The Iliad of Homer with a verse translation online

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Such charge the greybeard gave: but thou forgetst.

But cease, e'en now, and thy heart-grieving wrath

Forego. Right worthy gifts are offered thee

By Agamemnon if thou bate thy ire.

Nay come, and listen thou, while I rehearse

The many gifts that Agamemnon's self

Within his tent but now did promise thee.

Seven tripods will he give, unscathed by fire,

Of gold ten- talents, twenty glittering pots ;

Twelve steeds withal, prize-bearers, stout of limb,

Whose nimble feet have won them many a prize.

Not landless he nor poor in precious gold,

To whom may fall those many stores of wealth,

Prizes that Agamemnon's steeds have won.

Seven women also will he give, well-skilled

In faultless work, of Lesbian race, whom he

Chose out when by thy hand fair Lesbos fell,

Passing all womankind in comeliness.

These will he give thee ; and with them shall be

The maid of Briseus whom erewhile he took.

And hereto will he swear a mighty oath,

That never has he climbed her bed or lain

Beside her, as a man with woman may.

All this at once shall be thine own. But more

If gods hereafter grant us grace to sack

Priam's great city, thou may'st enter in

And freight thy ship with piles of brass and gold,

24 2


el(7e\6cov, ore /cev Sareco/jLeQa \7jiB' *A%at,ol,

TpcoidBas 8e ryvvai/ca$ eel/coo-iv avrbs e\e<r0ai t

a'i /ce per 'Apyelrjv 'EXevrjv icd\\tcrTai, ecoaiv.

el Be /cev v Ap709 i/col/jLeO' ^A^auKov, ovBap dpovprjs,

7a/i/3/)09 K&V ol eoi?' rlaei Be ere Icrov

09 ol T7j\vyeTos rpe^erai 6a\irj evi 7ro\\fj.

rpels Be ol elcrl Ovyarpes evi

Xpva60e/j,i,<; KOI AaoSiKTj /cal

rdcov rjv K eOekyo-Oa <f>l\r)v dvdeSvov

7T/309 olKOV Il7;Xl709' O 8' aVT 67Tfc /JLL\ia S(0(Tl,

TroXXa /zaX', OQ-Q-' ov TTW rt9 efj eTreSca/ce OvyarpL
7rra Be TOI Bcaa-et ev vaiofMeva 7rro\le6pa,
K.apBa/j,v\'r)v 'EtVOTrrjv re /cal 'Iprjv Troirjeo-aav
re a0ea<; 778' "AvOeiav ^a6v\eLfJiov
r AiTreiav KOI Hijo'aa-ov d^7re\6ecrcrav.
8* 6771)9 aXo9, vearai Hv\ov r^aO 6 euros'
ev S' aVS/J9 vaiovai TroXvpprjves
oi /ce ae Bcorlvrja-i 6eov 0)9 TI/JLTJCTOVO-IV
Kai TOI VTTO (7/cjJTTTpu) Xt?ra/3a9 Te\eovcrt
ravrd /ce TOI reXeo-ete yueraXX^fa^Tt %o'Xoto.
el Be rot, 'Arpet'S7;9 jj,ev dir^'^deTO /cr^poOt /LtaXXoi/,
ai)ro9 teal TOV Boopa, av 8' aXXou9 rrep
Teipo/JLevovs e\eaipe /card aTpaTov, OL ere deov
TLcrovcr' rj <ydp /ce G$L yLtaXa ^670^ AcOSo9 dpoto
vvv jdp % r/ Ei/cTop > eXot9, eVet av /j,d\a TOI,
\vacrav e^cov O\OTJV, eVel ov TWO, (^TJCTLV 6/J.olov
ol /j,evai, kavci&v 01)9 evddBe vfjes evencav."
TOV 8* aTra/JLeifto/Aevos Trpocre^rj rroBa? GOKVS '


When our Achaian host divides the spoil.
And twenty Trojan women thou may'st take
At thine own choice, the fairest of the fair,
By Argive Helen's self alone surpassed.
But to Achaian Argos if we come,
That land of milk, his daughter thou shalt wed ;
And he will honour thee as his own son
Orestes, who last-born and best-beloved
In rich abundance there to manhood grows.
Three daughters has he in his firm-built hall,
Chrysothemis, Laodicd, and third
Iphianassa. Lead thou which thou wilt
An unbought welcome bride to Peleus' home.
And presents with her he will give in store,
As never father yet with daughter gave.
Seven towns withal, well-peopled, he will give,
Cardamyle to wit, and Enope',
And grassy Ira, Pherae the divine,
Antheia's deep-soiled meads, yEpeia fair
And vine-clad Pedasus. Hard by the sea
On sandy Pylos' border lie they all.
And they are rich in sheep and rich in kine
Who dwell therein : and they will honour him
With gifts ev'n as a god, and goodly dues
Obedient to his sceptre they will pay.
All this he pays thee, if thou bate thy wrath.
But if thy heart so hateth Atreus' son,
Himself and these his gifts, yet pity thou
In their sore strait Achaia's general host;
Who as a god will honour thee, for thou
Wilt surely win them passing great renown.
For now thou may'st slay Hector, who will come
Full near to thee, possest with baneful rage:
Since of the Danaans whom our vessels bare
Hither to Troy, he reckons none his peer."
To him replied Achilleus fleet of foot:


374 IAIAA02 I.


7} fjbev Brj TOV fJbvOov a7r7j\eyea)<;
y Trep Brj <f>povea> re teal ok rereXecryLteVo^ earai, 310

o$9 fj,rj fjLou rpv&re irap^evot, a\\o6ev aXXo9.
e^Opos yap ^LOL iceivos o/^cG? 'AtSao
09 %' erepov fj,ev tcevdrj evl typea-iv, a\\o
avrap eyoo epeco MS fJLOi So/eel elvat, apicrra.
OVT fj,e 7* 'A.Tpetr]v ' AyafjLejj,vova r ireicrefJLev oico
our' aAA,oi>9 Aai/aou?, eVet OVK apa Tt9 %pt9 rjev
lidpvacrdai STJIOKTIV eV dvbpdcri, z/caXe^^ alei.
iarj fjbolpa pevovTi, /cal el fid\a TI<;
ev Be If} rifj,fj ripev KCLKOS ijSe /cal e
KarOav oyLt&)9 o T' depyo? dvrjp o re 7ro\\d eop7&J9. 320
ov&e rl fjioi TrepL/ceirai, ejrel irdOov d\yea
alev /jb7Jv tyv)(f)v 7rapa/3a\\6fJ.evo<;
W9 S* opvi<$ aTTTrjcri, veoa-crolcriv
pdaraK, eirel /ce \dj3rja-i, KaK&s 8' apa ol TreXet avrfj,
0)9 fcal eyw 7roXXa9 ^ev dvTrvovs vv/cras lavov, 325

rjfjLara S' ai/Aaroevra SieTTpTjcra-ov ir
dvSpdcri, papvafjLevois odpcov eveica c
Sta&efca Srj <rvv vrjvcrl ?roXt9 aXaTra
7refo9 8' ev&e/ed <prj{ii, /card Tpoliiv epi/3a>\ov'
rdcov etc Tracrecov KeifJLij\ia iro\\d fcal ecr6\d 330

, ical irdvra fyepwv ^Aya/^e/jLVovi Boa/cov
o 8' oTTiO-Qe fievcov irapd vrjvcrl Ooycnv
&a iravpa Baa-dcr/cero, TroXXa 3' e%eo-Kev.
daaa 8' dpio-Tijeo-ai, BlBov yepa /cal /BaaL\evo'Lv,

fj,ev efj,7re$a Kelrai, efj,ev S' diro fiovvov J A^aia,v 335
' a\o%ov 6vjj,apea' rfj irapiavwv
TL Be Bel


"Odysseus, Zeus-born prince, Laertes' son,

Thou many-counselled man, my word herein

I must speak bluntly forth, ev'n as I think

And will most surely do, lest flocking here

Ye sit beside me to make idle moan.

For him I hate, ay, as the gates of death,

Whose heart hides aught but what his lips forthtell.

And I will say as seemeth me the best.

Me neither will Atrides, as I ween,

Persuade, nor other Danaan ; since to fight

Untiringly and alway with the foe

Brought me no thanks. The laggard ever bore

Like share with warrior, fought he never so:

One honour had the coward and the brave.

Death conies not less to him of many deeds

Than to the deedless idler. And what gain

Results from all the ills my soul endured,

Who ever risked my life in brunt of war ?

Ev'n as the mother-bird to unfledged young

Bears in her beak whate'er she find, yet fares

Herself but scantly so through sleepless nights

Full many I lay, and fought through bloody days

With men who battled for their own dear wives.

Twelve cities sacked I, sailing with my ships,

Eleven on land in deep-soiled plain of Troy.

From all these cities many treasures rich

I took. To Agamemnon Atreus' son

I brought and gave them all : who stayed behind

By the swift ships, and gathering in the spoils

Apportioned out but little, much retained.

Prizes he gave to chieftains and to kings :

But while the rest yet keep their own secure,

From me alone of all Achaia's host

He took, and holds, the wife my heart held dear.

Let him e'en take his pleasure by her side.

But wherefore need the Argives war on Troy?

376 IAIAA02 I.

'Apyeiovs ; TI 8e \aov dvrfyayev ev6d$ dyelpas
*ATpei$r)<; ; 97 ov% 'EXe^? even? rjVKOfJLOio ;

77 pQVVQl (j)L\eoV(7 > aXo^OU? fJLepOTTWV dvOpCOTTWV 340

aij eVet 09 rt? aV^/9 dyaOos teal e%e(f)p(t)v,
avrov ^>tXeet /cat /crjSerai,, co? /eal 7^0
e/c Ovfiov (j)l\eov SovpircTrjTrjv Trep lovcrav.
vvv 8' ejrel etc xeipwv yepas ei\ero /cat p
fj,7j /lev Treipdrci) ev eZSoro?* ovSe fie ireiaei. 345

aXX', 'OSucrei), crvv aoi re Kal a\\oi(Ttv /3aai,\V(7Lv
(frpa^ecr&a) vrjecrcriv aXefe/xei/at Stjtov irvp.
77 fiev &rj p,d\a TroXXa Trovrjcraro voafyiv e/z-eto,
Kal S?) ret^o? e^ei^e, Kal 7;Xacre rdfypov eir aurcS
evpelav fieyd\r)v ) ev Se cr?c6\07ras Kareir^ev' 3=0

aXX' 01)8' w? Svvarai aOevos "E/cTopo? d
lvye.iv. o(j)pa 8' e'7< /ier' 'A^atowrt^
ou/c eOe\e(TK6 pd^v diro Tefyeos opvv/jiev
aXX* ocrov e? S:at9 re TruXa? /fal <f)7]yov i'/cavev'
evOa TTOT' oloz/ epiiive, ^07^9 8e yiteu H/KJtvyev opfJLijv. 355

avpiov ipd Atfc pefa9 /t

V vfjas, eTrrjv aXaSe TrpoepiHTcra),

ai, TJV e6e\r)a0a Kal et /cei^ rot ra

/xaX' 'EXX^crTro^TOj' eV l^jdvoevra 7r\eovo-a^ 360

e/i,a9, ez/ S' dvBpas epecrcre/jievai, fJiefjiawra^.
el 8e /cei/ ev7r\oLrjv Bear] K\VTO<? elvoalyaios,
rj/jLarl Kev Tpirdrw <&0ir]v epl/3a)\ov IKOL^V.
ecrn Be fjiOi /xaXa TroXXa ra Ka\\i7rov evOdbe eppcov'
aXkov 8' evdevBe ^pvaov Kal ^a\Kov epvOpov 365

7786 yvvaiKas ei)d>vov$ TTO\IOV re


Why led Atrides here his gathered host?

Say, was it not for long-haired Helen's sake?

Do then alone of all speech-gifted men

The sons of Atreus love their wives? Nay, sure

Whoe'er is good and wise loves well his own

And cherishes : and so loved I that maid

With all my heart, although a spear-won bride.

But now, since from my hands he took my prize

And played me false, let him not try me more

Who know him well : he never will persuade.

But let him e'en with thee and other kings,

Odysseus, counsel how to save his ships

From foemen's fire. Surely without my aid

Full many labours he has wrought : a wall

He now has built, and dug thereto a trench

Both broad and deep, and set it thick with stakes.

Yet even thus the slaughtering Hector's might

He cannot check. But while among your host

I battled, Hector dared not stir the fight

Out from the city- wall, but just so far

As to the Scaean gates and oak-tree came.

There once he faced me singly, and my charge

Hardly escaped. But now, since I to war

With godlike Hector choose not, I will pay

To-morrow morn due sacrifice to Zeus

And other gods, then freighting well my ships

Will drag them seawards down ; and thou shalt see,

If so thou wilt and carest for the sight,

Bound for the fishful Hellespont betimes

My ships and shipmen lab'ring at the oar.

And if the famed Earth-shaker speed our voyage,

To deep-soiled Phthia in three days I come.

Full many stores I have, which there I left

Bound hither to my bane : and gold from hence

And ruddy brass, and well-girt women-slaves,

And iron grey I take my share of spoil.

378 IAIAAO2 I.

, acra e\a%6v ye' yepas Be /JLOI, 09 Trep e
avris e(j)v/3pl(0v eXero /cpelcov ' Aya/Jieavcov

ro3 irdvr dyopeveuev <

abov, ofppa KOI a\\oi eTricrKv^covrat, 'A^awn, 370

et Twa TTOU kavawv en, e\7rerat egairaTijcreiv,
alev dvai^ei7]v eTTieL^evo^' ov$ av epoL ye
icvveos Trep ewv e/9 toTra ISeaOai.
I ol /3ouXa9 <7L'/x0pacrcroyLtat, ov&e TL epyov'
etc yap &rj p? dTrdrrjcre Kal tf\iTev. ov$ av er avris 375
ef;a7rd<f)oi,TO eTrea-au' aXi9 $e 01. aXXa eK7j\o<;
eppera)' e/c yap ev <f>peva<; etXero ^nera Zeu9.
e\9pd Se pot, rov Swpa, rlco Be ^LIV ev tcapos aio-rj.
OV& el /JLOi Se/ca/ct9 Kal elfcoo-d/cis roaa Soir)
ocrcra re OL vvv earl, Kal ei TToOev a\\a yevoiTo, 380
01)8' f od e? ^Qp^ofjLevov iroTivLcro-eraL, 01)8' ocra 0^'/3a9
Alyvirrlas, '66 1 TrXetcrra So/zot9 ev KTTjf^ara Kelrat,
at 0* e/caro/iTruXot elat, BLrjKOcrioi 8' dv e/cacrra9
dvepes e^oiyvevGi GVV "TTTTOIO'IV Kal o^ea^iv'
01)8' el fioL Tocra 80/77 ocra ^d/JLaOos re K.QVIS re, 385

ouSe /cev f9 ert QVJUOV efiov TrelaeL ^Xyap,e^vwv,
Trpiv y ajro Trdaav e/jiol co/ievai, 6vp,a\yea \w/3r]V.
Kovpqv 8' ov ya/jieco ' ' Kya^e^vovo^ 'ArpetSao,
ou8' et xpvcretr} ^Af^poSlrrj /caXXo9 epi^oi,
epya 8' 'A.0rjvalrj y\avKGo7rt,$t, Icro^api^oi' 390

oz)8e yLttv 0)9 yafieco' o 8' 'A^atcSi^ a\\ov eXeV^w,
09 rt9 ot r' eTreoiKe Kal 09 /3acn\evTepos ecniv'
TJV yap 8/j yLte aowcn Oeol Kal ot/ca8' iKoyuai,
HT]\evs Orjv jMOi eireira yvvatKa yafjueo-o-erai, avros.
TroXXal 'Aati8e9 etViz/ ai/' 'EXXa8a re <&0irjv re, 395


But that my prize he took again who gave

Insulting Agamemnon, Atreus' son,

Our sovereign lord. To whom declare ye all,

Ev'n as I charge ye, in the public ear :

So may Achaians all be wroth, if yet

He hopes to cozen other Danaan chief,

He that is ever clothed in shamelessness ;

Yet, hound-like tho' he be, he will not dare

To look me in the face. Nor will I join

His counsels or his deeds. He played me false,

And wronged me ; nor shall cozen me with words

Again : be once enough. But let him go,

By me untroubled, to his bane, for Zeus

The counsellor hath reft him of his mind.

His gifts I hate ; I prize him at a hair.

No, not if ten times o'er or twenty times

His gifts were told ; not all his present store

"With other joined thereto ; not all the wealth

That to Orchomenus or Egyptian Thebes

Flows in, where countless treasures hoarded lie,

That hundred-gated town whose every gate

Pour's forth two hundred men with steeds and cars.

No, not if gifts in number as the sand

Or dust he bring, not even so my mind

Will Agamemnon move, till he have made

For grievous outrage done atonement full.

No child of Agamemnon will I wed,

Be she to golden Aphrodite peer

In beauty, and in skill of handiwork

A rival of Athene", stern-eyed queen.

Not e'en so will I wed her. Let him choose

Some other of Achaia's sons, whoe'er

May fit himself, forsooth, some lordlier king.

For if gods speed me and I reach my home,

Peleus himself shall find me then a bride.

In Hellas and in Phthia many maids

380 IAIAAO2 I.

Kovpai dpicrTYjwv 01 re TTTo\ieOpa pvovraC
rdav rjv tc eOekwfJii <j)i\rjv TroirjcrofJ? O.KOITIV.
evda Be /AOL fid\a TTO\\OV eTreacrvTO OVJJLOS dyrjvwp
[ivrjcrTrjv a\o%ov, el/cviav d/coiTiv,
TepTrea-Oai rd yepcav eicrrjaaro TT^Xeu?. 400

cv yap efjiol ^v^rj^S dvrd^iov ov& oaa
*\\LOV e/crr/o-dai ev vaiopevov irro\ieOpov,
TO Trplv eir 6^/377^779, Trplv e\6efiev f
ovo* 'bcra \dlvos 01)80? d(j)rjropo<; eVrov eepyei
<$>oij3ov 'ATroXX&JZ'o?, Hvdol evi Trerprjecrcrr]. 405

\r)i(TTol pv yap re /3o69 teal fyia ^rj\a,

l Be T/HTroSe? re KOL LTTTTtov %avQa Kaprjva'

^v^rj irdXiv e\0e/jiev ovre \if]icrrr)
ov0* eXer/J, eVet up /cev dpetyeTai eprcos oSovrcov.
^rrjp <ydp re /ie (770-* 6ed, 0eri9 dpyvpOTre^a, 410

8^#a8/a9 Krjpas ^epe^ev OavdroLO
el fJ^ev K avQi pevwv T/>coa>j> r jr6\iv d/
w\ero [iev IJLOI VOCTTOS, drdp /cXeo9 afyOiTov earaC
el Be K oL/caB 1 T/cw/xt (frlXyv 9 irarpiBa yaiav,
a)\ero fioL K\eos ea0\6v, eVl Brjpov Be fjiot, alcov 415

ecraerai, ovBe ice p uxa reXo9 Oavdroio Ki^eiij.
KOL B* dv rot9 d\\oL(Tiv eya) 7rapafj,v07]cralfjL7}v

1 d7T07r\eiei,v, eTrel ovfcert, Brjere Te/c/jicop
aiTrewrjs' fid\a yap edev evpvoira Zei/9
kt]v VTrepecr^e, redapcrrj/cao't Be Xaot. 420

aXX' z5/zet9 /J>ev lovres dpio-rrjecrcnv A%aia)V
dyye\i7jv aTro^acrOe (TO ydp yepas eVrl yepovTtov),
o$p d\\tjv (frpd&vTaL evl <f>pecrl fjirJTLV dpeivw,
rj ice (7(j)iv vfjds re crow KOI \aov 'A^aiwy
vrjvclv 7rt, y\a(f>vpys } eTrel ov cr(j)icriv rjBe y eTolfiTj, 425


There be, Achaia's daughters, born of chiefs
Who keep strong cities. Whom I will of these,
I to my bed may take. There oft and much
My noble spirit wished to woo and wed
A wife, a fitting partner, and enjoy
The wealth that Peleus won, my greybeard sire.
For life to me is more than all the store
That Ilion, that well-peopled city, owned
Once, as they say, in peace, ere yet had come
Achaia's sons. And life is more than all
That in the temple hoarded lies behind
The stony threshold of the archer-god
Phoebus Apollo, on high Pytho's crag.
For kine and lusty sheep may come by spoil,
And tripod urns and steeds of tawny mane
Are goods that may be won : but breath of life
By spoil or winning cannot come again,

Once it hath passed the barrier of the teeth.

Me too my goddess mother Thetis says,
The silver-footed dame two fates at choice
Await, to lead me to the goal of death.

If biding here around Troy's walls I fight,

Return is lost to me for evermore,

But I shall gain a name imperishable.

But if to home and fatherland I go,

My noble name is lost, but long my life,

Nor soon will death o'ertake and bring the end.

Such lot is mine. And to the rest of ye

My counsel is, 'Sail home:' for Ilion's end

Ye will not see ; o'er whom loud-thundering Zeus

Holds shielding hand, whereat her hosts are bold.

But go your way, and to Achaia's chiefs

Bear back plain word as is the greybeards' part

That other plan and better they devise

To save the ships and save Achaia's host

Beside the hollow ships : since nought avails

382 IAIAA02 L

rjv vvv efypdcrcravTO, epev a

<&olvi% 8' avQi Trap* a/z/zt pevow

o(f)pa pot, ev vrjeaaL (j>l\rjv e?

avpwv, r\v eOe\rj<rtv' dvdyKrj 8* ov rl JJLLV afw."

&)? <f)[email protected] y , OL 8' apa TrdvTes d/cr)v eyevovro aici)7rfj 430
fj,v0ov dsyao-o-d/mevoi' fj,d\a yap Kparepws direenrev.
o-^re B 8rj /jbereeiTre yepcov
Bd/cpv dvcLTTprj eras' Trepl <ydp Ble vrjvcrlv ^
"el fJ<ev 8?} voarov 76 yu-era <j>pecri,
j3d\\ai, ov&e TI irdjATrav d/juvvew vTjvcrl Oorjcrw 435

Trvp e0e\ei<; d'tforfKov, eirel ^0X09
7ra>9 av eTreLT airo aelo, $>i\ov re/cos, avQi
o!o? ; croi 8e JJL eVe^Tre <yepwv L7r7nj\dr
TO) ore cr' etc <>@lrj<$ 'Ayafie/jivovi,

) OV 7TCO 6t8o^' 6/JLOllOV TToXe/AOtO 44 O

ouS' dyopecov, 'iva r avSpes dpnrpeTrees reXedovcrtv.

rovve/cd /JL6 TTpoerjrce 8iSa<r/ce//e^at raSe Trdvra,

fjLvdwv re pyTrjp* epevai 7rpr)Krfjpd re epycov.

co9 av eireLT diro creto, <j)i\ov re/co9, ov/c eQeXoifjii

\eiirea9\ ouS' et /ceV yLtot VTrocrTalr) @eo$ auro9, 445

yrjpas d-Tro^vaas, Orjaeiv veov q/BtoOvra,

olov ore irpwrov \lirov r EXXaSa Ka\\iyvvaiKa,

(frevycov veiicea Trarpos *Afj,vvTopo<$ '

09 /AOL 7raXXa/a'So9 Trepi^cocraro

rip auro9 0tXeecr/ce^, dri/jbd^eo-Ke S' aicotTiv, 450

fjLTjrep' ejjLijv. rj 8' atez/ e'/^e Xtcrcrecr/cero yovvcov

7raXXa/c/8t Trpojjuyrjvai, r iv ^Orjpeie yepovra.


What now they- planned, for still my wrath endures.
For Phoenix, let him bide the night with us,
And rest him here : that with me he may sail
To-morrow to our own dear fatherland,
If so he please : I shall not force his will."

He spake : but they in silence all were mute,
Awed at his words ; for he full strongly spake.
At length amid them Phoenix, greybeard knight,
Found words and spake, with bursting flood of tears,
So sorely feared he for Achaia's ships :
" If of return indeed thou hast a thought,
Glorious Achilleus, and thus utterly
Deniest thine aid to ward the wasting fire
From our swift ships, since wrath hath seized thy soul ;
How can I then away from thee, dear son,
Be left behind alone? With thee I came
By Peleus, greybeard knight, sent on that day
When thee to Agamemnon's aid he sent
From Phthia ; thee a child, nought knowing yet
Of doubtful war, or council, where full soon
Men shine conspicuous forth. Wherefore thy sire
Despatched me too, to teach thee all that lore,
To speak where words are meet, where deeds, to do.
I would not then consent, dear son, of thee
Thus to be left behind. No not although
A god himself should promise me to strip
My slough of age and make me young again,
As once I was, when Hellas first I left,
Land of fair women ; fleeing, in his wrath,
Amyntor son of Ormenus, my sire.
Wroth was he with me for a woman's sake,
A fair-haired paramour, whom now he loved,
Scorning my mother his true wedded wife.
But she besought me ever at my knees
The grey-beard with her rival to forestall,
That she might loathe him. I obeyed her hest


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And did the deed. My father straight perceived,
And cursed me deeply, calling to his aid
The abhorred Furies. Never on his knees
(He prayed) might sit a son by me begot.
And to these prayers the gods fulfilment brought,
The nether Zeus and dread Persephone.
Him first I purposed with keen sword to slay,
But some immortal power my anger checked,
And set before my mind the people's voice
And all mankind's reproaches ; for I feared
Achaian lips should call me parricide.
Then could my soul no more be bent to bear
Life in our halls beneath a father's ire :
Though friends indeed and kinsmen flocking round
Besought me much, to stay me in my home.
And many were the lusty sheep they slew,
And kine of clumsy foot and curved horn ;
Many the swine, all rich with fat, they singed
Lying wide- stretched across the Fire-god's flame :
Many the jars whereout was drunk the wine,
The greybeard's store. And so for nights thrice three
Around me close they slept or watched in turn :
Nor e'er was quenched the fire ; one burning still
Beneath the cloister of the well-walled court,
One in the hall before my chamber door.
But when the tenth dark night came on, I brake
The solid chamber door, and got me out,
And o'er the courtyard wall full lightly leapt
Unseen by watching men or women slaves.
Then fled I far through Hellas' plains, and came
To deep-soiled Phthia, mother land of flocks,
To Peleus Phthia's king : who took me in
With kindly zeal, and gave me love, as gives
A father to an only son, late-born,
Well-loved, to all his ample substance heir.
Wealthy he made me too, and gave in charge .
G. H. 25

386 IAIAA02 I.

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A numerous folk ; thus of the Dolopes

A prince in Phthia's border land I dwelt.

There reared I thee, Achilleus peer of gods,

To be what now thou art, with hearty love.

For thou with none but me would'st seek the feast,

Nor taste the viands in the hall, till I

Set thee upon my knees and fed thy wants,

Cutting thy meat and holding wine to thee.

Oft didst thou stain my bosom, when thy lips

Spilled out the wine in froward childishness.

Much then for thee I suffered, much I toiled :

This thinking, that the gods ordained me not

Child of my own ; wherefore, O peer of gods

Achilleus, I would make of thee a son,

To guard me in my age from shameful harm.

But now, Achilleus, tame thy mighty wrath :

Online LibraryHomerThe Iliad of Homer with a verse translation → online text (page 23 of 32)