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v/rrn profound respect and dutiful, attachment


jS In the spring of 1862 I was induced, at the
^ request of some personal friends, to print, for
private circulation only, a small volume of
** "Translations of Poems Ancient and Modern,"
in which was included the first Book of the
Iliad. The opinions expressed by some compe-
tent judges of the degree of success which had
attended this " attempt to infuse into an almost
literal English version something of the spirit,
as well as the simplicity, of the great original,"*
were sufficiently favourable to encourage me to
continue the work which I had begun. It has
afforded me, in the intervals of more urgent
business, an unfailing, and constantly increasing
source of interest ; and it is not without a feel-
ing of regret at the completion of my task, and

• Introduction to unpublished volume.


a sincere diffidence as to its success, that I ven-
ture to submit the result of ray labour to the
ordeal of public criticism.

Various causes, irrespective of any demerits
of the work itself, forbid me to anticipate for
this translation any extensive popularity. First,
I fear that the taste for, and appreciation of,
Classical Literature, arc greatly on the decline ;
next, those who have kept up their classical
studies, and are able to read and enjoy the
original, will hardly take an interest in a mere
translation ; while the English reader, unacquain-
ted with Greek, will naturally prefer the harmoni-
ous versification and polished brilliancy of Pope's
translation ; with which, as a happy adaptation of
the Homeric story to the spirit of English poetry,
I have not the presumption to enter into compe-
tition. But, admirable as it is, Pope's Iliad can
hardly be said to bo Homer's Iliad ; and there
may be some who, having lost the familiarity
with the original language which they once

sessed, may, if I have at all succeeded in my
attempt, have recalled to their minds a faint
<M.-ho of the strains which delighted their earlier


days, and may recognize some slight trace of
the original perfume.

Numerous as have been the translators of
the Iliad, or of parts of it, the metres which
have been selected have been almost as various :
the ordinary couplet in rhyme, the Spenserian
stanza, the Trochaic or Ballad metre, all have
had their partisans, even to that 'pestilent
heresy " of the so-called English Hexameter ; a
metre wholly repugnant to the genius of our
language; which can only be pressed into the
service by a violation of every rule of prosody ;
and of which, notwithstanding my respect for
the eminent men who have attempted to natu-
ralize it, I could never read ten lines without
being irresistibly reminded of Canning's

••Dactylics call'st thou thorn? God help thee, silly one!"

But in the progress of this work, I have been
more and more confirmed in the opinion which
I expressed at its commencement, that (what-
ever may be the extent of my own individual
failure) "if justice is ever to be done to the



easy flow and majestic simplicity of the grand
old Poet, it can only be in the Heroic blank
verse." I have seen isolated passages admirably
rendered in other metres ; and there are many
instances in which a translation line for line and
couplet for couplet naturally suggests itself, and
in which it is sometimes difficult to avoid an
involuntary rhyme ; but the blank verse appears
to me the only metre capable of adapting itself
to all the gradations, if I may use the term, of
the Homeric style ; from the finished poetry of
the numerous similes, in which every touch is
nature, and nothing is overcoloured or exagger-
ated, down to the simple, almost homely, style
of some portions of the narrative. Least of all
can any other metre do full justice to the spirit
and freedom of the various speeches, in which the
old warriors give utterance, without disguise or
restraint, to all their strong and genuine emotions.
To subject these to the trammels of couplet and
rhyme would be as destructive of their chief
characteristics, as the application of a similar
process to the Paradise Lost of Milton, or the
tragedies of Shakespeare ; the effect indeed may


be seen by comparing, with some of the noblest
speeches of the latter, the few couplets which he
seems to have considered himself bound by cus-
tom to tack on to their close, at the end of a
scene or an act.

I have adopted, not without hesitation, the
Latin, rather than the Greek, nomenclature for
the Heathen Deities. I have been induced to
do so from the manifest incongruity of confound-
ing the two ; and from the fact that though
English readers may be familiar with the names
of Zeus, or Aphrodite, or even Poseidon, those
of Hera, or Ares, or Hephaestus, or Leto, would
hardly convey to them a definite signification.

It has been my aim throughout to produce a
translation and not a paraphrase ; not indeed
such a translation as would satisfy, with regard
to each word, the rigid requirements of accurate
scholarship ; but such as would fairly and hon-
estly give the sense and spirit of every passage,
and of every line ; omitting nothing, and
expanding nothing ; and adhering, as closely
as our language will allow, ever to every epi-
thet which is capable of being translated, and


which has, in the particular passage, anything
of a special and distinctive character. Of the
id any deficiencies in my execution of this inten-
tion, I am but too conscious ; whether I have
been in any degree successful, must be left to
the impartial decision of such of the Public as
may honour this work with their perusal.


Knowsley, Oct., 1864


The favourable reception which has been given
to the first Editions of this work, far exceeding
my most sanguine hopes, affords a gratifying
proof how far, in my preface, I had over-
rated the extent to which the taste for, and
appreciation of, Classical Literature had
declined. It will not, I hope, be thought extra-
ordinary that some errors and inaccuracies
should have found their way into a translation
executed, I must admit, somewhat hastily, and
with less of the " limgs labor" than I should
have bestowed upon it, had I ventured to anti-
cipate for it so extensive a circulation. My
thanks, therefore, are due to those critics, who,
either publicly or privately, have called my
attention to passages in which the sense of the
Author has been either incorrectly or imper-


fectly rendered. All of these I have examined,
and have availed myself of several of the sug-
gestions offered for their correction ; and a care-
ful revision of the whole work, and renewed
comparison with the original, have enabled me
to discover other defects, the removal of which
will, I hope, render the present Edition, especi-
ally in the eyes of Classical Scholars, somewhat
more worthy of the favour which has been

accorded to its predecessors.


St. James's Square, JUay, 1865.




BOOK~ir- . 1

Book II 37

Book^». 87

Book IV 115

Book V. 147

Book VI 197

Book VII 227

Book YHfc 255

Book IX. . . 287

Book X 327

Book XI 359

/Book XIL . . . 407

A R G U M E N T .


[u the war of Troy, the Greeks having sacked some of the neigh,
bouring towns, and taken from thence two heautiful captives,
Chryseis and Briseis, allotted the first to Agamemnon, and the last
to Achilles. Chryses, the father of Chryseis, and priest of Apollo,
comes to the Grecian camp to ransom her ; with which the action
of the poem opens, in the tenth year of the siege. The priest
being refused, and insolently dismissed by Agamemnon, entreats
for vengeance from his god, who inflicts a pestilence on the
Greeks. Achilles calls a council, and encourages Calchas to declare
the cause of it, who attributes it to the refusal of Chryseis. The
King being obliged to send back his captive, enters into a furious
contest with Achilles, which Nestor pacifies; however, as he had
the absolute command of the army, he seizes on Briseis in revenge.
Achilles in discontent withdraws himself and his forces from the
iest of the Greeks ; and complaining to Thetis, she supplicates
Jupiter to render them sensible of the wrong done to her son, by
giving victory to tbe Trojans. Jupiter granting her suit, in-
censes Juno, between whom the debate runs high, till they are
reconciled by the address of Vulcan.

The time of two-and-twenty days is taken up in this book ; nine dur-
ing the plague, one in the council and quarrel of the Princes, and
twelve for Jupiter's stay among the Ethiopians, at whose return
Thetis prefers her petition, The scene lies in the Grecian camp,
then changes to Chrysa, and lastly to Olympus.



/"\F Peleus' son, Achilles, sing, O Muse,

The vengeance, deep and deadly ; whence to Greece
Unnumbered ills arose ; which many a soul
Of mighty warriors to the viewless shades
Untimely sent ; they on the battle plain 5

Unburied lay, a prey to rav'ning dogs,
And carrion birds; but so had Jove decreed,
From that sad day when first in wordy war,
The mighty Agamemnon, King of men,
Confronted stood by Peleus' godlike son. 10

Say then, what God the fatal strife provok'd?
Jove's and Latona's son ; he, filled with wrath
Against the King, with deadly pestilence
The camp afilicted, — and the people died, —
For Chryses' sake, his priest, whom Atreus' son 15



With scorn dismiss'd, when to the Grecian sliips

He came, his captive daughter to redeem,

With costly ransom charg'd ; and in his hand

The sacred fillet of his God he bore,

And golden staff.; to all he sued, but chief 20

To Atreus' sons, twin captains of the host :

" Ye sons of Atreus, and ye well-greav'd Greeks,

May the great Gods, who on Olympus dwell,

Grant you yon hostile city to destroy,

And home return in safety; but my child 25

Restore, I pray ; her proffer'd ransom take,

And in his priest, the Lord of Light revere. 1 '

Then through the ranks assenting murmurs ran,
The priest to rev'rence, and the ransom take :
Not so Atrides; he, with haughty mien, 30

And bitter speech, the trembling sire address'd :
" Old man, I warn thee, that beside our ships
I find thee not, or ling'ring now, or back
Returning ; lest thou prove of small avail
Thy golden staff, and fillet of thy God. 35

Her I release not, till her youth be fled ;
Within my walls, in Argos, far from home,


Her lot is cast, domestic cares to ply,

And share a master's bed. For thee, begone !

Incense me not, lest ill betide thee now." 40

He said : the old man trembled, and obeyed ;
Beside the many-dashing Ocean's shore
Silent he pass'd ; and all apart, he pray'd
To great Apollo, fair Latona's son :
" Hear me, God of the silver bow ! whose care 45
Chrysa surrounds, and Cilia's lovely vale ;
Whose sov'reign sway o'er Tenedos extends ;

Smintheus, hear ! if e'er my offered gifts
Found favour in thy sight ; if e'er to thee

1 burn'd the fat of bulls and choicest goats, 50
Grant me this boon — upon the Grecian host

Let thine unerring darts avenge my tears."

Thus as he pray'd, his pray'r Apollo heard :
Along Olympus' heights he pass'd, his heart
. Burning with wrath ; behind his shoulders hung 55
His bow, and ample quiver ; at his back
Rattled the fateful arrows as he mov'd ;
Like the night-cloud he pass'd, and from afar
He bent against the ships, and sped the bolt ;


And fierce and deadly twang'd the silver bow. 60
First on the mules and dogs, on man the last,
"Was pour'd the arrowy storm ; and through the camp,
Constant and num'rous, blaz'd the fun'ral fires.

Nine days the heav'nly Archer on the troops
Hurl'd his dread shafts ; the tenth, th' assembled Greeks
Achilles call'd to council ; so inspir'd 66

By Juno, white-arm'd Goddess, who beheld
With pitying eyes the wasting hosts of Greece.
"When all were met, and closely throng'd around,
Rose the swift-footed chief, and thus began : TO

" Great son of Atreus, to my mind there seems,
If we would 'scape from death, one only course,
Home to retrace our steps : since here at once
By war and pestilence our forces waste.
But seek we first some prophet, or some priest, 75
Or some wise vision-seer (since visions too
From Jove proceed), who may the cause explain,
Which with such deadly wrath Apollo fires:
If for neglected hecatombs or pray'rs
He blame us ; or if fat of lambs and goats 80

May soothe his anger and the plague assuage."


This said, lie sat ; and Thestor's son arose,
Calchas, the chief of seers, to whom were kn:wn
The present, and the future, and the past ;
"Who, by his mystic art, Apollo's gift, 85

Guided to Ilium's shore the Grecian fleet.
Who thus with cautious speech replied, and said ;
" Achilles, lov'd of Heav'n, thou bidd'st me say
Why thus incens'd the far-destroying King ;
Therefore I speak ; but promise thou, and swear, 90
By word and hand, to bear me harmless through.
For well I know my speech must one offend,
The Argive chief, o'er all the Greeks supreme ;
And terrible to men of low estate
The anger of a King ; for though awhile 95

He veil his wrath, yet in his bosom pent
It still is nurs'd, until the time arrive ;
Say, then, wilt thou protect me, if I speak ?"

Him answer'd thus Achilles, swift of foot :
" Speak boldly out whate'er thine art can tell ; 100
For by Apollo's self I swear, whom thou,
O Calchas, serv'st, and who thy words inspires,
That, while I live, and see the light of Heav'n,


Not one of all the Greeks shall dare on thee,
Beside our ships, injurious hands to lay : 105

No, not if Agamemnon's self were he,
Who 'mid our warriors boasts the foremost place."

Embolden'd thus, th' unerring prophet spoke :
" Not for neglected hecatombs or pray'rs,
But for his priest, whom Agamemnon scorn'd, 110
Nor took his ransom, nor his child restor'd;
On his account the Far-destroyer sends
This scourge of pestilence, and yet will send ;
Nor shall we cease his heavy hand to feel,
Till to her sire we give the bright-ey'd girl, 115

Unbought, unransom'd, and to Chrysa's shore
A solemn hecatomb despatch ; this done,
The God, appeas'd, his anger may remit."

This said, he sat ; and Atreus' godlike son,
The mighty monarch, Agamemnon, rose, 120

His dark soul fill'd with fury, and his eyes
Flashing like flames of fire ; on Calchas first
A withering glance he cast, and thus he spoke ;

" Prophet of ill ! thou never speak'st to me
But words of evil omen ; for thy soul 125


Delights to augur ill, but aught of good
Thou never yet hast promis'd, nor perforin'd.
And now among the Greeks thou spread'st abroad
Thy lying prophecies, that all these ills
Come from the Far-destroyer, for that I 130

Refus'd the ransom of my lovely prize,
And that I rather chose herself to keep,
To me not less than Clytemnestra dear,
My virgin- wedded wife ; nor less adorn'd
In gifts of form, of feature, or of mind. 135

Yet, if it must be so, I give her back ;
I wish my people's safety, not their death.
But seek me out forthwith some other spoil,
Lest empty-handed I alone appear
Of all the Greeks ; for this would ill beseem ; 140
And how I lose my present share, ye see."
To whom Achilles, swift of foot, replied :
" Haughtiest of men, and greediest of the prey !
How shall our valiant Greeks for thee seek out
Some other spoil ? no common fund have we 145

Of hoarded treasures ; what our arms have won
From captur'd towns, has been already shar'd,


Nor can we now resume th' apportion'd spoil.

Restore the maid, obedient to the God !

And if Heav'n will that we the strong-built walls 150

Of Troy should raze, our warriors will to thee

A threefold, fourfold recompense assign."

To whom the monarch Agamemnon thus :
" Think not, Achilles, valiant though thou art
In fight, and godlike, to defraud me thus ; 155

Thou shalt not so persuade me, nor o'erreach.
Think'st thou to keep thy portion of the spoil,
"While I with empty hands sit humbly down ?
The bright-ey'd girl thou bidd'st me to restore ;
If then the valiant Greeks for me seek out 160

Some other spoil, some compensation just,
'Tis well : if not, I with my own right hand
Will from some other chief, from thee perchance,
Or Ajax, or Ulysses, wrest his prey ;
And woe to him, on whomsoe'er I call ! 165

But this for future counsel we remit :
Haste we then now our dark-ribb'd bark to launch,
Muster a fitting crew, and place on board
The sacred hecatomb ; then last embark


The fair Ckryseis ; and in chief command 170

Let some one of our councillors be plac'd,

Ajax, Ulysses, or Idomeneus,

Or thou, the most ambitious of them all,

That so our rites may soothe the angry God."

To whom Achilles .thus with scornful glance ; 175
" Oh, cloth'd in shamelessness ! oh, sordid soul!
How canst thou hope that any Greek for thee
Will brave the toils of travel or of war ?
Well dost thou know that 't was no feud of mine
With Troy's brave sons that brought me here in arms ;
They never did me wrong ; they never drove 181

My cattle, or my horses ; never sought
In Phthia's fertile, life-sustaining fields
To waste the crops ; for wide between us lay
The shadowy mountains and the roaring sea. 185

With thee, O void of shame ! with thee we sail'd,
For Menelaus and for thee, ingrate,
Glory and fame on Trojan crests to win.
All this hast thou forgotten, or despis'd ;
And threat'nest now to wrest from me the prize 190
I labour'd hard to win, and Greeks bestow'd.


Nor does uiy portion ever equal thine,

"When on some populous town our troops have made

Successful war ; in the contentious fight

The larger portion of the toil is mine ; 195

But when the day of distribution comes,

Thine is the richest spoil ; while I, forsooth,

Must be too well content to bear on board

Some paltry prize for all my warlike toil.

To Phthia now I go ; so better far, 200

To steer my homeward course, and leave thee here

But little like, I deem, dishonouring me,

To fill thy coffers with the spoils of war."

Whom answer'd Agamemnon, King of men :
" Fly then, if such thy mind ! I ask thee not 205

On mine account to stay ; others there are
Will guard my honour and avenge my cause :
And chief of all, the Lord of counsel, Jove !
Of all the Heav'n-born Kings, thou art the man
I hate the most ; for thou delight'st in nought 210
But war and strife : thy prowess I allow ;
Yet this, remember, is the gift of Heav'n.
Return then, with thy vessels, if thou wilt,


And with thy followers, home ; and lord it there

Over thy Myrmidons ! I heed thee not ! 215

I care not for thy fury ! Hear my threat :

Since Phoebus wrests Chryseis from my arms,

In mine own ship, and with mine own good crew,

Her I send forth ; and, in her stead, I mean,

Ev'n from thy tent, myself, to bear thy prize, 220

The fair Briseis ; that henceforth thou know

How far I am thy master ; and that, taught

By thine example, others too may fear

To rival me, and brave me to my face."

Thus while he spake, Achilles chaf 'd with rage ; 225
And in his manly breast his heart was torn
"With thoughts conflicting — whether from his side
To draw his mighty sword, and thrusting by
Th' assembled throng, to kill th' insulting King ;
Or school his soul, and keep his anger down. 230

But while in mind and spirit thus he mus'd,
And half unsheath'd his sword, from Heav'n came down
Minerva, sent by Juno, white-arm'd Queen,
WTiose love and care both chiefs alike enjoy'd.
She stood behind, and by the yellow hair 235


She held the son of Peleus, visible
To him alone, by all the rest unseen.
Achilles, wond'ring, turn'd, and straight he knew
The blue-eyed Pallas ; awful was her glance ;
Whom thus the chief with winged words address'd :

" Why com'st thou, child of segis-bearing Jove ? 241
To see the arrogance of Atreus' son ?
But this I say, and will make good my words,
This insolence may cost him soon his life."

To whom the blue-ey'd Goddess thus replied : 245
" From Heav'n I came, to curb, if thou wilt hear,
Thy fury ; sent by Juno, white-arm'd Queen,
Whose love and care ye both alike enjoy.
Cease,then, these broils, and draw not thus thy sword;
In words, indeed, assail him as thou wilt. 250

But this I promise, and will make it good,
The time shall come, when for this insolence
A threefold compensation shall be thine ;
Only be sway'd by me, and curb thy wrath."

Whom answer'd thus Achilles, swift of foot : 255
" Goddess, I needs must yield to your commands,
Indignant though I be — for so 'tis best ;


Who hears the Gods, of them his pray'rs are heard."

He said : and on the silver hilt he stay'd
His pow'rful hand, and flung his mighty sword 260
Back to its scabbard, to Minerva's word
Obedient : she her heav'nward course pursued
To join th' Immortals in th' abode of Jove.
But Peleus' son, with undiminish'd wrath,
Atrides thus with bitter words address'd : 265

" Thou sot, with eye of dog, and heart of deer !
Who never dar'st to lead in armed fight
Th' assembled host, nor with a chosen few
To man the secret ambush — for thou fear'st
To look on death — no doubt 'tis easier far, 270

Girt with thy troops, to plunder of his right
Whoe'er may venture to oppose thy will !
A tyrant Xing, because thou rul'st o'er slaves !
Were it not so, this insult were thy last.
But this I say, and with an oath confirm, 275

By this my royal staff, which never more
Shall put forth leaf nor spray, since first it left
Upon the mountain-side its parent stem,
Nor blossom more ; since all around the axe


Hatli lopp'd both leaf and bark, and now 'tis borne 280

Emblem of justice, by the sons of Greece,

Who guard the sacred ministry of law

Before the face of Jove ! a mighty oath !

The time shall come, when all the sons of Greece

Shall mourn Achilles' loss ; and thou the while, 285

Heart-rent, shalt be all-impotent to aid,

When by the warrior-slayer Hector's hand

Many shall fall ; and then thy soul shall mourn

The slight on Grecia's bravest warrior cast."

Thus spoke Pelides ; and upon the ground 290

He cast his staff, with golden studs emboss'd,
And took his seat ; on th' other side, in wrath,
Atrides burn'd ; but Nestor interpos'd ;
Nestor, the leader of the Pylian host,
The smooth-tongued chief, from whose persuasive lips
Sweeter than honey flowed the stream of speech. 296
Two generations of the sons of men
For him were past and gone, who with himself
Were born and bred on-Pylos' lovely shore,
And o'er the third he now held royal sway. 300

He thus with prudent words the chiefs address'd :


" Alas, alas ! what grief is this for Greece !
What joy for Priam, and for Priam's sons !
"What exultation for the men of Troy,
To hear of feuds 'tween you, of all the Greeks 305
The first in council, and the first in fight !
Yet, hear my words, I pray ; in years, at least,
Ye both must yield to me ; and in times past
I liv'd with men, and they despis'd me not,
Abler in counsel, greater than yourselves. 310

Such men I never saw, and ne'er shall see,
As Pirithous and Dryas, wise and brave,
Cceneus, Exadius, godlike Polypheme,
And Theseus, ^Egeus' more than mortal son.
The mightiest they among the sons of men ; 315

The mightiest they, and of the forest beasts
Strove with the mightiest, and their rage subdued.
With them from distant lands, from Pylos' shore
I join'd my forces, and their call obey'd ;
With them I play'd my part ; with them, not one 320
Would dare to fight of mortals now on earth.
Yet they my counsels heard, my voice obey'd ;
And hear ye also, for my words are wise.

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