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The Iliad of Homer with a verse translation online

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So this transgression shall not lack its end.

Yet, Menelaus, shouldst thou die and close

Thy fated span, for thee I much shall mourn,

And shall with shame to thirsty Argos come.

For of their fatherland Achaians all

Will straight bethink them, and behind us we

Shall leave, to Priam's and the Trojans' boast,

The Argive Helen, while thy bones in Troy

Will lie and crumble for a bootless quest.

And haply then some haughty son of Troy,

Leaping in scornful wise upon the tomb

Of glorious Menelaus, thus will say :

* Ever, as now, end Agamemnon's ire !

Who hither led for nought Achaia's host

And sought again his home with freightless ships,

The gallant Menelaus left behind.'

So some will say, belike. Then were I fain

Wide earth should gape and hide me evermore."

To whom with cheer his brother yellow-haired:
" Courage ! alarm not yet Achaia's host.
No mortal part the keen shaft pierced, 'twas stayed
In time by supple belt, and underneath
By frock and girdle wrought by armourer's hand."

Then sovereign Agamemnon answering spake:
" I pray it be so, Menelaus dear !
But now a leech shall feel the wound, and lay
Kind salves thereon to lull the gloomy pains."

He spake, and to Takhybius turning him,
The sacred herald, thus to him gave charge :
"Talthybius, quickly call Machaon here
Son of Asclepius the blameless leech ;
That warlike Menelaus he may see,
Achaia's chieftain, whom with arrow shot
Some bowman skilled has struck, a son of Troy



150 IAIAAO2 A.

Tpcocov fj Aviclwv, TO) pJkv /eXeo9 a/zyu Be 7reV#o9."

<W9 e^ar', ou8' dpa ol /crjpvt; diridr)o-ev dicovcras,
ftrj 8' Ikvai Kara \aov 'A^ataJy r %a\KO'%na)V(DV
TraTTTaivcov r)pwa Ma^aoi/a. TOV oe vorjcrev 200

ecrraor'* a/-i<l Se yutz^ Kparepal crrt^e?

aJz^, oT ot eirovro Tpimjs ef LTTTTO^OTOLO,

s eirea Trrepoevra

11 opa* *AcrK\7)7riaS7]. Ka\eeL icpeiwv '
o(f>pa 18779 Me^eXaoz/ aprjiov 'Ar^oeo? woz', 205

oy rt? olo-revaas e/3a\ev, TO^COV ev etSco?,
T/5ft)&)i/ 77 AVKLCDV, ra> /iei/ AcXeo? a'/x/u Se irevOos"

W9 <f>dro, TO) 8' a/?a Ovpov evl arrjOeaaiv opivev,
ftav 8' Zei/ai /ca#' ofJuiKov ova crrparbv evpvv 'A^aicS^.
aXX' ore 8?; p' 'Uavov on %ai>6os Mei^eXao? 210

ySX^yLtez^o? ^i/, 7re/)t 8' avrov dyrjjepaO* oaaot, upicrToi
KVK\6a\ o 8* eV fJieaaoLo-L Traplararo laoOeos $&)?,
avri/ca 8' e/c ^(oarrjpo^ dprjpoTO? eXtcev oiarov'
TOV 8' e^eXicofjievoLo 7rd\Lv ayev o^ee? oytcoi.
Xucre 8e ot ^coartjpa I 7ravaio\ov 778' virevepdev 215

faJ/ia re #at /AirpTjv, rrjv ^aX/c^e? icapov aV8pe?.
avrdp eVel t8ei^ eX/co?, 00' efJiireae Tri/cpos otcrro?,
atyLt' e/c/jLvtyo-as eV a/?' ^Vfa cj)dp/jLa/ca et8ft)9
7Ta<7cr, ra ot 7 vrore Trarpl (f)i\a (frpovewv Trope

o'</?a fol dpfyeTrevovTo ^orjv dyaOov Meve\aov,
r6(f>pa 8' eVl Tpoowv crrl^e^ rj\v0ov d
01 8' aurt9 ^ara Tev^e eSvv, ^vr](javTO 8e

ev6* OVK av jBpL^ovra I'8ot9 ' AyafJie/jivova $iov,
ou8e KaraTTTGocro-ovT ou8' ot)/c edeXovra fjud^eadat,,
aXXa fjud\a o-TrevSovra fjid^rjv 9 xvSidveipav' 225

eacre /ca



/cat 701)9



ILIAD IV. 151

Or Lycia, to his glory but our grief."

He spake: the herald heard, nor disobeyed,
But hied him through the mailed Achaian host
And for the hero gazed around. Full soon
Standing he saw him 'mid the shielded ranks,
His followers stout from Tricca's horse-cropt meads:
And standing near in winged words he spake:
" Arise, Asclepius' son ! our sovereign calls,
That warlike Menelaus thou mayst see,
The son of Atreus, whom with arrow shot
Some bowman skilled has struck, a son of Troy
Or Lycia, to his glory but our grief."

He spake, and stirred the soul within his breast.
Then through the throng they took their way, and crossed
The wide Achaian host. But when they came
Where wounded stood the hero yellow-haired,
And gathered round him now were all the chiefs,
Encircling him, as in their midst he showed
A godlike wight ; then straightway from the belt
Close-fitting did Machaon draw the shaft,
And, as he drew, the keen barbs backwards broke.
The supple belt then loosed he, and, beneath,
The frock and girdle wrought by armourer's hand.
But when he saw the wound where the keen shaft
Had lit, the blood he squeezed thereout, and spread
Thereon with skill kind salves, that Chiron erst
With friendly wisdom to his sire had given.

While thus round Menelaus good in fray
His friends their tendance gave, meanwhile advanced
The lines of Trojan shieldmen, and their foes
"Donned arms again, bethinking them of fight.

Then godlike Agamemnon might'st thou see
No slumberer, no, nor skulking cowardlike,
Nor loth to fight: but eager for the fray
Man's field of glory. Steeds he left and car
Inwrought with brass : and these his squire apart



152 IAIAAO2 A.



, u/09 Hro\fjiaLov TleipatSao,
TU> fjid\a TroXX' CTre'reXXe Traptcr^e/JLev oTnrore tcev fiiv
yvla Xa/3?7 Kafjuaros TroXea? Sia Koipaveovra' 230

avrap o 7reo9 ewv 7re7ra>XeiTO o"r/^a? av$pwv.
Kai p 01)9 />fcez/ crTreuSoi/ra.? TSot Aavaatv
TOU5 fjt,a\a 6apcrvvecrK Trapio-rd/jievos
" ^Apjeloi, fj,r} TTCO TI fjieOiere OovpiBos
oi> yap 7rl tyevSecrcn, Trarrjp Zei)? ecrcrer' dpwyos, 235
' ot Trep Trporepoi vjrep opiaa SrjXrjcravTo,
TOI avTwv Tepeva \pba yvTres eSovrai,,
avr aXo%ou? T6 <f)i\a<; Kal vrjTria refcva
ev vrjeacnv, eirrfv TrroXieQpov eX&)/z.ez//'

av /jLeOievTas HSoi, crrvyepov 7ro\e/JLoio, 240

rot? fid\a veirceiea-fce ^oKwrolcriv eTreecro-iv.
" \\pyeioi, iofjuopoi, e'Xey^ee?, ov vv cre/5ecr^e ;
riffl our&)9 to-TT^re TeOrjTrores ijvre veftpoi,
a'L r' eVel ovv eKapov 7roXeo9 tre&loio Oeovcrai,
ecrraa, ovS' dpa Tt9 cr<^i yu-era (f>pcrl yiyverai d\Kr). 245

t9 (7Tr)T6 T607)7r6T6S, OV$6 /JM^ecrOe.

re



epvar

o(j>pa I'SijT al K v/jLfjuv V7repo")(r) %etpa Kpovlcov;"

e9 o 76 KOLpavewv eVeTrcoXetro <7T/^a-9 dvSpwv.
^X^6 8' eVl Kpijreo-cri, Kioav dvd ov\a/j,bv dvbpwv.
o'l $ d/JL(f) 'IBofj,vfja Safypova Ocoprjo-crovTO'

fj,ev evl 7T/?oyLta^ot9, <rvt et/K-eXo9 d\Krjv,
8' apa ot Trv/jbdras wrpvve (f)d\ayyas.



8' 'ISofjievfja TrpocnjvSa fjLi\i,'%loicnv'

Trepl fjiev ae r/co Aavaajv
evl TTToXeyLtft) 778' aXXota) eVt pyy,



ILIAD IV. 153

Held snorting, ev'n Eurymedon the son

Of Ptolemaeus son of Piraos ;

To whom the king gave charge to hold them near,

Should e'er his limbs grow weary as he ranged

The numerous host : but he afoot moved on

Along the ranks. And whomso keen for fight

Among the swift-horsed Danaans he might see,

These stood he near, and spake full cheerily:

" Argives, your might impetuous slack not yet !

For Zeus the father will not aid a lie.

But they who first dared break the plighted oaths,

Their tender flesh, I trow, shall vultures eat,

While we their wives beloved and infant babes

Bear off in ships when we their hold have ta'en."

But whom he marked as slack for hateful war,

These with rough words of wrath he roundly chid :

"Ye arrow-shooting Argives, sons of shame,

Have ye no honour ? Wherefore stand ye thus

Palsied with fear ; as fawns who, when they tire

Scouring the spacious plain, stand idly still,

No courage in their breast? So stand ye all

Palsied with fear, nor turn you to the fight.

What ! wait ye till your foes draw near, where ranged

Your fair-sterned vessels line the foam-flecked strand,

To see if Zeus will raise his hand to save?"

So moved he through the ranks and marshalled all.
Now to the Cretans came he, as he passed
The throng. Around the brave Idomeneus
They armed them : with the vanguard was the king
Like to a boar in might, his squire the while
Meriones roused the columns of the rear.
Whom sovereign Agamemnon joyed to see,
And kindly thus addrest Idomeneus:
"Idomeneus, choice honour give I thee
Above the swift-horsed Danaans, as in war,
So in each other work ; and at the feast



154 IAIAAO2 A.

?;&' ev Bal0\ ore irep re yepovatov aWoira olvov
'Apyelwv ol apio-rot, evl tcprjrrjpi, tcepwvrai. 2^0

el' Trep jap r aXXot ye tcdprj tfo/ioo>z/T9 'A^atot
Bairpov TTIVWO-LV, (7ov Be 7r\elov BeTras alei
rjx a>9 Trep e/jiol, ineeLv 'ore OV/JLOS dvcoyy.

Zpcrev TToXejJLovS oto? Trapo? ev^eai el/at."
rbv ' avr 'ISo/zei/eu? Kprjroov dyo$ dvrtov rjvba' 265
;, fid\a /J,ei> rot, eywv ep/T/po? eratpo?
0^9 TO irpwrov virear^v real /carevevaa'
orpvve icdprj KOfjiocovras
/jLa-)^w/jieO\ eVel <7ui^ 7'
rolaiv 8' ai/ Odvaros KOI Kifie oV/crcra>
eVel irporepoi vtrep opKia $r)\ijcravTo."



v

raj Se KopvacreaOriv, d/jua be veifto? elirero
(W9 8' or' aTro crKOTTirjs el$ev i/e^)
ep%6/J,evov Kara TTOVTQV VTTO Zeffrvpoio l
TO) Se T' dvevOev eovri fjbe\dvrepov rfvre
fyalve'T lov Kara TTOVTOV, dyet, Be re \al\a7ra 7ro\\rjL>'
piyrjaev re iBwv, VTTO re <77reo9 rj\aae jjif)\a'
rolai a/ji Kidvrecrai, Biorpe^ecov al&wv 280

Bijiov 9 vroXe/xoi/ TTVKival KLVVVTO <f>d\ay<yes
Kvciveai, traicea'fo re KOI ey^eat
Kal TOU9 fJ.ev <yr)0r]cre IBoov tcpeiwv '
teal afaas (f)ODi>ij(7a<; eirea Trrepoevra Trpoo-rjvBa'
" AXavT 'A/yyetwv yyrjTope ^a\Ko^iTwvwv ',
acfxioi /lev, ov <ydp eoifc, orpvve^ev ov n /ce\evci)'
avrd) ydp fj,a\a \aov dixoyere l<
al yap, Z,ev re Trdrep teal 'AOrfvatrj teal
Trdcriv Ovfjbbs evl (mjOeo-cri, yevoiro'



ILIAD IV. 155

Whene'er the dark-red wine, the elders' due,
The bravest Argive chiefs mix in the bowl. -
For while the flowing-haired Achaians all
A measured portion drink, thy cup, as mine,
Stands ever full, to drink whene'er thou will.
Rise then to war, and match thy former boast."

To whom Idomeneus the Cretan king:
"Atrides, surely I thy comrade true
Will be, as erst I promised and was pledged.
But rouse the rest, Achaia's long-haired sons,
That we at once may fight : for truce and oaths
The Trojans now have broken : wherefore death
And woe hereafter is their portion due,
Who faithless and forsworn began the wrong."

He spake: Atrides glad at heart, passed on.
Then came he to the Ajaces, as he ranged
The throng of men. The twain were arming them,
A cloud of footmen following as they led.
As from some cliff the goatherd sees a cloud
Advancing o'er the sea, by whistling blast
Of west wind speed ; to whom afar it looms
Blacker, like pitch, as o'er the main it moves
Full fraught with heavy squall he at the sight
Shudders, and drives his flock beneath the cave
So did the embattled squares of noble youths
With either Ajax move to hostile war,
Dense, dark, of shield and lance a bristling wood.
These sovereign Agamemnon joyed to see,
And thus aloud in winged words addressed :
" Ajaces twain, of mail-clad Argive men
Commanders, you I bid not 'twere unmeet
Your troops to rouse ; for these ye freely urge
To fight amain. I would O Father Zeus
Athene' and Apollo such a heart
Were in the breast of all ! for then full soon



156 IAIAA02 A.

T&> /ce



ixfi ij/lereprjat, a\ovcra re TrepOo/JLevrj re."
elirwv roy? fj,ev XtVez/ aurou, /3/J Be per a'XXot;?.
o ye Necrrop' erer^e, \iyvv Tlv\LO)V dyoprjrijv,
01/9 erapovs o-re\\ovra KOL orpvvovra /Jbd^eo-dat,
(i/jL(f)i jjbeyav He\dyovTa,'A.\dcrTopd re Xpo/uoz/ re 295
A.Tfjwvd re Kpeiovra JSiavrd re froi/neva \a&v.
fj,ev Trpwra <rvv LTTTTOLcnv KOL o%ecr(f)LV,
S' e^OTTide o-rrjcrev TroXea? re /cat e
e/Jiev 7ro\e/ioio' KCIKOVS 8' e? /JLeacrov
o(f>pa Kal OVK edeXwv Ti? dvayicair) TroXe/ufcH. 300

iTnrevo-iv fjuev Trpwr eVereXXero* roi)? 70^ dvcoyei,
or(f>ovi ITTTTOVS e^fjiev /jLrjBe K\oveecr6ai
i( /jirjBe rt? iTTTTOo-vvrj re teal tjvope7j(f)i,
olo? TTpoaO^ d\\cov fMefjLoTO) Tpwecrai
/jLTjS 1 dva-^wpeLra)' d\a r Tra^>v6repoi yap ecreade' 305

o? Be tc dvrjp diro wv o^ecov erep* *

do-0a), eTrel rj TTO\V

teal ol TrporepoL TroX/a? teal rel^e ejropOeov,
rovBe voov KOI Qvpvv evl crrrjOecra-Lv e^oi^Te?."

w? 6 yepcov wrpvve TraXat 7ro\ejjbcov ev et'Sw?. 310

/cal TOP /JLEV yrfOrjcre I&GOV Kpeiwv '
Kai fjiiv fywvrjcras eirea Trrepoevra
" co yepovj eW* w? 0v/j,os evl ar^Oecro-L (j)i\oi<Tiv,
&)? rot yovvad* eTroiro, /3lrj Se roi e/^TreSo? eirj.
a\\a ere yrjpas reipei OIAOUOV' ft)? ofye\ev ri? 315

dv$p(t'V aXXo? e^eif) orv Be KOvpoTepoicri iierelvai"

rov S' rj/jLeifieT* eTrena TepijvLos iTnrora Ne<rr&)p'
" \\Tpe'lSij, fjbd\a fjiev Kev eyoov lOekoi^i Kal
&)? e/jiev ew? ore &lov ' Epev9a\ia)va



ILIAD IV. 157

King Priam's town were nodding to its fall,
Taken and spoiled beneath our conquering hands."

He spake, and leaving these to others went.
Then found he Nestor, Pylian speaker clear,
Ranging his comrades, whom he urged to tight,
Around their captains, stalwart Pelagon,
Chromius, Alastor, royal Haemon too,
And Bias, princely shepherd of his folk.
Horsemen with steeds and cars in front he set :
Footmen behind, full many they and brave
The bulwark of the battle. But the weak
Midmost of all he drave, that they enclosed
Might, tho' unwilling, on compulsion fight.
Then charged he first the horsemen ; whom he bade
Keep horse in hand, nor throng disorderly.
" Let none " said he, u in horsecraft overbold
And manly strength, alone before the rest
Be hot to engage the foe, nor yet behind
Fall back, for so ye will the weaker prove.
And whoso from his chariot can attain
The foeman's chariot, let him thrust with lance
Still held in hand: far better is it so.
So did our sires of old o'erthrow and spoil
Cities and walls ; such was their wisdom then,
And such the spirit in their breasts that burned."

Thus urged the greybeard, skilled of old in war.
Whom sovereign Agamemnon joyed to see,
And thus aloud in winged words addressed:
" Father, I would that as thy spirit is
Within thy breast so were thy knees and strength
Still firm ! But age outwears thee, age alike
Waster of all. O were some other man
Thus old, and thou among the younger born !"

Whom Nestor answered then, Gerenian knight,
" I too, Atrides, fain would be as when
The godlike Ereuthalion I slew:



158 1AIAAOS A.

aXX' ov TTft)? a/jia rcdvra 6eol Bo&av dvOpcjTroicriv. 3:0

el rore Kovpos ea, vvv avre fie 717/00.9 G

d\\d Kal (W9 iTTTrevcri yuereacro/iat tjBe

(Bov\f) Kal fMvOoLcn,' TO yap yepas earl <yepivrwv.

alx/jias 8' al^iaaaovo'i, vecarepoi,, o'i Trep efJLelo

cTrXorepoi yeydacri TreTTOiOaalv re /3ir)(f)iv."

w? e(f)ar\ 'Arpei'Srjs be 7rapa)^ero yrjQoo-vvos fcfjp.
evp vlov Hereto Weveo-dfja 7r\jji,7r7rov
ecrraor' dfjutyl 8' 'AOrjvaioi, /jL^ara)pe<;
avrdp o ifK^criov ecrrijicei, 7ro\vfjL7)Ti<? '
Trap Be }.e(j)a\\,r)va)V dp,<f)l <7T/^e? ov/c d\a7ra$val 330

ov yap TTW cr<piv d/covero Xao? dvrrjs,
veov %vvopiv6[j,evai KLvvvro
Tpwcov iTTTroSd/jLcov Kal 'A%ai,(t)v' ot Be
ecrracrav, OTTTrore Trvpyos 'A^atcSz^ a'XXo? lire\6(t)v
Tpwwv op/jLtjcreie Kal dp^eiav TroKe^oio.
roi)9 Be IBoov veiKecrcre aval; dvBpwv '
Kal cr(ea? ^xui//;cra? eVea Trrepoevra
" co vie ITeTectJO Siorpe<f)eos /SacrtX/yo?,
Kal dv, KaKolcn SoXoiai KeKacrpeve, KpSa\e6(f>pov,
rirrre KaraTrrcoa-aovre^ d^earare, pi^vere & aXXou? ; 340
r eireoiKe fjierd 7Tpo)Toi(n,i>
e yaa^? Kava-reiprj?

TTpcorco yap Kal &UTO? aKovd^ecrOov e/jielo,
OTTTrore Batra yepovaiv e<^orr\i^wfiev 'A^a/ot.
evda ^>/X' OTrraXea Kpea eB/juevai tfBe Kvrre\\a
ol'vov TTLvep,evai yiteX^Seo?, ofyp e6e\r]rov.
vvv Be <tXa>? %' 6po(pre Kal el BeKa rcvpyoi '
vfjieiwv TrpOTrdpoiOe fjia-^olaro vrf\el

rbv 8' dp vTroBpa IBoov Trpoaety
"'ArpeiBr], TTOLOV ere evro? <f)vyev ep/co? oBovrcov. 350



ILIAD IV. 159

But all at once the gods ne'er grant to man.
If young I was long since, and now -am old,
Old as I am, yet with the knights I go,
Counsel and words to give an old man's right.
Spears let the younger throw, who, later born,
For arms are fitter and in strength are bold."

He spake : Atrides glad at heart passed on.
Menestheus son of Peteos next he found,
Smiter of steeds. He stood, and round him thronged
Athenians, counsellors of fray : hard by
Odysseus stood, the many- counselled man ;
And with him, round about, no feeble ranks,
The Cephallenians. Idle stood they all :
Whose host not yet had heard the battle-cry,
For 'twas but now the advancing columns moved
Of Troy's steed-tamers and Achaia's sons.
Wherefore they kept their ground, and looked to see
When some battalion of Achaia's troops
Should charge the Trojans and begin the war.
These Agamemnon king of men beheld
And chid, and thus in winged words addressed:
" O son of Peteos a Zeus-nurtured king,
And thou in harmful wiles well skilled, shrewd heart,
Why cowering hold ye back and wait the rest ?
You twain it fits amid the foremost ranged
To stand and meet the burning fire of fight.
For to the feast first bidden are ye both
By me, when for our elders it is spread.
There gladly eat ye of the roast, and drink
The cups of honeyed wine whene'er ye will :
But gladly now would see battalions ten
Before yourselves wield ruthless blade in fray."

Then with grim glance the many-counselled man:
" What word hath leapt the barrier of thy teeth,



160 IAIAAO2 A.



TTOK 3?) </>>75 7TO\fJLOtO fJ,60l/JLeV ', OTTTToV '

Tpwcrlv e(f> iTTTroSdfjc.oio'iv eyelpofiev o%vv "Aprja,
otyeai, f)v e6e\rjdOd real ei icev TOI TO, fjL/J,ij\rj,

:

TrfXe/jid^OLO <f>l\ov irarepd irpo^d^Oicn fjLiyevra
Tpuxov iTTTroSd/jLwv. o-v Be TCLVT dve^u>\ia ySafet?." 355
TOV 8' 7rt,fj,iB>icra$ Trpoa-e^rj Kpeiwv



s Aaepndfy,
ovre ae veiKeiw Trepiaxriov ovre /ce\evco'
olBa yap 0)5 rot dvjj,os evi (mjOecrcn, (J)L\OLCTLV 360

Sijvea olSe' TO, ydp fypoveeis a r* eyco Trep'
' Wi, ravra S' OTTicrdev dpea-crofjied', el TL KCLKOV vvv
eiprjrai' rd Se irdvra 6eol {jLera^wvia Oelev!'

to? etTTUtv TOVS JAW Xiwev avrov, /S/J Se per aXXov?.
evpe Be TuSe'o? viov VTrepdvpov Ato/i^Sea 365

eo-raor ev 0* ITTTTOLGI /cal ap/jLa<ri /co\\r)Toiat,v'
Trap &e ol eaTrj/cei, -,6eve\o<;
real TOV fj.ev vel/ceo-ae IScov /cpelcov '
Kai fJLiv cfxDvtcras eirea Trrepoevra
" w /JLOL, Tu8eo? vie Satfipovos iTrTroBd/jLoio, 370

TI TTTtocrcreis, TI 8' oTrtTrreuet? TroXe/^oto ye(f)vpa<; ;
ov wv Tv&el y ft)8e (f>\av TTTwaKa^efiev rjev,
aXXa 7ro\v irpo <J)I\CDV erdpwv Srjioiat, ^d^ecrOaiy
a)? $d(Tav o'i jjiiv tSovro TrovevfJievov' ov yap e'ya) ye
rjVTTjcr ovBe tSov' irepl 8* d\\wv <f>a(rl yeveaOai,. 375

77 rot aev yap drep voXc/tou eurij/bjOe Nv/cijvas
feti^o? a/jC dvTidew Ho\vvelrcl, \aov dyeipav,
o'i pa rore arpa-rotovd* lepd 727)05 rei^ea 77/9775'



ILIAD IV. 161

Atrides ? how canst call us slack in war ?

When we Achaians rouse the onset keen

'Gainst Troy's steed-taming sons, then, if thou wilt

And to such gear thou hast a mind, thou'lt see

The loving father of Telemachus

Blent in the battle with the Trojan van.

But these thy words are surely words of wind."

To whom the sovereign, when he knew him wroth,
Soft smiling spake, with words of altered mood:
"Zeus-born Laertes' son, of many wiles,
I chide thee not o'er much, nor yet command,
For, well I know, the soul within thy breast
Kind counsels holds, thou thinkest ev'n as I.
Go to, hereafter make we good if aught
Of ill hath now been said : and may the gods
Scatter such empty words adown the winds !"

He spake, and leaving these to others passed.
Then found he Diomedes Tydeus' son,
High-couraged chief, upon his well-framed car
Standing with steeds all yoked : and by his side
Stood Sthenelus the son of Capaneus.
Him sovereign Agamemnon saw and chid,
And thus aloud in winged words addressed :
u Ah me ! Thou son of Tydeus, valiant knight,
Why skulking cowardlike, why scanning thus
The battle bridge? Sure Tydeus loved not so
Timorous to cower, but of his comrades still
By far the foremost with the foe to fight:
As they have told who saw him at such work :
Myself nor met nor saw him ; but, they say,
Peerless above all other men was he.
For to Mycenae not in war he came
With godlike Polynices, as a guest,
To gather men, for those who then were bound
To march a host on Thebes sacred walls.

G. H. II



1 62 IAIAAO2 A.

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ILIAD IV. 163

And much the Mycenaeans they besought

To give them famed allies : and they to give

Were willing, and consented as they bade :

But Zeus, by threatening signs their purpose changed.

So these departing forward on their way

Came to Asopus' stream, deep-fringed with rush,

Banked with soft lawns. Tydeus to Thebe thence

In embassy Achaia's army sent.

Who came and found full many of Cadmus' sons

Feasting in mighty Eteocles' hall :

Nor trembled there, although a stranger guest

Alone amid the whole Cadmean throng,

Steed-driving Tydeus, but he challenged them

Their prowess to essay, and conquered all

With ease : such aid Athene to him lent.

Then Cadmus' sons, spurrers of steeds, enraged

Led out and placed for him, as back he went,

Close ambush fifty youths with leaders twain,

The son of Haemon, to immortals peer,

Maeon, and with him Lycophontes joined,

Son of Autophonus and staunch in war.

These also Tydeus sent to shameful doom :

He slew them all save one, whom he released

Home to return, ev'n Maeon, whom he spared

Obedient to the portents of the gods.

Such was Aetolian Tydeus, who a son

Begat in council better, worse in fight."

He spake : stout Diomedes answered nought,
Awed at the chiding of the reverend king.
Spake then the son of glorious Capaneus :
"Atrides speak not lies, who know'st the truth.
We boast ourselves far better than our sires.
We too seven-gated Thebe's city took,
Tho' neath its warrior walls a lesser host
We led ; for to the portents of the gods
We gave good heed and earned the help of Zeus,

II 2



1 64 IAIAAO2 A.



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ILIAD IV. 165

But they by their own folly were undone.
So prize me not our fathers as our peers."

To whom stout Diomedes, stern in glance :
" Friend, sit thou silent and obey my word.
With Agamemnon shepherd of the host
I fret not, that Achaia's well-greaved sons
He stirs to fight. His will the glory be,
If we Achaians rout the sons of Troy
And sacred Ilion fall, and his the grief,
Be we Achaians routed. Wherefore come
And let us twain take thought of valorous might."

He spake, and from his chariot to the ground



Online LibraryHomerThe Iliad of Homer with a verse translation → online text (page 10 of 32)