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Homer.

The Iliad of Homer with a verse translation online

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As when the lightning-loving Zeus in wrath
Lashes the earth above Typhoeus laid,
In Arime', where is his fabled bed :
So loudly groaned the earth beneath their feet
As on they trode. And swift they crossed the plain.

But Iris, courier fleet, wind-footed, came
From aegis-bearing Zeus with message dread
To Troy's assembled sons, who council held
At Priam's gate all mustered, young and old :
And standing near them fleet-foot Iris spake,
In utterance like Polites Priam's son ;
Who, as the Trojans' scout, on speed of foot
Reliant sat upon the topmost mound
Of aged Aesyetes' grave, to spy
When from the ships Achaia's host should move.
Like him in voice the fleet-foot Iris spake :
" Father, thou lovest ever endless words,
As erst in peace : but war is now astir,
War unabating. Truly oft ere now
Have I the battle of the warriors proved,
But never yet saw host so fair, so vast.
For they in number as the leaves or sand
Come o'er the plain, around our hold to fight.
Hector, to thee my charge I chiefly give :
This do. In Priam's city wide are met
Allies full many, and of differing tongues
From widely- scattered tribes. Let then each chief
Command in battle whom he rules at home,
Marshal and leader to his native band."

She spake : but Hector knew the voice divine,
And straight the council broke. To arms they rushed.
All gates were opened, out the people poured,
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ILIAD 77. 99

Both foot and horse, and loud arose their din.

Before the city stands a lofty hill
Apart, on every side around is plain :
Men call it Batiea, but the gods
Tomb of Myrine", nimble Amazon.
There then the Trojans and allies were ranged.

The Trojan ranks were led by Priam's son
Great Hector of the glancing plume : wfch him
Stood troops the most and best, fierce with the spear.

Anchises' gallant son the Dardans led,
Aeneas, whom in Ida's glens, to man
A goddess wedded, Aphrodite bare.
Nor only he ; with him Antenor's sons
Archelochus and Acamas were joined,
Brave pair, in every art of battle skilled.

Zelea's Trojans came, from Ida's foot,
Wealthy, who drank of black Aesepus' stream ;
These Pandarus led, Lycaon's noble son,
To whom Apollo's self had given the bow.

From Adrastea, from Apaesus' homes
From Pityea came they, from the heights
That crown Terea : these Adrastus led,
And Amphius in linen corslet clad,
Sons of Percosian Merops both, who knew
Above all others each prophetic art ;
Whereby his sons he still forbade to seek
The man-destroying war, but they no whit
Obeyed, for fates of black death led them on.

They of Percotd came, of Practium
Of Sestos, of Abydos ; they who held
Divine Arisbe" : these by Asius led
The son of Hyrtacus, a prince of men :
Asius, whom from Arisbd coursers bare
Large-limbed, bright bay, bred by Selleis' stream.

Hippothous led the fighters with the spear



72



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ILIAD n. TOI

Who in Larissa's deep-soiled land abode,
Pelasgian tribes ; with whom Pylaeus ruled
Scion of Ares : sons of Lethus both,
Pelasgian Lethus son of Teutamus.

The Thracians Acamas and Piros led,
Whom with strong stream the sea of Helle* bounds.

The warrior Cicones Euphemus led,
From Ceas' royal son Troezenus sprung.

The Paeones, armed with their bended bows,
Pyraechmes led, from distant Amydon,
Where Axius flows, Axius, whose ample stream
With fairest water overspreads the plain.

Pylaemenes the Paphlagonians led,
Of shaggy breast, from the Henetians he,
Whence is a noble breed of mountain mules .
These in Cytorus dwelt and Sesamus,
And held their noble homes on either bank
Beside Parthenius' flood, in Cromna's land,
Aegialus, and the Erythinian heights.

The Halizonians came, by Hodius led,
And by Epistrophus, from Alybe',
A distant land, of silver ore the home.

The Mysians Chromis led, and Ennomus ;
An augur he, yet by his auguries
Escaped he not black death, but by the hand
Of the fleet-footed son of Aeacus
Fell in Scamander's stream, where of Troy's sons
Full many in havoc dire the hero slew.

Godlike Ascanius with Phorcys led
Phrygians from far Ascania, bold in fight.

Masthles and Antiphus the Maeonians led;
Sons of Talaemenes were they, and born
By lake Gygaea, their Maeonian ranks
Beneath the lofty mount of Tmolus bred.

Nastes the Carians led, of barbarous tongue,
Who held Miletus and the Phthirian height



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ILIAD II. 103

Thick-roofed with leafage, and Maeander's stream,

And Mycale's high headland. These were ruled

By Nastes and Amphimachus, bright pair,

Nomion's children. To the war in gold

Bedecked, as is a girl the latter went,

Poor fool ! it saved him not from grievous bane ;

For in the river fell he by the hand

Of the fleet-footed son of Aeacus,

And all his gold the warlike victor took.

From Xanthus' eddying stream the Lycians came :
Whom blameless Glaucus and Sarpedon led.



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ILIAD III.

The single combat of Alexander 'and Menelatts.

WHEN air were marshalled, with their leaders each,
Clamorous and loud the Trojans moved, as birds,
Ev'n as the cranes with clamour fill the sky
Who, flying winter and the furious storm,
Toward ocean's stream now wing their noisy way
To foes Pygmaean bearing death and doom,
And with the morning mist begin the strife.
But silent marched the Achaians, breathing might,
Inly resolved his fellow each to aid.

As o'er the mountain-tops when south winds blow
A mist is spread the shepherd loves it not,
Tho' robbers deem it better than the night
When but a stone-throw bounds the shortened ken ;
So rose beneath their feet the eddying dust,
As on they marched : and swift they crossed the plain.

But when the opposing armies now drew near,
The godlike Alexander in the van
Of Trojans flaunted him. A panther's skin
His shoulders bore, wherefrom his curved bow
And sword were slung, while in his hands two spears
He brandished armed with brass, and challenged forth
The bravest champions of the Argive host
To meet him, might to might, in combat dire.
Him Menelaus, loved of Ares, saw,



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ILIAD III. 107

As striding on he came before the throng :
And straight rejoiced, ev'n with a lion's joy
Who finds a goodly prey some antlered deer
Or wild-goat in his hunger ; for with greed
The carcase he devours, tho' all around
Fleet-footed hounds and lusty hunters press :
So Menelaus joyed soon as he saw
The godlike Alexander, for he thought
The offender now to punish. From his car
Forthwith all armed down leapt he to the ground.

Whom when the godlike Alexander knew
Conspicuous in the van, dismayed at heart
Back slunk he to his comrades, shunning fate.
As one who sees a snake in mountain glen
Shrinks with a start, a tremour thrills his limbs,
Back steps he, paleness o'er his cheeks is spread ;
So godlike Alexander, fearing sore
The son of Atreus gat him quickly back,
And hid him in the lordly Trojan throng.
Whom Hector saw, and chid with words of shame :
"Disastrous Paris, fairest form, thou pet
Of love-crazed women, guileful heart ! I would
Thou wert unborn or hadst unwedded died !
So would I have it : thou wert better so
Than thus a curse and hateful sight to all.
Loud laugh, I ween, the Achaians flowing-haired ;
Who call thee doughtiest champion, ev'n because
Fair shows thy outward form, but now thy heart
Within no stoutness and no valour holds.
What ! wert thou such, when in the sea-borne ships
Gathering a trusty crew thou sail'dst the main,
And, mingling with a foreign folk, didst bring
A comely bride from out the Apian land
A wedded daughter to our warrior race,
To be thy father's, city's, people's bane,
Joy to thy foes, but to thyself disgrace?



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ILIAD III. 109

Canst them not bide when Menelaus comes
Beloved of Ares ? so thou mightest learn
What man is he whose blooming wife thou hast.
Thy harp will nought avail thee, nor the gifts
Of Aphrodite, nor thy flowing locks
And comely form, when low in dust thou liest.
Right timorous are the Trojans : surely else
A shirt of stones thou long ago hadst donned
As fitting wage of all thy evil work."

But godlike Alexander made reply :
" Hector, no more ! I own thy chiding just,
Nor undeserved. Thy heart is ever thus,
Unyielding, as an axe, that through the wood
By shipwright, who full deftly cleaves a spar,
Is driven, and forceful aids the manly stroke ;
So in thy breast the spirit unaffrayed.
Yet prithee flout not thus the lovely gifts
Of golden Aphrodite' ; for of gods
The glorious gifts may not be lightly scorned :
They freely give, none at his will can take.
But now, if thou wilt have me war and fight,
Bid Trojans and Achaians all be set,
And match ye me with Menelaus' self,
Beloved of Ares, here between the hosts
To fight for Helen and for all her wealth.
Whoe'er be victor and the stronger prove,
Take he both wealth and wife and bear them home :
But ye the rest a trusty friendship swear
And dwell in deep-soiled Troy, while they our foes
Return to Argos, and her horse-cropt plain,
And to Achaia, mother of fair dames."

He spake. Right glad was Hector at the word.
Forth to the midst he strode, grasping his spear
Midway, and back he waved the Trojan squares,
Who halted all and sate. Then at their foe
The flowing-haired Achaians bent their bows



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ILIAD ///. in

With arrows aimed, and poised the missile stones,
But loud cried Agamemnon king of men :
" Hold, Argives, shoot not yet, Achaia's sons !
For plumed Hector stands in act to speak."

He spake : they held their hands, and quickly hushed
Were still : then Hector thus to either host :
"Hear, Trojans, and well-greaved Achaians, hear
The word of Alexander, for whose sake
The quarrel hath arisen. He bids you all,
Both Trojans and Achaians, lay aside
Upon the fruitful ground your goodly arms,
While in the midst in single combat he
And Menelaus loved of Ares meet
For Helen and for all her wealth to fight.
Whoe'er be victor and the stronger prove,
Take he both wealth and wife and bear them home ;
While we the rest a trusty friendship swear."

He spake : but they were hushed and silent all.
To whom then Menelaus good in fray :
" Now hear ye me in turn : for 'tis my heart
The wrong most touches. This, I trow, at once
Shall part the Argive and the Trojan hosts :
Since for my quarrel and the first-wrought sin
Of Alexander ye have suffered sore.
And now of us whiche'er be doomed to die
Let death be his, but let the rest at once
Be parted. Wherefore bring ye here two lambs,
One white, one black, for earth and for the Sun,
And we for Zeus a third. And hither lead
Great Priam, that himself may swear the oaths.
(Since headstrong and unfaithful are his sons),
Lest some may mar our treaty sworn by Zeus ;
For younger men have ever wavering minds,
But when the grey-beard in a covenant shares,
Before him and behind alike he looks,
That what is best for both may still be done."



2 T.

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y\a(f)vpa^ levat,, ?;S' api/a /ceXevev
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AaoSiKTjv Tlpidpoio Ovyarpwv etSo9 dpL
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ot Si) vvv earat (riyfj TroXe/AO? Se Tre
atnrUri tcercXi/jLevoi, Trapd 8' ey^ea fjua/cpd TreTnjyev. 135
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os re Trporepov KCLI aareos rJSe TOKJJCOV. 140



ILIAD III. 113

He spake : Achaians all and Trojans joyed,
Hoping to rest them from the woful war.
Back to the lines their chariots then they drew,
And from them lighted down, and doffed their arms,
And laid them on the ground ; full near they were,
Host facing host, and short the space between.
Then Hector to the city with all haste
Two heralds sent, to bring the victim lambs
And summon Priam ; while Talthybius
By sovereign Agamemnon was despatched
To seek the hollow ships and bring their lamb,
Nor disobeyed his godlike lord's command.

Iris the while to white-armed Helen came
A messenger, in outer semblance like
Laodice a sister of her lord,
Fairest of Priam's daughters, whom to wife
Prince Helicaon had, Antenor's son.
Helen within her bower she found : a web
On ample loom she wove, a double cloak
Bright-hued she broidered o'er with many a bout
Of Troy's steed-tamers and their mail-clad foes,
Borne for her sake beneath the War-god's hand.
And standing near her thus fleet Iris spake :
" Hither, dear sister, hither come, to see
Of Troy's steed-tamers and their mail-clad foes
The wondrous deeds. Who on the plain of late
Each 'gainst the other threatened tearful war
With eager craving for the murderous fray,
Now silent sit, the din of battle hushed,
On shields reclined, with tall spears planted nigh.
But Menelaus soon, whom Ares loves,
And Alexander with long lance will fight
For thee, and thou shalt be the victor's bride,"

So spake the goddess, and within her heart
Stirred a sweet longing for her former lord,
Her city and her parents. Straight she took

G. H. 8



114 IAIAAO2 I\



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" at'8oto9 Te /Ltot eVcrt, </Xe eKvpe, 8eti/09 re"



ILIAD III. 115

A shining veil and shrouded her therewith,
Then from the chamber sped, and aye she let
The pearly tear down fall : nor went alone ;
Two handmaids followed ; Aethra, daughter she
Of Pittheus, and the large-eyed Clymene.
And quickly to the Scaean gates they came.
There Priam, Lampus, Clytius, Panthoiis,
Thymoetes, Hicetaon (scion brave
Of Ares), there Antenor, and with him
Ucalegon, sage pair, sate in the gate ;
A reverend senate, now from war released
By length of days, yet still in council good,
Clear-voiced as crickets, who throughout the copse
Perched on the trees their ringing treble ply.
Such were Troy's leaders sitting on the tower.
And these, when Helen coming they espied,



Online LibraryHomerThe Iliad of Homer with a verse translation → online text (page 7 of 32)