiroos, sprang at him and pierced him with a spear beside the

navel; so all his bowels gushed forth upon the ground, and darkness

clouded his eyes. But even as Peiroos departed from him Thoas of Aitolia

smote with a spear his chest above the pap, and the point fixed in his

lung. Then Thoas came close, and plucked out from his breast the

ponderous spear, and drew his sharp sword, wherewith he smote his belly

in the midst, and took his life. Yet he stripped not off his armour; for

his comrades, the men of Thrace that wear the top-knot, stood around,

their long spears in their hands, and albeit he was great and valiant

and proud they drave him off from them and he gave ground reeling. So

were the two captains stretched in the dust side by side, he of the

Thracians and he of the mail-clad Epeians; and around them were many

others likewise slain.

 

Now would none any more enter in and make light of the battle, could it

be that a man yet unwounded by dart or thrust of keen bronze might roam

in the midst, being led of Pallas Athene by the hand, and by her guarded

from the flying shafts. For many Trojans that day and many Achaians were

laid side by side upon their faces in the dust.

 

 

 

BOOK V

 

    How Diomedes by his great valour made havoc of the Trojans,

    and wounded even Aphrodite and Ares by the help of Athene.

 

But now to Tydeus' son Diomedes Athene gave might and courage, for him

to be pre-eminent amid all the Argives and win glorious renown. She

kindled flame unwearied from his helmet and shield, like to the star of

summer that above all others glittereth bright after he hath bathed in

the ocean stream. In such wise kindled she flame from his head and

shoulders and sent him into the midst, where men thronged the thickest.

 

Now there was amid the Trojans one Dares, rich and noble, priest of

Hephaistos; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idaios, well skilled in all

the art of battle. These separated themselves and assailed him face to

face, they setting on him from their car and he on foot upon the ground.

And when they were now come near in onset on each other, first Phegeus

hurled his far-shadowing spear; and over Tydeides' left shoulder the

spear point passed, and smote not his body. Then next Tydeides made a

spear-cast, and the javelin sped not from his hand in vain, but smote

his breast between the nipples, and thrust him from the chariot. So

Idaios sprang away, leaving his beautiful car, and dared not to bestride

his slain brother; else had neither he himself escaped black fate: but

Hephaistos guarded him and saved him in a veil of darkness, that he

might not have his aged priest all broken with sorrow. And the son of

great-hearted Tydeus drave away the horses and gave them to his men to

take to the hollow ships. But when the great-hearted Trojans beheld the

sons of Dares, how one was fled, and one was slain beside his chariot,

the spirit of all was stirred. But bright-eyed Athene took impetuous

Ares by the hand and spake to him and said: "Ares, Ares, blood-stained

bane of mortals, thou stormer of walls, can we not now leave the Trojans

and Achaians to fight, on whichsoever it be that father Zeus bestoweth

glory? But let us twain give place, and escape the wrath of Zeus."

 

So saying she led impetuous Ares from the battle.  Then she made him sit

down beside loud Skamandros, and the Danaans pushed the Trojans back.

 

So they laboured in the violent mellay; but of Tydeides man could not

tell with whom he were joined, whether he consorted with Trojans or with

Achaians. For he stormed across the plain like a winter torrent at the

full, that in swift course scattereth the causeys [Causeways.]; neither

can the long lines of causeys hold it in, nor the fences of fruitful

orchards stay its sudden coming when the rain of heaven driveth it; and

before it perish in multitudes the fair works of the sons of men. Thus

before Tydeides the serried battalions of the Trojans were overthrown,

and they abode him not for all they were so many.

 

But when Lykaon's glorious son marked him storming across the plain,

overthrowing battalions before him, anon he bent his crooked bow against

Tydeides, and smote him as he sped onwards, hitting hard by his right

shoulder the plate of his corslet; the bitter arrow flew through and

held straight upon its way, and the corslet was dabbled with blood. Over

him then loudly shouted Lykaon's glorious son: "Bestir you,

great-hearted Trojans, urgers of horses; the best man of the Achaians is

wounded, and I deem that he shall not for long endure the violent dart."

 

So spake he boasting; yet was the other not vanquished of the swift

dart, only he gave place and stood before his horses and his chariot and

spake to Sthenelos son of Kapaneus: "Haste thee, dear son of Kapaneus;

descend from thy chariot, to draw me from my shoulder the bitter arrow."

 

So said he, and Sthenelos leapt from his chariot to earth and stood

beside him and drew the swift shaft right through, out of his shoulder;

and the blood darted up through the pliant tunic. Then Diomedes of the

loud war-cry prayed thereat: "Hear me, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus,

unwearied maiden! If ever in kindly mood thou stoodest by my father in

the heat of battle, even so now be thou likewise kind to me, Athene.

Grant me to slay this man, and bring within my spear-cast him that took

advantage to shoot me, and boasteth over me, deeming that not for long

shall I see the bright light of the sun."

 

So spake he in prayer, and Pallas Athene heard him, and made his limbs

nimble, his feet and his hands withal, and came near and spake winged

words: "Be of good courage now, Diomedes, to fight the Trojans; for in

thy breast I have set thy father's courage undaunted, even as it was in

knightly Tydeus, wielder of the buckler. Moreover I have taken from

thine eyes the mist that erst was on them, that thou mayest well discern

both god and man. Therefore if any god come hither to make trial of

thee, fight not thou face to face with any of the immortal gods; save

only if Aphrodite daughter of Zeus enter into the battle, her smite thou

with the keen bronze."

 

So saying bright-eyed Athene went her way and Tydeides returned and

entered the forefront of the battle; even though erst his soul was eager

to do battle with the Trojans, yet now did threefold courage come upon

him, as upon a lion whom some shepherd in the field guarding his fleecy

sheep hath wounded, being sprung into the fold, yet hath not vanquished

him; he hath roused his might, and then cannot beat him back, but

lurketh amid the steading, and his forsaken flock is affrighted; so the

sheep are cast in heaps, one upon the other, and the lion in his fury

leapeth out of the high fold; even so in fury mingled mighty Diomedes

with the Trojans.

 

Him Aineias beheld making havoc of the ranks of warriors, and went his

way along the battle and amid the hurtling of spears, seeking godlike

Pandaros, if haply he might find him. Lykaon's son he found, the noble

and stalwart, and stood before his face, and spake a word unto him.

"Pandaros, where now are thy bow and thy winged arrows, and the fame

wherein no man of this land rivalleth thee, nor any in Lykia boasteth to

be thy better? Go to now, lift thy hands in prayer to Zeus and shoot thy

dart at this fellow, whoe'er he be that lordeth it here and hath already

wrought the Trojans much mischief, seeing he hath unstrung the knees of

many a brave man; if indeed it be not some god wroth with the Trojans,

in anger by reason of sacrifices; the wrath of god is a sore thing to

fall on men."

 

And Lykaon's glorious son made answer to him: "Aineias, counsellor of

the mail-clad Trojans, in everything liken I him to the wise son of

Tydeus; I discern him by his shield and crested helmet, and by the

aspect of his horses; yet know I not surely if it be not a god. But if

it be the man I deem, even the wise son of Tydeus, then not without help

of a god is he thus furious, but some immortal standeth beside him with

a cloud wrapped about his shoulders and turned aside from him my swift

dart even as it lighted. For already have I shot my dart at him and

smote his right shoulder right through the breastplate of his corslet,

yea and I thought to hurl him headlong to Aidoneus, yet I vanquished him

not; surely it is some wrathful god. Already have I aimed at two

princes, Tydeus' and Atreus' sons, and both I smote and surely drew

forth blood, yet only roused them the more. Therefore in an evil hour I

took from the peg my curved bow on that day when I led my Trojans to

lovely Ilios, to do noble Hector pleasure. But if I return and mine eyes

behold my native land and wife and great palace lofty-roofed, then may

an alien forthwith cut my head from me if I break not this bow with mine

hands and cast it upon the blazing fire; worthless is its service to me

as air."

 

Then Aineias captain of the Trojans answered him: "Nay, talk not thus;

naught shall be mended before that we with horses and chariot have gone

to face this man, and made trial of him in arms. Come then, mount upon

my car that thou mayest see of what sort are the steeds of Tros, well

skilled for following or for fleeing hither or thither very fleetly

across the plain; they will e'en bring us to the city safe and sound,

even though Zeus hereafter give victory to Diomedes son of Tydeus. Come

therefore, take thou the lash and shining reins, and I will stand upon

the car to fight; or else withstand thou him, and to the horses will I

look."

 

To him made answer Lykaon's glorious son: "Aineias, take thou thyself

the reins and thine own horses; better will they draw the curved car for

their wonted charioteer, if perchance it hap that we must flee from

Tydeus' son; lest they go wild for fear and will not take us from the

fight, for lack of thy voice, and so the son of great-hearted Tydeus

attack us and slay us both and drive away the whole-hooved horses. So

drive thou thyself thy chariot and thy horses, and I will await his

onset with my keen spear." So saying mounted they upon the well dight

chariot, and eagerly drave the fleet horses against Tydeides, And

Sthenelos, the glorious son of Kapaneus, saw them, and anon spake to

Tydeides winged words: "Diomedes son of Tydeus, dear to mine heart, I

behold two stalwart warriors eager to fight against thee, endued with

might beyond measure. The one is well skilled in the bow, even Pandaros,

and he moreover boasteth him to be Lykaon's son; and Aineias boasteth

himself to be born son of great-hearted Anchises, and his mother is

Aphrodite. Come now, let us give place upon the chariot, neither rage

thou thus, I pray thee, in the forefront of battle, lest perchance thou

lose thy life."

 

Then stalwart Diomedes looked sternly at him and said: "Speak to me no

word of flight, for I ween that thou shalt not at all persuade me; not

in my blood is it to fight a skulking fight or cower down; my force is

steadfast still. I have no mind to mount the chariot, nay, even as I am

will I go to face them; Pallas Athene biddeth me not be afraid. And as

for these, their fleet horses shall not take both back from us again,

even if one or other escape. And this moreover tell I thee, and lay thou

it to heart: if Athene rich in counsel grant me this glory, to slay them

both, then refrain thou here these my fleet horses, and bind the reins

tight to the chariot rim; and be mindful to leap upon Aineias' horses,

and drive them forth from the Trojans amid the well-greaved Achaians.

For they are of that breed whereof farseeing Zeus gave to Tros

recompense for Ganymede his child, because they were the best of all

horses beneath the daylight and the sun."

 

In such wise talked they one to the other, and anon those other twain

came near, driving their fleet horses. First to him spake Lykaon's

glorious son: "O thou strong-souled and cunning, son of proud Tydeus,

verily my swift dart vanquished thee not, the bitter arrow; so now will

I make trial with my spear if I can hit thee."

 

He spake and poised and hurled his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon

Tydeides' shield; right through it sped the point of bronze and reached

the breastplate. So over him shouted loudly Lykaon's glorious son: "Thou

art smitten on the belly right through, and I ween thou shalt not long

hold up thine head; so thou givest me great renown."

 

But mighty Diomedes unaffrighted answered him: "Thou hast missed, and

not hit; but ye twain I deem shall not cease till one or other shall

have fallen and glutted with blood Ares the stubborn god of war."

 

So spake he and hurled; and Athene guided the dart upon his nose beside

the eye, and it pierced through his white teeth. So the hard bronze cut

through his tongue at the root and the point issued forth by the base of

the chin. He fell from his chariot, and his splendid armour gleaming

clanged upon him, and the fleet-footed horses swerved aside; so there

his soul and strength were unstrung.

 

Then Aineias leapt down with shield and long spear, fearing lest

perchance the Achaians might take from him the corpse; and strode over

him like a lion confident in his strength, and held before him his spear

and the circle of his shield, eager to slay whoe'er should come to face

him, crying his terrible cry. Then Tydeides grasped in his hand a

stone--a mighty deed--such as two men, as men now are, would not avail

to lift; yet he with ease wielded it all alone. Therewith he smote

Aineias on the hip where the thigh turneth in the hip joint, and this

men call the "cup-bone." So he crushed his cup-bone, and brake both

sinews withal, and the jagged stone tore apart the skin. Then the hero

stayed fallen upon his knees and with stout hand leant upon the earth;

and the darkness of night veiled his eyes. And now might Aineias king of

men have perished, but that Aphrodite daughter of Zeus was swift to

mark. About her dear son wound she her white arms, and spread before his

face a fold of her radiant vesture, to be a covering from the darts,

lest any of the fleet-horsed Danaans might hurl the spear into his

breast and take away his life.

 

So was she bearing her dear son away from battle; but the son of

Kapaneus forgat not the behest that Diomedes of the loud war-cry had

laid upon him; he refrained his own whole-hooved horses away from the

tumult, binding the reins tight to the chariot-rim, and leapt on the

sleek-coated horses of Aineias, and drave them from the Trojans to the

well-greaved Achaians, and gave them to Deipylos his dear comrade whom

he esteemed above all that were his age-fellows, because he was

like-minded with himself; and bade him drive them to the hollow ships.

Then did the hero mount his own chariot and take the shining reins and

forthwith drive his strong-hooved horses in quest of Tydeides, eagerly.

Now Tydeides had made onslaught with pitiless weapon on Kypris

[Aphrodite], knowing how she was a coward goddess and none of those that

have mastery in battle of the warriors. Now when he had pursued her

through the dense throng and come on her, then great-hearted Tydeus' son

thrust with his keen spear, and leapt on her and wounded the skin of her

weak hand; straight through the ambrosial raiment that the Graces

themselves had woven her pierced the dart into the flesh, above the

springing of the palm. Then flowed the goddess's immortal blood, such

ichor as floweth in the blessed gods; for they eat no bread neither

drink they gleaming wine, wherefore they are bloodless and are named

immortals. And she with a great cry let fall her son: him Phoebus Apollo

took into his arms and saved him in a dusky cloud, lest any of the

fleet-horsed Danaans might hurl the spear into his breast and take away

his life. But over her Diomedes of the loud war-cry shouted afar:

"Refrain thee, thou daughter of Zeus, from war and fighting. Is it not

enough that thou beguilest feeble women? But if in battle thou wilt

mingle, verily I deem that thou shalt shudder at the name of battle, if

thou hear it even afar off"

 

So spake he, and she departed in amaze and was sore troubled: and

wind-footed Iris took her and led her from the throng tormented with her

pain, and her fair skin was stained. There found she impetuous Ares

sitting, on the battle's left; and his spear rested upon a cloud, and

his fleet steeds. Then she fell on her knees and with instant prayer

besought of her dear brother his golden-frontleted steeds: "Dear

brother, save me and give me thy steeds, that I may win to Olympus,

where is the habitation of the immortals. Sorely am I afflicted with a

wound wherewith a mortal smote me, even Tydeides, who now would fight

even with father Zeus."

 

So spake she, and Ares gave her his golden-frontleted steeds, and she

mounted on the chariot sore at heart. By her side mounted Iris, and in

her hands grasped the reins and lashed the horses to start them; and

they flew onward nothing loth. Thus soon they came to the habitation of

the gods, even steep Olympus. There wind-footed fleet Iris loosed the

horses from the chariot and stabled them, and set ambrosial forage

before them; but fair Aphrodite fell upon Dione's knees that was her

mother. She took her daughter in her arms and stroked her with her hand,

and spake and called upon her name: "Who now of the sons of heaven, dear

child, hath entreated thee thus wantonly, as though thou wert a

wrong-doer in the face of all?"

 

Then laughter-loving Aphrodite made answer to her: "Tydeus' son wounded

me, high-hearted Diomedes, because I was saving from the battle my dear

son Aineias, who to me is dearest far of all men. For no more is the

fierce battle-cry for Trojans and Achaians, but the Danaans now are

fighting even the immortals."

 

Then the fair goddess Dione answered her: "Be of good heart, my child,

and endure for all thy pain; for many of us that inhabit the mansions of

Olympus have suffered through men, in bringing grievous woes one upon

another."

 

So saying with both hands she wiped the ichor from the arm; her arm was

comforted, and the grievous pangs assuaged. But Athene and Hera beheld,

and with bitter words provoked Zeus the son, of Kronos. Of them was the

bright-eyed goddess Athene first to speak: "Father Zeus, wilt thou

indeed be wroth with me whate'er I say? Verily I ween that Kypris was

urging some woman of Achaia to join her unto the Trojans whom she so

marvellously loveth; and stroking such an one of the fair-robed women of

Achaia, she tore upon the golden brooch her delicate hand."

 

So spake she, and the father of gods and men smiled, and called unto him

golden Aphrodite and said: "Not unto thee, my child, are given the works

of war; but follow thou after the loving tasks of wedlock, and to all

these things shall fleet Ares and Athene look."

 

Now while they thus spake in converse one with the other, Diomedes of

the loud war-cry leapt upon Aineias, knowing full well that Apollo

himself had spread his arms over him; yet reverenced he not even the

great god, but still was eager to slay Aineias and strip from him his

glorious armour. So thrice he leapt on him, fain to slay him, and thrice

Apollo beat back his glittering shield. And when the fourth time he

sprang at him like a god, then Apollo the Far-darter spake to him with

terrible shout: "Think, Tydeides, and shrink, nor desire to match thy

spirit with gods; seeing there is no comparison of the race of immortal

gods and of men that walk upon the earth."

 

So said he, and Tydeides shrank a short space backwards, to avoid the

wrath of Apollo the Far-darter. Then Apollo set Aineias away from the

throng in holy Pergamos where his temple stood. There Leto and Archer

Artemis healed him in the mighty sanctuary, and gave him glory; but

Apollo of the silver bow made a wraith like unto Aineias' self, and in

such armour as his; and over the wraith Trojans and goodly Achaians each

hewed the others' bucklers on their breasts, their round shields and

fluttering targes.

 

Then to impetuous Ares said Phoebus Apollo: "Ares, Ares, blood-stained

bane of mortals, thou stormer of walls, wilt thou not follow after this

man and withdraw him from the battle, this Tydeides, who now would fight

even with father Zeus? First in close fight he wounded Kypris in her

hand hard by the wrist, and then sprang he upon myself like unto a god."

 

So saying he sate himself upon the height of Pergamos, and baleful Ares

entered among the Trojan ranks and aroused them in the likeness of fleet

Akamas, captain of the Thracians. On the heaven-nurtured sons of Priam

he called saying: "O ye sons of Priam, the heaven-nurtured king, how

long will ye yet suffer your host to be slain of the Achaians? Shall it

be even until they fight about our well-builded gates? Low lieth the

warrior whom we esteemed like unto goodly Hector, even Aineias son of

Anchises great of heart. Go to now, let us save from the tumult our

valiant comrade."

 

So saying he aroused the spirit and soul of every man. Thereat Sarpedon

sorely chode noble Hector: "Hector, where now is the spirit gone that

erst thou hadst? Thou saidst forsooth that without armies or allies thou

wouldest hold the city, alone with thy sisters' husbands and thy

brothers; but now can I not see any of these neither perceive them, but

they are cowering like hounds about a lion; and we are fighting that are

but allies among you."

 

So spake Sarpedon, and his word stung Hector to the heart, Forthwith he

leapt from his chariot in his armour to the earth, and brandishing two

keen spears went everywhere through the host, urging them to fight, and

roused the dread battle-cry. So they were rallied and stood to face the

Achaians: and the Argives withstood them in close array and fled not.

Even as a wind carrieth the chaff about the sacred threshing-floors when

men are winnowing, and the chaff-heaps grow white--so now grew the

Achaians white with falling dust which in their midst the horses' hooves

beat up into the brazen heaven, as fight was joined again, and the

charioteers wheeled round. Thus bare they forward the fury of their

hands: and impetuous Ares drew round them a veil of night to aid the

Trojans in the battle, ranging everywhere. And Apollo himself sent forth

Aineias from his rich sanctuary and put courage in the heart of him,

shepherd of the hosts. So Aineias took his place amid his comrades, and

they were glad to see him come among them alive and sound and full of

valiant spirit. Yet they questioned him not at all, for all the toil

forbade them that the god of the silver bow was stirring and Ares bane

of men and Strife raging insatiably.

 

And on the other side the two Aiantes and Odysseus and Diomedes stirred

the Danaans to fight; yet these of themselves feared neither the

Trojans' violence nor assaults, but stood like mists that Kronos' son

setteth in windless air on the mountain tops, at peace, while the might

of the north wind sleepeth and of all the violent winds that blow with

keen breath and scatter apart the shadowing clouds. Even so the Danaans

withstood the Trojans steadfastly and fled not. And Atreides ranged

through the throng exhorting instantly: "My friends, quit you like men

and take heart of courage, and shun dishonour in one another's eyes amid

the stress of battle. Of men that shun dishonour more are saved than

slain, but for them that flee is neither glory found nor any safety."

 

So saying he darted swiftly with his javelin and smote a foremost

warrior, even great-hearted Aineias' comrade Deikoon son of Pergasos,

whom the Trojans held in like honour with Priam's sons, because he was

swift to do battle amid the foremost. Him lord Agamemnon smote with his

dart upon the shield, and it stayed not the spear, but the point passed

through, so that he drave it through the belt into his nethermost belly:

and he fell with a crash and his armour clanged upon him.

 

Then did Aineias slay two champions of the Danaans, even the sons of

Diokles, Krethon and Orsilochos. Like them, two lions on the mountain

tops are nurtured by their dam in the deep forest thickets; and these

harry the kine and goodly sheep and make havoc of the farmsteads of men,

till in their turn they too are slain at men's hands with the keen

bronze; in such wise were these twain vanquished at Aineias' hands and

fell like tall pine-trees.

 

But Menelaos dear to Ares had pity of them in their fall, and strode

through the forefront, harnessed in flashing bronze, brandishing his

spear; and Ares stirred his courage, with intent that he might fall

beneath Aineias' hand. But Antilochos, great-hearted Nestor's son,

beheld him, and strode through the forefront; because he feared

exceedingly for the shepherd of the host, lest aught befall him and

disappoint them utterly of their labour. So those two were now holding

forth their hands and sharp spears each against the other, eager to do

battle; when Antilochos came and stood hard by the shepherd of the host.

But Aineias faced them not, keen warrior though he was, when he beheld

two men abiding side by side; so these haled away the corpses to the

Achaians' host, and laid the hapless twain in their comrades' arms, and

themselves turned back and fought on amid the foremost.

 

But Hector marked them across the ranks, and sprang on them with a

shout, and the battalions of the Trojans followed him in their might:

and Ares led them on and dread Enyo, she bringing ruthless turmoil of

war, the while Ares wielded in his hands his monstrous spear, and ranged

now before Hector's face, and now behind.

 

Then Diomedes of the loud war-cry shuddered to behold him; and even as a

shiftless man crossing a great plain cometh on a swift-streaming river

flowing on to the sea, and seeing it boil with foam springeth backwards,

even so now Tydeides shrank back and spake to the host: "Friends, how

marvel we that noble Hector is a spearman and bold man of war! Yet ever

is there beside him some god that wardeth off destruction; even as now

Ares is there by him in likeness of a mortal man. But with faces towards

the Trojans still give ground backwards, neither be desirous to fight

amain with gods."

 

Now the Argives before the face of Ares and mail-clad Hector neither

turned them round about toward their black ships, nor charged forward in

battle, but still fell backward, when they heard of Ares amid the

Trojans. But when the white-armed goddess Hera marked them making havoc

of the Argives in the press of battle, anon she spake winged words to

Athene: "Out on it, thou daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, unwearied

maiden! Was it for naught we pledged our word to Menelaos, that he

should not depart till he had laid waste well-walled Ilios,--if thus we

let baleful Ares rage? Go to now, let us twain also take thought of

impetuous valour."

 

So said she, and the bright-eyed goddess Athene disregarded not. So Hera

the goddess queen, daughter of Kronos, went her way to harness the

gold-frontleted steeds. And Athene, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, cast

down at her father's threshold her woven vesture many-coloured, that

herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the

tunic of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in her armour for

dolorous battle. About her shoulders cast she the tasselled aegis

terrible, whereon is Panic as a crown all round about, and Strife is

therein and Valour and horrible Onslaught withal, and therein is the

dreadful monster's Gorgon head, dreadful and grim, portent of

aegis-bearing Zeus. Upon her head set she the two-crested golden helm

with fourfold plate, bedecked with men-at-arms of a hundred cities. Upon

the flaming chariot set she her foot, and grasped her heavy spear, great

and stout, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men, even of heroes

with whom she of the awful sire is wroth. Then Hera swiftly smote the

horses with the lash; self-moving groaned upon their hinges the gates of

heaven whereof the Hours are warders, to whom is committed great heaven

and Olympus, whether to throw open the thick cloud or set it to. There

through the gates guided they their horses patient of the lash. And they

found the son of Kronos sitting apart from all the gods on the topmost

peak of many-ridged Olympus. Then the white-armed goddess Hera stayed

her horses and questioned the most high Zeus, the son of Kronos, and

said: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation with Ares for these violent

deeds? How great and goodly a company of Achaians hath he destroyed

recklessly and in unruly wise, unto my sorrow. But here in peace Kypris

and Apollo of the silver bow take their pleasure, having set on this mad

one that knoweth not any law. Father Zeus, wilt thou at all be wroth

with me if I smite Ares and chase him from the battle in sorry plight?"

 

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer answered and said to her: "Go to now, set

upon him Athene driver of the spoil, who most is wont to bring sore pain

upon him."

 

So spake he, and the white-armed goddess Hera disregarded not, and

lashed her horses; they nothing loth flew on between earth and starry

heaven. As far as a man seeth with his eyes into the haze of distance as

he sitteth on a place of outlook and gazeth over the wine-dark sea, so

far leap the loudly neighing horses of the gods. Now when they came to

Troy and the two flowing rivers, even to where Simoeis and Skamandros

join their streams, there the white-armed goddess Hera stayed her horses

and loosed them from the car and poured thick mist round about them, and

Simoeis made ambrosia spring up for them to graze. So the goddesses went

their way with step like unto turtle-doves, being fain to bring succour

to the men of Argos. And when they were now come where the most and most

valiant stood, thronging about mighty Diomedes tamer of horses, in the

semblance of ravening lions or wild boars whose strength is nowise

feeble, then stood the white-armed goddess Hera and shouted in the

likeness of great-hearted Stentor with voice of bronze, whose cry was

loud as the cry of fifty other men: "Fie upon you, Argives, base things

of shame, so brave in semblance! While yet noble Achilles entered

continually into battle, then issued not the Trojans even from the

Dardanian gate; for they had dread of his terrible spear. But now fight

they far from the city at the hollow ships."

 

So saying she aroused the spirit and soul of every man. And to Tydeides'

side sprang the bright-eyed goddess Athene. That lord she found beside

his horses and chariot, cooling the wound that Pandaros with his dart

had pierced, for his sweat vexed it by reason of the broad baldrick of

his round shield; therewith was he vexed and his arm grew weary, so he

was lifting up the baldrick and wiping away the dusky blood. Then the

goddess laid her hand on his horses' yoke, and said: "Of a truth Tydeus

begat a son little after his own likeness. Tydeus was short of stature,

but a man of war."

 

And stalwart Diomedes made answer to her and said: "I know thee, goddess

daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus: therefore with my whole heart will I

tell thee my thought and hide it not. Neither hath disheartening terror

taken hold upon me, nor any faintness, but I am still mindful of thy

behest that thou didst lay upon me. Thou forbadest me to fight face to

face with all the blessed gods, save only if Zeus' daughter Aphrodite

should enter into battle, then to wound her with the keen bronze.

Therefore do I now give ground myself and have bidden all the Argives

likewise to gather here together; for I discern Ares lording it in the

fray."

 

Then the bright-eyed goddess Athene answered him: "Diomedes son of

Tydeus, thou joy of mine heart, fear thou, for that, neither Ares nor

any other of the immortals; so great a helper am I to thee. Go to now,

at Ares first guide thou thy whole-hooved horses, and smite him hand to

hand, nor have any awe of impetuous Ares, raving here, a curse incarnate,

the renegade that of late in converse with me and Hera pledged him

to fight against the Trojans and give succour to the Argives, but now

consorteth with the Trojans and hath forgotten these."

 

So speaking, with her hand she drew back Sthenelos and thrust him from

the chariot to earth, and instantly leapt he down; so the goddess

mounted the car by noble Diomedes' side right eagerly. The oaken axle

creaked loud with its burden, bearing the dread goddess and the man of

might. Then Athene grasped the whip and reins; forthwith against Ares

first guided she the whole-hooved horses. Now he was stripping huge

Periphas, most valiant far of the Aitolians, Ochesios' glorious son. Him

was blood-stained Ares stripping; and Athene donned the helm of Hades,

that terrible Ares might not behold her. Now when Ares scourge of

mortals beheld noble Diomedes, he left huge Periphas lying there, where

at the first he had slain him and taken away his life, and made straight

at Diomedes tamer of horses. Now when they were come nigh in onset on

one another, first Ares thrust over the yoke and horse's reins with

spear of bronze, eager to take away his life. But the bright-eyed

goddess Athene with her hand seized the spear and thrust it up over the

car, to spend itself in vain. Next Diomedes of the loud war-cry attacked

with spear of bronze; and Athene drave it home against Ares' nethermost

belly, where his taslets were girt about him. There smote he him and

wounded him, rending through his fair skin, and plucked forth the spear

again. Then brazen Ares bellowed loud as nine thousand warriors or ten

thousand cry in battle as they join in strife and fray. Thereat

trembling gat hold of Achaians and Trojans for fear, so mightily

bellowed Ares insatiate of battle.

 

Even as gloomy mist appeareth from the clouds when after beat a stormy

wind ariseth, even so to Tydeus' son Diomedes brazen Ares appeared amid

clouds, faring to wide heaven. Swiftly came he to the gods' dwelling,

steep Olympus, and sat beside Zeus son of Kronos with grief at heart,

and shewed the immortal blood flowing from the wound, and piteously

spake to him winged words: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation to

behold these violent deeds? For ever cruelly suffer we gods by one

another's devices, in shewing men grace. With thee are we all at

variance, because thou didst beget that reckless maiden and baleful,

whose thought is ever of iniquitous deeds. For all the other gods that

are in Olympus hearken to thee, and we are subject every one; only her

thou chastenest not, neither in deed nor word, but settest her on,

because this pestilent one is thine own offspring. Now hath she urged on

Tydeus' son, even overweening Diomedes, to rage furiously against the

immortal gods. Kypris first he wounded in close fight, in the wrist of

her hand, and then assailed he me, even me, with the might of a god.

Howbeit my swift feet bare me away; else had I long endured anguish

there amid the grisly heaps of dead, or else had lived strengthless from

the smitings of the spear."

 

Then Zeus the cloud-gatherer looked sternly at him and said: "Nay, thou

renegade, sit not by me and whine. Most hateful to me art thou of all

gods that dwell in Olympus: thou ever lovest strife and wars and

battles. Truly thy mother's spirit is intolerable, unyielding, even

Hera's; her can I scarce rule with words. Therefore I deem that by her

prompting thou art in this plight. Yet will I no longer endure to see

thee in anguish; mine offspring art thou, and to me thy mother bare

thee."

 

So spake he and bade Paieon heal him.  And Paieon laid assuaging drugs

upon the wound. Even as fig juice maketh haste to thicken white milk,

that is liquid but curdleth speedily as a man stirreth, even so swiftly

healed he impetuous Ares. And Hebe bathed him, and clothed him in

gracious raiment, and he sate him down by Zeus son of Kronos, glorying

in his might.

 

Then fared the twain back to the mansion of great Zeus, even Hera and

Athene, having stayed Ares scourge of mortals from his man-slaying.

 

 

 

BOOK VI

 

    How Diomedes and Glaukos, being about to fight, were known

    to each other, and parted in friendliness. And how Hector

    returning to the city bade farewell to Andromache his wife.

 

So was the dread fray of Trojans and Achaians left to itself, and the

battle swayed oft this way and that across the plain, as they aimed

against each other their bronze-shod javelins, between Simoeis and the

streams of Xanthos.

 

Now had the Trojans been chased again by the Achaians, dear to Ares, up

into Ilios, in their weakness overcome, but that Prism's son Helenos,

far best of augurs, stood by Aineias' side and Hector's, and spake to

them: "Aineias and Hector, seeing that on you lieth the task of war in

chief of Trojans and Lykians, because for every issue ye are foremost

both for fight and counsel, stand ye your ground, and range the host

everywhither to rally them before the gates, ere yet they fall fleeing

in their women's arms, and be made a rejoicing to the foe. Then when ye

have aroused all our battalions we will abide here and fight the

Danaans, though in sore weariness; for necessity presseth us hard: but

thou, Hector, go into the city, and speak there to thy mother and mine;

let her gather the aged wives to bright-eyed Athene's temple in the

upper city, and with her key open the doors of the holy house; and let

her lay the robe, that seemeth to her the most gracious and greatest in

her hall and far dearest unto herself, upon the knees of

beauteous-haired Athene; and vow to her to sacrifice in her temple

twelve sleek kine, that have not felt the goad, if she will have mercy

on the city and the Trojans' wives and little children. So may she

perchance hold back Tydeus' son from holy Ilios, the furious spearman,

the mighty deviser of rout, whom in good sooth I deem to have proved

himself mightiest of the Achaians. Never in this wise feared we

Achilles, prince of men, who they say is born of a goddess; nay, but he

that we see is beyond measure furious; none can match him for might."

 

So spake he, and Hector disregarded not his brother's word, but leapt

forthwith from his chariot in his armour to earth, and brandishing two

sharp spears passed everywhere through the host, rousing them to battle,

and stirred the dread war-cry. So they were rallied and stood to face

the Achaians, and the Argives gave ground and ceased from slaughter, and

deemed that some immortal had descended from starry heaven to bring the

Trojans succour, in such wise rallied they. Then Hector called to the

Trojans with far-reaching shout: "O high-souled Trojans and ye far-famed

allies, quit you like men, my friends, and take thought of impetuous

courage, while I depart to Ilios and bid the elders of the council and

our wives pray to the gods and vow them hecatombs."

 

So saying Hector of the glancing helm departed, and the black hide beat

on either side against his ankles and his neck, even the rim that ran

uttermost about his bossed shield.

 

Now Glaukos son of Hippolochos and Tydeus' son met in the mid-space of

the foes, eager to do battle. Thus when the twain were come nigh in

onset on each other, to him first spake Diomedes of the loud war-cry:

"Who art thou, noble sir, of mortal men? For never have I beheld thee in

glorious battle ere this, yet now hast thou far outstripped all men in

thy hardihood, seeing thou abidest my far-shadowing spear. Luckless are

the fathers whose children face my might. But if thou art some immortal

come down from heaven, then will not I fight with heavenly gods. But if

thou art of men that eat the fruit of the field, come nigh, that anon

thou mayest enter the toils of destruction."

 

Then Hippolochos' glorious son made answer to him: "Great-hearted

Tydeides, why enquirest thou of my generation? Even as are the

generations of leaves such are those likewise of men; the leaves that be

the wind scattereth on the earth, and the forest buddeth and putteth

forth more again, when the season of spring is at hand; so of the

generations of men one putteth forth and another ceaseth. Yet if thou

wilt, have thine answer, that thou mayest well know our lineage, whereof

many men have knowledge. Hippolochos, son of Bellerophon, begat me, and

of him do I declare me to be sprung; he sent me to Troy and bade me very

instantly to be ever the best and to excel all other men, nor put to

shame the lineage of my fathers that were of noblest blood in Ephyre and

in wide Lykia. This is the lineage and blood whereof I avow myself to

be."

 

So said he, and Diomedes of the loud war-cry was glad. He planted his

spear in the bounteous earth and with soft words spake to the shepherd

of the host: "Surely then thou art to me a guest-friend of old times

through my father: for goodly Oineus of yore entertained noble

Bellerophon in his halls and kept him twenty days. Moreover they gave

each the other goodly gifts of friendship; Oineus gave a belt bright

with purple, and Bellerophon a gold two-handled cup. Therefore now am I

to thee a dear guest-friend in midmost Argos, and thou in Lykia,

whene'er I fare to your land. So let us shun each other's spears, even

amid the throng; Trojans are there in multitudes and famous allies for

me to slay, whoe'er it be that God vouchsafeth me and my feet overtake;

and for thee are there Achaians in multitude, to slay whome'er thou

canst. But let us make exchange of arms between us, that these also may

know how we avow ourselves to be guest-friends by lineage."

 

So spake the twain, and leaping from their cars clasped each the other

by his hand, and pledged their faith. But now Zeus son of Kronos took

from Glaukos his wits, in that he made exchange with Diomedes Tydeus'

son of golden armour for bronze, the price of five score oxen for the

price of nine.

 

Now when Hector came to the Skaian gates and to the oak tree, there came

running round about him the Trojans' wives and daughters, enquiring of

sons and brethren and friends and husbands. But he bade them thereat all

in turn pray to the gods; but sorrow hung over many.

 

But when he came to Priam's beautiful palace, adorned with polished

colonnades--and in it were fifty chambers of polished stone, builded

hard by one another, wherein Priam's sons slept beside their wedded

wives; and for his daughters over against them on the other side within

the courtyard were twelve roofed chambers of polished stone builded hard

by one another, wherein slept Priam's sons-in-law beside their chaste

wives--then came there to meet him his bountiful mother, leading with

her Laodike, fairest of her daughters to look on; and she clasped her

hand in his, and spake, and called upon his name: "My son, why hast thou

left violent battle to come hither. Surely the sons of the

Achaians--name of evil!--press thee hard in fight about thy city, and so

thy spirit hath brought thee hither, to come and stretch forth thy hands

to Zeus from the citadel. But tarry till I bring thee honey-sweet wine,

that thou mayest pour libation to Zeus and all the immortals first, and

then shalt thou thyself also be refreshed if thou wilt drink. When a man

is awearied wine greatly maketh his strength to wax, even as thou art

awearied in fighting for thy fellows."

 

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Bring me no

honey-hearted wine, my lady mother, lest thou cripple me of my courage

and I be forgetful of my might. But go thou to the temple of Athene,

driver of the spoil, with offerings, and gather the aged wives together;

and the robe that seemeth to thee the most gracious and greatest in thy

palace, and dearest unto thyself, that lay thou upon the knees of

beauteous-haired Athene, and vow to her to sacrifice in her temple

twelve sleek kine, that have not felt the goad, if she will have mercy

on the city and the Trojans' wives and little children. So go thou to

the temple of Athene, driver of the spoil; and I will go after Paris, to

summon him, if perchance he will hearken to my voice. Would that the

earth forthwith might swallow him up! The Olympian fostered him to be a

sore bane to the Trojans and to great-hearted Priam, and to Priam's

sons. If I but saw him going down to the gates of death, then might I

deem that my heart had forgotten its sorrows."

 

So said he, and she went unto the hall, and called to her handmaidens,

and they gathered the aged wives throughout the city. Then she herself

went down to her fragrant chamber where were her embroidered robes, the

work of Sidonian women, whom godlike Alexandros himself brought from

Sidon, when he sailed over the wide sea, that journey wherein he brought

home high-born Helen. Of these Hekabe took one to bear for an offering

to Athene, the one that was fairest for adornment and greatest, and

shone like a star, and lay nethermost of all. Then went she her way and

the multitude of aged wives hasted after her. And Hector was come to

Alexandros' fair palace, that himself had builded with them that were

most excellent carpenters then in deep-soiled Troy-land; these made him

his chamber and hall and courtyard hard by to Priam and Hector, in the

upper city. There entered in Hector dear to Zeus, and his hand bare his

spear, eleven cubits long: before his face glittered the bronze

spear-point, and a ring of gold ran round about it. And he found Paris

in his chamber busied with his beauteous arms, his shield and

breastplate, and handling his curved bow; and Helen of Argos sate among

her serving-women and appointed brave handiwork for her handmaidens.

Then when Hector saw him he rebuked him with scornful words: "Good sir,

thou dost not well to cherish this rancour in thy heart. The folk are

perishing about the city and high wall in battle, and for thy sake the

battle-cry is kindled and war around this city; yes thyself wouldest

thou fall out with another, didst thou see him shrinking from hateful

war. Up then, lest the city soon be scorched with burning fire."

 

And godlike Alexandros answered him: "Hector, since in measure thou

chidest me and not beyond measure, therefore will I tell thee; lay thou

it to thine heart and hearken to me. Not by reason so much of the

Trojans, for wrath and indignation, sate I me in my chamber, but fain

would I yield me to my sorrow. Even now my wife hath persuaded me with

soft words, and urged me into battle; and I moreover, even I, deem that

it will be better so; for victory shifteth from man to man. Go to then,

tarry awhile, let me put on my armour of war; or else fare thou forth,

and I will follow; and I think to overtake thee."

 

So said he, but Hector of the glancing helm answered him not a word. But

Helen spake to him with gentle words: "My brother, even mine that am a

dog, mischievous and abominable, would that on the day when my mother

bare me at the first, an evil storm-wind had caught me away to a

mountain or a billow of the loud-sounding sea, where the billow might

have swept me away before all these things came to pass. Howbeit, seeing

the gods devised all these ills in this wise, would that then I had been

mated with a better man, that felt dishonour and the multitude of men's

reproachings. But as for him, neither hath he now sound heart, nor ever

will have; thereof deem I moreover that he will reap the fruit. But now

come, enter in and sit thee here upon this bench, my brother, since thy

heart chiefly trouble hath encompassed, for the sake of me, that am a

dog, and for Alexandros' sin; on whom Zeus bringeth evil doom, that even

in days to come we may be a song in the ears of men that shall be

hereafter."

 

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Bid me not sit,

Helen, of thy love; thou wilt not persuade me. Already my heart is set

to succour the men of Troy, that have great desire for me that am not

with them. But rouse thou this fellow, yea let himself make speed, to

overtake me yet within the city. For I shall go into mine house to

behold my housefolk and my dear wife, and infant boy; for I know not if

I shall return home to them again, or if the gods will now overthrow me

at the hands of the Achaians."

 

So spake Hector of the glancing helm and departed; and anon he came to

his well-stablished house. But he found not white-armed Andromache in

the halls; she with her boy and fair-robed handmaiden had taken her

stand upon the tower, weeping and wailing. And when Hector found not his

noble wife within, he came and stood upon the threshold and spake amid

the serving women: "Come tell me now true, my serving women. Whither

went white-armed Andromache forth from the hall? Hath she gone out to my

sisters or unto my brothers' fair-robed wives, or to Athene's temple,

where all the fair-tressed Trojan women propitiate the awful goddess?"

 

Then a busy housedame spake in answer to him: "Hector, seeing thou

straitly chargest us tell thee true, neither hath she gone out to any of

thy sisters or thy brothers' fair-robed wives, neither to Athene's

temple, where all the fair-tressed Trojan women are propitiating the

awful goddess; but she went to the great tower of Ilios, because she

heard the Trojans were hard pressed, and great victory was for the

Achaians. So hath she come in haste to the wall, like unto one frenzied;

and the nurse with her beareth the child."

 

So spake the housedame, and Hector hastened from his house back by the

same way down the well-builded streets. When he had passed through the

great city and was come to the Skaian gates, whereby he was minded to

issue upon the plain, then came his dear-won wife, running to meet him,

even Andromache daughter of great-hearted Eetion. So she met him now,

and with her went the handmaid bearing in her bosom the tender boy, the

little child, Hector's loved son, like unto a beautiful star. Him Hector

called Skamandrios, but all the folk Astyanax [Astyanax = "City King.";

for only Hector guarded Ilios. So now he smiled and gazed at his boy

silently, and Andromache stood by his side weeping, and clasped her hand

in his, and spake and called upon his name. "Dear my lord, this thy

hardihood will undo thee, neither hast thou any pity for thine infant

boy, nor for me forlorn that soon shall be thy widow; for soon will the

Achaians all set upon thee and slay thee. But it were better for me to

go down to the grave if I lose thee; for never more will any comfort be

mine, when once thou, even thou, hast met thy fate, but only sorrow.

Nay, Hector, thou art to me father and lady mother, yea and brother,

even as thou art my goodly husband. Come now, have pity and abide here

upon the tower, lest thou make thy child an orphan and thy wife a

widow."

 

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Surely I take

thought for all these things, my wife; but I have very sore shame of the

Trojans and Trojan dames with trailing robes, if like a coward I shrink

away from battle. Moreover mine own soul forbiddeth me, seeing I have

learnt ever to be valiant and fight in the forefront of the Trojans,

winning my father's great glory and mine own. Yea of a surety I know

this in heart and soul; the day shall come for holy Ilios to be laid

low, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen spear. Yet doth

the anguish of the Trojans hereafter not so much trouble me, neither

Hekabe's own, neither king Priam's, neither my brethren's, the many and

brave that shall fall in the dust before their foemen, as doth thine

anguish in the day when some mail-clad Achaian shall lead thee weeping

and rob thee of the light of freedom. So shalt thou abide in Argos and

ply the loom at another woman's bidding, and bear water from fount

Messeis or Hypereia, being grievously entreated, and sore constraint

shall be laid upon thee. And then shall one say that beholdeth thee

weep: 'This is the wife of Hector, that was foremost in battle of the

horse-taming Trojans when men fought about Ilios.' Thus shall one say

hereafter, and fresh grief will be thine for lack of such an husband as

thou hadst to ward off the day of thraldom. But me in death may the

heaped-up earth be covering, ere I hear thy crying and thy carrying into

captivity."

 

So spake glorious Hector, and stretched out his arm to his boy. But the

child shrunk crying to the bosom of his fair-girdled nurse, dismayed at

his dear father's aspect, and in dread at the bronze and horse-hair

crest that he beheld nodding fiercely from the helmet's top. Then his

dear father laughed aloud, and his lady mother; forthwith glorious

Hector took the helmet from his head, and laid it, all gleaming, upon

the earth; then kissed he his dear son and dandled him in his arms, and

spake in prayer to Zeus and all the gods, "O Zeus and all ye gods,

vouchsafe ye that this my son may likewise prove even as I, pre-eminent

amid the Trojans, and as valiant in might, and be a great king of Ilios.

Then may men say of him, 'Far greater is he than his father' as he

returneth home from battle; and may he bring with him blood-stained

spoils from the foeman he hath slain, and may his mother's heart be

glad."

 

So spake he, and laid his son in his dear wife's arms; and she took him

to her fragrant bosom, smiling tearfully. And her husband had pity to

see her, and caressed her with his hand, and spake and called upon her

name: "Dear one, I pray thee be not of oversorrowful heart; no man

against my fate shall hurl me to Hades; only destiny, I ween, no man

hath escaped, be he coward or be he valiant, when once he hath been

born. But go thou to thine house and see to thine own tasks, the loom

and distaff, and bid thine handmaidens ply their work; but for war shall

men provide, and I in chief of all men that dwell in Ilios."

 

So spake glorious Hector, and took up his horse-hair crested helmet; and

his dear wife departed to her home, oft looking back, and letting fall

big tears. Anon she came to the well-stablished house of man-slaying

Hector, and found therein her many handmaidens, and stirred lamentation

in them all. So bewailed they Hector, while yet he lived, within his

house: for they deemed that he would no more come back to them from

battle, nor escape the fury of the hands of the Achaians.

 

Neither lingered Paris long in his lofty house, but clothed on him his

brave armour, bedight with bronze, and hasted through the city, trusting

to his nimble feet. Even as when a stalled horse, full-fed at the

manger, breaketh his tether and speedeth at the gallop across the plain,

being wont to bathe him in the fair-flowing stream, exultingly; and

holdeth his head on high, and his mane floateth about his shoulders, and

he trusteth in his glory, and nimbly his limbs bear him to the haunts

and pasturages of mares; even so Priam's son Paris, glittering in his

armour like the shining sun, strode down from high Pergamos laughingly,

and his swift feet bare him. Forthwith he overtook his brother noble

Hector, even as he was on the point to turn him away from the spot where

he had dallied with his wife. To him first spake godlike Alexandros:

"Sir, in good sooth I have delayed thee in thine haste by my tarrying,

and came not rightly as thou badest me."

 

And Hector of the glancing helm answered him and said: "Good brother, no

man that is rightminded could make light of thy doings in fight, seeing

thou art strong: but thou art wilfully remiss and hast no care; and for

this my heart is grieved within me, that I hear shameful words

concerning thee in the Trojans' mouths, who for thy sake endure much

toil. But let us be going; all this will we make good hereafter, if Zeus

ever vouchsafe us to set before the heavenly gods that are for

everlasting the cup of deliverance in our halls, when we have chased out

of Troy-land the well-greaved Achaians."

 

 

 

BOOK VII

 

    Of the single combat between Alas and hector, and of the

    burying of the dead, and the building of a wall about the

    Achaian ships.

 

So spake glorious Hector and issued from the gates, and with him went

his brother Alexandros; and both were eager of soul for fight and

battle. Even as God giveth to longing seamen fair wind when they have

grown weary of beating the main with polished oars, and their limbs are

fordone with toil, even so appeared these to the longing Trojans.

 

Now when the goddess bright-eyed Athene marked them making havoc of the

Argives in the press of battle, she darted down from the crests of

Olympus to holy Ilios. But Apollo rose to meet her, for he beheld her

from Pergamos, and would have victory for the Trojans. So the twain met

each the other by the oak-tree. To her spake first king Apollo son of

Zeus: "Why now art thou come thus eagerly from Olympus, thou daughter of

great Zeus, and why hath thy high heart sent thee? Surely it is to give

the Danaans unequal victory in battle! seeing thou hast no mercy on the

Trojans, that perish. But if thou wouldest hearken to me--and it were

far better so--let us now stay battle and warring for the day; hereafter

shall they fight again, till they reach the goal of Ilios, since thus it

seemeth good to your hearts, goddesses immortal, to lay waste this

city."

 

And the goddess bright-eyed Athene made answer to him: "So be it,

Far-darter; in this mind I likewise came from Olympus to the midst of

Trojans and Achaians. But come, how thinkest thou to stay the battle of

the warriors?"

 

And king Apollo, son of Zeus, made answer to her: "Let us arouse the

stalwart spirit of horse-taming Hector, if so be he will challenge some

one of the Danaans in single fight man to man to meet him in deadly

combat. So shall the bronze-greaved Achaians be jealous and stir up one

to fight singly with goodly Hector." So spake he and the bright-eyed

goddess Athene disregarded not. Now Helenos Priam's dear son understood

in spirit their resolve that the gods in counsel had approved; and he

went to Hector and stood beside him, and spake a word to him: "Hector

son of Priam, peer of Zeus in counsel, wouldest thou now hearken at all

to me? for I am thy brother. Make the other Trojans sit, and all the

Achaians, and thyself challenge him that is best of the Achaians to meet

thee man to man in deadly combat. It is not yet thy destiny to die and

meet thy doom; for thus heard I the voice of the gods that are from

everlasting." So said he, and Hector rejoiced greatly to hear his

saying, and went into the midst and refrained the battalions of the

Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them

down: and Agamemnon made the well-greaved Achaians sit. And Athene

withal and Apollo of the silver bow, in the likeness of vulture birds,

sate them upon a tall oak holy to aegis-bearing father Zeus, rejoicing

in their warriors; and the ranks of all of them sate close together,

bristling with shields and plumes and spears. Even as there spreadeth

across the main the ripple of the west wind newly risen, and the sea

grows black beneath it, so sate the ranks of Achaians and Trojans upon

the plain. And Hector spake between both hosts: "Hearken to me, Trojans

and well-greaved Achaians, that I may speak what my mind within my

breast biddeth me. Our oaths of truce Kronos' son, enthroned on high,

accomplished not; but evil is his intent and ordinance for both our

hosts, until either ye take fair-towered Troy or yourselves be

vanquished beside your seafaring ships. But in the midst of you are the

chiefest of all the Achaians; therefore now let the man whose heart

biddeth him fight with me come hither from among you all to be your

champion against goodly Hector. And this declare I, and be Zeus our

witness thereto; if that man slay me with the long-edged sword, let him

spoil me of my armour and bear it to the hollow ships, but give back my

body to my home, that Trojans and Trojans' wives may give me my due of

burning in my death. But if I slay him and Apollo vouchsafe me glory, I

will spoil him of his armour and bear it to holy Ilios and hang it upon

the temple of far-darting Apollo, but his corpse will I render back to

the well-decked ships, that the flowing-haired Achaians may entomb him,

and build him a barrow beside wide Hellespont. So shall one say even of

men that be late born, as he saileth in his benched ship over the

wine-dark sea: 'This is the barrow of a man that died in days of old, a

champion whom glorious Hector slew.' So shall a man say hereafter, and

this my glory shall never die."

 

So spake he and they all were silent and held their peace; to deny him

they were ashamed, and feared to meet him. But at the last stood up

Menelaos and spake amid them and chiding upbraided them, and groaned

deep at heart: "Ah me, vain threateners, ye women of Achaia and no more

men, surely all this shall be a shame, evil of evil, if no one of the

Danaans now goeth to meet Hector. Nay, turn ye all to earth and water,

sitting there each man disheartened, helplessly inglorious; against him

will I myself array me; and from on high the threads of victory are

guided of the immortal gods."

 

So spake he and donned his fair armour. And now, O Menelaos, had the end

of life appeared for thee at Hector's hands, seeing he was stronger far,

but that the princes of the Achaians started up and caught thee. And

Atreus' son himself, wide-ruling Agamemnon, took him by his right hand

and spake a word and called upon his name: "Thou doest madly, Menelaos

fosterling of Zeus; yet is it no time for this thy madness. Draw back,

though it be with pain, nor think for contention's sake to fight with

one better than thou, with Hector Priam's son, whom others beside thee

abhor. Yea, this man even Achilles dreadeth to meet in battle, wherein

is the warrior's glory; and Achilles is better far than thou. Go

therefore now and sit amid the company of thy fellows; against him shall

the Achaians put forth another champion. Fearless though he be and

insatiate of turmoil, I ween that he shall be fain to rest his knees, if

he escape from the fury of war and terrible fray."

 

So spake the hero and persuaded his brother's heart with just counsel;

and he obeyed. So his squires thereat with gladness took his armour from

his shoulders; and Nestor stood up and spake amid the Argives: "Fie upon

it, verily sore lamentation cometh on the land of Achaia. Verily old

Peleus driver of chariots would groan sore, that goodly counsellor of

the Myrmidons and orator, who erst questioned me in his house, and

rejoiced greatly, inquiring of the lineage and birth of all the Argives.

If he heard now of those that all were cowering before Hector, then

would he lift his hands to the immortals, instantly praying that his

soul might depart from his limbs down to the house of Hades. Would to

God I were thus young and my strength were sound; then would Hector of

the glancing helm soon find his combat. But of those of you that be

chieftains of the host of the Achaians, yet desireth no man of good

heart to meet Hector face to face." So the old man upbraided them, and

there stood up nine in all. Far first arose Agamemnon king of men, and

after him rose Tydeus' son stalwart Diomedes, and after them the Aiantes

clothed with impetuous might, and after them Idomeneus and Idomeneus'

brother-in-arms Meriones, peer of Enyalios slayer of men, and after them

Eurypylos Euaimon's glorious son; and up rose Thoas Andraimon's son and

goodly Odysseus. So all these were fain to fight with goodly Hector. And

among them spake again knightly Nestor of Gerenia: "Now cast ye the lot

from the first unto the last, for him that shall be chosen: for he shall

in truth profit the well-greaved Achaians, yea and he shall have profit

of his own soul, if he escape from the fury of war and terrible fray."

 

So said he, and they marked each man his lot and cast them in the helmet

of Agamemnon Atreus' son; and the hosts prayed and lifted up their hands

to the gods. And thus would one say, looking up to wide heaven: "O

father Zeus, vouchsafe that the lot fall upon Aias or Tydeus' son, or

else on the king of Mykene rich in gold."

 

So spake they, and knightly Nestor of Gerenia shook the helmet, and

there leapt forth the lot that themselves desired, even the lot of Aias.

And Aias saw and knew the token upon the lot, and rejoiced in heart, and

spake: "My friends, verily the lot is mine, yea and myself am glad at

heart, because I deem that I shall vanquish goodly Hector. But come now,

while I clothe me in my armour of battle, pray ye the while to Kronos'

son king Zeus, in silence to yourselves, that the Trojans hear you

not--nay rather, openly if ye will, for we have no fear of any man

soever. For none by force shall chase me, he willing me unwilling,

neither by skill; seeing I hope that not so skill-less, either, was I

born in Salamis nor nurtured."

 

So said he, and they prayed to Kronos' son, king Zeus; and thus would

one speak, looking up to wide heaven: "O father Zeus that rulest from

Ida, most glorious, most great, vouchsafe to Aias victory and the

winning of great glory. But if thou so lovest Hector indeed, and carest

for him, grant unto either equal prowess and renown."

 

So said they, while Aias arrayed him in flashing bronze. And when he had

now clothed upon his flesh all his armour, then marched he as huge Ares

coming forth, when he goeth to battle amid heroes whom Kronos' son

setteth to fight in fury of heart-consuming strife. So rose up huge

Aias, bulwark of the Achaians, with a smile on his grim face: and went

with long strides of his feet beneath him, shaking his far-shadowing

spear. Then moreover the Argives rejoiced to look upon him, but sore

trembling came upon the Trojans, on the limbs of every man, and Hector's

own heart beat within his breast. But in no wise could he now flee nor

shrink back into the throng of the host, seeing he had challenged him to

battle. And Aias came near bearing his tower-like shield of bronze, with

sevenfold ox-hide, and stood near to Hector, and spake to him threatening:

"Hector, now verily shalt thou well know, man to man, what manner

of princes the Danaans likewise have among them, even after Achilles,

render of men, the lion-hearted. But he amid his beaked seafaring ships

lieth in sore wrath with Agamemnon shepherd of the host; yet are we such

as to face thee, yea and many of us. But make thou beginning of war and

battle."

 

And great Hector of the glancing helm answered him: "Aias of the seed of

Zeus, son of Telamon, chieftain of the host, tempt not thou me like some

puny boy or woman that knoweth not deeds of battle. But I well know wars

and slaughterings. To right know I, to left know I the wielding of my

tough targe; therein I deem is stalwart soldiership. And I know how to

charge into the mellay of fleet chariots, and how in close battle to

join in furious Ares' dance. Howbeit, I have no mind to smite thee,

being such an one as thou art, by spying thee unawares; but rather

openly, if perchance I may hit thee."

 

He spake, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled and smote Aias'

dread shield of sevenfold hide upon the uttermost bronze, the eighth

layer that was thereon. Through six folds went the stubborn bronze

cleaving, but in the seventh hide it stayed. Then heaven-sprung Aias

hurled next his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon the circle of the

shield of Priam's son. Through the bright shield passed the violent

spear, and through the curiously wrought corslet pressed it on; and

straight forth beside the flank the spear rent his doublet; but he

swerved aside and escaped black death. Then both together with their

hands plucked forth their long spears and fell to like ravening lions or

wild boars whose might is nowise feeble. Then Priam's son smote the

shield's midst with his dart, but the bronze brake not through, for the

point turned back; but Aias leapt on him and pierced his buckler, and

straight through went the spear and staggered him in his onset, and

cleft its way unto his neck, so that the dark blood gushed up. Yet even

then did not Hector of the glancing helm cease from fight, but yielded

ground and with stout hand seized a stone lying upon the plain, black

and rugged and great; therewith hurled he and smote Aias' dread shield

of sevenfold ox-hide in the midst upon the boss, and the bronze

resounded. Next Aias lifted a far greater stone, and swung and hurled

it, putting might immeasurable therein. So smote he the buckler and

burst it inwards with the rock like unto a millstone, and beat down his

knees; and he was stretched upon his back, pressed into his shield; but

Apollo straightway raised him up. And now had they been smiting hand to

hand with swords, but that the heralds, messengers of gods and men,

came, one from the Trojans, one from the mail-clad Achaians, even

Talthybios and Idaios, both men discreet. Between the two held they

their staves, and herald Idaios spake a word, being skilled in wise

counsel: "Fight ye no more, dear sons, neither do battle; seeing Zeus

the cloud-gatherer loveth you both, and both are men of war; that verily

know we all. But night already is upon us: it is well withal to obey the

hest [behest] of night."

 

Then Telamonian Aias answered and said to him: "Idaios, bid ye Hector

to speak those words; of his own self he challenged to combat all our

best. Let him be first, and I will surely follow as he saith."

 

Then great Hector of the glancing helm said to him: "Aias, seeing God

gave thee stature and might and wisdom, and with the spear thou art

excellent above all the Achaians, let us now cease from combat and

battle for the day; but hereafter will we fight until God judge between

as, giving to one of us the victory: But come, let us give each the

other famous gifts, that men may thus say, Achaians alike and Trojans: `

These, having fought for sake of heart-consuming strife, parted again

reconciled in friendship."'

 

So said he, and gave him his silver-studded sword, with scabbard and

well-cut baldrick; and Aias gave his belt bright with purple. So they

parted, and one went to the Achaian host, and one betook him to the

throng of Trojans. And these rejoiced to behold him come to them alive

and sound, escaped from the fury of Aias and his hands unapproachable;

and they brought him to the city saved beyond their hope. And Aias on

their side the well-greaved Achaians brought to noble Agamemnon,

exulting in his victory.

 

So when these were come unto the huts of Atreides, then did Agamemnon

king of men slay them an ox, a male of five years old, for the most

mighty son of Kronos. This they flayed and made ready, and divided it

all, and minced it cunningly, and pierced it through with spits, and

roasted it carefully, and drew all off again. Then as soon as they had

rest from the task and had made ready the meal, they began the feast,

nor was their soul aught stinted of the equal banquet. And the hero son

of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, gave to Aias slices of the chine's

full length for his honour. And when they had put from them the desire

of meat and drink, then first the old man began to weave the web of

counsel, even Nestor whose rede [counsel] of old time was proved most

excellent. He made harangue among them and said: "Son of Atreus and ye

other princes of the Achaians, seeing that many flowing-haired Achaians

are dead, and keen Ares hath spilt their dusky blood about fair-flowing

Skamandros, and their souls have gone down to the house of Hades;

therefore it behoveth thee to make the battle of the Achaians cease with

daybreak; and we will assemble to wheel hither the corpses with oxen and

mules; so let us burn them; and let us heap one barrow about the pyre,

rearing it from the plain for all alike; and thereto build with speed

high towers, a bulwark for our ships and for ourselves. In the midst

thereof let us make gates well compact, that through them may be a way

for chariot-driving. And without let us dig a deep foss hard by, to be

about it and to hinder horses and footmen, lest the battle of the lordly

Trojans be heavy on us hereafter."

 

So spake he and all the chiefs gave assent. But meanwhile there was in

the high town of Ilios an assembly of the Trojans, fierce, confused,

beside Priam's gate. To them discreet Antenor began to make harangue:

"Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that I may tell you

that my soul within my breast commandeth me. Lo, go to now, let us give

Helen of Argos and the wealth with her for the sons of Atreus to take

away. Now fight we in guilt against the oaths of faith; therefore is

there no profit for us that I hope to see fulfilled, unless we do thus."

 

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up among them noble

Alexandros, lord of Helen beautiful-haired; he made him answer and spake

winged words: "Antenor, these words from thee are no longer to my

pleasure; yet thou hast it in thee to devise other sayings more

excellent than this. But if indeed thou sagest this in earnest, then

verily the gods themselves have destroyed thy wit. But I will speak

forth amid the horse-taming Trojans, and declare outright; my wife will

I not give back; but the wealth I brought from Argos to our home, all

that I have a mind to give, and add more of mine own substance."

 

So spake he and sate him down, and there stood up among them Priam of

the seed of Dardanos, the peer of gods in counsel; he made harangue to

them, and said: "Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that

I may tell you that my soul within my breast commandeth me. Now eat your

supper throughout the city as of old, and take thought to keep watch,

and be wakeful every man. And at dawn let Idaios fare to the hollow

ships to tell to Atreus' sons Agamemnon and Menelaos the saying of

Alexandros, for whose sake strife is come about: and likewise to ask

them this wise word, whether they are minded to refrain from noisy war

till we have burned our dead; afterwards will we fight again, till

heaven part us and give one or other victory."

 

So spake he, and they hearkened diligently to him and obeyed: and at

dawn Idaios fared to the hollow ships. He found the Danaans in assembly,

the men of Ares' company, beside the stern of Agamemnon's ship; and so

the loud-voiced herald stood in their midst and said unto them:

"Atreides and ye other princes of the Achaians, Priam and all the noble

Trojans bade me tell you-if perchance it might find favour and

acceptance with you-the saying of Alexandros, for whose sake strife hath

come about. The wealth that Alexandros brought in his hollow ships to

Troy-would he had perished first!-all that he hath a mind to give, and

to add more thereto of his substance. But the wedded wife of glorious

Menelaos he saith he will not give; yet verily the Trojans bid him do

it. Moreover they bade me ask this thing of you; whether ye are minded

to refrain from noisy war until we have burned our dead; afterwards will

we fight again, till heaven part us and give one or other victory."

 

So said he and they all kept silence and were still. But at the last

spake Diomedes of the loud war-cry in their midst: "Let no man now

accept Alexandros' substance, neither Helen's self; known is it, even to

him that hath no wit at all, how that the issues of destruction hang

already over the Trojans."

 

So spake he, and all the sons of the Achaians shouted, applauding the

saying of horse-taming Diomedes. And then lord Agamemnon spake to

Idaios: "Idaios, thyself thou hearest the saying of the Achaians, how

they answer thee; and the like seemeth good to me. But as concerning the

dead, I grudge you not to burn them; for dead corpses is there no

stinting; when they once are dead, of the swift propitiation of fire.

And for the oaths let Zeus be witness, the loud-thundering lord of

Hera."

 

So saying he lifted up his sceptre in the sight of all the gods, and

Idaios departed back to holy Ilios. Now Trojans and Dardanians sate in

assembly, gathered all together to wait till Idaios should come; and he

came and stood in their midst and declared his message. Then they made

them ready very swiftly for either task, some to bring the dead, and

some to seek for wood. And on their part the Argives hasted from their

well-decked ships, some to bring the dead and some to seek for wood.

 

Now the sun was newly beating on the fields as he climbed heaven from

the deep stream of gently-flowing Ocean, when both sides met together.

Then was it a hard matter to know each man again; but they washed them

with water clean of clotted gore, and with shedding of hot tears lifted

them upon the wains. But great Priam bade them not wail aloud; so in

silence heaped they the corpses on the pyre, stricken at heart; and when

they had burned them with fire departed to holy Ilios. And in like

manner on their side the well-greaved Achaians heaped the corpses on the

pyre, stricken at heart, and when they had burned them with fire

departed to the hollow ships.

 

And when day was not yet, but still twilight of night, then was the

chosen folk of the Achaians gathered together around the pyre, and made

one barrow about it, rearing it from the plain for all alike; and

thereto built they a wall and lofty towers, a bulwark for their ships

and for themselves. In the midst thereof made they gates well-compacted,

that through them might be a way for chariot-driving. And without they

dug a deep foss beside it, broad and great, and planted a palisade

therein.

 

Thus toiled the flowing-haired Achaians: and the gods sate by Zeus, the

lord of lightning, and marvelled at the great work of the mail-clad

Achaians. And Poseidon shaker of earth spake first to them: "O father

Zeus, is there any man throughout the boundless earth that will any more

declare to the immortals his mind and counsel? Seest thou not how the

flowing-haired Achaians have now again built them a wall before their

ships, and drawn a foss around it, but gave not excellent hecatombs to

the gods? Verily the fame thereof shall reach as far as the dawn

spreadeth, and men will forget the wall that I and Phoebus Apollo built

with travail for the hero Laomedon."

 

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer said to him, sore troubled: "Out on it,

far-swaying Shaker of earth, for this thing thou sayest. Well might some

other god fear this device, one that were far feebler than thou in the

might of his hands: but thine shall be the fame as far as the dawn

spreadeth. Go to now, hereafter when the flowing-haired Achaians be

departed upon their ships to their dear native land, then burst thou

this wall asunder and scatter it all into the sea, and cover the great

sea-beach over with sand again, that the great wall of the Achaians be

brought to naught."

 

 

 

BOOK VIII

 

    How Zeus bethought him of his promise to avenge Achilles'

    wrong on Agamemnon; and therefore bade the gods refrain from

    war, and gave victory to the Trojans.

 

Now Dawn the saffron-robed was spreading over all the earth, and Zeus

whose joy is in the thunder let call an assembly of the gods upon the

topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus, and himself made harangue to them

and all the gods gave ear: "Hearken to me, all gods and all ye

goddesses, that I may tell you what my heart within my breast commandeth

me. One thing let none essay, be it goddess or be it god, to wit, to

thwart my saying; approve ye it all together, that with all speed I may

accomplish these things. Whomsoever I shall perceive minded to go, apart

from the gods, to succour Trojans or Danaans, chastened in no seemly

wise shall he return to Olympus, or I will take and cast him into misty

Tartaros, right far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth;

there are the gate of iron and threshold of bronze, as far beneath Hades

as heaven is high above the earth: then shall he know how far I am

mightiest of all gods. Go to now, ye gods, make trial that ye all may

know. Fasten ye a rope of gold from heaven, and all ye gods lay hold

thereof and all goddesses; yet could ye not drag from heaven to earth

Zeus, counsellor supreme, not though ye toiled sore. But once I likewise

were minded to draw with all my heart, then should I draw you up with

very earth and sea withal. Thereafter would I bind the rope about a

pinnacle of Olympus, and so should all those things be hung in air. By

so much am I beyond gods and beyond men."

 

So saying he let harness to his chariot his bronze-shod horses, fleet of

foot, with flowing manes of gold; and himself clad him with gold upon

his flesh, and grasped the whip of gold, well wrought, and mounted upon

his car, and lashed the horses to start them; they nothing loth sped on

between earth and starry heaven. So fared he to many-fountained Ida,

mother of wild beasts, even unto Gargaros, where is his demesne and

fragrant altar. There did the father of men and gods stay his horses,

and unloose them from the car, and cast thick mist about them; and

himself sate on the mountain-tops rejoicing in his glory, to behold the

city of the Trojans and ships of the Achaians.

 

Now the flowing-haired Achaians took meat hastily among the huts and

thereafter arrayed themselves. Likewise the Trojans on their side armed

them throughout the town--a smaller host, yet for all that were they

eager to fight in battle, of forceful need, for their children's sake

and their wives'. And the gates were opened wide and the host issued

forth, footmen and horsemen; and mighty din arose.

 

So when they were met together and come unto one spot, then clashed they

targe and spear and fury of bronze-clad warrior; the bossed shields

pressed each on each, and mighty din arose. Then were heard the voice of

groaning and the voice of triumph together of the slayers and the slain,

and the earth streamed with blood.

 

Now while it yet was morn and the divine day waxed, so long from either

side lighted the darts amain and the people fell. But when the sun

bestrode mid-heaven, then did the Father balance his golden scales, and

put therein two fates of death that layeth men at their length, one for

horse-taming Trojans, one for mail-clad Achaians; and he took the

scale-yard by the midst and lifted it, and the Achaians' day of destiny

sank down. So lay the Achaians' fates on the bounteous earth, and the

Trojans' fates were lifted up towards wide heaven. And the god thundered

aloud from Ida, and sent his blazing flash amid the host of the

Achaians; and they saw and were astonished, and pale fear gat hold upon

all.

 

Then had Idomeneus no heart to stand, neither Agamemnon, neither stood

the twain Aiantes, men of Ares' company. Only Nestor of Gerenia stood

his ground, he the Warden of the Achaians; neither he of purpose, but

his horse was fordone, which noble Alexandros, beauteous-haired Helen's

lord, had smitten with an arrow upon the top of the crest where the

foremost hairs of horses grow upon the skull; and there is the most

deadly spot. So the horse leapt up in anguish and the arrow sank into

his brain, and he brought confusion on the steeds as he writhed upon the

dart. While the old man leapt forth and with his sword began to hew the

traces, came Hector's fleet horses through the tumult, bearing a bold

charioteer, even Hecktor. And now had the old man lost his life, but

that Diomedes of the loud war-cry was swift to mark. Terribly shouted

he, summoning Odysseus: "Heaven-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many

wiles, whither fleest thou with thy back turned, like a coward in the

throng? Beware lest as thou fleest one plant a spear between thy

shoulders. Nay, stand thy ground, till we thrust back from the old man

his furious foe."

 

So spake he, but much-enduring noble Odysseus heard him not, but

hastened by to the hollow ships of the Achaians. Yet Tydeides, though

but one, mingled amid the fighters in the forefront, and took his stand

before the steeds of the old man, Neleus' son, and spake to him winged

words, and said: "Old man, of a truth young warriors beset thee hard;

and thy force is abated, and old age is sore upon thee, and thy squire

is but a weakling, and thy steeds are slow. Come then, mount upon my

car, that thou mayest see of what sort are the steeds of Tros, well

skilled for following or fleeing hither or thither very fleetly across

the plain, even those that erst I took from Aineias inspirer of fear.

Thine let our squires tend, and these let us guide straight against the

horse-taming Trojans, that even Hector may know whether my spear also

rageth in my hands."

 

So said he, and knightly Nestor of Gerenia disregarded not. Then the two

squires tended Nestor's horses, even Sthenelos the valiant and kindly

Eurymedon: and the other twain both mounted upon Diomedes' car. And

Nestor took into his hands the shining reins, and lashed the horses; and

soon they drew nigh Hector. Then Tydeus' son hurled at him as he charged

straight upon them: him missed he, but his squire that drave his

chariot, Eniopeus, high-hearted Thebaios' son, even him as he held the

reins, he smote upon the breast beside the nipple. So he fell from out

the car, and his fleet-footed horses swerved aside; and there his soul

and spirit were unstrung. Then sore grief encompassed Hector's soul for

sake of his charioteer. Yet left he him there lying, though he sorrowed

for his comrade, and drave in quest of a bold charioteer; and his horses

lacked not long a master, for anon he found Iphitos' son, bold Archepto-

lemos, and him he made mount behind his fleet horses, and gave the reins

into his hands.

 

Then had destruction come and deeds beyond remedy been wrought, and so

had they been penned in Ilios like lambs, had not the father of gods and

men been swift to mark. So he thundered terribly and darted his white

lightning and hurled it before Diomedes' steeds to earth; and there

arose a terrible flame of sulphur burning, and the two horses were

affrighted and cowered beneath the car. And the shining reins dropped

from Nestor's hands, and he was afraid at heart and spake to Diomedes:

"Come now Tydeides, turn back thy whole-hooved horses to flight: seest

thou not that victory from Zeus attendeth not on thee? Now doth Kronos'

son vouchsafe glory to this Hector, for the day; hereafter shall he

grant it us likewise, if he will. A man may not at all ward off the will

of Zeus, not though one be very valiant; he verily is mightier far."

 

Then Diomedes of the loud war-cry answered him: "Yea verily, old man,

all this thou sayest is according unto right. But this is the sore grief

that entereth my heart and soul: Hector some day shall say as he maketh

harangue amid the Trojans: 'Tydeides betook him to the ships in flight

before my face.' So shall he boast--in that day let the wide earth yawn

for me."

 

So spake he and turned the whole-hooved horses to flight, back through

the tumult; and the Trojans and Hector with wondrous uproar poured upon

them their dolorous darts. And over him shouted loudly great Hector of

the glancing helm: "Tydeides, the fleet-horsed Danaans were wont to

honour thee with the highest place, and meats, and cups brimful, but now

will they disdain thee; thou art after all no better than a woman.

Begone, poor puppet; not for my flinching shalt thou climb on our

towers, neither carry our wives away upon thy ships; ere that will I

deal thee thy fate."

 

So said he, and Tydeides was of divided mind, whether to wheel his

horses and fight him face to face. Thrice doubted he in heart and soul,

and thrice from Ida's mountains thundered Zeus the lord of counsel, and

gave to the Trojans a sign, the turning of the course of battle. And

Hector with loud shout called to the Trojans: "Trojans and Lykians and

Dardanians that love close fight, be men, my friends, and bethink you of

impetuous valour. I perceive that of good will Kronion vouchsafest me

victory and great glory, and to the Danaans destruction. Fools, that

devised these walls weak and of none account; they shall not withhold

our fury, and lightly shall our steeds overleap the delved foss. But

when I be once come amid the hollow ships, then be thought taken of

consuming fire, that with fire I may burn the ships and slay the men."

 

So spake he and shouted to his steeds, and said: "Xanthos, and thou

Podargos, and Aithon and goodly Lampos, now pay me back your tending,

even the abundance that Andromache, great-hearted Eetion's daughter, set

before you of honey-hearted wheat, and mingled wine to drink at the

heart's bidding. Pursue ye now and haste, that we may seize Nestor's

shield, the fame whereof now reacheth unto heaven, how that it is of

gold throughout, armrods and all; and may seize moreover from

horse-taming Diomedes' shoulders his richly dight breastplate that

Hephaistos wrought cunningly. Could we but take these, then might I hope

this very night to make the Achaians to embark on their fleet ships."

 

And now had he burned the trim ships with blazing fire, but that queen

Hera put it in Agamemnon's heart himself to bestir him and swiftly

arouse the Achaians. So he went his way along the huts and ships of the

Achaians, holding a great cloak of purple in his stalwart hand, and

stood by Odysseus' black ship of mighty burden, that was in the midst,

so that a voice could be heard to either end. Then shouted he in a

piercing voice, and called to the Danaans aloud: "Fie upon you, Argives,

ye sorry things of shame, so brave in semblance! Whither are gone our

boastings when we said that we were bravest, the boasts ye uttered

vaingloriously when in Lemnos, as ye ate your fill of flesh of

tall-horned oxen and drank goblets crowned with wine, and said that

every man should stand in war to face fivescore yea tenscore Trojans?

yet now can we not match one, even this Hector that anon will burn our

ships with flame of fire. O Father Zeus, didst ever thou blind with such

a blindness any mighty king, and rob him of great glory? Nay, Zeus, this

hope fulfil thou me; suffer that we ourselves at least flee and escape,

neither suffer that the Achaians be thus vanquished of the Trojans."

 

So spake he, and the Father had pity on him as he wept, and vouchsafed

him that his folk should be saved and perish not. Forthwith sent he an

eagle--surest sign among winged fowl--holding in his claws a fawn, the

young of a fleet hind; beside the beautiful altar of Zeus he let fall

the fawn, where the Achaians did sacrifice unto Zeus lord of all

oracles. So when they saw that the bird was come from Zeus, they sprang

the more upon the Trojans and bethought them of the joy of battle.

 

Now could no man of the Danaans, for all they were very many, boast that

he before Tydeus' son had guided his fleet horses forth, and driven them

across the trench and fought man to man; first by far was Tydeides to

slay a warrior of the Trojans in full array, even Agelaos son of

Phradmon. Now he had turned his steeds to flee; but as he wheeled the

other plunged the spear into his back between his shoulders, and drave

it through his breast. So fell he from his chariot, and his armour

clanged upon him.

 

And after him came Atreus' sons, even Agamemnon and Menelaos, and after

them the Aiantes clothed upon with impetuous valour, and after them

Idomeneus and Idomeneus' brother in arms Meriones, peer of Enyalios

slayer of men, and after them Eurypylos, Euaimon's glorious son. And

ninth came Teukros, stretching his back-bent bow, and took his stand be-

neath the shield of Aias son of Telamon. And so Aias would stealthily

withdraw the shield, and Teukros would spy his chance; and when he had

shot and smitten one in the throng, then fell such an one and gave up

the ghost, and Teukros would return, and as a child beneath his mother,

so gat he him to Aias; who hid him with the shining shield.

 

And Agamemnon king of men rejoiced to behold him making havoc with his

stalwart bow of the battalions of the Trojans, and he came and stood by

his side and spake to him, saying: "Teukros, dear heart, thou son of

Telamon, prince of the host, shoot on in this wise, if perchance thou

mayest be found the salvation of the Danaans and glory of thy father

Telamon."

 

And noble Teukros made answer and said to him: "Most noble son of

Atreus, why urgest thou me that myself am eager? Verily with such

strength as is in me forbear I not, but ever since we drave them towards

Ilios I watch with my bow to slay the foemen. Eight long-barbed arrows

have I now sped, and all are buried in the flesh of young men swift in

battle; only this mad dog can I not smite."

 

He said, and shot another arrow from the string right against Hector;

and his heart was fain to smite him. Yet missed he once again, for

Apollo turned the dart away; but Archeptolemos, Hector's bold

charioteer, he smote on the breast beside the nipple as he hasted into

battle: so he fell from his car and his fleet-footed horses swerved

aside; and there his soul and spirit were unstrung. Then sore grief

encompassed Hector's soul for his charioteer's sake; yet left he him,

though he sorrowed for his comrade, and bade Kebriones his own brother,

being hard by, take the chariot reins; and he heard and disregarded not.

And himself he leapt to earth from the resplendent car, with a terrible

shout; and in his hand he caught a stone, and made right at Teukros, and

his heart bade him smite him. Now Teukros had plucked forth from his

quiver a keen arrow, and laid it on the string; but even as he drew it

back, Hector of the glancing helm smote him with the jagged stone, as he

aimed eagerly against him, even beside his shoulder, where the collar-

bone fenceth off neck and breast, and where is the most deadly spot; and

he brake the bowstring, and his hand from the wrist grew numb, and he

stayed fallen upon his knee, and his bow dropped from his hand. But Aias

disregarded not his brother's fall, but ran and strode across him and

hid him with his shield. Then two trusty comrades bent down to him, even

Mekisteus son of Echios and goodly Alastor, and bare him, groaning

sorely, to the hollow ships. And once again the Olympian aroused the

spirit of the Trojans. So they drove the Achaians straight toward the

deep foss, and amid the foremost went Hector exulting in his strength.

And even as when a hound behind wild boar or lion, with swift feet

pursuing snatcheth at him, at flank or buttock, and watcheth for him as

he wheeleth, so Hector pressed hard on the flowing-haired Achaians,

slaying ever the hindmost, and they fled on. But when they were passed

in flight through palisade and foss, and many were fallen beneath the

Trojans' hands, then halted they and tarried beside the ships, calling

one upon another, and lifting up their hands to all the gods prayed each

one instantly. But Hector wheeled round his beauteous-maned steeds this

way and that, and his eyes were as the eyes of Gorgon or Ares bane of

mortals.

 

Now at the sight of them the white-armed goddess Hera had compassion,

and anon spake winged words to Athene: "Out on it, thou child of

aegis-bearing Zeus, shall not we twain any more take thought for the

Danaans that perish, if only for this last time? Now will they fill up

the measure of evil destiny and perish by one man's onslaught; seeing

that he is furious now beyond endurance, this Hector son of Priam, and

verily hath wrought many a deed of ill."

 

And the bright-eyed goddess Athene made answer to her, "Yea in good

sooth, may this fellow yield up strength and life, and perish at the

Argives' hands in his native land; only mine own sire is furious, with

no good intent, headstrong, ever sinful, the foiler of my purposes. But

now make thou ready our whole-hooved horses, while I enter into the

palace of aegis-bearing Zeus and gird me in my armour for battle, that I

may see if Priam's son, Hector of the glancing helm, shall be glad at

the appearing of us twain amid the highways of the battle. Surely shall

many a Trojan likewise glut dogs and birds with fat and flesh, fallen

dead at the ships of the Achaians."

 

So said she, and the white-armed goddess Hera disregarded not. But when

father Zeus beheld from Ida, he was sore wroth, and sped Iris

golden-winged to bear a message: "Go thy way, fleet Iris, turn them

back, neither suffer them to face me; for in no happy wise shall we join

in combat. For thus will I declare, and even so shall the fulfilment be;

I will maim their fleet horses in the chariot, and them will I hurl out

from the car, and will break in pieces the chariot; neither within the

courses of ten years shall they heal them of the wounds the thunderbolt

shall tear; that the bright-eyed one may know the end when she striveth

against her father. But with Hera have I not so great indignation nor

wrath: seeing it ever is her wont to thwart me, whate'er I have

decreed."

 

So said he, and whirlwind-footed Iris arose to bear the message, and

departed from the mountains of Ida unto high Olympus. And even at the

entrance of the gates of Olympus many-folded she met them and stayed

them, and told them the saying of Zeus.

 

And father Zeus drave from Ida his fair-wheeled chariot and horses unto

Olympus, and came unto the session of the gods. For him also the noble

Shaker of Earth unyoked the steeds, and set the car upon the stand, and

spread a cloth thereover; and far-seeing Zeus himself sate upon his

golden throne, and beneath his feet great Olympus quaked. Only Athene

and Hera sate apart from Zeus, and spake no word to him neither

questioned him. But he was ware thereof in his heart, and said, "Why are

ye thus vexed, Athene and Hera? Surely ye are not wearied of making

havoc in glorious battle of the Trojans, for whom ye cherish bitter

hate! Howsoever, seeing that my might is so great and my hands

invincible, all the gods that are in Olympus could not turn me: and for

you twain, trembling erst gat hold upon your bright limbs ere that ye

beheld war and war's fell deeds. For thus will I declare, and even so

had the fulfilment been--never had ye, once smitten with the

thunderbolt, fared on your chariots back unto Olympus where is the

habitation of the immortals."

 

So spake he, and Athene and Hera murmured, that were sitting by him and

devising ills for the Trojans. Now Athene held her peace, and said not

anything, for wrath at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold upon her;

but Hera's heart contained not her anger, and she spake: "Most dread son

of Kronos, what word is this thou hast said? Well know we, even we, that

thy might is no wise puny; yet still have we pity for the Danaan

spearmen, that now shall perish and fill up the measure of grievous

fate."

 

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer answered and said: "At morn shalt thou

behold most mighty Kronion, if thou wilt have it so, O Hera, ox-eyed

queen, making yet more havoc of the vast army of Argive spearmen; for

headlong Hector shall not refrain from battle till that Peleus' son

fleet of foot have arisen beside the ships, that day when these shall

fight amid the sterns in most grievous stress, around Patroklos fallen.

Such is the doom of heaven. And for thine anger reck I not, not even

though thou go to the nethermost bounds of earth and sea, where sit

Iapetos and Kronos and have no joy in the beams of Hyperion the Sun-god,

neither in any breeze, but deep Tartaros is round about them. Though

thou shouldest wander till thou come even thither, yet reck I not of thy

vexation, seeing there is no thing more unabashed than thou."

 

So said he, but white-armed Hera spake him no word. And the sun's bright

light dropped into Ocean, drawing black night across Earth the

grain-giver. Against the Trojans' will daylight departed, but welcome,

thrice prayed for, to the Achaians came down the murky night.

 

Now glorious Hector made an assembly of the Trojans, taking them apart

from the ships, beside the eddying river, in an open space where was

found a spot clear of dead. And they came down from their chariots to

the ground to hear the word that Hector, dear unto Zeus, proclaimed. He

in his hand held his spear eleven cubits long; before his face gleamed

the spearhead of bronze, and a ring of gold ran round about it. Thereon

he leaned and spake to the Trojans, saying: "Hearken to me, Trojans and

Dardanians and allies. I thought but now to make havoc of the ships and

all the Achaians and depart back again to windy Ilios; but dusk came too

soon, and that in chief hath now saved the Argives and the ships beside

the beach of the sea. So let us now yield to black night, and make our

supper ready; unyoke ye from the chariots your fair-maned horses, and

set fodder beside them. And from the city bring kine and goodly sheep

with speed; and provide you with honey-hearted wine, and corn from your

houses, and gather much wood withal, that all night long until

early-springing dawn we may burn many fires, and the gleam may reach to

heaven; lest perchance even by night the flowing-haired Achaians strive

to take flight over the broad back of the sea. Verily must they not

embark upon their ships unvexed, at ease: but see ye that many a one of

them have a wound to nurse even at home, being stricken with arrow or

keen-pointed spear as he leapeth upon his ship; that so many another man

may dread to wage dolorous war on the horse-taming men of Troy. And let

the heralds dear to Zeus proclaim throughout the city that young maidens

and old men of hoary heads camp round the city on the battlements

builded of the gods; and let the women folk burn a great fire each in

her hall; and let there be a sure watch set, lest an ambush enter the

city when the host is absent. Howbeit for the night will we guard our

own selves, and at morn by daybreak, arrayed in our armour, let us awake

keen battle at the hollow ships. I will know whether Tydeus' son

stalwart Diomedes shall thrust me from the ships back to the wall, or I

shall lay him low with my spear and bear away his gory spoils. To-morrow

shall he prove his valour, whether he can abide the onslaught of my

spear. Would that I were immortal and ageless all my days and honoured

like as Athene is honoured and Apollo, so surely as this day bringeth

the Argives ill."

 

So Hector made harangue, and the Trojans clamoured applause. And they

loosed their sweating steeds from the yoke, and tethered them with

thongs, each man beside his chariot; and from the city they brought kine

and goodly sheep with speed, and provided them with honey-hearted wine

and corn from their houses, and gathered much wood withal. And from the

plain the winds bare into heaven the sweet savour. But these with high

hopes sate them all night along the highways of the battle, and their

watchfires burned in multitude. Even as when in heaven the stars about

the bright moon shine clear to see, when the air is windless, and all

the peaks appear and the tall headlands and glades, and from heaven

breaketh open the infinite air, and all stars are seen, and the

shepherd's heart is glad; even in like multitude between the ships and

the streams of Xanthos appeared the watchfires that the Trojans kindled

in front of Ilios. A thousand fires burned in the plain and by the side

of each sate fifty in the gleam of blazing fire. And the horses champed

white barley and spelt, and standing by their chariots waited for the

throned Dawn.

 

 

 

BOOK IX

 

    How Agamemnon sent an embassage to Achilles, beseeching him

    to be appeased; and how Achilles denied him.

 

Thus kept the Trojans watch; but the Achaians were holden of heaven-sent

panic, handmaid of palsying fear, and all their best were stricken to

the heart with grief intolerable. Like as two winds stir up the main,

the home of fishes, even the north wind and the west wind that blow from

Thrace, coming suddenly; and the dark billow straightway lifteth up its

crest and casteth much tangle out along the sea; even so was the

Achaians' spirit troubled in their breast.

 

But Atreides was stricken to the heart with sore grief, and went about

bidding the clear-voiced heralds summon every man by name to the

assembly, but not to shout aloud; and himself he toiled amid the

foremost. So they sat sorrowful in assembly, and Agamemnon stood up

weeping like unto a fountain of dark water that from a beetling cliff

poureth down its black stream; even so with deep groaning he spake amid

the Argives and said: "My friends, leaders and captains of the Argives,

Zeus son of Kronos hath bound me with might in grievous blindness of

soul; hard of heart is he, for that erewhile he promised and gave his

pledge that not till I had laid waste well-walled Ilios should I depart,

but now hath planned a cruel wile, and biddeth me return in dishonour to

Argos with the loss of many of my folk. Such meseemeth is the good

pleasure of most mighty Zeus, that hath laid low the heads of many

cities, yea and shall lay low; for his is highest power. So come, even

as I shall bid let us all obey; let us flee with our ships to our dear

native land, for now shall we never take wide-wayed Troy."

 

So said he, and they all held their peace and kept silence. Long time

were the sons of the Achaians voiceless for grief, but at the last

Diomedes of the loud war-cry spake amid them and said: "Atreides: with

thee first in thy folly will I contend, where it is just, O king, even

in the assembly; be not thou wroth therefor. My valour didst thou blame

in chief amid the Danaans, and saidst that I was no man of war but a

coward; and all this know the Argives both young and old. But the son of

crooked-counselling Kronos hath endowed thee but by halves; he granted

thee to have the honour of the sceptre above all men, but valour he gave

thee not, wherein is highest power. Sir, deemest thou that the sons of

the Achaians are thus indeed cowards and weaklings as thou sayest? If

thine own heart be set on departing, go thy way; the way is before thee,

and thy ships stand beside the sea, even the great multitude that

followed thee from Mykene. But all the other flowing-haired Achaians

will tarry here until we lay waste Troy. Nay, let them too flee on their

ships to their dear native land; yet will we twain, even I and

Sthenelos, fight till we attain the goal of Ilios; for in God's name are

we come."

 

So said he, and all the sons of the Achaians shouted aloud, applauding

the saying of horse-taming Diomedes. Then knightly Nestor arose and said

amid them: "Tydeides, in battle art thou passing mighty, and in council

art thou best among thine equals in years; none of all the Achaians will

make light of thy word nor gainsay it. Now let us yield to black night

and make ready our meal; and let the sentinels bestow them severally

along the deep-delved foss without the wall. This charge give I to the

young men; and thou, Atreides, lead then the way, for thou art the most

royal. Spread thou a feast for the councillors; that is thy place and

seemly for thee. Thy huts are full of wine that the ships of the

Achaians bring thee by day from Thrace across the wide sea; all

entertainment is for thee, being king over many. In the gathering of

many shalt thou listen to him that deviseth the most excellent counsel;

sore need have all the Achaians of such as is good and prudent, because

hard by the ships our foemen are burning their watch-fires in multitude;

what man can rejoice thereat? This night shall either destroy or save

the host."

 

So said he, and they gladly hearkened to him and obeyed. Forth sallied

the sentinels in their harness. Seven were the captains of the

sentinels, and with each went fivescore young men bearing their long

spears in their hands; and they took post midway betwixt foss and wall,

and kindled a fire and made ready each man his meal.

 

Then Atreides gathered the councillors of the Achaians, and led them to

his hut, and spread before them an abundant feast. So they put forth

their hands to the good cheer that lay before them. And when they had

put away from them the desire of meat and drink, then the old man first

began to weave his counsel, even Nestor, whose rede of old time was

approved the best. He spake to them and said: "Most noble son of Atreus,

Agamemnon king of men, in thy name will I end and with thy name begin,

because thou art king over many hosts, and to thy hand Zeus hath

entrusted sceptre and law, that thou mayest take counsel for thy folk.

Thee therefore more than any it behoveth both to speak and hearken, and

to accomplish what another than thou may say. No other man shall have a

more excellent thought than this that I bear in mind from old time even

until now, since the day when thou, O heaven-sprung king, didst go and

take the damsel Briseis from angry Achilles' hut by no consent of ours.

Nay, I right heartily dissuaded thee; but thou yieldedst to thy proud

spirit, and dishonouredst a man of valour whom even the immortals

honoured; for thou didst take and keepest from him his meed of valour.

Still let us even now take thought how we may appease him and persuade

him with gifts of friendship and kindly words."

 

And Agamemnon king of men answered and said to him: "Old sir, in no

false wise hast thou accused my folly. Fool was I, I myself deny it not.

Worth many hosts is he whom Zeus loveth in his heart, even as now he

honoureth this man and destroyeth the host of the Achaians. But seeing I

was a fool in that I yielded to my sorry passion, I will make amends and

give a recompense beyond telling. In the midst of you all I will name

the excellent gifts; seven tripods untouched of fire, and ten talents of

gold and twenty gleaming caldrons, and twelve stalwart horses, winners

in the race, that have taken prizes by their speed. No lackwealth were

that man whose substance were as great as the prizes my whole-hooved

steeds have borne me off. And seven women will I give, skilled in

excellent handiwork, Lesbians whom I chose me from the spoils the day

that he himself took stablished Lesbos, surpassing womankind in beauty.

These will I give him, and with them shall be she whom erst I took from

him, even the daughter of Briseus. All these things shall be set

straightway before him; and if hereafter the gods grant us to lay waste

the great city of Priam, then let him enter in when we Achaians be

dividing the spoil, and lade his ship full of gold and bronze, and

himself choose twenty Trojan women, the fairest that there be after

Helen of Argos. And if we win to the richest of lands, even Achaian

Argos, he shall be my son and I will hold him in like honour with

Orestes, my stripling boy that is nurtured in all abundance. Three

daughters are mine in my well-builded hall, Chrysothemis and Laodike and

Iphianassa; let him take of them which he will, without gifts of wooing,

to Peleus' house; and I will add a great dower such as no man ever yet

gave with his daughter. And seven well-peopled cities will I give him,

Kardamyle and Enope and grassy Hire and holy Pherai and Antheia deep in

meads, and fair Aipeia and Pedasos land of vines. And all are nigh to

the salt sea, on the uttermost border of sandy Pylos; therein dwell men

abounding in flocks and kine, men that shall worship him like a god with

gifts, and beneath his sway fulfil his prosperous ordinances. All this

will I accomplish so he but cease from wrath. Let him yield; Hades I

ween is not to be softened neither overcome, and therefore is he

hatefullest of all gods to mortals. Yea, let him be ruled by me,

inasmuch as I am more royal and avow me to be the elder in years."

 

Then knightly Nestor of Gerenia answered and said: "Most noble son of

Atreus, Agamemnon king of men, now are these gifts not lightly to be

esteemed that thou offerest king Achilles. Come therefore, let us speed

forth picked men to go with all haste to the hut of Peleus' son

Achilles. Lo now, whomsoever I appoint let them consent. First let

Phoinix dear to Zeus lead the way, and after him great Aias and noble

Odysseus; and for heralds let Odios and Eurybates be their companions.

And now bring water for our hands, and bid keep holy silence, that we

may pray unto Zeus the son of Kronos, if perchance he will have mercy

upon us."

 

So said he, and spake words that were well-pleasing unto all. Forthwith

the heralds poured water on their hands, and the young men crowned the

bowls with drink and gave each man his portion after they had poured the

libation in the cups. And when they had made libation and drunk as their

heart desired, they issued forth from the hut of Agamemnon son of

Atreus. And knightly Nestor of Gerenia gave them full charge, with many

a glance to each, and chiefest to Odysseus, how they should essay to

prevail on Peleus' noble son.

 

So the twain went along the shore of the loud-sounding sea, making

instant prayer to the earth-embracer, the Shaker of the Earth, that they

might with ease prevail on Aiakides' great heart. So they came to the

huts and ships of the Myrmidons, and found their king taking his

pleasure of a loud lyre, fair, of curious work, with a silver cross-bar

upon it. Therein he was delighting his soul, and singing the glories of

heroes. And over against him sate Patroklos alone in silence, watching

till Aiakides should cease from singing. So the twain came forward, and

noble Odysseus led the way, and they stood before his face; and Achilles

sprang up amazed with the lyre in his hand, and left the seat where he

was sitting, and in like manner Patroklos when he beheld the men arose.

Then Achilles fleet of foot greeted them and said: "Welcome; verily ye

are friends that are come--sore indeed is the need--even ye that are

dearest of the Achaians to me even in my wrath."

 

So spake noble Achilles and led them forward, and made them sit on

settles and carpets of purple; and anon he spake to Patroklos being

near: "Bring forth a greater bowl, thou son of Menoitios; mingle

stronger drink, and prepare each man a cup, for dearest of men are these

that are under my roof."

 

Then put they forth their hands to the good cheer lying before them. And

when they had put from them the desire of meat and drink, Aias nodded to

Phoinix. But noble Odysseus marked it, and filled a cup with wine and

pledged Achilles: "Hail, O Achilles! The fair feast lack we not either

in the hut of Agamemnon son of Atreus neither now in thine; for feasting

is there abundance to our heart's desire, but our thought is not for

matters of the delicious feast; nay, we behold very sore destruction,

thou fosterling of Zeus, and are afraid. Now is it in doubt whether we

save the benched ships or behold them perish, if thou put not on thy

might. Nigh unto ships and wall have the high-hearted Trojans and famed

allies pitched their camp, and kindled many fires throughout their host,

and ween that they shall no more be withheld but will fall on our black

ships. And Zeus son of Kronos sheweth them signs upon the right by

lightning, and Hector greatly exulteth in his might and rageth

furiously, trusting in Zeus, and recketh not of god nor man, for mighty

madness hath possessed him. He prayeth bright Dawn to shine forth with

all speed, for he bath passed his word to smite off from the ships the

ensigns' tops, and to fire the hulls with devouring flame, and hard

thereby to make havoc of the Achaians confounded by the smoke. Therefore

am I sore afraid in my heart lest the gods fulfil his boastings, and it

be fated for us to perish here in Troy-land, far from Argos pasture-land

of horses. Up then! if thou art minded even at the last to save the

failing sons of the Achaians from the war-din of the Trojans. Eschew thy

grievous wrath; Agamemnon offereth thee worthy gifts, so thou wilt cease

from anger. Lo now, hearken thou to me, and I will tell thee all the

gifts that in his hut Agamemnon promised thee. But if Agamemnon be too

hateful to thy heart, both he and his gifts, yet have thou pity on all

the Achaians that faint throughout the host; these shall honour thee as

a god, for verily thou wilt earn exceeding great glory at their hands.

Yea now mightest thou slay Hector, for he would come very near thee in

his deadly madness, because he deemeth that there is no man like unto

him among the Danaans that the ships brought hither."

 

And Achilles fleet of foot answered and said unto him: "Heaven-sprung

son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, in openness must I now declare

unto you my saying, even as I am minded and as the fulfilment thereof

shall be, that ye may not sit before me and coax this way and that. For

hateful to me even as the gates of hell is he that hideth one thing in

his heart and uttereth another: but I will speak what meseemeth best.

Not me, I ween, shall Agamemnon son of Atreus persuade, nor the other

Danaans, seeing we were to have no thank for battling with the foemen

ever without respite. He that abideth at home hath equal share with him

that fighteth his best, and in like honour are held both the coward and

the brave; death cometh alike to the untoiling and to him that hath

toiled long. Neither have I any profit for that I endured tribulation of

soul, ever staking my life in fight. Even as a hen bringeth her

unfledged chickens each morsel as she winneth it, and with herself it

goeth hard, even so I was wont to watch out many a sleepless night and

pass through many bloody days of battle, warring with folk for their

women's sake. Twelve cities of men have I laid waste from ship-board,

and from land eleven, throughout deep-soiled Troy-land; out of all these

took I many goodly treasures and would bring and give them all to

Agamemnon son of Atreus, and he staying behind amid the fleet ships

would take them and portion out some few but keep the most. Now some he

gave to be meeds of honour to the princes and the kings, and theirs are

left untouched; only from me of all the Achaians took he my darling lady

and keepeth her. But why must the Argives make war on the Trojans? why

hath Atreides gathered his host and led them hither? is it not for

lovely-haired Helen's sake? Do then the sons of Atreus alone of mortal

men love their wives? surely whatsoever man is good and sound of mind

loveth his own and cherisheth her, even as I too loved mine with all my

heart, though but the captive of my spear. But now that he hath taken my

meed of honour from mine arms and hath deceived me, let him not tempt me

that know him full well; he shall not prevail. Nay, Odysseus, let him

take counsel with thee and all the princes to ward from the ships the

consuming fire. Verily without mine aid he hath wrought many things, and

built a wall and dug a foss about it wide and deep, and set a palisade

therein; yet even so can he not stay murderous Hector's might. But so

long as I was fighting amid the Achaians, Hector had no mind to array

his battle far from the wall, but scarce came unto the Skaian gates and

to the oak-tree; there once he awaited me alone and scarce escaped my

onset. But now, seeing I have no mind to fight with noble Hector, I will

to-morrow do sacrifice to Zeus and all the gods, and store well my ships

when I have launched them on the salt sea--then shalt thou see, if thou

wilt and hast any care therefor, my ships sailing at break of day over

Hellespont, the fishes' home, and my men right eager at the oar; and if

the great Shaker of the Earth grant me good journey, on the third day

should I reach deep-soiled Phthia. There are my great possessions that I

left when I came hither to my hurt; and yet more gold and ruddy bronze

shall I bring from hence, and fair-girdled women and grey iron, all at

least that were mine by lot; only my meed of honour hath he that gave it