The Iliad of Homer with a verse translation online

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Traz/Tocre (^oir^rrjv, yu,ez/o? orpvvovres
a\\ov yLtetXi^iot? d\\ov crrepeol^
veiiceov, ov TLVO, 7rdy%v ^0^779 peOievra iBoiev'
" a) (f)l\oi, 'Apyelwv 09 T' ef 0^09 09 re fjieo-ijeis
09 re xepeiorepos, ejrel ov TTCO Trdvres O/JLOLOI, 270

dvepes ev TroXe/xw, i^Oi/ eTrXero epyov airacnv'
/cal B* avrol roBe TTOV yLyvaxTKere. fjuj rt9 oTrlaaa)
rerpd^>6co Trporl vrjas 6fjLOK\r)Trjpos d/cova-as,
aXXa Trpoao-ct) I'ecrOe Kal d\\rj\oi(Ti Ke\ecr6e,
at Ke ZeL9 Bwycriv 'OXi;//, 77^09 dcrrepoirrjr^ 275

aTroo&a/jievovs foflovs Trporl dcrrv Blecrdat,"
0)9 TO) 76 Trpoflowvre /jLd%r]v wrpvvov 'A^atcTz/.
oJi^ 8', &)9 re vi<f)dBe$ ^LOVOS TriTrrwcn Qa/Jieiai,
rjfjLart, ^ei^epiw, ore r dopero ^nera Ze^9
vi(j>e/jLev, dvOpayjroiai, Truftava-KOfjievos TO. a KtjXa' 280


With wondrous shout. But Zeus the lightning-lord
From Ida's heights a storm-wind roused, that drove
Straight for the ships the dust : and thus the sire
Made weak the spirit of Achaia's sons,
But gave renown to Hector and to Troy.
Bold in his portents and their own strong arms
These strove to breach Achaia's mighty wall,
As at the stony courses of the towers
They tugged, and tore the battlements adown,
Heaving with levers at the buttresses,
Those jutting piles set by Achaian hands
In front, and fast in earth, to shore the towers.
At these they tugged with hope to breach the wall.
Nor did the Danaans yet give ground, but lined
The battlements with fence of ox-hide shields,
Wherefrom they plied with missile shower their foes
As 'neath the wall they came. And on the towers,
Urging them on, strode ever to and fro
The Ajaces twain and roused Achaian might.
Soft words to one they gave, one sternly chid,
Whomso all negligent of fight they saw:
"O friends, O Argives, rated howsoe'er,
Or high, or low, or middle since in war
Never were all men equal now is work
For all alike ; and this, I ween, ye know
E'en 'of yourselves. Disheartening counsellor
Let no man hear and backward to the ships
Turn him, but press ye forward, and urge on
Each one his friend : so may the lightning-lord
Olympian Zeus vouchsafe us to repel
Assault, and chase our foemen to their town."
Thus they with shout Achaia's battle roused.
And as the falling flakes come thick and fast
Upon a winter's day, when Zeus all-wise
Bestirreth him to snow, his feathered shafts
To mortals dealing forth He lulls the wind

524 IAIAAO2 M.

e/JL7reBov, o(f)pa

v\jrr)\Gov opecov /copv(f>ds KOI TTpwovas arcpovs
teal TreBla \corovvra KOI dvBpwv TTiova epya,
Kai T <j> aXo9 TroXt?;? /ce^vrat, \tfutruf re /cal
KVHO, Se fjuv 7rpoo-7r\d%ov epvxercu' d\\a be Trdvra 085
l\varat, KaOv7repO\ or e
w? ro)V afj,(j)OTepci)(7 \L0oi
at /j,ev ap 69 Tpftja?, at 8' e'/c Tpcoa)^ e?
TO 8

7TO) TOT6 76 /3ft)69 at <flUyllO9 /CTO)/3 290

ro 7rv\a<; KCLI /JLdKpov o%rja,
el prj ap viov eov ^ap7T7)$6va fnjTtera Zei/9
(apaev eV 'Apyeloiai, \eov6* 0)9 /3oucrt e\i%i,v.
avritca S' aarTTiBa fxev nrpodOe a^ero Trdvrocf ei'cn]v

a\Kelrjv e^rjXarov, f)V apa xa\Kevs 295

evroaOev Be fioeias pd-^re 0afj.eia<?

i(Ti $li]veK<Tiv Trepl KVK\OV.
TTJV ap' o ye TTpocrde <r^o/i6z/o?, Buo Bovpe
ftfj p fyev W9 re \ecov opeo-lrpo^os, 09 T'
Brjpov erj /cpeitov, KeKerat, Be e Ovpos dyijvwp 300

jjLrjXwv Treiprfo-ovra Kal 69 TTVKI.VOV BO/JLOV e\6elv %
el irep ydp % evpycrt, irapavroOi jSwropas avBpas
avv Kvcrl /cal Bovpeaai, $>v\dacrovTa<$ Trepl fj,rj\a,
ov pd T* a7re//377T09 fie/JLove (TTaO/jLoio BieaOai,

' o 7* dp r) rjpTra^e /jLerdXfjievos 776 /cal auro9 305

ev TTpfoToicri, Oorjs dirb ^6tpo9 dicovri.
a$9 pa TOT dvriOeov ^apirrjBoi'a dv^o? dvfjicev
Tel-xps eVatfat Bid re pr}%acr6ai eT
avTitca Be T\av/cov


And ever pours apace, till he enshroud

The lofty mountain peaks and jutting bluffs

And clovery meads and fruitful tilth of man,

And of the hoary sea each bay and beach

Is overspread, the lapping wave alone

Checking the snowy fringe, all else in white

Mantled beneath the Father's heavy storm :

So thick and fast the double stone-shower flew :

Stones on the Trojans from Achaian hands,

Stones from the Trojans : frequent rained the blows,

And loud o'er all the rampart rose the din.

But glorious Hector and the sons of Troy
The rampart gates, secured with mighty bar,
Not yet e'en then had broken ; had not Zeus,
Wise counsellor, against the Argives roused
Sarpedon his own son, as lion roused
'Gainst kine of curling horn. His orbed shield
Forthwith he held before him, fair to view,
Faced by the smith with beaten plates of brass,
With frequent ox-hide folds within knit close,
Fast clamped by golden bands that compassed all
Its ample round. Before him this he held,
And brandishing two lances took his way :
Keen as a lion mountain-bred, whom long
Fasting perforce from flesh his spirit bold
Now bids invade the flock and scale the walls
That close the fold for though he find therein
Herdsmen with dogs and spears who guard the sheep,
He brooks not without trial from the yard
Back to be driven ; but either leaping in
Bears off a prey, or 'mid their foremost ranks
Is struck by javelin from an active hand
So then Sarpedon, godlike wight, was stirred
To charge upon the wall, and break amain
The battlements. And straightway thus he spake
To Glaucus, scion of Hippolochus :

526 IAIAAO2 M.

" TXavfce, rirj Srj vu*i r en fir) pea 6 a fjidXiara 310

eSpy re Kpeaaiv re ISe TrXetot? Setrdecrcriv

ev Av/ctrj, Trdvres 8e #601)9 0)9 el(ro power iv,

teal refJievos v epopee 6 a peya tidvOoio irap o^Oa^

KO\OV (f>v raXt^? KOI dpovpijs 7rvpo(j>6poio ;

TO) vvv %p^ AvKioi&i, fiera TrpwToio'iv eoz/ra? 315

6(f)pa rt? w8' eiTrrj Av/clcov Trvrca Owprj/crdcov'

' ov jjLrjv aK\r)ei<> Avfcirjv Kara Koipaveovcriv

i]jjLeTpoi /5acrtX?/e9, e^ovai re TTIOVO, fjuJXa

dlvov r e^airov fjL\i7)Bea' d\\ y dpa KOLI t? 320

eV#X?7, eVel AVKIOKTI pera 7rpu>TOi(ri

w TreTrov, el pev yap TroXepov Trepl rovSe

alel Bt) fteXXot/Ltez/ dyrjpa) T' ddavdrco re

eaae(j6\ ovre /cev auro? evl 7rpu>Toi(Ti

ovre Ke ere oreXXof/U /Jbd-^rjv e'<? /cv&idveipav' 325

vvv & (e/jiTnis yap /crjpes effreo-rdo-iv Oavdroio

, a? OVK ecm (frvyelv /BpOTOv 01)8' V7ra\vj;ai)
r)e TO) ey^o? ope^opev ?Je rt? r)iilv"
<$ e^ar*, ovBe FXaO/co? d-TreTpaTrer ov& uTTidrja-ev'
rco S* I0i)s /3r}T7jv AVKLWV fjueja eOvos dyovres. 330

TOU? Se tSa;^ piyrja'' vlos HerecSo
roO yap 8?) 7T/009 TTvpyov L&av Ka/corrjra
8* az^a Trvpyov 'A^atcSi/ et Tiz^
, 09 rt9 ot ap?)^ erdpoiGiv
9 8' evorjcr Aiavre 8vt, irokepov dtcop^rw, 335

crTaora9, Te{)/c/)oi/ re i^eoz/ /cXialrjOev lovra.
eyyvOev. aX,X' 01; 7ra)9 ot e/;^ ftcoaavri, yeycovtiv'
Too-cro9 7/3 /CTU7T09 ^ei/, ai/T^} 8' ovpavcv Iftev,


" O Glaucus, wherefore do we twain receive

Especial honours in the Lycian land

High seat, large mess, full cups? Wherefore to us

Look all as if to gods ? Why own we too

By Xanthus' bank a wide domain and fair

Of planted vineyard and wheat-laden land ?

For this 'mid Lycia's foremost now 'tis meet

We stand, nor shun to face the burning fight :

That of the stout-mailed Lycians each may say :

'Not all inglorious rule in Lycia's land

Our kings, who eat the fatlings of our flocks

And drink the choicest of our honeyed wine.

But surely now a goodly strength is theirs :

For see, 'mid Lycia's foremost men they fight.'

Truly, my sweetest friend, if thou and I,

This battle once escaped, could then live on

Eternal, never-dying, ever young,

Neither myself would 'mid the foremost fight,

Nor stir thee to the man-ennobling fray.

But now for fates of death, whate'er we do,

Stand threatening near a multitudinous host

That mortal man may not escape or shun

Go we : to other's glory or our own!" .*)

So spake he : nor did Glaucus turn him back
Or disobey. Straight onward strode the twain
Leading the mighty host of Lycian men.
Whom when Menestheus son of Peteos saw,
He shuddered ; for against his tower they came
Bearing disaster. Anxious gaze he cast
Along the Achaian wall, if he might spy
Some chief, to save his comrades from their bane :
And soon he marked where stood the Ajaces twain,
Insatiate they of war, and from his tent
Teucer but now come forth. Not far were they ;
Yet could his shout not reach their ear so loud
The crash and rattle; rose to heaven the noise

5 28 IAIAAO2 M.

/3a\\o/j,ev(i)V aafcecov re ical ITTTTO/CO/JLWV

/cat TTV\(I)V' irdaai yap eVftr^aro, rot 6~e KCLT avrds 340

eipwvro @lrj prj^avres ecre\6elv.
o eV AjMVTa Trpot'rj /crjpv/ca
y Sle @o&5ra, Oecov Atai/ra /

,ev /JLU\\OV' o <ydp K o% apwrov d
eVel Ta^a rfjSe rerev^erai atVu? o\e6pos' 345

pLGav KVKLWV dyoi, ot TO Trapo? 7re/>
t? T\edov(7L Kara Kparepd? vo-pivas.
el Se cr^>t^ /cat /cet^f TTOZ/O? /cat velicos opcopev,
d\\d Trep oto? tVa) TeXa/Ltft)z^to9 d\KifjLo$ Afa?,
/cat ot Teu/cpo? a/ia (77recr0a) TO^COV ev et8&j?." 350

cS? e<ar', oi;8' apa ot /crjpvj; aTTLdirjcrev df
/3rj Se Qke.iv Trapd ret^o? '
<TT^ e Trap' Atai/recro't /ctcwz/, eWap
"Atai/r' 'Xpyeicov ?}<y>JTOpe
rjva)<yei IleTecwo Storpe^eo? (^tXo? wo? 355

yceto-' fyLtez^, o^>pa TTOVOLO yilvvvQd Trep dvridarjrov,
dfjL<f>orepci) fiev fiaX\ov' o ydp K o% dpicrrov
eirj, eVet ra^a /cet^t rerev^erai atVi)? o\[email protected]<$'
wBe yap efipiG-av AVKLCOV dyoi, ot TO Trapo? ?rep
fa^pTyet? reXeOovai, /card tcparepas va-/jblva<;.
et Se /cat evOdSe Trep TroXeyito? /cat i/et/co? opwpev,
aXXa Trep oto? tra) TeXa/^coz/to? aX/ct/io? ATa9,
/cat ot TeO/cpo9 tfyLta o"7rec7$a> TO^COV ev elSws."

W9 $a,Tj ovtf aTriOrjcre fieyas TeXa/itw^to9 Afa9.
avTLK 'OtXtaS?;^ eVea Trrepoevra Trpoo"r)v$a'
" Atai/, o~^)c5t /-tez; au^t, cri) /cat /cpaTep09
tavaov<$ orpvvere Icpt,


Of blows upon the shields, upon the helms

Horse-plumed, upon the gates, which all were shut,

And foemen at them stood, striving by force

To break and enter in. To Ajax then

A herald sent he forth, Thootes named :

"Godlike Thootes, hie thee, run and call

Ajax, or rather both who bear the name :

For that were best of all ; since here full soon

There will be wrought on us destruction dire :

So heavy here the Lycian leaders press,

Who alway furious rage in stubborn fight.

But if they too have toil and battle there,

Yet let the valiant Ajax come alone,

The Telamonian, and with him attend

Teucer, that cunning master of the bow."

He spake : the herald heard the chieftain's word
Nor disobeyed ; but running passed along
The rampart of Achaia's mail-clad men,
And by th' Ajaces stood, and straight addrest :
u Ye leaders of the mail-clad Argive host,
Ajaces twain, thus bids you the dear son
Of Zeus-born Peteos, that ye thither go
To bear, awhile at least, a share of toil :
Both of ye he would have far better so
For there will soon be wrought destruction dire,
So heavy there the Lycian leaders press,
Who alway furious rage in stubborn fight.
But if ye too have strife and battle here,
Yet let the valiant Ajax come alone,
The Telamonian, and with him attend
Teucer, that cunning master of the bow."

He spake : nor did great Ajax disobey,
The Telamonian ; but Oileus' son
Straightway with winged words he thus addrest :
"Ajax, do thou with Diomedes stout
Stand here, and urge ye both the Danaan host

G. H. 34

53 o IAIAA02 M.

avrdp eyw icelcr* e*/u Kal dvrioo)

al^ra 8' e\evcro/JLai avTis, eTrrfV ev rofr ei

(W9 dpa (frcovrjo-as dire/Si? Te\a/J,(ovio$ Ata9, 370

Kal ol Tev/cpo? d/ji fje /cacrL<yvr}TO<; Kal OTraT/309*
rot? 8* d/jia TIavSicov Tev/cpov (j)epe /cafi7rv\a rofa.
evT Mei/eo-^^09 i^eyaOvfJLov Trvpyov LKOVTO

ot S* eV eVaXfe9 ftalvov epefivf) \ai\a7ri laot, 375

l^OijjLOt. Avfclcov qyiJTOpe? r)Se /-teSoz/re?*

S' eftakovTO fJbd^ecrOat, evavrlov, wpro 8' avrrj.
7r/)ft5ro9 Te\ajjLu>vio? avSpa /care/era,

eralpov 'Ei7riK\rja fteydOv/jiov,
oKpioevTt jBa\tov, o pa refycos eVro9 380

Trap eird\,^t,v vtrepTaros' ovSe /ce fiiv pea

oloi, vvv pporoi ela\ o 8' ap

e rerpd(f>a\ov Kvverjv, %vv 8' oVre
a'yLtuSi9 /cecfraXrjs' o 8' a// dpvevTrjpt, eoucws 385
Kainrecf dfi v-^rrj\ov Trvpyov, XtVe 8* ocrrea
8e rXau/coz/ icparepov


a\|r 8' a?ro ret^eo9 aXro \a0cov, iva ^ Tt9 'A^atc3i> 390
@\ijfjLevov dQprjcreie Kal ev-^erowro eTrecrcnv.
^apTrrjBovTt 8* a^o9 yevero T\av/cov aTTLo
avrifc eirel r evorjaev' 0/^0)9 8' ou \r)0ero
aXX' o 76 eo-ropL$r)v 'AX/e//,aoi>a 8
vuf ', e'tf 8e <nrdcrev 67^09* o 8e o-?ro/Ltez/09 Trecre 8oi/pt 395


To fight amain. But I will yonder go
And of the battle meet my share, and quick
Return when I have borne them saving aid."

So spake great Ajax, son of Telamon,
And went his way : and with him Teucer went,
Brother and father's son ; and with the twain
Pandion, bearing Teucer's curved bow.
Within the wall they past, and when they reached
High-souled Menestheus' tower whom with his men
Sore pressed they found, for 'gainst the battlements
The stalwart Lycian kings and captains came
Like a dark-lowering storm-cloud facing these
They closed in fight, and loud arose the cry.

There first did Ajax son of Telamon
A foeman slay : Sarpedon's comrade true
High-souled Epicles. With a rugged stone
He struck him with a stone that lay atop
Hard by the battlement, within the wall.
Not lightly, tho' in fullest manhood's prime,
Would any with both hands sustain such stone,
As mortals now are born ; but high in air
Ajax upheaved and threw it, and brake in
The four-plumed helm, and of the head within
Crushed all the bones. Like diver down he fell
From the high tower, and life forsook his bones.
Then Teucer smote from off the lofty wall
Glaucus stout scion of Hippolochus
As on he rushed, with arrow, where he spied
The arm left bare, and stayed him from the fray.
He from the wall leapt back unmarked, that none
Of his Achaian foes might spy his wound
And speak proud boast. Sad was Sarpedon then
For Glaucus gone, soon as he marked the loss,
Yet not forgat the fray ; but thrust with spear
And pierced Alcmaon Thestor's son, then drew ;
And following on the lance prone fell the man,


532 IAIAAO2 M.

TjS, d/jL(f)l Be ol /Spa^e rev^ea iroiKiKa

ap* 7ra\

' 77 8' ecr-Trero irdcra BiapTrepes, avrap v
eyvfivtoOij, TroXeecrcri Be Orj/ce tce\ev0ov.
TOV 8' Ata? /ecu Tev/cpos o^aprrjo-avO^ o [lev to> 4 oo
' d\\d

eoO, fjurj vj]V(T\v CTTL 7rpv/j,vfjcri,
Ata? S' daTTiBa vv%ev eVaXyLtero?, oi)8e
rjXvdev ey^elrj, arvfyeXi^e Be /uiv ^e^awra.

&' apa TwrQov e7rd\%ios. ovS* o ye
ejrel ol Ovfjuo^ ee\.7rero KV$OS dpeaOaL
Kefc\ero 8' dvriQkoicn eXtfa/^e^o? A.vtcioicriv'
" co AvKioi, rl r ap wBe f^edlere OovpiSos
dpya\eov Be JJLOL ecrri, KOI l(f)OlfjLa) irep eovn, 410

fjLOvva* pqga/jievw OeaOcu irapd vrjvcrl Ke\ev6ov.
aXX' e^ojjLapTelre' irXeovwv TOL epyov dfjieivov"
GO? e(paO\ OL Be dvcucros VTroBBelcravres 6/jLOK\ijv
Treppicrav {Bov\r)<j>6pov d/j,<j)l dvatcTa.
8' erepwOev e/caprvvavro <j)d\a<yyas 415

evToa-Oev. fieya Be afyio-t, (fraivero epyov'
ovre yap fyQipot AVKLOI, kava&v eBvvavro
re^o9 p^afjLevoi 6ecr0ai irapci vrjvo-l Ke\ev6ov,
ovre TTOT' alxjjLTjral Aai/aol Aviclovs eBvvavro
T6t^eo9 a-^r aj<rao-0ai, eTrel rd irpwTa ire\acr6ev. 420

aXX' W9 T* d/Acf)' ovpOLO-t, Bv* dvepe Brjpidaa-Oov,
t^erp* ev ^epcrlv e^oz/re?, eirtj-vvty ev dpovpy,
co r* 6\lyto evl X^PP pL% T ITOv Trepl io"rjs,
co9 apa TOU9 Bieepyov eVaXft9' ot B* vjrep avrecov
Byovv d\\TJ\ct)v dfj,<j)i <rrrj0<r<ri fioelas, 425

ev/ci>K\ovs \aio~tjid re Trrepoevra.


Whose rich-wrought brazen arms around him rang.
Then with strong hands laid on the battlement
Sarpedon tugged. Yielding throughout entire
It came away, and left the wall above
All bare, an open path for many a foe.

But on Sarpedon twain at once made charge,
Ajax and Teucer. With an arrow one
Smote on his breast the shining belt that bare
His shield the body's ample guard, but Zeus
From his own son kept off the fates of death,
Nor suffered then by the ships' sterns to fall.
But Ajax leapt upon him with the lance
And dealt a thrust, yet pierced not through his shield,
But staggered him all eager, that he shrank
Back from the battlement a little space ;
But not retired downright : for still his soul
Hoped to achieve him glory. Round he turned,
And to the godlike Lycians shouted loud :
" Lycians, why slack ye thus your furious might ?
Too hard for me the task, how stout soe'er,
Alone beside these ships to breach a way.
Nay, follow on : more hands make better work."

He spake : they at his chiding awed pressed round
Their king and counsellor in heavier throng.
And on the other side within the wall
The Argives strengthened well their squares : and great
The work now seen. For neither Lycians stout
Could by the ships breach through the Danaan wall
A way, nor Danaan spearmen from the wall
Drive back the Lycians, when they once drew near.
But as two neighbours for their bounds contend,
With measuring rods in hand, on common ground,
Who in a narrow plot debate their right,
So these, with battlements between ; o'er which
Each on the others' breasts the ox-hide shields
Full-orbed they hacked, and wicker targets light.

534 IAIAA02 M.

TToXXot 8' ovrd^ovro Kara yjpba vrjXel
crew vrpefyBevTi /j,erd(f)peva
, 7ro\\ol Be 8ia//,7r6pe9

Br) Trvpyoi, /cat eTraXfie? ai^aii <f>ci)Twv 430

eppa8ar' d/jL<j)OTepa)0ev djro Tpobcov KOI '
aXX' ov& w? e&vvavro <f>6/3ov Troiij&ai '
aXX' ^oz^, W5 re ToXavra ^
i] re o-raOfJiov e^ofcra /cat eipwv ayLt^)t9 dve\fcei,
lad^ova, iva Traialv dei/ceo. [JLia-Oov dpTjrai. 435

co? /iei^ ra;^ eVl Zcra /^d^rj reraro TrroXe/xo? T6,
7r/9tV 7' ore 8?} Zei)<? KV&OS vTreprepov "l&KTopi, Bw/cev
Hpta/jiL^r), 69 7T/9&)TO9 lcrrj\aTO
rjvcrev Be SiaTrpvcnov, TpwecrGi
" opvvcrd\ iTnroSafjLOi, TpcSe?, prjyvvade Be ret^o? 440

'Apyeluv, Kal vrjvalv eviere OecrTriBaes Trvp."

Co? ^>ar' eTTorpvvcov, O'L 8' ovacri, irdvres d/covov,
Wvaav 8' eVl ret^o? aoXXe'f?. o?
Kpoo-crdtov e7re/3aivov d/ca^/jieva Bovpar* e
r/ E/frcop 8' ap-Trafa? Xaaz^ fyepev, 05 pa 7rv\dcov 445

irpoaOev, irpvfjbvbs Trail's, avrdp inrepdev
e^z/. ro^ 8' oi/ ^e 8iT dvepe Brjjjiov dplcrra}
cos eV dfia^av CUTT oi/8eo? ofarjo-eiav,
vvv Pporol etV* o 8e yitti^ pea vraXXe al 0409.
ot e\a<f>pov edrjK'e Kpo^ou Trat? dy/cv\ojj,r)Tea). 450
8' ore Troi/jLTJv pela <f>epet, TTOKOV apcrevos 0^09
, 6\iyov Be piv a^Gos eTreiyei,
609 "E/crcop ^1)9 craviBwv <f)epe \dav ae/pa9,
oi pa 7ruXa9 eipvvro 7rv/ca <7Tt/5apco9 dpapvtas,

t 8' evroadev of)es 455


And many bodies by the ruthless blade

Were wounded, if a fighter turned him round

And bared his back, and many through the shield

By downright blow : and everywhere the towers

And battlements with blood of either host,

Of Troy and of Achaia, reeking streamed.

Nor could the stormers turn the Achaian foe :

But steady still they stood, as are the scales

In woman's hand, some honest working dame,

Who holding weight and wool adjusts the twain

To hang in equal poise, that she may earn

A poor scant hire to feed her little ones.

So nicely balanced hung the strife of war :

Till Zeus at last superior glory gave

To Hector Priam's son, who first leapt in

Within the Achaian wall. He now sent forth

A thrilling shout to all the sons of Troy :

"Rouse ye, steed-taming Trojans ! breach the wall,

And set the ships ablaze with fire divine."

He spake to spur them on ; they all gave ear :
And at the wall in mass they rushed, then clomb
The stony courses, bearing pointed spears.
But Hector seized and onward bore a stone
That stood before the gates, broad-based below
But sharp above which not two men the best
Of all their tribe had without toil upheaved
From off the ground to place upon a wain,
As mortals now are born yet he alone
Swung it with ease aloft, so light to him
By crooked-counselled Cronos' son 'twas made.
And as a shepherd lifts and bears with ease
A ram's fleece in one hand, and is but pressed
By little burden, so bore Hector then
The lifted stone straight for the panelled wood
That strengthened well the close and firm-framed gates
Double and lofty, by two crossing bars

536 IAIAAO2 M.

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Within secured, in which one bolt was shot.
Right near he went, and stood, then planted firm
At the gates' centre full he hurled, with feet
Set -well apart, lest weak might be his throw.
Both hinges he brake off; the stone by weight
Pressed on and fell within ; loud groaned the gates
Around, the bars held not, the panels flew
Splintered and scattered wide beneath the blow.
Then in leapt glorious Hector, grim of face
As swift-descending night ; terrific blazed
The mail that sheathed his limbs ; a spear he held
In either hand. None but a god might meet
And stay his onset as within the gates
He bounded. Fiery flame glowed in his eyes ;
And turning to the Trojan throng he cried
To mount the wall : who straight his hest obeyed.
At once some clomb the wall, some by the gates,
A ready way, poured in. Before them fled
Throughout the hollow ships the Danaan host,
And never-ceasing rose the battle-din.

G. H.






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