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Homer.

The Iliad of Homer with a verse translation online

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Leapt all in arms : and fearful rang the mail
Upon the monarch's breast, as swift he moved ;
That e'en the stoutest heart had quailed to hear.

As when upon a far-resounding shore
Wave after wave incessant following moves
By west wind roused ; far out at sea his crest
Each rears at first, then on the hard beach breaks
With mighty roar, and round the rocky points
Towers concave, spitting far the salt sea foam
So then incessant following, square on square,
Nor pause between, the Danaans moved to war.
Each leader gave his men the word ; the rest
Marched mute (within their breasts all voice so checked
That none would deem so vast a host was there),
And silent feared their captains. Gleamed on all
The varied mail wherewith their ranks were clad.
But for the Trojans as within the fold
Of some broad-acred lord the assembled ewes
Unnumbered stand, yielding the fresh white milk
With ceaseless bleating as they hear their lambs ;
So through the Trojans' ample host arose
Confused din Not one the shout of all,
Nor one their accent ; but their tongues were mixed,
And many were they called from many a land.



1 66 IAIAAO2 A.

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ovTTjcre fucrra) ^akKrjpel, \vcre Be yvla.



ILIAD IV. 167

These Ares roused ; stern-eyed Athene* these. .

Terror withal, and Rout, and Discord there

Relentless raging stood, the sister she

Of slaughtering Ares and his comrade true ;

Who small at first uprises, but anon

Her head strikes heaven, her tread is on the earth.

She now between them sowing common strife

Plunged in the throng, and swelled the warriors' groans.

But when upon one field the armies closed,
They met with targe, with spear, and strength of men
In brazen corslet clad : while bossy shield
Pressed shield, and loud arose the various din.
Wailing at once and glorying shouts were there,
Slayers and dying streamed with blood the ground.

As rivers twain, storm-flooded, from the heights
Down streaming, where the glens converging meet
Join all their watery weight from mighty wells
Within one hollow chasm ; whose throbbing beat
The distant shepherd in the mountains hears
So met the hosts with terror and with roar.

And first Antilochus slew a helmed wight
Brave in Troy's vanguard, Echepolus named,
Thalysius' son. Him first his foeman's spear
Struck on the thick-plumed helmet's foremost cone :
The brazen point, fixed in the forehead, passed
Within the bone, and darkness veiled his eyes.
Down crashed he tower-like in the stubborn fight.
Whose feet, as thus he lay, Chalcodon's son
King Elephenor seized the ruler he
Of the great-souled Abantes and aside
From out the missile shower 'gan drag in haste
To strip his arms, but short-lived was his speed.
For, as he dragged the corse, Agenor saw,
Great-souled Agenor, and his side that showed
Beyond the buckler, as he stooped, thrust through
With bras's-tipped spear, and loosed in death his limbs.



1 68 IAIAA02 A.

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* vlbv Hpidfj,oio vbdov



ILIAD IV. 169

So fled his soul. But o'er him was dread work
Of Trojans and Achaians, who as^wolves
Rushed each at other grappling man with man.

There Telamonian Ajax threw and hit
Anthemion's son, young Simoisius,
In blooming prime : whom erst his mother bare
By banks of Simois, from Ida's height
Descending, for in tendance on their flocks
She with her parents followed whence his name
Was Simoisius. Never paid he back
His parents meed of nurture, for his span
Was short, by spear of great-souled Ajax slain.
For him advancing first he struck in front
Near the right breast. Straight through the shoulder came
The brazen spear, and he upon the ground
Fell prone in dust; ev'n as a poplar falls,
That in a meadow of some wide fen grows
Smooth-stemmed, whose boughs are clustered on its head :
And this some chariot-framer with bright blade
Cuts down to bend the felloe for a wheel
Of beauteous car. Adrying there it lies,
Along the river bank ; and such lay he,
Young Simoisius Anthemion's son,
By Zeus-born Ajax slain. Whom Antiphus
Of flashing corslet, son of Priam, sought
To strike, and hurled his keen lance 'mid the throng.
And him he missed, but struck upon the groin
Leucus brave comrade of Odysseus he
While dragging off a corse : who spear and all
Down fell, and from his hand the body slipped.

But at his death Odysseus much in wrath
Strode through the vanguard armed in burning mail,
And stood hard by and hurled a gleaming spear,
Gazing around him. Back the Trojans shrank
Soon as the hero hurled: nor flew the shaft
In vain, but hit Democoon, bastard son



1 70 IAIAAO2 A.



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ILIAD IV, 171

Of Priam, from Abydos where he fed

The fleet mares of his father now returned.

Him then Odysseus, for his comrade wroth,

Smote with his spear, a side-stroke on the skull,

And through and out of the other temple passed

The brazen point ; and darkness veiled his eyes.

Heavy he fell, his armour on him rang.

The van with glorious Hector then gave ground.

But loud the Argives shouted, and the dead

They dragged away, and forward far they rushed.

Whereat Apollo chafed, as from the tower

He viewed the strife below ; and thus he cried :

" Rouse ye, steed-taming Trojans ! yield not thus

To Argive foes in fray. Not stone their flesh

Nor iron, to resist the sharing blade,

So they be hit. No truly, nor does he

Achilleus son of fair-haired Thetis fight,

But nurses at the ships his heartfelt wrath."

So spake the dread god from the citadel.
Achaia's sons the while the child of Zeus
Tritogenia roused, most glorious queen,
Threading the throng where'er she saw them slack.

Dioreus son of Amarynceus there
Stern fate enchained : for him a jagged stone
On the right leg beside the ankle struck,
By Piros thrown, the son of Imbrasus,
A Thracian leader who from Aenus came.
The tendons twain and bones the ruthless stone
Deep entering shattered; backward in the dust
He fell, both hands outspreading to his friends
As forth he breathed his life. Upon him ran
Piros who threw the stone, and thrust with spear
Close by the navel; on the ground gushed out
His bowels all, and darkness veiled his eyes.
On Piros then Aetolian Thoas rushed,
And cast his spear and struck him on the breast



172 IAIAAO2 A.

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ev Kovirja-i Trap dXX^Xoto-t Terai/ro.



ILIAD IV. 173

Above the pap. Fast in the lung was fixed
The brazen point; but Thoas came full near
And forced the weighty lance from out his chest;
And drew his keen-edged sword, with which he smote
Full on the belly, and reft his foe of life.
Yet stripped he not his arms; for round him stood
His comrades Thracians they, with tufted* locks
Crowning their heads, and lances long in hand
Who, tall and strong and awful though he was,
Yet thrust him back, and he perforce gave ground.
Thus side by side in dust those twain were stretched,
Of Thracians one, of mailed Epeans one
The chief: and many more around them fell.

There no man sure, who had among them come,
Had scorned their warlike work whoe'er unhurt
By throw or thrust of brazen point had roamed
Amid the fight, Athene as his guide
Holding his hand and warding forceful shafts.
For Trojans and Achaians prone in dust
That day full many side by side were laid.



IAIAAOZ E.



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ILIAD V.

The prowess of Diomedes.

AND now to Diomedes Tydeus' son
Pallas Athene' might and daring gave,
That so mid all the Argives he might shine
Conspicuous forth, and win him brave renown.
From helm and buckler unabating fire
She kindled, fire as of the summer star
Rising all-glorious from his ocean bath :
Such fire from head and shoulders kindled she
And spurred him to the midmost throng of fight.

A man there was of Troy, Dares his name,
Rich, blameless, of Hephaestos priest, and sire
To Phegeus and Idaeus, stalwart sons,
A pair well-skilled in every feat of arms.
These issuing from their host opposing rushed
On Diomedes, charioted they twain,
He on the ground a footman moved to war.
And to each other when they now drew near,
First Phegeus threw long-shadowed lance, whose point
O'er the left shoulder of Tydides came,
Nor hit him: second then with brazen spear
Tydides rose, whose shaft left not his hand
In vain, but hit his breast between the paps
And hurled him from his steeds. Away in haste
Idaeus sped and left his beauteous car,
Nor dared to stand and shield his brother slain:



176 IAIAA02 E.



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ILIAD V. 177

For thus himself had surely not escaped
Black fate; but now Hephaestos rescued him
Close-veiled in night, that so his aged sire
Might not be grieved with utter loss of all.
But those his steeds the great-souled Tydeus' son
Drove from the throng and to his comrades gave
In charge to lead them to the hollow ships.
And all the great-souled Trojans, when they saw
Of Dares' sons one saved by flight, one slain
And prostrate by his car, were stirred in soul.
Then did stern-eyed Athene* by the hand
Impetuous Ares seize, and thus she spake:
" O Ares, Ares, bloodstained, bane of men,
Thou rampart-stormer, shall not now we twain
Leave Trojans and Achaians here to fight,
The Father granting glory where he will,
While we retire and shun the wrath of Zeus ? "

The goddess spake, and from the battle-field
Led out impetuous Ares, whom anon
She seated on Scamander's grassy bank.
Then did the Danaans turn the sons of Troy,
And every Danaan leader slew a foe.
First Agamemnon king of men dislodged
Tall Hodius from his car a prince was he
Of Halizonians : for, as first he turned,
Between the shoulders in the back his spear
Atrides fixed, and drave it through his breast.
Heavy he fell, his armour on him rang.

Then by Idomeneus was Phaestus slain,
Son of Maeonian Borus, who had come
From Tarne^s clodded soil. Him with long lance
Spear- famed Idomeneus, when now in act
To mount his steeds, through the right shoulder pierced.
Down from his car he dropt, in hateful night
Soon veiled: whom then the victor's squires despoiled.

G. H. 12



178 IAIAAO2 E.



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ILIAD V. 179

But Menelaus slew with beechen spear

Scamandrius son of Strophius. In the chase

A cunning wight was he, a hunter good,

For Artemis herseJf had taught his hand

To strike all game that woodland mountains rear.

Yet nought could Artemis the arrow-queen

Avail him then, nor that far-shooting skill,

His former pride: but him did Atreus' son

The spear-famed Menelaus, as he fled,

Full on the back between the shoulders smite

With thrust of spear, and drave it through his breast.

Prone fell he, and his armour on him rang.

Meriones slew Phereclus son was he
Of worker deft in wood, Harmonides,
And knew himself all artful handiwork,
For Pallas loved him well. 'Twas he that first
For Alexander wrought the balanced ships,
Sad source of woe to Troy and to himself,
Since nought he knew of what the gods had doomed.
Him now Meriones o'ertook and smote
On the right buttock ; 'neath the bone straight on
The point came through the bladder. With a cry
Upon his knee he fell, death veiled his sight.

Meges Pedaeus slew, Antenor's son,
A bastard born, whom yet with kindly care
Divine Theano nurtured as her own,
To please her lord. Him spear-famed Phyleus' son
Approached and smote with keen lance 'neath the head
Upon the nape ; right on between the teeth
Below the tongue the broad point shared. In dust
He fell, and with his teeth the cold brass bit.

There did Evaemon's son Eurypylus
Divine Hypsenor slay: the son was he
Of high-souled Dolopion, whom a priest,
Scamander's priest, in honour as a god
The people held. Him then Eurypylus

12 2



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ILIAD V. 181

Evaemon's noble son, ev'n as he fled

Before him, chased, outran, and swooping down

With falchion smote his shoulder. Severed clean

Fell arm and heavy hand upon the plain

All dripping blood, and o'er his eyes was spread

The veil of dark death and resistless doom.

Thus toiled the rest throughout the stubborn fray.
But for Tydides none might know with whom
He ranged, with Trojan or Achaian throng:
For o'er the plain he rushed, as in full flood
A storm-swoln torrent, that with hurrying stream
Breaks dyke and dam Nor dam compact may stay,
Nor stony fence of orchard rich in fruit
Stem the fierce tide, so sudden on it comes,
What time the heavy rains of Zeus down pour,
Wide wasting the fair works of vigorous hands.
So Troy's close ranks before Tydides fled,
Nor, many though they were, abode his might.

Whom when Lycaon's noble son perceived,
As o'er the plain he rushed and drove before
The routed columns, quick at Tydeus' son
He drew his curved bow, and with true aim
By the right shoulder struck him, as he charged,
Upon the hollow corslet. Through it flew
The arrow keen and onwards held its way ;
And straight the corslet showed the stain of blood.
Whereat loud cried Lycaon's noble son :
" Rise, great-souled Trojans, spurrers ye of steeds :
Achaia's best is smit, nor long, I ween,
Will bear the forceful shaft, if me in truth
The king, the son of Zeus, sped on my way,
When hitherwards from Lycia's land I came."

Boastful he spake : yet the keen shaft his foe
Quelled not : but from the throng retiring he
Before his steeds and chariot stood, and there
Thus spake to Sthenelus son of Capaneus :



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ILIAD V. 183

"Rouse thee, kind son of Capane'us, quit the car
And from my shoulder draw this arrow keen."

So spake the chief: and Sthenelus from his steeds
Leapt to the ground, and by him stood, and drew
Right through and from the shoulder the swift shaft.
The blood upspirted through the twisted mail.
Then loud prayed Diomedes good in fray :
" Hear me, thou child of aegis-bearing Zeus,
Untamed ; if ever by my sire of yore



Online LibraryHomerThe Iliad of Homer with a verse translation → online text (page 11 of 32)