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hhtiox Library 

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Fellow of Corpus Christ! College. 

Two Volnmes, crown octavo, price ISs. 








VOL. L^ 


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When, after translating the Odyssey, I deter- 
mined to translate the Iliad, my sense of the 
general character of the poem led me to weigh 
the seyeial claims of three systems of verse as 
the means for representing it in English. These 
three were the hexameter, blank verse, and the 
Spenserian stanza. There is at first sic^ht far 
I«s to be aaid for tte laet Itaa for either of He 
former ; but, after a few experiments in each, 
I was led to the conclusion that for me at least 
it was better to adopt it notwithstanding. My 
reasons for this, so far as the hexameter is con- 
cerned, win probably be shared, and have no 
doubt been anticipated, by many; but I can 
scarcely account for the fact, that the considera- 
tion which overwhelmed me in respect of blank 
verse has not, to aU appearance, even presented 
itself to a single recent competitor in that field. 


There are certainly good theoretical reasons 
for the choice of one or other of the two metres 
which, as I have said, 1 found it necessary to 
reject If the English hexameter did but exist, 
the argument in favour of its adoption by a trans- 
lator who could wield it would, I think, be un- 
answerable. Some presentable form of the metre 
may not be past hoping for, though Longfellow 
has done what only a deservedly popular poet 
could do to encumber the attempt with even 
more difficulties than justly belong to it But 
nothing can be more certain than that a problem 
so intricate must be first solved in the field of 
original poetry. When the English hexameter is 
discovered, known, and widely appreciated with- 
out reference to any foreign rhythmical standard, 
it wiU be time enough to use it in translation. 
Till then, the name of it can only serve to adorn 
a theory against which there seems nothing what- 
ever to be said in the abstract* 

* In my preface to the second yolome of the Odyssey I have 
endeftTonied to indicate certain rules which may tend to make the 
English hexameter more definite, native, and readable. I have other 
modifications to suggest, all centring in one plain principle; but I 
forbear to discuss the matter in this place, believing that Homeric 
translation is altogether the wrong field in which to make any new 
metrical experiment whatever. 


As for blank verse, it is certainly by far the 
grandest and most epic metre yet existing in 
the English language; and, when we take into 
account the fact that the poems of Homer may 
be, without verbal distortion, rendered into it 
almost word for word, it would seem that no 
more suitable instrument could be desired. But 
let it be clearly understood what blank verse 
means. An essential condition to its existence is 
that not the line only, but each whole sentence 
and paragraph, should really scan. A series of 
blank lines, though each line in itself may be full 
of merit, or were it even perfect, is no more blank 
verse than good bricks are of necessity a good 
structure. The ability to deal with this metre is, 
of all attainments in versification, the very rarest, 
and the poets who have succeeded in carrying out 
the attempt through any long work may, even at 
this advanced period of our literature, be almost 
counted on the fingers of one hand. Moreover, 
the great masters themselves do not arrive at 
excellence in it per saltum: only in the full 
maturity of power can they bend it to their will. 
For my own part, therefore, not being aware of a 
single example of long-sustained success in the 


management of this metre by any but our best 
poets, I have been content to leave it alone as 
the non imitahile fulinen of the supreme divini- 
ties. It is all the more dangerous an instrument 
for inferior talent to handle, because it is the only 
form of verse in which there is no mechanical 
difficulty to overcoma And, except under very 
peculiar circumstances, the practical objection of 
want of time must be held a valid one by 
an Homeric translator in this generation. He 
who would not take at least three times as long 
to render the Iliad in blank verse as to render it 
in any form of rhyme, even one so complicated as 
the stanza which I have myself employed, can 
have little idea of the voluminous majesty that 
belongs to every genuine utterance conveyed 
through this by far the noblest organ of English 

I come now to the Spenserian metre, which, 
despite the claims of the couplet, will perhaps be 
generally acknowledged to rank, on the whole, 
next in heroic dignity to blank verse. This is a 
great consideration, which, were it even the only 
one, would still deserve to be reckoned against 
many in the adverse scale. But in truth the 


very texture of this metre brings hopefully within 
our reach that vital characteristic with which 
the great masters, and hitherto none but they, 
have been able to endow blank verse. It is sub- 
ject to a complex law, which effects all that can 
be done by the happiest of mechanical contriv- 
ances to combine the rolling amplitude of periods 
with the melody of individual lines. We have 
not only parts, but a whole ; not waves only, but 
a sea — a kind of effect to which what commonly 
passes for blank verse cannot for one moment 
pretend Hence it may be readily surmised that 
the comparison I would suggest between it and 
the verse of Homer is one that requires breadth 
for its application. I do not maintain that a 
reader who takes eight or nine lines of Homer, 
and then turns to a single stanza of my transla- 
tion, will be struck with the metrical analogy. 
But what I hope and believe to be true is this : 
that the perusal of a whole book of my transla- 
tion will leave echoing in the ear a voice accord- 
ant in its main swell to the voice of Homer. If 
that sea-like rolling effect which is so character- 
istic of him comes out in my pages, though not 
inmiediately by the succession of single lines, yet 


at last by the harmonious accumulation of stamas, 
I have made out for the magnificent measure I 
have chosen a claim which cannot indeed be 
tested rapidly, but which, if true, will graduaUy 

to caU attention to this one vital point in favour 
of the metre, when handled as one may fairly 
hope to handle it. With regard to many other 
advantages, the experiment is left to speak for 

The case, then, as I conceive it, stands thus. 
The hexameter, if we could but find it, would 
prove the best instrument for our purpose. Blank 
verse is the best that is really known, but is so 
almost unattainable as to be practically non-exist- 
ent, even in original composition, for any but 
one or two poets in a century, who may be able 
to justify themselves by storm. The Spenserian 
stanza is positively the noblest type of verse 
which any one, not overwhelmed by the con- 
sciousness of supreme poetic genius, should dare 
to attempt as a vehicle for translating Homer. 

It remains that I shoidd say a few words on 
my general idea of poetical translation. The 
great doctrine which I endeavour to observe, at 


as little cost as I can, but to which, if necessary, I 
am ready to sacrifice everything else, is, that true 
poetry in a foreign language must be represented 
by true poetry in our own. If this cardinal con- 
dition is to remain unfulfilled, the meaning of 
verse is gone, and the work can be much better 
executed in prose. Homer is above all things a 
poet; and where this grand feature of resemblance 
is wanting, all others, however accurately repro- 
duced, become low and trivial, except from the 
antiquarian point of view. It has been my ideal 
throughout to display the whole breathing form 
in the beauty of its natural proportions, and to 
avoid whatever seemed likely to insulate or to 
bring out in rigid and startling relief the nerves 
and sinews which minister to its vitality. When 
the translator of a great poem makes it his leading 
object to delineate minute details to the letter, he 
is, in fact^ guilty of exaggeration to the verge of 
agony. True faithfulness can never exist apart 
from symmetry, the realization of which depends 
on an attitude of the mind in which every detail 
receives its hue from the general atmosphere of 
the poem. On like grounds, I have deliberately 
shunned the strong temptation to be ingenious. 


If my work should present the average number of 
verbal dexterities, it is so far well ; but these have 
never come directly within the scope of my ambi- 
tion. Yet it would be wrong to infer that the 
tenor of my version is paraphrastic ; for, holding 
a liberal theory, I have been the more careful not 
to abuse it, and my work must certainly be con- 
sidered to belong to the class of literal translations. 
But lame English cannot worthily represent good 
and sound Greek ; nor is it to be expected that 
corresponding verbal elements will, as a rule, 
coalesce with equal felicity in two distinct lan- 
guages. My desire has always been to resemble 
Homer, not to ape him — a result which I believe 
to be far more accessible by means of a constant 
cultivation of sympathy with that tone of mind 
in which the Homeric style originated, than by 
the mechanical adherence to a catalogue of out- 
ward peculiarities. I shall not be found to have 
escaped errors of judgment; but in the endeavour 
itself to judge there is truth. No theory intended 
to supersede the exercise of individual good taste 
can be successfully applied to Homer. Whatever 
else may be right, a stiff translation of an easy 
and flowing original is irredeemably wTong. The 


mind of a great people is broadly the same in all 
ages; and our language, to be at all like Homer's, 
must be now, as his was in the flower of its life, 
plain and intelligible to the multitude.* 

* It may be well to add, that I have, as in the Odyssey, used the 
Greek, and not Latin, proper names. The only excuse for a substitu- 
tioQ which belied the whole cast of the poem, was the absolute demand 
of custom. When this began to faU, and when it became evident that 
a new generation of scholars would certainly complete and popularize 
the refonn, there was no longer anything to be said in favour of the old 
practice. Authority may be pleaded to retain a living error, but the 
attempt to revive a dying one must lean upon its own merits for 




Staitzas 1-6. Chryses, priest of Apollo, comes to ransom his captive 
daughter. Agfunenmon repulses him. *6-10. Prayer of Chryses to 
Apollo : the god, in vengeance, smites the Achaian camp with his 
aiToire.lCAohilleus convokes the assembly. * 11-S9. The augur Cal- 
chaa advises to give back Chrysels to her father. The anger of 
Agamemnon^ Quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilleus. Intervention 
of Athene. Nestor in vain endeavours to reconcile them. * 40-69. 
The council is dissolved. ^Agamemnon sends back CHirysels under 
the conduct of Odysseu^ orders the army to undergo purification, 
and demancls Brisels &om Achilleus, who delivers her to the heralds, 
and, retiring to the sh^re, pmys to his mother Thetis : she appears 
to 1dm and promises to plead hia cause with Zeus. *60-65. duyses 
receives his daughter, and obtains by prayer the removal of the 
pestilence: sacrifice is ofiiered to Apollo. * 66-71 .)ll^ Wrath of 
Achilleus. Interview of Thetis and Zeus. * 72-80. Zeus, showing 
favour to Thetis, is upbraided by, and threatens, Hera, who is won 
to submission by HephsBstus 1 


Stahzab 1-6. Agamemnon's dream. '^7-11. He convokes the chiefs, 
and proposes to test the spirit of the army in full assembly. 
* 12-18. The host comes together, and tlie king declares that the 
time haa arrived to return home. * 19-23. The men disperse, and 
prepare eagerly for departure. Hera sends Athene, who exhorts 
Odysseus to restrain them. * 24-35. He brings all back to the 
place of assembly, and there punishes Thersites. * 36-42. Speech 

VOL. I. b 



of Odysseus. •4S-47. Of Nestor. ♦48-50. Of Agamemnon. 
* 51-61. Tlie soldiers, after food and sacrifice, are called to arms, 
and flock to the plain of Scamander. * 62-97. Enumeration of the 
chiefs and vessels of aU the tribes of the Achaian army : their 
march over the plain. * 98-100. Iris, sent by Zeus, announces to 
Priam their approach. Hector sets his troops in battle array on a 
hill near the city. * 101-109. Enumeration of the chiefs of the 
Trojans and their allies. 29 


Stanzas 1-4. Paris, defying the bravest of the Achaians, is met by 
Menelaus : he is then seized with fear, and takes refuge in the 
ranks. *5-9. Reproved by Hector, he offers to decide the war 
in single combat with Menelaus. * 10-14. Hector conveys the pro- 
posal to the two armies: Menelans accepts it. * 15-28. Helen, 
informed by Ins, betakes herself to the wall, and there describes 
by name to Priam the chiefs whom he points out on the plain. 

* 29-86. The agreement is solemnized by Priam and Agamemnon. 

* 87-49. The combat. Paris is saved by Aphrodite, who transports 
him to the palace, and compels Helen to seek him. * 50-55. Helen 
reproaches Paris, who meets her with loving words. Agamemnon 
claims the victory and demands Helen 67 


Stanzas 1-11. Conncil of the gods. Hera bargains with Zeus for the 
destmction of Troy. Athene is sent, and persuades Pandarus, the 
son of Lycaon, to break the truce. * 12-26. He, with an arrow, 
wounds Menelaus, who is healed by Machaon. * 26-49. The 
Trojans advance. Agamemnon passes through the ranks to stir his 
troops : he encourages some, and rebukes other, of the chiefs. 
♦50-60. The battle begios. After a bloody conflict the Trojans 
&11 back, and the Achaians press upon them. * 60-64. Apollo re- 
animates the Trojans, Athene the Achaians. The fight is renewed, 
and many warriors fall 87 


Stanzas 1-21. The battle proceeds. Diomede rushes upon the Trojans. 
Athene withdraws Ares from the field. Diomede, wounded by 
Pandarus, prays to Athene, and fights more fiercely than before. 
* 22-88. iBneas and Pandarus together strive to arrest the onslaught 
of Diomede. Pandarus is slain, and .£neas wounded. ♦89-43. 



Aphrodite, while saving her child Maeas, is wounded by Diomede. 

* 44-54. She borrows the chariot of Ares, hastens to heaven, and 
complains to her mother Dione, who consoles and cures her. 

* 55-65. Apollo withstands Diomede, and saves the life of Mae&s, 
in the likeness of whom he frames a phantom to be fought over. 
Aies, in the form of Acamas, captain of Thrace, excites the 
Trojans. Sarpedon reproaches Hector, who then again brings up 
his men to the fight. * 66-80. Apollo brings back .£neas, who re- 
enters the battle, and slays Orsilochus and Crethon. Diomede and 
Aias retire before Hector. * 81-89. Combat between Tlepolemus 
and Sarpedon. Many warriors are slain by Ares and Hector. 
♦90-94. The chariot of Hera, and the aegis of Athene. ♦96-106. 
Hera and Athene help the Achaians. * 107-115. Ares is wounded 

by Diomede, and healed in Olympus by Paean 109 


Stanzas 1-7. The battle proceeds. Adrastus is taken alive by Mene- 
laua, and killed by Agamemnon. * 8-13. Helenus, the soothsayer, 
gives directions to his brother Hector, and he, after inspiriting his 
men, goes back to Troy. * 14-28. The episode of Glaucus and 
Diomede: they exchange arms. *2^34. Interview between Hec- 
tor and his mother Hecuba. ♦85-37. Hecuba and the Trojan 
dames go with an offering to the temple of Athene ; whose aid they 
implore with vows, but in vain. * 38-43. Hector visits Paris in the 
citadel. Helen prays him to rest, but he will not. * 44-59. The 
parting of Hector and Andromache. ♦60-62. Paris returns with 
his brother to the field 149 


Stanzas l-i5. The battle proceeds. Athene, descending from heaven to 
help the Argives, is met and stayed by Apollo. ♦6-11. Helenus, 
inspired by the two deities, urges Hector to challenge one of the 
Achaian chieftains to single combat. ♦ 12-23. Menelaus volunteers, 
but is dissuaded by Agamemnon. Nestor upbraids the chiefs for 
their backwardness. Nine of them rise. Lots are drawn, and Aias 
chosen. ♦24-35. The combat between Aias and Hector : they retire 
after exchanging gifts. ♦ 36-39. Agamemnon gives a feast. Nestor 
advises to perform funeral rites to the dead, and to fortify the 
camp. ♦ 40-47. Council in Troy. Paris refuses to give up Helen. 
In the morning Priam sends Idseus to the Achaians with an offer 
from Paris, which is rejected ; but a truce is obtained for burning 
the dead. ♦ 48-56. Funeral rites in both armies. The Achaians 
build a great mound, and excite the anger of Poseidon. . . .171 




Stanzab 1-6. ZeuR, in full council, forbids the gods to aid either ride : 
he then watches from Ida. * 7-9^.- After the morning meal the battle 
is renewed. Zeus hangs out the golden balances, and Troy pre- 
vails. * 10-22. Nestor is saved by Diomede : Hector pursues them. 
* 23-28. Hera tempts Poseidon to resist Zeus, but he will not: 

^ she inspires Agamemnon to rally the Achaians : he cries to Zeus, 
who sends an eagle for good omen. * 29-40. Diomede and the other 
chieb renew the fight. Teucer slays many with arrows, but Apollo 
foils him when he aims at Hector : he is at length wounded, and 
carried from the field. The Achaians are driven toward the fleet. 
* 41-56. Hera and Athene quit Olympus to aid the Achaians, but 
are sent back by Iris, who meets them ¥dth a threat from Zeus. 
* 57-66. Nigh comes on; the Trojans, waiting for the dawn, 
bivouac with camp-fires in the plain outside the city. . . 191 


Stanzas 1-11. The Achaians are in consternation. Agamemnon con- 
vokes the Assembly, and proposes to the chiefs to return home : 
Diomede refuses : Nestor gives advice. Guards are posted, and 
the chiefs are entertained by Agamemnon. * 12-20^|^estor advises 
to appease the wrath of Achilleus : Agamemnon enumerates the 
gifts he will offer to conciliate him. * 21-88. Phoenix, Aias, and 
Odysseus are sent : they deliver the message. * 89-5%Qrhe answer 
of Achilleus. * 54-75. Phcenix, recounting his own history and 
that of Meleager, tries to bend him, but in vain. * 76-85. The 
ambassadors return, leaving Phoenix behind. The chiefs are filled 
with alarm, but Diomede gives them heart. All retire to rest . 215 


Stanzas 1-22. Agamemnon cannot sleep. He rises to go and consult 
with Nestor, and is met on the way by Menelaus. The chiefs are 
aroused, and a council is held. * 23-^2. Nestor speaks first. Dio- 
mede and Odysseus undertake to reconnoitre the enemy's camp : 
they go forth armed. * 33-35. Athene sends them an omen, and 
to her they make prayer. * 86-55. Fate of Dolon, the Trojan spy. 
* 56-69. The two chiefs arrive at the post of the Thracians ; slay 
Rhesus, their king, with twelve of his men ; then seize the chariot 
and horses of Rhesus, and drive with them to the fleet ; there 
they bathe and take food 245 




Sta^tzas 1-8. Description of Agamemnon's armour. Both aides are set 
in battle array. *^23. The fight begins and is evenly sustained 
till noon, when the Trojans are broken. Agamemnon deals death 
before him. * 24-28. Iris is sent by Zeus to Hector. * 29-34. Iphi- 
danuuB, son of Antenor, is slain by Agamemnon ; his brother Coon 
endeavonis to avenge him, wounds Agamemnon, and is then slain. ** 

* 35-39. Agamenmon, forced by the pain of his wound, retires. 
Hector redoubles his fury. * 40-46. He is withstood by Diomede 
and Odysseus. * 47-50. Diomede is wounded by Paris, and quits 
the field. * 51-60. Odysseus, left alone, is delivered by Aias and 
Menelaus. * 61-64. The deeds of Aias and Hector. Paris wounds 
Machaon, who is driven off by Nestor. * 65-72. Aias retires fight- 
ing before Hector. Eurypylus, wounded by Paris, quits the field. 

* 73-97t(A.chilleus sends Patroclus to Nestor, who tells him a long 
story. ♦ 98-102. Patroclus heals Eurypylus 269 


Staxzas 1-4. Prospective account of the destruction of the Achaian 
wall. *6-12. By advice of Polydamas the Trojans leave their 
chariots and horses at the edge of the trench, and, forming in five 
colnnmSj assail the rampart. * 13-22. Asius, the son of Hyrtacus, 
will not quit his chariot. He is withstood in the gate by two 
LapithsB, Polypoetes and Leonteus, who slay many of the Trojans. 
* 23-32. An evil omen appears, and Polydamas is for retiring: 
Hector rejects his counsel, and leads the attack. * 33-37. The 
Aiantes inspirit the defenders ; but Zeus sends against them his son 
Sarpedon. * 38-46. Sarpedou inflames Glaucus with the love of 
glory ; and both of them, followed by the Lycians, attack the tower 
commanded by Menestheus, who calls Aias and Teucer to his aid. 
♦47-56. Glaucus, wounded by Teucer, is forced to quit the fight. 
Sarpedon tears down a battlement and breaches the rampart. Aias 
aiid Teucer force him to retire ; but he brings up the Lycians, and 
the battle is evenly poised, tiU Hector himself clears a path, and 
the Achaians fiee to their ships 305 



Wrath of Achilleus^ son of Feleus, sing, 
O heavenly Muse> which in its fatal sway 
Thousands of griefis did on the Achaians bring. 
And many a hero-spirit ere his day 
To Hades hurled, and left their limbs a prey 
To dogs and fowls of heaven: so the design 
Of Zeus meanwhile was working forth its way : 
Since to fell strife did at the first incline 
Atrides, lord of men, and Peleus' son divina 

Who then of gods did to their feud impel 
These twain? Of Leto and of Zeus the son. 
"Wroth with the king he poured his death-rain fell. 
And a 6ixe mischief through the host did run. 
For his priest Chryses was by Atreus' son 
Spumed, when he came the Achaian barks before, 
And with large ransom would his child have won. 
There in his hands Apollo's wreath he bore 
Twined on a golden staff, and prayed the people sore. 


2 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Thus came the priest entreating all, but most 
The AtridsB, the twain chiefs whom all obey: 
" O sons of Atreus, and this well-greaved host. 
Now may the gods that in Olympus sway 
Grant that in dust the Trojan town ye lay, 
And a rich spoil in safety homeward bring ! 
Only release me my dear child, I pray, 
Take at my hands this ransom, reverencing 
Child of high Zeus, Apollo, the &r-darting king " 

Then all the rest upon the old man's prayer 
Breathed with a favouring voice their fuU consent. 
Both to receive the splendid ransom fair. 
And the priest hear, and to his suit relent. 
But in his mind far otherwise it went 
With Agamemnon, son of Atreus. He 
Nursed in his soul a bitter fierce intent. 
And drave the old man back disdainfully. 
And a sharp word spake forth, and bade him haste to flee : 

*' Let me not find thee by the ships, old man, 
Now loitering, or returning hither again, 
Lest in mine anger, if thy face I scan, 
Thou plead the god's wreath and his wand in vain. 
Nor to release thy child shall I be fain, 
Ere she wax old in Argos, in my home, 
Far from her own dear land, across the main, 
Sharing my couch and labouring at the loom — 
Hence, ere my wrath take fire, if thou wouldst shun thy doom ! ' 



He ended^ and the old man, sore a&aid, 
By the sea's Tolling multitudinous roar 
Paced away silent, and the word obeyed ; 
And fi[X)in afar off did with prayers implore 
Apollo, whom the bright-haired Leto bore : 
" Hear now and hearken for the wrongs I weep, 
Lord of the silver bow, who evermore 
Chrys^ and Cilia the divine dost keep. 
And boldest high dominion o'er the sacred steep 

" Of Tenedos ; O Smintheus, hear me now ! 
If to thee ever a sweet temple fair 
I builded, or if ever holy vow 
I paid, and fat thighs to thine altar bare 
Of bulls or goats, and burned them to thee there — 
If ever, if at ally I served thee well — 
Hearken, remember, and fulfil my prayer. 
And on the Danaans pour thy death-rain fell. 
Till, sorrowing with thy darts, my bitter tears they quell !" 

Thus prayed he, and Apollo heard, and lo^ 
Down in his anger from Olympus height 
Came, bearing at his back the quiver and bow. 
Loud on his shoulders, at each stride of might, 
Kattled the arrows ; and he moved like Night. 
Then by the ships he sat him down to aim, 
Set the keen shaft, and drew the nerve aright ; 
From the jarred silver a dire dang there came ; 
And first the mules he chose, and fleet dogs for his game. 



Next on the men themselves he still let fly, 
On each side piercing with his arrowy sleet 
Burned the red funeral-fires eternally. 
Thus for nine days the god's dire tempest beat 
Achilleus on the tenth, beside the fleet. 
Called up to council the full host ; for so 
The white-armed Hera caused him to think meet, 
She feeling in her heart the Danaan woe. 
Bose up the swift Achilleus, and his mind did show : 


** son of Atreus, would we save a life, 
Time is, methinks, that we recross the deep. 
Thus tamed at once by plague and battle-strife. 
Yet were it wise from seer or priest to reap. 
Or man of dreams (for God is also in sleep). 
Some counsel ; if for hecatomb unpaid. 
Or some false vow, Apollo grievance keep, 
And if he deign that we this pest evade. 
When with fat rams and goats his ire hath been allayed." 

This spoken, he sat down, and rose up then 
Galchas the son of Thestor : ablest he 
And far most honoured of augurial men. 
Who knew things past, and present, and to be ; 
Who by his craft and power of auguiy. 
Taught by Apollo the whole truth to scan, 
Guided their swift barks o'er the rolling sea 
To nion. He now, a most godlike man. 
Kindly of heart, rose up, and in the midst began : 



*' Zeus-loved Achilleus, thou art fain to hear 
Why the Far-darter is enraged ; but I 
Will tell thee ; yet take thought, and an oath swear 
In deed and word me readily to stand by» 
For it must be that I a lord defy 
Wielding dominion o'er the Argives all ; 
And, when a king raves, the mean man must dia 
Wrath at the last wins, though he smother his gall 
For that day : tell me therefore, wilt thou heed my call ? " 


And answering spake the swift Achilleus there : 
" Take heart, reveal whatever doom thou know ; 
For by Apollo, dear to Zeus, I swear. 
To whom thou, Galchas, making prayers below, 
Fate to the army still art wont to show, 
None, while I live and see the light, on thee. 
Of all the Danaans, heavy hands shall throw ; 
Not Agamemnon even himself, though he 
Far best of all the Achaians doth now boast to be." 


Then, gathering heart, the blameless seer returned : 
" Neither for vow nor ofiTering doth he blame, 
But for the priest whom Agamemnon spumed, 
Nor loosed his child, but sent him back with shame. 
Therefore the god rains ruin, nor will tame 
His fierce hands, ere at Chrys^ one present 
This maiden to her sire as when she came, 
Unbought> unransomed, with fair victims sent ; 
Then the far-darting god might hear us and relent" 

6 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book i. 


This spoken^ he sat down, and rose up then 
Grieved in his spirit the wide-ruling sire, 
Atrides Agamenmon, king of men. 
Black swelled his midriff with disdainful ire. 
Shone the fierce eyes like living balls of fire. 
He first on Galchas, looking evil things. 
Turned, and b^an : " Thou seer of mischief dire. 
No good to me thy hateful voice yet brings ; 
Prompt always firom thy heart bad divination springs. 

" Neither aforetime hast thou spoken good. 
Nor brought to pass that any good might be, 
Who now the Argives in thy miscreant mood 
Teachest for all their troubles to hate me. 
Since I released not for a splendid fee 
Chryseis, whom I much desire to dwell 
Safe in my own house with myself ; for she 
Seems to my mind in pleasing to excel 
My true wife Glytasmnestra, whom she equals well 

" In womanly good, not worse in anything, 
Mien, form, or stature, wit and household grace. 
Tet will I send her, though my soul it sting. 
If better it be so, back to her place ; 
Nor win I let these die before my face. 
But now fit recompense with speed prepare. 
That not alone of all men in this place 
I go rewardless — ^'twere by no means fair : 
For, mark ye all, my guerdon disappears elsewhere." 



Then did the swift Achilleiis answering say : 
" Proud son of Atreus, greedier far than all. 
How can the Aigives a new guerdon pay ? 
Not yet we know of ample stores at call ; 
Shared was the spoil that in our way did fall ; 
Nor is it just men's wages to take back. 
But yield her to the god : we Aigiyes all 
Fourfold will render what thou now dost lack, 
If Zeus the well-built Iroia give us grace to sack/' 


Him Agamemnon answered with disdain: 
^Think not in heart to steal upon me so. 
Godlike AchiUeus^ nor spend craft in vain. 
Shalt thou reap guerdon, I defrauded go ? 
Dream it not ever — ^but this hear and know : 
If ye the fuU worth of my loss requite, 
WeU — but if not, I force the boon these owe 
From thee, or Aias, or like famous knight. 
Loud let the man then rail, on whom my hands alight 1 


" But this hereafter. On the foaming brine 
Launch we a black ship now, and set thereon 
Due tale of oarsmen, hecatomb divine. 
And beautiful Chryseis, and let one 
Of these our chiefs be in command anon, 
Idomeneus, or Aias, or the brave 
Odysseus, or thyself Peleus' son, 
Of men most terrible I and vidth offerings crave 
Peace of the great Far-darter, that our lives we save." 

8 TH£ ILUD OF HOMER. [book l 


Him swift Achilleus sternly eyed^ and said : 
" mind impenetrable, and proof to shame, 
How canst thou hope to be with zeal obeyed, 
Or prick men forth to deeds of warlike fame ? 
Not for these Trojans with my band I came ; 
No kine, no horses, had they reft &om me. 
No harvests ravaged, nor done aught for blame 
In rich-glebed Phthia; for between us be 
lines of dark shadowy mountains, and a roaring sea. 

" But thee we followed, thou fix)ntless knave. 
Gaining much glory for thy brother and thee 
On Trojan men, thy private cause to save ; 
And all these things thou lackest grace to see. 
Yea, now behold thou threatenest even me, 
By force to take what I with toil did gain. 
And the men's voice appointed for my fee. 
Not that I ever equal prize obtain 
With thee, when some fair city of its spoil we drain. 

''Thine are the winnings, but for me the toil; 
Mine are the hands that rule the battle's flow; 
But, when the time comes to divide the spoil, 
Laige is thy claim, and to the ships I go 
Poor in reward, yet happy even so. 
Now will I hence to Phthia; for indeed 
Homeward to sail were better far, I trow. 
Than thus, defrauded of my righteous meed, 
See thee absorb our dues, and win while others bleed/' 



Then did the wide-realmed Agamemnon say : 
" Fly with all speed, if so thy heart impel, 
Nor will I utter a word to bid thee stay. 
Others remain to hononr me right well, 
Zexia more than all — ^but thee I hate like hell. 
Strife, wars, and battles are thy pastime dear. 
'Tis but God's gift, if thou in strength exceL 
Gro home, and o'er thy yassals lord it there: 
But, for myself I reck not, nor thine anger fear. 

''For I declare, nor shall my hand be slack : 
Since lord Apollo doth Chryseis claim, 
Her in my own bark will I now send back. 
And with my own crew, even as when she came ; 
And I myself, in payment for the same. 
Win from thy hut thy guerdon bear apace. 
Fair-cheeked BriseKs, thy proud heart to tame. 
So shalt thou feel my power, and fear my place, 
And others shall abhor to beard me to my face." 

Then grieved the son of Feleus, and his heart 
Was torn asunder in his haiiy breast. 
Whether his sharp sword to draw forth, and dart 
On Atreus' son, and sweep aside the rest. 
Or his mind curb, and hold his wrath supprest. 
Thus while he pondered, the great sword he drew 
Half firom its scabbard ; but by Hera's best. 
Who in her soul alike the chieftains two 
Loved and regarded well, from heaven Athene flew. 

10 THE nJAD OF HOMER. [book l 


Standing behind him, by the golden hair 
She took the son of Pelens ; he alone 
Might see her, and none else ; he, turning there. 
Knew Pallas, and the awful eyes that shone. 
And to her spake in wing^ words anon : 
" Why com'st thou, child of Zeus ? Is it to see 
The pride of Agamemnon, Atreus' son ? 
Kow will I tell thee what is like to be, 
life it may cost him soon to domineer at me.'' 

Stem-eyed Athene him in turn addressed : 
'' From heaven I come thine anger to restrain. 
If thou wilt yield, sent down by Hera's best. 
Whom for you both an equal love doth pain« 
Come, let revenge sleep, and thy hand refrain ; 
Yet follow him up with bitter scorn at will ; 
For I avow, nor shall my word be vain, 
Oifts shall hereafter, thrice more splendid still. 
Quit thee for this ; yield, therefore, and our rede fulfiU' 


Swift-foot Achilleus her in turn addressed : 
'' Keed is, divine one, that your rede I fear. 
Though galled to the heart : I hold it far the best. 
Who the gods heedeth, him they readily hear." 
So on the silver hilt he leaning there 
Back to the scabbard thrust his sword amain, 
Nor failed Athene's counsel to revere. 
She, to Olympus taking flight again. 
Mixed in the halls of Zeus with the celestial train. 

sooK l] the ILIAD OF HOMER. 11 


Then did the son of Peleus, chief divine, 
Speak forth again, nor let his anger go : 
" Eyed like a dog, deer-hearted, drank with wine, 
Never in arms durst thou with warriors show. 
Nor lead thy people to assault the foe. 
Nor with Achaian captains ambush lay. 
This were flat death ; 'tis better far, I trow. 
Through the wide army to reave spoil away 
From whoso shall dare aught against thy will to say. 

" Seign on, devour thy serfs, fit men, fit lord, 
Else, son of Atreus, thy last wrong were done ! 
Yet will I speak, and a great oath record : 
Yea, by this staff, which can no more put on 
Leaves, and the green life that for ever is gone. 
Since lopt and naked from the hills it came, 
^Which they now cany in their hands, who con 
Precepts of Zeus, and guard the law from blame ; 
And, when I swear by this, I swear by a great name — 


*' Surely one day repentance and desire 
Shall for Achilleus all Achaians take. 
And thou thyself, though filled with grief and ire, 
Shalt not avail in profit for their sake. 
When the fierce Hector through their ranks shall break. 
And in the hot plain many thousands fall. 
Slain by his spear ; this, verily, yet shall wake 
Semorse within thy spirit, and grate thy gall, 
Who me, the best Achaian, wouldst not honour at all." 

12 THE lUAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Thus spake Pelides, and the staff anon, 
Stud-pierced with gold, upon the earth he flung, 
And sat : on the other side scowled Atreus' son. 
Then rose up Nestor, whose sweet-worded tongue 
Dropt honey, and on his lips persuasion hung. 
Two generations had quite fiedl'n away. 
He living in old Pjrlos, whence he sprung, 
And now the good knight o'er the third held sway. 
He now, their firm well-wisher, rising up did say : 


" Alas, deep sorrow on our land doth fall ! 
Yet shall on Priam and his sons alight 
Hope, and a great joy on the Trojans all. 
Hearing ye waste in bitter feud your might. 
Ye twain, our best in council and in fight. 
But hear me : younger are ye both than I, 
Who mixed in youth with many a grander knight 
Than you, nor yet did even those deny 
My wisdom when I spake, nor pass it lightly by. 


" Such can I ne'er behold as I saw then, 
Peiiithous, Dryas, C«neus, Polypheme, 
Exadius, Theseus, more like gods than men. 
These, of all mortals, were in earth supreme. 
And with hill-monsters fought a fight extreme, 
Strength against strength, and slew them with their hand. 
Me did these worthies their fit comrade deem. 
And in old time I mingled with their band. 
Galled by themselves from Pylos and the Apian land. 



" Tea, and according to my power I fought ; 
But them no mortal, such as men now are, 
Could meet in battle ; yet their minds I taught 
With counsel, these unconquerahle in war. 
Heed therefore ye, for it is worthier far. 
And thou, though valiant, yet forbear this thing. 
Leave him the maid, nor his due guerdon mar. 
Nor thou, Pelides, open insult fling. 
But thy soul curb, nor lift thy hand against the king. 


** For of all chieftains who the sceptre bear. 
All to whom Zeus doth regal fame assign, 
lives not a man that may with him compare. 
K thou art stronger, the praise is not thine, 
And, though thou camest of a womb divine, 
Still he is higher in place, as ruling more. 
Thou too, Atrides, bid thy wrath decUne, 
Since for Achilleus I thy peace implore, 
No churl, but in war's wreck our haven and our shore." 

And wide-reahned Agamemnon answering said : 
** Old man, yea verily thou the truth dost tell. 
But he, this upstart, aimeth to be head, 
All would he teach, all rule, and all excel, — 
But^ for myself, I suffer it not so well 
If God so framed him that in fight he win, 
Must he for this deliver a scorn so fell?" 
Then brave Achilleus with this word broke in : 
*' Now, if I all things yield to thy mere clamour and din. 

14 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book l 


'' Gall me a poor weak fool, a man of nought. 
Others may tremble at thy -will, not I. 
But hear me out, and in thy soul take thought ; 
Not for this maid will I in strife defy 
Thee nor another ; what ye gave, deny: 
But of all else which in my hut ye view 
Nought shall be taken ; if thou doubt me, try. 
Then may all these behold what I will do ; 
Thy black blood in a moment shall my spear imbrue." 

Thus having fought with bitter words, they twain 
Bose up, and loosed the council, neax the fleet. 
Pelides with Patroclus and his train 
Back to the huts and fair ships made retreat 
Atrides on the main a bark complete 
Launched, and a score of chosen mariners lent. 
And for the god a perfect ofiering meet 
Stowed in the bark,. and fair Ghiyseis sent; 
And wary-wise Odysseus for their captain went. 

Thus they embarked : the mariners speedily 
Set the white sails, and clave the ocean fast 
But Agamemnon then bade purify 
The people ; who obeyed him, and at last 
Into the sea the sacred cleansings cast. 
Then to Apollo hecatomb divine 
Of bulls and fat goats, till his wrath were past. 
They offered, by the fields of barren brine. 
And a fat steam to heaven did with the smoke entwine. 



Such were the rites ; nor Agamemnon yet 
Tamed from his wrath, nor would his mind appease 
From the fierce zeal, whereof he first made threat, 
But to Talthybius and Eurybates, 
His faithful heralds, spake in words like these : 
" Go to the hut of Peleus' son, and bring 
Briseis fair ; but if it him displease 
To yield her, I myself will do the thing, 
Backed with superior force, and plant a yet worse sting." 


Thus the king spake, and sent them on before. 
Charged with sad mission and a stem command. 
Silent and slow they trod the barren shore, 
And heard the long wave booming on the land. 
So to the huts, and the ships near at hand. 
Of the brave Myrmidons they came, and there 
They found AchiUeus sitting on the strand. 
Hard by the black ship, in a dream of care. 
Nor did the chief rejoice when he beheld them there. 


But they twain, reverencing the godlike man, 
Stood mute, abashed, and never urged their quest. 
He in his mind first knew them, and began : 
" Hail and come nearer, bearers of the best 
Of Zeus and men, ye heralds ! In my breast 
Not you, but Agamemnon, I accuse. 
Who by your hand doth my fair guerdon wrest. 
But thou, divine Patroclus, child of Zeus, 
Bring forth the maid, and yield her : I will not refuse. 

16 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


" But stand ye witness in the name of all. 
Even the blessed gods, and mortal men, 
Ajid this pioud tyrant with his heart of gall : 
If in the fature there come need again 

Of me, to ward doom firom the rest, then, then 

But now the frenzied fool thinks fEtr astray. 
Nor holds the past and future in his ken, 
That so through knowledge he might find a way 
To make the Achaians prosper in the battle-day." 

He spake. Patroclus his dear friend obeyed. 
And from the hut led forth Briseis fair, 
Then to the heralds gave the lovely maid. 
So to the fleet did they again repair. 
And the maid with them moved reluctant there. 
Meanwhile Achilleus sat him down to weep. 
Hard by the black ship in a dream of care. 
And called, with sad gaze o'er the sea's dark sweep, 
And hands outstretched, his mother, praying loud and deep : 

" Ah me ! my mother, that a fate so brief 
As that which I inherit should yet be 
Not only thus, but bitter, and fiill of grief! 
Surely, I thought^ Olympian Zeus to me 
Owed a large honour, though few days I see. 
But me he honoureth not in truth one whit. 
For wide-reaJmed Agamemnon my due fee 
Claims for his own, and I dishonoured sit, 
Cut to the soul with grief, and miserably submit." 




Tkus prayed he weeping, and his mother heard 
Beside her aged father, in the deep ; 
And in a moment from her place she stirred. 
And like a mist did from the white waves creep, 
And there sat near him and beheld him weep, 
And touched him with her hand, and spake, and said : 
** ChUd, what is this ? and wherefore dost thou keep 
Grief in thy soul, and tears of anguish shed ? 
Spea.:, that we both may know it, and let thy wrong be read" 

Thei with a heavy groan Achilleus spake : 
" All this, my mother, thou dost know full well. 
Wherefore of me, then, wilt thou question make, 
And urge me with my lips the tale to tell ? 
At sacred Thebi we arrive, where dwell 
Eetion's people ; we the town destroy. 
And a rich plunder in our hands that fell 
Bring safe, and share it in the fields of Troy, 
Choosing the fair Chryseis for the king to enjoy. 


" But soon it chanced that Chiyses to the fleet. 
Priest of Apollo the Far-darter, came. 
And of his child did the release entreat, 
Bearing a countless ransom for the same ; 
And in his hands the golden staff did fltune. 
Twined with Apollo's wreath, his sacred boast. 
Thus the old man, to win them to his claim. 
Passed up and down, beseeching all, but most 
The Atridse, the twain chiefs, the leaders of the host. 


18 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


" Then all the rest upon the old man's prayer 
Breathed with a favouring voice their full consent. 
Both to receive the splendid ransom fair. 
And the priest hear, and to his suit relent. 
But in his mind far otherwise it went 
With Agamemnon, son of Atreus. He 
Nursed in his soul a bitter fierce intent, 
And drave the old man back disdainfully, 
And a sharp word spake forth, and bade him haste to flee. 


" So from his presence back the old man went 
In anger, and Apollo heard his prayer. 
For he much loved him ; and a shower he sent 
Forth by the fleet, and slew the Achaians there. 
So through the army a crowd everywhere 
Lay dying, stricken by the death-rain fell. 
And in our council did the seer declare, 
For he the matter in his mind knew well. 
The great Far-darter's wrath, and the atonement tell. 


" Then first I bade them to appease the god ; 
But at the word came down on Atreus' son 
Fierce anger in his soul, and up he stood. 
And a threat spake, which verily hath been done. 
For in a fleet bark they are sending on 
That maid to Chrys^, and with her convey 
Gifts to Apollo, the far-darting one : 
And mine own virgin they have taken away, 
Briseis, whom this host had given me for a prey. 



" But thou, dear mother, thine own child defend. 
If thou art able, and to Zeus now pray, 
If to him ever thou hast proved a friend— 
For in my father's mansion many a day, 
Thy deeds recounting, I have heard thee say 
That thou alone of the celestial train 
Didst from Kronion turn his doom away. 
When in Olympus all the rest were faii\, 
Hera, Poseidon, Pallas, thie great Sire to chain. 


" Then earnest thou, divine one, and didst loose 
The Father, calling to the bowers of light 
Him of the hundred hands, whom Briareus 
The gods name, but by men MgEBon hight, 
Who even his father can surpass in might. 
He, at thy call, beside Kronion there 
Sat glorjdng in his strength, and hot for fight. 
And the gods shuddered, and drew back with fear. 
Nor any more aspired their captive to come near. 

" Now of these things remind him, and sit by. 
And take him by the knees, if he will deign 
To help the Trojans when the fight runs high. 
And mar the Achaians, to the ships and main 
Bruised heavily back, till many men be slain — 
That all may reap the enjoyment of their king, 
And even the wide-realmed Agamemnon gain 
Sense of his own fool-frenzy in this thing, 
That he the best Achaian durst with insult sting." 



Him Thetis answered, weeping : " my child 
Why did I bear thee, and why nurture thee. 
Heir to a sad life and a doom not mild ? 
O wert thou sitting tearless, calm, and &ee 
From sorrow, since thy death must early be ! 
Now are thy days both swifter and more drear 
Than all men's : evil seems thy birth to me. 
Yet to Olympus' snow-crowned summit clear 
I with thy word seek Zeus, if haply he will hear. 


" But thou meanwhile, abiding by the fleet. 
Against the Achaians give thine anger vent. 
And altogether from the war retreat 
Yesterday with the gods, on feasting bent, 
Zeus to the blameless Ethiopians went, 
And on the twelfth day wiU return again. 
Then will I find him, and thy cause present, 
And clasp him by the knees, and plead right fain ; 
And verily I believe my prayer shall not be vain." 


Thus she departed, and Achilleus left 
Angered in spirit for the maiden fair. 
Whom, his due guerdon, in despite they reft. 
Odysseus unto Ghrys^ came, and there 
Down to the haven brought the bark with care. 
Then they the sails take down, and the taU mast, 
Loosing the helps, into his place they bear, 
And to her moorings row the vessel fast. 
And the stem-cables bind, and heavy anchors cast. 



Then forth they came on the suif-beaten strand ; 
Forth came the offering ; forth Chryseis came ; 
Whom wise Odysseus leading by the hand 
Straight to the altar and her father came 
And gave her up, and did his charge prochum: 
** Chryses, Agamemnon the great king 
Sends back thy child, and in the Danaan name 
Bids me this hecatomb to Phoebus bring, 
Who 'mid the Aleves now full many a woe doth fling." 


Speaking, he gave her in his hands ; and he 
Gladly received his child. They from the shore 
Drove up the hecatomb, and speedily 
Banged it in line the altar-steps before. 
Then washed their hands, and the salt barley bore ; 
And with raised hands the priest prayed loud and deep: 
" Lord of the silver bow, who evermore 
Chiys^ and Cilia the divine dost keep. 
And boldest high dominion o'er the sacred steep 

" Of Tenedos, O hearken and give ear. 
Who even aforetime didst my prayer attend. 
Didst shake the Achaians, and my cause revere ! 
Now also to my wish fulfiLnent iL, 
And from the Danaans thy fell plague defend !" 
Thus spake the old man prajdng ; whom anew 
Phoebus Apollo heard. And they made end 
Of praying, the salt barley cast, and drew 
The necks back first of all, and the fair victims slew ; 

22 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Then fold the thighs in fat, and raw flesh pile ; 
Which the old man on fire of cloven wood 
Burned, pouring on streams of dark wine the while. 
Also the young men roimd about him stood 
With forks to move the fire and keep it good. 
But when the thighs are quite consumed, they taste 
The entrails, and prepare the rest for food. 
Then slices on the pointed spits they placed, 
Which holding in their hands they cooked the generous feast. 


But when the flesh was roasted with due care 
And from the spits withdrawn, they fed thereon ; 
Cheered was the spirit of each with dainty fare 
But when desire of meat and drink was ^ne. 
Youths crowned the bowls with wine, and cups anon 
Bear round to each in order ; and all day 
They soften the god's mind, till fall of sun, 
Chanting a lovely paean : and far away 
Joy took the soul of Phoebus, when he heard their lay. 


When the light fell, they slumbered on the shore. 
But when the rosy-fingered Morning shined, 
Back to the wide Achaian camp they bore, 
Sped by Apollo with a racing wind. 
Which on the sails blew steadily from behind. 
They sitting without sickness, hann, or fear. 
Passed from the island with rejoicing mind, 
While the ship, lifted through the billowy mere. 
Bushed whitening in her lee the loud waves far and near. 



When at the wide camp they arrived, then first 
High on the sands they drew the bark, and set 
The long stays ; thence amid the huts dispersed. 
Meanwhile the son of Peleus, wrathful yet, 
No more frequenting where the council met, 
Not seen in battle, his own soul did mar, 
And by the black ships in a stem regret 
Sat burying in his breast, withdrawn afar. 
Thirst for tumultuous things, the wcur-shout and the war. 

On the twelfth sunrise the gods' train entire 
Back to Olympus, led by Zeus, repair. 
And Thetis, mindful of her son's desire. 
Sprang from the wave, and mounting the great air 
Flew to the ridged Olympus, and found there 
Far-voiced Kronion on the topmost crest 
Sitting apart from all ; and she came near 
And with her right hand took his beard, and pressed 
Low with her left his knees, and the great Sire addressed : 


** Zeus Father, hear me and my wish fulfil. 
If ever, if at all, good help I gave 
By word or work, when others meant thee ill ! 
Honour my child, and from reproach him save, 
Singled from all men for an earlier grave. 
Yet now by Agamemnon in despite 
Befb of the guerdon of his courage brave. 
Avenge him thou : make Troy prevail in fight, 
TUl the Achaians rue it, and my son requite." 

34 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Thus she entreated : but the cloud-wrapt Sire 
Paused answerless long time ; and Thetis still 
Grew where she clung, still pressing her desire : 
" Grant me thy nod, or even deny my will. 
Why not? and school me to this utmost ill — 
How that no god is so contemned as I." 
But he : " Sad work this on Olympus hill, 
K for thy sake queen Hera I defy, 
And she arise and taunt me, when the gods are by. 

" For on her tongue this scandal night and day 
Bums, that I help the Trojans in the fight. 
Yet now, ere she take knowledge, go thy way. 
And I thy matter will perform aright 
Yea, to confirm the promise, in thy sight 
I nod my head ; for mightier sign than this 
None goeth &om me in the heavenly height. 
What with a nod l! sanction, that, I wis. 
Irrevocable stands, fails not, nor ends amiss.'' 

Then did Eronion his dark brows incline; 
Streamed from the King's head the ambrosial hair; 
Shook to its centre the great realm divina 
Thus having planned, on diverse ways they fare, 
She to the main deep from the crystal air 
Of clear Olympus, Zeus to his own halL 
And with one mind the gods before him there 
Bose up, nor durst await their Father^s call. 
But, ere he came, rose up, and in his front stood all. 



There he sat down^ nor Hera's eye beguiled^ 
Who knew that with him had conspiring been 
Silver-foot Thetis, the old sea-god's chfld. 
She then Eronion pUed with angxy spleen : 
" Who of the gods hath now conspiring been 
With thee, false schemer ? 'Tis thy joy for ever 
To hatch dark sentences alone, unseen. 
And from thy counsels thiae own wife to sever ; 
Thou of thine own free will dost show them to me never." 


And answer made the Sire of gods and men : 
" Hera, forbecur ; hope not within thy heart 
Thus the whole current of my thoughts to ken. 
This were not easy, though my wife thou art. 
All that is fit will I myseK impart. 
Nor god nor man shall know it before thee. 
But when I list^ from all the gods apart, 
Counsels to ponder, and my will decree, 
Ask not about such matters, nor too curious be." 


And large-eyed Hera spake with darkling brow : 
''This passes all, grim tyrant, — ^words like these ! 
When have I asked thee or enquired till now, 
Or when not left thee to consider at ease ? 
Now, much I fear me, thou art fain to please 
Silver-foot Thetis, the old sea-god's child. 
Who came up early, clasped thee by the knees. 
And, I not doubt it, thy consent beguUed 
To cut ofT many Achaians, and exalt her chUd." 

26 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Fierce did the Cloud-compeller Zeus reply : 
*' Shrew^ thou are verily apt enough to guess ; 
Yet not, through hovering on my privacy, 
Shalt thou succeed more, or be hated less. 
But feel the rather a yet worse distress. 
If so it is, it so seemed good to me. 
But sit thou silent, and thy fire suppress, 
Lest all the gods that in Olympus be 
Save not when I come near to lay rough hands on thee." 

He spake, and large-eyed Hera, sore afraid. 
Heard him, and silent sat, bending her heart, 
While a low wrath did all the gods pervade. 
Then first began Hephaestus, famed in art. 
Yearning to help his mother Hera's part : 
" Now of a truth dire mischiefs wiU come in. 
If for mere mortals such a feud ye start, 
And bandy about on high your troublous din. 
Joy from the feast will fly, and all the worse things win. 

" Therefore I bid my mother, in her much wit, 
Our dear lord humour, lest he ruffle c^ain. 
And mar our feast. For if it seemed him fit, 
Down with his thunder could he roll amain 
These realms uprooted. Thou in gentle strain 
Soothe him, since none to brave his power may dare. 
So will his mind rest favourable again." 
He spake, and rose, the double cup to bear, 
And gave it to his mother, and addressed her there : 



" Yield now, my mother, and, though grieved, endure, 
Lest I behold thee with mine eyes, though dear. 
Beaten and bruised, and seek in vain a cure ; 
For the lord Zeus can soon teach rebels fear. 
Me once, reluctant to his rule austere. 
Glean o'er the crystal stair by the foot he flung. 
All day I fell, and dropped, as night drew near, 
On Lemnos in the sea, while bare life hung 
Tet round me, and found help the Sintian tribes among." 

He spake, and Hera took the cup, and smiled. 
From left to right to the celestials all 
Passed with sweet nectar white-armed Hera's child. 
Then on the blest did quenchless laughter fall, 
As the lame god puffed busily through the hall. 
Thus for that whole day on the banquet choice, 
Till the Sim fell, they feasted, nor at all 
Ceased in Apollo's sweet harp to rejoice, 
And strain of Muses answering with their lovely voice. 

But when the bright lamp of the sun went down. 
Homeward they passed, retiring each to bed. 
For lame Hephaestus, god of high renown. 
Had with fine science, to serve each in stead. 
Fair houses built, and roofed them overhead. 
Himself to his own couch the Sire consigned, 
Couch from of old in season visited 
Whene'er calm sleep is pleasant to his mind. 
And at his side queen Hera in her grace reclined. 



Thus gods and white-plumed warriors all the night . 
Slept ; but Zeus brooded in his wakeful breast 
Doom for the host^ and to exalt the right 
Of Peleus' son ; and at the last seemed best 
To call the Dream-god, and give this behest : 
" 'Ely, Dream, and seek the Achaian ships anon. 
Find entiy to the hut wherein doth rest 
Imperial Agamemnon, Atreus' son. 
And there speak all my charge, and let my will be done. 

** Bid him the long-haired Danaans arm with speed. 
For that now verily wide-streeted Troy 
Waits to be captured : it is so decreed. 
No more the gods, who the far heaven enjoy. 
Mind against mind in mutual feud employ. 
Hera with supplication all hath bent ; 
Fate will ere long the Troj«in power destroy." 
Thus spake Eronion, and the Dream-god sent 
He with quick zeal obeyed, and to the black ships went. 

30 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ii. 


There found he Agamemnon, Atreus' son, 
Laid mute, and covered with ambrosial rest. 
Then in his mien like Nestor, Neleus' son, 
Whom of all elders the king counted best. 
Stood near his pillow, and the chief addressed : 
" Sleepest thou, child of Atreus ? 'Tis not fit 
Thus that a statesman the whole night take rest. 
While on his neck such cares of empire sit. 
Zeus sends me here, whom sorrow for thy pain hath smit. 


" He bids thee the Achaians arm with speed, 
For now, now verily wide-streeted Troy 
Waits to be captured : it is so decreed. 
No more the gods, who the far heaven enjoy. 
Mind against mind in mutual feud employ. 
Hera with supplication hath bent all ; 
Zeus will ere long the Trojan power destroy. 
But stay thou mindful, and my words recal. 
When the bland honey of sleep shall from thine eyelids &!!" 


Thus spake the Dream-god, and then passed away, 
And left the son of Atreus building there 
Fond schemes, and fated to a swift decay, 
Flattering his heart on that same day to bear 
Doom to si^d Ilion — a dream void as air ! 
Nor in his breast the mind of Zeus he knew. 
What griefs, what groans, the god would yet prepare 
In the rough onset, and with hate pursue 
Trojans alike and Danaans, till the fight they rue. 



He then, encircled with the voice divine. 
On the couch sitting, for his sleep was past, 
Girt lonnd his loins a tunic soft and fine, 
New-made, and o'er it the great mantle cast, 
linked to his feet the shining sandals fast. 
Then in its scabbard the fair-hilted brand 
Slung by the belt, and took the sceptre last. 
Heirloom imperishable from hand to hand ; 
So to the camp went down and the surf-beaten strand. 

When passed to far Olympus Dawn divine. 
To Zeus and all the gods proclaiming day, 
He to the heralds did their charge assign. 
Now to the brave Achaians to convey 
CaUs to the general council, who straightway 
Make proclamation, and the people bring. 
But first the high-souled elders meet; and they, 
Hard by the ship of Nestor, Pylian king, 
Hear Agamemnon's speech, he uttering a shrewd thing : 

" O Mends, the Dream-god found me in the night. 
While I lay covered with ambrosial rest. 
Most like to Nestor, the Grerenian knight. 
In form, mien, size, I thought him in my breast ; 
And he stood near me, and in words addressed : 
' Sleepest thou, child of Atreus ? 'Tis not fit 
Thus that a statesman the whole night take rest. 
While on his neck such cares of empire sit 
Zeus sent me here, whom sorrow for thy pain hath smit. 

32 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


"'He bids thee the Achaians arm with speed. 
For now, now verily wide-streeted Troy 
Waits to be captured : it is so decreed. 
No more the gods, who the far heaven enjoy. 
Mind against mind in mutual feud employ. 
Hera with supplication all hath bent ; 
Zeus will ere long the Trojan power destroy. 
But thou forget not.' Then his flight he bent 
Far from my couch, and slumber from mine eyelids went. 

" Come therefore, let us arm, if yet we may. 
The sons of the Achaians for the fight. 
Yet will I first with words their spirit essay, 
And in the swift ships move them to take flight : 
Whom ye, each pleading from his place, incite 
Here to remain." This spoken, he sat down ; | 

And rose up Nestor, the Gerenian knight, 
Euler of sandy Pylos, Neleus' son, 
Who with kind thought harangued them, and spake forth anon : 

" Friends, captains, holding in your rule and care 
The Aigive host, if other than the king 
This dream had told, we might suspect a snare, 
And turn from, rather than believe, the thing. 
But now he saw it, whom we honour as king ; 
Come therefore, arm the Achaians if we may." 
So from the council ; and in haste upspring 
All the high chiefs, their master to obey; 
And the full crowd meanwhile came pourii^ every way. 



As tribes of thick bees in the venial hours, 
Launched in a long swarm on the luminous air. 
Fly from the rock, and cluster upon the flowers, 
And still fly, so innumerable they fare. 
Thus tribes innumerable flocked hurrying there 
From camp or fleet in many a moving cloud. 
Bumour, God's herald, set the host aflare, 
Spurred them to march forth ever, and cried aloud, 
While on the deep shore clustered the continual crowd. 


On came the troops, and a great uproar made, 
And, as they sat, the earth groaned far and near, 
And with the noise wide air was overlaid. 
Passed up and down with voices loud and clear 
Nine heralds, who compel them to give ear 
To the divine kings, and their cry withstand. 
Soon they obeyed, and sat with zeal to hear. 
Then Agamemnon rose, sceptre in hand. 
That sceptre by Hephsestus deftly wrought and planned. 


He to Zeus gave it. Sire of gods and men. 
And high Zeus to the courier Argicide ;. 
Hermes to Pelops, fiery knight; and then 
Pelops to sovran Atreus ; he then died. 
And to Thyestes, lord of pastures wide. 
Left it ; again to Agamemnon he. 
To wield far sovereignty on every side 
O'er Aigos and the islands of the sea. 
Leaning thereon he rose, and spake advisedly: 
VOL. L c 

34 THE ILIAD OP HOMEB. [book n. 


" Friends, heroee^ servants of the god of war, 
Zeus in deep mischief hath ensnared me fast^ 
(Hard fate I) who promised and confirmed before 
My safe return home, when the siege was past 
Yet hath he now an ill deceit forecast, 
And in no glorious plight, with thousands slain, • 
Sends me to Aigos ; for his power is vast. 
And thus it pleased him in his mind to ordain. 
Who many states hath ruined, and will ruin again. 

'* Shame is to us, and for our sons to hear. 
That such a people as this, so many and true, 
Toils inexhaustible with sword and spear 
Wage to no end for ever — and they so few. 
So scant our foemen, yet no term in view ! 
For if a sworn truce we should now demand, 
And take clear reckoning of the armies two, 
Trojans, to wit, domestic in the land, 
And all us that be here, upon the Asian strand — 

" If we the Achaians stood by tens in line. 
And each ten chose a Trojan, wine to pour. 
Tens without number would be wanting wine. 
I say by so much are the Achaians more 
Than the whole race that dwelt in Troy before. 
But now all states that lie around send in 
Troops of auxiUars, and the poise restore. 
And these still thwart me, and my followers thin, 
So that in vain I hope fair Dion's town to win. 



" Nine are the years firom mighty Zeus now gone ; 
Our hulls lie rotten, and the firm ropes fail ; 
Our wives and little ones sit lingering on, 
By turns expect ns, and by turns bewail ; 
But we strive helpless, and in nought prevail. 
Come, therefore, hear me, let us all consent 
Home to that dear land in our ships to sail. 
Since the work speeds not, for the which we went. 
Nor shall we take wide Troia, for our strength is spent" 

Thus spake he, and the soul within them stirred. 
And a great impulse through the host did creep, 
Wherever his design had not been heard. 
And the mass surged, as the long waves that leap, 
Foam-crested, in the wild Icarian deep. 
When lord Zeus lashes with two winds the main ; 
Or as when Zephyr comes with ravening sweep, 
And bows the tall ears in a field of grain — 
So heaved the Achaian concourse, and so ebbed again. 


They to the black ships with a general cheer 
Rushed, and the dust-cloud from beneath their feet 
Stood like a dome uplifted in the air. 
Each calls to other to draw down the fleet, 
All clear the trenches, these with those compete. 
Then the long stays they loosened, and a cry 
Of home-desiring men the far heaven beat 
Soon against Fate had they made good to fly, 
But to Athene spake queen Hera in the sky : 

36 THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book it. 


" Tell me, thou tireless Viigin, seed of Zeus, 
Shall thus the Aigives to their native coast 
Fly, and such labour spend to no good use, 
And to king Priam and the Trojan host 
Leave Argive Helen for their crowning boast. 
For whom so many Achaians have been slain ? 
But come now, seek them where they flock the most, 
And with thy mild persuasions each restrain. 
Nor let them launch this day their ships into the main." 

She ended, nor Athene, the stem-eyed. 
Hearing obeyed not, but with speed anon 
Down from the summit of Olympus hied. 
And to the camp and the fleet ships came on; 
There found Odysseus, who like place did own 
With gods in wisdom, standing far away; 
Nor touched he the black ship, but all alone 
Stood, and deep sorrow on his soul there lay. 
Then did stern-eyed Athene standing near him say : 


" Zeus-bom La^rtiades, Odysseus brave, 
Will ye thus homeward to your native coast 
Fly in the well-benched ships across the wave, 
And to king Priam and the Trojan host 
Leave Argive Helen for their crowning boast. 
For whom so many Achaians here lie slain ? 
But come now, hasten where they flock the most, 
And with thy mild persuasions each restrain, 
Nor let them launch this day their ships into the main.** 



She spake, and the celestial voice he knew, 
And on the instant he set forth to run. 
And from his shoulders the wide mantle threw, 
Which Ithacan Euiybates anon 
Took care of, his true herald; so passed on 
Odysseus, and the sceptre of command 
Beceived from Agamemnon, Atreus' son, 
Heirloom imperishable from hand to hand; 
Thence to the ships Achaian, ere they left the land. 


Whom of the chiefs or notables he found. 
Him with a mild persuasion he addressed : 
"Sir, keep the people back, stand well thy ground; 
Fear ill becomes thee ; thou hast wrongly guessed 
The king's mind, for he doth but make a test : 
Pause, ere he strike ; all heard not what he said 
In council ; in his anger I fear lest 
He hurt the Achaians ; a king's wi'ath is dread; 
Him the great Father loves, and will uphold his head." 


Whom of the crowd he met, and bawling caught, 
Soundly he swinged him with the staff, and said : 
'* Sirrah, obey thy betters, and be taught ; 
For who counts thee, faint heart and empty head, 
In word or war, thou feebler than the dead ? 
For know, we Aigives cannot all be king, 
Nor shall the mass lead and the few be led ; 
loose kingship is not good; let one be king. 
He to whom Zeus Kronion doth the sceptre bring." 

38 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


So did he rule the army, and again 
Back with a sound fix)in fleet and camp they pour. 
As when the wave of some loud.roa4 ^ 
Bolls in a wide-spread thunder upon the shore. 
And all sat waiting ; but yelled more and more 
Thersites, railing in his spirit of gall, 
He only, and with foul words foaming o'er, 
Fools to make laugh, though wit were none at alL 
He was the worst that fought beneath the Ulan wall. 


Bow-legged he was, and in the one foot lame. 
Bound were his shoulders, o'er the sunken chest 
Drawn, and above them a mean skuU there came. 
Patched with scant hair, and to a peak comprest 
He to the son of Peleus hateful pest. 
And to Odysseus ever, against them twain . 
Bailed of set use, now rufiling up his crest 
Hit glorious Agamemnon in sharp strain. 
And deep the Achaians goaded, as he shrilled amain : 

" Affcer what matter art thou hankering yet, 
Fell spawn of Atreus ? for thy huts o'erflow 
With brass and women, the outcome of our sweat. 
Gold wilt thou lust for, which some warrior foe 
ShaU for the ransom of his son bestow. 
Captured by me, or other vaUant man ? 
Or some new. mistress art thou hot to know. 
While we starve silent ? But 'tis no good plan 
To bring, for one lord's sake, whole peoples under ban. 



** Shame on ye, slaves 1 O women, and not men ! 
Turn the fleet homeward, let ns sail away, 
And leave him like a lion in his den 
To sleep ofif his full stomach as he may, 
And in his own strength show the hunters play ; 
Since he hath wronged his better, and made him fall. 
Spoiling the son of Peleus of his prey — 
Sut in Achilleus' liver is milk, not gall, 
Else^ haughty chief, this outrage were thy last of alL" 


Thus yelled Thersites, and the king defied 
But in a moment, ere the cry was dead, 
Stood the divine Odysseus at his side, 
And with dark brows in bitter scorn he said : 
" Wretch, thou wouldst better keep a tongueless head. 
Nor against kings thy scurril gibes employ. 
Thine ! — for I say none feebler or worse-bred 
Came of all mortals to the land of Troy, 
Who sailed with Atreus' sons, fair Ilion to destroy. 


'^ Twere better among lords thy throat to tame, 

Not jeer aloft, thus watchful for retreat. 

Not yet, I tell thee, is it known to fame 

If we retire in glory or defeat. 

But thou the while art scorning from thy seat 

Imperial Agamemnon. If it be 

That to the Danaan heroes it seems meet 
' With gifts to load him, what is that to thee. 
That thou must find sharp words, and deal ii\juriously ? 

40 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book ii. 


*' Take now my wamiog, it is no mere scoff : 
Find I thee fooling any more in vain, 
Then from the shoulders be my head strack off, 
Kor call me father of my child again, 
If the whole raiment from thy hide amain 
I strip not, even robe and tunic both, 
And with thy loins bare to the ships in pain 
Drive thee with hot blows, howUng and full loth — 
Thus once for all I swear, and I will keep my oatL" 


He, ending, the man's back and shoulders twain 
Swinged with the staff: he, cowering in sad bale. 
Curled from the smiter, and shed tears like rain. 
While from his skin there rose a blood-red weal. 
He then, in sUly amazement, sat there pale, 
Quailing with terror of the golden staff. 
Wiping his eyes, and with no heart to rail ; 
And the great army, though content but half, 
Laughed at his tribulation a sweet pealing laugh. 

And one toward another looked and said : 
** Gods, but Odysseus hath done all things well, 
Chief in good plans, of war the life and head ; 
But this last work doth all the rest excel 
Which to his glory we yet found to teU, 
Who from the council, where so loud he sang, 
This ungraced ruffian doth now quench and quelL 
Henceforth he bites not with a dangerous fang, 
Nor will his brave heart spur him to the wild harangue." 



Thus spake the many, and that warrior feared. 
Sceptre in hand, stood forth, Odysseus brave. 
Stem-eyed Athene at his side appeared, 
like herald, and along the tumult's wave 
Cried to the host, and sign of silence gave, 
That all the Achaian soldiers, last and first. 
Nearest and farthest, the chief's counsel grave 
Might hear, and ponder what were best and worst. 
He in the midst these words with firm goodwill rehearsed : 


" O son of Atreus, whom we call our king. 
The Achaians have it in their heart this day 
Thee with the scorn of all mankind to sting, 
Nor heed that promise which they swore to pay, 
From knight-famed Argos when they sailed away, 
Troy the fair-walled to make a ruinous heap. 
And bring thee homeward with a load of prey. 
Now one to other on this side the deep, 
Like wives bereft or children, they complain and weep 


" Yea, toil it is to drive men home for grief. 
Even for one month if a man remain 
Pent from his wife on shipboard, poor relief, 
Chill comfort, can he feel in the rude strain 
Of dark winds moving the tumultuous main. 
But now to us runs circling the ninth year. 
And still we linger. There is cause for pain, 
Nor blame I that ye sicken ; yet much I fear 
Empty to leave long toils but sorry guerdon were. 

42 THE ILIAD OF HOBCER. [book n. 


'' Bear up, my friends, abide awhile, and see, 
Whether be false or true what Calchas said. 
Well in our minds the word remember we : 
All ye can witness, who are not yet dead, 
'lis but of yesterday, what time we sped 
By seas to Aulis, Ilion to make fall. 
When for the high gods the fat victims bled. 
And round the altars we stood listening all, 
Fast by the shining water and the plane-tree tall. 

'' Then came a great sign : for, by Zeus upsent, 
A flame-eyed serpent, all his back blood-red. 
Shot from the altar, toward the plane intent. 
Where eight young sparrows cowering in their bed. 
Nine with the mother who the nestlings bred. 
Lay in the end branch, hid with leaves ; there found 
And ate the poor birds twittering in their dread. 
While she, the dam, flew wailing round and round ; 
Her by the wing then caught, and stilled the piteous sound. 


" Whom with her brood when he had eaten down. 
Then God who sent him, the Olympian king, 
Made him a mark, a monumental stone 
For ever, and we stood there wondering. 
Thus to divine rites came a monstrous thing. 
Which the seer Calchas did expound, and say: 
' Why stand ye silent ? Lo, EIronion king 
Sends a late sign fulfilled in a late day. 
And the wide fame thereof shall never pass away. 



'' ' like as the serpent ate that brood of eight, 
Nine with the mother who the nestlings bied. 
So many years are we at war by fate, 
And in the tenth we prosper/ Thus he said. 
And now these things are being accomplished. 
Here then abide, well-greaved Achaians all. 
Till Priam's high town in the dnst we tread." 
He spake : right favourably the Argives call ; 
Load rang the general cheer, and the fleet shook withaL 


Then ont spake Nestor, the Gerenian knight : 
'' O heaven, but now like children ye debate. 
Mere babes, that know not what it is to fight ! 
Where are the oaths ? I say, let fire await 
All we believed in, seeming firm as fate, 
Oath, league, wine-covenant, and plighted hand. 
Each loftier counsel fit for man's estate I 
Since a long time now tarrying in the land 
Nought in the work we prosper, but here wrangling stand, 

" Nay, but, O child of Atreus, as of old 
Wielding an iron heart in thy firm breast. 
Bush to the battle and inspire the cold. 
Still be the lord and leader of the rest. 
But let these wither in their shame unblest, 
These one or two that dastard counsels plot, 
(But never, never shall they gain their quest !) 
And home to Argos would their barks have got, 
Ere they discern if Zeus have spoken lies or not I 

44 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book il 


" For great Eronion in that hour I say 
Signed us a promise^ when the Argives went 
First upon shipboard to come here and slay. 
Then to all eyes he showed his clear intent. 
When to our right the lightning-stream he sent 
Therefore let none wax faint, or tire of strife, 
Nor urge return home ere the whole event. 
Till each take pastime with some Trojan's wife, 
And wreak the wrongs of Helen, and her groaning life. 

"Albeit if any be so fiercely set 
To go home, let him launch his well-framed bark, 
Forestal the rest, and sheer destruction get. 
But thou, king, (thy way is plain, not dark), 
Consult thine own mind and to others hark. 
For when I speak it is no trivial plan, 
Nor is the word vain which I bid thee mark : 
These by their clans and houses, man to man, 
Bange well, that house help house, and clan may succour clan. 

" So if according to my will thou do, 
And the Achaians thy behest obey. 
Soon shalt thou know the fedse men from the true ; 
Each lord and soldier shall himself bewray. 
While moving in the fight his natural way. 
Then shalt thou know the very fence and bar, 
What the thing is withholds thee from the prey, 
Whether divine fate thy endeavourings mar, 
Or blundering beaten men, and sluggard hands in war." 



Whom ending thns did Agamemnon follow : 
** Nestor, in council thou art best of men, 
And lord Zeus, Athene, and Apollo, 
Would that advisers I had like him ten ! 
Soon would the city of Troy fall headlong then. 
But Zeus is heavy upon me, and my life 
Doth cast in broils, to cease I know not when ; 
Tea, for a damsel there is war now rife 
'Twixt me and Peleus' son — ^but I first kindled strife. 

*' Come but new friendship, and our feud destroy, 
Then from the evil that is fixed and sealed 
Not one day's respite shall be left to Troy— 
But now to dinner, ere we take the field ; 
Let each his spear whet, and prepare his shield, 
Feed well the horses, and each chariot test, 
That we may fight it out till one side yield. 
Fight in sound harness; and not think of rest. 
Till the black night decide it, as to Zeus seems best. 


'' Then shall the horses in their foam be wet. 
While forward in the glittering car they strain ; 
Then shall the straps of the broad buckler sweat 
Bound many a breast there battling in the plain ; 
Then shall the arm droop, hurling spears with pain : 
And whomsoever I behold at lair 
Here by the ships, and for the fight not fain, 
Small for that skulker is the hope, I swear. 
But that the dogs he fatten and the fowls of air." 

46 THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book n. 


Therewith he ceased ; and a broad shout uproUed, 
As on a steep beach, when the south blows high, 
Where clouds of foam a jutting peak enfold, 
That stands out naked to all winds that fly, 
Soars the great billow. Eising far and nigh 
All to the huts rush, light their fires, and eat. 
Each to his own god for himself doth ciy. 
With sacred gifts. A steer the king thought meet. 
Fat, large, and five years old, Kronion to entreat 


Thereto the chief lords of the Achaian race 
He called, first Nestor, then Idomeneus, 
Each Alas, Diomede, and sixth in place 
Odysseus, gifted with a mind like Zeus. 
Still faithful Menelaus in war and truce 
Came of himself: his brother-heart weU knew 
What labour was afoot, what scheme in usa 
Soon on the victim the white meal they threw. 
And there the imperial chief prayed loudly in their view : 


" cloud-wrapt Zeus, all-glorious lord of heaven, 
Let not the sun fall and the night descend, 
Till the scared Trojans in full rout be driven. 
And on their city light a ruinous end, 
Till sword and fire within their gates I send. 
And rip with brass the maU of Hector's breast, 
That earth he bite, and with him many a friend." 
Thus prayed he : nor the Sire fulfilled his quest, 
But took the gifts, and gave more sorrow and more unrest. 



Then they the head draw backward, kill, and flay 
The victim, and enfold each goodly thigh 
With coils of fat, raw pieces overlay, 
And bum them down with leafless logs and dry ; 
Then spit the entrails o'er the flame on high, 
Which, when the thighs are quite consumed, they taste. 
Then cut the rest small, and their work still ply 
TQl all is roasted and the banquet placed ; 
Then diink and eat, none there with generous food ungraced. 


But soon as their desire was quenched and gone, 
Then out spake Nestor, the Gerenian knight : 
** Imperial Agamemnon, Atreus' son. 
No more delay we ; let us do with might 
What God deals out to be fulfilled ere night. 
Come, let the heralds of the camp go round, 
And their dear summons by the fleet indite. 
But we, here met, will pace the embattled ground. 
Stirring men's hearts, and soon wild battle shall resound." 


He spake ; nor Agamemnon, king of men. 
Did to the old man's counsel not obey, 
But to the shrill-voiced heralds there and then 
Gave his commandment to proclaim the fray. 
Soon came the wide host flocking eveiy way. 
And the divine kings, rushing here and there, 
Order the long ranks and the tumult sway. 
Came too Athene, and that aegis rare. 
Proof against years, immortal, in their midst did wear. 

48 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ii. 


Tas8els a hundred, all of gold, adorn 
That glorious segis : each is twisted well. 
Each worth a hundred kine, sleek, fair of horn. 
She, clad therein, with lightning glances fell. 
Moves in the midst, each loiterer to impel. 
Till the high fury in all breasts doth bum. 
Ne'er to bate fighting till the foe they quell. 
And war seems doubly sweeter than return 
Home to the far dear country whereunto they yearn. 


As when the seed of fire, uncertfdn whence. 
Falls on a forest in some windy height. 
And from afar is seen the glare immense. 
So to the welkin, as they marched in might. 
Burned the divine brass with a wondrous light. 
And as a flush of birds, swan, goose, or crane. 
Wheeling from heaven in all the joys of flight. 
By stream Cayster in the Asian plain, 
Clangs o'er the meadowy maige, and the air rings again, — 


So from the huts a flush of men there came. 
And from the black ships. In a flood they pour 
Down to the field beside Scamander stream, 
And earth, by reason of the tramp she bore, 
Shook from beneath them a low thunderous roar, 
Such was the march of men and steeds to hear. 
Anon they halt on the Scamandrian shore. 
That plain of flowers, and thick as leaves appear. 
Or stars of blossoming buds in season of the year. 



Or like a swarm innumerable of flies, 
That some fair homestead doth in spring frequent, 
When o'er the pails the foamy milk doth rise, 
So swarming in the plain the Achaians went. 
Fierce for the crash, on utter war intent 
And as when goatherds part their goats at wOl, 
Mixed on the moimtain, where they browsed unpent. 
So did the leaders part their ranks, imtil 
AU for the fight stood firm, and fiill of rage to kill 

There in the midst rose towering o'er the rest, 
like thunder-loving Zeus in eyes and face. 
With zone like Ares, and Poseidon's breast. 
Lord Agamemnon, chief in strength and grace. 
As when a great bull, goodliest of his race. 
Moves far aloft amid the gathering kine. 
So exceUent he towers in pride of place. 
Thus Agamemnon by the gift divine 
Chiefest among ten thousand on that day did shina 

Say, Muses, ye that in Olympus dwell, 
(Divinities ye are, and all behold, 
We but hear rumour, nothing sure can tell). 
Who were the kings and Danaan leaders bold. 
But the mass following cotdd I ne'er unfold, 
Though ten tongues had I and ten mouths in use, 
Unweariable in voice and brazen-souled. 
Save the Olympian Muses, seed of Zeus, 
Show me the names that came proud Ilion to reduce. 


60 TEIK ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


Peneleus, Prothoenor, Le'itus, 
(These are the captaiiis and the ships they led), 
Arcesilaiis, and brave Clonius, 
Mid their Boeotian followers ranked as head. 
From Hyria they and rocky Aulis sped. 
From Schoinos, Eteonus' woodland knees, 
From Scolos, Graia, and the plain outspread 
Of Mycalessus, Thisbi near the seas. 
Where the divine doves haunt the Heliconian trees; 


From Coronea, Haliartus green, 
Glisas, Plataea, Hypothebse fair, 
Onchestus, where Poseidon's grove is seen, 
And Am^'s soil, which loaden vines doth bear, 
Hesius, Nisa to the gods a care, 
Mideia, and Anthedon, frontier town — 
From these did swift ships to the war repair. 
Fifty by tale ; and youths of high renown, 
Boeotian men, six score, in every ship came down. 


But troops of Minyan town Orchomenus, 
And who the dwellers in Aspledon be, 
Ascalaphus and brave lalmenus 
Led, whom in Actor's house AstyochA 
Bare, in an upper chamber secretly 
Mixing with Ares, when the virgin band 
He loosened — ^thirty were their ships on sea. 
But Schedius and Epistrophus command 
(Iphitus' sons) the soldiers of the Phocian land. 



In Cyparissus, rocky Python, these, 
Ciisa divine and Anemoria dwell, 
In Daulis, Panopens, Hyampolis, 
Or of thy streams, divine Cephisns, tell. 
And fair Idlaia at thy fountain-well ; 
These were led sailing o'er the barren flood. 
In black ships forty, Priam's town to quell, 
By children of Iphitus, warriors good. 
Hard on Boeotia's files, to leftward, the troops stood. 

Aias the Locrians led, Oileus' son. 
Not he to Telamonian Aias peer, 
Less far in strength and stature, and had on 
Corselet of linen, but in craft of spear 
All men excelled. And these of Cynos were. 
Opus, and Bessa, and the Augeian vale, 
Scarphi, Calliarus, and Thronius near 
Boagrian atoeam. And he led forty saU 
From past divine Euboia. Such the Locrian tale. 

Next, the Abantes in Euboia dwell, 
In Cerinth, Histisea clad with vine, 
Chalcis, Eretria, Dios' citadel, 
Styra, Carystus. Chief of these did shine, 
To Ares bom, of Chalcodontian line. 
Brave Elephenor. With their hearts aflame, 
With long hair streaming, and through breast and spine 
Eager to thrust, his spearmen-warriors came. 
And forty were the ships of the Euboian name. 

62 THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book n. 


Next who in Athens, well-built fortress, dwell. 
Land of the brave Erechtheus, whom of old 
Daughter of Zeus Athene nurtured well ; 
(Him liberal Earth did from her womb imfold.) 
In Athens, in her temple rich with gold 
She placed him. Ever as the years go round. 
To heaven a sacrificial steam is rolled 
Of rams and fat bulls, from the sacred ground. 
While the Athenian youths her praise and his resound. 

Their captain was Menestheus, PetatLs' seed, 
Nor in the earth was any found more sage 
Horses and men to set in line at need. 
When the poised battle they were met to gage. 
Nestor alone, by reason of his age. 
Might stand his rival Fifty barks, I wis. 
Sailed in his wake, the Ilian feud to wage. 
These were of Athens, and their captain this. 
Also did Aias lead twelve ships from Salamis. 


Next, men from Ai^os and Tirynthian hold. 
From Troezen, Epidaurus, Asinfe, 
Hermion^ (these twain the gulf enfold). 
And who of Mases and ^gina be. 
With Diomedes, a good rescuer he. 
Followed with eighty ships, commanded thus : 
Far-shouting Diomedes, first of three, 
Then, child of Capaneus, high Sthenelus, 
And king Mekistes' son, godlike Euryalus. 



And next who in Mycenae's citadel, 
Bich Corinth^ and Cleonae buQded fair, 
Om», and lovely Anethyrea dwell, 
Pellenfe, Hyperesia, Sicyon, where 
Adrastns reigned, and who the coast-land shaie — 
These, far the most and best, a hundred sail, 
With Agamemnon, son of Atreos, were. 
He mid the heroes in his glittering mail 
Moved goodliest far in mien, and glorying to prevail 

And who &om hollow Lacedaemon be, 
Pharis and Sparta, Angse's lovely land, 
Dove-hannted Messa, Helos near the sea, 
Laas, Amyclse, to the Ilian strand 
Did Menelaiis, Atreus' son, command. 
Sixty their ships, and they no warriors weak. 
He fierce in valour, where aloof they stand. 
Cheers them to war. He most did yearning seek 
Wrongs of the high-bom Helen, and her groans, to wreak 


And next came Nestor, the Gerenian lord. 
Who from afar did ninety ships command. 
From Ptdelis, Thryos, the Alph^an ford. 
From Pylos and Aren6 lovely land. 
Moist Helos, and the Cyparissian strand. 
And Dorion, where the Muses a strange thing 
Wrought, and met coming from (Echalian land. 
Even from Eur]rtus, CEchalian king. 
Bard Thamyris of Thrace, and made him cease to sing. 

54 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


For he set up to put forth boasts, and send 
High vaunt and challenge of the victor's meed. 
Tea, though the Muses should in song contend, 
Muses of segis-bearing Zeus the seed. 
So they in anger a dread thing decreed. 
Maimed him for ever, and avenged the wrong, 
And from their presence sent him poor indeed. 
And robbed of the divinity of song, 
And caused him to forget the harp he loved so long. 

And who Arcadia 'neath Cyllen^'s height 
Inhabit, by the tomb of jEpytus, 
Land fall of hills, where hand to hand they fight ; 
Of Ehip6, Stratia, and Phenelis, 
Windy Enispi, green Orchomenus, 
Stymphalus, Mantinea, Tegea. These 
With Agapenor, sixty sail, came thus : 
Their ships were Agamemnon's, for the seas 
They knew not, nor that trade, but they could fight with ease. 

And they of Elis the divine, what space. 
On from Hyrmin^ and far Myrsinus, 
Aleisium and the Olenian rock embrace. 
Four were their captains, each with ten ships thus : 
First were Amphimachus and Thalpius, 
This bom to Eurytus Actorion, 
The other was the child of Cteatus ; 
Then came Diores, Amarynceus' son ; 
And godlike the fourth fleet Polyxenus led on. 



Also the men that from Dulichium be. 
And from the sacred isles, Echinades, 
That over against Ells out at sea 
Else ; and the captain that commanded these, 
Eqnal to Aies, when the strife he sees, 
Was Meges, son to Phylens, valiant knight. 
Friend of high Zens. Him did his sire displease, 
And off he went, and on DuHchinm height 
Dwelt. Forty sail him followed to the Ilian fight. 

Odyssens led the Gephallenians brave. 
In land of rock-bound Ithaca they dwell. 
And the hill Neritus where forests wave, 
Sam^, and green Zacynthus' woodland swell, 
And the rough country that scarce feedeth well 
Even the goats, and all the mainland steep. 
These to the rule of wise Odysseus feU, 
Who in his breast did godlike counsels keep. 
Twelve vermeil-painted ships him followed o'er the deep. 


Thoas the ^tolians led, Andrsemon's son ; — 
They Olenus, Pylenfe, Pleuron hold. 
Surf-beaten Chalcis, rocky Calydon — 
For to large-hearted (Eneus, warrior old, 
Were sons no more, and his own days were told. 
And auburn Meleager too was dead. 
Now therefore Thoas all the race controlled 
In wide ^tolia, and was called their head. 
And to the land of Troia forty sail he led. 

56 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


Idomeneus the Cretans led with might. 
These Cnosus hold^ and Qortyn's walled retreat^ 
MUetus, and Lucastus hill, chalk-white, 
Lyctus and Bhytium, each a well-built seat, 
And the whole land of hundred-citied Crete. 
Spear-famed Idomeneus was lord of these, 
* And, not unequal in fair strife to meet 

Ares himself, the godlike M^riones. 
And eighty ships with them sailed over the wide seas. 

Also Tlepolemus the Heracleid 
Nine ships of warlike Bhodians, men of might. 
Led : through the isle in three parts they divide, 
lind, lalysus, and Cameirus white. 
O'er these Tlepolemus held chieftain's right. 
Bom of Astyochi to Heracles, 
Who from SeUeis river by dint of fight 
Gained her, from Ephyra beyond the seas. 
When many towns he sacked, and lordly sovereignties. 


But now to manhood grown, Tlepolemus 
Straight a near kinsman of his father slew. 
That bmnch of Ares, old licymnius, 
Anon ships builded, and much people drew, 
And o'er the seas fled wandering ; for he knew 
The cry for blood was on his father's race. 
So he to Shodes came suiTering with his crew, 
There three tribes planted, and with Zeus found grace. 
Who vast wealth rained upon them, and set firm their place. 



Kireufl from Sym^ led a fleet of three, 
Nireus, Aglma's offspring, whom she bare 
In Sym^ girdled by the Carian sea, 
Nireus in beauty, of aU Danaans there, 
AchiUeos only except, the far most fair. 
But poor in prowess, and his foUowing few. 
, Antiphus and Pheidippus chieftains were 
Of Cos and the isles : of Thessalus they two 
Were sons ; and thirty sail their rank of retinue. 

Those next, who from Pelasgian Argos were, 
Who Alos, Alopfe, and Trachis hold, 
Phthia, and Hellas famed for women fair, 
Achaians, Myrmidons, Hellenes bold. 
Fifty their ships were, and the host controlled 
By valiant chief AchiUeus, Peleus' son. 
But they no longer the grim shout uprolled, 
And thunderings of the war remembered none. 
For there was no man left their phalanx to lead on. 

For all the while AchiUeus, noble chief. 
Far in the fleet aloof from all men lay. 
Still grieving in his soul a bitter grief 
For fair Briseis, whom he bore away 
From out Lymesus, after perilous play, 
When Thebfe and Lymesus down he cast, 
And Mynes and Epistrophus did slay. 
Sons of Evenus. Held in anguish fast 
He lay there, to rise up more terrible at the last 



From Iton^ mother of sheep, and Phylac^ 
And flowery Pjrrasns, Demeter's shrine, i 

Oreen-swaxded Ptelelis, Antron by the sea, '| 

Came brave Protesilalis, chief divine, 
Ere Fate to the dark earth did him consign, 
Leaving a house half-builded, and his bride 
In Phylac6 to rend her cheeks and pine. 
He by a Dardan spear, the ships beside. 
Leaping far first to land of all the Achaians, died. 


Chiefless they were not, though a chief they mourn. 
Them to the battle strong Podarkes led, 
That branch of Ares, to Iphiclus bom. 
And mid the green of upland pastures bred. 
The noble brother of the nobler dead. 
ProtesilatLS was the elder son 
And better : but not meanly were they led. 
Albeit in sorrow for a good man gone. 
And forty black ships following after him came on. 


Next who of Pherje, near Boibeis lake. 
Of Boibi, Glaphyrse, lolcos fair. 
Them did Admetus' son Eumelus take. 
Eleven ships. Him divine Alcestis bare, 
Of Pelias' daughters most in beauty rare. 
But who Methonfe, Meliboia, hold, 
Thaumacia, rough Olizon, followers were 
Of Philoctetes, errless archer bold, 
Seven ships : and fifty archers were of each enrolled. 

bookil] the ILIAD OF HOMER. 59 


He sore afflicted now in Lemnos hj, 
Smit with bad nicer from a venomous snake, 
Alone, for the Achaians on their way 
Had left him. Soon was memory yet to wake 
Of Aigive men for Philoctetes' sake. 
Nor of a leader were they now forlorn ; 
Commandment of their ranks did Medon take, 
Medon the bsustard, to O'ileus born 
Of Shena ; he their chief, albeit a chief they mourn. 

And who in Tricca and Ithom^ dwell, 
And in CEchalia, reabn of Eurytus, 
The Asclepian brothers, knowing leech-craft well. 
Command, Machaon, Podalirius, 
With thirty sail. And who Ormenius, 
Fount Hypereia, litanus' white hill, 
Hold, and Asterium, these Eurypylus, 
Senowned son of Euaamon, ranged at will ; 
And forty swift black ships his retinue fulfil. 

And who Argissa and 6yrton6 hold, 
Orthfe, Elona, Oloosson white. 
These were the arm of Polypoites bold. 
Son to Peirithous, on the self-same night 
Bom when the hairy Centaurs in fierce fight 
He punished, and from Pelion thrusting drave. 
Nor ruled he single, but in equal might 
Joined with Leonteus, of Coronus brave 
The son : and forty ships came with them o'er the wave. 

60 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


Groimeus from Cyphos twenty ships and two 
Led, the hard race that round Dodona dwell. 
And where the streams of Titaresius flow, 
Nor mingle with the silver-eddying swell 
Of fair Peneus, but run smoothly well 
like oil above him, for the water springs 
From the oath-inviolate Styx. And they who dwell, 
Magnesian race, on Pelion's leaf-clad wings, 
These to the war, ships forty, the swifb Prothous brings. 


These were the leaders of the Danaan host. 
But, Muse, tell me which the best were seen. 
Men and their horses, on the Ilian coast. 
Far were the best Eumelus' steeds, I ween. 
Fleeter than birds, in pace, bone, colour, and mien 
Matched to a hair, and level length of spine ; 
Both mares, and in Pierian pastures green 
Beared by Apollo ; through the trampled line 
Driving dismay before them, and alarm divine. 


And of Achaian men the best by fiar 
Was Telamonian Aias. whUe abode 
AchiUeus in his anger shut ftom war. ' 
He in renown of virtue all outshowed. 
In horses, and the car wherein he rode, 
Achilleus, the fleet warrior, void of blame ; 
"Who now, tormented by wrath's fieiy goad. 
In ships lay cursing Agamemnon's name. 
While in his breast of battle the stem memory caiqe. 



Now all his people on the barren beach 
With arrow, disk, and javelin pastime heed ; 
While unyoked horses, near his chariot each, 
On fresh green lotus and marsh-parsley feed. 
Bat in the huts lie waiting against need 
The chariots of the captains, wrapt with care. 
They without heart, and with no ranks to lead, 
Mourn their stiU-tanying chief, to Ares dear. 
And loiter about the army, and go here and there. 

Fast came the tramp of many thousand feet. 
As the whole land were eaten up by fire. 
And the earth bellowed to their iron beat. 
As when Zeus thunders from the heaven in ire. 
And lashes the loud hills with lightnings dire 
In Arimi, round Tjrphon : for 'tis said 
Typhon there lies on ever-smouldering pyre. 
Thus earth groaned heavily beneath their tread. 
As they devoured the plain, and mightily onward sped. 

But Zeus the while wind-footed Iris sent 
Down into Troy, the heavy news to break. 
'They, young and old, at Priam's doors intent 
Held council In PoHtes' voice she spake ; 
Who without terror, for his fleetness* sake. 
On tomb of .^yetes sat, their spy, 
E3cp6cting when the Achaian men should make 
Their onslaught from the ships, that he might fly 
With tidings. She, like him, spake pale and hurryingly : 

6S THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book el 


" Old man, thy words, as in the calm days gone, 
Mean nothing : there are bloodier things in hand. 
Wars have I seen, yet never a host known 
Like this : innumerable as leaves or sand 
The plain they cover. Hector, I demand 
Help of thee most. In Priam's town abide 
Tongues not a few, strange nations in the land. 
Let each for his own troop their sign decide. 
Each lead his own men forward, and their ranks divide/' 

She spake ; nor Hector other word awaits, 
But ends the council ; and to arms they pour. 
Out rush the people by the open gates. 
Horsemen and footmen ; and a great wide roar 
Fills earth and heaven. The city-walls before. 
Stands from the plain a lone lull, taU and round. 
Name among men ' the hill of thorns ' it bore. 
But the gods call it fleet Myrina's mound. 
There in array full soon the Trojan troops were found. 


Hector, the white-plumed warrior, Priam's son. 
The Trojans led : with him the most and best, 
Spear-armed, and yearning for the strife, came on. 
jEneas to the Dardans gave behest, 
Anchises' son, but nurtured on the breast 
Of Aphrodite : with Anchises she, 
Divine with human, 'neath the sylvan crest 
Of Ida mingled : not alone came he ; 
Handled the host with him two chiefs in company. 



These of Antenor were the noble seed, 
Archelochus and Acamas by name. 
Well seen in arms, and high in valiant deed. 
And from the uttermost feet of Ida came 
A rich tribe, drinkers of iBsapus stream, 
Men of Seleia> kin with Troy by race. 
O'er these a leader of illustrions fisune, 
Son of Lycaon, Pandarus, held chief place. 
Whom lord A!pollo himself with archer's arms did grace. 

And who Apsesns and Adrastia hold, 
Pityian soil, and Terse's lofty head. 
These were commanded by Adrastns bold. 
And by Amphius linen-corseleted. 
Sons of that Merops, above all men read 
In the art of divination, a great seer. 
Who bade them oft devouring war to dread. 
Neither to go forth ; but they would not hear, 
For the black Death-fates ruled more mightily than their fear. 

And who Percot^ hold and Practius, 
Sestos, Abydos, and Arisba fair. 
These followed Asius, son of Hyrtacus, 
Whom from SeUei's, stream Arisbian, bare 
Large horses, fiery-eyed, and fleet as air. 
Hippothoiis the Pelasgian spearmen led. 
Who &om Larissa's fruitful land repair, 
Hippothous, and Pylaeus, warrior dread. 
Sons of Teutamian Lethus, the Pelasgian head. 

64 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


From the Hellespontian flood the Thracians led 
The hero Peiroiis and Acamas. 
Of the Ciconians was Euphemus head, 
Bom to divine Troezenus, son of E&s. 
Pyraichmes chief of the Paeonians was. 
Archers from Amydon, by Axius stream, 
Whose water doth all waters far surpass. 
And Paphlagonians with Pylsemen came. 
From Heneti, whose breed of mules can no man tame 

They from the country of Cytorus be. 
Homes of a wide renown inhabiting 
Around Parthenius river, and by the sea, 
Where the coast hiUs of Erythini spring. 
And Odius, with Epistrophus, was king 
Of the Halizonians : from afar they were. 
From Alyba, whence silver ore they bring. 
And men of Mysia, warlike with the spear, 
Chromis commanded well, and Ennomus the seer. 

Augur he was, but no augurial ken 
Could to his profit against Fate avail. 
Or the black doom that falleth upon men 
Ward, when Achilleus caused his life to faU 
There in the river, when much furious bale 
He mid the Trojans and all else did throw. 
And fair Ascanius, like a god in mail. 
And Phorcys, from Ascania's inland flow. 
The Phrygians led, much yearning to assault the foe. 



Also were Antiphns and Mesthles head, 
Takemen's sons, from Lake Gygsea sprung, 
Of the Mseonians nnder Tmolus bred. 
Nastes the Garians of outlandish tongue 
Commanded, who, the infinite leaves among, 
Dwell near Miletus, in the mount of Pine, 
Where flowings of Mseander, not imsung, 
Wind through the vale, and o'er the mountain line 
lifts up her towering heads great Mycali divina 

These did Amphimachus and Nastes lead. 
Two brethren, heirs of an illustrious name, 
Nastes, Amphimachus, Nomion's seed. 
He, like a girl, with gold to battle came. 
Nor could it save him from defeat and shame. 
Him by the river fleet Achilleus slew. 
And to his gold, the prize of war, laid claim. 
From whirling Xanthus, of the Lycian crew 
Glaucus and brave Sarpedon were the chieftains two. 

VOL. 1. K 



Thus were they marshalled ; and with clangs and cries 
Forward like birds the Trojans hurrying beat. 
As with a clang wild cranes along the skies 
From winter and the unutterable sleet 
Fly over ocean-streams, hastening to meet 
That tribe of Pygmies, doom and death to bear. 
When in the morning they their enemy greet. 
But sQently the Achaians onward fare, 
Breathing disdain and anger, with one heart to dare. 


like on the hills a mist, to shepherd men 
Not kind, but to the thief more good than night, 
"When space beyond a stone's throw none may ken, 
So was the dust-cloud as they marched to fight. 
When they were met together in Ml sight, 
Stept godlike Alexander from the rest. 
With broadsword, bow, and leopard's skin bedight, 
ShaMi^ two spears, and all the Argive best 
Called with high voice, and dared them to the terrible test. 

68 THE ILUD OF HOMER, [book m. 

Him Menelaus when he marked that way 
Proud with long strides before the host appear. 
Joyed like a lion who hath found a prey, 
A great prey in his hunger, goat or deer. 
Nor will he let go, but devours it sheer. 
Though fleet dogs wony him, and the men press round. 
So, with the godlike Alexander near. 
Joyed Menelaus, thinking vengeance found. 
And from his chariot straight, in arms, leapt to the ground. 

Him when the godlike Alexander knew 
Dropt suddenly in the van, with craven heart 
Back to his friends, avoiding fate, he drew. 
As haply, in the mountain glens apart. 
One seeth a gaunt snake, and doth backward start. 
And his limbs shiver, and his cheek turns pale. 
And trembling he is gone, fleet as a dart : 
So from the child of Atreus, bright with mail. 
Slunk godlike Alexander, and did huddling quail. 

Hector then marked him, and upbraiding cried : 
'^ Beautiful, evil Paris, woman-mad, 
Unborn I wish thee, or unwed to have died, 
False-hearted trifler, than behold thee clad 
Thus with ineffable shame, and scomings bad. 
Now the long-haired Achaians verily laugh. 
Who took for a fine champion one that had 
Such beauty ; but thy spirit is weak as chaff. 
Piercing the hand that trusts thee like a treacherous staff. 



" Was it for this, or with such heart as now. 
O'er the wide billows with a chosen band 
Thou sailedst, and with violated vow 
Didst bring thy fair wife from the Apian strand, 
Tom from the house of men of warlike hand. 
And a great sorrow for thy father^s head, 
Tpoy town, and all the people of the land, 
By thine inhospitable offence hast bred, 
Thus for the enemy's sport, thine own confusion dread ? 


"Lo, now thou cowei-est, and wilt not abide 
Fierce Menelaus — thou hadst known, I ween, 
Soon of what man thou hast the blooming bride ! 
Poor had the profit of thy harp then been. 
Vain Aphrodite's gifts, thy hair, thy mien. 
He mangling in the dust thy fallen brow. 
But there is no wrong to the Trojans keen. 
And they are lambs in spirit ; or else hadst thou 
Worn, for thine evil works, a cloke of stone ere now." 


And godlike Alexander answering said : 
" Hector, I yield me : for thine own heart rings 
Haider than iron by some shipwright sped 
Clean through the timber, when his great strength springs 
Fresh to each stroke, so weU the axe he swings : 
Such breast is thine. Nor thou upbraid me yet 
With golden Aphrodite's lovely things. 
The gods' high gifts may not at nought be set. 
Which freely they bestow, nor we by wishing get 

70 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book m. 


" But now, if thou wilt have me rise and fight, 
Bid here the Trojans and Achaians sit. 
While I and Menelatis in open sight 
For Helen and her wealth try judgment fit; 
And who prevails, and shall him best acquit. 
Let wife and goods be given into his hand. 
And all the rest, in sacred Mendship knit, 
Homeward return, we Uving in our land. 
They sailing back to Argos and the Achaian strand." 

He ceased, and Hector with a joy divine 
Heard what he said, and grasping his mid spear 
Moved down the fronts and stayed the Trojan line. 
But the long-haired Achaians on him there 
Flung stones, and half-drawn arrows aiming were ; 
But loud imperial Agamemnon cried : 
" Stay, sons of Aigos, hit him not, but hear ! 
For white-plumed Hector would some word confide." 
Then were they stilled, and he spake forth to either side : 

** Hear, Trojans, and well-greaved Achaians hear ! 
Lo, Alexander, for whose sake we fight. 
Now bids you all at last, in the tenth year. 
Lay down your arms, and thus decide the right : 
Himself and Menelatis in open sight 
For Helen and her wealth shall singly stand. 
And who prevaileth and is best in might. 
Let wife and goods be given into his hand, 
But we the rest plight troth, enjoying each our land." 



So did he speak^ and all were hushed and still. 
But warrior Menelans answering spake : 
** Hear also me : for most the sword of ill 
Cuts me to the sonl : such anguish for my sake 
Ye bear, such woes did Alexander make. 
The hour is come that ye depart in peace, 
Aigives and Trojans, and this long war break. 
Therefore of us twain let the life now cease 
To whom Fate wiUs, and ye, the rest, win quick release. 


'^ Two lambs for Earth and Sun, a male and ewe. 
This black, that white, shall ye the Trojans bring ; 
We then a third, to Zeus the offering due. 
Call too the m£gesty of Priam king 
Himself to ratify each sacred thing, 
(Fierce are his sons, and breakers of true plight), 
That none transgress : since ever on the wing 
Stray young men's thoughts ; when they the old invite. 
He sees before and after, and trains all things right." 


Thus spake he, and both sides the promise charms 
"With hope to leave off war. The steeds they rein 
Down the long ranks, dismount, and pile their arms, 
Each at small interval, along the plaiiL 
Then Hector for the lambs sent heralds twain, 
And bade them call great Priam : Atreus' son 
Talthybius to the fleet beside the main 
Sent for a lamb, to have the rites begun ; 
And he went forth, nor left the king^s command undone. 

72 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book in. 


Iris to white-armed Helen now took wing, 
like Paris' sister, Helicaon's bride, 
Fairest of all the daughters of the king, 
Laodic^. And Helen she espied 
Weaving a two-fold purple robe, beside 
The great loom in the hall ; therein she planned 
Labours of war, and sufferings far and wide 
For her sake undergone at Ares' hand. 
And near her, with these words, did swift-foot Iris stand : 

" come, dear bride, and see the works divine 
Of Trojans and Achaians, who of yore 
Tasted much toil, and drank the bitter wine 
Of strugglings in the plain, contention sore. 
Now silently they sit, the conflict o'er, 
Propt on their shields, the tail spears planted nigh. 
Soon Alexander, in the space before. 
And Menelaus single combat try ; 
And he that wins will gain thee for his wife thereby." 

Thus having said, the goddess on her mind 
Poured a sweet memory of the former things. 
Husband, and native city, and parents kind. 
She in a moment round her shoulders flings 
Bobe of white lawn, and from the threshold springs. 
Yearning and pale, with many a tender tear. 
Also two women in her train she brings. 
The large-eyed Clymenfe and uEthra fair. 
And at the western gates right speedily they were. 



There Priam, PantholiS; Lampus, and their train, 
Thymoetes, Clytius, Hiketaon sat, 
XJeal^on, Antenor, wise of brain, 
Hard by the gates, and council held thereat ; 
Loosed by old age from war, but in debate 
Most admirable, and with the voice endued 
Of clear cicalas that in summer heat 
Thrill with a silver tune the shady wood. 
Such sat the Trojan elders, each in thoughtful mood. 


These seeing Helen at the tower arrive. 
One to another wingM words addressed : 
"* Well may the Trojans and Achaians strive. 
And a long time bear sorrow and unrest. 
For such a woman, in her cause and quest. 
Who like immortal goddesses in face 
Appeareth ; yet 'twere even thus far best 
In ships to send her back to her own place, 
Lest a long curse she leave to us and all our race." 

Then Priam called her : " Sit near me, dear child. 
And thy once husband, kindred, Mends survey. 
Thee hold I guiltless, but the gods, less mild, 
Scourge me with war when I am old and grey. 
Now teU me this large warrior's name, I pray. 
This so majestic in his port and mien ; 
Others yet taller I behold to-day. 
But none till now so beautiful, I ween. 
So estimable and grave, so king-like, have I seen." 



Helen, divine of women, answering saith : 
*' Father, thy grey hairs speak with awful power. 
that for dear life I had chosen death, 
When with thy son I left my bridal bower. 
My child, and sweet companions I but the hour 
Passed, and I wail for ever 1 Thou dost see 
Lord Agamemnon, Atreus' son, the flower 
Of kings, and a strong warrior. This is he 
That was my husband's brother, unless I dream, ah me !" 

Him then the old man much admired, and said : 
' - Blest son of Atreus, bom with happy star, 
0, of how many Achaians art thou head ! 
Once that vine-country where the Phrygians are. 
Numberless men, with steeds and glancing car. 
By Otreus and high Mygdon ruled, I knew. 
Hard by Sangarius stream encamped for war. 
When came the Amazons, my help they drew : 
But than these dark-eyed warriors they were far more few." 


Seeing Odysseus then, the old man said : 
'' Him too describe, dear child, at my behest. 
Less tall than Agamemnon by the head. 
But in the shoulders wider, and the breast 
His arms upon the boon earth glittering rest. 
As mid the ranks he moveth to and fro. 
Him to a thick-fleeced ram I liken best. 
Passing amid a great flock white as snow.'' 
And Helen, child of Zeus, this answer did bestow : 



" Odysseus is the man, Laertes' son. 
Wise, and in Ithaca's rough country bred, 
All arts to whom and deep designs are known." 
Thereto the wise Antenor answering said : 
** Lady, a true word from thy lips hath fled. 
Here also hath divine Odysseus been. 
He came with Menelaus, warrior dread, 
To hear of thee : they were my guests, I ween, 
Who the whole cast of both, and inmost mind, have seen. 


" When in the Trojan council they appeared. 
Each standing, Menelaus overpassed 
His Mend in stature upward from the beard. 
Of the more honourable and graver cast 
Odysseus seemed, both sitting. When at last 
For speech the arrows of keen thought they strung, 
Then Menelaus spoke with utterance fast, 
Li brief sort, chary of words, but clear of tongue. 
Not wandering from the point, albeit in age more young. 

"But fit>m his seat when wise Odysseus sprang, 
Firming his eyes upon the ground he stood, 
Nor waved his sceptre through the whole harangue, 
But clenched it, like a man sullen and rude. 
As 'twere a boor or one in angry mood. 
But when the volume of his voice he rolled 
In words like snow-flakes, winter's feathery brood, 
None could Odysseus rival, yoimg or old ; 
AH cared to hear him now far more than to behold." 

76 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book m. 


Aias beholdiDg thiid^ the old man said : 
'' Who is this other, fiur most tall and wide ?" 
Helen, divine of women, answering said : 
*' Aias, the tower of war; and on that side 
Stands, girt with captains, godlike in his pride 
Idomeneus of Crete. He oft of old 
Did in my husband's home, our guest, abide. 
But now all other Achaians I behold. 
All of them know right well, and can their names imfold. 


'' Only two captains can I nowhere see, 
Knight Castor, Pollux of the iron glove, 
Own brethren, of one mother bom with ma 
Came they not hither from the land we love ? 
Or, if they sailed the briny deeps above. 
Dare they not enter on the field with men. 
For taunts and insult, which my name doth move ?" 
She spake — ^but them kind earth, fur from her ken. 
In Lacedaemon held, their dear land, even then. 

Meantime the heralds bear the holy things. 
Two lambs, and wine that maketh noble cheer. 
Stored in a goatskin ; and Idseus brings 
The glittering bowl, and golden cups. He, near 
The old man standing, bade him mark and hear : 
'' Son of Laomedon, with speed arise ! 
For now Troy's best desire thee to appear, 
And Aigives brazen-mailed, before their eyes. 
To strike truce in the plain with prayer and sacrifice. 



" Since Alexander, for whose sake we fight, 
Bids now the Trojans and Achaians sit, 
While he and Menelaiis in open sight 
For Helen and her wealth tiy judgment fit : 
And who prevails^ and shall him best acquit, 
Soth wife and goods are given into his hand ; 
And all the rest, in sacred friendship knit. 
Homeward return, we living in our land. 
They sailing hack to Argos and the Achaian strand." 


He ended, and the old man, when he heard. 
Shuddered in soul, and turning to his traiix 
Bade yoke the steeds ; and they obeyed his word. 
Then up went Priam, and drew back the rein, 
Antenor at his side ; then toward the plain 
Held the swift horses through the western gate. 
When they the lines of either host attain. 
Dismounting from the car they stand in state, 
While on the fruitful earth both armies round them wait. 

Then rose up Agamemnon, king of men. 
And wise Odysseus ; all the holy things 
Heralds convey, and in the bowl mix then 
Wine, and bear lustral water to the kings. 
Then Agamemnon draws the knife that swings 
Under the great sword's scabbard, and cuts hair 
From each lamb's forehead ; and a herald brings 
Part so cut off to every chieftain there. 
Loud cries the son of Atreus, lifting hands of prayer : 

78 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book m. 


" Ruling from Ida, thy great sanctuary, 
Zeus Father, the All-highest, and thou Sun, 
Who all dost overhear and oversee, 
And Earth, and Bivers, and ye sparing none, 
In the dead land, that leave an oath undone, 
Stand witness now, true covenant guard and keep ! 
By Alexander if this fight be won. 
His be fair Helen and her wealth to reap, 
And we will homeward sail beyond the barren deep. 


" Also, if Menelaus win the day, 
Troy must fair Helen and her wealth restore, 
And fit price to the men of Argos pay 
In testimony hereof for evermore. 
But if king Priam and his sons abhor 
Due price to yield, should Alexander die. 
Then will I fight on, as I fought before. 
Here tarrying till the bitter end I try. 
And for old crime exact the utmost penalty." 

Then in the victim's throats the steel he thrust. 
Who, for the iron reft away their soul. 
Sank void of strength, and gasping in the dust. 
They, in the cups wine pouring from the bowl. 
Prayer to the everlasting gods uproU : 
*' Zeus, all-glorious, and each god in heaven, 
Now like this wine, to whoso keep not whole 
Our oath, the brain pour earthward, and be riven 
Life from their children dear, their wives to strangers given ! *' 



So prayed they a vain prayer. Then Priam cries : 
" Hear, Trojans and Achaians : I will go 
Back into Troy : I cannot with these eyes 
Dare to behold the blood that now must flow. 
Zeua only and the gods eternal know 
Whether of these is fitted to be slain." 
He spake, and on the chariot mounted so, 
Then, waiting for Antenor, drew the rein. 
And back to Troy they galloped o'er the echoing plain. 

But Hector and divine Odysseus there 
Mete out the lists, and in a helmet shake 
Lots, whether of the twain first hurl his spear. 
All hands uplifted, thus in prayer they spake : 
" Zeus Father, the All-highest, who dost make 
From Ida thy voice heard, let him that wrought 
These wrongs, and caused so many hearts to break. 
Dead to the house of Hades now be brought. 
And unto us give friendship, by a firm oath bought." 

So they ; but Hector the bright helmet shook. 
Turning his eyes back, and the lot forth leapt 
Of Paris. They their seats in order took. 
Each where his steeds and glittering arms he kept. 
Then godlike Alexander forward stept. 
Husband of bright-haired Helen, and arrayed 
In arms, that never in dim rust had slept, 
His glorious form ; fair greaves about him laid 
First, that with silver clasps shone beautifully made ; 

80 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book m. 


Then round his breast the gleaming cuirass drew, 
Lycaon's, his dear brother, and made it fast, 
Not less to him than to its owner true ; 
Over his shoulders the great sword then cast. 
And the man-covering shield, heavy and vast ; 
Laced the fair helmet on his stately head. 
Terribly waving the white crest ; and last 
lifted the long spear, to his palm close wed. 
So also Menelaus put on ai-mour dread. 


So when on bgtK sides they are arm^d well. 
Forward into the middle space they draw, 
With eyes inevitable and aspect felL 
And a great wonder came with speechless awe 
On Trojans and Achaians when they saw. 
Each near the other, the fair lists within. 
Which the divine chiefs meted out by law. 
Stood brandishing his spear, in hope to win. 
Each with the other enraged, and eager to begin. 


First the long javelin Alexander hurled, 
And hit the round shield of his foe, nor made 
Breach in the metal, but the hard point curled 
Back from the shield, nor could the brass invade. 
Then Menelaus shook his spear, and prayed : 
« Avenge me of my wrongs Zeus, king sublime. 
That Alexander go not hence unpaid ! 
So shall guests tremble in the after-time 
Against one kind to strangers to lift hands of crime." 



Thus prayed he, and anon with forward bound 
Hurl^ W its quiveriBg poise the shafted spear. 
And hit the shield of Paris, broad and round. 
Through the bright metal clave a pathway sheer 
The strong lance, driven in fury, and cut clear 
The breastplate and the glittering work thereon, 
Till that it rent the tunic, and came near 
Even to the flank : but Priam's godlike son, 
Swerving aside, made shift the bitter death to shun. 


Then Menelaus at full height upbore 
His sword, and the helm smote ; but round him there 
His steel fell shivered in three parts and four. 
Loud groaned he, gazing up the spacious air : 
" Zeus Father, of all gods chief bale and snare, 
Surely I thought that I should vengeance know 
On the false adversary : ah, fruitless prayer ! 
The sword is broken in my hand, and lo ! 
Erred in its flight my spear, nor have I hit my foe." 


Him by the thick plume then he rushed and caught. 
Dragging his load the Achaian lines within, 
TOl the tight strap, with fine embroidery wrought. 
Was throttling the soft neck beneath the chin. 
Seemed that the child of Atreus should now win 
Glory unutterable ; but one that knew, 
Hending in twain the power of the tough skin, 
Fair Aphrodite, did the work undo, 
And in his firm clenched hand an empty helm he drew. 


88 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book m. 


He with strong whirl among his Mends in ire 
Then dashed it, and the warriors that stood near 
Lift up and carry it o& He, stung with fire. 
Bushed back to kill the enemy with his spear. 
But him sweet Aphrodite caught off clear, 
Bight easily in her power, with mist enwound, 
And in the scented bower he loved so dear 
Placed him ; then went for Helen, and her foimd 
Hard by the lofty tower, much women standing round. 

There, laying on the ambrosial robe her hand. 
Twitched it, an aged woman in form and face, 
like her who once in LacedaBmon land 
Dressed wool for Helen, and stood chief in grace : 
" Homeward !" she cried : " thy lover to his place 
Invites thee, on his fair couch glistering laid. 
Not soiled with fight, but comparable in case 
To one that for the dance is new-arrayed. 
Or from the dance, now left, sits resting in the shade." 

She with these words did Helen's heart much move, 
WTio, turning, the refulgent neck divine 
Knew, and the snow-white breast, the home of love. 
And the quick glances of her sparkling eyen, 
Then wondering spake : " What new deceit is thine. 
Fell goddess ? whither art thou fain to bear 
Me wretched, whither of all towns that shine 
In Phrygia, or the sweet Maeonian air. 
If that some child of earth thou lovest even there ? 



'* Tell me, hath Alexander lost, and now 
Yearns Menelans to lead home again 
Me loveless, undesirable, that thou 
Art come to me in guile? With htm remain, 
Htm sit with, and from heaven thy feet refraia 
Weep, till his wife he make thee, or fond slave. 
I go to him no more, to win new stain, 
And scorn of Trojan women again outbrave. 
Whelmed even now with griefs illimitable wave." 

Whom Aphrodite full of wrath addressed : 
" Hold, and provoke me not, lest to thy fate 
I leave thee, and hereafter in my breast 
Hate thee for ever with a burning hate, 
Tierce as my love, and sharp revenge and great 
Deal &om both sides, and thou in niiseiy fall" 
She spake : nor Helen farther word did wait, 
Eoimd her in silence wrapt the shining pall. 
And, following in her fear, escaped the eyes of all. 


So when they came to Alexander's house 
Each to her several work the maidens went, 
But she, divine of women, to her spouse. 
Straight to the high-roofed chamber made ascent. 
There Aphrodite, fall of sweet intent. 
Placed her a chair, with shining mantle spread, 
Near Alexander. With eyes backward bent 
Sat Helen, child of Zeus, beside the bed. 
And in opprobrious words to Alexander said : 

84 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ni. 


" Safe from the field— far better hadst thou died. 
By a strong man, my former husband, slain. 
Whom, trasting in thy power, thou hast defied ! 
Now then, go dare him to the lists again : 
Or to me wiselier hearken, and refiiuin, 
Hearken to me, and save thy soul alive, 
Nor, rushing like a fool to arms in vain. 
Twice with the gold-haired son of Atreus strive, 
Lest to his spear thou faU, and at thy doom arrive." 


And in the chamber Paris answering spake : 
"Vex not my soul with bitter words, dear wife. 
Nor taimt me for thy former husband's saka 
True, Menelaus hath prevailed in strife, 
Helped by Athene on the wheel of life. 
He now, but I hereafter, in my day. 
For with us too the help of gods is rife. 
But let this pttss, and thou no more delay. 
But snatch we the sweet hour, and use it as we may. 

"For never ravishment so deep yet burst 
Over my soul with such a lightning dart, 
Not when from lovely Lacedaemon first 
With me in the fleet ships thou didst depart. 
And in the island Cranae mix thy heart 
With mine in love, as I now feel for thee 
Fervour within, and passion's tender smart" 
He spake, and led her to the couch ; and she 
Went, and the twain lay down in mutual transport frea 



But Menelaus like a ravenous beast 
Prowled through the host, if he might find his foe ; 
And no man, from the greatest to the least, 
Footman or knight, could Alexander show. 
Twas not that any, if he chanced to know, 
Would hide or shield him for affection's sake : 
For, as black death is hated, even so 
All hated him : there was no love to break. 
Then lordly Agamemnon in the midst outspake : 

" Now all ye Trojans and Dardanians, hear ! 
Hearken ye too, their helpers in the war ! 
Brave Menelaus hath this victory clear ; 
Therefore must ye no longer him debar 
From Helen and what goods in question are. 
But yield them up, with other payment due. 
Fit monument to all men, near and far." 
Thus Agamemnon, in brief words and few ; 
And all the other Achaians breathed assent thereto. 



Now sit the high gods on the golden floor 
Of Zens in council, and Troy town behold ; 
Fair Hebe to them all doth nectar pour; 
They to each other drink in cups of gold. 
Then Zeus, to prove queen Hera, as of old, 
Touched her with glancing words, and subtly said : 
" Two divine champions Atreus' son uphold, 
Hera of Argos, and Athene dread, 
But &x apart they sit, nor help, but gaze instead. 

" But ever Aphrodite standeth by 
That other, and wards o£f the neanng fate. 
And but now saved him, when he looked to die. 
But, since the Argive wins, let us debate 
Whether to move loud war and evil hate 
Still, or a friendship to contrive for both. 
If which thing please you, then in fair estate 
That Troy continue am I nothing loth. 
And Helen home return, according to the oath." 

88 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book it. 


He spake> but Hera and Athene then 
MnrmiiTed within their teeth, as they sat near 
And hatched calamities for Trojan men. 
Athene on sire Zeus in mood severe 
Scowled silent. Hera gave her wrath career, 
And cried : " scourge of heaven, what word is this ! 
My sweat to cast down Troy — ^must all end here ? 
Drave I my horses till they smoked for this. 
Gathering the host? — ^yet do it, but thou doest amiss." 


Answered in anger the cloud-driving Sire : 
" What harm hath Priam or his house done thee, 
That with an everlasting fierce desire 
Thou bumest to raze Dion utterly ? 
Were this enough then, in mid Troy to be. 
And there eat Priam and his children raw, 
And all the rest ? Yet do what pleaseth thee ; 
Thine is the choice ; lest this our bickering draw 
Behind it a great fire. But hear me, and feel awe. 

" When that I too would smite a city of thine. 
Home of thy loved ones, give my fury rein. 
Yielding as I do, though my heart repine. 
For of all cities that man's race maintain 
Under the stars, in the sun's wide domain. 
None in my heart like place with sacred Troy, 
And Priam and his people, could yet gain, 
Who with rich steam and flowing wine accloy 
Mine altar — ^such good things as we of right enjoy." 



And unto him queen Hera then replied : 
" The cities that I love far best are three, 
Aigos and Sparta and Mycen^ wida 
Take them away when hateful unto thee ; 
Murmur I will not, nor their champion be. 
For, should I hinder or withstand thy will, 
Thine is the power, my labour ia my fee. 
Yet my work too must not be ended ill ; 
My race is one with thine, I am a goddess stilL 

" For of old Kronos' daughters chief am I, 
Not more of birthright than by nuptial place, 
Since thou, my husband, art supreme on high. 
But yield we, each to other, mutual grace. 
That all do likewise. And now send apace 
Athene to the gathering din below. 
Spurring the Trojans to set hard their face 
Against the Achaians who triumphant go. 
And to contenm sworn oaths, and fiery insult throw." 

She ended, nor the Sire of gods and men 
Hearing obeyed not her behest, but spake 
In winged words to Athene there and then : 
" Fly to the host, fly quickly, and there make, 
If that thou canst, the Trojan warriors break 
Their sworn oaths, and with fiery insult bite 
The Achaians, glorying for their victory's sake." 
Then did she feel new fory, and in flight 
Down to the earth came rushing from Olympus height. 

90 THE ILIAD OF HOHEK. [book r,\ 


As when E^ronion streams a meteor star, 
Swift, and behind it the sparks gUttering fly, 
Omen to sailors or wide eamps of war. 
So to the earth came rushing firom the sky 
Pallas Athene ; and all far and nigh 
Stared in amaze, and each to other said : 
" Now will Zeus send the roU of the rough cry 
Of strife once more, or lasting peace instead, 
Zeus, who of war doth wield the ministration dread." 

Thus did each Trojan and Achaian say. 
She, like in aspect to Antenor^s son, 
Laodocus, strong chieftain, eager way 
Through the mid squadrons of Troy's army won. 
If divine Pandarus she could light upon. 
Him girt with troops that from ^sapus tide 
Came after him with shields, Lycaon's son. 
She found there eminent in power and pride. 
And in winged words addressed him, standing near beside : 

" Son of Lycaon, if thou hear me, aim 
At Menelaus, and store up with Troy, 
And most with Alexander, grace and fame. 
Splendid from him thy guerdon, if to his joy 
Thou Menelaus, Atreus* son, destroy. 
And on the pyre he smoke. Aim, aim, and pray 
With vows to him that doth the quiver employ, 
ApoUo, a rich hecatomb to pay. 
Of firstling lambs, at home, on thy returning day." 



Thus spake Athene^ and his foolish wit 
Perverted, and he stript the shining bow, 
Spoil of a goat which in the breast he hit 
- Forth issuing from the rock, and he below 
Lurking in ambush to surprise it so. 
Sheer down the clifif it tumbled. Palms sixteen 
Up from its head did the horns towering grow. 
These the horn- worker scraping smooth and clean. 
Fastened them root to root, and tipt with golden sheen. 


He on the earth now leaned it, strung with care. 
While in the front his followers held a wall 
Of knit shields, lest the Achaians on him there 
Bush charging ere the son of Atreus Ml ; 
Then from the quiver a shaft tipt with gall, 
New fix)m the maker, winged with black decay, 
Chose, and to Lycian Phoebus vowed withal 
Rich hecatomb of firstling lambs to pay 
In fair Zeleia's town, on his returning day. 

Forthwith the arrow in its place he laid. 
And set the notches that they should not swerve. 
Finning his knees a steady aim he made. 
And to his nipple strained the tightening nerve. 
Till the sharp iron touched the bow's mid curve ; 
Then loosed it, and the sinew terribly sang. 
While in a moment. Fate's high will to serve. 
Forth to its quarry the fell dart outsprang. 
Teaming to flesh the hunger of its pointed fang. 

92 THE nJAB OF HOMER. [book it. 


Nor unremembered in that perilous hour 
Thou, Menelaus, of the gods on high, 
First of that viigin warrior, thy chief tower ; 
Who the shaft thwaited and thus far awiy 
Turned, as a mother turns some bitinc; fly 
Back fi^m her chUd recumbent in swL sleep. 
And of divine thought ruled it to where lie 
Plates of the cuirass folded doubly deep. 
And the firm links of gold the broad belt clasp and keep. 

Came in its flight the bitter shaft, and fell 
On the fair belt, and through the belt it drave. 
And the strong cuirass wrought so goodly weU ; 
Tea the quilt also, trusted most to save. 
His last help, even the tough quilt it clave. 
Till the barb, lighting on the flesh within, 
Paused, nor of life bereft the hero brave. 
But scored the surface of the delicate skin. 
Whence the dark blood quick channel to the light did win. 

As when a woman of Mteonian race 
Pure ivory with vermiUon bright and clear 
Hath dyed, the temples of a steed to grace. 
And many are the knights that hold it dear. 
Nor yet may have it : for a king to wear 
Stored in her chamber it doth still remain. 
Glory alike for steed and charioteer — 
So, Menelaus, did that crimson grain 
Thy beauteous thighs and knees and goodly ankles stain. 



Then shuddered Agamemnon, king of men, 
When from the wound he saw the red blood flow, 
Yea, even valiant Menelaus then 
Shuddered, in fear his day of doom to know. 
But when the barbs and coil of string below 
He saw not sunken, then his spirit again 
Bevived and came into his breast ; and lo. 
The king groaned heavily with all his train, 
And cried out, as he clasped his brother's hand amain : 

" Brother beloved, my covenant was thy death. 
For that alone thou hast our champion stood. 
Thee have thine enemies slain, and broken faith. 
Yet the oath dies not, nor the victim's blood. 
Wine and pledged hands, wherein we hoped for good. 
For though the Father visit not to-day. 
Yet shall he roll his vengeance in fuU flood 
Hereafter. I have seen, have seen, I say. 
These traitors with their heads and wives and children pay. 

" For in my heart I know it, the day, the hour. 
Comes, it will come, when sacred Troy shall fall, 
And Priam, and his people, and his power. 
Then shall Kronion shake against them all 
His own dark eegis, and their soul appal, 
For this day's falsehood, nor shall crime go free. 
But, Menelaus, if thou die withal, 
Ah for the sorrow that shall come to me ! 
How blamed shall I thy brother in thirsty Argos be ! 

94 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book it. 


'' For the Achaians will their land desire, 
Troy and her king shall Aigive Helen keep. 
Our work fall, and thy bones in Trojan mire 
Eot, and the enemy on thy grave will leap 
And ciy : * Thus always Agamemnon reap 
' Joy from his wrath ! The host our walls came near ; 
' Now to his fatherland he sails the deep 
' With void ships, leaving Menelaus here.' 
Earth, open then thy mouth, that I no more appear !" 

But Menelaus cheered his soul, and said : 
" Take heart, nor terror on the Achaians throw ; 
This wound is not to death, thanks to the aid 
Of broidered belt, strong girth, and quilt below. 
Wrought up by men that metal-craft well know." 
And thus did wide-realmed Agamemnon say : 
** Brother beloved, may this indeed be so ! 
But let the leech prove now thy hurt, and lay 
Medicinal herbs thereon, thy black pains to allay." 


Therewith he ceased, and to the herald cried : 
" Talthybius, go with all the speed thou hast, 
And hither the renowned Machaon guide, 
Son of Asclepius, who all else surpassed 
In craft to heal, and shall in fame outlast, 
That Menelaus, brave Achaian chief. 
He may behold, shot by the fatal cast 
From some bow wielded by false Lycian thief. 
Or Trojan — ^his the gloiy, but to us the grief" 



He spake, and to the host the herald then 
Went, questing for Machaon. Him he found 
Standing aloft, and troops of shielded men, 
Who followed him from Tricca, ranged around ; 
And he came near, and called the leech renowned : 
** Son of Asclepius, rise, and bring relief 
(Tis Agamemnon calls) to the sore wound 
Of Menelaus, brave Achaian chief. 
By foes shot — ^theirs the glory, but to us the grief." 

Thus did he speak, and stirred the healer's breast ; 
And up the wide Achaian host they went. 
Till they arrived where all the Achaian best 
Stood round the chief, their tower pre-eminent. 
There he the shaft drew backward from the rent. 
Through the tight cincture's fold, and, as he drew, 
Lo, the keen barbs were broken off and bent 
Then broidered belt, strong girth, and tough quilt too 
He loosened, wrought by men that metal-craft well knew. 

When with his eyes he saw the wound where fell 
The bitter arrow, he sucked out the blood. 
And from medicinal herbs compounded well. 
Erst to his father given by Chiron good. 
Soft balms took cunningly, and sprinkling strewed. 
But, he thus handling the brave chief with care, 
On came the shield-clad Trojans in full flood. 
While speedily to their arms the Achaians there 
Bushed up, remembering battle and the joyous blare. 

96 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book it. 


Then could one not see Agamemnon slow. 
Cowed or asleep, but hastening on to fight 
He to Eurymedon the car let go, 
And fleet steeds, snorting in their fieiy might. 
And charged him to be ready, if labour smite 
His strong limbs, as he ruled the wide array. 
He then on foot the long lines paced aright. 
And whomsoever he beheld that day 
Fervent for war, he cheered with fair words to the fray : 


" Argives, add yet more fuel to this fire ; 
False are your foes, they cannot come to good. 
Nor wiU Zeus help them, the Almighty Sire, 
Who, spite of oaths, have dipped their hands in blood. 
Die must they all, their flesh be vultures' food, 
Their wives and children ours, when we destroy 
Their city and their name, and sail the flood." 
But whosoever did not war enjoy 
Heard him in angry mood these railing words employ : 

'' Braves of the long-bow, doth no shame remain. 
That ye stand thus, like fawns aghast with fright, 
Who, tired with running o'er the breezy plain. 
Stand with no spark of soul, no grain of might ? 
Thus stupidly ye stand, and dare not fight 
Fain would ye linger till the foe come near 
The grey deep, and poimce down upon you quite, 
Nestling amid your stranded ships in fear, 
Waiting if Zeus put forth his arm, and shield you clear ? ^ 



Thus down the long ranks, planting spnis of flame, 
All in their tribes, the kingly leader passed. 
Now to the Cretans, spearmen bold, he came, 
Drawn round Idomeneus, and arming fast 
He, mid the foremost fighters towering vast, 
Seemed in hot courage like a great wild-boar ; 
And M^riones, cheering the troops, came last. 
And Agamemnon, gladdening more and more. 
Beheld them, and these words did courteously outpour : 

" Idomeneus, of aU good Danaan knights 
Thee most I worship in waf s toil divine. 
Or when a work of lighter stamp invites. 
As in the feast, when the best Argives dine. 
Mixing in bowls the senatorial wine. 
There all the Achaians drink an honest cup. 
But thy great beaker is kept full like mine. 
And, ever as we list, we quaff or sup. 
)ut shine forth as of old, and to the war march up ! " 

Answered the Cretan lord Idomeneus : 
" O son of Atreus, I will stand indeed 
Thy friend, thy liegeman ever, as is my use, 
And as of old I promised and decreed. 
Only the other Achaian men with speed 
Urge to the front, that we join ranks and fight, 
And to these covenant-breakers their just meed 
Of bitterness and death quickly requite, [Right." 

Tio the sworn oaths brake first, and marred the inviolate 


98 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book it. 


Then passed the king, rejoicing much thereat, 
And found the Aiantes arming in their place, 
A cloud of foot on this side and on that 
As when a shepherd o'er the sea's dark face 
Spies a cloud moving, the west-wind in chase, 
(Far from the cliff where he his watch doth keep) 
Dead-black to him, like pitch, nearing apace, 
And leading a loud hurricane up the deep-— 
He shuddering to the cave hath driven his frighted sheep : 


Long, dense, and like the coming of that cloud. 
In black lines clustering around those twain, 
XJntameable of men, the Aiantes proud. 
Surged the divine mass over the wide plain, 
Noise of an iron din rolling amain. 
And bristling to the war with spear and shield. 
Nor Agamemnon could his joy refrain 
Such to behold in harness for the field. 
And in admiring words his kingly lips unsealed : 


** admirable of men, Aiantes twain, 
Not, not to you this call to arms I bear. 
Who now your own selves not a whit refrain 
From heartening a great people far and near. 
Father Zeus, Athene, Phoebus, hear 1 
that such spirit in the breast of all 
Dwelt, and a like wish to their mind were dear ! 
Soon would the city of king Priam fall 
Under our hands in dust, strewn tower and broken wall." 



This said^ he left them, and to others went. 

There forming line, men leavening with fierce mood, 

Nestor he found, the old man eloquent. 

Who with tall Pelagon and Chromiua stood, 

Haemon, Alastor, Bias, noble in blood. 

He in the forefront horsemen, car and horse, 

Eanged ; in the deep rear footmen, many and good. 

Shoring the battle ; in the midst the worse, [force. 

Where, whether he would or would not, one must fight per- 

First to the horsemen gave he charge to hold 
Beins well in hand, nor in confusion drive. 
"Trust not in horsemanship, be not too bold, 
None to be first against the enemy strive. 
Nor yet bate ground, lest harm and loss arrive ; 
And in the shock of cars leap not afoot. 
But with your spears push hard, and ye shall thrive. 
Thus did the ancients wall and town uproot. 

Holding in mind this counsel, and won fame to boot." , , 


Thus the old man directed, from of old 
Well seen in arms, and knowing war-craft best ; 
Wbom Agamemnon did with joy behold, 
And called him, and in wingM words addressed : 
"As is the heart, old man, within thy breast, 
Such were thy knees I would to God, this day ! 
But old age rubs and dwindles, like the rest. 
Thee also ! Would that on a worse man lay 
This burden, and green youth were given for thy decay ! " 

100 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tv. 


And the Gerenian knight answered thereto : 
" Fain, Agamemnon, would I feel as when 
I the divine prince Erenthalion slew ! 
But the gods give not every gift to men : 
Old am I now, I was a young man then. 
Yet will I stand in battle, and even so 
Teach wisdom, the fit work of aged men. 
But spear and shield — ^to younger hands they go. 
Men in the flower of days, who their own virtue know." 

Then passed the king, rejoicing much in heart. 
And mid the Athenian chiefs Menestheus found. 
And wise Odysseus, and not far apart 
His cloud of Cephallenians standing round. 
Though now both camps were newly afoot, no sound 
Of battle had yet reached them, waiting there 
Till some great phalanx should the alarm resound. 
Some thunder of the Achaians, launched elsewhere : 
Whom Agamemnon marked, and did in nowise spare : 

" Son of divine chief Peteos, and thou 
Brave in all craft and guile, why crouch ye hei'e ? 
Ye should be first, far-folded even now 
In the red core of battle. When good cheer 
Is forward, ye then first my summons hear ; 
Then ye close valiantly on wine and meat ; 
Now calmly could ye see it, and shed no tear 
Of shame, though ten squares of the Achaians beat 
Into the storm before you, and their enemies greet'* 



Him wise Odysseus sternly eyed, and said : 
" son of Atretis, what fell word is this ! 
How canst thon say my warlike spirit is dead ? 
When Ares is abroad, when keen war is, 
Soon with thine eyes shalt thou behold, I wis. 
If these things touch thee, if thou care to see, 
Telemachus' dear father not amiss 
Working his work where foremost fighters be— ^ 
Mere windy talk is this which thou dost hurl at me."* 


But when the anger of the man came out, 
Smiled Agamemnon, and the word upcaught : 
" Zeus-bom La^rtiades, no more I doubt 
Thy fire, nor spur thee nor upbraid in aught 
Thy maimers and thy mind, how gently taught, 
I know, and that thy soul with mine is one. 
But go now ; this shall all be smoothly wrought 
Hereafter, if things iU were said or dona 
God make it all mere wind, claiming regard of none !" 


This said, he left them, and to others went. 
And found the son of Tydeus, Diomede, 
Beining the horses in his proud car pent ; 
And at his side stood Sthenelus, the seed 
Of Capaneus. And Atreus' son gave heed, 
And in rebukefiil words the man addressed : 
'' Ah me ! alas ! canst thou, the child indeed 
Of bold horse-taming Tydeus, thus at rest 
Eye the long shoals of war, still cowering in thy nest ? 

102 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book iv. 


" This did not Tydeus — ^where the fight was hot. 
There was he found, as they affirm who knew 
And saw him at his toils ; I saw him not 
He without war entered Mycenae too, 
A guest with Polynices, and there drew 
The people to lend succour and assail 
Thebes : and they did as he would have them do. 
Willing to march and strive and not to fail 
But Zeus turned them away with ominous signs of bale. 


" He therefore with his Mend departing went, 
And to the rush-grown river Asopus cama 
There Tydeus on an embassy they sent, 
Who found with Eteocles, high in fame, 
Much Thebans feasting. Fearless, without shame 
Tydeus among so many rose alone. 
Challenged them all, and conquered in each game 
Of prowess : for Athene helped her own. 
Helped with such power, and they were easily overthrown. 


" Wroth were the horseman-tribe of Cadmus then. 
And planted in his path a secret train, 
Where homeward he must travel, fifty men ; 
Maion and Polyphontes, godlike twain, 
Stood captains : all these were by Tydeus slain, 
One only left, so many deaths among, 
Madon ; thus willed the signs, not given in vain. 
Such Tydeus was ; but from his loins hath sprung 
One that is worse in war, but better with the tongue." 



Then spake the child of Gapaneus, for he. 
Strong Diomede, abashed^ no word let fall : 
'' lie not against thy heart, king, for we 
Transcend our sires : we came to Ares' wall, 
Bj &w men followed, and did Thebes enthral, 
Trosting the signs of heaven and help of Zena 
But they that went before us perished all 
In their own folly, and without excuse. 
Match not their names with ours, that shine in nobler use !" 

Him with a frown strong Diomede addressed : 
'' Hush, friend, and hear me. I not blame the king 
Who thus the Achaians toward the fight hath pressed. 
His will the fame be, when the spoil we bring 
From ULon : if we perish, his the sting. 
But now let us remember furious fight — " 
So from the chariot leapt with a loud ring 
Of brazen arms about his breast^ a sight 
Whence even the brave might quail and tremble with afifright 


As when the wave on a sea-thundered shore 
Bolls with an army of waves in strong career. 
Lashed by the driving Zephyr, and evermore 
Swells from the far deep whitening, then draws near 
The dry land in a fury of wrath, and there 
Peals upward, shattering with a foamy crest 
Bound the sharp rocks its hollow-breasted sphere. 
And spits up the salt brine — ^in fierce unrest 
Thus streaming to wild war the Danaan legions pressed. 

104 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book iv. 


On came the chiefis, each calling to his troop, 
But all else silent : it were hard to say 
How such a host, not dumb, could so march up : 
All fear in silence and the word obey ; 
All, starred with arms, flash many a blinding ray. 
But even as ewes, that in a rich mtm's fold 
Stand numberless, at milktime of the day 
Hearing the voice of lambs, bleat imcontroUed — 
Thus through the great wide host a noise of Trojans rolled ; 

Who neither to the field one language brought ; 
Mixed were their tongues; from many lands they camei 
Here Ares, there divine Athene wrought. 
Terror and Fear and Strife, with soul aflame. 
Friend, sister, of the god that reaps high feone 
In battle : small of stature a low head 
At first she rears, but soon with loftier claim. 
Her forehead in the sky, the earth doth tread. 
She through the midst now wandered, and their fury fed. 


They coming to one place together dash 
Spear, shield, and strength of heroes, clad with mail ; 
Fierce with loud din the plated orbs they clash. 
Earth runs a river of blood ; yell, shout, and wail 
Blend echoing, as men perish or prevail ; 
Such toil and sound as when from winter hills 
Two hurtling adverse torrents in one vale 
Mix, down a steep trough rushing, swoln with rills, 
And the wild roar far off the wondering shepherd thrills. 



There first Antiloclms Troy's helmM knight 
Brave Echepolus slew, Thalysius' son. 
That spear, the plume-crowned beaver shivering quite, 
Sank in the forehead, and transpierced the bona 
Fled the sweet life, and on his eyes came down 
Clouds and thick darkness. As when falls a tower. 
So in the shock he fell : whom overthrown 
Prince Elephenor from the javelin-shower 
Dragged by the feet, to spoil him — ^but in evil hom\ 

He not for long exulted in his prey, 
Whom now the mighty-souled Agenor knew 
Trailing the dead not honourably away. 
Where the foe stooping gave his flank to view, 
Left naked of the shield, he smote and slew. 
And his limbs loosened with the shafted spear. 
Over him dain they make right bloody ado. 
Foot twined with foot, dire things to see and hear : 
Each, all, like famished wolves, ramp violently and tear. 

In that field Aias, child of Telamon, 
Anthemion's son, blooming in years unwed, 
Slew, Simoisius ; whom in years agone 
His mother, from the forest-^rownM head 
Beaming of Ida, by her parents led. 
Their flocks to visit, near the reedy stream 
Bare, and from Simois named. He never paid 
His parents, but his life fled like a dream. 
Under the power of Aias and his fell spear-beam. 

106 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book nr. 


Him hunying to the van did Aiaa quell, 
In the right breast he smote him, and the brass 
Came clean out at the shoulder. Down he fell. 
Prone in the dust, as on the meadowy grass 
Falls a black poplar by some wide morass. 
Smooth trunk, but green aloft, whereto with steel 
At dawn some chariot-making man doth pass. 
And fells it for the bending of a wheel : 
Withering it lies, and near it the slow stream doth steaL 

Thus divine Aias Simoisius slew; 
But Antiphus, the dazzling-plated son 
Of Priam, caught the bloody work in view. 
And aiimng at the child of Telamon 
Huded, but the spear flew wide, and passing on 
Hit Leucus in the groin, Odysseus' friend. 
There trailing the dead spoil He, tumbling prone. 
Fell with a noise and came to his life's end, 
Wlule his relaxing fingers from the corpse unbend. 


Forthwith Odysseus, for his comrade slain 
In high wrath, to the outward verge Ids road. 
Armed to the helm with brass that flashed amain, 
Clave : to the mid gorge furiously he strode. 
Stood, hurled, peering with eyes that terribly glowed ; 
And to his hurling the whole Trojan wave 
Seeled ; it was no vain cast; the fatal goad 
Democoon struck ftom the fleet car he drave. 
Who from Abydos came, king Priam's bastard brave* 



Clean through both temples of his head the brass 
Ploughed, bone and casque, with one brief hideous pang ; 
Over his eyes the darkling death-clouds pass. 
Such fury had found him. He with a dire clang 
Dropt from the chariot, and his harness rang. 
Then Hector with his vanguard bated ground ; 
Haled forth their dead the Achaians, yeUed, and sprang 
Far onward. And Apollo looked far round 
From Peigamus in wrath, and cried a warning sound : 

" Eise up, ye Trojans, nor to Aigives yield 
In war : not iron is their flesh, nor stone. 
To turn that sleet of javelins ye can wield. 
No, nor Achilleus, bright-haired Thetis' son, 
Fights, but his own gaU grieving feeds upon. 
Far by the ships." Thus cried forth firom the tower 
That dread god, but Athene stirred anon 
The Achaians, she, the child of Zeus, with power 
Moving amid the mass, wherever a heart might cower. 


Fate there Diores Amarynceus' son 
Caught, near the ankle on the dexter greave 
Maimed with a jagged stone, which Pirolis, son 
Of Imbrasus, the Thracian chief, did heave ; 
Kor bone unsmashed nor tendons did it leava 
Back, with both hands spread toward his friends, the man 
Tumbled. Up Pirolis rushed, him to bereave 
Wholly of spirit, and end what he began ; 
There in the navel speared him, and the gall outran. 

108 THE ILIAD OF HOMEK. [book iv. 


Nor did ^tolian Thoas fail to smite 
That victor, planting in lus lung the spear; 
Then came, and tugged it from the wound outright, 
Bared the keen sword, and smote the mid waist sheer. 
And slew him ; spoiling not his arms, for near 
Stood round him in that field the men of Thrace, 
Armed with long lance, and crowned with knotted hair. 
Who Thoas in his strength and power and grace. 
Large though of limb, beat off, and shouldered from the place. 

Thus he of Thracians lord, Epeians he. 
Mute in the dust lie weltering side by side. 
And round about them many slain there ba 
Then mid the war could one but circling ride. 
Whole and unhurt, with Pallas for his guide 
To keep off from lus head the javelin-shower. 
Such in the grim work had no fault espied : 
Trojans so many and Argives, strewn with power. 
Mute in the dust lay weltering in that fatal hour. 


There valiaiit Diomedes, Tydeus' son, 
Pallas Athene did with rage inspire^ 
AU Aigives in renown, and high feats done. 
Far to transcend. His plated orb entire 
And helmet she emblazed with intense fire, 
like that fruit-mellowing star, from Ocean's bed 
That flames up mightier in the heavenly choir. 
Such fire she lent him, shoulders, breast, and head. 
Then, where the bray rang deadliest, the fierce warrior led. 

One Dares was in Troy, rich, famed afar. 
Priest of Hepheestus : sons to him were twain, 
Fh^us, Idseus, both expert in war ; 
Who on the chief rushed, with no following train, 
They in a car, he horseless on the plain. 
Now, near arrived, his shadow-casting spear 
Phegeus at Diomedes hurled amain, 
But the sharp point whizzed idly through the air. 
O'er the left shoulder flew, and left him scathless there. 

110 THE ILUD OF HOMEB. [bookt. 


Then hurled the son of Tydeus no vain cast^ 
Smote Ph^eus' breast, and dashed him from the car. 
Forth leapt Idfieus, and thence hurrying passed. 
Nor stood guard on his brother slain in war ; 
No, for his own doom had not then been far. 
Him saved Hephaestus in a veil of night, 
Lest grief the old man's life utterly mar. 
Their victor, driving the steeds forth in might, 
Quick to his own friends' care consigned them from the figlit. 

When Troy's brave people Dares' sons beheld. 
This flying, that beside the chariot dead. 
In the universal host fear gathering swelled. 
And lo, Athene raging Ares dread 
Took by the hand, then spake to him, and said : 
*' Ares, man-murdering Ares, grim with gore, 
Could we not leave them their own lives to shed. 
Till they discern which side Zeus honoureth more ? 
C!ome, let us twain retire, lest Zeus our work abhor." 


Him therefore to Scamander s margent green 
She led forth. And the Trojans, front and wing. 
Leaned wavering to the Danaan onslaught keen. 
Each killed an enemy. Agamemnon king 
Caught the Halizonian backward charioting. 
First in the flight, huge Odius, and so drave 
The implanted spear, so violent in his fling, 
Through spine and midriff even the breast it clave ; 
He heavily fell ; dii;e clang the glittering harness gava 



Spear-fiamed Idomeneus then Phsefittis slew^ 
Who from the land of gleby Tama came, 
With long lance piercing his right shoulddr through. 
Where he stood mounting. To the earth he came ; 
His eyes grow dark, his spoil the Cretans claim. 
Lord Menelaus Strophins' son then caught, 
Scamandrius, skilled to hunt the forest-game ; 
Nor wonder ; Artemis herself him taught 
To reach all the wild things that in the woods are sought 

Him the divine maid-archer Artemis, 
Alas ! not profited at all that day. 
Nor those far shootings never aimed amiss. 
Where in the battle he fled fast away. 
Him did Atrides Menelaus slay. 
And the fell spear betwixt his shoulders drave. 
Not to be turned by jointed mail astray : 
Through spine and midnfT even the breast it clave ; 
He heavily fell ; dire dang the glittering harness gave. 

Thus fell Scamandrius dead And M^riones, 
He too triumphant, killed Fhereclus there. 
Son of the craftsman, even Harmonides, 
Who all deft handiwork, inlaid and rare. 
Knew to achieve : such love toward him bare 
Pallas Athene. He it was that wrought 
Fleet barks for Paris, that the well-spring were 
Of doom to Troy, and on his own head brought 
Woe, for he learned not well that warning the seers tatight 

112 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


Now like a falcon in the act to seize 
His quany as it flies, no succour nigh. 
Close to his enemy came M^riones, 
And smote him, heavily smote him, on the thigh. 
Through the right loin the brass clave utterly, 
And by the bladder, underneath the bone, 
Came out into the light with crimson dye. 
He tumbling on his knees with one deep groan 
Fell, and the veil of death was o'er his eyelids thrown. 

Meges Pedseus slew, Antenor's son, 
His bastard, whom divine Theano yet 
So nursed, as of her own dear children one. 
To please her husband ; but Death's fatal net 
Bound him for ever. Him that warrior met. 
Spear-famed, the son of Phyleus, and came near. 
And in his nape the pointed javelin set : 
Forward the barb, by teeth and tongue, cut sheer ; 
He in the dust fell biting the cold brazen spear. 

Eurypylus divine Hypsenor quelled. 
Son of the priest, who to Scamander bore 
Due rites, and to the gods was equal held. 
Him in the keen chase, flying fast before, 
Eiuypylus, Eusemon's son, smote sore 
On the right shoulder; and with trenchant blade 
Clean from its trunk the mailM arm he shore. 
There in the dust a bloody stain it made. 
And on his eyes grim Fate her purple fingers laid. 



Thus in the clamorous field they toiling fare, 
Nor of the son of Ty^^^ could one know 
If he with Trojans or Achaians were ; 
For through the plain he thundered to and fro. 
As when a torrent, flushed with melting snow. 
Drowns the low dykes, devouring weir and walls. 
And doth the vineyard-barriers overflow 
All in a moment, when the tempest falls, 
Strews many a rural work, and many a hind appals — 

Thus did he raving mow the Trojans dowD^ 
Nor they, so many, could his power await, 
But him discerned Lycaon's glorious son 
Driving the host, and dealing floods of fate ; 
Then aimed an arrow, and the cuirass-plate 
Smote of the warrior, on the neck's right side. 
Clean through the mail the bitter barb clove straight, 
And the fair armour was all crimson-dyed : 
Glad was the Lycian's heart, and far and loud he cried : 

" Back to the fight, ye Trojan charioteers ! 
The best of the Achaians hath been hit. 
Smite ye the rest, and hurl a rain of spears ! 
Him will mine arrow in its strength not quit 
TQl with the souls in Hades' realm he sit, 
If truly Apollo me from Lycia led." 
Boasting he spake : that other whom he smit. 
Not tamed, retiring to his chariot sped, 
And Capanei'an Sthenelus addressed, and said : 

VOL. I. H 

114 THE ILIAD OF HOMER [book v. 


** Dear Capaneian^ from the car descend, 
I pray thee, and this arrow's barbM fang 
Draw quickly from my shoulder, gentle friend !" 
He spake : his comrade from the chaiiot sprang, 
Stood near him, and the arrow's barbed fang 
Drew from his shoulder. Through the twisted mail 
Up spouted the red blood with no light pang. 
Nor did the warrior Diomedes quail. 
But with a firm voice prayed, more vehement to prevail : 

" child of Zeus, Unweariable, give ear ! 
If thou wert ever at my father's side 
In battle, Athene, hold me dear. 
Me also ! Him within my reach provide 
Who shot me unawares, and vaunting cried 
That I no longer the sweet sun must know." 
Thus in his prayer. Nor Pallas him denied ; 
Nimbler she made him, hands and feet below. 
And in his ear spake forth, and bade him bravely go : 

" Now, Diomedes, fight with heart more glad. 
For I have given thee in thy breast to bear 
All virtue that the terrible Tydeus had. 
And lifted from thine eyes what cloud was there, 
That they may truly god and man declare. 
Now therefore, if a god thy path ensue. 
Hold, nor in arms to meet the deathless dare ; 
Save only Aphroditi. If thou view 
Her in the field, strike home, and prove what thou canst do." 



Thus she departed. He, though fierce before, 
Bayed trebly now, like to a lion fell 
Whom shepherd of the farm hit leaping o'er 
The fold, and grazed him, but not wounded well. 
Then, careless the now deadlier beast to quell. 
Crept into cover, and left the naked byre ; 
The sheep fall huddling, and die where they dwell ; 
Out leaps the lion in victorious ire — 
Such Diomedes fought, impetuous with like fire. 


Astynolis and Hjrpeiron first he slew, 
One stricken in the breast with brazen spear. 
One with the great sword cloven grimly through ; 
From spine and neck the shoulder was cut clear. 
These he forsook, thence following in career 
Abas and Polyidus, godlike twain. 
Sons of Eurydamas, the old dream-seer, 
Who saw the vision of their doom in vain ; 
Both by the son of Tydeus in that field were slain. 

Next after Xanthus he, and Thoon, went. 
The sons of Phsenops, in his age bom late. 
He now lived pitiably, in years far-spent. 
And other seed had none, to heir the estata 
But Diomede there quenched, by power of fate, 
Them also, and of dear life both bereaved, 
And caused their father to in vain await 
Their coming, and his grey hairs sorely grieved ; 
And at the last far kin the inheritance received. 

116 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book t. 


Next of Dardanian Priam sons he caught 
TwaiiL, Chiomius and Echemmon, in one car. 
As when a lion^ finding prey long sought. 
On heifer or chance cow, that feeding are 
Among the kine in gladed forest far, 
Leaps violently, and doth the neck-bones break, 
So did the son of Tydeus from their car 
Them miserably reluctant hurl, and make 
Their spoil his own, their horses to the ships bade take. 

Him when ^Eneas from his place beheld 
Thus line on line devouring wide and fast, 
Down the long tumult of the field, that swelled 
All round him as he moved, the hero passed. 
Grimly intent ; for in his soul he cast 
If divine Pandarus he might light upon. 
Him in the battle he discerned at last. 
That valiant and good knight, Lycaon's son, 
And in his eye stood forth, and spake his word anon : 

" "Where sleep thine arrows, Pandarus, where thy bow, 
Thine honour, who in archery dost outvie 
All us, nor even in Lycia peer dost know ? 
First lift in prayer thy hands to Zeus on high, 
Then speed a shaft, that yonder captain die. 
Him that rules here, and hath so handled Troy 
That many a brave man's knees now loosened lie — 
Or is it a god, not furnished to his joy 
With sacred gifts t Who then can such a foe destroy ?'* 



To him replied Lycaon's glorious son : 
" iEneas, pillar of the Trojan field. 
He to my thought is all like Tydeus' son ; 
I know him by the chariot^ helm^ and shield. 
If it be he^ and not a god revealed^ 
Not without heaven he raves, but near beside. 
Wrapt o'er the shoulders, and in mist concealed, 
One of the everlasting doth abide, 
Who my fleet shaft but now, on the edge of doom, turned wide. 


" Already have I sent an arrow, and hit 
The man's right shoulder, through the cuirass-plate. 
Yea, and to Hades doomed him, but no whit 
Quelled him withal : some god our side doth hate. 
And here no steeds, no chariot, on me wait, 
Though beautiful bright cars eleven in train 
Stand, newly built, within my father's gate, 
Wrapt in their woven veils, and horses twain. 
Bound to each car, chew spelt and the white barley-grain. 

" Oft did my father bid me go with car 
And horses, but I would not, woe is me ! 
Sparing my horses, lest in straits of war 
Food fail them, all unused to penury. 
Thus hither on foot, trusting in archery, 
I came — alas, not thereby benefited ! 
Two captains yonder one but now might see 
Struck by my weapon, and they verily bled. 
But from the barb death came not, but more rage instead. 

U8 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


" Woe worth that day when from the glittering wall. 
Hector to serve, I took my shafts and bow, 
And to fair Ilion from my Mher's hall. 
Captain of men, did with my Lycians go I 
If ever I return, if ever I know 
My country, my dear wife, my home again. 
Let me fall headless to an enemy's blow 
Save the red blaze of fire these arms contain. 
Splintered by me their lord : for they are windy vain." 


He ended, and iSneas answering spake : 
" That be far off ! Nor yet will change ensue. 
Till that with steeds and closing car we take 
This man, fiill fronts and see what strength can do. 
Mount, then, my chariot : thou shalt quickly view 
What Tro'ian horses can achieve, how swift 
To scour the plain, fly, wheel, recede, pursue. 
These will deliver us, though far loftier gift 
Zeus mean the son of Tydeus, and his glory uplift 

" Thou therefore hold the glittering reios and thong, 
And in the chariot I will stand and fight ; 
Or fight thou, while the steeds to me belong." 
Answered Lycaon's son, that glorious knight : 
'' Hold thou the reins, and rule thy steeds aright ; 
So, if the child of Tydeus conquer yet. 
They with their wonted charioteer in flight 
Will speed the better ; lest they fume and fret. 
And tangle us in the war, when they thy voice regret. 



" So in the dust will Diomedes mar 
Us twain, and drive thy noble steeds away : 
See therefore thou to thine own team and car, 
And I with spear will meet him as I may." 
Thus in their talk did each to other say, 
And, in the dsedal car mounting anon, 
Launched the fleet horses at their destined prey. 
Whom discerned Sthenelus, the glorious son 
Of Capaneus, and thus in wing^ words b^gun : 

" O Diomede of Tydeus, my dear friend. 
Fierce on thy track two warriors I behold, 
Each worth a host — one skilled the bow to bend, 
Seed of Lycaon, Pandarus, hero bold. 
And one, ^neas, of diviner mould. 
Whom to Anchises Aphrodite bara 
If thou be wise, thy furious course withhold. 
Draw to the chariot, rave not reckless there, 
Lest, in the van close hemmed, fall miserably thou fare." 

Him Diomedes sternly eyed, and said : 
" Prate not of jrielding ; thou wilt not prevaiL 
Thus to fight flying, and to cower in dread. 
Squares not to me with honour. I not yet fail 
Li virtue, but alone will even assail. 
And chariotless, these twain. My soul within 
Pallas Athene suffereth not to quaU ; 
Nor will the horses bear both warriors in 
Safe from our hand, though one, haply, deliverance win. 

120 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book t. 


" In this too mark me, let my word be clear : 
If by Athene's grace both lives I slay, 
leave the fleet horses, these, in durance here, 
Beined to the car's rim, and with speed away, 
And drive me &om the Trojan disarray 
Yon horses of ^neas, that same seed 
Which the gieat Father gave in ancient day 
To Tros, the price of his son Ganymede, 
Under the dawn far best of all that Earth can feed. 


" Of that divine birth stole Anchises king, 
By set mares, secret to Laomedon ; 
Thence in his haUs a brood of six did spring; 
Four in the stall he nurtured for his own. 
And the two other gave his valiant son, 
Both fierce, and breathing alarms. If we could take 
These with our hand, much glory were then won." 
Thus they conversing each to other spake. 
While, the fleet chariot driving, the twain nearer make. 

Him challenged first Lycaon's glorious child : 
" Strong-hearted warrior, haughty Tydeus' seed. 
Seems that my barbM shaft was all too mild ; 
Proof now remains if I with spear succeed." 
So the long-shadowy javelin hurled with speed. 
And toward the cuirass thrilled the plated taige. 
Shouted alofb Lycaon's glorious seed : 
" Smit through the flank thou fallest : in my charge 
Thy life I hold : my prayer thou hast fulfilled at large." 



But Diomedes : " Thou art foiled again ! 
Yet ye will have it that I Ares sate 
With blood of one or other of the twain — '* 
Then hurled. Athene sent the iron straight : 
NosOy teeth it passed^ and near the gullefs gate, 
Starting to light beneath the uttermost chin, 
Shared out the enrooted tongue. He, a dead weight, 
EoUed from the shining chariot with loud din : 
Swerve violently the steeds, and foam with quivering skin. 

Forth leapt Mneas with long spear and shield. 
In fear lest the Achaians spoil the dead. 
Strode all about, and fenced him in the field. 
Grim like a lion with eyes fiery-red ; 
There with a yeU spear, shield, and helmM head 
Still to each nearing enemy turned ; but he, 
Tydddes, a great stone, heavy as lead. 
Seized, more than two men lift, as men now be. 
Dire bulk : but his one hand wielded it easily. 

This Diomedes having taken up 
Hurled at .^Eneas, and the hero hit 
Just in the socket, which is called the cup. 
Where the thigh turns. The rough stone, where it lit. 
Both tendons tore, and brake the bone, and slit 
The white skin. But the hero, as befel. 
Thrown on his knees to earth, stayed firmly knit. 
And with the arm his prone form pillared well 
By main strength : yet black night upon his eyelids fell« 

122 THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book t. 


And truly had JEaeas, king of men. 
Died in the dust, and come to nothing there. 
Had not his mother Aphrodite then, 
Who to Anchises, tending kine, him bare. 
Daughter of Zeus, discerned it, keenly aware. 
She, pouring her white arms about her child. 
The curtain of her shining raiment fair 
Betwixt him and the gathering tumult wild 
Held, and the spear-armed horsemen of their aim beguiled. 

She thus her darling from the fight retired ; 
Not did the son of Capaneus forget 
Faith to that covenant which his lord required. 
Far from the rushing of the war as yet 
His own steeds, tied to the car's rail, he set. 
Then reft the ^ne'ian steeds of silken hair, 
And lashed them toward the Achaians, bathed in sweat. 
So to De'ipylus his comrade dear 
Left them in charge, thence campward the good prize to bear. 

This having done, himself, remounting then 
His own car, on the glittering reins laid hold. 
And toward the son of Tydeus, king of men. 
Into the battle, where it fiercest rolled, 
Held the fleet horses through the echoing wold. 
He Gupris was pursuing, all unversed 
In war-craft, as he knew, nor firm of mould, 
Such as in peal of arms are counted first, 
Athene or Enyo, who stem Ares nursed. 



Whom finding at the last, with forward spring 
Close to the palm her tender flesh with spear 
He wounded, the fair wrist excoriating. 
For the keen barb the ambrosial robe cut sheer> 
(Spun by the Graces, their own love-gift dear,) 
And did the snowy flesh incamardine 
With ichor, that pure blood the immortals bear ; 
For neither com they eat, nor drink fierce wine, 
Therefore man's blood possess not, and are called divine. 


She then her son let go, shrieking aloud. 
Him subtly thence by dint of power conveyed 
Phoebus Apollo in a sable cloud. 
Lest Danaan horsemen pierce him, reft of aid. 
But Diomedes cried aloft, and said : 
" Fly, thou child of Zeus, from arms fly far. 
Content thee that thy traps for women are laid ! 
But since thou meddlest where men fighting are. 
Go, learn to wring thy hands at the very name of wai 1" 

Thus did he cry : she fled with frenzied mind. 
Fierce pangs without and bitter wrath within ; 
Whom Iris, rival of the racing wind. 
Drew from the danger and the battle-din ; 
All crimson on the wrist her dainty skin. 
She Ares on the left reclining found. 
While rested on a cloud his javelin. 
Car, and twin steeds ; there with her knees the ground 
Smote, and with piteous arm him weepingly enwound : 

124 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book t. 


** Brother beloved," she cried, " entreat me well, 
I pray thee, and thy horses to me lend 
For one brief hour, that to the mount where dwell 
The everlasting deities, I may wend. 
For a dire wound my flesh doth sorely rend. 
Dealt on me by a mortal, l^deus' son. 
Fit to match Zeus in battle, and not bend/* 
She spake ; and Ares to her prayer anon 
Gave the gold-bridled steeds ; she mounted, and was gone. 

For Iris sprang beside her, seized the rein, 
And lashed the horses, and they readily flew. 
Soon at Olympus they arrived, where reign 
Thp gods. There Iris from the chariot drew 
The steeds, and near them food ambrosial threw. 
But divine Aphrodite at the knees 
Fell of her mother dear, Dion^, who 
Clasped fondly and caressed her, fain to appease 
Her anguish, and spake forth, and uttered words like these : 


*' Say now of all that dwell heaven's gate within 
Who, my dear child, to thee this harm hath done. 
Thee, as if openly some doer of sin ?" 
And Aphrodite, the sweet-smiling one. 
Made answer : " Diomedes, Tydeus' son. 
When I my child was stealing from their din. 
For dearer than ^neas I hold none. 
Ask then no more if Troy or Argos win ; 
War with the gods themselves these Danaans now b^in." 



Whom the divine Dion& answered then : 
" Bear it, dear child ; albeit with grief, endure. 
Have not we suffered at the hands of men, 
Full many of us, strange things and hard to cure. 
Wrapt in our own whirl of revenges sure ? 
First Ares, whom Aloeus' children bind, 
Otus and Ephialtes, and immure 
For thirteen moons in brazen cask confined. 
Eating alone in darkness his indignant mind. 


" YesL, truly had Ares come to nothing there. 
Ares, the wolf of war, but at the last, 
Their father's step-dame, Eeriboia fair, 
Told it to Hermes : he their power surpassed, 
Bescued, and stole him out, now fainting fast 
Hera, the queen of heaven, a pain not mild 
Bare also, that three-bearded arrow cast 
Into her right breast by Amphitryon's child. 
Whence there came, even to Jier, incurable pangs and wild. 


" like hurt in the same field another won, 
The enormous Hades, who below doth reign ; 
From the same hand he felt it, by that son 
Of Zeus thrown with the dead, and given to pain. 
He to the far Olympus rushed amain. 
Pang-pierced and grieving ; the fleet shaft, far driven 
In the right shoulder, galled him, soul and brain. 
But Paean healed him with the balms of heaven. 
As one divinely moulded, and to death not given. 

126 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book v. 


" guilt mmtterable, fool and blind, 
To wound the gods that in Olympus dwell, 
And work a horrible wrong with careless mind ! 
Thus too Athene loosed this warrior fell 
On ihee — ^poor mortal, not considering well 
Who fighteth with the gods hath no grey hair, 
Nor ever at the knees, that so rebel, 
Are heard the little babbling voices dear, 
When from the field he cometh to lay down his spear ! 

" Therefore let Tydeus' son, though fierce and proud. 
Consider, lest a mightier arm than thine 
Find him — ^lest -^gialeia shriek aloud, • 
High spouse of Diomedes, knight divine, 
And shake her servants from their sleep, and pine 
In sorrow for the husband that she knew, 
Who of Achaians did far noblest shine." 
She ended, and the ichor's trickling dew [grew. 

Wiped with both hands : the arm then healed, and painless 


But Hera and Athene in sharp wit 
Spake, and were stirring up the Almighty sire ; 
And thus Athene did fair Cupris twit : 
" Zeus father, may I speak, nor move thine ire ? 
Cupris, I verily think, in haste to fire 
With love some maid of Argos for her own 
Dear Trojans, whom she doth so vastly admire, 
Unwares the golden floweret of her zone 
Hath fondling pressed — poor child, and hath it reached the 



She ended, and the Olympian Father smiled. 
And thus to golden Aphrodite said : 
" Not unto thee the works of war, my child. 
Are given : attend thou the sweet marriag&-bed, 
And all these matters to swift Ares dread 
And to Athene shall belong." Thus they, 
But Diomedes, rushing fierce ahead, 
Made for ^Eneas ever, his stolen prey. 
Though weening well to find Apollo in the way. 

For even of gods he recked not, but was fain 
To smite and spoil ^neas in that field. 
Thrice he essayed his enemy to have slain, 
And thrice A^Uo struck Ids glittering shield. 
When the fourth time^ like some great power revealed. 
He came, ApoUo the Far-darter cried : 
" Thou son of Tydeus, know thyself, and yield ; 
Nor fight with heaven : for not in race allied 
Are the everlasting gods, and men on earth that bide." 

Then Diomedes a short space withdrew, 
Fearing to meet Apollo's wrath, I wis. 
And the great god iEneas saved anew. 
And caught him to the holy Acropolis, 
Where his own glorious temple builded is. 
Far firom the storm of fighters in the plain. 
There the divine maid-archer Artemis, 
And Leto, the brave warrior from his pain 
In the renowned shrine heeded, and beautified again. 

128 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


Then did the master of the silver bow 
Frame like .^Eneas, such in arms, mien, height, 
A phantom ; and around it Mend and foe 
Clave buU-hide shields, and targes feathery-light. 
But he to Ares : *' Draw me now this knight 
Back from the field, Ares, grim with gore. 
This, who with Zeus would even measure his might 
First Cupris' arm he smote, uiging her sore. 
Then, like some power divine, hard on myself he bore.** 


Then he to Pergamus returned apace ; 
And forth went Ares to the Trojan line, 
like Acamas, the captain swift of Thrace, 
Calling aloud to Priam's sons divine : 
*' O children of great Priam, king divine, 
How long the people will ye leave, how long. 
To die thus, and with terrible leanness pine ? 
Or are ye tarrying to avenge the wrong. 
Till on your well-built gates the Achaian flood beat strong ? 


^* See where a man lies, whom but now we held 
Brave with the best, and godlike Hector's peer. 
Noble Anchises' child, in battle quelled, 
iSneas — up, make haste, deliver we clear 
From this wild thunder of arms our comrade dear." 
With such words he the mind and spirit of each 
Strove to replenish ; and Saipedon there 
Pricked divine Hector with rebukeful speech : 
'' Where is thine arm, Hector, that of old could reach 

BOOK tJ the ILUD of homer 12<) 


" So far ? O whither is thy strength now flown ? 
Art thou not he of whom that boast is told 
That with the kinsmen of thy house alone^ 
Naked of alien help, thou Troy couldst hold ? 
Where are they now, thy clan, so many and bold ? 
like dogs about a lion down they cower, 
Heavy their limbs hang, and their heart is cold ; 
None can I see, not one, in perilous hour ; 
We, the help scorned so late, here fight, we only, in power. 

" For I from far, thine alien help, am come. 
Since Lycia is far ofiT, by Xanthus flood. 
My wife I left, one little babe, at home, 
Much wealth, and many an enviable good : 
Yet even I the Lycians urge ; my blood, 
Though nothing own I here for men to spoil. 
Bums for a foe — ^but thou hast silent stood. 
Nor gatherest up thy friends, to bid them toil. 
And shield both wife and children on their native soil. 

" See that ye fall not on an evil way, 
Caught here inevitably in coil and snare, 
And to your enemies be found a prey. 
While your high towers crash ruining through the air ! 
But it is thine, O Hector, to beware. 
Thine to be meditating day and night. 
To soothe the allies, and speak the chieftains fair. 
And hold them to the work with main and might, 
And to put far away all insolence and despite." 
VOL, I. I 

190 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


Thus spake Sarpedon, as in scorn, and bit 
Inly the soul of Hector : he anon 
Leapt forth in arms and on the plain alit. 
Shaking his gleamy javelins ; so passed on 
Through the whole army of men, and bade them don 
New courage, and the impetuous strife renew. 
They rallying wheeled, and on a sudden shone 
Massed in full front before the Achaians, who 
Firmly abode their onset, and no whit withdrew. 


As when a blowing on the floors divine 
Whirls the light drift in winnowing, when the grain 
Golden Demeter doth from husk refine, 
And heaps of wind-swept chaff whiten the plain. 
So on the Danaans poured a white dust-rain. 
Hurled from beneath their trampling horses' feet 
To the arch all-brazen, as they wheel again. 
And with a roll of chariot-thunder beat 
Fierce up the field to vanward, and there mix and meet. 

And in the tempest moving to and fro. 
Vast Ares, irresistible in might, 
Did to the succour of the Trojans go. 
And the war covered with a cloud of night. 
Thus working in his zeal to serve aright 
Him of the silver bow and golden sword, 
Who, when Athene he saw vanish quite. 
Nor longer to the Danaans help afford. 
Comforted thus the Trojans, and their heart restored. 


Himself .^oeas tlien fiom ilie nch shmie 
Sent forOi, impLmtiiig in his eager breast 
Yirtue to fight : and lo ! the chief divine 
Stood in the plain, and mingled with the rest 
They seeing him aUve, from heel to ciest 
Scatheless and pure of harm, joyed in their mind. 
Yet asked him nought : &r other was the quest 
Now moved by Ares who doth plague mankind. 
And by the glorious Archer, and Strife raging blind 

Theie the Aiantes and Odysseus urge, 
With Diomede, their men ; these in the flood 
Stand as a breastwork to the enemy's surge, 
Unagitated in storm. like clouds they stood, 
Massed by Eronion o'er a mountain wood, 
When he the wrath of Boreas lulls in sleep. 
And all the other winds of violent mood, 
Who, blowing in their strength o'er land and deep, 
Hurtle the shadowy clouds, and the wide ether sweep. 

Thus calm abode the rushing of their foe 
Those Danaan men, nor ever blenched with fear, 
While Agamemnon, hastening to and fro. 
Sped through the ranks, and uttered words of cheer : 
" quit yourselves like men, my friends ; bear 
A good heart : honour in the fight this day 
Yourselves : of men that hold true honour dear 
More in the battle the gods save than slay, 
. Sut cowards have no strength, and bear no fame away/' 

132 THE lUAB OF HOMER. [book t. 


Speaking he hurled, and hit the foremost one, 
The loyal comrade of .^Bneas brave, 
Dei'coon, of Peigasus the son, 
To whom the Trojans equal honour gave 
With Priam's children, to their cause he clave 
So stoutly. Agamemnon his spear dashed 
In the man's shield, and through it the brass drave: 
Clean past the zone the utmost belly it gashed. 
He in the dust rolled headlong, and his armour clashed. 

Of Diocles the sons ^Eneas there. 
Brave chiefs, Orsilochus and Crethon found 
And slew. Their father dwelt in Pherse fair. 
Famed for his wealth. Their stock was of renowned 
Alphelis stream, who o'er the Pylian ground. 
By tract of meadowy plain, or himg with trees, 
Broad wanders — ^he begat, as time went round, 
Orsilochus, not least of sovereignties : 
Orsilochus begat the high-souled Diocles. 

And to this Diocles two sons there came, 
Orsilochus and Crethon, in one day, 
Well seen in arms, and both of noble name. 
To these no sooner had youth flowered, than they 
Forth to the knight-famed Hion bent their way 
In black ships, counted with the Argive train, 
Armed in the cause of Helen, and to pay 
Service of honour to the Atrid® twain— 
But the death-fate now seized them on this fatal plain. 



As when two lions on the mountain bred. 
Twins of one mother, nursed in thickets deep. 
Come from the woods in famine fierce, and spread 
Infinite slaughter among kine and sheep, 
Nor from the very farms their ravage keep. 
Till at the last the heavy hands of men 
In their life's blood the cutting iron steep ; 
So to Mneas each twin warrior then 
Fell, as a great pine falleth in a windy glen. 

Whom pitying fallen, Menelaus king 
On past the rank of foremost fighters came, 
Helmed with refulgent brass, and brandishing 
His great spear. Ares did his breast inflame. 
Meaning Maesa should by strength him tame. 
But when Antilochus, old Nestor's son, 
Discerned him, he too past the fighters came, 
In fear lest somewhat to the chief be done. 
And of the toilsome war no fruit be ever won. 

Then were those twain both arm and beechen spear 
Each at the other uplifting, hot for blood ; 
But in a breath Antilochus quite near 
Beside the shepherd of the people stood. 
Nor did JEaeaa, though a warrior good. 
Wait, when he saw two friends thus close remain. 
They the poor brethren hale from the war's flood. 
And to their comrades dear deliver them slain ; 
Then to the ragmg battle they return again. 

134 THE ILIAD OF HOliER. [book v 


Godlike Pylaemenes they vanquished first ; 
Whom^ of the shielded Paphlagonians best. 
Biding erect, the son of Atrens pierced 
With strong lance, where the key-bone of the breast 
Locks with the neck, and him with doom opprest 
Antilochns in the elbow with a stone 
Hit, when in act the steeds rearward to wrest, 
Mydon the charioteer, Atymnius' son. 
And the reins ivory-shining in the dust fell dowit 

Whom straight Antilochus up hastening smote 
With drawn sword on the temple furiously ; 
And Mydon, with the death-gasp in his throat, 
Lurched ruining from the weU-buUt chariot high. 
Downward he pitched, brow firsts feet to the sky. 
And a long moment (for the sand was deep) 
Inverted stood, till the horses, plunging by. 
Trampled him down. Antilochus with a leap 
Sprang to the car, thence drave it, his own prize to keep. 

Soon Hector saw, shouted, smd forward won. 
And in his wake Troy's power in phalanx bore. 
Ares and awful 'Enfo led them on ; 
She banded with insatiable Uproar, 
While Ares, spear in hand, now moved before. 
Now after. Diomede beheld and shook. 
As when a clown, no swimmer, tired and sore. 
Comes on a foam-white seaward-rushing biook. 
And back recoils, so he, by steps, the van forsook. 



" Marvel no longer, my friends," he cried, 
** Hector to view thus dreadful in the fight. 
Ever some guardian god is at his sida 
See yonder now, in form a mortal wight. 
Ares. Draw back from Troy's advancing might. 
So helped, nor battle with the gods desire." 
Then came the Trojans like a cloud of night. 
Anchialus and Menesthes, knight and squire, 
Hector in one car slew, both valiant, hearts of fire. 

Whom pitying, Telamonian Aias came, 
And smote Amphius with bright javelin. 
He, lord of Peesus, rich in fields and fame, 
Helped, by divine doom, Priam and his kin. 
Under the tough belt the long spear went in : 
Loud he clanged falling : and with speed upran 
Illustrious Aias, the fair spoil to win. 
Then, from the Trojans, on that shield-fenced man 
Of sharp and glittering spears a mighty hail began. 

He, with a foot well planted and fimi grip. 
Wrenched forth amain the brazen spear, nor yet 
From the dead shoulders the fair arms could strip. 
So by that brazen hail was he beset. 
And with alarm, if like a circling net 
Troy's lordly troops environ him for their prey ; 
Spearmen so many and brave now gathering met, 
And him, thdugh large, proud, terrible in the fray. 
Forced to bate earth and yield, by main strength shaken away. 

136 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


Meanwhile against divine Sarpedon Fate 
Sent forth Tlepolemus the Heracleid, 
Grandson of Zens, to meet the son, both great 
And brave. Him first Tlepolemns defied : 
** Why thus, Sarpedon, from the battle hide. 
Low cowering like a hare ? They lie that say 
Zeus made thee, and thy mother was his bride. 
Weaker in all things art thou seen than they 
Of whom this gloiy on earth is told in ancient day ; 

" Such as that lion-heart in his wild joy, 
Heracles king, to whom I stand the son, 
Who cleared the streets, and vrrecked the town of Troy, 
When for the horses of Laomedon 
He came with six ships, and men almost none. 
But thou art poor of soul, thy people pine. 
Woe worth their lives who to thy shelter run ! 
No help thou earnest, though thou wert divine. 
But to pass Hades' portals by this spear of mine.*' 

To him Sarpedon, Lycian chief, replied : 
" Tlepolemus, thy father wrecked indeed 
Troy, through Laomedon's ungenerous pride, 
Wlio the well-doer abused of his just meed. 
Horses by long toil won. But thou take heed. 
Since of black murder I forewarn thee now. 
Yea, by this hand I tell thee it is decreed 
Thou to the car-famed Hades, even thou. 
Dead shalt go down, and me with lofty fame endow." 



Thus spake Sarpedon ; and his javelin 
Hepolemus uplifted — ^through the air 
Both in one moment the spears whistling spin. 
Hit the mid neck Sarpedon ; the brass tare 
Clean through it, and dark night to the warrior bare. 
Tlepolemus with barb of ashen beam 
Had thrilled the left thigh of his foeman there. 
Forth passed the metal in a crimson street, 
Grazing the bone. High Zeus kept off the bale extreme. 

His comrades then divine Sarpedon drew 
Clear of the fight ; but the huge trailing spear 
Much galled him : no man had the wit nor knew. 
For very alarm and haste, to hale it clear, 
Fit for the ceu*, such zealous friends they were. 
Tlepolemus alike the Achaian men. 
On their side of the field, from battle bear. 
Whom saw, most patient of the sons of men, 
Odysseus, and his heart boUed up with passion then. 


First he debated in his doubtful breast 
Whether the child of thundering Zeus to kill. 
Or of the Lycians to cut off the rest. 
But, as it chanced, so went not Fate's high will 
That he with brass the child of Zeus should kill 
Him on the Lycian troop Athene set 
There Chromius and Alastor he laid still ; 
Soon with Alcander and Halius earth was wet ; 
Prytanis, Noemon, fell ; and many another yet 

138 THE ILIAD OF HOMEH. [book v. 

Had fallen of the Lycians that same hour, 
But with refulgent brass, and plume on high, 
Hector appeared, arrayed in awful power. 
Much to Sarpedon's joy, who wailed this cry : 
" Leave me not, child of Priam, here to Ue, 
Their prey; succour me now ; and then let life 
Fail me in Troy ! for 'tis my fate that I 
Homeward return not from this mortal strife, 
Nor see my child again, nor gladden my dear wife." 

He spake ; but Hector, answering nought, rushed on, 
As by a feU spur driven, the foe to reach ; 
And the men laid divine Sarpedon down 
Under Zeus' shade, a leafy breadth of beech. 
Then Pelagon his friend (right dear was each 
To other) from his wound the weapon drew ; 
And his eyes darkened, he lay mute of speech ; 
Yet gradually revived ; the north wind blew 
Cold to his gasp, and stirred the failing pulses through. 

Meanwhile the foe, when they of Ares knew, 
Fled not, nor stood, but slowly bated ground. 
Tell me, Muse, whom first, whom last, they slew, 
Ares and Hector with bright helmet crowned. 
First with the slain was godlike Teuthras found. 
Then bold Orestes and (Enomaiis, 
Trachus, iEtolian warrior, far renowned. 
And who in Hyla dwelt, Oresbius, 
Rich, by Cephisis lake, and bright-zoned Helenus. 



But white-armed Hera, when thus hotly pressed 
The Argives she perceived to fall and wane, 
Thus to Athene winged words addressed : 
** child of Zeus, unweariable, in vain 
Did we to Menelalis our word ordain, 
That he the wall of beauteous Troy should mar. 
And safely with his fleet seal home again, 
If Ares we permit to rave thus far. 
Gome, let us twain in turn bethink ourselves of war." 


Thus she persuading ; nor withheld consent 
Slem-eyed Athene. But that goddess dread, 
Hera, the child of mighty Kronos, went 
And harnessed the fair steeds gold-frontleted, 
While to the car's steel axle Heb6 wed 
Brass wheels, of eight rays, with eternal gold 
Bimmed, and each lim strong brazen hoops imbed. 
Fast molten to it, a wonder to behold ; 
And a bright nave of silver doth each disc enfold. 


Poised is the car by gold and silver chains, 
Boimd the fair seat two rails extended run, 
And the front base a silver pole contains. 
Set like a mast, in silver ; now thereon 
The carved yoke, all of gold, in splendour shone. 
This Hebi fixed, and in their place made fast 
Traces of golden twist. When aU was done, 
Hera then yoked the eager horses last. 
Straight, ere she went, her soul into the battle passed. 

140 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book v. 


Meantime the child of a^s-bearing Zeus, 
Pallas, the filmy pictured robe she wore. 
Wrought by her own hands for herself, let loose 
So that it streamed along her father^s floor; 
Then she put on that tunic famed of yore. 
His, and the arms for saddening combat meet ; 
Next the dire SBgis cast her shoulders o'er. 
With waving tassels hung, ridged with Defeat 
And visionary Amaze, as with a crown complete. 

Therein behold fell Strife, and warlike Ire, 
Screams, and pale Torments of the death-plain red, 
Also that wonder of the eternal Sire, 
Grim ruin of a horrible monster dread. 
Awful unutterably, the Gorgon's head. 
Then did her brows the helm of gold assume. 
With carved kings of a hundred towns bespread, 
Two-beavered^ on each side a double plume ; 
And on the flaming car with steady feet she clomb, 

And on the iron-pointed spear laid hold. 
Heavy and tall, wherewith she smites amain 
Earth's warriors, till her anger waxes cold. 
Hera the horses plied with scourge and rein. 
And Heaven's wide gates, of their own impulse fain, 
Clanged open, that dense cloud, which the Hours keep, 
Who guard the whole Olympian vast domain, 
At will to open or shut. Here forth they sweep 
To where Zeus sits alone on the divine hill-steep. 



Theie white-armed Hera checked her steeds, and cried : 
** father Zeus, how long shall Ares slay 
My people ? see what deaths ! I am defied, 
But Cupris and Apollo enjoy their day. 
All through this savage, whom no judgments stay. 
father Zeus, wilt thou be wroth if I 
Wound Ares deep, and thrust him from the fray?" 
Whereto the Cloud-compeller made reply: 
" Send Pallas : she knows best what remedies to try." 

He spake ; and Hera, when his mind she knew, 
Lashed on the horses. They with eager flight 
'Twixt earth and starry heaven their course pursue. 
Far as the r^on of blank air in sight 
Of one who, sitting on some beacon height, 
Views the long wine-dark barrens of the deep. 
Such space the horses of the realms of light. 
Urged by the gods, as on they strain and sweep, 
While their hoofs thunder aloft, bound over at one leap. 

But when they came to Troia, and that place 
Where Simois and Scamander mix in one 
Their rivers, Hera in her queenly grace 
Now halted, loosing from the car anon 
Her steeds ; and round them a thick mist she spun, 
While Simois yielded for them food to eat. 
Ambrosia. But they twain were quickly gone. 
Speeding to help the Achaians in defeat, 
like doves of tremulous wing that to the wood retreat. 

142 THE ILIAD OF HOAIEK. [book t. 


But when they came to where the most and best 
Stood by horse-taming Diomede^ their tower. 
Shoulder to shoulder, in close circle pressed, 
like unto lions that raw flesh devour, 
Or to wild boars, that neither fly nor cower. 
Shouted the white-armed Hera there and then. 
Seeming like Stentor, with his heart of power 
And brazen voice, beyond the voice often — 
Yea, he could shout more loud than fifty chosen mea 

" Shame on you, pitiful poor folk," she cried, 
" Who yet so admirable in form appear I 
While the divine Achilleus on your side 
Fought in the war, no Trojan ventured here ; 
All in the Dardan keep lay wrapt in fear ; 
Such was the terror of his arm, I trow. 
Far from the city now, with sword and spear, 
Even at the hollow ships behold your foe !" 
Thus did she make each breast with zeal and fiiry glow. 


But the stem-eyed Athene hurrying ran 
Toward Tydeus' son, such keen desire she felt. 
And by his steeds and chariot foimd the man 
Cooling his wound, by Pandarus' arrow dealt ; 
For much sweat tired him under the broad belt 
Of the heavy orb^d shield; and worse, that stroke 
Made his arm droop. He, Ufting the broad belt. 
Now the dark gore wiped. On the horses' yoke 
Stretched forth her hand Athene, and upbraiding spoke : 



" Lo, Tydens hath begot one meaner far ! 
Tydens was puny in frame, but strong to fight : 
Whom when I held from blazing forth in war. 
While solitary in Thebes, environed quite 
With numbers, a lone envoy — he (despite 
My counsel to feast quiet in the hall) 
There gathering in his breast that soul of might 
Steadfast as ever, rose with fearless call, 
Challenged the youths Gadmeian, and surpassed them all. 


" Thou, by whose side I stand, whose life I guard. 
And bid thee against Trojan men good speed, 
Com'st far behind him. Either toil hath marred 
Thy limbs with stormy affliction, or indeed 
Pale fear unhearts thee. Thou art no true seed 
Of Tydeus, nor of valiant CEneus' line." 
Answered thereto strong-hearted Diomede : 
" Child of great Zeus, I know thee, power divine ; 
Therefore I reeulily speak, nor hide what thought is mine. 


" Neither pale fear imhearts me, nor yet sloth ; 
But thine own precept I remembering kept. 
Didst thou not warn me in this field be loth 
To fight gods, Aphrodite only except. 
Her to assail alone? She met me, and wept. 
Therefore it is that I now backward draw, 
I and the rest who at my word stUl crept 
Yielding before the enemy, since we saw 
Ares at large among us, and I held thy law." 



And the stem-eyed Athene answering said : 
" son of Tydens, to my soul right dear^ 
Nor Ares thou nor any immortal dread ! 
Trust in my help, drive on, strike without fear 
This vague pest, meteor-like, in nought sincere ; 
Who did firm troth to me and Hera bind, 
Troy to assail and Argos help, but here 
Sides with the Trojans, to their cause is kind. 
And these are clean forgotten, as dead men out of mind.*' 

Then Sthenelus fix)m the car she dragged, and he 
Sprang quick to the earth. By Diomede anon 
PaUas went up, raging unutterably. 
Heavily did the beechen axle groan, 
Such burden it bore — ^that goddess in her own 
Full power, and a great hero nobly nursed. 
Then clutched the scourge and reins that glittering shone 
Pallas Athene, and, for war athirst, 
Dashed with the well-trained horses against Ares first 

He the best captain of ^tolia's realm, 
Gaunt Periphas, was spoiling. Now, to elude 
Ares, Athene put on Hades' helm. 
But when horse-taming Diomede he viewed, 
Ares, the Man-destroyer, with gore imbrued, 
He, lightly esteeming of the prey first won. 
In that same moment other work ensued. 
Slain Periphas let fall, Ochesius' son, 
And against noble Diomede rushed maddening on. 



When they closed up together in hot career, 
Inforiate Ares across yoke and rein. 
Leaning weU forward, thrust his brLen spear, 
And Tydeus' son would verily have been slain. 
But that Athene made the onset vain, 
And swung by force the idle weapon aaide 
Clean o'er the chariot-rim. Full bravely again 
Far-shouting Diomede his own thrust plied, 
And direly Athene dug it into Ares' side. 

Deep in the flank beneath the zone it ploughed, 
(So truly it thrilled him) and the white flesh tore ; 
Then was it wrenched forth, and he roared aloud 
As men nine thousand or ten thousand roar 
When in the field with fronted ranks they pour. 
Boiling together in arms, with hostile might ; 
So that amazement seized, and trembling soi*e, 
Both armies, like a sudden alarm at night, 
So lustily Ares roared, the insatiable of fight 

As from the clouds a murky gloom is cast. 
When rough winds after heat the heaven invade. 
Such to the son of Tydeus, as he passed 
To far Olympus, wrapt in cloudy shade, 
Seemed Ares. Soon in the gods' clime he stayed 
His flight ; there, wrung to be so mauled of man, 
Sat beside Zeus Kronion, and displayed 
The immortal blood which from his wound outran, 
And with lamenting murmur wingM words began : 
VOL. I. K 

146 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book t. 


" Are these bold works mere nothing in thy mind, 
Zeus Father ? In our feuds some dreadful strait 
We gods still suffer, as we help manMnd. 
All against thee find cause, who that wild Fate 
Hast for thy child, nor wilt her fury abate. 
All we the rest, who in Olympus dwell, 
Bow to thy yoke and in allegiance wait 
Thy sovran best : but thou dost not curb well 
This thine own pestilent child, but even more impel 


*' Yea now, behold, proud Diomede she hath sent 
like a wild beast immortals to devour. 
First Cupris on the wrist he bitterly shent 
In close fight : next, like an immortal power. 
Swept furiously on me : but this safe bower. 
Far from earth's wrack, with fljdng feet I sought. 
Else verily I had borne, for no brief hour. 
Boiled in the dead-heaps, misery passing thought. 
Or lived weak as a ghost, such terrible blows I caught." 

Answered the cloud-compelling Sire divine : 
'* Thou meteor pest unfaithful, sit not here. 
Nor in my presence thus complain and whine ; 
Since of all gods that in our courts appear 
Thou to my soul art ever the least dear. 
Strife, war, and battles are thy pastime sweet ; 
Thy mother's vengeable temper thou dost bear, 
Hera's, whom scarce my words to reason beat : 
Her evil practice now hath prompted thy defeat 



'' Nevertheless not long will I thee leave 
Tonched with disaster^ for my seed thou art, 
Mine, whom thy mother did &om me conceive : 
For hadst thou, with like fiiriousness of heart, 
In other than ourselves held natural part, 
Under the Titans thou woiddst soon have lain." 
He spake, and Psean with celestial art 
Stilled, at the word, with soft balms Ares' pain, 
Ares not woman-bom nor fated to be slain. 


Swift as, in churning, a sour sap draws up 
In curds the white milk running wet before. 
While the wand flashes in the mixei^s cup, 
Ares was healed : whom Hebe from liis gore 
Laved in the bath, then robed him. He, far more 
Eejoicing in his strength, by Zeus reclined. 
Now also to the Olympian mansion soar 
Hera and Palks, joying each in mind 
Thus to have tamed dire Ares who doth plague mankind. 



So the gods passed^ while men roll war anew 
From Xanthus stream to Simois o'er the plain. 
First Telamonian Aias^ breaking through 
Troy's phalanx, gave his people light again, 
For Acamas, the noblest Thracian, slain ; 
"Whom on the hair-plumed helmet by surprise 
He smote, and the brass ploughed through bone and brain. 
Dead to the earth in all his ample size 
With rattling arms he feU, and darkness veiled his eyes. 

Diomede Teuthras' son Axylus slew. 
He in the fair Arisbian land held sway, 
Bich, and beloved of all men that he knew. 
For he loved all, and near the public way 
Dwelt, with free doors. Yet no man in that day 
Came or was found to shield a friend so dear. 
Him did that hero with Calesius slay, 
His faithful servant and then charioteer ; 
Together the two ghosts in Hades' realm appear. 

160 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vl 


Euiyalus soon left Opheltius there, 
Dresus, JSsapus, Pedasus, undone. 
These twain the Naiad Abarbarea bare 
To prince Bucolion, the eldest son, 
Not wedlock-bom, of proud Letomedon. 
He with the nyniph once mingled, tending sheep ; 
Twin children she conceived : Mekisteus' son 
Loosed their strong limbs, and in the iron sleep, 
Stript of their arms, he left them, for their Mends to weep. 

Odysseus a Percosian overthrew ; 
Staunch Polypoetes tamed Astyalus ; 
Teucer the godlike Aretaon slew; 
Old Nestor's son, bright-speared Antilochus, 
Abl^rus ; Agamemnon, Elatus, 
Who by the lovely-flowing Satnian stream 
Dwelt in high Pedasus. Brave Leitus 
Caught Phylacus in flight with bale extreme ; 
And o'er Melanthius stood Eurypylus supreme. 


Far-shouting Menelatis Adrastus took 
Alive. His horses, scouring through the plain, 
Break in a branch of tamarisk pole and yoke. 
Then, wrapt in the universal panic, strain 
Homeward. He tumbling to the dust amain 
Dashed o'er the wheel, mouth first. There near him stood, 
E'en there, Atrides Menelaus, fain 
To bathe his shadow-casting spear in blood ; 
Whom by the knees he clasped, and spake in suppliant mood: 



" Take me alive, O chief! Much treasure rare 
lies in my father's house, thy guerdon free. 
Silver, brass, gold, elaborate steel is there. 
Glad will my father render infinite fee. 
If living at your ships he hear of me." 
Speaking he moved the heart of Atreus' child. 
Who to his squire was giving strait decree 
Captive to lead him. But in mood less mild 
Up Agamemnon ran, and that soft charge reviled : 

** O my sweet brother, hath Troy served so well 
Thy house, that thou wilt spare her warriors dear ? 
O may not any 'scape our hands, nor heU ! 
No, not a man-child in the womb go clear ! 
All be wiped out, — ^no burial, and no tear !" 
Tben the chief spm*ned his suppliant, as was right 
Adrastus, riven in flank by the king's spear. 
Fell backward. Agamemnon in his might 
On the dead breast set heel, and tugged the barb to light. 

Loud to the Argives shouted Nestor then : 
" Friends, Danaan heroes, lag no more in dread 
Lest of the spoil ye lose : — now slay we men. 
After, in quiet shall ye strip the dead." 
So with Ids words the fire of each he fed. 
Then had the Trojans in their fell defeat 
To Troy gone up, and to the uttermost fled, 
.But divine Helenus, the seer discreet. 
Hector and brave ^neas did retiring meet 

152 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vj. 


" Hector and JBneas/' thus he cried, 
" Since on you most doth Lycia lean and Troy, 
Our best men still to fight or to provide, 
Stand by the gates, and every shift employ 
These to drive backward, ere, to foes a joy, 
Weak in the women's arms they flying &11. 
This done, though toil unutterable destroy 
Our strength and fire, yet, for such need doth call. 
Here will we hold at bay the rushing Danaans alL 

"But, Hector, to the town thy course direct. 
And to thy mother and mine this precept tell. 
That all her ag^d women she collect 
At Pallas' temple on the citadel. 
There open with her key the sacred cell, 
And from the raiment, stored her house witiiin, 
The largest robe and loveliest, hoarded well. 
Bring with her to the fane, and lay therein. 
Covering the knees divine, some tender grace to win. 

" And at the shrine twelve yearlings bid her vow, 
Ungoaded heifers, if Athene deign 
Our wives and little ones to feel for, now. 
And from divine Troy l^deus' son restrain. 
Wild in the war, out-breathing fears and pain. 
Whom of Achaians I £a,r strongest deem : 
Kot Peleus' son such dire alarms could rain. 
Though bom of heavenly mother, as they dream. 
This one, beyond all bound, raves everywhere supreme.*' 



He spake ; and by his brother's word stood fast 
Hector in all things. From his car he sprang, 
And, both spears waving, through the army passed, 
Shoring the fight ; the gathering war-cry rang. 
They rallying wheeled, there facing with dire clang 
The Achaians in mid swoop. These, sore bested. 
Pause in their bloody work, and backward hang. 
* One of the deathless from on high,' they said, 
' Hath come to succour Troy.' So well that rallying sped. 

Loud to his army shouted Hector then : 
'' Hear now, bold Trojans and far-famed allies, 
Mind the shrill battle, my friends, be men. 
While to the town I pass, and there advise 
Our women, and old men in council wise. 
To sue the gods with prayer, and offerings yield." 
This spoken. Hector to the town then hies. 
Hard on him smote, he moving from the field, 
Ankles and neck, the rim of his black-hided shield. 

Then Glaucus, of Hippolochus the son. 
And Diomedes, each for glory athirst. 
Met in the midway pass. They nearing on. 
Cried the far-shouting Diomedes first : 
" Who then and whence art thov,, that idly durst 
Cross me in arms ? I never saw thy face 
Before in fight, yet now behold thee burst 
Elaming with valour, and thy peers outrace. 
By destiny reserved my shadowing lance to grace. 

154 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tl 


*' Who with me fights of wretched parents they ! 
But if from heaven thou art, I would not wrong 
The eternal gods, nor meet them in the fray. 
'So, for not Dryas' son, Lycurgus strong. 
Who the divine ones fought, on earth lived long. 
He the nurse-nymphs of Dionysus scared 
Down the Nyseian steep, and the wild throng 
Their ritual things cast off, and maddening fared, 
Tom with his goad, like kine ; so vast a crime he dared. 


" Yea Dionysus, such a sight was there. 
Himself in fear sank down beneath the seas. 
And Thetis in her breast him quailing bare. 
At the man's cry such trembling shook his knees. 
Then angered were the gods who live at ease. 
And Zeus smote blind Lycurgus, and he fell 
Loathed ere his day. Nor will I thus displease 
The gods of heaven : but if vdth men thou dwell. 
Whom the earth feeds, come near, and find the jaws of helL" 

Answered the noble Glaucus firom his car : 
" Brave son of Tydeus, wherefore set thy mind 
My race to know ? The generations are. 
As of the leaves, so also of mankind. 
As the leaves fall, now withering in the wind. 
And others are put forth, and spring descends. 
Such on the earth the race of men we find ; 
Each in his order a set time attends ; 
One generation rises, and another ends. 



'' Yet ndtwithstsinding if thou still demand 
My lineage, hear ! men know it far and wide. 
In Ephyra long since, in Aigos land, 
Did Sisyphus ^tEolides abide, 
Who all the inhabitants of earth outvied 
In shrewd wit. And to him was bom a son 
Glaucus, of whom in turn his noble bride 
Conceived and bare blameless BeUerophon, 
Who with god-gifted mien in loveliest manhood shone. 

" But Prcetus to d^troy him subtly planned, 
And in his power (for Zeus the Aigives tamed 
Under his sceptre) drave him from the land. 
For queen Anteia, wife of Proetus, aimed 
At secret joys, by maddening lust inflamed, 
Nor coidd she the right-souled Bellerophon 
Seduce thereto : then lying words she framed : 
' Proetus, go die ! or slay me Glaucus' son, 
Who to his arms me loth would violently have won.' 


'* She spake ; and fiercely was the king thereat 
Enraged, yet, loth Bellerophon to kill. 
For in his soul he was afraid of that. 
To Lycia sent him, bearing ciphers ill, 
Scored on a tablet with life-murdering skill. 
And bade him these to the queen's father show. 
So he to Lycia went by the gods' will. 
And to the land where Xanthus stream doth flow. 
Him received Lycia's king right honourably, I trow. 

156 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vl 


*' Nine days he feasted him, and oxen nine 
Killed; but when now the tenth mom came in view, 
Then he enquired, and asked to see the sign, 
And the fell death-mark of his kinsman knew. 
So first he bade him a sore plague subdue^ 
Chimsera, of divine, not human, birtL 
He, trusting signs from heaven, that monster slew. 
Flame-breathing, like a lion of the earth 
Faced, a foul snake behind, a wild goat in the girth. 


** Next with the noble Solymi he fought. 
Far the most stubborn was that fight, he said. 
Of all that ever with mankind he wrought 
Third, he the man-like Amazons smote dead. 
On his return the king new dangers spread. 
And planted in his path a secret train. 
Picked men of Lycia, to dark ambush led. 
But no man of their troop came home again : 
All by the blameless knight Bellerophon were slain. 


" So the king, certain of his heavenly race. 
Gave him hLhild to wife, and to tie height 
Of half his kingly honour did him grace. 
The Lycians cut, for his own use and right. 
Fair land, some tilth, some vineyards of delight. 
She to Bellerophon three children bare, 
Isander, and Hippolochus, and bright 
Laodamia, who Zeus' bed did share. 
And the divine brass-helmed Sarpedon to him bare. 



" But when lie too displeased the gods at last. 
In the Aleian desert, as they tell. 
Eating his own heart, up and down he passed, 
And the lone fields pursued where no men dwell. 
Isander by invincible Ares fell, 
While with the Solymi he warred in vain. 
As for Laodamia, loved so well. 
She by the goddess of the golden rein. 
Fair Artemis, in anger was cut off and slain. 

" I from Hippolochus myself am sprung. 
He is my father, I his offspring dear. 
To Troy he sent me, when I yet was young, 
And oft this chaige repeated in my ear. 
Still to be first, and others overpeer. 
Nor the divine roll of my fathers shame, 
Who aye in Ephyra and Lycia were 
Far the most honourable in name and fame ; 
Thence I derive my blood, such lordly birth I claim." 

He spake ; and Diomede rejoiced in heart, 
Stuck spear in earth, and softly him addressed : 
" Thou from of old my lineal guest-friend art. 
Once (Eneus held Bellerophon his guest 
Twenty whole days, and gave him of the best ; 
And each in parting proffered love-gifts rare, 
(Eneus a zone with shining grain imprest, 
Bellerophon a rich cup, passing fair. 
Pure gold — ^this, when I sailed, I left behind me thera 



" But Tydeus I no more remember well, 
For I was left a little child when he 
In Theb^ with so many Achaians fell 
So now in Aigos I am host to thee. 
Thou mine in Lycia, when their land I see. 
Cross we not arms, however deep the fray. 
Troy and the tribes yield foes enough for me, 
Whom the gods bring me, whom I hunt to bay ; 
Also for thee the Achaians, to kill whom thou may. 

" But let us now change arms, that all men h^re 
Our lineal friendship may both mark and heed." 
Each from his car then hastened, and came near ; 
They, hand in hand, swore loyal troth at need. 
Lo, then was Olaucus both in mind and deed 
Bobbed of his wits by Kronos' son divine. 
To change arms with illustrious Diomede. 
Thus gold for brass it pleased him to resign. 
Arms worth a hundred oxen for the worth of nine. 


Now by the western gates and spreading beech 
Bound Hector ran Trojr's women, wife and maid. 
Of husband, brother, son enquiring each. 
Charge on them all of vows and prayer he laid. 
For many were the souls by doom o'erweighed. 
Last he arrived at Priam's mansion fair. 
Built up with many a shining colonnade. 
Also within it fifty chambers were. 
Near one another built, of polished marble rara 

BOOK yl] the ILIAD OF HOMER. 15d 


Here with their wedded wivies slept Priam's sons, 
And for his daughters on the other side 
Lay twelve roofed chambers, bnilt of polished stones, 
One near another, in the courtyard wide, 
"Wherein at night, each with his beauteous bride, 
Slept the king's sons-in-law. Now Hector there 
Met the queen leading from the further side 
Laodici her child, of all most fair. 
Clasping his hand, his mother did her mind declare : 

"Why, darling, from the battle art thou come? 
. Ah ! the abhorrM Achaians grind you sore 
Outside the walls : thy heart hath sent thee home, 
In the Acropolis high Zeus to adore. 
Stay, till I bring wine : to the gods then pour 
First, and the Sire who good and evil sends : 
After, drink thou, and thine own health restore : 
Wine to a worn-out man great courage lends, 
Worn as thyself art now, in fighting for thy Mends." 


And the large white-plumed Hector answering spake : 
** lift not, dear mother, to my lips this day 
Wine, the sweet soother, lest my limbs it break, 
And I forget war, and my heart decay. 
Nor to Zeus dare I the dark wine display. 
Smeared as I am. It were an awful stain 
Thus to Eronion with red hands to pray. 
But go thou, and collect thine aghd train. 
And pass with gifts of burning to Athene's fiEine. 

leO THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book ti. 


" And a choice robe, thy laigest, fairest yet 
Stored in the house^ and to thyself most dear^ 
That on the knees of bright-haired Pallas set 
And twelve ungoaded heifers, of one year, 
Vow, if in pity she consent to hear. 
And save our little children and onr wives. 
And to keep off the son of l^deus' spear 
From sacred Tix)y, so wildly he now drives. 
Rolling dismay before him, and devouring lives. 


*' Go therefore thou, and worship in her fane 
Athene, Lady of spoil ; and I will seek 
Paris my brother, if perchance he deign 
To heed me when I call, and hear me speak. 
would earth swallow him up, and yawning wreak 
Mischief on him who bitter mischief bred 
For Priam and his line, no dastards weak I 
Him could I see go down to Hades dead, 
Then would I say that sorrow from my soul had fled." 


Then the queen passed, and called her maids ; and they 
All through the town the aged women sought. 
She to the fragrant chamber went, where lay 
Eobes of Sidonian web, in colours wrought. 
By Paris overseas from Sidon brought. 
That time when he took Helen Far the best 
She for Athene chose with ready thought, 
Bright like a star, and laid below the rest. 
Then round her, passing forth, the aged women pressed. 

bookvl] the ILIAD OF HOMER. 161 


"When at Athene's temple they arrived, 
Opened to them the doors Theano fair, 
Daughter of Kisseus, whom Antenor wived ; 
For her the Trojans had made priestess there. 
Then with a cry they lifted all in prayer 
Their hands up to Athene. And she laid 
The bright robe on the knees, Theano fair. 
Knees of Athene gloriously arrayed ; 
And to the child of Zeus with sacred vows she prayed : 


" saviour of the city, queen divine, 
Athene, break and shiver, I implore, 
The spear of Diomede ; and him consign 
Headlong to fall the western gates before ! 
Then we the blood will at thine altar pour 
From twelve ungoaded heifers, of one year. 
If to the Trojans thou their strength restore, 
And save their wives and little children dear." 
Thus in her prayer she spake, but Pallas would not hear. 

Hector meanwhile to Paris bent his way. 
To the fair house which Paris builded well, 
With the most cunning craftsmen of that day 
In Troy's rich land, high on the citadel, 
With main hall, court, and bower, therein to dwell. 
Hard by the house of Priam, and Hector's own. 
There he passed in. His spear-shaft many an ell 
Stretched out before him, and a dread light shone, 
Flashed from the brazen point and golden ring thereon. 


162 THE lUAD OF HOMER. [book yi. 


He in the chamber Alexander fonnd 
Handling his arms, shield, cuirass, helm, and bow. 
There too sat Helen with her maids around. 
And gave them tasks. Him Hector branded so : 
" Friend, 'tis not good to let thy wrath o'erflow. 
Our men now wither away ; yet thine own deed 
Kindled the flame ; nor would thy hand be slow 
To thwart another that should fiEdl at need. 
Up, lest the fire ere long on this our city feed." 

Then did the godlike Alexander say : 
" Hector, I yield me ; thy reproof is right. 
Yet not for anger do I sit this day 
Here in my chamber, nor so much for spite. 
But to take ease with sorrow. Me to fight 
My wife draws, and I feel that it were best 
There is a tide in war, black days and white. 
But tarry awhile till I in arms be drest; 
Or go first ; nor behind thee shall my feet long rest" 


He spake : but white-plumed Hector silent stood. 
And bitter musings in his own heart nursed. 
But Helen spake to him in tenderest mood : 
" Brother of me the abominable, accurst ! 
Would that from heaven a sweeping storm had burst. 
And wrapt me away for ever to the hills. 
In that day when my mother bore me first. 
Or, where the wave roars and the hurricane shrills. 
Had in the deep waste drowned me, ere I bred these ills ! 



" But since the gods ordained them, why not then 
Give me a husband better and more fit ? 
That knew shame, and the burning tongues of men ? 
This hath not, will have never, a sound wit, 
And he will reap his folly. But now sit 
On this chair, my brother, for our crime 
Hath most thy soul to ceaseless sorrow knit ; 
And now with him I to such misery climb. 
Men shall make songs upon us in the after-time." 

But Hector answered : " Me no more persuade, 
Helen, albeit in love : it may not be. 
Sore the men miss me, whom I yearn to aid. 
But thou, and his own heart, drive after me 
Him; there is yet time — ^for I go to see 
My servants, my dear wife, my tender boy. 
For I know nothing, if the road be free 
Hereafter to return to them in joy. 
Or by Achaian hands the gods my life destroy." 


So Hector spake, and to his own house went, 
Nor found white-armed Andromache therein. 
She with her child and nurse in sore lament 
Stood weeping on the walls, and he within 
Asked of the maidens : " Let me quickly win 
Xews by wliich way my wife went from the hall. 
Passed she to some one of her fair-robed kin, 
Or to Athene's temple, where be all 
Troy's daughters, who with vows on the dread goddess call?" 

164 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book yi. 


Then said the careful house-dame : " Thou shalt win, 
Hector, true news, and quickly. From our hall 
Not unto any of her fair-robed kin, 
Nor to Athene's fane she went, where all 
Troy's daughters be, and the dread goddess call. 
But, hearing of Troy crushed and Argos glad. 
She went forth to the tower upon the wall. 
She rushed out like a woman that is mad. 
Full speed, to that great tower : both child and nurse she had." 

When Hector heard that, to the western gates, 
Meaning that way to pass forth to the plain. 
He sped back quickly through the long wide streets. 
And lo ! his dear wife ran to meet him fain, 
Child of Eetion, who held high reign 
Over Cilician men, in Thebes afar, 
'Neath woody Places — she, and in her train 
A young nurse and a babe, as babies are. 
Hector's one child, their darling, like a lovely star. 


Him Hector called Scamandrius, but the rest 
Astyanax — thus honouring Hector^s child ; 
For Hector was alone Troy's stay confest, 
And they " The City's King " his babe had styled. 
He then, beholding the sweet infant, smiled 
In silence : but Andromache there shed 
Thick tears beside him, and in anguish wild 
Clasped Hector by the hand, and spake, and said, 
" Dear one, thine own brave temper will yet lay thee dead. 



" Thou hast no pity for thy child or me, 
Ere long thy widow, when the Achaian men 
Shall like a flood pour round, and murder thee. 
I tell thee it were better for me then 
Dark earth to enter, if that day come when, 
light of my eyes, I lose thee. For no cheer, 
No comfort ever can I find again. 
But waitings in the night, and anguish drear. 
When for thine arms I feel, and thou art nowhere near. 

" No parents have I now. Achilleus slew 
My father, when he came to raze and blot 
Cilician Thebi, and with doom overthrew 
My fietther's people, and much plunder got. 
Eetion he slew there, but stript him not : 
Awe was upon him, and his heart was bound. 
But with his gilded arms in that same spot 
He burned him, piling o'er his bones a mound ; 
And the hill-nymphs, Zeus' children, planted elms around. 


" And brethren I had seven, within our hall ; 
In one day did their light go down and cease ; 
Swift-foot divine Achilleus slew them all. 
Mid their slow kine and sheep of silver fleece. 
As for my mother, who in days of peace 
*Neath woody Places shared my father's sway. 
Her, with the spoil brought thence, did he release 
For countless ransom : but before her day 
By Artemis' keen arrows she was taken away. 

166 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [booje yi. 


'* O Hector, thou to me art mother dear. 
And fetther, brother, husband of my life. 
Have pity! on the tower abide thou here : 
Leave not an orphan child, a widowed wife. 
Near the wild figs, where footing is most rife, 
Stand : for by that way came their bravest on 
Thrice, with the two Aiantes, wild in strife, 
Idomeneus, the Atrid®, Tydeus' son, 
/Whether by seer advised, or by their own heart won." 


And the laige white-plumed Hector answered then : 
" All this I knew; 'twas mine own heart's appeal ; 
But scorn unutterable from Trojan men 
And long-robed Trojan women I fear to feel. 
If like a dastard from the fight I steal 
No, for my soul I cannot. I have learned 
Still to be foremost for my country's weal. 
Nor ever from the van my feet I turned; 
Thus for my sire large fame, and for myself have earned. 


'' For the day comes, I know it, and the hour 
Comes, it will come, when sacred Troy shall fall, 
And Priam, and his people, and his power. 
Yet not that sorrow of the Trojans all 
Hereafter, when in vain my help they call. 
Nor even of Hecuba, nor Priam king. 
Nor of my brothers, whom, so many and tall. 
Their foes ill-minded to the dust shall bring. 
Slain with the sword, my breast so bitterly can wring— 



" Not these^ nor all griefs on my heart so weigh, 
As thine, when some one of the Achaian band 
Sobs thee for ever of thy freedom's day. 
And bears thee weeping to an alien land. 
Lo, then in Argos shalt thon set thine hand 
To weave thy stem task at another^s loom. 
Or at Me88^ and Hypeiia stand 
With pail or pitcher, and thy heart consume, 
Struggling reluctant much, yet conquered by strong doom. 


" Then some one may behold thy tears, and say, 
* See now the wife of Hector whom we knew 
First of war^ptains in his country's day, 
Ere we the towers of Ilion overthrew/ 
So will he speak, and thou shalt wail anew 
For anguish, and sore need of one like me. 
Thy life to shield, thy slaveiy to undo. 
But let the mounded earth my covering be, 
Ere of thy cries I hear, and fierce hands laid on thee ! " 


Then with his arms spread forth did Hector lean 
Toward his fair babe, who to the nurse's breast 
Glimg with a cry, scared at his fathei^s mien, 
And at the brazen helm, so grimly drest, 
Waving aloft the long white horsehair crest. 
Both parents laughed ; and Hector from his brow 
Laid the helm shining on the earth, then pressed 
Fondly, now dandled in his arms, and now 
Kissed liis dear child, and spake to all the gods his vow: 

168 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tl 


'' Zeus, and all gods, let this my child attain 


Praise in the host of Troia^ even as I, 
In strength so good, and fall of power to reign ; 
And when he comes firom battle, let men cry 
*Htfar excels hisfatKer,' and on high 
Spoils let him bear with foeman's gore defiled. 
And his dear mother's heart make glad thereby." 
He spake, and in his wife's arms laid the child. 
Who to her pure breast clasped him, as in tears she smiled. 

Her lovingly he touched, and pitying said : 
" Dearest, be not too heavy and imdone ; 
For no man against fate can send me dead 
To Hades, and his hour can no man shim. 
None bad or good, since earth was peopled — ^none. 
But now go home, and to thine own works see, 
Distaff and loom, and keep thy house at one. 
This business of the war men's care shall be» 
Who dwell here in the land, and most of all to me." 

Thus Hector spake, and from the earth uptook 
The bright helm, and his dear wife, homeward bound. 
Passed through the city, turning oft to look. 
And wept as she went up. Ere long she found 
Her maidens many in the halls renowned 
Of Hector, and stirred up the funeral strain. 
So Hector yet alive they wailed around 
His own hearth ; for no hope did yet remain 
That he from that sore battle would return again. 



Nor lingered Paris : to the field he sped 
With bright arms, glorying in his airy feet. 
As when a stalled horse, high with barley fed, 
Breaks tether, and spuming the wide plain runs fleet, 
Down the familiar river to bathe his heat : 
High the head towers, and in his eager race 
The long mane dashes from his neck to meet 
"Whistling the air : he, glorying in his grace, 
Flies to the pasturing herd with limber knees apace ; 

So now the king's son Paris from the hold 
Of sacred Troia toward the plain below. 
Sun-like in arms aflame with brass and gold. 
Went proudly exulting, nor his feet were slow. 
Soon did he find his brother, in act to go 
From where his dear wife he had seen and heard. 
There exclaimed godlike Paris : " Sir, I trow 
Too long by far have I my steps deferred. 
Nor here in season came according to thy word ! ** 

And the large white-plumed Hector answering spake : 
" Friend, thou art brave : no lover of fair play 
Can slur thy works in war ; but thou art slack 
Of set will ; and my heart grieves day by day. 
Hearing what things of thee the Trojans say, 
Who toil much for thy sake. But now to fight. 
All will be weU hereafter, when we lay. 
If Zeus will. Freedom's bowl in the gods' sight. 
When from Troy's land we chase the Achaian soldiers quite." 



Thus having spoken, from the gates forth swept 
' niustrious Hector, and with eager stride 
Near him the godlike Alexander stept. 
Both on the leap to take the battle's tide. 
As when the god for sailors doth provide 
A fair wind at their need, who night and day 
The broad sea-plain with polished oars have plied, 
Till, by sheer toil unstrung, their knees give way ; 
So to Troy's host appeared, at sore need welcome, they. 

One slew Menesthius who in Ama dwelt ; 
Him to club-wielding Areithous bare 
The fdll-eyed Phylomedusa. Hector dealt 
Sharp wound on Eiones with deadly spear, 
Mid neck, beneath the casque, and quelled him there. 
Glaucus, the Lycian captain, his spear-head 
Sunk in Iphinolis' shoulder, in career 
Of hot fight, mounting his swift mares. He, dead, 
Fell ruining to the earth ; his soul to Hades fled. 

172 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vii. 


But when the fierce-eyed goddess now discerned 
Her Aigives bloodily falling in the fight. 
Then Troyward, to the walls divine, she turned, 
Down from the hills of heaven, her rushing flight. 
Whom marked Apollo from the sacred height 
Whence his eye wandered, the long field to reach. 
While he for Troy wished victory in the fight ; 
And forth he passed : they met beside the beech. 
And to her first Apollo, child of Zeus, made speech : 


" Why the swift air, divine one, dost thou ride 
From heaven, the angel of what mighty thought ? 
Is it the hovering victory to decide 
Against the Trojans, whom thou pitiest nought ? 
Far better, if by me thou wouldst be taught. 
If the dread battle we made pause to-day. 
And Ilion's fate were to the touchstone brought 
Hereafter — since I know that, come what may. 
Fair ones of heaven, in dust this city ye will lay." 

Stem-eyed Athene answer made thereto : 
" Archer of heaven, this counsel was my own. 
So let it be. What therefore wilt thou do 
To lay this tumult, that so fierce hath grown?" 
Then he : " If Hector now, he only alone. 
Horse-taming Hector, would some Danaan call, 
Him singly to o'erthrow, or be o'erthrown, 
I think the Argives would consent withal, 
And send with zeal their man, to conquer or to falL" 



Thus they conferred : but Helenus, Priam's son, 
That scheme, which pleased them, in his heart divined, 
And beside Hector stood, and thus begun : 
" Hector, my brother, peer to Zeus in mind, 
Hear me ; I am thy blood — bid Argos find 
Some champion good to meet thyself alone, 
Then fight it out, and let these fall behind ; 
Not yet thy doom is to be overthrown ; 
So the everlasting voices I have heard and known." 

Then Hector was exceeding glad thereat, 
And^ the mid spear-shaft in his hand, he went. 
And shoaled the Trojans back ; and they all sat 
And Agamemnon wrought with like intent 
On the high beech of Zeus, to watch the event, 
Apollo, master of the silver bow. 
Sat by Athene, like with talons bent 
Two birds of ravin, and with eye not slow 
Both gloiying in their men gazed on the plain below. 

There sat the long ranks, in close order prest, 
Bristling with helm and shield and serried spear. 
As when a rising shiver from the west 
Spreads a rough shade, and darkens the blue mere. 
Such in the plain their seated ranks appear. 
And Hector in the midst uprose and spake : 
" O Trojans and well-greaved Achaians, hear. 
While to you all my bosom-thought I break ; 
For why should all this people die for one man's sake ? 

174 THE ILUD OF HOMER. [book til 



'' High-thronM Zeus our oath did not fulfil, 
But trouble to us all doth still decree. 
Till either against Troy you reap your will, 
Or by the ships your own selves vanquished be. 
Here of the whole Achaian host I see 
Chiefs : whomsoever his own heart doth call 
Now singly to stand forth, and fight with me, 
Let him step forward from among you all. 
And divine Hector meet, to conquer or to fall. 

" This too I say, (let Zeus our witness stand !) : 
If with fell brass that champion me destroy, 
These arms, the lawful spoil of his right hand. 
Hence let him carry to the ships in joy, 
But me send home, that men and wives of Troy 
May for my corse the rites of fire ordain : 
And if he fall, I then to sacred Troy 
Will bear arms won, when I have stript the slain. 
And hang them on the wall of great Apollo's fane; 

" But to the camp will I your dead resign. 
That the long-haired Achaians may bestow 
Full rites, and heap a monumental sign 
Where the broad waves of Hellespontus flow. 
And this shall be the word with high and low 
Hereafter, when they sail the wine-dark main : 
' Behold a man's grave, who died long ago. 
Chief in desert of arms, by Hector slain.' 
Thus will men speak, and never shall my glory wane." 



He ended ; l)ut they all in silence sat, 
Loth to accept, yet to refuse ashamed. 
Till Menelans, groaning sore thereat, 
Eose up with indignation, and exclaimed : 
" women, and not men, how direly blamed 
For ever if none durst with Hector vie 1 
Now may ye all, ii^lorious and unnamed. 
Turn here to earth and water I I, even I 
Will meet him : victory's doom is with the gods on high." 

Thus having said, his bright arms he put on. 
Soon, Menelaus, had thy deadliest harm 
Come dealt by Hector, who thee far outshone, 
But the Achaian chiefs rushed in alarm. 
Tea, Agamemnon caught thee by the arm. 
And cried : " brother, art thou mad ? No more 
Save in thy folly, but, though grieved, disarm. 
Nor in unequal field thy life outpour. 
With Hector, whom all here recoil from and abhor. 

" Shuddered to meet him in the glorious fight 
Even Achilleus, better far than thotu 
But sit here with thy friends till we incite 
Some champion else, who, fresh and fearless now, 
Mark me, will yet his spent knees gladly bow. 
If from this awful field his life he bear." 
He spake : his brother did that rede allow ; 
Him the glad servants soon unharness there ; 
Hose Nestor in the midst, and did his mind declare : 

176 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vn. '. 


" Falls a deep sorrow on the Achaian land. 
How would that old man wail it, Peleus knight. 
Staff of his people, and their good right hand, 
Who in his own house made me oft recite, 
Years long agone, and heard me with delight, 
Tales of the Argives, and each line and race ! 
Whom could he hear of, cowed by Hector's might. 
Then would he lift his dear hands, and of giace 
Pray that his soul to Hades might go down apace. 


" Father Zeus, Athene, and Apollo, 
Had I such youth as when Arcadia fought 
With Pylos (around Pheia's walls, where follow 
Streams of lardan their fleet course), and brought 
Their champion, godlike Ereuthaliou, fraught 
With the great arms of Areithous king, 
Whom men and fair-zoned women their children taught 
To caU ' Club-wielder,' for his strength did spring 
Neither from spear nor bow, but iron club's dire swing 1 

" By craft, not valour, where no more availed 
His iron club, within a pent-up way, 
Lycurgus with a spear his reins impaled. 
Then spoiled him, and his arms in after day, 
Stern Ares' gift, himself bore in the fray. 
But when Lycui'gus in his haUs waxed old, 
To Ereuthalion the dead chiefs array 
Was by his dear lord given, to have and hold. 
He summoned, in these arms, our best with challenge bold. 



" Then all with strong fear quailed, and would not dare ; 
But the brave temper of my heart me drew 
To fight, albeit I was youngest there. 
So by Athene's power, who bare me through, 
That man, their tallest and most fierce, I slew, 
While in the field exhausted lay the rest — 
Had I that prime now, and a strength so true. 
Hector would find his match ! But ye, our best. 
Hang from the work, nor meet this champion with full zest." 

He ended, and these nine arose with speed : 
First Agamemnon, king of land and seas, 
Upleapt, and then strong-hearted Diomede ; 
Anon the Aiantes rose, and knit their knees ; 
And next Idomeneus, and M^riones, 
His comrade, peer to dreadful Ares he ; 
Then bright Eurypylus ; Thoas after these, 
Andrsemon's child, and of divine degree 
Odysseus. Each now willed brave Hector's match to be. 


Then out spake Nestor, the Gerenian knight : 
" Shake now the lots ; for whoso wins will bear 
Much profit to the Achaians, and requite 
ffis own heart also, if he safely fare." 
He spake : and each his own lot, marked with care. 
Did in the helm of Agamemnon fling. 
And, with hands lifted to the gods in prayer. 
Each gazed on the broad heaven, and said this thing : 
" O Zeus, let Aias win, or Diomede, or the King !" 

VOL. I. M 

178 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book TU. 


Then Nestor shook, and their own choice outleapt. 
The lot of Aias. And the herald passed 
From left to right, and showed it as he stept : 
And each in turn disowned it. When at last 
He the man reached, as down the ranks he passed. 
Who marked and threw it, Aias nobly famed. 
In the chief's hand, outstretched, the lot he cast^ 
Who knew it and was glad, with zeal inflamed. 
There at his feet to earth he flung it, and exclaimed : 

" friends, the lot is mine 1 and I with you 
Joy for the hope that Hector falls to-day. 
Till, then, with harness I my limbs endue. 
Ye the meanwhile to Zeus Kronion pray. 
Dumb, lest the Trojans hearken what ye say; 
Or even aloud ; whom fear we on the earth ? 
No strength or valour shall me scare away. 
No skill defeat me — ^not so poor of worth 
I boast my rearing-up in Salamis, and my birth." 


Thus Aias spake ; and to Kronion dread. 
With eyes uplifted to the ample sky. 
Prayed from one heart the people, and each said : — 
" Thou who from Ida rulest mightily, 
Father Zeus, most glorious, great, and high. 
Speed Aias now, and shine upon our prayer : 
But Hector if thou lovest, then lay by 
Deeds equal for them both, and fame as fair ! " 
They ceased. In flashing mail Aias was arming there. 

BOOK yil] the ILIAD OF HOBiER; 17d 


Soon all in harness was he wrapt, and then 
Snshed to the work, like Ares at full height, 
When to the field he marches among men 
Cast hy Exonion in the fangs of fight ; 
Such Aias moved, gigantic in their sight. 
Smiling with brows of thunder, as he swung 
The gaunt spear, gleaming at each stride of might ; 
And on his mien with joy the Argives hung, 
But tremblings and alarm the Trojan knees imstrung. 

YesL, even Hector^s heart within his breast 
Elnocked at the ribs, yet could he nowise cower, 
Nor with jEeiint purpose break from his own quest 
Anon before him he sees Aias lower. 
With huge seven-hided shield, a brazen tower. 
By Tychius built, that craftsman matched by none, 
IVom Hyla. He seven buUs of breed and power 
Flayed for that limber shield ; and like a sun 
Hammered an eighth hard layer of beaming brass thereon. 

This Telamonian Aias bare, and now 
By Hector stood, and threatening thus b^an: 
" Learn wilt thou soon, bold Hector, even thou, 
Who be the Danaan chiefs, and what they can, 
Aye though Achilleus, lion-hearted man, 
Stand not among u& By the fleet he lies. 
Holding great Agamemnon under ban. 
But many of vs can look thee in the eyes, 
And foot to foot strike home : thyself to war advise." 

180 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tii. 


And the large white-plumed Hector answering spake : 
** divine Aias, Telamonian king, 
Boast not, nor me for some poor child mistake. 
Or girl, to whom wild war is a new thing. 
Swords and the yells of men no terror bring. 
No pause to me ; I know them from of old. 
Now right, now left, my buckler can I swing. 
Charge on the chariots in confusion rolled. 
Or toil in standing fight, and to the music hold. 

" Look to thyself ! I care not to hit thee. 
Such as thou art, by any sleight concealed : 
So rather, if I can, that all may see." 
So saying, his mighty wrist he backward wheeled, 
And flung the spear in the seven-hided shield 
Of Aias, on that layer, the eighth and last. 
Of brazen metal flaming in the field. 
Onward the irresistible spear-head passed ; 
Through the six hides it clave, but in the seventh stuck fast. 


Then divine Aias hurled his massy spear. 
And hit the orbM shield of Priam's son. 
Clean through the shining orb clave the strong spear. 
And past the elaborate hauberk went right on. 
And bv the flank the tunic tore anoiL 
But Hector, writhing, slipt the mortal blow. 
And now, with spears tugged forth, they close in one. 
As two wild boars together grappling go. 
Or like raw-feeding lions that with rage overflow. 



Hector the mid sliield smote, nor brake the brass^ 
For the barb curled. Then Alas also bore 
With firm point on the targe, and made it pass. 
And gashed the neck : then spouted the red gore. 
Nor white-plumed Hector yet the fight gave o'er, 
But seized a stone there lying on the field. 
Black, huge, and rough, and with it smote full sore 
The round boss of the huge seven-hided shield 
Of Aias, direly smote, and the divine brass pealed. 

But Aias in return a stone more large 
Snatched from the ground, and whirled it with dire aim. 
In strength immeasurable, and brake the targe 
As with a mill-stone, and the knees did lame 
Of Hector. Crushed beneath the targe he came 
Flat to the earth ; but Phc&bus reared hint Then 
With grim swords had they plied their deadly game. 
But that the heralds, who serve Zeus and men. 
Came, Trojan and Achaian, ere they closed again. 


Here stood Talthybius, and Idseus there. 
And midway between both their sceptres laid. 
While he, the wise Idseus, spake them fair : 
" No longer, O my sons, though undismayed, 
Each against other this fell strife invade. 
Zeus, the cloud-driving Father, holds right dear 
Both : and ye both ply well the warrior's trade. 
That know we all ; but now the night draws near. 
And it is good the summons of dark night to hear." 

1B2 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book vn. 


Then Aiaa said : " Bid Hector first decide, 
O herald, for he challenged all our best ; 
And gladly I wUl follow, if he guide/^ 
And the laige white-plumed Hector him addressed : 
** Aias, with size and power and prudence blest. 
And by God's will most glorious with the spear. 
Hold for to-day : hereafter we will test 
Which shall prevail ; but now the night draws near« 
And it is good the summons of dark night to hear. 


'' So to the men of Aigos shalt thou bring, 
And to thy clansmen and thy friends, much joy ; 
And I will seek the town of Priam king. 
And cheer the men and long-robed women of Troy, 
Who to the gods will holy rites employ. 
But let us now change gifts, that men may teU 
Hereafter both in Argos and in Troy : 
' These with fierce soul to bitter combat fell. 
But from the field they passed like friends united well' '' 

So saying, a silvered brand with sheath he gave 
And rich strap. Aias gave his belt renowned. 
Shining with purple. Then the champions brave 
Went each his way. Much joy the Trojans found. 
When Hector they beheld alive and sound. 
Safe from the hands of Aias. Him they bring 
Glad to the town, past hope with fortune crowned ; 
While with proud heart, elate on victory's wing, 
Aias the Danaans lead to Agamemnon king. 



So to the king's hut; and to Zeus on high 
A fine bull, five years old, Atrides slew : 
Anon they flayed him, and right dexterously 
Turned him about, and slashed him through and through. 
Then, deftly sliced him up in pieces due, 
And on the pointed spits their morsels set. 
These, at the fire soon roasted, off they drew. 
So, when their toil was done, to feast they get ; 
And not a guest there found had less than his fair debt 


There with the whole length of the cloven chine 
Imperial Agamemnon, king of men. 
Graced Aias above aU. But when for wine 
And food no longer their souls lusted, then 
The old man turned to weaving schemes again, 
Nestor, whose rede before did best appear. 
He with goodwill rose, and harangued them then : 
" Agamemnon, son of Atreus, hear. 
And ye the Achaian chieftains hearken and give ear ! 

" Of the long-haired Achaians many are dead, 
Their dark blood mingled with Scamander's flow. 
And their heroic souls to Hades fled. 
Therefore command at morning to forego 
The war-shout and the war, that we may so 
With mides and oxen hither wheel the slain. 
And bum them near the ships, that men may show 
The ashes to their children, if the main 
Homeward we sail, and reach our native land again. 

184 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book vu. 


" Then will we reax an indiscriminate mound. 
One laige heap firom the plain, the pyre about. 
And plant a tier of lofty towers aroimd, 
Shelter for barks and men, then portals stout 
Build, that the chariots may drive in and out ; 
And a deep trench, to hold the storm afar 
On days of battle, will we dig without. 
That neither steed nor man the circling bar 
Pass over, lest our work the Trojans scale and mar." 

So Nestor spake ; and all the kings agreed. 
But in the Acropolis, at Priam's gate, 
Council the Trojans held with panic speed. 
And wise Antenor opened the debate : 
" Trojans, Dardanians, and allies, now wait 
In silence tiU I speak my inward thought. 
Yield Argive Helen with her whole estate 
Back to the sons of Atreus — for we fought 
Against our oaths this day, and we are come to nought." 


This spoken, he sat down ; and godlike then. 
Husband of bright-haired Helen, Paris rose. 
And spake sharp answer mid the Trojan men : 
" Not to my taste nor gain dost thou propose 
Thy rede, Antenor. Something thy heart knows 
Better than this. But if indeed of zeal 
Thou speak it, heaven itself hath made thee lose 
Thy wits. But wherefore should I now thus deal? 
I win not yield her up, to that I set my seal 



" But whatsoever in the bark I bore 
From Argos, when to Troy she fled with me, 
That will I leadily in full restore, 
And other add thereto." Thus answered he. 
Then in the midst uprose in majesty 
King Priam, to the gods in wisdom peer ; 
He with goodwill now spake advisedly : 
'* Trojans, Dardanians, and allies, give ear. 
While with my lips I speak, and make my counsel clear. 


" Eat now your meal as ye are wont to eat. 
See to the guards, plant watches for the night. 
And send Idaeus to their camp and fleet 
At mom, the sons of Atreus to invite 
His word to hear, who set the feud alight, 
And prudently enquire if war may cease 
Till we the dead bum, and perform each rita 
Then let the war-shout and the war increase. 
Till Fate decide our doom, and we at last find peace." 


He spake, and gladly they obeyed, and ate. 
With morning went Ideeus to the coast. 
And by the royal ship in full debate 
Found and harangued the leaders of the host : 
" son of Atreus, and all ye that boast 
Achaian kingship, Priam in his might. 
And all that in Troy land are honoured most. 
Bid me declare, if it to you seem right, 
This, Alexander's word, who set the feud alight : 

1S6 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book m 


"What wealth in fleet barks from your land he drew— 
Far better had he died than wrought that ill I — 
All will he yield, and other add thereto. 
But Helen to give back — ^he never will, 
Never ; and yet the Trojans urge it still. 
This too they bid me ask, that war may cease 
Till we the dead bum and each rite fulfil ; 
Then let the war-shout and the war increase, 
Till Fate our doom decide, and we at last find peace." 


He spake ; but all the Achaian chiefs were dumb. 
At last this word from Diomedes fell: 
" Let now no gifts from Alexander come, 
Nor take back Helen ! Even a babe may tell 
That Troy now trembles on the brink of hell." 
He spake ; and aU the Achaians with a shout 
Applauded, in their hearts admiring well 
The word of Diomede, their champion stout. 
And Agamemnon then before the host cried out : 


" Idseus, sacred herald, this to thee. 
Hear it thyself, the Achaians answer now ; 
And 'tis an answer that well pleaseth me. 
But for the dead, I nothing disallow 
Such with the rites of burning to endow. 
Nor envy nor reserve follows the dead, 
Once fallen, when beneath Fate's stroke they bow 
But with the rites of fire they must be fed. 
Let Zeus our witness stand, great lord of Hera's bed ! 



So. sayings to all the gods he lifted high 
The sceptre ; and to Troy Idseus went 
There the whole people sat with eager eye, 
Expecting, and the herald his way bent 
Into the midst, and stood, and told the event. 
All set to work : some wood to build the pyre 
Sought far and near, and for the dead some went. 
Also the Argives from their camp retire. 
And some the dead seek out, some wood to build the pyre. 

While in his inarch the Sun but newly yet 
From the fair-flowing river of ocean deep 
Hit slant the furrows, in the plain they met. 
Hard was it to know each in that red heap ; 
But soon in water the grim woimds they steep. 
And pile the dead, now cleansed, on wain and cart. 
With tears : but Priam would not let them weep. 
So they in silence pile, with grieving heart. 
The dead men on the fire, and bum them, and depart. 


So likewise the Achaians that same day. 
Sore grieving, pile their dead with form and rite. 
And bum them on the fire, and go their way. 
And now when morning was not, but the light 
Of grey dawn stealing on the doubtful night, 
Of the Achaians came a chosen band. 
Ere sleep &om men's eyes had yet taken flight, 
About the pyres, and from the loamy land 
. One indiscriminate mound shoal up with eager hand. 

188 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book m 


So the great mound rose looming from the plain ; 
And with a wall they fenced it round about, 
Then with a tier of towers the wall entrain. 
Shelter for barks and men, and portals stout 
Bmld, for the chariots to drive in and out ; 
And a wide trench, to hold the storm aloof 
On days of battle, they dug deep without. 
Not to be cleared by steed of mortal hoof, 
And in the midst set firm a palisade of proof. 

So the long-haired Achaians plied their toU. 
But round the lord of lightning, where he sat 
Throned in the heaven, the gods in high turmoil 
Viewed how the brazen-mailed Achaians gat 
Their great work forward, and grieved sore thereat. 
And the Earth-shaker in their midst began : 
** lives there on yonder earth, spread far and flat, 
Zeus, one mortal of the race of man, 
Who to the high gods yet will deign reveal his plan? 

'' Hast thou not seen the Achaians at their task. 
How they have walled a wall, to shield their fleet. 
And round it driven a trench, and did not ask 
Leave of the gods, nor bum the oflferings meet ? 
Now shall their fame walk far as morning's feet, 
But my wall and Apollo's be forgot, 
Which for Laomedon we toiled complete." 
Spake the cloud-driving Sire in anger hot : 
" Strong Shaker of the Earth, thou sayest I know not what 



" Fear in the other gods were not unmeet, 
"Who in their hands are feebler far than thou ; 
But stai thy glory wide as moming^s feet 
Shall wander as of old. But rise up now, 
And, when the Achaian keels the deep main plough 
Homeward, upon their wall make ruinous breach. 
Tear down and guK it in the dark sea-slough. 
And their foundations blot with the great beach. 
That memory of their walls no more thy fame impeach.*' 

Thus they conversed together, and the sun 
Fell, and that work the Achaians ended there 
Which in the grey dawn-twilight they begun. 
Then they slew beeves, and ate their evening fare. 
Now in the haven ships from Lemnos were. 
Sent by Euneiis with a freight of wine, 
(Him queen Hypsipyla to Jason bare). 
And with a thousand measures of strong wine. 
Sent for a several gift to Atreus' sons divina 

So the long-haired Achaians bought their wine 
From Lemnos, some with brass, and some with steel. 
And some with slaves, and some with skins, or kine. 
Sat all night long the Achaians at their meal ; 
And Troy too feasted. But with many a peal 
Of thunder all night long Zeus brooded woe. 
They in pale fear to earth the red wine deal, 
Kor durst a man drink, till libations flow 
To the great Sire of all : and then to rest they go. 



Dawn in her safiron robe did earth o'ershine 
When the great Thunderer, on the topmost peak 
Of ridged Olympus, council held divine ; 
And all in silence the gods hear him speak : 
" Hearken aU ye in heaven, strong powers and weak, 
What now my soul doth in^yJbreast advise. 
I say let none, male god nor female, seek 
My word to overthrow, my wiU despisa 
But stand hack, while I work my works as I think wise. 

*• And if one, steaUng from my heavenly court, 
Or Trojan help, or Danaan, he, I wis. 
Shall come back beaten in no lovely sort ; 
Or down the deepest of hell's dark abyss 
Far will I hurl him from the realms of bliss. 
To iron gates and brazen keep, so low 
From Hades, as from earth heaven loftiest is. 
Then will he feel how far my strength can go. 
But if ye doubt, gods, come try, that all may know. 

192 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vm. 


" Hang down fix)m heaven to earth a golden chain. 
And every god and goddess hold it fast, 
Yet can ye never drag from sky to plain 
Zeus, the supreme Lord, though your toil be vast. 
But if my single hands to work I cast, 
You lightly could I hale, with earth and sea. 
Till roimd Olympus' neck the cord I passed. 
And all things in the air should floating be : 
Thus men and gods I rule, and none can equal me." 

He ceased ; and all were silent with amaze. 
Such were his words. At last Athene spake : 
" Zeus, high monarch of immortal days, 
This we know well, that none thy strength can break. 
But now we sorrow for the Danaans' sake, 
Lest in full measure of sad fate they die. 
As for the battle, we thy warning take. 
Yet with advice wiU we the Argives ply. 
Lest they be all wiped out, because thy wrath is high." 

Thus spake Athene. The cloud-driving Sire 
Gave ear, and softly on her looked, and smiled. 
And answered in his turn, and stilled his ire : 
" Take heart ! In anger against thee, dear child. 
Nought will I utter, but would fain be mild." 
So saying, he yoked the steeds of golden mane, 
Brass-hooved, and pacing with the tempest wild. 
Then clad himself with gold, and seized the rein 
And weU-twined golden lash, and to the car leapt fain ; 



Then scotuged the horses, and they winged the air 
Midway between the earth and starry sky. 
And him to many-fonntained Ida bare. 
Womb of wild beasts, and to the summit high 
Where his own grove and sacred altar lie. 
Then the great Father stayed their flying feet. 
And loosed them, and a mist spread far and nigh. 
There on the height he glorying held his seat. 
And viewed the city of Troy and the Achaian fleet. 


Bat the long-haired Achaians now their meal 
Took lightly in the camp, and armed with speed. 
Also the Trojans arm with brass and steel. 
Much fewer, and all on fire for warlike deed. 
Not as of will, but driven by utmost need. 
For wives and children. And now every gate 
Flies open, and in hurrying stream succeed 
Men on the leap to take the tide of Fate, 
Horsemen alike and footmen, and the cry was great. 


They coming to one place together dash 
Spear, shield, and strength of heroes clad with mail. 
Fierce with loud din the plated orbs they clash. 
Earth runs a river of blood ; yell, shout, and wail 
Blend echoing, as men perish or prevail. 
While it was dawn, and sacred day yet grew, 
So long the driving of their iron hail 
Set heavy and heavier, and much people slew. 
Till toward the midway vault the great Sun marching drew. 

VOL. I. N 

194 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vin. 


Then did ihe Father from his lofty throne 
Hang forth the golden scales, and therein lay 
Two fates of deadly bale, on each side one, 
Argos and Troy, and raised the beam to weigh. 
Then to the earth Achaia's dooming day 
Sank, but the Trojan scale mounted to heaven. 
And Zeus from Ida thundered, and away 
Streamed on Achaia's files the burning levin, 
And they fled sorely aghast, in fierce rout headlong driven. 


Then neither Agamemnon durst abide, 
Idomeneus, nor yet the Aiantes twain ; 
Only Gerenian Nestor faced the tide. 
Nor he desiring ; but his steed was slain, 
Whom divine Paris hit where first the mane 
Springs fix)m the skull, and where the wound is death ; 
And as the keen shaft sank into the brain 
Once o'er the steeds he reared in dying breath. 
And crazed them as he rolled about the brass in death. 

While the old man was cutting rein and trace 
Quick with his knife, still nearer and more near 
The steeds of Hector galloped in wild chase, 
And came on, bearing a bold charioteer, 
Hector. And now the old man had died there. 
But the far-shouting Diomedes knew. 
And to Odysseus yelled along the air : 
" Child of divine Laertes, dost thou too 
Fly trembling back from battle with a cowardly crew ? 



*' Look to it now, lest some one .in thy rear, 
While in dismay thou hurriest from the fight, 
Deep in thy midriflf plant his brazen spear — 
Stop, save from this wild warrior the old knight !" 
Thus yelled he : but Odysseus in sore flight 
Heard nor gave ear, but to the ships tore on. 
And hard by Nestor, on the war's full height, 
Now stood the high-souled Diomede alone. 
And hailed him in winged words, and spake in friendly tone: 

" Old man, the young fresh warriors grind thee low; 
Thy strength droops ; hard old age thy bones doth mar ; 
Thy henchman is infirm, thy horses slow. 
Now will I teach thee, only mount my car. 
Chasing or chased what Troian horses are, 
Eneas' own, my spoil, a breed of fire. 
These to thy followers leave ; we twain afar 
Will dash mine on the battle, and rave with ire, 
Till Hector even himself my gory spear admire." 

Thus did he speak, nor the Gerenian knight 
Hearing obeyed not. And his followers twain 
Eurymedon and Sthenelus from the fight 
Drew the Nestorean steeds with tendance fain. 
Then Diomedes on his car again 
Sprang, and the old knight with him : and anon 
Nestor in hand took fast the glittering rein. 
And up the tumult lashed the horses on. 
And full to Hectoi^s front right speedily they were gone. 

196 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vm' 


Then Diomede in vain at Hector flung, 
But ^niopeus, the reinsman, with his dart 
He pierced beside the nipple, and down he rung. 
And the fleet horses backward stammer and start. 
Then Hector, covered with dark clouds in heart, 
Tet left the dead, new reinsman to provida 
Neither were steeds and driver held apart 
Long. Archeptolemus he soon descried, 
Who to the car then mounted^ the bright reins to guida 

Then were sore plagues, and wild despair of men. 
And soon to Troy had they been shoaled like sheep ; 
But high Zeus thundered, and a white flash then 
Streamed to the plain, and thwarted the full sweep 
Of the ^nei'an horses, and wrung deep 
Their nostrils with the stench and fire of helL 
They 'neath the car shrank huddling in a heap, 
While from the hands of Nestor the reins fell. 
And sorely aghast he quailed, and spake, advising well : 

*' Fly, son of Tydeus ! Canst thou not discern 
Zeus hath departed from thee ? Zeus to-day 
Shields Hector, and for him war^s tide doth turn, 
Which after shall be ours, if he says yea. 
Zeus from his aim no power can wrest away. 
Man, how supreme soever, is there but weak," 
Then did far-shouting Diomedes say : 
" All this, old man, dost thou in reason speak ; 
Yet on my soul this fear doth bitter anguish wreak : 



" For white-plumed Hector will vaunt loud in Troy, 
' Scared to the fleet by me Tydides came.' 
Earth, open then thy mouth, and me destroy V 
Answered Gerenian Nestor : " It were shame. 
Proud warrior, to dread this. Though Hector claim 
To brand thee churl and coward, a thing of nought. 
In Troy no soldier will believe the same, 
Nor widows of the men thy hand hath taught, 
Husbands in flower of youth by thee to Hades brought." 

Then he the steeds turned galloping to the rear, 
And loud Troy rolled behind with deadlier hail. 
Hector far shouting : " Son of Tydeus, hear ! 
Thee did the Danaan heroes high regale 
With prime flesh, princelier cups, who now wilt fail 
Of honour — in the mould of women nursed ! 
Vile dwarfling of the bower, come near and scale 
Troy's bulwark, and our women, if thou durst,. 
Hale to the fleet — not thou ; for I will slay thee first." 

He spake ; but Tydeus' son was in sore doubt 
The horses to wheel back and fight on still. 
Thrice in his spirit was he torn about. 
And thrice the Father pealed from Ida hill, 
Sign to the Trojans of his firm goodwill. 
And Hector shouted : " All ye ranks of Troy, 
Be men, my friends, and grimly follow and kill ! 
Zeus to our part gives token of great joy 
And victory and renown, but will the foe destroy. 

198 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vui. 


" Fools for their daub of wall ! It shall not stand ; 
Their trench my steeds can easily overleap. 
But when the fleet I reach, bring fire to hand. 
That timber alike and men from earth I sweep." 
Then to his team in tender accents deep : 
" Xanthus, and thou Podaigus, Aithon thou. 
And divine Lampus, now repay your keep 
Spread by Andromache, sweet com enow. 
Ere to my board, her husband's, she did food allow. 

" But strain in tune together, and drive on, 
That we may capture the Nestorean shield. 
Whereof the glory up to heaven hath gone 
That all of gold it is, both rings and shield. 
And, from the Diomedean shoulders peeled, 
Hephffistus' work, the glittering cuiiuss gain. 
Win we but these two prizes in the field, 
Large is my hope the Achaiaas wiU be fein 
This night to steal on shipboard, and no more remain." 


Thus did he vaunt. Great Hera, stung with fire. 
Moved on her throne, and broad Olympus shook. 
And the great god Poseidon hailed in ire : 
" Shaker of Earth, wilt thou this ruin brook. 
Theirs, who to Helice and Mgsd took 
Gifts fair and many, who were called thine own ? 
If all we now, to whom the Danaans look. 
Would beat Troy, till the help were overthrown 
Of high-voiced Zeus, in Ida he might fume alone ! " 



And tlie Earih-Bhaker in amaze replied : 
" Thou wild of lip, what word is this from thee ! 
Not with my will Kronion be defied 
Sy all us : he is mightier far than we I" 
Thus they. Meanwhile that comer by the sea^ 
On from the deep*dug trench beside the tower, 
Swarmed with the steeds and men of war, that he, 
Hector the child of Priam, peer in power 
^With Ares, had cooped up, in that his glorious hour. 


And now red fire had burned the ships ere night. 
But, moved by Hera, Agamemnon planned, 
Himself not loth, the Achaians to incite. 
So, with a purple robe in his right hand. 
He climbed the central monster of the strand, 
Odysseus' great black ship, both ways to shrill : 
Here lay Aclulleus moored, the last on land. 
There Aias, glorying in his warlike will : 
And he stood forth and cried, the Danaan ears to thrill : 

" Shame on ye slaves, mere women and not men ! 
Where is the boast wherein we seemed so fine. 
And all our empty vaunts in Lemnos then, 
"Where we devoured the flesh of straight-homed kine, 
And crowned large goblets to the brim with wine, 
That each in fight could singly stand and meet 
Five score of Trojans or ten score in line ? 
And now not all our strength can one defeat. 
Hector, who soon with fire wiU bum our camp and fleet. 

2O0 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book Tin. 


** Zeus, didst thou ever with like doom impair 
Kings of the earth, and their high glory abase ? 
Never did I pass by thine altar fair 
In well-benched bark, when sailing to this place. 
But everywhere fat thighs before thy face 
Burned, in desire to smite the walls of Troy. 
But now, great Father, hearken of thy grace. 
And grant that we at least our lives enjoy. 
Nor leave the Trojans thus the Achaians to destroy ! " 

He ended ; and his tears and sad lament 
The Father pitied, and was fain to spare 
The people's lives. And from the clouds he sent 
An eagle, monarch of the fowls of air. 
And in his nails the fawn of a swift deer. 
Hard by Zeus' altar he let drop the fawn. 
Whence to the Lord of Voices they make prayer. 
They, seeing that the bird his flight had drawn 
From Zeus, now rallying rushed, and felt new courage dawn. 

No Danaan of them all could then make boast 
From Tydeus' son the vanward path to wrest, 
In driving from the trench to feel the host. 
First Agelaus of the shining crest 
He slew, as flightward he the rein addrest. 
Even as he turned, the spear behind him sang. 
And through the midriff clave, from back to breast 
Between his shoulders, the sharp brazen fang. 
He from the car rolled headlong, and his harness rang. 



'Next after Tydeus' child came on with might 
The imperial Lord of Argos and the seas. 
And Menelaus shouting yells of fight. 
And then the Aiantes twain with valiant knees, 
And next Idomenens and M^riones, 
[Equal to hlood-stained Ares in the field, 
And next Euiypylus. And after these 
Came Teucer ninth, and curven bow did wield. 
Standing on fence behind the Telamonian shield. 

Aias the shield extended. Teucer then 
Peered from behind, and with a shaft forth stept. 
And slew one singled from the enemy's men ; 
Then, as a child creeps to his mother, crept 
To Aias, who the shield before him swept. 
There first Orsilochus and Dsetor fall, 
Ormenus, Ophelestes much bewept> 
Chromius, and yet three captains, eight in all ; 
These like a swath of flowers he mowed down fair and tall. 

And Agamemnon king of men was glad. 
When blameless Teucer he saw dealing woe 
From the great weapon, and came near and said : 
" Brave Telamonian Teucer, aim on so. 
And the lost field undarken with thy bow. 
And shine to him who reared thee when a child. 
Thy father, in his home, and let thee grow, 
Albeit a bastard, and in love was mild : 
Under his feet far off let now thy fame be piled ! 

a02 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tui. 


" And plainly in thy ears I now declare. 
And by the promise will right firmly stand: 
If the Lord Zeus, who doth the iEgis bear. 
And wise Athene render to my hand 
Troy with her waUs, and let me wreck the land. 
Thee with a gift of honour will I grace 
Next to myself, a tripod fair and grand. 
Two steeds and chariot, or divine of face 
A woman, in thy couch hereafter to find place/' 


Quickly the blameless Teucer made reply : 
" Drivest thou me, then, who in no wise cower, 
glorious son of Atreus 7 Enow that I 
Cease not to fight according to my power. 
But, since to Troy we pushed them, from that hour 
Lurk waiting to catch men. But now, behold. 
Eight bearded arrows have I sent in shower 
To pierce the flesh of warriors, and all told ; 
But this wild ravening hound is not to be controlled.** 


He spake, and from the nerve a shaft let flit 
Toward Hector, yearning to have slain him there. 
Him did he miss, but brave Goigythion hit 
Full in the breast, whom Castianeira fair. 
Divine of women, to king Priam bare : 
And like a poppy he let fall his head, 
Which in a garden too much firuit doth wear. 
And with the vernal showers is overfed ; 
So to the helmet's weight he bowed his comely head. 

BOOK viil] the ILIAD OF HOMER. 203 


Once more bold Teucer from the nerve let fly 
Toward Hector, yearning to have slain him there. 
Yet missed ; Apollo turned his aim awry ; 
But Archeptolemus, the charioteer, 
He caught beside the nipple in full career ; 
Prone dashed he, and the horses stammer aside. 
Then Hector in sore grief the 4ead, though dear. 
Left, and his brother K^briones descried, 
^Who to the chariot mounted, the bright reins to guide. 


But from the gleaming chariot, swift as fate, 
Down to the earth leapt Hector with a yell. 
And seized a great stone-boulder, and ran straight 
For Teucer, yearning the man's life to quelL 
He from the quiver a shaft chosen well 
Strung to the nerve : but Hector, as he drew, 
Just where the key from neck to breast doth swell, 
And stands out naked to the aimer's view. 
Hard by the shoulder, there the ragged boulder threw. 

Numbed was the wrist and the cord rent in twain ; 
He, wavering as to kneel, stood, and the bow 
Dropt from his nerveless fingers to the plain. 
Nor Aias not befriended in that woe 
His brother, but ran quick the shield to throw 
Where need lay most, and hedged him round thereby. 
Nor were Mekisteus and Alastor slow 
For Teucer to stoop down, and bear on high. 
Back to the hollow ships, him groaning heavily. 

204 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tuu 


Then miglity Zeus once more the Trojans fired. 
And to the trench they pushed the Achaians sore, 
Fierce Hector in the fix)nt, with rage inspired. 
And as a dog some lion or wild boar 
Grips from behind, and narrowing evermore 
Leaps at the loin, to grapple him if he can. 
So Hector, narrowing as they fled before. 
Slew ever and again the hindmost man 
Of the long-haired Achaians, and they shoaling ran. 

When past the palisade and trench the cloud 
Of men came flying, thinned by the rough foe. 
Hard by the ships they stand, and cry aloud. 
And to all gods in heaven their hands upthrow ; 
Then as with one voice mighty prayers outflow. 
Hector the while reined fiercely in his car 
The fieiy long-maned horses to and fro. 
Eyed like a Gorgon, aa he glared afar. 
Or man-devouring Ares, when he raves in war. 

But white-armed Hera grieved to see them die. 
And to Athene thus her mind revealed : 
" child of Zeus, shall no more thou and I 
Be touched with sorrow, ere this doom be sealed 
For ever, and the land be stript and peeled 
Of all our Danaans by the blast of one. 
Who in his frenzy up and down the field 
Drives beyond all endurance, Priam's son. 
Hector ? — ^behold I say what havoc he hath done ! " 



And the stem-eyed Athene answering said : 
" Now from his bones may strength and life be torn, 
And in his own land let them strike him dead ! 
But lo ! my Father of all sense is shorn. 
And madly laughs my just desire to scorn, 
Nor this remembers — ^how I saved his child 
Oft, by the labours of Eurystheus worn. 
Tea, for he wept to heaven in anguish wild, 
And from on high Zeus sent me to deliver his child. 


" Had I but known this tnily when the king 
Sent him to Hades, who hell-gate doth keep, 
From Erebus' dark realm the dog to bring. 
Ne'er had he left the Stygian waters steep. 
But now Zeus hates me, and lets Thetis reap 
Her full demand, who came and kissed his knee, 
And held him by the beard, and touched him deep. 
To serve Achilleus. But the hour will be 
Yet, when his heart once more will turn in love to me. 


" Now for us twain thy glittering car unfold. 
That to the doors of Zeus our way we make. 
There will I arm for battle, and behold 
How white-plumed Hector will our advent take. 
When through the windows of the war we break. 
Then by Achaia's camp the dogs and birds 
Will gloat o'er many a Trojan." Thus she spake : 
Nor white-armed Hera disobeyed her words ; 
Straight the gold-shining horses to the car she girds. 

206 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vm. 


Meantime the child of aegis-bearing Zeus, 
Pallas, the filmy pictured robe she wore, 
Wrought by her own hands for herself, let loose. 
So that it streamed along her father's floor. 
Then she put on that tunic famed of yore. 
And bright arms, oft in saddening combat roUed ; 
Last the dire segis cast her shoulders o'er, 
And the car clomb, and on the spear laid hold. 
Wherewith she tames great heroes till her wrath is cold. 

Hera the horses plied with scourge and rein. 
All in a moment on the wing they leap : 
And Heaven's wide gates, of their own impulse fain. 
Clanged open, that dense cloud which the Hours keep, 
At will to open or shut : here forth they sweep. 
And Zeus to golden-feathered Iris cried, 
Beholding in his wrath from Ida steep : 
" Fly, fly, swift Iris, and turn back their pride, 
Ere I myself come near them, and their path bestride. 

" For I declare, nor will therefrom retreat, 
Soon will I hough their horses in the car. 
And craze their wheels, and from the lofty seat 
So dash them headlong, and their chariot mar, 
That not these ten years shall they cool the scar 
Which in their flesh my fire shall brand and bit< 
To learn Athene not to sin too far. 
But Hera's matter, that I count but slight ; 
'Tis but to taste once more her old familiar spita" 



He spake, and Iris, lacing with the wind, 
Stoimed on the errand, aad from Ida straight 
To fiEur Olympus flew with zealous mind : 
There stood before them as they rushed elate 
Down the Olympian slope, by the first gate. 
And stopped them, and the mind of Zeus declared : 
" Halt^ for why rush ye in the jaws of fate ? 
Or whither away ? what madness have ye dared ? 
Zens from Achaia bans this help ye have prepared. 


'' For (if he mean it !) hear Eronion's threat ! 
Soon will he hough your horses in the car. 
And craze your wheels, and &om the lofty seat 
So dash you headlong, and your chariot mar. 
That not these ten years shall ye cool the scar 
Which in your flesh the fire shall brand and bite — 
To learn Athene not to sin too far. 
But Hera's matter, that he counts but slight ; 
'Tia but to taste once more her old familiar spite. 

" Thiue is the cost, bold viper, if thou dare 
Against high Zeus the bridge of war to tread 1 " 
So said the fleet-foot Iris, and in air 
Took flight ; but Hera to Athene said : 
" Now not for mortals will I risk my head 
Against high Zeus, nor peril thou thine own. 
On earth let one be living, and one dead, 
Just as it falls ; let Zeus decide alone ; 
And, as he wills, in reason let the lot be thrown." 

208 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book tiu. 


So saying she turned the long-maned horses back ; 
Whom the fleet Hours unharness at her call. 
And bind them to the ambrosial golden rack, 
And the car lean against the shining walL 
Then the divine ones hastened to the hall, 
And with the gods there mingled, and reclined 
On golden seats, and chewed the cud of galL 
But Zeus, &om Ida charioting the wind, 
Passed to Olympus hill, the immortal bowers to find. 


For him the great Earth-shaker high renowned 
The fiery steeds of harness disarrayed. 
And on the long broad level tier of ground 
Set the bright car, and linen overlaid. 
But on his golden throne sat Zeus, and made 
The vast Olympus shake beneath his feet ; 
While Hera and Athene far in shade 
Sat, and in silence their own hearts did eat 
There did the Sire discern them, and in these words greet : 

" Hera and Athene, why thus sad? 
Scarce overworked in Trojan-killing fight 
I hold ye, though such fiery wrath ye had. 
True, that not all gods on Olympus height 
Can turn my hand, inviolable in might ; 
But ye slunk shivering ere one work of war 
Ye witnessed in the field — and ye did right. 
Else from my branding fire nor ye nor car 
Had to this realm come back where the celestials are." 



He spake ; but Hera and Athene then 
Murmured within their teeth, as they sat near 
And hatched calamities for Trojan men. 
Athene on Sire Zeus in mood severe 
Scowled silent. Hera gave her wrath career, 
And cried, " Thou scourge of heaven, what word is this ! 
We know thee from of old a god austere. 
Not to be tamed : but now we fear, I wis. 
All Danaans to see gulfed in dark fate's very abyss." 

And Zeus, the Cloud-compeller, answering said : 
" Thou in the morning, if thou list to see, 
O large-eyed Hera, shalt view thousands dead 
More than to-day, cut off and slain by me, 
Fierce-souled Kronion. For I say that he. 
Strong Hector, will not from the war refrain, 
TUl by the fleet Achilleus stirring be. 
On that day when they fight beside the main. 
Dashed in one shoal together — ^round Patroclus slain. 


" For thus divine Fate rules it : nor indeed 
Thine angry choler I regard one whit. 
Though to the unseen limit thou proceed 
Of earth and main, that nethermost dark pit, 
Where old lapetus and Kronos sit, 
Nor in the golden arrows of the Sun 
Find joyance, and no winds about them flit, 
But void hell rails them off — if there thou run, 
I reck not ; for I find no jade to match thee, none." 
voi^. L 

210 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book Tin. 


He spake : but white-armed Hera nought replied. 
And the clear sunlight dipped in Ocean stream. 
Trailing black night along the comlands wide. 
Not to Troy's pleasure fell the sun's bright beam. 
But to Achaia did thrice welcome seem, 
And beyond language fair, that glooming night. 
Then where a lane between the dead did gleam. 
Hector a Trojan council in lus might, 
Hard by the whirling river, did with speed invite. 

There all dismounting marked the words which fell 
From Hector, dear to Zeus, when he begun 
The loud harangue. His spear-shaft many an ell 
Bose up before him, and a dread light shone 
Flashed from the brass and golden ring thereon. 
He, leaning on the shaft, spake loud and stem : 
" Trojans, Dardanians, and allies, each one. 
Hearken I I thought to slay them all, and bum 
Their ships, then, back with peace to windy Ilion turn. 


" But night came first, delivering firom our hand 
Aigives and fleet hard by the beating main ; 
So now let us obey dark Night's command. 
Set forth the plenteous banquet, and unrein 
Our good steeds from the car, and give them grain ; 
Then all on foot go quickly, and drive kine 
And fat sheep from the city, and come again. 
With bread too from the houses, and sweet wine. 
And much wood get together, and heap piles of pine ; 



" That all night long, till dawning of the day, 
Blaze of our burnings may to heaven ascend, 
Lest in the dark the Achaian host essay 
Over the sea's broad back in flight to wend ; 
Lest they take ship, and none their scheme offend. 
Bather let each bear home across the deep 
An iron savour that no cure can mend, 
That none hereafter, no not even in sleep, 
Dream to launch war on Troy, and make our women weep. 


" And in the town let sacred heralds cry 
That aU the striplings in life's tender flower, 
And all old men white-haired, in station lie 
Couched on divinely-builded wall and tower. 
And bid the women, as each findeth power, 
A mighty burning fire in court and hall 
Feed with fat pinewood till the morning hour. 
And let a watch be planted, lest, we all 
Being absent, men by stealth upon the city fall 


" So now perform, brave friends, as I ordain : 
One wholesome word in season is worth seven : 
And in the morning I will speak again. 
I now pray Zeus and aU the gods in heaven 
That from our land these dogs of Fate be driven. 
Sent by the Furies with all kinds of harms. 
Let this one night to careful watch be given. 
And with the earliest dawn arrayed in arms 
We to the hollow ships will stir war's wild alarms. 

212 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book vm. 


" Then will I learn if Diomede can drive 
Me from the ships, or I him spoil and slay. 
And he to-morrow, if his spear can strive 
With mine, shall know it, though at dawn of day 
Doomed, as I think, and others in like way. 
To lie down wounded. that I now were 
Deathless for ever, and could shun decay, 
And of Athene's glory be made heir, 
So surely as this dawn shall woe to Aigos bear." 


So Hector spake : the Trojans roared assent. 
And loosed the sweating steeds, and made them fast. 
Each by his car : anon for beeves they went. 
Fat sheep and sweet wine, and much com amassed. 
And pinewood in great piles together cast 
Then to the gods rich hecatombs they killed. 
And on the winds to heaven the savour passed. 
Sweet — ^but the high gods tasted not, nor willed 
Their offering, against Troy with bitter hatred filled. 

So they, with high thoughts, on the bridge of war 
Sat through the night, their watchfires blazing nigh. 
As when the moon and every shining star 
Beam loveliest, when the winds in slumber lie, 
And in clear outline stand revealed thereby 
Sharp peak, and sunken valley, and rifted hill : 
Deep beyond deep unutterable the sky 
Breaks open, and the night spreads calm and still. 
All the stars shine, and joy the shepherd's heart doth fill — 



Such in their multitude from Xanthus stream, 
Betwixt the rolling river and the main^ 
In front of Troy the Trojan watchfires gleam, 
Which the men kindle and all night sustain. 
A thousand fires were burning on the plain, 
And beside each sat fifty, in the shine 
Of burning fire ; and, champing the white grain 
Of barley and spelt, the steeds in ordered line 
Hard by their chariots stood, waiting the Dawn divine. 


So Troy kept watch ; but on the Achaians rolled 
Delirious Agitation, child of Fear, 
And pangs unutterable on each laid hold. 
As when two winds come suddenly in career 
Down the long barrens of the billowy mere, 
Both sweeping wild from Thrace, the North and West, 
And the dark wave its dashing mane doth rear. 
And the land reeks with seaweed — ^fear thus pressed 
The heart of the Achaians, as in one man's breast. 

And Agamemnon, with sore grief beset, 
Passed up and down, and bade the heralds tell 
Each that a council was afoot, nor yet 
To shout it : and himseK to the work fell 
With those who chiefly did in power excel. 
Soon in amaze they met ; and Atreus' son 
Eose weeping, like the fount of a dark well 
Which down a smooth sheer rock doth streaming run. 
There, heavily groaning, he in winged words begun : 

816 THE nJAD OF HOMER. [book ix. 


" Friends, leaders of our host firom Aigos' shore, 
Zeus in dire mischief hath ensnared me fast, 
(Hard fate !) who promised and confirmed before 
My safe return home when the war was past : 
Tet hath he now an ill deceit forecast, 
And in no glorious plight, with thousands slain, 
Sends me to Aigos — for his power is vast. 
And thus it pleased him in his mind to ordain. 
Who many states hath ruined and will ruin again. 

" But come now, turn it in your thoughts, and I 
My word will utter : let us all consent 
Home to our dear land in the ships to fly. 
Since Fate no longer shines on our intent, 
Nor Troia shall we take — our strength is spent." 
He spake ; and each on other in mute dread 
Stared, and a deep hush through the council went. 
Long time the Achaians on their own hearts fed 
In silence : at the last brave Diomedes said : 

" king, thy folly wiU I first invade. 
Where right holds, in debate : nor thou be wroth ! 
Me for a coward did thy lips upbraid ; 
And the host knew it, old and young men both. 
In one gift liberal, and in one but loth. 
Was Zeus to thee. Imperial might he gave ; 
But valour, his chief boon, and hate of sloth 
In war, denied : and wilt thou talk the brave 
From battle, and write us down mere dastard, churl, or slave ? 


" Yet if thine own heart drive thee to retreat. 
Go ! for the way lies open, and hard by 
Stands on the beach thy great Mycenian fleet. 
But other of the Achaians will defy 
Troy to the bitter eni Or if they fly 
Home o'er the barren seas to their own shame. 
Then we two only, Sthenelus and I, 
Will linger and fight out the bloody game, 
Till Troy reel in the balance — for with God we came." 

Then rang a general cheer ; and the old knight 
Nestor among them rose, and spake, and said : 
" son of Tydeus, strong thou art in fight, 
And of thy peers in council far ahead, 
Nor any Achaian what thy lips have said 
Can gainsay : but more yet ripe wisdom brings. 
Toung art thou, one that might in years be read 
My youngest child : yet good and prudent things. 
Fit for the time, thou speakest to the Argive kings. 


" But I, thine elder, can put forth the whole. 
While even Agamemnon yields me right. 
None but the clanless, lawless, houseless soul 
Loves the heart-curdling game of civil fight. 
But heeding now the stmimons of dark night, 
Eat, drink, and sentries plant beyond the wall, 
Hard by the hollow trench, till dawn of light. 
This for the young. All else to thee doth fall. 
Great Atreus' son, for thou art kingliest of us all. 

218 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ix. 


" Feast thou the elders : 'tis thy right and plac& 
Thy huts are full of wine, uniningled, sweet, 
Borne by Achaian barks each day from Thrace ; 
And royal is thy room to drink and eat 
There of so many opinions the most meet 
Choose : for the need lies heavy to employ 
Wisdom and wit. The Trojans near our fleet 
lie, burning fires. And is there cause for joy ? 
This very night will save the whole camp, or destroy." 


He ended, and his word was readily done ; 
And forth the arm^d sentinels went thus 
By captains — Thrasymedes, Nestor's son, 
Ascalaphus and bold lalmenus. 
Then M^riones, and then De'ipyrus 
And Aphareus, and Lycomedes last, 
Kreon's brave son — ^these seven illustrious 
Appointed for the sentries : and each passed 
Girt by a hundred youths, with spears embattled fast 

Midway they came between the trench and wall, 
Where fire they kindled, and each drank and ate. 
But Agamemnon took the elders aU, 
And in his hut good cheer before them set. 
So they right willingly to feasting get. 
But when desire of meat and drink was gone, 
The old man turned to new devices yet, 
Nestor, whose coimsel ever worthiest shone. 
He now with firm goodwill harangued them, and spake on: 



" glorious Agamemnon, king of men, 
Thou art my first and thou my last, because 
Thou rulest over many thousand men. 
And Zeus hath planted in thy grasp the laws. 
To wield them fairly, and win just applause. 
Hence it befits thee both to speak and hear, 
And work out other's counsel when it draws 
To good ; aU utterances to thee still veer ; 
Therefore will I now speak what seemliest doth appear. 


" For no man else can sounder things unfold 
Than I myself, both heretofore and now. 
Since from Achilleus thou didst seize and hold 
Briseis. For thou weU rememberest how 
I still denoomced it to thy face. But thou. 
Yielding to passion, didst invade a man 
Held by the gods in honour. Yet e'en now 
Come, let us ponder till we find a plan 
By words and liberal gifts to soothe him, if we can." 

And Agamemnon, king of men, replied : 
" Old man, not falsely hast thou told the way 
Of wrong wherein I sinned, and wandered wide, 
Nor I myself can thy rebuke unsay. 
One loved by (Jod doth like an army weigh ; 
As him Zeus honoured, and in dark defeat 
Hath bowed our host. But since I went astray 
And yielded to my soul's accursed heat. 
Him would I soften now with lordly payments meet. 



" And I will here before you all unfold 
What the rioh value of my gifts shall be — 
Seven fireless tripods, and of virgin gold 
Ten talents in full weight, no slender fee, 
And twelve steeds of the race, bred generously. 
Who by their swiftness many a prize have won. 
Lord of such gains as they have brought to me, 
No man need lack broad fields beneath the sun. 
Nor yet for dearth of gold be ever left undone. 

" Moreover women will I send him seven, 
Skilled in the study of all household good. 
Of Lesbian race, who to my choice were given. 
When the fair land of Lesbos he subdued, 
And these of women first in beauty stood. 
His be they all, and with them shall be led 
Brise'is, whom I reaved with insult rude. 
And by a great oath will I bind my head 
That in the manner of men I have not known her bed. 

" All this shall on the spot be made his own ; 
And if hereafter the celestials wiU 
That Priam's mighty town be overthrown, 
Then let him enter, and compile a hill 
Of brass and gold, his heavy bark to fill. 
When we, the Achaian host, our prey divide. 
And twenty Trojan women, of good skill 
In matters of the house, elect beside. 
Who, next to Argive Helen, chief in grace preside. 



" And if we sail to Argos, womb of earth, 
My son shall he be made, and held by me 
Peer to that tender sapling of my hearth, 
Orestes. In my house are daughters three, 
Virgins, Chrysothemis, Laodicfe, 
And Iphianassa. Whom he list soe'er. 
Home let him lead her without tax or fee ; 
And I will add such gifts, exceeding rare. 
As no man for his child did ever yet prepare. 

" And well-built cities will I yield him seven. 
Green Ira, Enop6, and Cardamyl, 
Aipeia fair, and Fherae blest of heaven, 
Deep-lawned Antheia, wet with many a rill, 
Pedasus crowned with vineyards on the hiU — 
All on the coast-line beyond Pylos bay. 
Men rich in flocks and herds that region fiU, 
Who at his feet, as at a god's, will lay 
Gifts, and beneath his rule their fat revenues pay. 

" All this I yield him if he tame his fire — 
Why shoidd he not? Grim Hades, barred from light. 
He only bums with imappeasable ire. 
And all men hate him. Let Achilleus' might 
Bow then to mine, for ampler royal right. 
And that I elder am in years than he." 
Then answered Nestor the Gerenian knight : 
** O glorious Agamemnon, aU men see 
How to that chief thou ofiferest no unkingly -fee. 

222 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book iz. 


'' But let us now send chosen men, to go 
Kight quickly to the hut of Peleus' son. 
Yea, I will see to it, if it please ye so. 
Chiefly let Phoenix, dear to Zeus, be one. 
Then laige-limbed Aias, and Laertes' son. 
Divine Odysseus, and of heralds, two, 
Eurybates and Odius, and let none 
Speak with his lips, till with the lustral dew 
Our hands we lave and mercy from the Father sua" 

He ended, and they aU approved his speech. 
Then water on their hands the heralds pour. 
Youths crown the bowls with wine, and cups to each 
Distribute. They to heaven their offering bore, 
Ked wine, and drank it, till none wished for more ; 
From Agamemnon's hut then trooped apace. 
But the old knight still taught them o'er and o'er, 
Odysseus most, with eyes on each man's face. 
How with the blameless child of Peleus to find grace. 


Hard by the rolling thunder of the sea 
They paced together, lifting many a prayer 
To king Poseidon that their suit might be 
Graced by the son of Peleus. So they fere 
To the chief's hut, and find him soothing there 
His mind with the shrill lyre, to songs he knew 
That lyre with silver yoke, and carven fair, 
Which from Eetion's spoil he chose and drew — 
Soothing his mind he sang heroic deeds thereto. 



Over against him sat Patroclns dumb, 
He only^ tanying till the master ceasa 
And lo I the ambassadors both forward come, 
Odysseus first, and stood before his knees. 
And, lyre in hand, the chief, beholding these, 
Sprang to his feet, and with him rose his friend 
Then swift Achilleus gave them words of peace : 
" O princes, hail ! On some great quest ye wend, 
Ye to my heart still dear, whoever else ofiend." 

Thus said Achilleus, and with outstretched hand 
Leading them forward made his guests recline 
On benches strewn with purple, and command 
Grave to his friend, Menoetius' son divine : 
" Bring now with speed a larger bowl of wine 
And mix it stronger, and set cups to cheer 
Each : for to-night beneath this roof of mine 
Friends are come in, my nearest and most dear." 
Thus did he speak. Patroclus to his friend gave ear. 

Then in the blazing firelight his great board 
He planted, and thereon of hog, goat, sheep. 
All flourishing with fat, the chines he stored. 
These held Automedon, and wide and deep 
Achilleus sliced, then spitted the fuU heap ; 
And a great fire divine Patroclus lit. 
But when the crackling fiame began to sleep, 
He raked the embers, on the stones each spit 
Laid, and the sacred salt then spriokled, as is fit. 

S24 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book rs. 


So with much caie he roasted all the meat. 
And on the table ranged it, and set bread 
In silver baskets for the chiefs to eat 
Achilleus dealt out portions, head by head, 
Where he sat fronting, o'er the banquet spread. 
Divine Odysseus from the adverse wall ; 
Then bade Patroclus in the fire to shed 
The gods' due part, and he obeyed ; and all. 
With eager hand outstretched, upon the viands fall. 


When the desire was quenched of food and drink, 
Aias to Phoenix nodded, and divine 
Odysseus in his heart knew what to think. 
And brimmed his goblet, and held forth the wine. 
And spake : '* Achilleus, hail, dear friend of mine ! 
Neither before in Agamemnon's hut, 
Nor here now, do we lack whereon to dine, 
Com in abundance, and fat joints to cut ; 
Nought that beseems high banquet from our hand is shut. 

" But thoughts far other than of feast and song 
Now hold us ; for, divine one, in our sight 
Loom clouds of sorrow, and our fear is strong ; 
Nor know we if our ships at morning light 
Will stand or fall, except thou come with might. 
For Troy's brave host, and their allies from far, 
Near to our fleet and wall lie camped to-night. 
And in the plain their watchfires burning are. 
And even now they threaten the black ships to mar. 



" Yea, on their right Kronion hath revealed 
His sign^ and Hector in his hope so yearns. 
Mad with the fire of Zeus, to sweep the field, 
That even now both men and gods he spurns. 
And oft aloud, such fury in him burns. 
Chides the divine Dawn that her feet are lame ; 
For he is set to break the high-built stems 
Oflf from our ships, and wrap the wrecks in flame. 
And in the smoke hunt down the Achaians near the same. 

" Nor is my heart not shaken lest with joy. 
By the decrees of heaven, his thought he reap. 
And we be fated to find here in Troy, 
Far from our native fields, an iron sleep. 
Up then, at last arise, in harness leap 
On the rough battle, and our cause befriend ! 
Else wilt thou feel an after anguish deep ; 
For wrong once done no medicine can mend. 
Think, if in time thou mayst our evil day forefend. 


" Ah, my beloved ! Thy father Peleus said 
That day, from Phthia when he let thee part : 
' My child, Athene and queen Hera dread 
Will, if they will, give strength : rule thou thy heart. 
'Tis better to be gentle. Let no smart 
Stir thee to evil strife, that young and old 
May honour thee the more, where'er thou art.' 
Such were his words, which in thy breast to hold 
Thou dost forget. — Cease, turn, and bid thy wrath be cold. 
VOL. I. P 

226 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ix. 


" Not worthless are the gifts that shall be given. 
Which Agamemnon in the camp to thee 
Hath vowed to render — ^fireless tripods seven. 
Ten talents of pure gold, no slender fee, 
Caldrons a score, twelve steeds bred generously. 
Who in the swift race many a pri^e have won. 
Who earns such wealth as by those horses he. 
Needs not to lack broad fields beneath the sun, 
Needs not for dearth of gold be ever left undone. 

" Moreover women will he send thee seven. 
Skilled in the study of all household good, 
Of Lesbian race, who to his choice were given 
When that fair island was by thee subdued. 
And these of women first in beauty stood. 
All will he give, and with them shall be led 
Briseis, whom he reaved with insult rude. 
And by a great oath wiU he bind his head 
That in the manner of men he hath not known her bed. 

" All this shall on the spot be made thine own ; 
And if hereafter the celestials will 
That Priam's mighty town be overthrown. 
Then shalt thou enter, and compile a hill 
Of brass and gold, thy heavy bark to fill. 
When we the Achaians shall our prey divide. 
And twenty Trojan women of good skiU 
In matters of the house elect beside. 
Who, next to Argive Helen, chief in grace preside. 



" And if we sail to Argos, womb of earth, 
Thou shalt be married to his child, and be 
Peer to that tender sapling of his hearth, 
Orestes. In his house dwell daughters three, 
Virgins, Chrysothemis, Laodicfe, 
And Iphianassa. Whom thou list soe'er, 
Home shalt' thou lead her without tax or fee ; 
And he will add such gifts, exceeding rare. 
As no man for his child did ever yet prepare. 

" And well-built cities will he yield thee seven, 
Green Ira, Enop^, and Cardamyl, 
Aipeia fair, and PhersB blest of heaven, 
Deep-lawned Antheia, wet with many a rill, 
Pedasus crowned with vineyards on the hill — 
All on the coast-line beyond Pylos bay. 
Men rich in flocks and herds that region fill, 
Who at thy feet, as at a god's, will lay 
Gifts, and beneath thy rule their fat revenues pay. 


" All these, to quench thy fire, will he bestow. 
But if within thy soul thou dost abhor 
Both Agamemnon and his gifts, yet so 
Have pity on the Achaians, wounded sore 
And broken in the camp, who will adore 
Thee like a god — their fame is in thy hand. 
Hector is now not far, but at thy door 
Baves loudly that no Danaan in the land, 
None that our ships brought hither, can before him stand." 

228 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book a. 


Answered the fleet Achilleus in his turn : 
" Versed in all craft, Laertes' son divine. 
No, three times no I — ^the word is light to learn. 
Just as I mean it, to the very line 
Of fixed resolve that will not brook decline. 
Clear let it ring, that no man deem it well 
To murmur on, for any lies of mine : 
Him count I hateful as the doors of hell 
Who in his heart thinks other than his tongue doth telL 

" Nay, hear me out ! I move not hand or knee, 
Neither for Agamemnon Atreus' son. 
Nor all the Danaan kings. What boots it me 
Eternally for ever to go on 
Fighting with hostile men, where thanks are none ? 
For though a man bide fast in his own place, 
Or drink war to the dregs, our doom is one. 
The sluggard and the strong find equal grace ; 
All in the dust lie down, the valiant and the base. 


" Or weigh my griefs — am I so far preferred 
That I should alway set my life at stake ? 
See with each morsel how the mother-bird 
Flies to her callow nestlings in the brake. 
And with herself it fares iU for their sake ; 
So ever in the field have I gone through 
The toil of bloody days, and lain awake 
The long nights, brooding what was left to do, 
Still with the enemy warring for the wives of you. 



" Twelve cities with my fleet, and twelve save one 
On dry land sieging have I sacked in Troy, 
Each with a hoard of spoil, and Atreus' son 
Sat by the ships, and here and there a toy 
Dealt from my gains, but did the rest enjoy. 
All other of the kings their guerdon reap 
Whole in the camp, but mine he doth destroy. 
Mine only of the Achaians, and doth keep 
Her that I love — now let him in soft dalliance sleep I 


" Why do the men of Argos fight and fall ? 
Or to what end is this far-famed array 1 
Hath not the bright-haired Helen caused it all ? 
Yes, no man ever loved his wife but they. 
None but the sons of Atreus ! Bather say 
All that are good and wise love well their own. 
As I loved her, albeit my sword's prey. 
Now am I robbed and cheated, I alone — 
Go, let him spare his pains : no offering shall atona 

" Nay, with thyself, Odysseus, and the kings. 
This ravage of red fire I warn him quench. 
Without my help hath he done many things, 
Builded a wall, and dug with stakes a trench ; 
Yet bloody is the sword in Hector's clench 
Still. When I fought, no challenge to the plain 
Could from the hold of Troy this Hector wrench 
Save to the Western gates that front the main : 
There he abode my wrath, and scarce got home again. 

230 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ix. 


" Now with brave Hector will I fight no more. 
This but remaineth, that I vows fulfil 
To Zeus and all the gods, then leave the shore 
With barks well laden ; and, if so thou will, 
And if the care to see it is with thee still. 
Thou on broad Hellespont ma/st view my fleet 
Bide early in the morning, rowed with skill ; 
And if Poseidon give us help, my feet 
On the third day will stand in Phthia's green retreat. 

" There I go back to many tilings I love ; 
Nor empty are my ships of brass and gold, 
And fair-zoned women over and above. 
And glittering steel, my wages that I hold. 
But he that gave it, now with outrage bold, 
Great Agamemnon, doth my guerdon spoiL 
Therefore I bid you all my words unfold. 
That, if again some Danaan he would foil. 
Then may that dire offence the Achaian host embroil 


" His brows are shameless, and his soul to boot^ 
Yet me the craven durst not front again. 
Though cloked in impudence from face to foot. 
No counsel will I weave, no task ordain. 
With him who trapt me in so foul a train. 
Nor can his glozing tongue me twice ensnare. 
Away with him for ever ! Zeus hath ta'en 
His wits. I hate, and can in no wise bear. 
Sight of his gifts, nor him do I count worth a hair. 



" Not though he gave me twice ten fold, or more, 
His wealth, and made Orchomenus my bait, 
Or Thebes of Egypt, full of countless store, 
Thebes the wide hundred-gated, and each gate 
Lets out two hundred charioteers in state, 
Though treasures he might deal like dust or sand. 
Not even then could he my wrath abate. 
Till from my soul he purge the searing brand, 
And uttermost revenge uprender to my hand. 


" And as for marriage, I will not come near 
A child of Agamemnon, Atreus' son. 
Though she be golden Aphrodite's peer 
In beauty, and Athene's art outrun, 
Not thus, nor ever, shall that rite be done. 
Nay, let him rather, as he list, provide 
Some Aigive kingly enough to be his son ; 
For, if the gods me safely homeward guide, 
Peleus himself wiU find some maiden for my bride. 


" In Hellas there are maids of kingly line, 
And fit wives may be chosen from the same. 
Yea, there not seldom doth my soul incline 
To get me a good wife, some noble dame, 
And my sire's wealth enjoy. Life's worth may claim 
More than men say Troy held in days of old, 
That time of peace before the Achaians came. 
More than that stony barrier can enfold 
In the Apollonian shrine, on Pytho's rocky hold. 

238 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book ix. 


** For oxen and fat sheep abide their price, 
And lost may be redeemed in spoil again. 
And tripods may be had not once nor twice, 
And high-bred horses with their golden mane. 
But man's life, when it flies, no power can chain, 
And in the spoils of war 'tis nowhere found. 
Nor hunters in the field that prize obtain. 
When naked to the night that hems it round 
Once from the teeth it slips, and is beyond the bound. 


" My mother silver-footed Thetis saith. 
Fate can I choose of twain — ^if here I fight. 
Dies my return, my glory knows not death ; 
But homeward if I sail, my glory quit<e 
Dies, but a long time shall I see the light. 
And from cold death live many days apart 
And verily 'twere wise to share my flight. 
All ye the rest Troy's town defies your art ; 
Zeus makes his arm their shield, and gives the people heart 


" Now to the princes of the camp go ye. 
And tell my words : it is their right to hear : 
That with a better judgment they may see 
How from this doom both men and fleet to clear. 
This project of their mind will not cohere. 
Nor bend me, to the which they set their hand. 
But Phoenix shall remain till dawn appear. 
And in my ships go back to the dear land 
To-morrow, if he wiU— by his own choice I stand." 



He spake, and all in silence bowed the head, 
The stem rebuke so fiercely he rolled out ; 
Till with strong tears the old knight Phoenix said, 
While for the ships he trembled sore in doubt : 
" Achilleus, if indeed thou art about 
Homeward to pass, and, in thy wrath so hot. 
To let Troy bum our ships, and put to rout 
The Achaian host, and work I know not what. 
How then can I, dear child, remain where thou art not ? 

" That day, from Phthia when he let thee go. 
Not yet familiar with the ways of fight, 
Nor in the council seen where great men show. 
Me Peleus sent, to learn thee all things right. 
To put words in thy mouth, and deeds incite ; 
Nor will I leave thee till my time is told. 
Not though a god should undertake to-night 
To peel the years oflF, and my youth re-mould. 
As when I left sweet Hellas in the days of old. 

" Thou knowest how I fled my father's face. 
Who raged against me for that harlot fair 
Whom he so loved, and did his wife disgrace : 
Till with the harlot at my mother's prayer. 
To make the old man loathed, I mingled there. 
But he soon knew it, and called down on me 
Full many a curse, and by the Furies sware 
No child of mine should ever climb his knee ; 
And the Hell-king gave ear, and dire Persephon^. 

234 THE ILUD OF HOMEB. [book n. 

'' Him with sharp iron would I fain have killed^ 
But some one of the gods mine anger laid, 
Who with the fear of rumour my heart filled, 
And of the tongues of men remembrance made. 
Lest me the Achaians with the name upbraid 
Of patricide. But in the house no more 
I deigned to dwell beneath my father's shade, 
Though all my kith and kin desired it sore. 
And strove with all their power my hard will to implore. 


" Still in the court from mom to eve they slew 
Fat sheep by scores, and trailing-footed kine. 
And evermore they singed, and made pass through 
Hephaestus' fire, the goodly sides of swine, 
And from the jars drank up the old man's wine. 
Then by relays a wakeful watch they kept. 
And lingered in the house till nights were nine. 
One bearded blaze beneath the porch still leapt, 
One by the chamber-doors burned ever as we slept 


" But when the tenth night came, my doors I burst, 
Cleared the main wall, escaped the guard of men, 
Slipt female eyes, and fled through Hellas first, 
And on to Phthia, rich in herb and grain, 
To Peleus king, who there received me fain. 
And loved me as a father loves his child. 
When child he hath but one to heir his gain. 
And in my hand much wealth and lordship piled : 
There mid the tribes I held dominion, though exiled. 



" So for love's sake I made thee what thou art, 
Godlike Achilleus ; for with none but me 
At table ever wouldst thou play thy part, 
Till with choice bits I fed thee on my knee, 
And held wine to thy lips : my breast would be 
Oft dabbled with the wine thy weakness spilt. 
Thus have I toiled and suffered much for thee. 
Since never from my loins could race be built; 
Thee for my child I took, my bulwark, if thou wilt. 

" Tame then thy wrath : the very gods will turn, 
And, though a man sin far, their hearts incline 
To heed our vows, and the fat gifts we bum. 
For Prayers are daughters of gi*eat Zeus divine, 
Lame, wrinkled, haggard, and of sidelong eyen. 
These are in Ati's track stiU moving slow. 
But At6 hath strong hands to make men pine. 
She with firm tread the earth walks dealing woe, 
And they behind her toil, and cure it as they go. 

" He who the daughters of great Zeus on high 
Shall reverence in his heart when they come near. 
Him they much help, and still regard his cry. 
But whoso drives them off and will not hear. 
Then they seek Zeus, and at his knees appear. 
That At^ mark him, and avenge the wrong. 
But thou, Achilleus, to their suit give ear, 
This honour that they ask deny not long. 
They who the stern hearts bend of others that are strong. 

236 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book u. 


*' Save for set gifts, and other named beside 
By Atreus' son, not lightly to give o'er 
Thy wrath wotdd it seem wise, and help provide 
To save the anny, though their need were sore. 
Kow doth he bring large gifts, and promise more. 
And of the chiefs whom thou dost love the best 
Hath sent with prayers the noblest to thy door. 
Spurn not their feet, nor yet deny their quest, 
Albeit, before, in anger thou didst well to rest 

" Such were the men of old of whom we hear ; 
Their anger might be tamed with gifts, and taught 
This I remember in an age not near ; 
And to you all, my friends, the tale is brought 
Once the Curates and ^Etolians fought 
Bound Calydon with deeds of high renown, 
And many were the deaths. ^Etolia sought 
To shield the lovely Calydonian town. 
And the Curates strove with fire to raze it down. 

" For bright-throned Artemis plagued sore the land. 
She lacking, when the gods received their hire. 
Her own first-fruits : for (Eneus held his hand, 
Bash or not knowing ; but the sin was dire. 
So the divine Maid-archer, stung with ire. 
Sent a wild white-fanged boar ; and the fell brute 
Found him a lair, and trod the fields to mire. 
Laid vineyards waste, and tore up by the root 
The tall trees of the land, with branch and flower and fruit 



" Him Meleager son of (Eneus slew, 
With hounds and huntsmen gathered to his aid 
From many cities : for he scorned a few, 
This huge beast, mad with power, of nought afraid. 
And much men on the funeral-pyre he laid. 
But she, yet pouring the full plagues of sin. 
Between Cur^tis and ^tolia made 
A great shout, and the imutterable din 
Of arms, for the boar's head, and for his bristly skin. 


" While Meleager, dear to Ares, fought, 
Still the Curates badly fared in strife. 
And to their walls fell back, achieving nought. 
But when wrath darkened Meleagefs life, 
Wrath, which in hearts of even the wise is rife. 
He angry with Althsea, who him bare, 
Lay housed with Cleopatra, his dear wife. 
Child of Evenus' child, Marpessa fair, 
And Idas, flower of knights that on the earth then wera 

"He for his lovely bride with shaft and bow 
Braved Phoebus; and their child for ever kept 
The name Halcyon^, a name of woe. 
Thereafter in the house ; so wildly wept. 
When lord Apollo her from Idas swept, 
That mother in the bitter halcyon strain — 
Housed with his wife an angry sloth he slept. 
Eating his mother's curse with fell disdain. 
Who by the gods had cursed him for her brethren slain. 

238 THK ILIAD OF HOMEK. [book ix. 


" She madly withboth hands, and madlier yet. 
Kind Earth woidd beat, and falling with prone knee 
And eyes down, till with tears her breast was wet, . 
Hades implore, and dire Persephone 
Against her child, that death for death might be. 
Soon the night-wandering Fury heard her cry. 
And with a heart like flint from hell came she. 
Boiled on the air a dreadful clang went by, 
War's thimder at the gates, and battered towers on high. 

" Anon the elders of iEtoIia send 
The noblest of their priesthood with much prayer. 
To win forth Meleager to defend 
Their walls, and promise a great gift. For where 
Soil on the plain lay richest and most fair 
In lovely Calydon, good land enow 
They proffered, an estate to be cut there. 
The one half vineyard, where he list and how. 
And the one half clear tilth that crumbles to the plough. 

" Also the old knight (Eneus prayed him sore. 
And oft returned and gave his ears no rest, 
Shaking the strong leaves of the chamber-door. 
Yea, though his mother and his sisters prest, 
' He would not. And the friends whom he loved best 
Came and besought him, men of high renown. 
Nor was the heart yet tamed within his breast, 
Till the man's chamber was half beaten down, 
And the foe scaled the walls, and wasted the great town. 



" Then, last of all, about his neck to weep 
His dear wife hnng, and in extreme dismay 
Cast on his mind the bitter things they reap 
AVhose city to their foes is given a prey ; 
How in the victory grown men they slay, 
And sack the town with fire, and children hale, 
And some the deep-zoned women rend away. 
And his heart smote him as he heard the tale. 
And he sprang forth to go, and seized his shining mail. 

" Thus Meleager did .^tolia save. 
Impelled by his own heart; but in the end 
Beceived not at their hand the gift so brave. 
Yet did the work. But thou relent, dear friend, 
Bise, and the gifts go with thee ! To defend 
Our ships when flaming were less worth by far. 
Come, for thine honour shall man's fame transcend. 
But when, without gifts, thy feet mount the car. 
Less shalt thou gain in honour, and yet help the war." 

And answering spake the swift Achilleus there : 
" O Phcenix, dear old man, I nought regaixl 
This honour (and yet Zeus hath given my share), 
"Which holds me by the fleet, a life so hard. 
Till the breath fail me, and my knees be marred.' 
Yet one word more, and it my last shall be : 
Vex not my soul with weepings, but discard 
Thy favour to the king. 'Tis not for thee, 
Whom I love, to love him, and turn away from me. 

240 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book is. 


*' Stand ever at my side in love, in hate, 
And half mine honour, half my realm, is thine. 
And join not in their tidings, but here wait 
And sleep on a soft couch, till morning shine : 
Then better can we shape our own design." 
So, to send out the others, with his head 
He to Patroclus bowed a silent sign 
In the hut quickly to strew Phoenix' bed. 
And Telamonian Alas then arose and said : 

" Son of Laertes, in the way we go 
End can I none find out : let us depart. 
Bad is our news, but we must let them know. 
Come, for Achilleus bears an iron heart. 
Nor can the love we lent him heal his smart. 
Yet payment still for child or brother slain 
Men take, and for a price keep down their heart. 
And bid the slayer in the land remain — 
But, for this girl, the gods let never thy wrath wane. 

" Now seven for one we yield, the best we find. 
And gifts abundant — ^thine own roof revera 
Thy suppliants are we come, to bend thy mind. 
Of all Achaia thy most near and dear !" 
But he : " Brave Aias, prince divine, give ear ! 
Right nobly dost thou speak ; I love thee well. 
But when I ponder how in public here 
He used me like a villain, my reins swell 
With anger, and I hate him with the hate of heU. 



" Go now your ways, and render back my word : 
Ne'er of the bloody field will I think more, 
Till by the Myrmidons' own camp is heard 
The roll of Hector's march, and from my door 
I see the son of Priam driving sore 
Your host, and burning with red fire the fleet. 
But when the battle round my hut shall roar, 
And aU about me there come smoke and heat. 
Hector, I think, though raging, will at last retreat." 

He ended, and each took the double cup. 
And to the gods a sweet libation poured. 
Then by the long beach to the camp went up, 
Odysseus first, the Cephallenian lord. 
But to the maidens and the men gave word 
Patroclus, now to let their guest recline. 
So they to Phoenix a fair couch afford, 
Fleece, blanket, and the flower of linen fine. 
And the old man lay down, waiting the Dawn divine. 

Deep in the chamber of his hut well-wrought 
Achilleus slumbered, and beside him there 
That captive woman he from Lesbos brought, 
Daughter of Phorbas, Diomeda fair. 
Slept ; and Patroclus set his couch elsewhere. 
And by his side the well-zoned Iphis lay, 
Whom freely from the spoil, his bed to share. 
Divine Achilleus gave him on that day 
When Scyros' towers he took, where held En/eus sway. 

242 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book n. 


Now on the ambassadors' return rose up 
The sons of the Achaians, all awake. 
They to the chiefs held many a golden cup. 
Entreating them with zeal their news to break. 
But first imperial Agamemnon spake : 
" Thou glorious chief, renowned Odysseus, tell 
If he will now ward off, for the gifts' sake. 
Fire from the fleet, or doth he still rebel. 
And in his high-souled heart doth bitter rage yet swell V 


Answered the man of many toils : " king. 
None will he of thy gifts ; but worse to-night, 
Worse than before he bums, and bids thee cling 
To thine own counsels, and make good thy might. 
Yea, the man threatens to launch out with light. 
And o'er the sea with laden barks depart 
He tells us it were wise to share his flight, 
All we the rest. ' Troy's towers defy your art : 
Zeus makes his arm their shield, and gives the people heart/ 

" Such were his words : the prudent heralds twain 
And Aias heard him, who with me were sent. 
But Phoenix for the night doth there remain ; 
And on the morrow 'tis the chiefs intent 
To bear him overseas, if he consent." 
He spake ; and each on other in mute dread 
Stared, and a deep hush through the council went. 
Long time the Achaians on their own hearts fed 
In silence : at the last brave Diomedes said : 



" glorious Agamemnon, king of men, 
Not for thine honour didst thou stoop to seek 
This lordly child of Peleus in his den, 
And with thy myriad gifts Ins help bespeak, 
Who never in his life was mild or meek. 
Now in his heart far deadlier pride is cast. 
But leave him as he list his mood to wreak 
Here or beyond seas : let it fall or last : 
He'll fight when the god drives him, and his spleen is past. 


" But aU now hearken, and obey my plan ! 
Hence, and find slumber : ye are filled, I say. 
With com and wine, the very bone of man. 
And, when the rosy Dawn leads up the day. 
Hard by the fleet both men and steeds array. 
And in the front, king, thy station keep." 
Thus Diomedes ; and the rest obey. 
First to the gods they poured libations deep ; 
Each his own place then sought, and took the gift of sleep. 



Now lay the chieftain warriors all the night, 
Loosed with ambrosial sleep in every Umb. 
But on his couch far other was the plight 
Of Agamemnon, son of Atrens : him 
Sleep had not, but a siege of troubles grim. 
As when the Father of the gods on high, 
Moving dire rain or hail or sleet-storm dim, 
Sends thunder^ when the fields in snow-drift lie. 
Where men by the wild flash war's yawning mouth descry ; 


So ever Agamemnon in his breast 
Groaned from the heart, and his reins trembled sore. 
One while upon the plain his eyes would rest, 
And lo, Troy burning fires, their wall before. 
And a clear sound of pipes, and the dull roar 
Of warriors on the watch till night depart ! 
One while he viewed the Achaians and the shore. 
And in his terror to high Zeus would start, 
Tear by the root his locks, and rend with groans his heart. 

246 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book 

And in his spirit it seemed wisest far 
To seek Neleian Nestor for his guide 
First, if the old man some design of war 
Could yet reveal, and fair escape provide. 
Thus minded he arose, and quickly tied 
His tunic, and the sandals' shining gear, 
Then round him wrapt a lion's tawny hide, 
(A great red lion, with eyes dealing fear). 
Which robed him to the feet ; then turning grasped his spear. 


Also on Menelaus tremblings fell. 
Nor could divine sleep to his eyes come in, 
For terror lest the Argives fare not well, 
Who for him sailed the wasteful deep, to win 
Troy. Eound his wcdst he wrapt a leopard's skin. 
With fair spots dappled, as with stars the night. 
Then laced the brazen helm beneath his chin, 
And went to rouse his brother, who with might 
The people ruled, and seemed all godlike in their sight. 

Him found he by the hollow bark half-clad 
With gleaming mail about his loins and breast 
And Agamemnon saw him, and was glad : 
Whom Menelaus, entering, then addressed : 
" Why thus in arms, my brother, in time of rest ? 
Hast thou some matter for our spies to read ? 
Now much I fear lest none perform thy quest. 
A shrewd task is it to creep forth at need, 
And spy foes in the night — ^that man were bold indeed !*' 



Then said the king : " Deft coansels I and thou 
Need, my brother ; for the powers above 
Turn only to the prayers of Hector now. 
By heaven, I knew not that one man conld move 
Such troublous things, as we from Hector prove. 
In one day, though of seed divine he were. 
Now hath he wrought, by the great Father's love. 
Such wonders, as for many and many a year 
All Argives shall remember, and their children hear. 

" But quick, Idomeneus and Aias call, 
The while I rouse up Nestor to come out 
And seek our watchmen, and direct them all. 
To him the men will hearken, and not doubt ; 
For Thrasymedes is their captain stout, 
His own son, and the Cretan M^riones." 
But he made answer : " Shall I roam about 
To find thy face, when I have gone to these. 
Or there abide, and wait thy coming at our ease V 


" There bide," he said, " lest to and fro we tramp, 
Each hurrying after each, a fruitless game. 
Since many are the roads that cut the camp. 
Now go with speed, nor let thy feet be lame, 
And going call each by his father's name. 
Yea, glorify them all, and be not proud. 
As men still labour, so must we the same. 
Whom even at our birth the Sire endowed 
With hard grief, and our neck with heavy burdens bowed." 

248 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book 3 


So 8a3dng» he sent his brother, and passed out 
To find brave Nestor where he lay that night 
On soft couch sleeping, with his anns about. 
Shield and the two great spears and helmet bright ; 
And the fine belt lay near, which the old knight 
Wore, when his people to the charge he led : 
For age could not yet wean him from the fight 
Now on the elbow raised, lifting his head, 
Nestor of Atreus' son demanded, and thus said : 


" Who art thou, walking the wide camp alone 
In the dark night, when other mortals sleep? 
Come not in silence, but thy need make known." 
And firom the gloom the king's voice answered deep : 
''Not like a spy doth Agamemnon creep. 
On whom, Nestor, troubles are rained thick. 
While breath yet lingers, and my knees I keep. 
Mine eyes lack slumber, and my soul is sick — 
War and Achaian woes torment me to the quick 

'' Fear holds me for the Danaans, and my heart 
Knocks at the ribs, and on my flesh the hair 
Stands, and with trembling knees I quail and start. 
Eise, for thou too art lying awake with care, 
Gome with me to the guards, see how they fara 
It may be, toil and heavy sleep bring low 
Their vigil, and of guards our camp is bare. 
Hard by, the enemy waits ; nor can we know 
If the night yet pass over ere he strike the blow." 



Him answered Nestor, the Gerenian chief : 
" O glorious Agamemnon, king of men, 
Far-seeing Zeus wiU never bind the sheaf 
In Hector's harvest For our one woe ten 
Hereafter shall recoil, in that day when 
Achilleus tumeth. But I go with thee. 
Call we anon brave Diomede, and then 
Odysseus, and fleet Aias — with these three, 
And Phyleus* vaUant son, forth to the watch will we. 

'' Only if some one would go forth and call 
Both godlike Aias and the Cretan king, 
Bight loyal were the service, and not small. 
For at the limit of the fleet's far wing 
They Ue. But Menelaus, in this thing, 
Dear though he is — ^rebuke me, if thou list — 
I blame, that thou alone art labouring. 
He should be up, to hold the chiefs at tryst. 
Now in a need so near and terrible to resist" 


And Agamemnon, king of men, replied : 
" To-night, old man, reserve thy blame, I pray ; 
Oft, oft he slackens, and is slow to guide, 
Not for dull sloth nor any clownish trait. 
But that he lingers till I first essay. 
But this time he was up, yea rousing me. 
And for these two same chiefs is gone away. 
Come ! by the gates among the guard they be : 
There did I bid them hold till we arrive and see." 

S50 THE ILUD OF UOMEK. [book x. 


Him answered Nestor, the Gerenian knight : 
'' Now for this thing let never man be found 
Not forward when thy brother calls to fight !" 
This said, he fastened the fair tunic ronnd. 
And to his shining feet the sandals bound. 
Then buckled to the clasp his mantle grand. 
Thrice-folded, dense, of purple grain renowned. 
And, with the brass-tipt javelin in his hand, 
Hard by the ships went forth along the silent strand. 

Then first Odysseus he aronsed; the cry 
Bang to his midriff; he came forth and said : 
" Say why alone amid the camp ye ply 
Through the divine dark — ^is your need so dread V* 
And in return Gerenian Nestor said : 
" Zeus-bom La^rtiades, in wit supreme, 
Up, for a great woe doth behind us tread ! 
Come to the next and rotise him for what scheme. 
Flight or the sword, may save us in this dire extreme/' 

Thus Nestor spake, and to the hut went back 
Odysseus, and about his shoulders threw 
The well-wrought shield, and followed in their track, 
On to the valiant Diomedes, who 
Lay with the arms, and all his sleeping crew. 
On the open ground, each pillowed on a shield. 
Fast to their spikes the long spears planted grew 
Point upward from the earth, and far afield 
Flashed like the fire of Zeus the brazen hedge revealed 



There slept the hero by his casque and plume, 
An ox-hide strewn beneath him, and his head 
Propt on a rug, with colours of the loom. 
Then came Gerenian Nestor to his bed, 
And stirred him with his foot, and jeering said : 
" Wake, son of Tydeus ! wilt thou snore all night ? 
Or hath none told thee how the Trojans spread 
Their fiery watch by yonder upland height, [smite." 

Hard on our ships ? small ground withholds them, ere they 

Thus spake Gerenian Nestor, and the man * 
Leapt with a violent impulse to his feet. 
And in a loud voice winged words began : 
" What I good my lord, will never age defeat 
Thy valour, and no toil thy sinews beat? 
Men fairly might be found, more young than thou, 
On stir to call each captain of the fleet. 
But truly thy grey hairs and wrinkled brow 
ffide a green heart, old man ; and we are forced to bow." 

And him Gerenian Nestor answered then : 
" My child, thy words have reason. I can boast 
Much people, and my sons are blameless men, 
Who soon would call the captains to their post. 
But now of the whole war we suffer most, 
And whether life itself be lost or won 
Stands on a razor^s edge to all our host. 
Yet age is faint : if thou wilt spare me, run. 
Call from his hut fleet Aias, and bring Phyleus' son." 

252 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book x. 


Then Tydeus' son a lion's tawny hide 
Flung round him, and went forth, and brought the men. 
So with the guards they mingled, nor espied 
One watchman sleeping or disarmed. As when 
The patient sheep-dogs prowl about the pen, 
Who hear a wild beast on the woodland hills 
Driven with an echoing sound of dogs and men, 
Thus were they sleepless in that night of ills : 
Each murmur from the plain the leaning listener thrills. 

And the old man cried out with gladdening voice : 
" Thus ever watch, dear children, nor be caught 
By slumber, lest we make our foes rejoice !" 
So saying, he crossed the trench, and with him brought 
That coimcil of the chiefs whom the king sought. 
And his own son with MMones. So led. 
They passing the deep trench, as they were taught. 
Found a clear space, a lane among the dead, [spread. 
Where Hector breathed from blood, when Night her curtain 


There seated on the ground they counsel weave ; 
And first old Nestor did his mind declare : 
" friends, doth any here so much believe 
His own high spirit as yonder camp to dare, 
If haply on the skirt one straggling there 
He find, or even among the Trojans gain 
Some rumour of the work they now prepare. 
And whether they resolve to hold the plain. 
Or to the walls go back, so many Achaians slain ? 



" These matters could one hear^ and straight return 
Whole to this council, the right famous deed 
Would go forth under heaven for all to learn, 
And glorious were the gift to him decreed. 
For all our bravest, that here take the lead, 
Each for himself will render a black ewe 
And sucking lamb, till there be no such meed 
Seen on the earth as to that man falls due ; 
And still, when feasts come round, he shall be called thereto." 

Such were his words ; but all the rest were dumb. 
Till the far-shouting Diomedes spake : 
" Nestor, a loud call from my heart doth come. 
This night the bars of yonder camp to break. 
Yet if another would my way partake. 
Then better were the hope, nor worse the cheer. 
When two share danger, each is more awake, 
But he that singly goes, how good soe'er. 
Is sleepier in the work, and hath a wit less clear." 

He ended, and full many uprose amain. 
Fain were the two Aiantes, sons of fight ; 
Fain too was M^riones, and doubly fain 
The child of Nestor ; fain the illustrious might 
Of Menelaus ; fain that patient knight 
La^rtiades Odysseus, to explore 
With Tydeus' son the camp of Troy by night. 
So firm a heart within his breast he wore. 
Then Agamemnon s}>ake, who chief dominion bore : 

254 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book x. 


" son of lydeus, Diomede beloved, 
As for the comrade of thy bold emprise. 
Choose whom thou wilt, the valiantest approved, 
Of them that offer : see, how many arise ! 
Nor let it now seem gracious in thine eyes. 
Awed by the name of homage, to coerce 
Thy spirit to do aught not sternly wise. 
And, for their salre whom kingUer houses nurse, 
Now to refuse the better and elect the worse." 

Thus said the king, for Menelaus' sake, 
Lest him the choice of Diomede compel 
Again the vaUant son of Tydeus spake : 
" Friends, if ye bid me mine own thought to tell, 
Who now divine Odysseus can excel. 
One patient to endure, prepared and stem 
In peril, and Athene loves him well ? 
With him, though fire itself around me bum. 
Yet will we come back safe ; his wit's edge nought can turn." 

Then did much-toiled divine Odysseus say : 
" son of Tydeus, neither load men's ear 
With praises of my worth, nor on me lay 
Aught of dishonour, for all know me here. 
But let us forward ! The long night's career 
Is waning, and the hours with silent theft 
Move to unseal the dawn, the stars draw near 
Their limit, and of Night's ambrosial weft 
Two portions are spun out, the third part only is left." 



Thus they conversing; and then both put on 
Anns, and the grimly mail about them wrap. 
Brave-hearted Thras)Tnede gave Tydeus' son 
A sword two-edged (his own was by mishap 
Left at the fleet) £tnd buckler with its strap ; 
Then laced a plain smooth casque beneath his chin, 
Uncrested, plumeless, as it were a cap. 
Light to the brows, yet toughly made of skin ; 
Men wear it in the field, nor is it found too thin. 

So for Laertes' son did M^riones 
A sword, a quiver, and a bow provide, 
And, when the hero stood equipped in these, 
Made fast upon his brows a helm of hide. 
With clamps of leather on the inward side 
Bound, as by links of iron ; and without 
Gleamed of a strong boar, that by hunters died. 
The sharp teeth, cunningly set round about ; 
And padding lay between, of dense wool, folded stout. 


This was the story of that famous helm. 
It first the heirloom of Amyntor was, 
In Elefin of rich Boeotia's realm. 
His doors Autolycus, though barred with brass, 
Tet brake, and gave it to Amphidamas, 
Him of Cythera's isle, and Scandia's town. 
Who by free pledge to Molus made it pass. 
From him to M^riones his son came down 
That helm, whose covering shade did now Odysseus crown. 

266 TIIE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book x. 


Now when the two brave warriors had put on 
Their terrible arms, upon their bold intent 
Out toward the camp of Troy they march alone. 
Soon on their right hand, by the way they went, 
A hem came flying, by Athene sent. 
But they beheld not with their eyes the bird. 
For darkness of the night all round them bent ; 
Only the clangor of its wings they heard. 
And gladly Odysseus hailed the omen, as it whirred. 


And thus he prayed : " me, divine one, hear, 
Who, tossed with labours, still thy care employ ! 
This night, Athene, hold me yet more dear ! 
Grant that again we see the ships in joy. 
Lords of a great work that shall cumber Troy!" 
And after him the son of Tydeus prayed : 
" Hear, child of Zeus, whom nothing can destroy. 
Me also, as of old thou gavest aid 
To Tydeus my great father, when to Thebes he made 


That journey in the Achaian warriors' name. 
Who near Asopus held on camp the land. 
He with fair woi*ds to Cadmus' children came. 
But thence departing a dire mischief planned 
With thee, dear goddess, who didst help his hand. 
So now me also if thou deign to shield, 
A wide-browed heifer shall thy victim stand. 
That never hath known yoke or ploughed the field, 
A yearling — this to thee, with gilded horns, I yield." 



Thus they said praying, and Athene heard. 
But when the murmur of their prayer was o'er, 
On like two lions through the night they stirred 
Among strewn arms, piled corpses, and black gore. 
Nor yet brave Hector, Priam's son, forbore 
To hold from sleep the Trojans, and dilate 
Their valour to the flood. He summons bore 
To all the honoured men of Troy's estate. 
And, when they came together, thus began debate : 

" Who will arise, and dare to do my quest ? 
To this large recompense my hand I bind. 
Car and two steeds, in yonder camp the best, 
For whoso to this glorious work hath mind — 
Even the fleet barks to go near, and find 
If men keep guard as ever, or this day's rout 
Have cut them down like a destroying wind, 
And on the edge of flight they hover about. 
Nor on the night set watch, with bloody toil worn out." 


He ended ; and they all, both young and old, 
Sat answerless long time. But there was one 
Among them, rich in brass and rich in gold, 
Dolon to wit, divine Euniedes' son, 
No gallant in his mien, but swift to run, 
The only brother he to sisters five. 
He now to Hector and the rest begun : 
" Me, Hector, doth the soul within me drive 
Hard by their ships to venture, and thy quest contrive. 
VOL. I. R 

258 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i, 


" But reach me now the sceptre forth, and swear 
The horses, and the car with brass inlaid. 
To give me, which the son of Peleus bear; 
And Agamemnon's bark I straight invade. 
Where the chief captains war or flight persuade." 
He ceased : then Hector held it out, and swore : 
'' Let Zeus, high lord of Hera's bed, be made 
My witness, that no Trojan else rule o'er 
This car ! Thy glory alone I yield it evermore." 


False was the oath, but fruitful : Dolon slung 
Eight deftly on his shoulders quiver and bow, 
Bound him a cloke of silver wolfskin hung, 
Laced the fur casque, and took his spear to go. 
Nor was he fated to let Hector know 
If by the fleet Achcda drowse or wake. 
Down from Troy's fiery camp he sped below, 
Nor past divine Odysseus could he make 
His road unseen ; who soft to Diomedes spake : 


" Stop 1 from the enemy's camp a man comes near, 
Whether to spy our fleet or strip the slain 
I know not. Wait, and let us watch from here 
Till that he pass a little down the plain. 
Then with a rush together can we twain 
Hold him in grasp of iron. Or if he, 
Too nimble on his feet, elude our train. 
We'll wind him off, and head him toward the sea, 
Still instant with our spears, lest to the town he flee.' 



So these a little from the path declined. 
And lay among the dead, while he ran by 
All unaware, till they were left behind 
As 'twere a furrow of mules — for they outvie 
Steers, when in fallow soil the share they ply. 
Then down they swept together — and he stood still, 
Hearing a noise beneath the silent sky. 
And hoping in his heart, by Hector's will. 
Friends, to recal him back, were coming from the hill. 

But when they came a spear-cast off, or less, 
He knew them for his foes, and slipt away 
With lithe knees flying : and they behind him press. 
As when with jagged teeth two dogs of prey 
Hang steadily behind, to seize and slay, 
Down the green woods, a wild fawn or a hare. 
That shrieking flies them ; on his track so lay 
Odysseus and the son of Tydeus there. 
Winding him out from Troy, and never swerved a hair. 


At last, when little now remained to run, 
Ere mixing with the guards about the gate, 
Athene moved the soul of Tydeus' son, 
Lest in his striking he be found too late, 
And of the deed some other Achaian prate. 
Then brandishing aloft his brazen spear. 
Cried valiant Diomedes : " Stand and wait. 
Or perish where thou art : except thou hear, 
My hand trembles behind thee, and thy doom is near !" 

260 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book x. 


Then hurling he so ruled his aim, the spear 
Whizzed by the neck, then sank into the ground. 
He trembling in his teeth, and white with fear. 
Stood : from his mouth there came a chattering sound. 
They panting, as he wept, his arms enwound. 
" Take me alive, and sell me home," cried he ; 
" Brass, iron, and fine gold are with me found. 
Glad will my father render countless fee, 
If living by the ships they bear him news of me." 


And waiy-wise Odysseus spake thereto : 
" Take heart! let not the gall of death wring deep 
Thy soul; but tell me this, and tell me true: 
How camest thou alone by stealth to creep 
In the dark night, when other mortals sleep ? 
Or is it in desire to strip the dead ? 
Or Hector sent thee forth to prowl and peep 
Among our ships ? or thee thy own heart led?" 
And, while lus knees yet trembled, Dolon answering said: 

" Mischief unutterable hath Hector made. 
Who with a splendid promise lured my mind. 
The Achilleian steeds, and car inlaid. 
He bade me in the night leave friends behind, 
And seek the camp of hostile men, to find 
If they keep guard as ever, or this day's rout 
Have cut them down like a destroying wind. 
And on the edge of flight ye hover about. 
Nor on the night set watch, with bloody toil worn out." 



He answered with a smile : " No light regard 
Is on thee, if thy soul aspire to claim 
The Achilleian horses. They be hard 
For mortals on the earth to drive or tame. 
Save Peleus' son, who of a goddess came. 
But come now, teU me this, and tell me clear : 
Where Hector and his arms of warlike fame 
Thou leftest late, and if his steeds be near. 
And of each Trojan hold and outpost let me hear." 

Son of Eumedes, Dolon, answering spake : 
" Now the whole matter will I truly telL 
Hector with all our chiefs doth counsel take, 
Past earshot of the noise, on yonder swell. 
Hard by the tomb of Hus. And right well 
Our camp is guarded, but in no such kind 
As is the care of pacing sentinel 
Who watches in the night with sleepless mind, 
Nor have relays of men their several charge assigned. 


" The men of Troy bum fires along the plain, 
And all lie briskly alert, because they must. 
Each his own neighbour bids from sleep refrain. 
But the allied troops slumber ; for they tnist 
The Trojans to keep guard, and hold it just : 
Their children are in Troy, their wives dwell nigh." 
Straight in his ear this word Odysseus thrust : 
" Do these men, sayest thou, with the Trojans lie, 
Or far off in the field ? now mark me, and reply." 

262 TU£ ILIAD OF HOMEU. [book x. 


Sod of Eumedes, Dolon, answered then : 
" Now the whole matter will I tell thee true. 
Seaward the archers lie, Psdonian men, 
The Carians, the divine Pelasgian crew, 
The Lelex and the Caucon. Hard in view 
Of Thymbra's plain the Lycian hath his lair. 
And the steed-taming Phrygians not a few. 
And, crested with a plume of horses' hair, 
MsBonia's band, and Mysians with their lordly air. 

" But why seek more ? If you will try this thing, 
Tro/s camp to enter, on the borders lie 
The troops of Thrace, new-comers, with their king, 
Bhesus, the owner of such steeds as I 
TiU now saw never, who in speed defy 
The winds, and are in hue more white than snow ; 
His car with gold and silver gleams on high. 
And golden are his arms, a wondrous show, 
Fit for the gods in heaven, not mortals here below. 


" Now bring me to your ships, or leave me here 
Bound, till ye prove on peril of my head 
If what I utter true or false appear." 
Him Diomedes sternly eyed, and said : 
" Thy good news, Dolon, shall not save thy head. 
What if we spare thee, and in time to come 
Again thou walk when others are in bed, 
Or fight in battle, and bring death to some ? 
But the dead hands are feeble, the dead mouth is dumb." 



Then Dolon to his beard a suppliant hand 
Was lifting : in a breath the keen sword cut 
Both tendons of the neck, and in the sand 
Down the head rolled ere yet the lips were shut 
Then the grey wolfskin, the bow strung with gut. 
The long spear, and the ermine helm they seize ; 
And to the power who led him from his hut, 
Athene, lady of spoil, Odysseus these 
Held out aloft, and cried along the calm night-breeze : 


" Hail, divine one, for this glorious prey ! 
First of Olympian gods thy name in prayer, 
llrst wiU r ever Lke. Now guiSe our way, 
Yet one point further, to the Thracian lair. 
And to the snow-white horses that be there." 
Thus cried the chief, and on a tamarisk green 
Hung the bright arms, and for a plain mark tare 
Seeds from the earth, and stript the branches clean. 
Lest in the swifb dark night they pass the prize unseen. 


Then on through arms and plashing gore they trod, 
Till by the men of Thrace their feet they stayed. 
They worn with toil were sleeping on the sod. 
Two steeds by each, and glimmering in the shade 
Three file of arms, in beauteous order laid. 
And in the midst lay Ehesus, and by him 
Fleet stallions on the left, by halters made 
Fast to the golden chariot's silver rim. 
Then said Odysseus, pointing through the darkness dim : 

264 THE ILLAD OF HOMER. [book x. 


" Lo, Diomede, the horses and the man, 
Whom Dolon, ere we slew him, told us of! 
Come, put thy best arm forward : let our plan 
Stay not for shivering on the brink, but move. 
I will unbind the horses, and thou prove 
Thy sword on men." Athene, as he spake. 
Filled Tydeus' son with manhood from above. 
Turning about he smote them ; a red lake 
Of blood-steamed on the earth, and ghastly groans upbrake. 

As when a lion falls in raging vein 
On flocks that have no shepherd, goats or sheep, 
So Diomede went on, till twelve were slain ; 
And whom the son of Tydeus in their sleep 
Smote, them Odysseus, in his counsel deep. 
Still dragged aloof; for so he held it good ; 
Lest, if they trampled oi^ that gory heap. 
The long-maned steeds in passing be withstood. 
Or backward tremble and start ; for yet they knew not blood 

But when the son of Tydeus found the king, 
That thirteenth soul, among his liegemen dead. 
Died gasping in the night ; so dire a thing 
Stood like an evil dream above his bed. 
Meanwhile the brave Odysseus loosed, and led, 
Still smiting with his bow, from out the throng, 
Those fair-maned steeds, (it came not in his head 
Prom the carved seat to lift the shining thong) ; 
Then, for a sign, he whistled to his comrade strong. 



But Diomede stood doubting in his soul 
What venture to try next^ how far to dare, 
If with his hands to drag forth by the pole 
That glorious car where the renowned arms were, 
Or by main strength to carry it in the air, 
Or slay yet hundreds in the camp of Thrace. 
But whUe this matter in his mind he bare, 
Athene stood beside him in the place. 
And to the hero said in wingM words apace : 

" Now to the hollow ships, Tydeus' son, 
Bemember thy return, lest scared thou go ! 
Haply some god Troy's waking hath begun." 
Nor did the chief that voice divine not know, 
But quickly scaled the chariot. With the bow 
Sharp smitten, from the field the coursers fly. 
Nor was the master of the silver bow, 
Apollo, keeping a blind watch on high, 
When he Athene saw with Tydeus' son go by. 

Angered with her the Trojan camp he sought, 
And there Hippocoon roused, a lord of Thrace, 
Near kin to Bhesus. He, from sleep distraught, 
Looked for the steeds, and saw an empty place. 
Saw gasping men, like ashes in the face. 
And for his dear friend moaning cried anon. 
Then clangs and clamoiir, as they shoaled apace, 
Bung from the Trojans, who the grim work done 
Viewed, but the doers thereof were to the black ships gone. 

266 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book x. 


When they arrived where Hector's spy they caiight. 
Divine La^rtiades drew rein, and leapt 
To earth the son of Tydeus quick as thought, 
Felt for the gory arms, and with them crept 
Back to his friend, and on the chariot stept 
Then did he lash the steeds, and that fleet pair 
Straining in tune together seaward swept 
And Nestor first a noise heard in the air. 
And listened, and cried out among the captains there : 


'' False shall I speak, or true, ye martial peers ? 
But, howsoe'er, my soul I must let free. 
A noise of horses rings about my ears, 
A noise of hoo& that gallop toward the sea. 
Now verily I would that this might be 
Odysseus and strong Diomede, who drive 
Thus early home their spoil : but fear on me 
Falls, lest the gloty of Argos not well thrive, 
And from Troy's gathering roar they scarce come out alive." 

Not yet the whole was spoken, when they came. 
And from the gleaming chariot leapt anon. 
With gentle words all greeted them by name. 
And grasp of welcome from each hand they won. 
Then Nestor the Gerenian knight begun : 
** Now tell me of the steeds, and whence they are. 
Thou glorious chief, divine Laertes' son. 
Did ye indeed Troy's very camp imbajr 1 
Or hath a god passed by, and given you steeds and car? 



'' On the dim plain they glister in my sight 
like smibeams. Daily I bear sword and shield. 
Constant in arms, though I am old to fight, 
Nor ever shun Troy's gathering in the field ; 
But to mine eyes were never yet revealed 
Such horses : on ambrosia they were fed, 
Till to your hand some god the gift did yield. 
For round you both Heaven's sire his love doth shed. 
And his own child Athene guardeth well your head." 

And waiy-wise Odysseus answering said : 
" O Nestor, lightly could a god present 
Far nobler steeds ; but these are Thracian-bred, 
New-comers : and brave Diomede hath sent 
Their master and his twelve most eminent 
To Hades : and the spy will make thirteen. 
Whom near the barks we captured, as he went 
On quest some tidings of our camp to glean, 
From where Troy's chief with Hector on the hill convene." 

So saying, athwart the trench the steeds he drave 
Proud, and rejoicing came the rest behind, 
On to the hut of Diomedes brave. 
There they alight, and to the mangeis bind 
The long-maned stallions, noblest of their kind, 
Where champing the sweet com still rest from toil 
The Diomedean horses fleet as wind. 
Odysseus on his bark hung Dolon's spoil. 
Gift for Athene's temple on some chosen soil 

268 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book i. 


Anon both heroes washed from gore and sweat. 
There plunging in the sea, neck, knees, and spine. 
But with the wave when all their flesh was wet, 
And their hearts calm, and they were cooled with brine, 
They passed into the bath, and went to dine. 
There, with smooth oil anointed, at the board 
They lingering sate, and a full bowl of wine 
Drew from the choicest that they held in hoard, 
And to Athene first a sweet libation poured. 



Leaving the grand Tithonus, rose up then 
Dawn fipom her couch, the minister of light 
To everlasting gods and mortal men. 
And Zeus sent Strife, the Achaians to incite. 
She, waving grimly aloft the sign of fight, 
Stood on the central monster of the strand, 
Odysseus' bark, to shrill both left and right. 
Here lay Achilleus moored, the last on land. 
There Aias, glorying each in valour and strength of hand. 

Thus stood the goddess, and on each side rolled 
Her spirit-piercing shriek, so dire a yell 
That Morning trembled on her throne of gold. 
And on the Achaians a great impulse fell 
Ne'er to bate fighting till the foe they quell, 
And war seemed doubly sweeter than to sail 
Home to the far-oflf country, loved so well. 
Also the king cried arms, and to assail 
The Trojans, and himself assumed his shining mail. 

270 THE IIJAP OF HOMER. [book xl 


And in this manner was the king arrayed. 
First on his legs he linked the greaves that shone 
With clasps of silver, beautifully made ; 
Then round his breast the cuirass he put on. 
Pledge-gift of Cinyras in years agone : 
For unto Cinyras came even there, 
In Cyprus, a great noise beneath the sun. 
When first to Troy the Achaians sailing were ; 
Therefore he gave this token, for the king to bear. 

Ten bands of blue enamel striped it o'er. 
With twice as many of tin, and twelve of gold. 
Blue with enamel on each side it bore 
Three flaming serpents, with their necks unrolled, 
Crested aloft, like rainbows to behold, 
Fast dyed by Zeus, for mortal eyes to ken. 
In colours on the cloud. Stud-pierced with gold, 
The great sword on his shoulders he flung then. 
With silver sheath and golden belt, dazzling to men. 

Next the man-covering orb he lifted, bright 
With brass, ten circles, a great work to view. 
There of hard tin gleamed twenty navels white, 
And, midmost, one of dark enamel blua 
Graved on the shield an awful Gorgon threw 
Dire glances, crowned with panic-fear and wreck. 
Bright silver was the loop, and coiled thereto 
An azure dragon, whom three heads bedeck. 
Three turning diverse ways, all rooted in one neck. 



Then did his brow the stately helm assume, 
Twin-crested on each side, with beavers twain, 
Terribly waving the white horse-hair plume. 
Last in his hand two spears he grasped amain, 
Each with a brass fang tipt, and from the plain 
The fire thereof burned even to the sky. 
And him beholding from their far domain 
Pallas and Hera thundered forth on high, 
Honouring Mycen^'s king, as he in arms passed by. 

Each then commanded his own charioteer 
Hard by the trench to range the steeds. But they 
Dash for the field on foot with helm and spear, 
And wild their cry rose in the early day. 
Stood by the trench the footmen in array 
First, and the cars came after. But the Sire 
Stirred an ill noise, and rained an evil spray 
Of blood-drops from the heaven, in sign of ire, 
For many a hero's soul ere night he would require. 

Far gleaming on the hill with gold and brass 
Also the men of Troy their ranks combine. 
Great Hector and renowned Polydamas, 
.^eas, in the land as one divine 
Held, and three children of Antenor's line. 
Strong Polybus, Agenor slow to yield, 
And Acamas unwed, of mien divine ; 
All these and more were moving in the field. 
And Hector mid the first upbare his orbM shield. 

272 THE ILIAI) OF HOMER. [book xi. ^ 


As when a star among the clouds of God, 
When omens are aloft and signs in air, 
Rises in flame, sad ruin to forebode, 
Then dips into the dark men know not where : 
So Hector in the van now here, now there 
Blazed, and was now lost in the mass behind. 
While to the captains in his eager care 
He shouted — ^and again all brazen shined, 
Seen like the fire of Zeus in streaming brilliance blind. 


And as two several lines of men that mow. 
Each against other, on a rich man's ground. 
Strike the long swaths of wheat or barley low. 
And armfuls of the crop fall thickly around ; 
So each on other the twain armies bound. 
So the red harvest reap, and laugh at flight ; 
All even to the line their heads are found ; 
like wolves they rage ; Strife gladdens at the sight, 
Alone of all the gods there present in the fight 

The rest lay quiet in their halls above^ 
Each in his own Olympian mansion fair. 
And of Kronion mused, but not with love, 
What glorious things he would for Troy prepare. 
But them the Father held not in his care. 
He in a far place from the heavenly train 
Sat glorying in his strength, and watched from there 
Troy, and the ships of Argos by the main, 
And the dire glint of brass, and brave men slaying and slain. 



While dawn yet lived, and the divine day grew. 
So long the brazen hail from man to man 
Dashed, and on both sides many warriors slew. 
But as the hour came nearing onward, when 
Some wielder of the axe in woodland glen. 
Tired in his arms with felling lofty trees, 
Finds surfeit in his toil, and rests again. 
And hunger of sweet food his soul doth seize, 
Then Argos with a shout brake down her enemies. 

First Agamemnon rushed, and laid in blood 
Bianor, then his friend and charioteer 
Oileus. He from the car leapt, and stood 
Full in the path, and in his brows the spear 
Sank through the bone and brazen helmet sheer. 
And all the brain was shaken up within. 
Thus was he tamed. And the king left them here, 
Stript of their tunics, and with snow-white skin 
Like stars upon the field, and passed, new prey to win. 


Fierce in a moment he was tearing on ; 
Against two sons of Priam a path he clave, 
Isus and Antiphus, a bastard one. 
One from a lawful bed, two champions brave. 
Both in one car ; the valiant bastard drave, 
And Antiphus fought near him, chief renowned ; 
Whom shepherding their flocks by foimtain-wave 
On Ida once Achilleus caught and bound 
With osiers, and let go for worthy ransom found. 

VOL. L s 

274 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xi. 


Now glorious Agameinuon, Atreus' son, 
Hurling hia spear long-shafted, in the breast, 
Between the nipple and neck, smote dead the one ; 
Then hand to hand proud Antiphus he pressed. 
And by the temple clave, through helm and crest. 
With strong sword to the brain ; and down he rolled. 
Then, peeling &om the dead their mailM vest. 
He knew them for the same led down of old 
Captive by swift Achilleus, and released for gold. 


As when a lion in a fleet deer's lair 
life from her suckling fawns doth lightly rend. 
And with strong teeth their tender bowels tear. 
While she, though near them, hath no help to lend, 
But trembling quails, nor can herself defend ; 
Then from the beast's wild rush o'er briar and brake 
Flies bathed in sweat, with dappled hair on end — 
Thus could for these no Trojan undertake ; 
All without helper alike before the Achaians quake. 

Peisander and Hippolochus the brave, 
Sons of Antimachus, who, bribed and bought 
With gold by Alexander, his voice gave 
To keep back Helen, and so fields were fought — 
These next imperial Agamemnon caught, 
Both in one car, and at the glittering rein, 
Just fallen frem their hands, clutching distraught 
With terror. lion-like he rushed amain ; 
And from the chariot both cried out in suppliant strain : 



" Take wa alive, O chief! much treasures rare 
Stored with Antimachus at home there be. 
Silver, brass, gold, elaborate steel is there. 
Glad wiU our father render countless fee. 
If living by your ships us twain he see." 
Thus they bewailing cried unto the king. 
With gentle words ; but not so answered he. 
Nor mildly in their ears that voice did ring : 
" If from the loins of him, Antimachus, ye spring, 

" He loud in Troy, when on a truce one time 
I sent my brother with Odysseus there, 
Bade slay him — die now for your father's crime ! " 
So from the car Peisander down he bare. 
Spear-stricken in the breast, and the wide air 
Rang with his falL That other on the bound 
To earth he slew, and with his sword did share 
Arms, legs, and neck, and like a stone, hewn round, 
The goiy limbless trunk sent rolling on the ground. 

Passing from these he dived into the fight. 
Where phalanx most on phalanx rolled and rang. 
There with him the Achaians turned to flight 
The army of Troy. On footman footman sprang. 
And beat out life with many an evil pang ; 
Horseman on horseman ; and thick dust was stirred 
From trampling hoofs, and chariots in their clang- 
But Agamemnon shouted still the word 
Of onset, and in blood swept low the shoaling herd. 

876 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book zl 


As when devoniing fire hath chanced to find 
Some forest of old days, then blown afar 
Flares with a dry roar in the rushing wind. 
And the trees fall, root, trunk, and branching spar ; 
So fall the Trojan heads^ and many a car 
The proud steeds, hungering for the hand that drives. 
Whirl echoing up the windows of the war ; 
But knight and charioteer, reft of their lives. 
Press the cold earth, more sweet to vultures than to wives. 


But high Zeus Hector from the darts drew out. 
The dust, the blood, the carnage, and the roar. 
While the great king still followed with a shout. 
To cheer his men. The Trojans streaming pour 
Past Hus' tomb, the fig-tree hill before. 
Up the mid field, aiming the town to reach. 
And Atreus' son, his fierce hands fouled with gore. 
Yelled ; at the last they halt beside the beech. 
Hard by the western portals, to give time for eacL 


For through the plain stiU shoaled the rest, like kine 
Scared .by a lion in the dead dark night, 
A whole herd ; but the hindmost in her chine 
Feels his strong claws ; his bloody fangs with might 
Her neck crush ; the eyes straining lose their light ; 
He falling with her the red blood doth swill. 
And laps the entrails warm — so on their flight 
Imperial Atreid Agamemnon still 
Himg with devouring rage, and did the hindmost kill. 



Thus ever they shoaled on ; no listless hand 
Amazed them ; many a knight and charioteer 
Prone or supine fell gasping in the sand, 
The harvest of his unendurable spear. 
But when the broad town's rampart he came near. 
The Sire of gods and men on the chief crest 
Of many-fountained Ida sat severe, 
And in his hands the naked thunder pressed ; 
He golden-feathered Iris sent on this behest : 

" Away, swift Iris, this to Hector tell. 
While Agamemnon he yet sees devour 
Troy's host, and hears the ringing of his yell 
Still in the front, with backward pace to cower, 
Yet bid the rest fight, and abide their hour. 
But when the car he seeks, pierced in the fray 
With shaft or spear, then Hector shall have power 
Clean to the land's last edge to drive and slay, 
Till the divine gloom falling shall put out the day." 

Thus said E^ronion, and fleet Iris heard. 
And hasted from the height her way to take 
To sacred Troy, nor disobeyed the word. 
There divine Hector in an opening break 
Of battle, with tall Ilion in his wake. 
On chariot that with gold and silver shined 
Standing she saw. Then near him came, and spake 
Fleet Iris, rival of the racing wind : 
" Hector, child of Priam, peer to Zeus in mind. 

278 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xl 


** I come from the great Sire, this void to tell : 
While Agamemnon thou shalt see devour 
Troy's host, and hear the ringing of his yell 
Still in the &ont, so long retiring cower. 
Yet hid the rest fight, and abide their hour. 
But when the car he seeks, pierced in the fray 
With spear or shaft, then Zeus wiU give thee power 
Clean to the land's last edge to drive and slay, 
Till the divine gloom faUing shall put out the day." 

So Iris spake, and on her way flew fast : 
And Heir from his car in Ls then sUg. 
And both spears waving through the army passed. 
Till with new might the gathering waivcry rang. 
They rallying wheel, and £eu^ with a dire clang 
The Achaians, who roll up their files dispersed. 
And stand to grip them with a deadlier fang. 
Fresh grew the fight, and Agamemnon burst 
Far beyond all, right fain of champions to shine first. 

Speak forth, ye dwellers on Olympus high, 
Say, Muses, who the foremost place now won, 
Some Trojan whether, or far-famed ally. 
To fight with Agamemnon, Atreus' son ! 
It was Iphidamas, Antenor's son. 
In green Thrace bred, which many flocks doth bear, 
A tall brave man, whom yet a Uttle one 
The father of his mother housed with care 
And nurtured, Eisseus, who begat Theano fair. 



He, when the boy to glorious youth had grown, 
Detained him, and his child in marriage gave. 
Straight from the bridal chamber he went down. 
Chasing the rumour of the Achaians brave. 
And twelve beaked ships went with him o'er the wave. 
These after in Percotft he left moored. 
And with his troops, fair Ilion's town to save. 
Marched inland. He it was came now with sword 
And guttering spear to meet the mightiest Argive lord. 


When they were come together, Atreus' son 
Missed, for the spear turned off. Iphidamas, 
Under the breastplate piercing the strong zone. 
Leaned on his spear with heavy hand to pass 
The dsedal girth : but from the silvered mass 
like lead the point curled. Then did the king seize 
And draw home, like a lion, beam and brass, 
Wrenching the weapon from his hand with ease. ' 
Then with the sword his neck smote hard, and loosed his knees. 


So he there fallen slept a brazen sleep, 
Ah wretched, helping Troy, from his own bride 
Far distant ! No enjoyment could he reap 
Of her, for whom such gifts he did provide, 
Yea, first, a hundred oxen ; and beside 
He promised goats and sheep in equal tale, 
A thousand, for his pastures lay so wide. 
O'er him did Agamemnon now prevail, 
And left him on. the plain robbed of his shining mail. 

280 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xi, 


This did Antenor^s eldest, Coon, mark. 
That famoas knight, and stood clenching his teeth ; 
Rage for his fallen brother his eyes made dark. 
He with his spear the king's fore-arm, beneath 
The elbow, where no harness covereth, 
Smote sidelong, hid from Agamemnon's ken, 
And the bright spear-point sank as in a sheath. 
There shuddered Agamemnon, king of men, 
Yet scorned he to turn back from battle even then. 


With firm grasp on his wind-devouring spear 
He rushed at Coon, who with signal-shout 
His brother by the foot was haling clear. 
But to his own side as he tugged him out. 
The king drave hard beneath the target stout. 
And loosed his knees, and then cut off his head. 
Thus with the corpses that lay strewn about 
The children of Antenor both lay dead, 
£ach in his hour of doom ; their souls to Hades fled. 


But he still lashed the enemy like a storm. 
With spear and sword and fragments huge of stone. 
While from his wound the streaming blood ran warm. 
But when the dry hurt stiffened, then came on 
Sharp pains, and searched the marrow of Atreus' son ; 
Even as a woman in her pains doth feel 
The keen dart in her quivering bowels thrown. 
When the dread Powers their bitter pangs reveal, 
Daughters divine of Hera, who with childbirth deal 



He the car clomb, and bade his charioteer 
Drive to the fleet, yet first shrilled to the host : 
'' Friends, captains of the field, bide stedfast here ! 
Me doth high Zeus compel to quit my post. 
Keep ye the war from rolling to the coast !" 
He spake : his charioteer the lash then plied, 
And the fleet horses did their uttermost. 
Their breasts ran foam, their flanks with dust were dyed. 
As with the king they galloped from war's raging tide. 

Then Hector, seeing Agamemnon yield. 
To Trojan and to Lycian cried afar : 
" Trojans, and all ye warriors in the field, 
Be men, my friends, remember glorious war ; 
For Zeus Kronion their best man doth mar, 
Nor did I vainly his great help beseech. 
Therefore let every man now drive his car 
Straight on the foe, yet loftier things to reach." 
Thus Hector cried, and stirred the heart and power of each. 

As on a lion or a fierce wild boar 
Cheers his keen pack the hunter, even so 
Hector like Ares did his Trojans pour 
Against the Achaians, and himself the foe 
Smote beyond all, and laid their legions low. 
As when a tempest down the heaven's highway 
O'er the wild wreck-strewn deep doth terribly blow. 
Such the man swept Whom first, whom last did slay 
Hector, beloved of Zeus, in that his glorious day ? 

282 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xl 


Aseus, OpiteSy and AutonotLs, 
Dolops, Opheltius, Agelaiis biave, 
iEsymnas, Orus, and Hipponotis, 
Chief captains, then the herd to min he gave. 
As wreaths of clond, which the dire South updrave. 
Boll from the Zephyr when his blast is high, 
Laige as a hill comes roaring the great wave. 
Far as the wind shrieks doth the light foam fly. 
So now by Hector's arm innumerable they die. 


Then were sore pkgues and wild despair of men. 
Soon to their galleys had they fled like sheep. 
But to his Mend Odysseus shouted then : 
" son of Tydeus, are we fallen asleep ? 
Stand at my side fast ! It will brand us deep. 
If white-plumed Hector bum our barks." Then cried 
Strong Diomedes : " Yea, my ground I keep ; 
Yet shall our joy but little while abide ; 
The power of cloud-wrapt Zeus is on the Trojan side." 


He spake, and from his car Thymbrseus flung, 
Thrilled with the shafted javelin in his breast 
Odysseus next Molion's knees imstrung. 
There on the field they let the corpses rest. 
Then moving on the mass their enemy pressed ; 
And the noise rolled to heaven. As turn to bay 
Two fiery boars, and the fleet hounds arrest. 
So these now turning did the Trojans slay. 
And glad the Achaians breathed while Hector slacked. But 



Caught next a car, with knight and charioteer, 
Sons of that Merops above all men read 
In the art of divination, a great seer. 
Who bade them oft devouring war to dread, 
But they not heeded, by the dark Fates led. 
These spear-famed Diomedes, Tydeus* son, 
Emptied of all their strength, and smote them dead. 
And their illustrious arms took for his own. 
Also Odysseus killed two heroes of renown. 


Lo, then Kronion poised in equal scale 
From Ida the grim fight, gazing severe; 
Both hurled, both slew^ yet ndttier could prevail. 
There Tydens* child Agastrophus with spear 
Smote in the groin, nor were his horses near 
(Fate-bUnded fool !) to fly with. In the van 
Death found him, with his chariot in the rear. 
But Hector with keen eye saw slain the man. 
And with a yell strode up, and many around him ran. 

Then Diomedes, quailing in his soul. 
Cried to Laertes' son, who near him was : 
" Hector and all his plagues against us roll : 
Come, let us stand firm in so dire a pass." 
Then he the long spear, aiming at the face. 
Hurled, nor the helmet missed, but never marred 
The fair flesh of the man ; for brass met brass. 
And slipt awry ; such helmet was his guard, 
Phoebus Apollo's gift, with three plates moulded hard. 

284 THE ILIAI) OF HOMEB. [book xl 


Yet Hecix)r sprang back with a measureless bound. 
And mingled with the mass, and on his knee 
Stooped, leaning with his broad palm on the ground, 
And night swam round him that he could not see. 
While for his spear along the front went he. 
The son of Tydeus, Hector knelt for breath. 
But leaping to his chariot presently 
Drave out amid the host, and fled black deatL 
And with his spear rushed up strong Diomede, and saith : 

" Dog, yet to-day thou livest, and by a hair ! 
Thank Phoebus for it, who hath saved thy skin, 
Phoebus, to whom I know thou makest prayer 
When to the noise of spears thou enterest in. 
Yet wUl I finish when I next begin, 
Then shalt thou die, nor will I twice be foiled. 
If I too from a god some help can win. 
Now for new prey !" So Diomede recoiled. 
And of his fair bright arms Agastrophus despoiled 


But Alexander, spouse of Helen fair, 
Against the son of Tydeus Us bow bent, 
While leaning on a pillar buUded there, 
At Hus' tomb, that old man eloquent. 
The other firom the breast now spoiling rent 
Of bold Agastrophus, whom late he slew. 
The shining mail with many an emblem sprent. 
Then from his shoulders did the targe undo. 
Last the dire helm unlaced, when Paris the cord drew. 



Nor from his fingers flew the arrow in vain, 
But on the instep of the right foot lit, 
And pinned it to the earth. In pleasant strain 
He laughed, leapt forth, and did him lightly twit : 
" Ha, son of Tydens, thou art hit, thou art hit ! 
'Twas no bad venture : yet I would my bow 
Had in thine inmost bowels the barb spit ! 
Then were the Trojans breathed, whom now with woe, 
A lion among goats, thou harriest to and fro." 

Whom without fear strong Diomede addressed : 
" Bow-glorying felon of the virgins' bower. 
If in the field we came to open test, 
Then little would thy horn and arrowy shower 
Stand to avail thee : but enjoy thine hour ! 
Yet for this scratch thy glory is somewhat wild, 
Which falls upon my foot with no more power 
Than if a woman shot me or a child. 
Blunt is the dastard's arrow, and his spear-tooth filed. 


'' But not thus, when / hurl, the keen dart fails : 
My very graze is death : if blood be shed. 
The cheeks of that man's wife are dug with nails, 
His babes are orphans, he on earth rots dead, 
And birds, not women, hover about his bed." 
• Then from his foot, Odysseus standing near, 
The barb he drew : pain thrilled him to the head. 
So to the car, and bade his charioteer 
Drive to the hollow ships — heart-sick, but not with fear. 

286 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xl 


Then was Odysseus left alone, and sighed 
Thus to his own great heart in anguish sore : 
"Ah woe ! 'tis evil if I backward slide, 
Fearing to face dire odds ; and evil more. 
If I be taken alone ; for Zeus doth pour 
The Danaans over in flight. Yet why debate ? 
I know that cowards a lost field give o'er ; 
But as for the true warrior, he must wait ; 
His work is, slaying or slain, to strongly abide his fate." 


While in his mind and soul he pondered so. 
Fast pouring up the Trojan warriors met. 
And hemmed him in the midst, to their own woe. 
As dogs and men a fierce wild boar beset. 
Who from his deep lair rushing out doth whet 
The bright fangs in his jaws, and they stream round ; 
Dire is the noise of teeth ; one moment yet 
They pause, and wait the fieiy monster's bound- 
Trojans about him now so many Odysseus found. 


First on the shoulder Deiopites bold 
He struck, next Ennomus and Thoon slew ; 
Ghersidamas anon to earth he rolled, 
And laid him sprawling, in his loins run through. 
While from the car he leapt ; then, fired anew, 
Left these, and wounded with his spear a man, 
Charops, the brother of high Socus, who 
Quick to his succour, godlike hero, ran. 
And stood beside Odysseus, and in wrath began : 



'' Desperate in craft and toil, Laertes' son, 
Either two brethren shall be thine to-day 
To smite and spoil, and build a boast thereon, 
Or with mine own spear will I now thee slay." 
So saying, he hurled ; and through the shield made way 
The strong lance, driven in fury, and cut clear 
The breastplate and the work that o'er it lay. 
And fix)m his ribs the very flesh rent sheer. 
But from the lungs Athen^ turned it off, though near. 

So then La^rtiades Odysseus knew 
The wound not mortal, and retiring said : 
" Go, wretched and rash fool, thy daring rue ; 
Destruction's weight hangs toppling o'er thy head ! 
True, from my knees the power to fight hath fled, 
Thine is the vaunt ; yet to thy face I vow 
I will not droop until I see thee dead : 
This day to chariot-glorying Hades thou 
Shalt go down under earth, and me with fame endow." 

He spake ; the other turned his back to fly : 
But even as he turned the great spear thrilled 
His midriff, and he fell. Then with a cry 
Stood forth Odysseus, and his boast fulfilled : 
" Child of a knightly sire in combat skilled. 
Die, Socus, caught now in the worst of dooms ! 
No parents seal thine eyelids, but thee killed 
Birds shall eat raw, and round thee flap their plumes ; 
But me, if even I die, the Achaian host entombs." 

S88 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [boos xi. 


This said, he quickly valiant Socus' dart 
Drew from his side and bossy orbM shield, 
And the blood gushed, and he was quelled in heart. 
But the brave Trojans, clamouring in the field. 
Saw the man's blood, and all against him wheeled ; 
And he drew backward, and sent forth a cry. 
Thrice to the limit of man's voice he pealed ; 
. Thrice Menelaus heard the shout roll by. 
And hunyingly then spake to Aias standing nigh : 


" Aias of Telamon, thy country's guard, 
Thrice to me rang much-toiled Odysseus' shout. 
So pitched as if the enemy drave him hard, 
Alone hemmed in the wild and bloody rout. 
Come to his help ! for I am sore in doubt 
Lest harm befal him among foes alone. 
And there be strong grief when his light goes out." 
He spake, and Aias followed, and anon 
They found Odysseus wounded, and Troy pouring on. 

As when the blood-striped jackals of the hiU 
Hunt with loud yelp a stricken homM hart. 
Whom a man's arrow pierced, but did not kill. 
And the poor wretch bears with him the keen dart, 
While blood wells warm, and the knees know their art; 
But when the biting brass his courage ends, 
Then the raw-feeding jackals tear apart 
And gorge him in the forest ; but God sends 
An awful lion, and they fly scattering, and he rends — 



So round that valiant and wise-hearted knight 
Troy gathered in full cry, to work him wrong. 
Yet still La^rtiades upheld the fight^ 
And foiled them with his spear, though many and strong ; 
But Aias with his towery orb ere long 
Came, and stood near him, and Troy scattering fled 
This way and that, while from the terrible throng 
Brave Menelaus by the hand him led. 
Till came his charioteer, and from the field he sped. 

Aias the while first woimded Fandocus, 
Then slew Doryclus, Priam's bastai'd son, 
Lysander hit, Pylartte, Pyrasus. 
As from the hills a torrent stream doth run. 
Fed by the rain of Zeus and whirling on 
Dry pine along the lowlands and torn oak, 
And all earth's scouring to the sea bears down. 
So through the loud plain, amid dust like smoke, 
Troy with her steeds and men illustrious Aias broke. 

But Hector knew not of it yet, nor caught 
The rumour, where along the winding bank 
Of stream Scamander on the left he fought 
There thickliest far the heads of heroes sank. 
There pealed unutterably in front and flank 
Bound Nestor and Idomeneus the strain 
Of battle ; and Hector in the foremost rank 
Did furiously, and thinned the Achaian train, 
In spear-craft noble alike and mastery of the rein. 

VOL. I. T 

290 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xi. 


Yet not less the divine Achaians there 
Had still prevailed each onset to repel ; 
But Alexander, spouse of Helen fair, 
Did glorying in his march Machaon quell. 
Shot with a three-tongued arrow timely well 
In the right shoulder ; and for his dear sake 
A sore damp on the bold Achaians fell. 
Lest him in the ebb of war the enemy take. 
Idomeneus anon to valiant Nestor spake : 


" Nestor, son of Neleus, great in war, 
Up, mount, and drive Machaon to the beach. 
Nor let thy strong team linger in the car I 
More than a hundred laymen is one leech." 
He spake : and the old knight obeyed his speech. 
And the car mounted, and Machaon drew. 
Son of Asclepius the world-famous leech. 
Beside him ; and the horses readily flew 
Down to the hollow ships, when they were turned thereto. 

But, where he rode with Hector, K^briones 
lifted his eyes, and saw the Trojan wrack. 
And cried : '* O Hector, we lose time with these. 
Here on the skirts of battle ; far less slack 
Our friends fly yonder, huddUng in close pack ; 
And Telamonian Aias at their heels 
(I know him by the broad shield on his back) 
Kolls mischief — ^thither let us turn our wheels. 
Where men and cars stonn most, and the divine cry peals." 



So saying, he smote the long-maned fiery team, 
And the lash cracked and whistled ; and they sped 
With proud hoofs to the roll of the mid stream 
Of comhat, trampling shields and heroes dead. 
All nndemeath the axle was dyed red 
With plashed gore, and the rails about the seat 
With blood-drops, from the chariot-harness shed. 
Were dabbled, and a shower of crimson sleet 
Came firom the feUied wheels and galloping horses' feet. 

There on the mass brave Hector longed to leap, 
And break them : little did he leave undone. 
When with a terrible noise he sprang to reap 
The sheaves of battle with spear, sword, and stone ; 
But shunned the assault of Aias Telamon : 
Whom yet the Father smit with fear, and he 
Glaring amaze, with shield behind him thrown, 
Stood like a hunted beast, or turned to flee 
A little and a little, changing knee for knee. 


As when a fierce-eyed lion from the stall 
Is driven by dogs and men, who all the night 
Watch, nor fat beeves wUl let him taste at aU, 
And he comes bold with hunger, yet his might 
Avails not, for so deep the javelins bite. 
By strong wrists hurled, and firebrands scare him out. 
And sulkily in the morning he takes flight — 
So Aias from the Trojans turned about. 
And with grim soul drew backward, for the ships in doubt. 

892 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xi. 


Or as an ass, whom many are wont to beat. 
And split strong cudgels, overpowering boys 
Walks in his own road to a field of wheat. 
And crops the fat tilth, and his fare enjoys. 
With ribs belaboured to less hurt than noise. 
Till, crammed with comfort in his paunch, he goes — 
So Telamonian Aias there employs 
Himself the full might of an army of foes, [blows. 

Who din with spears the shield, and cumber his back with 

Now would the man remember furious strife. 
And wheel round on the Trojans, and force back 
Their phalanx, and now turn and flee for life, 
Yet foil them ever of the coastward track. 
Standing between his friends and Troy's attack. 
And many a spear, by strong wrist hurled, defaced 
The huge round shield, and many their aim lack. 
And in the earth, as he retiring paced, 
Stick without fruit, though yearning his white flesh to taste. 

Him saw Euiypylus, and came, and flimg, 
And through the reins and liver the bright spear 
Tore Apisaon, and his knees unstrung. 
But godlike Alexander, who stood near. 
Beheld Eurypylus despoiling there 
The dead form, and an arrow from the bow 
Shot ; in the man's right thigh the reed snapt sheer. 
And gaUed him, and he drew back pained and slow. 
Yet shouting to the Danaans as he left the foe : 



" O captains, friends, wheel round, and ward off death 
From Aias stormed with weapons. Hardly, I say, 
Will this day's uproar let him out with breath. 
Firm, fast by Telamonian Aias stay V 
So cried Eurypylus, sore pierced ; and they 
Shoulder to shoulder raised a roof entire 
Of Bhields, with each lance Ufted ; and away 
Came Aias, breathing after dangers dire. 
So down the plain they toiled, and fought like burning fire. 

But the Neleian mares fled, bathed in foam. 
With Nestor and Machaon : whom espied 
Achilleus from his bark ; for there he clomb 
War's labour to behold and tearful tide. 
Thence with a loud voice to his friend he cried, 
And soon like Ares from his place anon 
(Evil the hour to him !) Patroclus hied. 
Then first began Menoetius' warlike son : 
" Achilleus, here am I : what needeth to be done V 

And answering him the swift Achilleus said : 
" Friend of my soul, divine Mendetiades, 
Hard unendurable woes around them spread ; 
Soon will the host come suppliant to my knees. 
But go, ask Nestor why his chariot flees. 
And whom he brings out wounded from the fight. 
As for the features, I beheld not these, 
The mares went by me in such furious flight ; 
In all else the man seemed Machaon to my sight." 

294 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xl 


He spake : Patroclus his dear Mend obeyed. 
And by the sounding matgin of the main 
Swift to the Aigive camp his journey mada 
Meanwhile, arrived at Nestor's hut, they twain 
Dismounted from the chariot to the plainl 
Emymedon, the old man's servant, there 
Unbound the harness, and they standing drain 
The sea-breeze, and from sweat their tunics air. 
Then with desire of rest into the hut repair. 

Their drink the fair-haired Hecameda mixed. 
Whom, when Achilleus took the sacred land 
Of Tenedos, the Achaians portion fixed 
Of Nestor ; for his mind best counsels planned, 
All else surpassing : now with zealous hand 
•She, brave Arsinous' child, the table fair 
Placed, azure-pillared, and the brazen stand 
Set, and for seasoning of the draught laid there 
An onion, and fresh honey, and barley-cake forth bare. 

Next, a rich goblet of rare form and mould, 
Which from his Pylian home the old man bore. 
She laid anear them, set with studs of gold. 
And beautifully graced with handles four. 
Each with two golden pigeons feeding o'er. 
Each planted on two stems, exceeding bright 
Scarce could another lift with labour sore 
That cup when full : old Nestor thought it light. 
She, divine maid, herein their beverage mixed aright : 



First Pramnian wine she poured, and o'er it then 
Scraped cheese of goats, and crumbled the white cake, 
And gave, and bade them drink it : and the men 
Their fiery thirst with eager quaffing slake, 
And, after drinking, pleasant converse take. 
And lo, Fatroclus came ; and from his seat 
The old man rose, and led him in, and spake, 
Desiring him to sit, for drink and meat. 
And he would not, but answered, standing on his feet : 

** No sitting here for me, thou brave old knight ! 
Awful is he that sent me forth to learn 
Whom thou hast brought back wounded from the fight. 
Plain is it now ; for I myself discern 
Machaon, and with tidings must return. 
Not tarrying, to the hut from whence I ran. 
For, brave old knight, thou know'st thyself how stem 
AchUleus is, nor doth he wait to scan 
Fault, but is ready and quick to blame a blameless man." 

Answered Grerenian Nestor : " Why then, why 
Should great Achilleus mourn us, or care what 
Falls on Achaia's children ? — Let them die ! 
What pain is in the army he knows not. 
Our best lie pierced ; strong Diomede is shot ; 
Odysseus and the king did wounded fall ; 
So too Eurjrpylus ; this other I got. 
Hurt by the archers, home — ^yet, filled with gall. 
That strong man silent sits, and hath no pity at all. 

296 TH£ ILIAD OF UOMEU. [book xi. 


" Or will he wait till roaring fire bereaves 
The Argives of their ships beside the sea. 
And we crowd helpless, and are slain in sheaves ? 
For my strength is not what it used to be 
(0 that it were !) in those old days, when we 
Waged feud with Elis about lifting kine, 
And with Itymoneus I fought, and he 
Fell, of Hypeirochus the child divine, 
By spear-cast in our foray, and the hand was mina 


" He for his own herds fighting in the van 
Died, and the rustic people trembled sore. 
Quick from the plain we gather all we can, 
Kine fifty droves, of sheep as many more, 
So many of swine, of goats an equal store, 
Thrice fifty chestnut mares, and not a few 
With foals — ^and all these we to Pylos bore 
By night ; and Neleus gladdened at the view 
Of the vast wealth I conquered, though to arms but new. 


" But when the rosy-fingered Morning shined, 
Then did the heralds with shrill voice proclaim. 
For all men to come near, and payment find. 
Who could from sacred Elis a debt name. 
So then the leaders of the Pylians came 
With speed together, to count up the prey. 
And forthwith made division of the same ; 
For against Elis many a charge there lay. 
While we were poor and few, and shaken with decay. 



" For in the former years we were brought low 
And stricken by the power of Heracles, 
And thus our noblest were slain long ago. 
Twelve sons had Neleus, and eleven of these 
Fate in the field cast down, and loosed their knees ; 
I only was alive, and all else died. 
Then, filled with joy at our calamities, 
The brazen-mailed Epeians us defied. 
And sinned far against Fylos in their hour of pride. 


" Therefore the old man chose a herd of kine. 
And shepherds with their flock, three hundred sheep. 
For he had lost in El is the divine 
Four stallions and a car, nor held them cheap. 
He to the races, a fair prize to reap. 
Had sent them, and Angelas, king of men, 
Thrust back the driver, and the steeds did keep. 
Wroth for these words and deeds, old Neleus then 
Chose much wealth, and the rest gave to the Pylian men. 

" We then the spoil divided, and due rites 
Paid to the heavenly goda On the third day 
Horses and chariots and a cloud of knights 
Came fast from Elis to win back the prey. 
With Actor's twin sons harnessed for the fray. 
Young, not feuniliar with the peal of war. 
There stands a high town Thryos, a long way 
Up stream Alphelis, and from Fylos far; 
And about this they camped, her mighty towers to mar. 

298 THE ILIAD OF HOMEB. [book xz. 


" But when their troops were covermg all the plain^ 
By night from heaven with ciy to arms then slid 
Athene, and the land, not loth, but fain, 
Bose at her calL But Neleus me forbid. 
Kept back my chariot, and my horses hid, 
' For grim war,' said he, ' dost thou not yet know/ 
Yet all our mounted warriors I outdid, 
I there on foot outdid them even so. 
Such was Athene's will : she made the fight thus go. 


" Hard by Areni to the deep sea rolls 
The Minyan river : there for dawn we wait. 
We knights, and thither footmen come by shoals. 
Thence, clad with arms, till noon we march elate. 
And by Alpheiis stream our journey bate ; 
There to Kronion a rich offering pay. 
And there Alpheiis and Poseidon great 
Each with a bull we honour that same day. 
And to Athene last an unyoked heifer slay. 

'^ At evening through the camp we feeding messed 
By squadrons, and along the river stream 
Each in his glittering arms lay down to rest. 
Meanwhile the men of Elis at their scheme 
Wrought, and to sack the town with bale extreme 
Stood round it. But a great work met their sight. 
For when the sun rose, and with lengthening beam 
Spread through the land, we, praying to the might 
Of lord Zeus and Athene, clanged together in fight. 



" There in the Pylian onslaught first I slew 
Mulins> the great war-captain, and obtained 
His horses, and the chariot which they drew. 
This chief Augeias' eldest daughter gained 
(Who all drugs knew, that the wide earth contained) 
In marriage, Agameda. This same man 
My javelin smote, and in his breast remained. 
Prone in the dust he tumbled, and I ran, 
And on the chariot leapt, and dashed into the van. 


'' Then fled the brave Epeians left and right 
Scattering when they beheld that leader fall. 
Their captain of the cars, and best in fight. 
I like a whirlwind sweep, their ranks appal. 
Take fifty chariots, and two heroes tall 
From each cast headlong, and they bite the ground. 
Nor had the twins Actorian 'scaped at all. 
But the Earth-shaker, their great sire renowned. 
Caught them himself from battle, and with a mist enwound. 

" There Zeus great victory to Pylos gave. 
Far through the ample plain we follow and kill, 
And the fair arms upgather. On we drave 
To the Buprasian fields, nor pause until 
The rock Olenian and Aleisius' hill 
We reach : there Pallas turned us homeward, when 
I of their last man did the Ufe-blood spill. 
Back we ride swift to Pylos ; and all then 
Praise Zeus among the gods, and Nestor among men. 

300 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xt. 


*• Such lived I once, or never lived at all, 
I ; but AchiUeus will let no man reap 
Joy from his worth :— when many fighters faU, 
At last, too late, will he in anguish weep. 
O my beloved, doth thy heart yet sleep 
Forgetful of the word Menoetius said 
In that day when he sent thee o'er the deep 
From Phthia ; and we twain before him fed, 
I and divine Odysseus, and heard all he said ? 

'' For we had come to Peleus' mansion fair. 
In travel through Achaia far and wide, 
To raise men ; and we found Menoetius there. 
And thee too, and Achilleus at thy side. 
Old Peleus to the Sire an ox fat-thighed 
Was burning in the court ; a golden cup 
Flamed in his hand, as he the offering dyed 
With dark wine ; and the flesh, whereon to sup. 
Thou with thy friend wast handling, as we two came up. 


" There by the gate we stood ; AchiUeus ran, 
And led us by the hand, and gave a seat^ 
And food, and all the kindness a host can. 
But when no more we cared to drink and eat, 
Then I began you also to entreat. 
And ready were ye both, in mind and ear. 
And both the elders gave much counsel meet 
This to his son the old knight Peleus there 
Charged, to be always first, and others overpeer. 



" And to thee said Menoetius, Actor's son : 
* My child, Achillens is indeed far best 
In birth and valour, but thy years outrun 
His ; point a word in season, and suggest 
Good counsel ; he will hear thee, and be blest' 
Such were his cares, but thou hast let them go. 
Plant but this word yet in Achilleus' breast, 
And thou with God may'st turn him, who can know ? 
For a Mend's voice is good, nor his persuasion slow. 

" But if the warning of a god he flee, 
And if his mother somewhat to him spake 
From Zeus, I say let him at least send thee, 
With all his clansmen foUowing in thy wake. 
That yet some light may on the Danaans break ; 
And lend thee his bright arms to bear in field. 
If so the Trojans thee for him mistake, 
And to our beaten ranks a respite yield ; 
For by a little breath an army is often healed." 


He ended, and the other turned his feet 
Swift to Achilleus, and made haste to run. 
But when he came before Odysseus' fleet, 
Where councils are convoked and justice done, 
Where the gods' altars stand, Eusemon's son 
Eurypylus he met, with wounded thigh 
Now limping from the war : the sweat ran down 
From head to waist, nor was the blood yet dry. 
But bubbling from the wound ; yet still his heart was high. 

302 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book n. 


And him Patroclus pitied, and in tears 
Thus to the man did wingM words employ : 
" O miserably undone, ye Danaan peers, 
How were ye fated, far fix)m home and joy, 
With your white flesh to glut the dogs of Troy ! 
Yet brave Eur3rpylus, declare, I pray, 
Will Hector be repelled, or now destroy 
And blot the Achaians from the light of day ? " 
And in reply, sore hurt, Eurypylus did say : 


" Lo, the last hope, divine Patroclus, slips 
Now from the Argives : they will fall and die. 
For all our best lie wounded in the ships. 
And Troy's great onset waxes yet more high. 
But bring me to the bark, and from my thigh 
Cut forth the arrow, and the gore and dust 
Cleanse with warm water, and soft balms apply 
Which Chiron taught, of Centaurs the most just, 
To Peleus' son, who thee did with the same entrust. 


" For PodaUrius and Machaon, each. 
Are absent — one within the camp, I trow. 
Much needing for himself an able leech ; 
The other in the plain yet fix)nts the foe." 
To him Patroclus answered : " How then so. 
Brave captain, can I do ? that scarce may be : 
For to AchiUeus' hut behold I go, 
To say to him what Nestor said to me : 
Yet in thy pain e'en thus wiU I not turn from thee," 



This said, beneath the chieftain's breast he wound 
His arm for help, and led him to the hut. 
The servant, when he saw them, on the ground 
One ox-hide o'er another smoothly put. 
There was he laid full length. Patroclus cut 
The arrow firom his thigh, and the black gore 
Laved with wann water, and a bitter root 
Bruised in his hands, and laid it on the sore, 
To heal him: the pain ceased, and the blood came no more. 



Thus in the camp Menobtius' noble son 
Enrypylus was healing. And yet fought 
Argos and Troy together blent in one, 
Till the great wall and trench the Danaans wrought 
For safeguard of their ships, availed them nought. 
They builded high, dug deep, and never paid 
Gift to the gods. There barks and spoil they brought 
For shelter. Against heaven their wall was made, 
Their trench dug : and the work for no long season stayed. 

While Hector was alive, and Peleus' son 
Lay angered at the ships, and Priam king 
Dwelt in the land, nor Ilion was undone. 
So long the great wall seemed a steadfast thing. 
But when the dark Fate came with evil wing, 
And all the Trojan valiantest were dead, 
Much Argives slain and some continuing, 
And in the tenth year Troy with ruin spread, 
And home to their dear land in ships the Achaians fled — 
VOL. I. u 

306 THE ILIAD OF HOMEK. [book xil 


Then did Apollo and Poseidon scheme 
That wall to level, turning in thereon 
The strength of rivers that from Ida stream, 
And in a gathering deluge made them run, 
Rhesus and winding Rhodius blent in one, 
Granicus and .^apus and divine 
Scamander, and thee, Simois, where the sun 
On helmet and strewn shield was wont to shine. 
And bleach the bones of men, half gods, a peerless Una 


These from their mouths Apollo turned, and set 
Their torrent to the wall nine days ; and Zeus 
Rained, that the waters might come faster yet ; 
Poseidon with his trident drifting loose 
All that the Argives planted firm for use, 
Each beam and stone like stubble in the main, 
By rolling Hellespont with sand profuse 
Rased out the wall, and turned the streams again. 
Each in his olden course to beautify the plain. 


Thus would Apollo and Poseidon wreak 
Their vengeance on the wall in after hours ; 
But round it now the battle-thimders break, 
And beat with noise the timbers of the towers. 
Lashed by the fire of Zeus the Argive powers, 
Cooped at the barks, Uke sheep within the fold, 
Quail at the sound of Hector who devours. 
Fierce as before, their ranks beneath him rolled ; 
His wheels are like a whirlwind that no barriers hold. 



As when a lion or a strong wild boar 
Turns on the dogs and hunters, filled with ire, 
And in a column the men stand and pour 
Their rain of javelins, nor will he retire 
Or tremble, but is slain by his own fire ; 
Oft he wheels round to try the square of men, 
And where he rushes, from each onset dire 
Still they give back — so Hector doubling then 
Drave to o'erleap the trench, entreating loud his men. 

But the fleet horses would not. Shrill they neighed. 
There stammering at the brink, so wide and deep 
The dark throat of the trench their soul dismayed, 
'Twas no light thing to pass or overleap, 
So beetling were the banks and deadly steep. 
Toothed at the ridge with many a pointed pale 
Set firm and strong to guard the castled keep, 
"Where fleet horse never could with car avail 
To enter ; only on foot men thirsted to assail. 


At last Folydamas came near and spake : 
" Hector, and ye captains, 'twere fools' play 
To try the trench with horses : pile and stake 
Will tear us, and the wall is in our way. 
Hard ground for charioteera If Zeus, I say, 
Mean Argos to wipe out and Troy befriend, 
'Twere grand to sweep like lions on our prey. 
To dash straight on the wall and make an end. 
That none from now surviving to Achaia wend. 

308 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xn. 


" But if the tide must turn, if yet there be 
Change in the war, and rallying they pursue 
Us floundering in the trench, it seems to me 
Not one man shall escape of all our crew 
To bear the tidings. But this hear and do : 
Leave men to guard our horses at the trench. 
And we with arms will follow Hector through. 
And doubt not but the Achaians will soon blench 
And fall, if verily now Fate hold them in her clench." 


Thus spake Polydamas ; and Hector heard 
Bight gladly the good counsel, and sprang out 
Armed from his chariot, and obeyed the word. 
Nor did the other Trojans gather about 
With horses, seeing on foot their captain stout, 
But aU to earth leapt ; and his charioteer 
Each knight bade hold, beyond the trench without, 
His steeds in order : they with shield and spear. 
Parted in five, their way behind the leaders steer. 

With Hector and Polydamas went all 
The best in valour, and most fain to mar 
The fleet with fire when they had stormed the wall ; 
And with them K^briones ; one worse in war 
Hector had left behind to keep his car. 
Paris, Agenor, and Alcathoiis 
Led the next cohort. With the third not far 
Came Helenus and fair Deiphobus, 
And, with his fiery steeds, Arisbian Asius. 



^neas led the fourth, Anchises' son ; 
With him Archelochus and Acamas^ 
Antenor's ; and Sarpedon last led on 
The aUies ; with him Asteropseus was. 
And Glancus ; these he thought in power to pass 
All save himself ; he everywhere shone first 
Then with knit shields they formed, and mass by mass 
BoUed onward, vaunting that the enemy durst 
Seek but the ships in flight, now straitened to the worst. 

There all the Trojans and far-famed allies 
Polydamas obeyed, save only one, 
Asius Hyrtacides ; who scorned, unwise. 
To leave his car, but to the fleet right on 
Drave glorying in his steeds, yet could not shun 
Death, nor again come back to windy Troy. 
For brave Idomeneus, Deucalion's son. 
First with the javelin did Ids life destroy. 
And dark Fate veiled his eyes, and cut him oflF from joy. 

For to the left he drave, where still the foe 
Thronged hurrying from the plain with steed and car ; 
Fierce by that road he made his horses go, 
Nor found the gates shut, nor with bolt and bar 
Defended, but by guards held open far. 
On chance to save one flying to the fleet. 
There Asius drave, and with loud yells of war 
His men came after, boasting now to beat 
The Achaians to their ships in uttermost defeat 

310 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xil 


There they beheld two warriors in the gate; 
Sons were they both of spear-armed Lapithae ; 
One, of Peiritholis, Poljrpoetes greats 
And one Leonteus, peer to Ares he. 
These twain before the gates stood knee to knee, 
Moveless and firm as two great oaks that tower 
In mountains of the north where eagles be. 
And all their days endure the wind and shower. 
Folding their roots together in eternal power. 

These, trusting in their strength and good right hands, 
The coming of the child of Hyrtacus 
Await, six captains with their armM bands, 
Asius, Orestes, and lamenus, 
And Thoon, Adamas, (Enomaiis, 
As to the wall with lifted shields they drew. 
Mid yells of triumph. But the twain e'en thus 
Stood shouting to their friends to wheel anew. 
And for the ships fight hard, ere utter ruin ensua 

All this within the gates : but when they saw 
The Trojan charge, and heard the Danaan wail. 
Out the twain rushed, and by the portal's jaw 
Fought, as wild boars that hear amid the gale 
The sound of dogs and hunters on their trail. 
Then with a sidelong rush the copses break 
And rend off at the root ; from hill to vale 
The grindings of their teeth wild noises make. 
Till with the spear at last some marksman their life take ; 



Such were the grindings of the brazen proof 
That met the brazen hail about their breast ; 
So fierce they fought, confiding in the roof 
Of warriors overhead, though direly prest, 
And in their own right hands. From the wall's ci'est 
And battlemented tower a deadly sleet 
Of stones came falling without pause or rest. 
Hurled from men's hands that yet in sore defeat 
Fought for themselves, their camp, and the swift-sailing fleet. 

As when to earth come down the flakes of snow 
Whirled by a strong wind from a pile of cloud. 
And on a sudden the broad plain below 
Is covered with a white and misty shroud. 
So came a ceaseless volleying from each crowd 
Of fighters, and with many a millstone weight 
Dry clashed the helmets, and the shields rang loud. 
Then Asius groaning smote his thighs for hate, 
And in high words with Zeus did bitterly debate : 

" father Zeus, of lying lips thou art ! 
I said the Achaians could not 'scape to-night 
Our imendurable hands and fiery heart. 
And lo ! like bees, or slim wasps quivering bright, 
That build their houses on a rock-rough site, 
Nor leave their hollow nest, but still remain, 
And against spoilers for their children fight, 
So from the gate these will not, though but twain. 
Turn or a foot-breadth yield, till they be taken or slain." 

312 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xn. 


So Asius in his wrath ; but not for this 
Moved he the spirit of high Zeus, who sought 
Hector to raise, and make the glory his. 
Tlien Polypcetes with sharp javelin caught 
Bold Damasus : with brass-cheeked helm he fought. 
Nor could that metal keep the strong spear out, 
But to the bone it clave regarding nought, 
And all the brain within was shaken about 
Then Ormenus he slew and Pylon, warriors stout 


Also Leonteus, branch of Ares, slew 
Hippomachus, full timely in the zone 
Pierced with a brazen javelin. Then he drew 
His sharp sword from the scabbard, and alone 
Made for Antiphates, who, soon o'erthrown, 
FeU backward to the earth and swooning died 
Quick with the rest lay valiant Menon strewn, 
lamenus, Orestes, side by side ; 
All to the earth fell broken in their comely prida 

While thus before the gate, that none might pass^ 
Fight the strong Lapithse, and strip with ire 
Their slain foes. Hector and Polydamas 
Lead the chief band and best, who most desire 
To break the wall and bum the ships with fire. 
Now standing at the trench they pause anew ; 
Their men speak nothing, but with eyes enquire. 
In doubt and hesitation what to do ; 
For, even as they would cross, a bird of omen flew. 

BOOK xil] the ILUD of homer. 313 


It was an eagle flying far in air, 
That came upon their left and held them back. 
Twined in his talons a huge snake he bare, 
All dashed with crimson, nor did life yet lack, 
Nor writhing rage and memory of attack. 
For darting at the throat, with neck declined. 
It stung him, and dire pain his soul did rack ; 
Cast mid the crowd he left his prey behind, 
Then with a clang went off along the rolling wind. 

And all the Trojans, when they saw the snake 
Thus lying in their midst, a sign of Zeus, 
Quailed, and Polydamas to Hector spake : 
" Hector, with me thou never canst hold truce, 
Nor turn my good words to a noble use ; 
Since for a popular man to stir his lips 
In camp or council is without excuse. 
Firm must thy power be held, whatever slips. 
Yet will I speak : go not to battle at the ships ! 

" For plain the end is, if indeed it were 
For omen the bird came, our march to break. 
Even this eagle, flying far in air, 
That leftward passed and made the people quake. 
While in his talons writhed a blood-red snake 
Alive, that stung him ; and, with deadly thrill 
Pierced, he the prey did from his feet then shake. 
And with a clang went off, but not to fiU 
The faint mouths of the nestlings on his native hill — 

314 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book zu. 


" So we, albeit we bieak down and mar 
Their gates, their tower-embattled keep, and maim 
Achaia with our strength, shall yet be &r 
From honour, and so back the way we came 
Leaving fuU ioan/a Trojaa here in shame 
Dead, whom the Aigives fighting for their fleet 
Shall hack with bnuss. A seer would say the same, 
Who to interpret signs were not unmeet^ 
One that can learn men truth, and guide the people's feet" 

Him white-plumed Hector sternly eyed, and said : 
" No more, Polydamas, thy lips bestow 
Words that I love, to make us turn for dread : 
Some better counsel thou must surely know. 
But if from a true heart thou speakest so, 
The eternals, smiting with their evil rod. 
Have marred thy mind, who bidd'st me to let go 
What high Zeus, what the thunder-loving god 
Told me in words himself, and sanctioned with his nod. 


" Thou to thy shame wouldst have me put my trust 
In long- winged creatures, in the fowls of air. 
Whom I regard not, but contemn like dust, 
Which way soever, left or right, they fare. 
Eastward to Dawn, or westward to the lair 
Of Darkness. But let us with all our might 
Cleave to great Zeus and hear him, who doth bear 
All nature in his hand, all depth and height : 
There is but one best omen — for our land to fight. 



" And as for battle and the blasts of death, 
What need hast thou to tremble or wax cold ? 
Though by the fleet all else lie void of breath, 
Fear not : thy safety may be well foretold ; 
Not firm thy he^rt is, nor of fieiy mould. 
Yet from the battle if thou swerve this day, 
Or by vain words another's feet withhold. 
Then, for thy guerdon, by this spear, I say, 
Thy life in that same moment shall be taken away." 


So saying, he led their march ; and they behind 
Troop with divine noise. And the Lord of heaven 
From Ida sent a rolling storm of wind, 
And to the fleet in clouds the dust was driven. 
Then the heart melted and the reins were riven 
Of the Achaians ; but for Ti'oy new day 
Dawned, and each warrior felt the strength of seven. 
Thus, in the power of Zeus confiding, they 
To burst the embattled wall made terrible essay. 


Fierce at the breastwork still they dashed, and tore 
The long tiers of the towery-crested height. 
And the broad buttress-piles, sunk in before 
To bind in one mass the huge bulk curight. 
They toiled to lever up with main and might, 
Hot to break down the Achaian wall. Nor yet 
The Danaans bated earth or flagged in fight. 
But ox-hide shields along the rampart set. 
And their o'er-mastering foes shot from the parapet. 

316 ' THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xn. 


There both Aiantes moving on the wall 
Now with hard words, now mild, aroused each breast : 
" Look, friends and warriors, here is work for all ; 
Good, bad, and middling men, rise, do your best ! 
Let none turn shipward, let no yells arrest 
Tour courage, but drive on with mutual cheer. 
If the great Thunderer let us mar their quest, 
And hurl them to their homes in panic fear !" [and near. 
Thus through the fight they moved, with strong shouts, far 

As the dense snow-flakes on a winter's day 
Fall, when the Father hath ris'n up to snow, 
Bevealing his white arrows, and doth lay 
All winds in sleep, and pouring fast below 
On mount and promontory his mantle throw, 
O'er the wide lotus-fields and chill sea-sand. 
Farm and grey haven, to the bordering flow ; 
There the surf melts it, but the whole mainland [hand — 
Fades in the storm, when Zeus hath launched it from his 

Mixed in the air, men hurling to destroy. 
Such were the showering stones on each side flung ; 
Troy lashed Achaia, and Achaia Troy, 
And a dire noise about the rampart rung. 
Nor yet brave Hector with his troops had sprung 
The gates, the massive bar, and leapt the line. 
But wary Zeus, when the fight doubtful hung. 
Sent forth Sarpedon his own son divine. 
Like, in the Aigive ranks, a lion among kine. 



Holding his shield before him, he passed on, 
That beauteous orb, brass-welded in the fire, 
lined thick with layers of ox-hide, stitched and sewn 
Bound the rim's length with rods of golden wire ; 
This holding in his front, two lances dire 
He brandished, and went ravening in full sweep 
like some starved lion that comes mad with ire 
Down from his native hills to spoil the sheep, 
And finds a barred-up fold, and daxes against it leap ; 

Yea, though the herdsmen at their post he find 
Guarding the flocks with many a hoimd and spear. 
Not for one moment doth he pause in mind. 
Or deign to be put off and fly for fear. 
But bounds into the midst and rends off clear 
His mangled prey, or even himself doth take 
The javelin in his heart— so raging here 
To mount the high wall and the parapet break. 
Now burned divine Sarpedon, and to Glaucus spake : 

" Glaucus, wherefore is it that we twain 
Have still been wont all others to outshine 
In Lycia, leaders of the banquet-train. 
Graced with more meat and princelier cups of wine. 
And in the land men count us for divine ? 
And wherefore is it that we hold in fee 
That beautiful estate with slopes of vine. 
Rich fields of waving corn and pasturing lea, 
Down the fair banks of Xanthus, far and wide to see ? 

318 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book xn. 


" Why but for this, that we should stand in might 
First of all Lycians at the hour of need. 
And bear with a calm brow the fleunes of fight ; 
That so the people may find cause indeed 
To say : ' Our captains, that in Lycia lead. 
Are not inglorious men, to drink all day 
Choice wine for nought, and on our fat things feed. 
But power is in them, they love heroes' play. 
And of the Lycians still march foremost in the fray.* 


" my belovfed, if through endless years, 
This war once over, we could rest and thrive 
Ageless and deathless, without pain or tears. 
Neither would I go first myself to strive 
In arms, nor thee to glorious battle drive : 
But now that myriad deaths about us wait. 
Whence none by flight can save his soul alive, 
And all men upon earth must yield to fate — 
Forward, till one smite us, or we on him rise great I" 


Then Glaucus heard ; and the twain rushed in power. 
Leading the Lycians. And Menestheus saw 
And shuddered, as they rolled against his tower ; 
Then peered in terror, doubting whence to draw 
Help, and like lions red in tooth and claw 
The Aiantes marked, and Teucer standing nigh, 
But shouted all in vain to whom he saw. 
So dire a clang pealed up and shook the sky. 
From shields and battered helms, with fair crests waving high. 



And firom the gates, for every bar was fast. 
And loud the Lycians smote to make them fall : 
Therefore he sent the herald in fierce haste : 
" Eim now, divine Thootes, Aias call ! 
Or bring both rather — ^that were best of all — 
Ere havoc and wild rout devour us here. 
For lo, the Lycian captains at our wall 
Beat like a tempest, and great deeds of fear 
Come with them as of old in their enraged career. 


" But if the blast of battle round them rear. 
If they themselves have bloody work to do, 
At least then bring me in a strait so sore 
Aias of Telamon, or if but two, 
Add Teucer with his bow, that marksman tme." 
Thus spake the son of Fetalis, nor the man 
Paused, but obeyed him when the word he knew. 
And by the brazen-mailed Achaians ran 
Till the bold chiefs he found, and instantly began : 


" leaders of the host, Aiantes twain. 
You doth the child of kingly Petaus call. 
Though ye should strike but once and turn again. 
To help him in his toil ere worse befal : 
Both would he rather — ^that were best of all — 
Lest havoc and wild rout devour him sheer. 
For there the Lycian captains at the wall 
Beat like a tempest, and great deeds of fear 
Move with them as of old in their enraged career. 

320 THE ILIAD OF HOMEK. [book xn. 


" But if the blast of battle round you roar. 
If ye yourselves have bloody work to do, 
Alone then yield him in a strait so sore 
Aias of Telamon, or spare but two, 
Add Teucer with his bow, that marksman true." 
He spake, nor Aias to his word said nay. 
But to O'ileus' son made speech in few : 
" Here, Aias, thou with Lycomedes stay, 
And in the Danaan hearts plant valour as ye may ; 

" But I will help the Athenians, and, this done, 
Return." So Telamonian Aias went, 
And Teucer with him, the same father's son. 
Moving along the wall their way they bent 
To brave Menestheus' tower, and succour lent 
Full timely to the troop, now hardest driven ; 
For mightily up from tier to battlement 
like a black storm the Lycian chiefs had striven, 
And the grim fight neared on, and the noise pealed to heaven. 


Aias of Telamon there first did slay 
Sarpedon's Mend, magnanimous Epicles, 
Hurling a huge and ragged stone, that lay 
Hard on the ridge and ready at hand to seize. 
To hold it were a task not done with ease 
Now by two broad strong palms ; but Aias there 
Whirled, flung ; and like a diver of the seas 
The man fell from the tower and died in air, 
With skull-bones smashed together and four-plumed helmet 



Then Teucer Glaucus as be scaled the wall 
Shot, where the arm showed bare. To earth he sprang, 
Loth to be seen and mocked at for his fall. 
But when Sarpedon knew it, a dire pang 
Came o'er him ; and like fire he forward sprang. 
Pierced brave Alcmaon, and drew out the brass. 
He following prone ; the gilded harness rang. 
Sarpedon hurrying to breach wide the pass 
A battlement seized, and tugged, and tore off the whole mass. 

Whom on the naked wall huge Alas met 
And Teucer, who with shaft the breast-band smote 
Of the metn's shield ; for high Zeus warded yet 
Doom from his child. Then Aias at his throat 
Dashed with fell spear, and on the shield it wrote. 
But could not pierce it Yet he bated ground, 
Though raging, and drew back, but not remote. 
For still the glory of fight his spirit enwound ! 
There to the godlike Lycians he cried, turning round : 


" Lycians, why fail ye thus with laggard feet? 
'Tl8 hard for me alone, how strong soe'er, 
To break down walla and guide you to the fleet. 
Come, help : to work with many is fex more feir I " 
He spake : they, loathing his sharp scorn to bear. 
Thundered in heavier storm around their king. 
Also the Aleves in dread haste prepare 
Their files within the wall, and shore each wing, 
For in their eyes now loomed a great and terrible thing. 

VOL. I. X 

322 THE ILIAD OF HOMER. [book zn. 


For neither could the Lycians Argos wrack, 
Nor burst the barrier and tear down the gate. 
Nor could the Argive ranks hurl Lycia back. 
As two fierce men concerning bounds debate. 
Each brawling against each for equal rate, 
With rods in hand, on field of common right ; 
So did the ridge now part them in dire hate. 
And from each side came rattUng in the fight 
Blows on the fair round shields and targes feathery light 


And many with the pitiless brass were slain, 
Alike who turning did his back lay bare, 
And whom the shield itself now fenced in vain. 
Each tower and battlement stood reeking there. 
Dashed with red gore : nor could the foe yet scare 
The Danaans, but they still made even head; 
As some poor woman, in her dealings fair, 
Trims in her scales the soft wool with the lead. 
Poising, to earn sad pittance for her children's bread, 


So poised the battle hung, till Zeus endowed 
Hector with loftier glory, Priam's son, 
Who past the wall leapt first, and cried aloud : 
" Horsemen of Troy, charge, and the wall is won ; 
Then take up fire, and to the fleet pass on !" 
So cried he ; and they heard him with their ears. 
And sea-like on the rampire dashed anon 
Together, and set their feet upon the tiers. 
While like a hedge came up their brazen-pointed spears. 



But Priameian Hector grasped a stone 
That by the gates lay heavy on the plain. 
Huge, tapering to a point, a broad-based cone, 
Which two men, strongest that earth feeds with grain. 
Could scarce with levers hoise up to a wain 
Now ; but he swung it alone with ease on high. 
As when a shepherd without toil or strain 
lifts in one hand, nor cumbered is thereby, 
A shorn ram's fleece, so Hector with it moved to tiy 


The broad valves of the gates, exceeding strong. 
Inside, two bars about them crosswise lay. 
By one bolt fastened. And he came along, 
And dashed them in the midst to open a way. 
With legs set wide to give his strength more play. 
Both hinges are torn off, the stone inside 
By sheer weight falls, and the gates bellowing bray, 
Not can the bolt and heavy bars abide. 
But from the great stone's power the valves fly sundered wide. 

Then Hector leaping in, with brows like night, 
named with two spears, in brazen harness dire. 
None, when he came, durst meet him in his might. 
None save a god : his eyes were blazing fire. 
Loud shrilled he to his men to climb up higher. 
And pass the wall : they heard him and obeyed. 
Part pour into the gate, part scale entire 
The rampart. And the Danaans, sore dismayed. 
Fly to the hollow ships, nor can the rout be stayed. 


C (f\ 



MAY 7- 1943