§ 1.1 BOOK 1
The wrath sing, goddess, of Peleus' son, Achilles, that destructive wrath which brought countless woes upon the Achaeans, and sent forth to Hades many valiant souls of heroes, and made them themselves spoil for dogs and every bird; thus the plan of Zeus came to fulfillment,
§ 1.5 from the time when first they parted in strife Atreus' son, king of men, and brilliant Achilles. Who then of the gods was it that brought these two together to contend? The son of Leto and Zeus; for he in anger against the king roused throughout the host an evil pestilence, and the people began to perish,
§ 1.10 because upon the priest Chryses the son of Atreus had wrought dishonour. For he had come to the swift ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, bearing ransom past counting; and in his hands he held the wreaths of Apollo who strikes from afar, on a staff of gold; and he implored all the Achaeans,
§ 1.15 but most of all the two sons of Atreus, the marshallers of the people: “Sons of Atreus, and other well-greaved Achaeans, to you may the gods who have homes upon Olympus grant that you sack the city of Priam, and return safe to your homes; but my dear child release to me, and accept the ransom
§ 1.20 out of reverence for the son of Zeus, Apollo who strikes from afar.” Then all the rest of the Achaeans shouted assent, to reverence the priest and accept the glorious ransom, yet the thing did not please the heart of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, but he sent him away harshly, and laid upon him a stern command:
§ 1.25 “Let me not find you, old man, by the hollow ships, either tarrying now or coming back later, lest your staff and the wreath of the god not protect you. Her I will not set free. Sooner shall old age come upon her in our house, in Argos, far from her native land,
§ 1.30 as she walks to and fro before the loom and serves my bed. But go, do not anger me, that you may return the safer.” So he spoke, and the old man was seized with fear and obeyed his word. He went forth in silence along the shore of the loud-resounding sea, and earnestly then, when he had gone apart, the old man prayed
§ 1.35 to the lord Apollo, whom fair-haired Leto bore: “Hear me, god of the silver bow, who stand over Chryse and holy Cilla, and rule mightily over Tenedos, Sminthian god, if ever I roofed over a temple to your pleasing, or if ever I burned to you fat thigh-pieces of bulls and goats,
§ 1.40 fulfill this prayer for me: let the Danaans pay for my tears by your arrows” So he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Down from the peaks of Olympus he strode, angered at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow and covered quiver.
§ 1.45 The arrows rattled on the shoulders of the angry god as he moved, and his coming was like the night. Then he sat down apart from the ships and let fly an arrow: terrible was the twang of the silver bow. The mules he assailed first and the swift dogs,
§ 1.50 but then on the men themselves he let fly his stinging shafts, and struck; and constantly the pyres of the dead burned thick. For nine days the missiles of the god ranged among the host, but on the tenth Achilles called the people to assembly, for the goddess, white-armed Hera, had put it in his heart,
§ 1.55 since she pitied the Danaans, when she saw them dying. When they were assembled and gathered together, among them arose and spoke swift-footed Achilles: “Son of Atreus, now I think we shall return home, beaten back again, should we even escape death,
§ 1.60 if war and pestilence alike are to ravage the Achaeans. But come, let us ask some seer or priest, or some reader of dreams—for a dream too is from Zeus—who might say why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, whether he finds fault with a vow or a hecatomb;
§ 1.65 in hope that he may accept the savour of lambs and unblemished goats, and be willing to ward off the pestilence from us.” When he had thus spoken he sat down, and among them arose Calchas son of Thestor, far the best of bird-diviners, who knew the things that were, and that were to be, and that had been before,
§ 1.70 and who had guided the ships of the Achaeans to Ilios by his own prophetic powers which Phoebus Apollo had bestowed upon him. He with good intent addressed the gathering, and spoke among them: “Achilles, dear to Zeus, you bid me declare the wrath of Apollo, the lord who strikes from afar.
§ 1.75 Therefore I will speak; but take thought and swear that you will readily defend me with word and with might of hand; for I think I shall anger a man who rules mightily over all the Argives, and whom the Achaeans obey. For mightier is a king, when he is angry at a lesser man.
§ 1.80 Even if he swallows down his wrath for that day, yet afterwards he cherishes resentment in his heart till he brings it to fulfillment. Say then, if you will keep me safe.” In answer to him spoke swift-footed Achilles: “Take heart, and speak out whatever oracle you know;
§ 1.85 for by Apollo, dear to Zeus, to whom you, Calchas, pray when you reveal oracles to the Danaans, no one, while I live and have sight on the earth, shall lay heavy hands on you beside the hollow ships, no one of the whole host of the Danaans,
§ 1.90 not even if you name Agamemnon, who now claims to be far the best of the Achaeans.” Then the blameless seer took heart, and spoke: “It is not then because of a vow that he finds fault, nor because of a hecatomb, but because of the priest whom Agamemnon dishonoured, and did not release his daughter nor accept the ransom.
§ 1.95 For this cause the god who strikes from afar has given woes and will still give them. He will not drive off from the Danaans the loathsome pestilence, until we give back to her dear father the bright-eyed maiden, unbought, unransomed, and lead a sacred hecatomb to Chryse. Then we might appease and persuade him.”
§ 1.100 When he had thus spoken he sat down, and among them arose the warrior, son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, deeply troubled. With rage his black heart was wholly filled, and his eyes were like blazing fire. To Calchas first of all he spoke, and his look threatened evil:
§ 1.105 “Prophet of evil, never yet have you spoken to me a pleasant thing; ever is evil dear to your heart to prophesy, but a word of good you have never yet spoken, nor brought to pass. And now among the Danaans you claim in prophecy that for this reason the god who strikes from afar brings woes upon them,
§ 1.110 that I would not accept the glorious ransom for the girl, the daughter of Chryses, since I much prefer to keep her in my home. For certainly I prefer her to Clytemnestra, my wedded wife, since she is not inferior to her, either in form or in stature, or in mind, or in any handiwork.
§ 1.115 Yet even so will I give her back, if that is better; I would rather the people be safe than perish. But provide me with a prize of honour forthwith, lest I alone of the Argives be without one, since that would not be proper. For you all see this, that my prize goes elsewhere.”
§ 1.120 In answer to him spoke swift-footed brilliant Achilles: “Most glorious son of Atreus, most covetous of all, how shall the great-hearted Achaeans give you a prize? We know nothing of a hoard of wealth in common store, but whatever we took by pillage from the cities has been apportioned,
§ 1.125 and it is not seemly to gather these things back from the army. But give back the girl to the god, and we Achaeans will recompense you three and fourfold, if ever Zeus grants us to sack the well-walled city of Troy.”4 In answer to him spoke lord Agamemnon:
§ 1.130 “Do not thus, mighty though you are, godlike Achilles, seek to deceive me with your wit; for you will not get by me nor persuade me. Are you willing, so that your yourself may keep your prize, for me to sit here idly in want, while you order me to give her back? No, if the great-hearted Achaeans give me a prize,
§ 1.135 suiting it to my mind, so that it will be worth just as much—but if they do not, I myself will come and take your prize, or that of Aias, or that of Odysseus I will seize and bear away. Angry will he be, to whomever I come. But these things we will consider hereafter.
§ 1.140 Let us now drag a black ship to the shining sea, and quickly gather suitable rowers into it, and place on board a hecatomb, and embark on it the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses herself. Let one prudent man be its commander, either Aias, or Idomeneus, or brilliant Odysseus,
§ 1.145 or you, son of Peleus, of all men most extreme, so that on our behalf you may propitiate the god who strikes from afar by offering sacrifice.” Glaring from beneath his brows spoke to him swift-footed Achilles: “Ah me, clothed in shamelessness, thinking of profit, how shall any man of the Achaeans obey your words with a ready heart
§ 1.150 either to go on a journey or to fight against men with force? It was not on account of the Trojan spearmen that I came here to fight, since they have done no wrong to me. Never have they driven off my cattle or my horses, nor ever in deep-soiled Phthia, nurse of men,
§ 1.155 did they lay waste the harvest, for many things lie between us—shadowy mountains and sounding sea. But you, shameless one, we followed, so that you might rejoice, seeking to win recompense for Menelaus and for yourself, dog-face, from the Trojans. This you disregard, and take no heed of.
§ 1.160 And now you threaten that you will yourself take my prize away from me, for which I toiled so much, which the sons of the Achaeans gave to me. Never have I prize like yours, whenever the Achaeans sack a well-inhabited citadel of the Trojans. The brunt of furious battle
§ 1.165 do my hands undertake, but if ever an apportionment comes, your prize is far greater, while small but dear is the reward I take to my ships, when I have worn myself out in the fighting. Now I will go back to Phthia, since it is far better to return home with my beaked ships, nor do I intend
§ 1.170 while I am here dishonoured to pile up riches and wealth for you.” Then the king of men, Agamemnon, answered him: “Flee then, if your heart urges you; I do not beg you to remain for my sake. With me are others who will honour me, and above all Zeus, the lord of counsel.
§ 1.175 Most hateful to me are you of all the kings that Zeus nurtures, for always strife is dear to you, and wars and battles. If you are very strong, it was a god, I think, who gave you this gift. Go home with your ships and your companions and lord it over the Myrmidons; for you I care not,
§ 1.180 nor take heed of your wrath. But I will threaten you thus: as Phoebus Apollo takes from me the daughter of Chryses, her with my ship and my companions I will send back, but I will myself come to your tent and take the fair-cheeked Briseis, your prize, so that you will understand
§ 1.185 how much mightier I am than you, and another may shrink from declaring himself my equal and likening himself to me to my face.” So he spoke. Grief came upon the son of Peleus, and within his shaggy breast his heart was divided, whether he should draw his sharp sword from beside his thigh,
§ 1.190 and break up the assembly, and slay the son of Atreus, or stay his anger and curb his spirit. While he pondered this in mind and heart, and was drawing from its sheath his great sword, Athene came from heaven. The white-armed goddess Hera had sent her forth,
§ 1.195 for in her heart she loved and cared for both men alike. She stood behind him, and seized the son of Peleus by his fair hair, appearing to him alone. No one of the others saw her. Achilles was seized with wonder, and turned around, and immediately recognized Pallas Athene. Terribly her eyes shone.
§ 1.200 Then he addressed her with winged words, and said: “Why now, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, have you come? Is it so that you might see the arrogance of Agamemnon, son of Atreus? One thing I will tell you, and I think this will be brought to pass: through his own excessive pride shall he presently lose his life.”
§ 1.205 Him then the goddess, bright-eyed Athene, answered: “I have come from heaven to stay your anger, if you will obey, The goddess white-armed Hera sent me forth, for in her heart she loves and cares for both of you. But come, cease from strife, and do not grasp the sword with your hand.
§ 1.210 With words indeed taunt him, telling him how it shall be. For thus will I speak, and this thing shall truly be brought to pass. Hereafter three times as many glorious gifts shall be yours on account of this arrogance. But refrain, and obey us.” In answer to her spoke swift-footed Achilles:
§ 1.215 “It is necessary, goddess, to observe the words of you two, however angered a man be in his heart, for is it better so. Whoever obeys the gods, to him do they gladly give ear.” He spoke, and stayed his heavy hand on the silver hilt, and back into its sheath thrust the great sword, and did not disobey
§ 1.220 the word of Athene. She returned to Olympus to the palace of aegis-bearing Zeus, to join the company of the other gods. But the son of Peleus again addressed with violent words the son of Atreus, and in no way ceased from his wrath: “Heavy with wine, with the face of a dog but the heart of a deer,
§ 1.225 never have you had courage to arm for battle along with your people, or go forth to an ambush with the chiefs of the Achaeans. That seems to you even as death. Indeed it is far better throughout the wide camp of the Achaeans to deprive of his prize whoever speaks contrary to you.
§ 1.230 People-devouring king, since you rule over nobodies; else, son of Atreus, this would be your last piece of insolence. But I will speak out to you, and will swear thereto a mighty oath: by this staff, that shall never more put forth leaves or shoots since first it left its stump among the mountains,
§ 1.235 nor shall it again grow green, for the bronze has stripped it on all sides of leaves and bark, and now the sons of the Achaeans carry it in their hands when they act as judges, those who guard the ordinances that come from Zeus; and this shall be for you a mighty oath. Surely some day a longing for Achilles will come upon the sons of the Achaeans
§ 1.240 one and all, and on that day you will not be able to help them at all, for all your grief, when many shall fall dying before man-slaying Hector. But you will gnaw the heart within you, in anger that you did no honour to the best of the Achaeans.” So spoke the son of Peleus, and down to the earth he dashed
§ 1.245 the staff studded with golden nails, and himself sat down, while over against him the son of Atreus continued to vent his wrath. Then among them arose Nestor, sweet of speech, the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, from whose tongue flowed speech sweeter than honey. Two generations of mortal men had passed away in his lifetime,
§ 1.250 who had been born and reared with him before in sacred Pylos, and he was king among the third. He with good intent addressed the gathering and spoke among them: “Comrades, great grief has come upon the land of Achaea. Truly would Priam and the sons of Priam
§ 1.255 rejoice, and the rest of the Trojans would be most glad at heart, were they to hear all this of you two quarrelling, you who are chief among the Danaans in counsel and chief in war. Listen to me, for you are both younger than I. In earlier times I moved among men more warlike than you,
§ 1.260 and never did they despise me. Such warriors have I never since seen, nor shall I see, as Peirithous was and Dryas, shepherd of the people, and Caeneus and Exadius and godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus, son of Aegeus, a man like the immortals.
§ 1.265 Mightiest were these of men reared upon the earth; mightiest were they, and with the mightiest they fought, the mountain-dwelling centaurs, and they destroyed them terribly. With these men I had fellowship, when I came from Pylos, from a distant land far away; for they themselves called me.
§ 1.270 And I fought on my own; with those men could no one fight of the mortals now upon the earth. Yes, and they listened to my counsel, and obeyed my words. So also should you obey, since to obey is better. Neither do you, mighty though you are, take away the girl,
§ 1.275 but let her be, as the sons of the Achaeans first gave her to him as a prize; nor do you, son of Peleus, be minded to strive with a king, might against might, for it is no common honour that is the portion of a sceptre-holding king, to whom Zeus gives glory. If you are a stronger fighter, and a goddess mother bore you,
§ 1.280 yet he is the mightier, since he is king over more. Son of Atreus, check your rage. Indeed, I beg you to let go your anger against Achilles, who is for all the Achaeans a mighty bulwark in evil war.” In answer to him spoke lord Agamemnon:
§ 1.285 “All these things, old man, to be sure, you have spoken as is right. But this man wishes to be above all others; over all he wishes to rule and over all to be king, and to all to give orders; in this, I think, there is someone who will not obey. If the gods who exist for ever made him a spearman,
§ 1.290 do they therefore license him to keep uttering insults?” Brilliant Achilles broke in upon him and replied: “Surely I would be called cowardly and of no account, if I am to yield to you in every matter that you say. On others lay these commands, but do not give orders to me,
§ 1.295 for I do not think I shall obey you any longer. And another thing I will tell you, and take it to heart: with my hands I will not fight for the girl's sake either with you nor with any other, since you are taking away what you have given. But of all else that is mine by my swift black ship,
§ 1.300 nothing will you take or carry away against my will. Come, just try, so that these too may know: forthwith will your dark blood flow forth about my spear.” So when the two had made an end of contending with violent words, they rose, and broke up the gathering beside the ships of the Achaeans.
§ 1.305 The son of Peleus went his way to his huts and his balanced ships together with the son of Menoetius, and with his men; but the son of Atreus launched a swift ship on the sea, and chose for it twenty rowers, and drove on board a hecatomb for the god, and brought the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses and set her in the ship;
§ 1.310 and Odysseus of many wiles went on board to take command. So these embarked and sailed over the watery ways; but the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves. And they purified themselves, and cast the defilement into the sea, and offered to Apollo perfect hecatombs
§ 1.315 of bulls and goats by the shore of the barren sea; and the savour thereof went up to heaven, eddying amid the smoke. Thus were they busied throughout the camp; but Agamemnon did not cease from the strife with which he had first threatened Achilles, but called to Talthybius and Eurybates,
§ 1.320 who were his heralds and ready squires: “Go to the hut of Achilles, Peleus' son, and take by the hand the fair-cheeked Briseis, and lead her hither; and if he give her not, I will myself go with a larger company and take her; that will be even the worse for him.”
§ 1.325 So saying he sent them forth, and laid upon them a stern command. Unwilling went the two along the shore of the barren sea, and came to the tents and the ships of the Myrmidons. Him they found sitting beside his tent and his black ship; and Achilles was not glad at sight of them.
§ 1.330 The two, seized with dread and in awe of the king, stood, and spoke no word to him, nor made question; but he knew in his heart, and spoke: “Hail, heralds, messengers of Zeus and men, draw near. It is not you who are guilty in my sight, but Agamemnon,
§ 1.335 who sent you forth for the sake of the girl, Briseis. But come, Patroclus, sprung from Zeus, bring forth the girl, and give her to them to lead away. However, let these two themselves be witnesses before the blessed gods and mortal men, and before him, that ruthless king, if hereafter
§ 1.340 there shall be need of me to ward off shameful ruin from the host. Truly he rages with baneful mind, and knows not at all to look both before and after, that his Achaeans might wage war in safety beside their ships.” So he spoke, and Patroclus obeyed his dear comrade,
§ 1.345 and led forth from the hut the fair-cheeked Briseis, and gave her to them to lead away. So the two went back beside the ships of the Achaeans, and with them, all unwilling, went the woman. But Achilles burst into tears, and withdrew apart from his comrades, and sat down on the shore of the grey sea, looking forth over the wine-dark deep.
§ 1.350 Earnestly he prayed to his dear mother with hands outstretched: “Mother, since you bore me, though to so brief a span of life, honour surely ought the Olympian to have given into my hands, Zeus who thunders on high; but now he has honoured me not a bit. Truly the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon
§ 1.355 has dishonoured me: for he has taken and keeps my prize through his own arrogant act.” So he spoke, weeping, and his lady mother heard him, as she sat in the depths of the sea beside the old man, her father. And speedily she came forth from the grey sea like a mist, and sat down before him, as he wept,
§ 1.360 and she stroked him with her hand, and spoke to him, and called him by name: “My child, why do you weep? What sorrow has come upon your heart? Speak out; hide it not in your mind, that we both may know.” Then with heavy moaning spoke swift-footed Achilles to her: “You know. Why then should I tell the tale to you who knows all?
§ 1.365 We went forth to Thebe, the sacred city of Eetion, and laid it waste, and brought here all the spoil. This the sons of the Achaeans divided properly among themselves, but for the son of Atreus they chose out the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses. However, Chryses, priest of Apollo, who strikes from afar,
§ 1.370 came to the swift ships of the bronze-clad Achaeans, to free his daughter, bearing ransom past counting, and in his hands he held the wreaths of Apollo who strikes from afar, on a staff of gold, and he implored all the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus, marshallers of the people.
§ 1.375 Then all the rest of the Achaeans shouted assent, to reverence the priest and accept the glorious ransom; yet the thing did not please the heart of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, but he sent him away harshly, and laid upon him a stern command. So the old man went back again in anger; and Apollo
§ 1.380 heard his prayer, for he was very dear to him, and sent against the Argives an evil shaft. Then the people began to die thick and fast, and the shafts of the god ranged everywhere throughout the wide camp of the Achaeans. But to us the prophet with sure knowledge declared the oracles of the god who strikes from afar.
§ 1.385 Forthwith, then, I first bade propitiate the god, but thereafter anger seized the son of Atreus, and straightway he arose and spoke a threatening word, which now has come to pass. For the quick-glancing Achaeans are taking the maiden in a swift ship to Chryse, and are bearing gifts to the god;
§ 1.390 while the other woman the heralds have just now taken from my tent and led away, the daughter of Briseus, whom the sons of the Achaeans gave me. But, you, if you are able, guard your own son; go to Olympus and make prayer to Zeus, if ever you have gladdened his heart by word or deed.
§ 1.395 For often I have heard you glorying in the halls of my father, and declaring that you alone among the immortals warded off shameful ruin from the son of Cronos, lord of the dark clouds, on the day when the other Olympians wished to put him in bonds, even Hera and Poseidon and Pallas Athene.
§ 1.400 But you came, goddess, and freed him from his bonds, when you had quickly called to high Olympus him of the hundred hands, whom the gods call Briareus, but all men Aegaeon; for he is mightier than his father. He sat down by the side of the son of Cronos, exulting in his glory,
§ 1.405 and the blessed gods were seized with fear of him, and did not bind Zeus. Bring this now to his remembrance, and sit by his side, and clasp his knees, in hope that he might perhaps wish to succour the Trojans, and for those others, the Achaeans, to pen them in among the sterns of their ships and around the sea as they are slain, so that they may all have profit of their king,
§ 1.410 and that the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon may know his blindness in that he did no honour to the best of the Achaeans.” Then Thetis answered him as she wept: “Ah me, my child, why did I rear you, cursed in my child-bearing? Would that it had been your lot to remain by your ships without tears and without grief,
§ 1.415 since your span of life is brief and endures no long time; but now you are doomed to a speedy death and are laden with sorrow above all men; therefore to an evil fate I bore you in our halls. Yet in order to tell this your word to Zeus who delights in the thunderbolt I will myself go to snowy Olympus, in hope that he may be persuaded.
§ 1.420 But remain by your swift, sea-faring ships, and continue your wrath against the Achaeans, and refrain utterly from battle; for Zeus went yesterday to Oceanus, to the blameless Ethiopians for a feast, and all the gods followed with him; but on the twelfth day he will come back again to Olympus,
§ 1.425 and then will I go to the house of Zeus with threshold of bronze, and will clasp his knees in prayer, and I think I shall win him.” So saying, she went her way and left him where he was, angry at heart for the fair-girdled woman's sake, whom they had taken from him by force though he was unwilling; and meanwhile Odysseus
§ 1.430 came to Chryse bringing the holy hecatomb. When they had arrived within the deep harbour, they furled the sail, and stowed it in the black ship, and the mast they lowered by the forestays and brought it to the crutch with speed, and rowed her with oars to the place of anchorage.
§ 1.435 Then they cast out the mooring-stones and made fast the stern cables, and themselves went forth upon the shore of the sea. They brought forth the hecatomb for Apollo, who strikes from afar, and forth stepped also the daughter of Chryses from the sea-faring ship. Her then did Odysseus of many wiles lead to the altar,
§ 1.440 and place in the arms of her dear father, saying to him: “Chryses, Agamemnon, king of men, sent me forth to bring to you your daughter, and to offer to Phoebus a holy hecatomb on the Danaans' behalf, that therewith we may propitiate the lord, who has now brought upon the Argives woeful lamentation.”
§ 1.445 So saying he placed her in his arms, and he joyfully took his dear child; but they made haste to set in array for the god the holy hecatomb around the well-built altar, and then they washed their hands and took up the barley grains. Then Chryses lifted up his hands, and prayed aloud for them:
§ 1.450 “Hear me, god of the silver bow, who stands over Chryse and holy Cilla, and rules mightily over Tenedos. As before you heard me when I prayed—to me you did honour, and mightily smote the host of the Achaeans—even so now fulfill me this my desire:
§ 1.455 ward off now from the Danaans the loathly pestilence.” So he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Then, when they had prayed, and had sprinkled the barley grains, they first drew back the victims' heads, and cut their throats, and flayed them, and cut out the thighs and covered them
§ 1.460 with a double layer of fat, and laid raw flesh thereon. And the old man burned them on stakes of wood, and made libation over them of gleaming wine; and beside him the young men held in their hands the five-pronged forks. But when the thigh-pieces were wholly burned, and they had tasted the entrails, they cut up the rest and spitted it,
§ 1.465 and roasted it carefully, and drew all off the spits. Then, when they had ceased from their labour and had made ready the meal, they feasted, nor did their hearts lack anything of the equal feast. But when they had put from them the desire for food and drink, the youths filled the bowls brim full of drink
§ 1.470 and served out to all, first pouring drops for libation into the cups. So the whole day long they sought to appease the god with song, singing the beautiful paean, the sons of the Achaeans, hymning the god who works from afar; and his heart was glad, as he heard. But when the sun set and darkness came on,
§ 1.475 they lay down to rest by the stern cables of the ship, and as soon as early rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, then they set sail for the wide camp of the Achaeans. And Apollo, who works from afar, sent them a favouring wind, and they set up the mast and spread the white sail.
§ 1.480 So the wind filled the belly of the sail, and the dark wave sang loudly about the stem of the ship, as she went, and she sped over the wave, accomplishing her way. But when they came to the wide camp of the Achaeans, they drew the black ship up on the shore,
§ 1.485 high upon the sands, and set in line the long props beneath, and themselves scattered among the tents and ships. But he in his wrath sat beside his swift-faring ships, the Zeus-sprung son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles. Never did he go forth to the place of gathering, where men win glory,
§ 1.490 nor ever to war, but wasted away his own heart, as he tarried where he was; and he longed for the war-cry and the battle. Now when the twelfth morning thereafter had come, then into Olympus came the gods who are for ever, all in one company, and Zeus led the way. And Thetis did not forget the behest
§ 1.495 of her son, but rose up from the wave of the sea, and at early morning went up to great heaven and Olympus. There she found the far-seeing son of Cronos sitting apart from the rest upon the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus. So she sat down before him, and clasped his knees
§ 1.500 with her left hand, while with her right she touched him beneath the chin, and she spoke in prayer to king Zeus, son of Cronos: “Father Zeus, if ever amid the immortals I gave you aid by word or deed, grant me this prayer: do honour to my son, who is doomed to a speedy death beyond all other men;
§ 1.505 yet now Agamemnon, king of men, has dishonoured him, for he has taken and keeps his prize by his own arrogant act. But honour him, Olympian Zeus, lord of counsel; and give might to the Trojans, until the Achaeans do honour to my son, and magnify him with recompense.”
§ 1.510 So she spoke; but Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, spoke no word to her, but sat a long time in silence. Yet Thetis, even as she had clasped his knees, so held to him, clinging close, and questioned him again a second time: “Give me your infallible promise, and bow your head to it, or else deny me, for there is nothing to make you afraid; so that I may know well
§ 1.515 how far I among all the gods am honoured the least.” Then, greatly troubled, Zeus, the cloud-gatherer spoke to her: “Surely this will be sorry work, since you will set me on to engage in strife with Hera, when she shall anger me with taunting words. Even now she always upbraids me among the immortal gods,
§ 1.520 and declares that I give aid to the Trojans in battle. But for the present, depart again, lest Hera note something; and I will take thought for these things to bring all to pass. Come, I will bow my head to you, that thou may be certain, for this from me is the surest token among the immortals;
§ 1.525 no word of mine may be recalled, nor is false, nor unfulfilled, to which I bow my head.” The son of Cronos spoke, and bowed his dark brow in assent, and the ambrosial locks waved from the king's immortal head; and he made great Olympus quake.
§ 1.530 When the two had taken counsel together in this way, they parted; she leapt straightway into the deep sea from gleaming Olympus, and Zeus went to his own palace. All the gods together rose from their seats before the face of their father; no one dared to await his coming, but they all rose up before him.
§ 1.535 So he sat down there upon his throne; but Hera saw, and failed not to note how silver-footed Thetis, daughter of the old man of the sea, had taken counsel with him. Forthwith then she spoke to Zeus, son of Cronos, with mocking words: “Who of the gods, crafty one, has now again taken counsel with you?
§ 1.540 Always is it your pleasure to hold aloof from me, and to give judgments which you have pondered in secret, nor have you ever brought yourself with a ready heart to declare to me the matter which you devise.” In answer to her spoke the father of men and gods: “Hera, do not hope to know all my words:
§ 1.545 hard will they prove for you, though you are my wife. Whatever it is fitting for you to hear, this none other shall know before you, whether of gods or men; but what I wish to devise apart from the gods, of all this do not in any way inquire nor ask.”
§ 1.550 In answer to him spoke the ox-eyed lady Hera: “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word you have said! Truly, in the past I have not been accustomed to inquire nor ask you, but at your ease you devise all things whatever you wish. But now I have wondrous dread at heart, lest
§ 1.555 silver-footed Thetis, daughter of the old man of the sea, have beguiled you; for at early dawn she sat by you and clasped your knees. To her, I think, you bowed your head in sure token that you will honour Achilles, and bring many to death beside the ships of the Achaeans.” Then in answer to her spoke Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:
§ 1.560 “Strange one, you are always suspecting, and I do not escape you; yet you shall be able to accomplish nothing, but shall be even further from my heart; and that shall be the worse for you. If this thing is as you say, then it must be pleasing to me. Sit down in silence, and obey my word,
§ 1.565 lest all the gods that are in Olympus avail you not against my drawing near, when I put forth upon you my irresistible hands.” He spoke, and ox-eyed lady Hera was seized with fear, and sat down in silence, curbing her heart. Then troubled were the gods of heaven throughout the palace of Zeus,
§ 1.570 and among them Hephaestus, the famed craftsman, was first to speak, doing pleasure to his dear mother, white-armed Hera: “Surely this will be sorry work, that is no longer bearable, if you two are to wrangle thus for mortals' sakes, and set the gods in tumult; neither will there be any joy in the excellent feast,
§ 1.575 since worse things prevail. And I give counsel to my mother, wise though she be herself, to do pleasure to our dear father Zeus, that the father upbraid her not again, and bring confusion upon our feast. What if the Olympian, the lord of the lightning, were minded
§ 1.580 to dash us from our seats! for he is mightiest far. But address him with gentle words; so shall the Olympian forthwith be gracious to us.” So saying, he sprang up and placed in his dear mother's hand the double cup, and spoke to her:
§ 1.585 “Be patient, my mother, and endure for all your grief, lest, dear as you are to me, my eyes see you stricken, and then I shall in no way be able to succour you for all my sorrow; for a hard foe is the Olympian to meet in strife. On a time before this, when I was striving to save you,
§ 1.590 he caught me by the foot and hurled me from the heavenly threshold; the whole day long I was carried headlong, and at sunset I fell in Lemnos, and but little life was in me. There the Sintian folk quickly tended me for my fall.” So he spoke, and the goddess, white-armed Hera, smiled,
§ 1.595 and smiling took in her hand the cup from her son. Then he poured wine for all the other gods from left to right, drawing forth sweet nectar from the bowl. And unquenchable laughter arose among the blessed gods, as they saw Hephaestus puffing through the palace.
§ 1.600 Thus the whole day long till the setting of the sun they feasted, nor did their heart lack anything of the equal feast, nor of the beauteous lyre, that Apollo held, nor yet of the Muses, who sang, replying one to the other with sweet voices. But when the bright light of the sun was set,
§ 1.605 they went each to his own house to take their rest, where for each one a palace had been built with cunning skill by the famed Hephaestus, the limping god; and Zeus, the Olympian, lord of the lightning, went to his couch, where of old he took his rest, whenever sweet sleep came upon him.
§ 1.610 There went he up and slept, and beside him lay Hera of the golden throne.
§ 2.1 BOOK 2
Now all the other gods and men, lords of chariots, slumbered the whole night through, but Zeus was not holden of sweet sleep, for he was pondering in his heart how he might do honour to Achilles and lay many low beside the ships of the Achaeans. And this plan seemed to his mind the best,
§ 2.5 to send to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, a baneful dream. So he spake, and addressed him with winged words: “Up, go, thou baneful Dream, unto the swift ships of the Achaeans, and when thou art come to the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus,
§ 2.10 tell him all my word truly, even as I charge thee. Bid him arm the long-haired Achaeans with all speed, since now he may take the broad-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals, that have homes upon Olympus, are no longer divided in counsel,
§ 2.15 since Hera hath Vent the minds of all by her supplication, and over the Trojans hang woes.” So spake he, and the Dream went his way, when he had heard this saying. Forthwith he came to the swift ships of the Achaeans, and went his way to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and found him sleeping in his hut, and over him was shed ambrosial slumber.
§ 2.20 So he took his stand above his head, in the likeness of the son of Neleus, even Nestor, whom above all the elders Agamemnon held in honour; likening himself to him, the Dream from heaven spake, saying: “Thou sleepest, son of wise-hearted Atreus, the tamer of horses. To sleep the whole night through beseemeth not a man that is a counsellor,
§ 2.25 to whom a host is entrusted, and upon whom rest so many cares. But now, hearken thou quickly unto me, for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who, far away though he be, hath exceeding care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee arm the long-haired Achaeans with all speed, since now thou mayest take the broad-wayed city of the Trojans.
§ 2.30 For the immortals that have homes upon Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath bent the minds of all by her supplication, and over the Trojans hang woes by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy heart, nor let forgetfulness lay hold of thee, whenso honey-hearted sleep shall let thee go.”
§ 2.35 So spoke the Dream, and departed, and left him there, pondering in his heart on things that were not to be brought to pass. For in sooth he deemed that he should take the city of Priam that very day, fool that he was! seeing he knew not what deeds Zeus was purposing,
§ 2.40 who was yet to bring woes and groanings on Trojans alike and Danaans throughout the course of stubborn fights. Then he awoke from sleep, and the divine voice was ringing in his ears. He sat upright and did on his soft tunic, fair and glistering, and about him cast his great cloak, and beneath his shining feet he bound his fair sandals,
§ 2.45 and about his shoulders flung his silver-studded sword; and he grasped the sceptre of his fathers, imperishable ever, and therewith took his way along the ships of the brazen-coated Achaeans. Now the goddess Dawn went up to high Olympus, to announce the light to Zeus and the other immortals,
§ 2.50 but Agamemnon bade the clear-voiced heralds summon to the place of gathering the long-haired Achaeans. And they made summons, and the men gathered full quickly. But the king first made the council of the great-souled elders to sit down beside the ship of Nestor, the king Pylos-born.
§ 2.55 And when he had called them together, he contrived a cunning plan, and said: “Hearken, my friends, a Dream from heaven came to me in my sleep through the ambrosial night, and most like was it to goodly Nestor, in form and in stature and in build. It took its stand above my head, and spake to me, saying:
§ 2.60 ‘Thou sleepest, son of wise-hearted Atreus, the tamer of horses. To sleep the whole night through beseemeth not a man that is a counsellor, to whom a host is entrusted, and upon whom rest so many cares. But now, hearken thou quickly unto me, for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who, far away though he be, hath exceeding care for thee and pity.
§ 2.65 He biddeth thee arm the long-haired Achaeans with all speed, since now thou mayest take the broad-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that have homes upon Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath bent the minds of all by her supplication, and over the Trojans hang woes by the will of Zeus.
§ 2.70 But do thou keep this in thy heart.’ So spake he, and was flown away, and sweet sleep let me go. Nay, come now, if in any wise we may, let us arm the sons of the Achaeans; but first will I make trial of them in speech, as is right, and will bid them flee with their benched ships;
§ 2.75 but do you from this side and from that bespeak them, and strive to hold them back.” So saying, he sate him down, and among them uprose Nestor, that was king of sandy Pylos. He with good intent addressed their gathering and spake among them: “My friends, leaders and rulers of the Argives,
§ 2.80 were it any other of the Achaeans that told us this dream we might deem it a false thing, and turn away therefrom the more; but now hath he seen it who declares himself to be far the mightiest of the Achaeans. Nay, come then, if in any wise we may arm the sons of the Achaeans.” He spake, and led the way forth from the council,
§ 2.85 and the other sceptred kings rose up thereat and obeyed the shepherd of the host; and the people the while were hastening on. Even as the tribes of thronging bees go forth from some hollow rock, ever coming on afresh, and in clusters over the flowers of spring fly in throngs, some here, some there;
§ 2.90 even so from the ships and huts before the low sea-beach marched forth in companies their many tribes to the place of gathering. And in their midst blazed forth Rumour, messenger of Zeus, urging them to go; and they were gathered.
§ 2.95 And the place of gathering was in a turmoil, and the earth groaned beneath them, as the people sate them down, and a din arose. Nine heralds with shouting sought to restrain them, if so be they might refrain from uproar and give ear to the kings, nurtured of Zeus. Hardly at the last were the people made to sit, and were stayed in their places,
§ 2.100 ceasing from their clamour. Then among them lord Agamemnon uprose, bearing in his hands the sceptre which Hephaestus had wrought with toil. Hephaestus gave it to king Zeus, son of Cronos, and Zeus gave it to the messenger Argeiphontes; and Hermes, the lord, gave it to Pelops, driver of horses,
§ 2.105 and Pelops in turn gave it to Atreus, shepherd of the host; and Atreus at his death left it to Thyestes, rich in flocks, and Thyestes again left it to Agamemnon to bear, that so he might be lord of many isles and of all Argos. Thereon he leaned, and spake his word among the Argives:
§ 2.110 “My friends, Danaan warriors, squires of Ares, great Zeus, son of Cronos, hath ensnared me in grievous blindness of heart, cruel god! seeing that of old he promised me, and bowed his head thereto, that not until I had sacked well-walled Ilios should I get me home; but now hath he planned cruel deceit, and bids me return inglorious to Argos,
§ 2.115 when I have lost much people. So, I ween, must be the good pleasure of Zeus, supreme in might, who hath laid low the heads of many cities, yea, and shall yet lay low, for his power is above all. A shameful thing is this even for the hearing of men that are yet to be,
§ 2.120 how that thus vainly so goodly and so great a host of the Achaeans warred a bootless war, and fought with men fewer than they, and no end thereof hath as yet been seen. For should we be minded, both Achaeans and Trojans, to swear a solemn oath with sacrifice, and to number ourselves,
§ 2.125 and should the Trojans be gathered together, even all they that have dwellings in the city, and we Achaeans be marshalled by tens, and choose, each company of us, a man of the Trojans to pour our wine, then would many tens lack a cup-bearer; so far, I deem, do the sons of the Achaeans outnumber the Trojans that dwell in the city.
§ 2.130 But allies there be out of many cities, men that wield the spear, who hinder me mightily, and for all that I am fain, suffer me not to sack the well-peopled citadel of Ilios. Already have nine years of great Zeus gone by,
§ 2.135 and lo, our ships' timbers are rotted, and the tackling loosed; and our wives, I ween, and little children sit in our halls awaiting us; yet is our task wholly unaccomplished in furtherance whereof we came hither. Nay, come, even as I shall bid, let us all obey:
§ 2.140 let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for no more is there hope that we shall take broad-wayed Troy.” So spake he, and roused the hearts in the breasts of all throughout the multitude, as many as had not heard the council. And the gathering was stirred like the long sea-waves of the Icarian main,
§ 2.145 which the East Wind or the South Wind has raised, rushing upon them from the clouds of father Zeus. And even as when the West Wind at its coming stirreth a deep cornfield with its violent blast, and the ears bow thereunder, even so was all their gathering stirred, and they with loud shouting rushed towards the ships;
§ 2.150 and from beneath their feet the dust arose on high. And they called each one to his fellow to lay hold of the ships and draw them into the bright sea, and they set themselves to clear the launching-ways, and their shouting went up to heaven, so fain were they of their return home; and they began to take the props from beneath the ships.
§ 2.155 Then would the Argives have accomplished their return even beyond what was ordained, had not Hera spoken a word to Athene, saying: “Out upon it, child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one! Is it thus indeed that the Argives are to flee to their dear native land over the broad back of the sea?
§ 2.160 Aye, and they would leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Argive Helen, for whose sake many an Achaean hath perished in Troy, far from his dear native land. But go thou now throughout the host of the brazen-coated Achaeans; with thy gentle words seek thou to restrain every man,
§ 2.165 neither suffer them to draw into the sea their curved ships.” So spake she, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken. Down from the peaks of Olympus she went darting, and speedily came to the swift ships of the Achaeans. There she found Odysseus, the peer of Zeus in counsel,
§ 2.170 as he stood. He laid no hand upon his benched, black ship, for that grief had come upon his heart and soul; and flashing-eyed Athene stood near him, and said: “Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many wiles, is it thus indeed that ye will fling yourselves
§ 2.175 on your benched ships to flee to your dear native land? Aye, and ye would leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Argive Helen, for whose sake many an Achaean hath perished in Troy, far from his dear native land. But go thou now throughout the host of the Achaeans, and hold thee back no more;
§ 2.180 and with thy gentle words seek thou to restrain every man, neither suffer them to draw into the sea their curved ships.” So said she, and he knew the voice of the goddess as she spake, and set him to run, and cast from him his cloak, which his herald gathered up, even Eurybates of Ithaca, that waited on him.
§ 2.185 But himself he went straight to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and received at his hand the staff of his fathers, imperishable ever, and therewith went his way along the ships of the brazen-coated Achaeans. Whomsoever he met that was a chieftain or man of note, to his side would he come and with gentle words seek to restrain him, saying:
§ 2.190 “Good Sir, it beseems not to seek to affright thee as if thou were a coward, but do thou thyself sit thee down, and make the rest of thy people to sit. For thou knowest not yet clearly what is the mind of the son of Atreus; now he does but make trial, whereas soon he will smite the sons of the Achaeans. Did we not all hear what he spake in the council?
§ 2.195 Beware lest waxing wroth he work mischief to the sons of the Achaeans. Proud is the heart of kings, fostered of heaven; for their honour is from Zeus, and Zeus, god of counsel, loveth them.” But whatsoever man of the people he saw, and found brawling, him would he smite with his staff; and chide with words, saying,
§ 2.200 “Fellow, sit thou still, and hearken to the words of others that are better men than thou; whereas thou art unwarlike and a weakling, neither to be counted in war nor in counsel. In no wise shall we Achaeans all be kings here. No good thing is a multitude of lords; let there be one lord,
§ 2.205 one king, to whom the son of crooked-counselling Cronos hath vouchsafed the sceptre and judgments, that he may take counsel for his people.” Thus masterfully did he range through the host, and they hasted back to the place of gathering from their ships and huts with noise, as when a wave of the loud-resounding sea
§ 2.210 thundereth on the long beach, and the deep roareth. Now the others sate them down and were stayed in their places, only there still kept chattering on Thersites of measureless speech, whose mind was full of great store of disorderly words, wherewith to utter revilings against the kings, idly, and in no orderly wise,
§ 2.215 but whatsoever he deemed would raise a laugh among the Argives. Evil-favoured was he beyond all men that came to Ilios: he was bandy-legged and lame in the one foot, and his two shoulders were rounded, stooping together over his chest, and above them his head was warped, and a scant stubble grew thereon.
§ 2.220 Hateful was he to Achilles above all, and to Odysseus, for it was they twain that he was wont to revile; but now again with shrill cries he uttered abuse against goodly Agamemnon. With him were the Achaeans exceeding wroth, and had indignation in their hearts. Howbeit with loud shoutings he spake and chid Agamemnon:
§ 2.225 “Son of Atreus, with what art thou now again discontent, or what lack is thine? Filled are thy huts with bronze, and women full many are in thy huts, chosen spoils that we Achaeans give thee first of all, whensoe'er we take a citadel. Or dost thou still want gold also,
§ 2.230 which some man of the horse-taming Trojans shall bring thee out of Ilios as a ransom for his son, whom I haply have bound and led away or some other of the Achaeans? Or is it some young girl for thee to know in love, whom thou wilt keep apart for thyself? Nay, it beseemeth not one that is their captain to bring to ill the sons of the Achaeans.
§ 2.235 Soft fools! base things of shame, ye women of Achaea, men no more, homeward let us go with our ships, and leave this fellow here in the land of Troy to digest his prizes, that so he may learn whether in us too there is aught of aid for him or no—for him that hath now done dishonour to Achilles, a man better far than he;
§ 2.240 for he hath taken away, and keepeth his prize by his own arrogant act. Of a surety there is naught of wrath in the heart of Achilles; nay, he heedeth not at all; else, son of Atreus, wouldest thou now work insolence for the last time.” So spake Thersites, railing at Agamemnon, shepherd of the host. But quickly to his side came goodly Odysseus,
§ 2.245 and with an angry glance from beneath his brows, chid him with harsh words, saying: “Thersites of reckless speech, clear-voiced talker though thou art, refrain thee, and be not minded to strive singly against kings. For I deem that there is no viler mortal than thou amongst all those that with the sons of Atreus came beneath Ilios.
§ 2.250 Wherefore 'twere well thou shouldst not take the name of kings in thy mouth as thou protest, to cast reproaches upon them, and to watch for home-going. In no wise do we know clearly as yet how these things are to be, whether it be for good or ill that we sons of the Achaeans shall return. Therefore dost thou now continually utter revilings against Atreus' son, Agamemnon, shepherd of the host,
§ 2.255 for that the Danaan warriors give him gifts full many; whereas thou pratest on with railings. But I will speak out to thee, and this word shall verily be brought to pass: if I find thee again playing the fool, even as now thou dost, then may the head of Odysseus abide no more upon his shoulders,
§ 2.260 nor may I any more be called the father of Telemachus, if I take thee not, and strip off thy raiment, thy cloak, and thy tunic that cover thy nakedness, and for thyself send thee wailing to the swift ships, beaten forth from the place of gathering with shameful blows.”
§ 2.265 So spake Odysseus, and with his staff smote his back and shoulders; and Thersites cowered down, and a big tear fell from him, and a bloody weal rose up on his back beneath the staff of gold. Then he sate him down, and fear came upon him, and stung by pain with helpless looks he wiped away the tear.
§ 2.270 But the Achaeans, sore vexed at heart though they were, broke into a merry laugh at him, and thus would one speak with a glance at his neighbour: “Out upon it! verily hath Odysseus ere now wrought good deeds without number as leader in good counsel and setting battle in army, but now is this deed far the best that he hath wrought among the Argives,
§ 2.275 seeing he hath made this scurrilous babbler to cease from his prating. Never again, I ween, will his proud spirit henceforth set him on to rail at kings with words of reviling.” So spake the multitude; but up rose Odysseus, sacker of cities, the sceptre in his hand, and by his side flashing-eyed Athene,
§ 2.280 in the likeness of a herald, bade the host keep silence, that the sons of the Achaeans, both the nearest and the farthest, might hear his words, and lay to heart his counsel. He with good intent addressed their gathering and spake among them: “Son of Atreus, now verily are the Achaeans minded to make thee, O king,
§ 2.285 the most despised among all mortal men, nor will they fulfill the promise that they made to thee, while faring hitherward from Argos, the pasture-land of horses, that not until thou hadst sacked well-walled Ilios shouldest thou get thee home. For like little children or widow women
§ 2.290 do they wail each to the other in longing to return home. Verily there is toil enough to make a man return disheartened. For he that abideth but one single month far from his wife in his benched ship hath vexation of heart, even he whom winter blasts and surging seas keep afar;
§ 2.295 but for us is the ninth year at its turn, while we abide here; wherefore I count it not shame that the Achaeans have vexation of heart beside their beaked ships; yet even so it is a shameful thing to tarry long, and return empty. Endure, my friends, and abide for a time, that we may know
§ 2.300 whether the prophecies of Calchas be true, or no. For this in truth do we know well in our hearts, and ye are all witnesses thereto, even as many as the fates of death have not borne away. It was but as yesterday or the day before, when the ships of the Achaeans were gathering in Aulis, laden with woes for Priam and the Trojans;
§ 2.305 and we round about a spring were offering to the immortals upon the holy altars hecatombs that bring fulfillment, beneath a fair plane-tree from whence flowed the bright water; then appeared a great portent: a serpent, blood-red on the back, terrible, whom the Olympian himself had sent forth to the light,
§ 2.310 glided from beneath the altar and darted to the plane-tree. Now upon this were the younglings of a sparrow, tender little ones, on the topmost bough, cowering beneath the leaves, eight in all, and the mother that bare them was the ninth, Then the serpent devoured them as they twittered piteously,
§ 2.315 and the mother fluttered around them, wailing for her dear little ones; howbeit he coiled himself and caught her by the wing as she screamed about him. But when he had devoured the sparrow's little ones and the mother with them, the god, who had brought him to the light, made him to be unseen; for the son of crooked-counselling Cronos turned him to stone;
§ 2.320 and we stood there and marveled at what was wrought. So, when the dread portent brake in upon the hecatombs of the gods, then straightway did Calchas prophesy, and address our gathering, saying: 'Why are ye thus silent, ye long-haired Achaeans? To us hath Zeus the counsellor shewed this great sign,
§ 2.325 late in coming, late in fulfillment, the fame whereof shall never perish. Even as this serpent devoured the sparrow's little ones and the mother with them—the eight, and the mother that bare them was the ninth—so shall we war there for so many years, but in the tenth shall we take the broad-wayed city.' On this wise spake Calchas,
§ 2.330 and now all this is verily being brought to pass. Nay, come, abide ye all, ye well-greaved Achaeans, even where ye are, until we take the great city of Priam.” So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud, and all round about them the ships echoed wondrously beneath the shouting of the Achaeans,
§ 2.335 as they praised the words of godlike Odysseus. And there spake among them the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia: “Now look you; in very truth are ye holding assembly after the manner of silly boys that care no whit for deeds of war. What then is to be the end of our compacts and our oaths?
§ 2.340 Nay, into the fire let us cast all counsels and plans of warriors, the drink-offerings of unmixed wine, and the hand-clasps wherein we put our trust. For vainly do we wrangle with words, nor can we find any device at all, for all our long-tarrying here. Son of Atreus, do thou as of old keep unbending purpose,
§ 2.345 and be leader of the Argives throughout stubborn fights; and for these, let them perish, the one or two of the Achaeans, that take secret counsel apart—yet no accomplishment shall come therefrom—to depart first to Argos or ever we have learned whether the promise of Zeus that beareth the aegis be a lie or no.
§ 2.350 For I declare that Cronos' son, supreme in might, gave promise with his nod on that day when the Argives went on board their swift-faring ships, bearing unto the Trojans death and fate; for he lightened on our right and shewed forth signs of good. Wherefore let no man make haste to depart homewards until each have lain with the wife of some Trojan,
§ 2.355 and have got him requital for his strivings and groanings for Helen's sake. Howbeit, if any man is exceeding fain to depart homewards, let him lay his hand upon his black, well-benched ship, that before the face of all he may meet death and fate.
§ 2.360 But do thou, O King, thyself take good counsel, and hearken to another; the word whatsoever I speak, shalt thou not lightly cast aside. Separate thy men by tribes, by clans, Agamemnon, that clan may bear aid to clan and tribe to tribe. If thou do thus, and the Achaeans obey thee,
§ 2.365 thou wilt know then who among thy captains is a coward, and who among thy men, and who too is brave; for they will fight each clan for itself. So shalt thou know whether it is even by the will of heaven that thou shalt not take the city, or by the cowardice of thy folk and their witlessness in war.” Then in answer to him spake the king, Agamemnon:
§ 2.370 “Aye verily once more, old sir, art thou pre-eminent in speech above the sons of the Achaeans. I would, O father Zeus and Athene and Apollo, that I had ten such counsellors; then would the city of king Priam forthwith bow her head, taken and laid waste beneath our hands.
§ 2.375 But the son of Cronos, even Zeus that beareth the aegis, hath brought sorrows upon me, in that he casteth me into the midst of fruitless strifes and wranglings. For verily I and Achilles fought about a girl with violent words, and it was I that waxed wroth the first; but if e'er we shall be at one in counsel,
§ 2.380 then shall there no more be any putting off of evil for the Trojans, no not for an instant. But for this present go ye to your meal, that we may join battle. Let every man whet well his spear and bestow well his shield, and let him well give to his swift-footed horses their food, and look well to his chariot on every side, and bethink him of fighting;
§ 2.385 that the whole day through we may contend in hateful war. For of respite shall there intervene, no, not a whit, until night at its coming shall part the fury of warriors. Wet with sweat about the breast of many a man shall be the baldric of his sheltering shield, and about the spear shall his hand grow weary,
§ 2.390 and wet with sweat shall a man's horse be, as he tugs at the polished car. But whomsoever I shall see minded to tarry apart from the fight beside the beaked ships, for him shall there be no hope thereafter to escape the dogs and birds.” So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud as a wave against a high headland,
§ 2.395 when the South Wind cometh and maketh it to swell—even against a jutting crag that is never left by the waves of all the winds that come from this side or from that. And they arose and hasted to scatter among the ships, and made fires in the huts, and took their meal.
§ 2.400 And they made sacrifice one to one of the gods that are for ever, and one to another, with the prayer that they might escape from death and the toil of war. But Agamemnon, king of men, slew a fat bull of five years to the son of Cronos, supreme in might, and let call the elders, the chieftains of the Achaean host,
§ 2.405 Nestor, first of all, and king Idomeneus, and thereafter the twain Aiantes and the son of Tydeus, and as the sixth Odysseus, the peer of Zeus in counsel. And unbidden came to him Menelaus, good at the war-cry, for he knew in his heart wherewith his brother was busied.
§ 2.410 About the bull they stood and took up the barley grains, and in prayer lord Agamemnon spake among them, saying. “Zeus, most glorious, most great, lord of the dark clouds, that dwellest in the heaven, grant that the sun set not, neither darkness come upon us, until I have cast down in headlong ruin the hall of Priam, blackened with smoke,
§ 2.415 and have burned with consuming fire the portals thereof, and cloven about the breast of Hector his tunic, rent with the bronze; and in throngs may his comrades round about him fall headlong in the dust, and bite the earth.” So spake he; but not as yet would the son of Cronos grant him fulfillment;
§ 2.420 nay, he accepted the sacrifice, but toil he made to wax unceasingly. Then, when they had prayed and had sprinkled the barley grains, they first drew back the victims' heads and cut their throats, and flayed them; and they cut out the thigh-pieces and covered them with a double layer of fat, and laid raw flesh thereon.
§ 2.425 These they burned on billets of wood stripped of leaves, and the inner parts they pierced with spits, and held them over the flame of Hephaestus. But when the thigh-pieces were wholly burned and they had tasted of the inner parts, they cut up the rest and spitted it, and roasted it carefully, and drew all off the spits.
§ 2.430 Then, when they had ceased from their labour and had made ready the meal, they feasted, nor did their hearts lack aught of the equal feast. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, among them the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, was first to speak, saying: “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men,
§ 2.435 let us now not any more remain gathered here, nor any more put off the work which verily the god vouchsafeth us. Nay, come, let the heralds of the brazen-coated Achaeans make proclamation, and gather together the host throughout the ships, and let us go thus in a body through the broad camp of the Achaeans,
§ 2.440 that we may with the more speed stir up sharp battle.” So spake he, and the king of men, Agamemnon, failed not to hearken. Straightway he bade the clear-voiced heralds summon to battle the long-haired Achaeans. And they made summons, and the host gathered full quickly.
§ 2.445 The kings, nurtured of Zeus, that were about Atreus' son, sped swiftly, marshalling the host, and in their midst was the flashing-eyed Athene, bearing the priceless aegis, that knoweth neither age nor death, wherefrom are hung an hundred tassels all of gold, all of them cunningly woven, and each one of the worth of an hundred oxen.
§ 2.450 Therewith she sped dazzling throughout the host of the Achaeans, urging them to go forth; and in the heart of each man she roused strength to war and to battle without ceasing. And to them forthwith war became sweeter than to return in their hollow ships to their dear native land.
§ 2.455 Even as a consuming fire maketh a boundless forest to blaze on the peaks of a mountain, and from afar is the glare thereof to be seen, even so from their innumerable bronze, as they marched forth, went the dazzling gleam up through the sky unto the heavens. And as the many tribes of winged fowl,
§ 2.460 wild geese or cranes or long-necked swans on the Asian mead by the streams of Caystrius, fly this way and that, glorying in their strength of wing, and with loud cries settle ever onwards, and the mead resoundeth; even so their many tribes poured forth from ships and huts
§ 2.465 into the plain of Scamander, and the earth echoed wondrously beneath the tread of men and horses. So they took their stand in the flowery mead of Scamander, numberless, as are the leaves and the flowers in their season. Even as the many tribes of swarming flies
§ 2.470 that buzz to and fro throughout the herdsman's farmstead in the season of spring, when the milk drenches the pails, even in such numbers stood the long-haired Achaeans upon the plain in the face of the men of Troy, eager to rend them asunder. And even as goatherds separate easily the wide-scattered flocks of goats,
§ 2.475 when they mingle in the pasture, so did their leaders marshal them on this side and on that to enter into the battle, and among them lord Agamemnon, his eyes and head like unto Zeus that hurleth the thunderbolt, his waist like unto Ares, and his breast unto Poseidon.
§ 2.480 Even as a bull among the herd stands forth far the chiefest over all, for that he is pre-eminent among the gathering kine, even such did Zeus make Agamemnon on that day, pre-eminent among many, and chiefest amid warriors. Tell me now, ye Muses that have dwellings on Olympus—
§ 2.485 for ye are goddesses and are at hand and know all things, whereas we hear but a rumour and know not anything—who were the captains of the Danaans and their lords. But the common folk I could not tell nor name, nay, not though ten tongues were mine and ten mouths
§ 2.490 and a voice unwearying, and though the heart within me were of bronze, did not the Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus that beareth the aegis, call to my mind all them that came beneath Ilios. Now will I tell the captains of the ships and the ships in their order. Of the Boeotians Peneleos and Leitus were captains,
§ 2.495 and Arcesilaus and Prothoenor and Clonius; these were they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky Aulis and Schoenus and Scolus and Eteonus with its many ridges, Thespeia, Graea, and spacious Mycalessus; and that dwelt about Harma and Eilesium and Erythrae;
§ 2.500 and that held Eleon and Hyle and Peteon, Ocalea and Medeon, the well-built citadel, Copae, Eutresis, and Thisbe, the haunt of doves; that dwelt in Coroneia and grassy Haliartus, and that held Plataea and dwelt in Glisas;
§ 2.505 that held lower Thebe, the well-built citadel, and holy Onchestus, the bright grove of Poseidon; and that held Arne, rich in vines, and Mideia and sacred Nisa and Anthedon on the seaboard. Of these there came fifty ships, and on board of each
§ 2.510 went young men of the Boeotians an hundred and twenty. And they that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenus of the Minyae were led by Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, whom, in the palace of Actor, son of Azeus, Astyoche, the honoured maiden, conceived of mighty Ares, when she had entered into her upper chamber;
§ 2.515 for he lay with her in secret. And with these were ranged thirty hollow ships. And of the Phocians Schedius and Epistrophus were captains, sons of great-souled Iphitus, son of Naubolus; these were they that held Cyparissus and rocky Pytho,
§ 2.520 and sacred Crisa and Daulis and Panopeus; and that dwelt about Anemoreia and Hyampolis, and that lived beside the goodly river Cephisus, and that held Lilaea by the springs of Cephisus. With these followed forty black ships.
§ 2.525 And their leaders busily marshalled the ranks of the Phocians, and made ready for battle hard by the Boeotians on the left. And the Locrians had as leader the swift son of Oileus, Aias the less, in no wise as great as Telamonian Aias, but far less. Small of stature was he, with corselet of linen,
§ 2.530 but with the spear he far excelled the whole host of Hellenes and Achaeans. These were they that dwelt in Cynus and Opus and Calliarus and Bessa and Scarphe and lovely Augeiae and Tarphe and Thronium about the streams of Boagrius. With Aias followed forty black ships of
§ 2.535 the Locrians that dwell over against sacred Euboea. And the Abantes, breathing fury, that held Euboea and Chalcis and Eretria and Histiaea, rich in vines, and Cerinthus, hard by the sea, and the steep citadel of Dios; and that held Carystus and dwelt in Styra,—
§ 2.540 all these again had as leader Elephenor, scion of Ares, him that was son of Chalcodon and captain of the great-souled Abantes. And with him followed the swift Abantes, with hair long at the back, spearmen eager with outstretched ashen spears to rend the corselets about the breasts of the foemen.
§ 2.545 And with him there followed forty black ships. And they that held Athens, the well-built citadel, the land of great-hearted Erechtheus, whom of old Athene, daughter of Zeus, fostered, when the earth, the giver of grain, had borne him; and she made him to dwell in Athens, in her own rich sanctuary,
§ 2.550 and there the youths of the Athenians, as the years roll on in their courses, seek to win his favour with sacrifices of bulls and rams;—these again had as leader Menestheus, son of Peteos. Like unto him was none other man upon the face of the earth for the marshalling of chariots and of warriors that bear the shield.
§ 2.555 Only Nestor could vie with him, for he was the elder. And with him there followed fifty black ships. And Aias led from Salamis twelve ships, and stationed them where the battalions of the Athenians stood. And they that held Argos and Tiryns, famed for its walls,
§ 2.560 and Hermione and Asine, that enfold the deep gulf, Troezen and Eionae and vine-clad Epidaurus, and the youths of the Achaeans that held Aegina and Mases,—these again had as leaders Diomedes, good at the war-cry, and Sthenelus, dear son of glorious Capaneus.
§ 2.565 And with them came a third, Euryalus, a godlike warrior, son of king Mecisteus, son of Talaus; but leader over them all was Diomedes, good at the war-cry. And with these there followed eighty black ships. And they that held Mycenae, the well-built citadel,
§ 2.570 and wealthy Corinth, and well-built Cleonae, and dwelt in Orneiae and lovely Araethyrea and Sicyon, wherein at the first Adrastus was king; and they that held Hyperesia and steep Gonoessa and Pellene,
§ 2.575 and that dwelt about Aegium and throughout all Aegialus, and about broad Helice,—of these was the son of Atreus, lord Agamemnon, captain, with an hundred ships. With him followed most people by far and goodliest; and among them he himself did on his gleaming bronze, a king all-glorious, and was pre-eminent among all the warriors,
§ 2.580 for that he was noblest, and led a people far the most in number. And they that held the hollow land of Lacedaemon with its many ravines, and Pharis and Sparta and Messe, the haunt of doves, and that dwelt in Bryseiae and lovely Augeiae, and that held Amyclae and Helus, a citadel hard by the sea,
§ 2.585 and that held Laas, and dwelt about Oetylus,—these were led by Agamemnon's brother, even Menelaus, good at the war-cry, with sixty ships; and they were marshalled apart. And himself he moved among them, confident in his zeal, urging his men to battle; and above all others was his heart fain
§ 2.590 to get him requital for his strivings and groanings for Helen's sake. And they that dwelt in Pylos and lovely Arene and Thryum, the ford of Alpheius, and fair-founded Aepy, and that had their abodes in Cyparisseis and Amphigeneia and Pteleos and Helus and Dorium,
§ 2.595 where the Muses met Thamyris the Thracian and made an end of his singing, even as he was journeying from Oechalia, from the house of Eurytus the Oechalian: for he vaunted with boasting that he would conquer, were the Muses themselves to sing against him, the daughters of Zeus that beareth the aegis; but they in their wrath maimed him,
§ 2.600 and took from him his wondrous song, and made him forget his minstrelsy;—all these folk again had as leader the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia. And with him were ranged ninety hollow ships. And they that held Arcadia beneath the steep mountain of Cyllene, beside the tomb of Aepytus, where are warriors that fight in close combat;
§ 2.605 and they that dwelt in Pheneos and Orchomenus, rich in flocks, and Rhipe and Stratia and wind-swept Enispe; and that held Tegea and lovely Mantineia; and that held Stymphalus and dwelt in Parrhasia, —all these were led by the son of Ancaeus, Lord Agapenor,
§ 2.610 with sixty ships; and on each ship embarked full many Arcadian warriors well-skilled in fight. For of himself had the king of men, Agamemnon, given them benched ships wherewith to cross over the wine-dark sea, even the son of Atreus, for with matters of seafaring had they naught to do.
§ 2.615 And they that dwelt in Buprasium and goodly Elis, all that part thereof that Hyrmine and Myrsinus on the seaboard and the rock of Olen and Alesium enclose between them—these again had four leaders, and ten swift ships followed each one, and many Epeians embarked thereon.
§ 2.620 Of these some were led by Amphimachus and Thalpius, of the blood of Actor, sons, the one of Cteatus and the other of Eurytus; and of some was the son of Amarynceus captain, even mighty Diores; and of the fourth company godlike Polyxeinus was captain, son of king Agasthenes, Augeias' son.
§ 2.625 And those from Dulichium and the Echinae, the holy isles, that lie across the sea, over against Elis, these again had as leader Meges, the peer of Ares, even the son of Phyleus, whom the horseman Phyleus, dear to Zeus, begat—he that of old had gone to dwell in Dulichium in wrath against his father.
§ 2.630 And with Meges there followed forty black ships. And Odysseus led the great-souled Cephallenians that held Ithaca and Neritum, covered with waving forests, and that dwelt in Crocyleia and rugged Aegilips; and them that held Zacynthus, and that dwelt about Samos,
§ 2.635 and held the mainland and dwelt on the shores over against the isles. Of these was Odysseus captain, the peer of Zeus in counsel. And with him there followed twelve ships with vermilion prows. And the Aetolians were led by Thoas, Andraemon's son, even they that dwelt in Pleuron and Olenus and Pylene
§ 2.640 and Chalcis, hard by the sea, and rocky Calydon. For the sons of great-hearted Oeneus were no more, neither did he himself still live, and fair-haired Meleager was dead, to whom had commands been given that he should bear full sway among the Aetolians. And with Thoas there followed forty black ships.
§ 2.645 And the Cretans had as leader Idomeneus, famed for his spear, even they that held Cnosus and Gortys, famed for its walls, Lyctus and Miletus and Lycastus, white with chalk, and Phaestus and Rhytium, well-peopled cities; and all they beside that dwelt in Crete of the hundred cities.
§ 2.650 Of all these was Idomeneus, famed for his spear, captain, and Meriones, the peer of Enyalius, slayer of men. And with these there followed eighty black ships. And Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, a valiant man and tall, led from Rhodes nine ships of the lordly Rhodians,
§ 2.655 that dwelt in Rhodes sundered in three divisions—in Lindos and Ialysus and Cameirus, white with chalk. These were led by Tlepolemus, famed for his spear, he that was born to mighty Heracles by Astyocheia, whom he had led forth out of Ephyre from the river Selleis,
§ 2.660 when he had laid waste many cities of warriors fostered of Zeus. But when Tlepolemus had grown to manhood in the well-fenced palace, forthwith he slew his own father's dear uncle, Licymnius, scion of Ares, who was then waxing old. So he straightway built him ships, and when he had gathered together much people,
§ 2.665 went forth in flight over the sea, for that the other sons and grandsons of mighty Heracles threatened him. But he came to Rhodes in his wanderings, suffering woes, and there his people settled in three divisions by tribes, and were loved of Zeus that is king among gods and men;
§ 2.670 and upon them was wondrous wealth poured by the son of Cronos. Moreover Nireus led three shapely ships from Syme, Nireus that was son of Aglaia and Charops the king, Nireus the comeliest man that came beneath Ilios of all the Danaans after the fearless son of Peleus.
§ 2.675 Howbeit he was a weakling, and but few people followed with him. And they that held Nisyrus and Crapathus and Casus and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnian isles, these again were led by Pheidippus and Antiphus, the two sons of king Thessalus, son of Heracles.
§ 2.680 And with them were ranged thirty hollow ships. Now all those again that inhabited Pelasgian Argos, and dwelt in Alos and Alope and Trachis, and that held Phthia and Hellas, the land of fair women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaeans—
§ 2.685 of the fifty ships of these men was Achilles captain. Howbeit they bethought them not of dolorous war, since there was no man to lead them forth into the ranks. For he lay in idleness among the ships, the swift-footed, goodly Achilles, in wrath because of the fair-haired girl Briseis,
§ 2.690 whom he had taken out of Lyrnessus after sore toil, when he wasted Lyrnessus and the walls of Thebe, and laid low Mynes and Epistrophus, warriors that raged with the spear, sons of king Evenus, Selepus' son. In sore grief for her lay Achilles idle; but soon was he to arise again.
§ 2.695 And they that held Phylace and flowery Pyrasus, the sanctuary of Demeter, and Iton, mother of flocks, and Antron, hard by the sea, and Pteleos, couched in grass, these again had as leader warlike Protesilaus, while yet he lived; howbeit ere now the black earth held him fast.
§ 2.700 His wife, her two cheeks torn in wailing, was left in Phylace and his house but half established, while, for himself, a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt forth from his ship by far the first of the Achaeans. Yet neither were his men leaderless, though they longed for their leader; for Podarces, scion of Ares, marshalled them,
§ 2.705 he that was son of Phylacus' son, Iphiclus, rich in flocks, own brother to great-souled Protesilaus, and younger-born; but the other was the elder and the better man, even the warrior, valiant Protesilaus. So the host in no wise lacked a leader, though they longed for the noble man they had lost.
§ 2.710 And with him there followed forty black ships. And they that dwelt in Pherae beside the lake Boebeis, and in Boebe, and Glaphyrae, and well-built Iolcus, these were led by the dear son of Admetus with eleven ships, even by Eumelus, whom Alcestis, queenly among women, bare to Admetus,
§ 2.715 even she, the comeliest of the daughters of Pelias. And they that dwelt in Methone and Thaumacia, and that held Meliboea and rugged Olizon, these with their seven ships were led by Philoctetes, well-skilled in archery,
§ 2.720 and on each ship embarked fifty oarsmen well skilled to fight amain with the bow. But Philoctetes lay suffering grievous pains in an island, even in sacred Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaeans had left him in anguish with an evil wound from a deadly water-snake. There he lay suffering;
§ 2.720 yet full soon were the Argives beside their ships to bethink them of king Philoctetes. Howbeit neither were these men leaderless, though they longed for their leader; but Medon marshalled them, the bastard son of Oileus, whom Rhene bare to Oileus, sacker of cities. And they that held Tricca and Ithome of the crags,
§ 2.730 and Oechalia, city of Oechalian Eurytus, these again were led by the two sons of Asclepius, the skilled leeches Podaleirius and Machaon. And with these were ranged thirty hollow ships. And they that held Ormenium and the fountain Hypereia,
§ 2.735 and that held Asterium and the white crests of Titanus, these were led by Eurypylus, the glorious son of Euaemon. And with him there followed forty black ships. And they that held Argissa, and dwelt in Gyrtone, Orthe, and Elone, and the white city of Oloosson,
§ 2.740 these again had as leader Polypoetes, staunch in fight, son of Peirithous, whom immortal Zeus begat— even him whom glorious Hippodameia conceived to Peirithous on the day when he got him vengeance on the shaggy centaurs, and thrust them forth from Pelium, and drave them to the Aethices.
§ 2.745 Not alone was he, but with him was Leonteus, scion of Ares, the son of Caenus' son, Coronus, high of heart. And with them there followed forty black ships. And Gouneus led from Cyphus two and twenty ships, and with him followed the Enienes and the Peraebi, staunch in fight,
§ 2.750 that had set their dwellings about wintry Dodona, and dwelt in the ploughland about lovely Titaressus, that poureth his fair-flowing streams into Peneius; yet doth he not mingle with the silver eddies of Peneius, but floweth on over his waters like unto olive oil;
§ 2.755 for that he is a branch of the water of Styx, the dread river of oath. And the Magnetes had as captain Prothous, son of Tenthredon. These were they that dwelt about Peneius and Pelion, covered with waving forests. Of these was swift Prothous captain; and with him there followed forty black ships.
§ 2.760 These were the leaders of the Danaans and their lords. But who was far the best among them do thou tell me, Muse—best of the warriors and of the horses that followed with the sons of Atreus. Of horses best by far were the mares of the son of Pheres, those that Eumelas drave, swift as birds,
§ 2.765 like of coat, like of age, their backs as even as a levelling line could make. These had Apollo of the silver bow reared in Pereia, both of them mares, bearing with them the panic of war. And of warriors far best was Telamonian Aias, while yet Achilles cherished his wrath; for Achilles was far the mightiest,
§ 2.770 he and the horses that bare the peerless son of Peleus. Howbeit he abode amid his beaked, seafaring ships in utter wrath against Agamemnon, Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; and his people along the sea-shore took their joy in casting the discus and the javelin, and in archery;
§ 2.775 and their horses each beside his own car, eating lotus and parsley of the marsh, stood idle, while the chariots were set, well covered up, in the huts of their masters. But the men, longing for their captain, dear to Ares, roared hither and thither through the camp, and fought not.
§ 2.780 So marched they then as though all the land were swept with fire; and the earth groaned beneath them, as beneath Zeus that hurleth the thunderbolt in his wrath, when he scourgeth the land about Typhoeus in the country of the Arimi, where men say is the couch of Typhoeus. Even so the earth groaned greatly beneath their tread as they went;
§ 2.785 and full swiftly did they speed across the plain. And to the Trojans went, as a messenger from Zeus that beareth the aegis, wind-footed, swift Iris with a grievous message. These were holding assembly at Priam's gate, all gathered in one body, the young men alike and the elders.
§ 2.790 And swift-footed Iris stood near and spake to them; and she made her voice like to that of Polites, son of Priam, who was wont to sit as a sentinel of the Trojans, trusting in his fleetness of foot, on the topmost part of the barrow of aged Aesyetes, awaiting until the Achaeans should sally forth from their ships.
§ 2.795 Likening herself to him swifted-footed Iris spake to Priam, saying: “Old sir, ever are endless words dear to thee, now even as of yore in time of peace; but war unabating is afoot. Verily full often have I entered ere now into battles of warriors, but never yet have I seen a host so goodly and so great;
§ 2.800 for most like to the leaves or the sands are they, as they march over the plain to fight against the city. Hector, to thee beyond all others do I give command, and do thou even according to my word. Inasmuch as there are allies full many throughout the great city of Priam, and tongue differs from tongue among men that are scattered abroad;
§ 2.805 let each one therefore give the word to those whose captain he is, and these let him lead forth, when he has marshalled the men of his own city.” So spake she, and Hector in no wise failed to know the voice of the goddess, but forthwith brake up the gathering; and they rushed to arms. The gates one and all were opened wide, and forth the folk hasted,
§ 2.810 both footmen and charioteers; and a great din arose. Now there is before the city a steep mound afar out in the plain, with a clear space about it on this side and on that; this do men verily call Batieia, but the immortals call it the barrow of Myrine, light of step.
§ 2.815 There on this day did the Trojans and their allies separate their companies. The Trojans were led by great Hector of the flashing helm, the son of Priam, and with him were marshalled the greatest hosts by far and the goodliest, raging with the spear. Of the Dardanians again the valiant son of Anchises was captain,
§ 2.820 even Aeneas, whom fair Aphrodite conceived to Anchises amid the spurs of Ida, a goddess couched with a mortal man. Not alone was he; with him were Antenor's two sons, Archelochus and Acamas, well skilled in all manner of fighting. And they that dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida,
§ 2.825 men of wealth, that drink the dark water of Aesepus, even the Troes, these again were led by the glorious son of Lycaon, Pandarus, to whom Apollo himself gave the bow. And they that held Adrasteia and the land of Apaesus, and that held Pityeia and the steep mount of Tereia,
§ 2.830 these were led by Adrastus and Araphius, with corslet of linen, sons twain of Merops of Percote, that was above all men skilled in prophesying, and would not suffer his sons to go into war, the bane of men. But the twain would in no wise hearken, for the fates of black death were leading them on.
§ 2.835 And they that dwelt about Percote and Practius, and that held Sestus and Abydus and goodly Arisbe, these again were led by Hyrtacus' son Asius, a leader of men—Asius, son of Hyrtacus, whom his horses tawny and tall had borne from Arisbe, from the river Selleis.
§ 2.840 And Hippothous led the tribes of the Pelasgi, that rage with the spear, even them that dwelt in deep-soiled Larisa; these were led by Hippothous and Pylaeus, scion of Ares, sons twain of Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus. But the Thracians Acamas led and Peirous, the warrior,
§ 2.845 even all them that the strong stream of the Hellespont encloseth. And Euphemus was captain of the Ciconian spearmen, the son of Ceas' son Troezenus, nurtured of Zeus. But Pyraechmes led the Paeonians, with curved bows, from afar, out of Amydon from the wide-flowing Axius—
§ 2.850 Axius the water whereof floweth the fairest over the face of the earth. And the Paphlagonians did Pylaemenes of the shaggy heart lead from the land of the Eneti, whence is the race of wild she-mules. These were they that held Cytorus and dwelt about Sesamon, and had their famed dwellings around the river Parthenius
§ 2.855 and Cromna and Aegialus and lofty Erythini. But of the Halizones Odius and Epistrophus were captains from afar, from Alybe, where is the birth-place of silver. And of the Mysians the captains were Chromis and Ennomus the augur; howbeit with his auguries he warded not off black fate,
§ 2.860 but was slain beneath the hands of the son of Aeacus, swift of foot, in the river, where Achilles was making havoc of the Trojans and the others as well. And Phorcys and godlike Ascanius led the Phrygians from afar, from Ascania, and were eager to fight in the press of battle. And the Maeonians had captains twain, Mesthles and Antiphus,
§ 2.865 the two sons of Talaemenes, whose mother was the nymph of the Gygaean lake; and they led the Maeonians, whose birth was beneath Tmolos. And Nastes again led the Carians, uncouth of speech, who held Miletus and the mountain of Phthires, dense with its leafage, and the streams of Maeander, and the steep crests of Mycale.
§ 2.870 These were led by captains twain, Amphimachus and Nastes—Nastes and Amphimachus, the glorious children of Nomion. And he came to the war all decked with gold, like a girl, fool that he was; but his gold in no wise availed to ward off woeful destruction; nay, he was slain in the river beneath the hands of the son of Aeacus, swift of foot;
§ 3.1 BOOK 3
Now when they were marshalled, the several companies with their captains, the Trojans came on with clamour and with a cry like birds, even as the clamour of cranes ariseth before the face of heaven, when they flee from wintry storms and measureless rain,
§ 3.5 and with clamour fly toward the streams of Ocean, bearing slaughter and death to Pigmy men, and in the early dawn they offer evil battle. But the Achaeans came on in silence, breathing fury, eager at heart to bear aid each man to his fellow.
§ 3.10 Even as when the South Wind sheddeth a mist over the peaks of a mountain, a mist that the shepherd loveth not, but that to the robber is better than night, and a man can see only so far as he casteth a stone; even in such wise rose the dense dust-cloud from beneath their feet as they went; and full swiftly did they speed across the plain.
§ 3.15 Now when they were come near, as they advanced one host against the other, among the Trojans there stood forth as champion godlike Alexander, bearing upon his shoulders a panther skin and his curved bow, and his sword; and brandishing two spears tipped with bronze he challenged all the best of Argives
§ 3.20 to fight with him face to face in dread combat. But when Menelaus, dear to Ares, was ware of him as he came forth before the throng with long strides, then even as a lion is glad when he lighteth on a great carcase, having found a horned stag or a wild goat
§ 3.25 when he is hungry; for greedily doth he devour it, even though swift dogs and lusty youths set upon him: even so was Menelaus glad when his eyes beheld godlike Alexander; for he thought that he had gotten him vengeance on the sinner. And forthwith he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground.
§ 3.30 But when godlike Alexander was ware of him as he appeared among the champions, his heart was smitten, and back he shrank into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate. And even as a man at sight of a snake in the glades of a mountain starteth back, and trembling seizeth his limbs beneath him,
§ 3.35 and he withdraweth back again and pallor layeth hold of his cheeks; even so did godlike Alexander, seized with fear of Atreus' son, shrink back into the throng of the lordly Trojans. But Hector saw him, and chid him with words of shame: “Evil Paris, most fair to look upon, thou that art mad after women, thou beguiler,
§ 3.40 would that thou hadst ne'er been born and hadst died unwed. Aye, of that were I fain, and it had been better far than that thou shouldest thus be a reproach, and that men should look upon thee in scorn. Verily, methinks, will the long-haired Achaeans laugh aloud, deeming that a prince is our champion because a comely
§ 3.45 form is his, while there is no strength in his heart nor any valour. Was it in such strength as this that thou didst sail over the main in thy seafaring ships, when thou hadst gathered thy trusty comrades, and, coming to an alien folk, didst bring back a comely woman from a distant land, even a daughter of warriors who wield the spear,
§ 3.50 but to thy father and city and all the people a grievous bane—to thy foes a joy, but to thine own self a hanging down of the head? Wilt thou indeed not abide Menelaus, dear to Ares? Thou wouldest learn what manner of warrior he is whose lovely wife thou hast. Then will thy lyre help thee not, neither the gifts of Aphrodite,
§ 3.55 thy locks and thy comeliness, when thou shalt lie low in the dust. Nay, verily, the Trojans are utter cowards: else wouldest thou ere this have donned a coat of stone by reason of all the evil thou hast wrought.” And to him did godlike Alexander make answer, saying: “Hector, seeing that thou dost chide me duly, and not beyond what is due—
§ 3.60 ever is thy heart unyielding, even as an axe that is driven through a beam by the hand of man that skilfully shapeth a ship's timber, and it maketh the force of his blow to wax; even so is the heart in thy breast undaunted—cast not in my teeth the lovely gifts of golden Aphrodite.
§ 3.65 Not to be flung aside, look you, are the glorious gifts of the gods, even all that of themselves they give, whereas by his own will could no man win them. But now, if thou wilt have me war and do battle, make the other Trojans to sit down and all the Achaeans, but set ye me in the midst and Menelaus, dear to Ares,
§ 3.70 to do battle for Helen and all her possessions. And whichsoever of us twain shall win, and prove him the better man, let him duly take all the wealth and the woman, and bear them to his home. But for you others, do ye swear friendship and oaths of faith with sacrifice. So should ye dwell in deep-soiled Troyland, and let them return
§ 3.75 to Argos, pasture-land of horses, and to Achaea, the land of fair women.” So spake he, and Hector rejoiced greatly when he heard his words; and he went into the midst, and kept back the battalions of the Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down.
§ 3.80 But the long-haired Achaeans sought the while to aim their arrows at him, and to smite him, and to cast at him with stones. But aloud shouted Agamemnon, king of men: “Hold, ye Argives, shoot no more, ye youths of the Achaeans; for Hector of the flashing helm makes as though he would say somewhat.” So spake he, and they stayed them from battle, and became silent forthwith.
§ 3.85 And Hector spake between the two hosts: “Hear from me, ye Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans, the words of Alexander, for whose sake strife hath been set afoot. The other Trojans and all the Achaeans he biddeth to lay aside their goodly battle-gear upon the bounteous earth,
§ 3.90 and himself in the midst and Menelaus, dear to Ares, to do battle for Helen and all her possessions. And whichsoever of the twain shall win, and prove him the better man, let him duly take all the wealth and the woman, and bear them to his home; but for us others, let us swear friendship and oaths of faith with sacrifice.”
§ 3.95 So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence; and among them spake Menelaus, good at the war-cry: “Hearken ye now also unto me, for upon my heart above all others hath sorrow come; my mind is that Argives and Trojans now be parted, seeing ye have suffered many woes
§ 3.100 because of my quarrel and Alexander's beginning thereof. And for whichsoever of us twain death and fate are appointed, let him lie dead; but be ye others parted with all speed. Bring ye two lambs, a white ram and a black ewe, for Earth and Sun, and for Zeus we will bring another;
§ 3.105 and fetch ye hither the mighty Priam, that he may himself swear an oath with sacrifice, seeing that his sons are over-weening and faithless; lest any by presumptuous act should do violence to the oaths of Zeus. Ever unstable are the hearts of the young; but in whatsoever an old man taketh part, he looketh both before and after,
§ 3.110 that the issue may be far the best for either side.” So spake he, and the Achaeans and Trojans waxed glad, deeming that they had won rest from woeful war. So they stayed their chariots in the ranks, and themselves stepped forth, and did off their battle-gear. This they laid upon the ground,
§ 3.115 each hard by each, and there was but little space between. And Hector sent to the city heralds twain with all speed to fetch the lambs and to summon Priam. And Talthybius did lord Agamemnon send forth to the hollow ships, and bade him bring a lamb;
§ 3.120 and he failed not to hearken to goodly Agamemnon. But Iris went as a messenger to white-armed Helen, in the likeness of her husband's sister, the wife of Antenor's son, even her that lord Helicaon, Antenor's son, had to wife, Laodice, the comeliest of the daughters of Priam.
§ 3.125 She found Helen in the hall, where she was weaving a great purple web of double fold, and thereon was broidering many battles of the horse-taming Trojans and the brazen-coated Achaeans, that for her sake they had endured at the hands of Ares. Close to her side then came Iris, swift of foot, and spake to her, saying:
§ 3.130 “Come hither, dear lady, that thou mayest behold the wondrous doings of the horse-taming Trojans and the brazen-coated Achaeans. They that of old were wont to wage tearful war against one another on the plain, their hearts set on deadly battle, even they abide now in silence, and the battle has ceased,
§ 3.135 and they lean upon their shields, and beside them their long spears are fixed. But Alexander and Menelaus, dear to Ares, will do battle with their long spears for thee; and whoso shall conquer, his dear wife shalt thou be called.” So spake the goddess, and put into her heart sweet longing
§ 3.140 for her former lord and her city and parents; and straightway she veiled herself with shining linen, and went forth from her chamber, letting fall round tears, not alone, for with her followed two handmaids as well, Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, and ox-eyed Clymene;
§ 3.145 and with speed they came to the place where were the Scaean gates. And they that were about Priam and Panthous and Thymoetes and Lampus and Clytius and Hicetaon, scion of Ares, and Ucalegon and Antenor, men of prudence both, sat as elders of the people at the Scaean gates.
§ 3.150 Because of old age had they now ceased from battle, but speakers they were full good, like unto cicalas that in a forest sit upon a tree and pour forth their lily-like voice; even in such wise sat the leaders of the Trojans upon the wall. Now when they saw Helen coming upon the wall,
§ 3.155 softly they spake winged words one to another: “Small blame that Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans should for such a woman long time suffer woes; wondrously like is she to the immortal goddesses to look upon. But even so, for all that she is such an one, let her depart upon the ships,
§ 3.160 neither be left here to be a bane to us and to our children after us.” So they said, but Priam spake, and called Helen to him: “Come hither, dear child, and sit before me, that thou mayest see thy former lord and thy kinsfolk and thy people—thou art nowise to blame in my eyes; it is the gods, methinks, that are to blame,
§ 3.165 who roused against me the tearful war of the Achaeans —and that thou mayest tell me who is this huge warrior, this man of Achaea so valiant and so tall. Verily there be others that are even taller by a head, but so comely a man have mine eyes never yet beheld,
§ 3.170 neither one so royal: he is like unto one that is a king.” And Helen, fair among women, answered him, saying: “Revered art thou in mine eyes, dear father of my husband, and dread. Would that evil death had been my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my bridal chamber and my kinfolk
§ 3.175 and my daughter, well-beloved, and the lovely companions of my girlhood. But that was not to be; wherefore I pine away with weeping. Howbeit this will I tell thee, whereof thou dost ask and enquire. Yon man is the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, that is both a noble king and a valiant spearman.
§ 3.180 And he was husband's brother to shameless me, as sure as ever such a one there was.” So spake she, and the old man was seized with wonder, and said: “Ah, happy son of Atreus, child of fortune, blest of heaven; now see I that youths of the Achaeans full many are made subject unto thee. Ere now have I journeyed to the land of Phrygia, rich in vines,
§ 3.185 and there I saw in multitudes the Phrygian warriors, masters of glancing steeds, even the people of Otreus and godlike Mygdon, that were then encamped along the banks of Sangarius. For I, too, being their ally, was numbered among them on the day when the Amazons came, the peers of men.
§ 3.190 Howbeit not even they were as many as are the bright-eyed Achaeans.” And next the old man saw Odysseus, and asked: “Come now, tell me also of yonder man, dear child, who he is. Shorter is he by a head than Agamemnon, son of Atreus, but broader of shoulder and of chest to look upon.
§ 3.195 His battle-gear lieth upon the bounteous earth, but himself he rangeth like the bell-wether of a herd through the ranks of warriors. Like a ram he seemeth to me, a ram of thick fleece, that paceth through a great flock of white ewes.” To him made answer Helen, sprung from Zeus:
§ 3.200 “This again is Laertes' son, Odysseus of many wiles, that was reared in the land of Ithaca, rugged though it be, and he knoweth all manner of craft and cunning devices.” Then to her again made answer Antenor, the wise: “Lady, this verily is a true word that thou hast spoken,
§ 3.205 for erstwhile on a time goodly Odysseus came hither also on an embassy concerning thee, together with Menelaus, dear to Ares; and it was I that gave them entertainment and welcomed them in my halls, and came to know the form and stature of them both and their cunning devices. Now when they mingled with the Trojans, as they were gathered together,
§ 3.210 when they stood Menelaus overtopped him with his broad shoulders; howbeit when the twain were seated Odysseus was the more royal. But when they began to weave the web of speech and of counsel in the presence of all, Menelaus in truth spake fluently, with few words, but very clearly, seeing he was not a man of lengthy speech
§ 3.215 nor of rambling, though verily in years he was the younger. But whenever Odysseus of many wiles arose, he would stand and look down with eyes fixed upon the ground, and his staff he would move neither backwards nor forwards, but would hold it stiff, in semblance like a man of no understanding;
§ 3.220 thou wouldest have deemed him a churlish man and naught but a fool. But whenso he uttered his great voice from his chest, and words like snowflakes on a winter's day, then could no mortal man beside vie with Odysseus; then did we not so marvel to behold Odysseus' aspect.”
§ 3.225 And, thirdly, the old man saw Aias, and asked: “Who then is this other Achaean warrior, valiant and tall, towering above the Argives with his head and broad shoulders?” And to him made answer long-robed Helen, fair among women: “This is huge Aias, bulwark of the Achaeans.
§ 3.230 And Idomeneus over against him standeth amid the Cretans even as a god, and about him are gathered the captains of the Cretans. Full often was Menelaus, dear to Ares, wont to entertain him in our house, whenever he came from Crete. And now all the rest of the bright-eyed Achaeans do I see,
§ 3.235 whom I could well note, and tell their names; but two marshallers of the host can I not see, Castor, tamer of horses, and the goodly boxer, Polydeuces, even mine own brethren, whom the same mother bare. Either they followed not with the host from lovely Lacedaemon,
§ 3.240 or though they followed hither in their seafaring ships, they have now no heart to enter into the battle of warriors for fear of the words of shame and the many revilings that are mine.” So said she; but they ere now were fast holden of the life-giving earth there in Lacedaemon, in their dear native land.
§ 3.245 Meanwhile the heralds were bearing through the city the offerings for the holy oaths of the gods, two lambs and, in a goat-skin bottle, wine that maketh glad the heart, the fruit of the earth. And the herald Idaeus bare a shining bowl and golden cups; and he came to the old king's side and roused him, saying:
§ 3.250 “Rise, thou son of Laomedon, the chieftains of the horse-taming Trojans, and of the brazen-coated Achaeans, summon thee to go down into the plain, that ye may swear oaths of faith with sacrifice. But Alexander and Menelaus, dear to Ares, will do battle with long spears for the woman's sake;
§ 3.255 and whichsoever of the twain shall conquer, him let woman and treasure follow; and we others, swearing friendship and oaths of faith with sacrifice, should then dwell in deep-soiled Troy, but they will depart to Argos, pastureland of horses, and Achaea, the land of fair women.” So spake he, and the old man shuddered, yet bade his companions
§ 3.260 yoke the horses; and they speedily obeyed. Then Priam mounted and drew back the reins, and by his side Antenor mounted the beauteous car; and the twain drave the swift horses through the Scaean gates to the plain. But when they were now come to the Trojans and Achaeans,
§ 3.265 they stepped forth from the chariot upon the bounteous earth, and went into the midst of the Trojans and Achaeans. Straightway then rose up Agamemnon, king of men, and Odysseus of many wiles, and the lordly heralds brought together the offerings for the holy oaths of the gods, and mixed the wine in the bowl,
§ 3.270 and poured water over the hands of the kings. And the son of Atreus drew forth with his hand the knife that ever hung beside the great sheath of his sword, and cut hair from off the heads of the lambs; and the heralds portioned it out to the chieftains of the Trojans and Achaeans.
§ 3.275 Then in their midst Agamemnon lifted up his hands and prayed aloud: “Father Zeus, that rulest from Ida, most glorious, most great, and thou Sun, that beholdest all things and hearest all things, and ye rivers and thou earth, and ye that in the world below take vengeance on men that are done with life, whosoever hath sworn a false oath;
§ 3.280 be ye witnesses, and watch over the oaths of faith. If Alexander slay Menelaus, then let him keep Helen and all her treasure; and we will depart in our seafaring ships. But if so be fair-haired Menelaus shall slay Alexander,
§ 3.285 then let the Trojans give back Helen and all her treasure, and pay to the Argives in requital such recompense as beseemeth, even such as shall abide in the minds of men that are yet to be. Howbeit, if Priam and the sons of Priam be not minded to pay recompense unto me, when Alexander falleth,
§ 3.290 then will I fight on even thereafter, to get me recompense, and will abide here until I find an end of war.” He spake, and cut the lambs' throats with the pitiless bronze; and laid them down upon the ground gasping and failing of breath, for the bronze had robbed them of their strength.
§ 3.295 Then they drew wine from the bowl into the cups, and poured it forth, and made prayer to the gods that are for ever. And thus would one of the Achaeans and Trojans say: “Zeus, most glorious, most great, and ye other immortal gods, which host soever of the twain shall be first to work harm in defiance of the oaths,
§ 3.300 may their brains be thus poured forth upon the ground even as this wine, theirs and their children's; and may their wives be made slaves to others.” So spake they, but not yet was the son of Cronos to vouchsafe them fulfillment. Then in their midst spake Priam, Dardanus' son, saying: “Hearken to me, ye Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans.
§ 3.305 I verily will go my way back to windy Ilios, since I can in no wise bear to behold with mine eyes my dear son doing battle with Menelaus, dear to Ares. But this, I ween, Zeus knoweth, and the other immortal gods, for which of the twain the doom of death is ordained.”
§ 3.310 So spake the godlike man, and let place the lambs in his chariot, and himself mounted, and drew back the reins, and by his side Antenor mounted the beauteous car; and the twain departed back to Ilios. But Hector, Priam's son, and goodly Odysseus
§ 3.315 first measured out a space, and thereafter took the lots and shook them in the bronze-wrought helmet, to know which of the twain should first let fly his spear of bronze. And the people made prayer and lifted their hands to the gods; and thus would one of the Achaeans and Trojans speak:
§ 3.320 “Father Zeus, that rulest from Ida, most glorious, most great, whichsoever of the twain it be that brought these troubles upon both peoples, grant that he may die and enter the house of Hades, whereas to us there may come friendship and oaths of faith.” So spake they, and great Hector of the flashing helm shook the helmet,
§ 3.325 looking behind him the while; and straightway the lot of Paris leapt forth. Then the people sate them down in ranks, where were each man's high-stepping horses, and his inlaid armour was set. But goodly Alexander did on about his shoulders his beautiful armour, even he, the lord of fair-haired Helen.
§ 3.330 The greaves first he set about his legs; beautiful they were, and fitted with silver ankle-pieces; next he did on about his chest the corselet of his brother Lycaon, and fitted it to himself. And about his shoulders he cast his silver-studded sword
§ 3.335 of bronze, and thereafter his shield great and sturdy; and upon his mighty head he set a well-wrought helmet with horse-hair crest —and terribly did the plume nod from above— and he took a valorous spear, that fitted his grasp. And in the self-same manner warlike Menelaus did on his battle-gear.
§ 3.340 But when they had armed themselves on either side of the throng, they strode into the space between the Trojans and Achaeans, glaring terribly; and amazement came upon them that beheld, both the Trojans, tamers of horses, and the well-greaved Achaeans; and the twain took their stand near together in the measured space,
§ 3.345 brandishing their spears in wrath one at the other. First Alexander hurled his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon the son of Atreus' shield that was well balanced on every side ; howbeit the bronze brake not through but its point was turned in the stout shield. Next Atreus' son, Menelaus, rushed upon him with his spear,
§ 3.350 and made prayer to father Zeus: “Zeus, our king, grant that I may avenge me on him that was first to do me wrong, even on goodly Alexander, and subdue thou him beneath my hands; that many a one even of men yet to be may shudder to work evil to his host, that hath shown him friendship.”
§ 3.355 He spoke, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled it; and he smote upon the son of Priam's shield, that was well balanced upon every side. Through the bright shield went the mighty spear, and through the corselet, richly dight, did it force its way; and straight on beside his flank the spear shore through his tunic;
§ 3.360 but he bent aside and escaped black fate. Then the son of Atreus drew his silver-studded sword, and raising himself on high smote the horn of his helmet; but upon it his sword shattered in pieces three, aye, four, and fell from his hand. Then the son of Atreus uttered a bitter cry with a glance at the broad heaven:
§ 3.365 “Father Zeus, than thou is no other god more baleful. Verily I deemed that I had got me vengeance upon Alexander for his wickedness, but now is my sword broken in my hands, and forth from my grasp has my spear flown in vain, and I smote him not.” So saying, he sprang upon him, and seized him by the helmet with thick crest of horse-hair,
§ 3.370 and whirling him about began to drag him towards the well-greaved Achaeans; and Paris was choked by the richly-broidered strap beneath his soft throat, that was drawn tight beneath his chin to hold his helm. And now would Menelaus have dragged him away, and won glory unspeakable, had not Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus, been quick to see,
§ 3.375 and to his cost broken in twain the thong, cut from the hide of a slaughtered ox; and the empty helm came away in his strong hand. This he then tossed with a swing into the company of the well-greaved Achaeans, and his trusty comrades gathered it up; but himself he sprang back again, eager to slay his foe
§ 3.380 with spear of bronze. But him Aphrodite snatched up, full easily as a goddess may, and shrouded him in thick mist, and set him down in his fragrant, vaulted chamber, and herself went to summon Helen. Her she found on the high wall, and round about her in throngs were the women of Troy.
§ 3.385 Then with her hand the goddess laid hold of her fragrant robe, and plucked it, and spake to her in the likeness of an ancient dame, a wool-comber, who had been wont to card the fair wool for her when she dwelt in Lacedaemon, and who was well loved of her; in her likeness fair Aphrodite spake:
§ 3.390 “Come hither; Alexander calleth thee to go to thy home. There is he in his chamber and on his inlaid couch, gleaming with beauty and fair raiment. Thou wouldest not deem that he had come thither from warring with a foe, but rather that he was going to the dance, or sat there as one that had but newly ceased from the dance.”
§ 3.395 So spake she, and stirred Helen's heart in her breast; and when she marked the beauteous neck of the goddess, her lovely bosom, and her flashing eyes, then amazement seized her, and she spake, and addressed her, saying: “Strange goddess, why art thou minded to beguile me thus?
§ 3.400 Verily thou wilt lead me yet further on to one of the well-peopled cities of Phrygia or lovely Maeonia, if there too there be some one of mortal men who is dear to thee, seeing that now Menelaus hath conquered goodly Alexander, and is minded to lead hateful me to his home.
§ 3.405 It is for this cause that thou art now come hither with guileful thought. Go thou, and sit by his side, and depart from the way of the gods, neither let thy feet any more bear thee back to Olympus; but ever be thou troubled for him, and guard him, until he make thee his wife, or haply his slave.
§ 3.410 But thither will I not go—it were a shameful thing—to array that man's couch; all the women of Troy will blame me hereafter; and I have measureless griefs at heart.” Then stirred to wrath fair Aphrodite spake to her: “Provoke me not, rash woman, lest I wax wroth and desert thee,
§ 3.415 and hate thee, even as now I love thee wondrously; and lest I devise grievous hatred between both, Trojans alike and Danaans; then wouldst thou perish of an evil fate.” So spake she, and Helen, sprung from Zeus, was seized with fear; and she went, wrapping herself in her bright shining mantle,
§ 3.420 in silence; and she was unseen of the Trojan women; and the goddess led the way. Now when they were come to the beautiful palace of Alexander, the handmaids turned forthwith to their tasks, but she, the fair lady, went to the high-roofed chamber. And the goddess, laughter-loving Aphrodite, took for her a chair,
§ 3.425 and set it before the face of Alexander. Thereon Helen sate her down, the daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis, with eyes turned askance; and she chid her lord, and said: “Thou hast come back from the war; would thou hadst perished there, vanquished by a valiant man that was my former lord.
§ 3.430 Verily it was thy boast aforetime that thou wast a better man than Menelaus, dear to Ares, in the might of thy hands and with thy spear. But go now, challenge Menelaus, dear to Ares, again to do battle with thee, man to man. But, nay, I of myself bid thee refrain, and not war amain against fair-haired Menelaus,
§ 3.435 nor fight with him in thy folly, lest haply thou be vanquished anon by his spear.” Then Paris made answer, and spake to her, saying: “Chide not my heart, lady, with hard words of reviling. For this present hath Menelaus vanquished me with Athene's aid,
§ 3.440 but another time shall I vanquish him; on our side too there be gods. But come, let us take our joy, couched together in love; for never yet hath desire so encompassed my soul—nay, not when at the first I snatched thee from lovely Lacedaemon and sailed with thee on my seafaring ships,
§ 3.445 and on the isle of Cranae had dalliance with thee on the couch of love—as now I love thee, and sweet desire layeth hold of me.” He spake, and led the way to the couch, and with him followed his wife. Thus the twain were couched upon the corded bed; but the son of Atreus ranged through the throng like a wild beast,
§ 3.450 if anywhere he might have sight of godlike Alexander. But none of the Trojans or their famed allies could then discover Alexander to Menelaus, dear to Ares. Not for love verily were they fain to hide him, could any have seen him, for he was hated of all even as black death.
§ 3.455 Then the king of men, Agamemnon, spake among them, saying: “Hearken to me, ye Trojans and Dardanians and allies. Victory is now of a surety seen to rest with Menelaus, dear to Ares; do ye therefore give up Argive Helen and the treasure with her, and pay ye in requital such recompense as beseemeth,
§ 3.460 even such as shall abide in the minds of men that are yet to be.” So spake the son of Atreus, and all the Achaeans shouted assent.
§ 4.1 BOOK 4
Now the gods, seated by the side of Zeus, were holding assembly on the golden floor, and in their midst the queenly Hebe poured them nectar, and they with golden goblets pledged one the other as they looked forth upon the city of the Trojans.
§ 4.5 And forthwith the son of Cronos made essay to provoke Hera with mocking words, and said with malice: “Twain of the goddesses hath Menelaus for helpers, even Argive Hera, and Alalcomenean Athene. Howbeit these verily sit apart and take their pleasure in beholding,
§ 4.10 whereas by the side of that other laughter-loving Aphrodite ever standeth, and wardeth from him fate, and but now she saved him, when he thought to perish. But of a surety victory rests with Menelaus, dear to Ares; let us therefore take thought how these things are to be;
§ 4.15 whether we shall again rouse evil war and the dread din of battle, or put friendship between the hosts. If this might in any wise be welcome to all and their good pleasure, then might the city of king Priam still be an habitation, and Menelaus take back Argive Helen.”
§ 4.20 So spake he, and thereat Athene and Hera murmured, who sat side by side, and were devising ills for the Trojans. Athene verily held her peace and said naught, wroth though she was at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold of her; howbeit Hera's breast contained not her anger, but she spake to him, saying:
§ 4.25 “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! How art thou minded to render my labour vain and of none effect, and the sweat that I sweated in my toil,—aye, and my horses twain waxed weary with my summoning the host for the bane of Priam and his sons? Do thou as thou wilt; but be sure we other gods assent not all thereto.”
§ 4.30 Then, stirred to hot anger, spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: “Strange queen, wherein do Priam and the sons of Priam work thee ills so many, that thou ragest unceasingly to lay waste the well-built citadel of Ilios? If thou wert to enter within the gates and the high walls,
§ 4.35 and to devour Priam raw and the sons of Priam and all the Trojans besides, then perchance mightest thou heal thine anger. Do as thy pleasure is; let not this quarrel in time to come be to thee and me a grievous cause of strife between us twain. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart.
§ 4.40 When it shall be that I, vehemently eager to lay waste a city, choose one wherein dwell men that are dear to thee, seek thou in no wise to hinder my anger, but suffer me; since I too have yielded to thee of mine own will, yet with soul unwilling. For of all cities beneath sun and starry heaven
§ 4.45 wherein men that dwell upon the face of the earth have their abodes, of these sacred Ilios was most honoured of my heart, and Priam and the people of Priam, with goodly spear of ash. For never at any time was mine altar in lack of the equal feast, the drink-offering, and the savour of burnt-offering, even the worship that is our due.”
§ 4.50 Then in answer to him spake ox-eyed, queenly Hera: “Verily have I three cities that are far dearest in my sight, Argos and Sparta and broad-wayed Mycenae; these do thou lay waste whensoe'er they shall be hateful to thy heart. Not in their defence do I stand forth, nor account them too greatly.
§ 4.55 For even though I grudge thee, and am fain to thwart their overthrow, I avail naught by my grudging, for truly thou art far the mightier. Still it beseemeth that my labour too be not made of none effect; for I also am a god, and my birth is from the stock whence is thine own, and crooked-counselling Cronos begat me as the most honoured of his daughters
§ 4.60 in twofold wise, for that I am eldest, and am called thy wife, whilst thou art king among all the immortals. Nay then, let us yield one to the other herein, I to thee and thou to me, and all the other immortal gods will follow with us; and do thou straightway bid Athene
§ 4.65 go her way into the dread din of battle of Trojans and Achaeans, and contrive how that the Trojans may be first in defiance of their oaths to work evil upon the Achaeans that exult in their triumph.” So said she, and the father of men and gods failed not to hearken; forthwith he spake to Athene winged words:
§ 4.70 “Haste thee with all speed unto the host into the midst of Trojans and Achaeans, and contrive how that the Trojans may be first in defiance of their oaths to work evil upon the Achaeans that exult in their triumph.” So saying, he stirred on Athene that was already eager, and down from the peaks of Olympus she went darting.
§ 4.75 Even in such wise as the son of crooked-counselling Cronos sendeth a star to be a portent for seamen or for a wide host of warriors, a gleaming star, and therefrom the sparks fly thick; even so darted Pallas Athene to earth, and down she leapt into the midst; and amazement came upon all that beheld,
§ 4.80 on horse-taming Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans; and thus would a man say with a glance at his neighbour: “Verily shall we again have evil war and the dread din of battle, or else friendship is set amid the hosts by Zeus, who is for men the dispenser of battle.”
§ 4.85 So would many a one of Achaeans and Trojans speak. But Athene entered the throng of the Trojans in the guise of a man, even of Laodocus, son of Antenor, a valiant spearman, in quest of god-like Pandarus, if haply she might find him. And she found Lycaon's son, peerless and stalwart,
§ 4.90 as he stood, and about him were the stalwart ranks of the shield-bearing hosts that followed him from the streams of Aesepus. Then she drew near, and spake to him winged words: “Wilt thou now hearken to me, thou wise-hearted son of Lycaon? Then wouldst thou dare to let fly a swift arrow upon Menelaus,
§ 4.95 and wouldst win favour and renown in the eyes of all the Trojans, and of king Alexander most of all. From him of a surety wouldst thou before all others bear off glorious gifts, should he see Menelaus, the warlike son of Atreus, laid low by thy shaft, and set upon the grievous pyre.
§ 4.100 Nay, come, shoot thine arrow at glorious Menelaus, and vow to Apollo, the wolf-born god, famed for his bow, that thou wilt sacrifice a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs, when thou shalt come to thy home, the city of sacred Zeleia.” So spake Athene, and persuaded his heart in his folly.
§ 4.105 Straightway he uncovered his polished bow of the horn of a wild ibex, that himself on a time had smitten beneath the breast as it came forth from a rock, he lying in wait the while in a place of ambush, and had struck it in the chest, so that it fell backward in a cleft of the rock. From its head the horns grew to a length of sixteen palms;
§ 4.110 these the worker in horn had wrought and fitted together, and smoothed all with care, and set thereon a tip of gold. This bow he bent, leaning it against the ground, and laid it carefully down; and his goodly comrades held their shields before him, lest the warrior sons of the Achaeans should leap to their feet
§ 4.115 or ever Menelaus, the warlike son of Atreus, was smitten. Then opened he the lid of his quiver, and took forth an arrow, a feathered arrow that had never been shot, freighted with dark pains; and forthwith he fitted the bitter arrow to the string, and made a vow to Apollo, the wolf-born god, famed for his bow,
§ 4.120 that he would sacrifice a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs, when he should come to his home, the city of sacred Zeleia. And he drew the bow, clutching at once the notched arrow and the string of ox's sinew: the string he brought to his breast and to the bow the iron arrow-head. But when he had drawn the great bow into a round,
§ 4.125 the bow twanged and the string sang aloud, and the keen arrow leapt, eager to wing its way amid the throng. Then, O Menelaus, the blessed gods, the immortals, forgat thee not; and before all the daughter of Zeus, she that driveth the spoil, who took her stand before thee, and warded off the stinging arrow.
§ 4.130 She swept it just aside from the flesh, even as a mother sweepeth a fly from her child when he lieth in sweet slumber; and of herself she guided it where the golden clasps of the belt were fastened and the corselet overlapped. On the clasped belt lighted the bitter arrow,
§ 4.135 and through the belt richly dight was it driven, and clean through the curiously wrought corselet did it force its way, and through the taslet which he wore, a screen for his flesh and a barrier against darts, wherein was his chiefest defence; yet even through this did it speed. So the arrow grazed the outermost flesh of the warrior,
§ 4.140 and forthwith the dark blood flowed from the wound. As when a woman staineth ivory with scarlet, some woman of Maeonia or Caria, to make a cheek-piece for horses, and it lieth in a treasure-chamber, though many horsemen pray to wear it; but it lieth there as a king's treasure,
§ 4.145 alike an ornament for his horse and to its driver a glory; even in such wise, Menelaus, were thy thighs stained with blood, thy shapely thighs and thy legs and thy fair ankles beneath. Thereat shuddered the king of men, Agamemnon, as he saw the black blood flowing from the wound,
§ 4.150 and Menelaus, dear to Ares, himself likewise shuddered. But when he saw that the sinew and the barbs were without the flesh, back again into his breast was his spirit gathered. But with a heavy moan spake among them lord Agamemnon, holding Menelaus by the hand; and his comrades too made moan:
§ 4.155 “Dear brother, it was for thy death, meseems, that I swore this oath with sacrifice, setting thee forth alone before the face of the Achaeans to do battle with the Trojans, seeing the Trojans have thus smitten thee, and trodden under foot the oaths of faith. Yet in no wise is an oath of none effect and the blood of lambs and drink-offerings of unmixed wine and the hand-clasps, wherein we put our trust.
§ 4.160 For even if for the moment the Olympian vouchsafeth not fulfillment, yet late and at length doth he fulfill them, and with a heavy price do men make atonement, even with their own heads and their wives and their children. For of a surety know I this in heart and soul: the day shall come when sacred Ilios shall be laid low,
§ 4.165 and Priam, and the people of Priam, with goodly spear of ash; and Zeus, son of Cronos, throned on high, that dwelleth in the heaven, shall himself shake over them all his dark aegis in wrath for this deceit. These things verily shall not fail of fulfillment; yet dread grief for thee shall be mine, O Menelaus,
§ 4.170 if thou shalt die and fill up thy lot of life. Aye, and as one most despised should I return to thirsty Argos, for straightway will the Achaeans bethink them of their native land, and so should we leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Argive Helen. And thy bones shall the earth rot
§ 4.175 as thou liest in the land of Troy with thy task unfinished; and thus shall many a one of the overweening Trojans say, as he leapeth upon the barrow of glorious Menelaus: “Would that in every matter it may he thus that Agamemnon may fulfill his wrath, even as now he led hither a host of the Achaeans to no purpose, and lo!
§ 4.180 he hath departed home to his dear native land with empty ships, and hath left here noble Menelaus.” So shall some man speak in aftertime; in that day let the wide earth gape for me.” But fair-haired Menelaus spake and heartened him, saying: “Be thou of good cheer, neither affright in any wise the host of the Achaeans.
§ 4.185 Not in a fatal spot hath the shaft been fixed; ere that my flashing belt stayed it, and the kilt beneath, and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned.” Then in answer to him spake lord Agamemnon: “Would it may be so, dear Menelaus.
§ 4.190 But the leech shall search the wound and lay thereon simples that shall make thee cease from dark pains.” Therewith he spake to Talthybius, the godlike herald: “Talthybius, make haste to call hither Machaon, son of Asclepius, the peerless leech,
§ 4.195 to see warlike Menelaus, son of Atreus, whom some man well skilled in archery hath smitten with an arrow, some Trojan or Lycian, compassing glory for himself but for us sorrow.” So spake he, and the herald failed not to hearken, as he heard, but went his way throughout the host of the brazen-coated Achaeans,
§ 4.200 glancing this way and that for the warrior Machaon; and he marked him as he stood, and round about him were the stalwart ranks of the shield-bearing hosts that followed him from Tricca, the pastureland of horses. And he came up to him, and spake winged words, saying: “Rouse thee, son of Asclepius; lord Agamemnon calleth thee
§ 4.205 to see warlike Menelaus, captain of the Achaeans, whom some man, well skilled in archery, hath smitten with an arrow, some Trojan or Lycian, compassing glory for himself but for us sorrow.” So spake he, and roused the heart in his breast, and they went their way in the throng throughout the broad host of the Achaeans. And when they were come where was fair-haired Menelaus,
§ 4.210 wounded, and around him were gathered in a circle all they that were chieftains, the godlike hero came and stood in their midst, and straightway drew forth the arrow from the clasped belt; and as it was drawn forth the sharp barbs were broken backwards.
§ 4.215 And he loosed the flashing belt and the kilt beneath and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned. But when he saw the wound where the bitter arrow had lighted, he sucked out the blood, and with sure knowledge spread thereon soothing simples, which of old Cheiron had given to his father with kindly thought.
§ 4.220 While they were thus busied with Menelaus, good at the war-cry, meanwhile the ranks of the shield-bearing Trojans came on; and the Achaeans again did on their battle-gear, and bethought them of war. Then wouldst thou not have seen goodly Agamemnon slumbering, nor cowering, nor with no heart for fight,
§ 4.225 but full eager for battle where men win glory. His horses and his chariot adorned with bronze he let be, and his squire, Eurymedon, son of Peiraeus' son Ptolemaeus, kept the snorting steeds withdrawn apart; and straitly did Agamemnon charge him to have them at hand, whenever
§ 4.230 weariness should come upon his limbs, as he gave commands throughout all the host; but he himself ranged on foot through the ranks of warriors. And whomsoever of the Danaans with swift steeds he saw eager, to these would he draw nigh, and hearten them earnestly, saying: “Ye Argives, relax ye no whit of your furious valour;
§ 4.235 for father Zeus will be no helper of lies; nay, they that were the first to work violence in defiance of their oaths, their tender flesh of a surety shall vultures devour, and we shall bear away in our ships their dear wives and little children, when we shall have taken their citadel.”
§ 4.240 And whomsoever again he saw holding back from hateful war, them would he chide roundly with angry words: “Ye Argives that rage with the bow, ye men of dishonour, have ye no shame? Why is it that ye stand thus dazed, like fawns that, when they have grown weary with running over a wide plain,
§ 4.245 stand still, and in their hearts is no valour found at all? Even so ye stand dazed and fight not. Is it that ye wait for the Trojans to come near where your ships with stately sterns are drawn up on the shore of the grey sea, that ye may know if haply the son of Cronos will stretch forth his arm over you?”
§ 4.250 Thus ranged he giving his commands through the ranks of warriors; and he came to the Cretans as he fared through the throng of men. These were arming them for war around wise-hearted Idomeneus; and Idomeneus stood amid the foremost fighters like a wild boar in valour, while Meriones was speeding on the hindmost battalions.
§ 4.255 At sight of them Agamemnon, king of men, waxed glad, and forthwith he spake to Idomeneus with gentle words: “Idomeneus, beyond all the Danaans with swift steeds do I show honour to thee both in war and in tasks of other sort, and at the feast, when the chieftains of the Argives let mingle in the bowl the flaming wine of the elders.
§ 4.260 For even though the other long-haired Achaeans drink an allotted portion, thy cup standeth ever full, even as for mine own self, to drink whensoever thy heart biddeth thee. Come, rouse thee for battle, such a one as of old thou declaredst thyself to be.”
§ 4.265 To him then Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, made answer, saying: “Son of Atreus, of a surety will I be to thee a trusty comrade, even as at the first I promised and gave my pledge; but do thou urge on the other long-haired Achaeans that we may fight with speed, seeing the Trojans have made of none effect our oaths.
§ 4.270 Death and woes shall hereafter be their lot, for that they were the first to work violence in defiance of the oaths.” So spake he, and the son of Atreus passed on, glad at heart, and came to the Aiantes as he fared through the throng of warriors;
§ 4.275 these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave;
§ 4.280 even in such wise by the side of the Aiantes did the thick battalions of youths, nurtured of Zeus, move into furious war—dark battalions, bristling with shields and spears. At sight of these lord Agamemnon waxed glad, and he spake and addressed them with winged words:
§ 4.285 “Ye Aiantes, leaders of the brazen-coated Argives, to you twain, for it beseemeth not to urge you, I give no charge; for of yourselves ye verily bid your people fight amain. I would, O father Zeus and Athene and Apollo, that such spirit as yours might be found in the breasts of all;
§ 4.290 then would the city of king Priam forthwith bow her head, taken and laid waste beneath our hands.” So saying, he left them there and went to others. Then found he Nestor, the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, arraying his comrades and urging them to fight,
§ 4.295 around mighty Pelagon and Alastor and Chromius and lord Haemon and Bias, shepherd of the host. The charioteers first he arrayed with their horses and cars, and behind them the footmen, many and valiant, to be a bulwark of battle; but the cowards he drave into the midst,
§ 4.300 that were he never so loath each man must needs fight perforce. Upon the charioteers was he first laying charge, and he bade them keep their horses in hand, nor drive tumultuously on amid the throng. “Neither let any man, trusting in his horsemanship and his valour, be eager to fight with the Trojans alone in front of the rest,
§ 4.305 nor yet let him draw back; for so will ye be the feebler. But what man soe'er from his own car can come at a car of the foe, let him thrust forth with his spear, since verily it is far better so. Thus also did men of olden time lay waste cities and walls, having in their breasts mind and spirit such as this.”
§ 4.310 So was the old man urging them on, having knowledge of battles from of old. At sight of him lord Agamemnon waxed glad, and he spake, and addressed him with winged words: “Old Sir, I would that even as is the spirit in thy breast, so thy limbs might obey, and thy strength be firm.
§ 4.315 But evil old age presseth hard upon thee; would that some other among the warriors had thy years, and that thou wert among the youths.” To him then made answer the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia: “Son of Atreus, verily I myself could wish that I were such a one as on the day when I slew goodly Ereuthalion.
§ 4.320 But in no wise do the gods grant to men all things at one time. As I was then a youth, so now doth old age attend me. Yet even so will I abide among the charioteers and urge them on by counsel and by words; for that is the office of elders. Spears shall the young men wield
§ 4.325 who are more youthful than I and have confidence in their strength.” So spake he, and the son of Atreus passed on glad at heart. He found Menestheus, driver of horses, son of Peteos, as he stood, and about him were the Athenians, masters of the war-cry. And hard by stood Odysseus of many wiles,
§ 4.330 and with him the ranks of the Cephallenians, no weakling folk, stood still; for their host had not as yet heard the war-cry, seeing the battalions of the horse-taming Trojans and the Achaeans had but newly bestirred them to move; wherefore these stood, and waited until some other serried battalions of the Achaeans should advance
§ 4.335 to set upon the Trojans, and begin the battle. At sight of these Agamemnon, king of men, chid them, and spoke, and addressed them with winged words: “O son of Peteos, the king nurtured of Zeus, and thou that excellest in evil wiles, thou of crafty mind,
§ 4.340 why stand ye apart cowering, and wait for others? For you twain were it seemly that ye take your stand amid the foremost, and confront blazing battle; for ye are the first to hear my bidding to the feast, whenso we Achaeans make ready a banquet for the elders.
§ 4.345 Then are ye glad to eat roast meat and drink cups of honey-sweet wine as long as ye will. But now would ye gladly behold it, aye if ten serried battalions of the Achaeans were to fight in front of you with the pitiless bronze.” Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows Odysseus of many wiles addressed him:
§ 4.350 “Son of Atreus, what a word hath escaped the barrier of thy teeth! How sayest thou that we are slack in battle, whenso we Achaeans rouse keen war against the horse-taming Trojans? Thou shalt see, if so be thou wilt and if thou carest aught therefor, the father of Telemachus mingling with the foremost fighters
§ 4.355 of the horse-taming Trojans. This that thou sayest is as empty wind.” Then lord Agamemnon spake to him with a smile, when he knew that he was wroth, and took back his words: “Zeus-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, neither do I chide thee overmuch nor urge thee on,
§ 4.360 for I know that the heart in thy breast knoweth kindly thoughts, seeing thou art minded even as I am. Nay, come, these things will we make good hereafter, if any harsh word hath been spoken now; and may the gods make all to come to naught.” So saying he left them there and went to others.
§ 4.365 Then found he the son of Tydeus, Diomedes high of heart, as he stood in his jointed car; and by his side stood Sthenelus, son of Capaneus. At sight of him too lord Agamemnon chid him, and spake and addressed him with winged words:
§ 4.370 “Ah me, thou son of wise-hearted Tydeus, tamer of horses, why cowerest thou, why gazest thou at the dykes of battle?8 Tydeus of a surety was not wont thus to cower, but far in advance of his comrades to fight against the foe, as they tell who saw him amid the toil of war; for I never
§ 4.375 met him, neither saw him; but men say that he was pre-eminent over all. Once verily he came to Mycenae, not as an enemy, but as a guest, in company with godlike Polyneices, to gather a host; for in that day they were waging a war against the sacred walls of Thebe, and earnestly did they make prayer that glorious allies be granted them;
§ 4.380 and the men of Mycenae were minded to grant them, and were assenting even as they bade, but Zeus turned their minds by showing tokens of ill. So when they had departed and were with deep reeds, that coucheth in the grass, there did the Achaeans send forth Tydeus on an embassage.
§ 4.385 And he went his way, and found the many sons of Cadmus feasting in the house of mighty Eteocles. Then, for all he was a stranger, the horseman Tydeus feared not, all alone though he was amid the many Cadmeians, but challenged them all to feats of strength and in every one vanquished he them
§ 4.390 full easily; such a helper was Athene to him. But the Cadmeians, goaders of horses, waxed wroth, and as he journeyed back, brought and set a strong ambush, even fifty youths, and two there were as leaders, Maeon, son of Haemon, peer of the immortals,
§ 4.395 and Autophonus' son, Polyphontes, staunch in fight. But Tydeus even upon these let loose a shameful fate, and slew them all; one only man suffered he to return home; Maeon he sent forth in obedience to the portents of the gods. Such a man was Tydeus of Aetolia; howbeit the son
§ 4.400 that he begat is worse than he in battle, though in the place of gathering he is better.” So he spake, and stalwart Diomedes answered him not a word, but had respect to the reproof of the king revered. But the son of glorious Capaneus made answer. “Son of Atreus, utter not lies, when thou knowest how to speak truly.
§ 4.405 We declare ourselves to be better men by far than our fathers: we took the seat of Thebe of the seven gates, when we twain had gathered a lesser host against a stronger wall, putting our trust in the portents of the gods and in the aid of Zeus; whereas they perished through their own blind folly.
§ 4.410 Wherefore I bid thee put not our fathers in like honour with us.” Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows stalwart Diomedes addressed him: “Good friend, abide in silence, and hearken to my word. I count it not shame that Agamemnon, shepherd of the host, should urge on to battle the well-greaved Achaeans;
§ 4.415 for upon him will great glory attend if the Achaeans shall slay the Trojans and take sacred Ilios, and upon him likewise will fall great sorrow, if the Achaeans be slain. Nay, come, let us twain also bethink us of furious valour.” He spake, and leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground,
§ 4.420 and terribly rang the bronze upon the breast of the prince as he moved; thereat might terror have seized even one that was steadfast of heart. As when on a sounding beach the swell of the sea beats, wave after wave, before the driving of the West Wind; out on the deep at the first is it gathered in a crest, but thereafter
§ 4.425 is broken upon the land and thundereth aloud, and round about the headlands it swelleth and reareth its head, and speweth forth the salt brine: even in such wise on that day did the battalions of the Danaans move, rank after rank, without cease, into battle; and each captain gave charge to his own men, and the rest marched on in silence; thou wouldst not have deemed
§ 4.430 that they that followed in such multitudes had any voice in their breasts, all silent as they were through fear of their commanders; and on every man flashed the inlaid armour wherewith they went clad. But for the Trojans, even as ewes stand in throngs past counting in the court of a man of much substance to be milked of their white milk,
§ 4.435 and bleat without ceasing as they near the voices of their lambs: even so arose the clamour of the Trojans throughout the wide host; for they had not all like speech or one language, but their tongues were mingled, and they were a folk summoned from many lands. These were urged on by Ares, and the Greeks by flashing-eyed Athene,
§ 4.440 and Terror, and Rout, and Discord that rageth incessantly, sister and comrade of man-slaying Ares; she at the first rears her crest but little, yet thereafter planteth her head in heaven, while her feet tread on earth. She it was that now cast evil strife into their midst
§ 4.445 as she fared through the throng, making the groanings of men to wax. Now when they were met together and come into one place, then dashed they together shields and spears and the fury of bronze-mailed warriors; and the bossed shields closed each with each, and a great din arose.
§ 4.450 Then were heard alike the sound of groaning and the cry of triumph of the slayers and the slain, and the earth flowed with blood. As when winter torrents, flowing down the mountains from their great springs to a place where two valleys meet, join their mighty floods in a deep gorge,
§ 4.455 and far off amid the mountains the shepherd heareth the thunder thereof; even so from the joining of these in battle came shouting and toil. Antilochus was first to slay a warrior of the Trojans in full armour, a goodly man amid the foremost fighters, Echepolus, son of Thalysius. Him was he first to smite upon the horn of his helmet with crest of horse-hair,
§ 4.460 and into his forehead drave the spear, and the point of bronze passed within the bone; and darkness enfolded his eyes, and he crashed as doth a wall, in the mighty conflict. As he fell lord Elephenor caught him by the feet, the son he of Chalcodon, and captain of the great-souled Abantes,
§ 4.465 and sought to drag him from beneath the missiles, fain with all speed to strip off his armour; yet but for a scant space did his striving endure; for as he was haling the corpse great-souled Agenor caught sight of him, and where his side was left uncovered of his shield, as he stooped, even there; he smote him with a thrust of his bronze-shod spear, and loosed his limbs.
§ 4.470 So his spirit left him, and over his body was wrought grievous toil of Trojans and Achaeans. Even as wolves leapt they one upon the other, and man made man to reel. Then Telamonian Aias smote Anthemion's son, the lusty youth Simoeisius, whom on a time his mother
§ 4.475 had born beside the banks of Simois, as she journeyed down from Ida, whither she had followed with her parents to see their flocks. For this cause they called him Simoeisius; yet paid he not back to his dear parents the recompense of his upbringing, and but brief was the span of his life, for that he was laid low by the spear of great-souled Aias.
§ 4.480 For, as he strode amid the foremost, he was smitten on the right breast beside the nipple; and clean through his shoulder went the spear of bronze, and he fell to the ground in the dust like a poplar tree that hath grown up in the bottom land of a great marsh, smooth of stem, but from the top thereof branches grow:
§ 4.485 this hath some wainwright felled with the gleaming iron that he might bend him a felloe for a beauteous chariot, and it lieth drying by a river's banks. Even in such wise did Zeus-born Aias slay Simoeisius, son of Anthemion. And at him Priam's son Antiphus, of the flashing corselet,
§ 4.490 cast with his sharp spear amid the throng. Him he missed, but smote in the groin Odysseus' goodly comrade, Leucus, as he was drawing the corpse to the other side; so he fell upon it, and the body slipped from his grasp. For his slaying waxed Odysseus mightily wroth at heart,
§ 4.495 and strode amid the foremost warriors, harnessed in flaming bronze; close to the foe he came and took his stand, and glancing warily about him hurled with his bright spear; and back did the Trojans shrink from the warrior as he cast. Not in vain did he let fly his spear, but smote Priam's bastard son Democoon,
§ 4.500 that had come at his call from Abydus, from his stud of swift mares. Him Odysseus, wroth for his comrade's sake, smote with his spear on the temple, and out through the other temple passed the spear-point of bronze, and darkness enfolded his eyes, and he fell with a thud and upon him his armour clanged.
§ 4.505 Then the foremost warriors and glorious Hector gave ground; and the Argives shouted aloud, and drew off the bodies, and charged far further onward. And Apollo, looking down from Pergamus, had indignation, and called with a shout to the Trojans: “Rouse ye, horse-taming Trojans, give not ground in fight
§ 4.510 before Argives; not of stone nor of iron is their flesh to resist the bronze that cleaveth the flesh, when they are smitten. Nay, and Achilles moreover fighteth not, the son of fair-haired Thetis, but amid the ships nurseth his bitter wrath.” So spake the dread god from the city; but the Achaeans
§ 4.515 were urged on by the daughter of Zeus, most glorious Tritogeneia, who fared throughout the throng wheresoever she saw them giving ground. Then was Amarynceus' son, Diores, caught in the snare of fate; for with a jagged stone was he smitten on the right leg by the ankle, and it was the leader of the Thracians that made the cast,
§ 4.520 even Peiros, son of Imbrasus, that had come from Aenus. The sinews twain and the bones did the ruthless stone utterly crush; and he fell backward in the dust and stretched out both his hands to his dear comrades, gasping out his life; and there ran up he that smote him,
§ 4.525 Peiros, and dealt him a wound with a thrust of his spear beside the navel; and forth upon the ground gushed all his bowels, and darkness enfolded his eyes. But as the other sprang back Thoas of Aetolia smote him with a cast of his spear in the breast above the nipple, and the bronze was fixed in his lung; and Thoas came close to him, and plucked forth from his chest the mighty spear,
§ 4.530 and drew his sharp sword and smote him therewith full upon the belly, and took away his life. Howbeit of his armour he stripped him not, for about him his comrades, men of Thrace that wear the hair long at the top, stood with long spears grasped in their hands, and for all that he was great and mighty and lordly,
§ 4.535 drave him back from them, so that he reeled and gave ground. Thus the twain lay stretched in the dust each by the other, captains the one of the Thracians and the other of the brazen-coated Epeians; and about them were others full many likewise slain. Then could no man any more enter into the battle and make light thereof,
§ 4.540 whoso still unwounded by missile or by thrust of sharp bronze, might move throughout the midst, being led of Pallas Athene by the hand, and by her guarded from the onrush of missiles: for multitudes of Trojans and Achaeans alike were that day stretched one by the other's side with faces in the dust.
§ 5.1 BOOK 5
And now to Tydeus' son, Diomedes, Pallas Athene gave might and courage, that he should prove himself pre-eminent amid all the Argives, and win glorious renown. She kindled from his helm and shield flame unwearying,
§ 5.5 like to the star of harvesttime that shineth bright above all others when he hath bathed him in the stream of Ocean. Even such flame did she kindle from his head and shoulders; and she sent him into the midst where men thronged the thickest. Now there was amid the Trojans one Dares, a rich man and blameless,
§ 5.10 a priest of Hephaestus; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idaeus, both well skilled in all manner of fighting. These twain separated themselves from the host and went forth against Diomedes, they in their car, while he charged on foot upon the ground. And when they were come near, as they advanced against each other,
§ 5.15 first Phegeus let fly his far-shadowing spear; and over the left shoulder of the son of Tydeus passed the point of the spear, and smote him not. Then Tydeus' son rushed on with the bronze, and not in vain did the shaft speed from his hand, but he smote his foe on the breast between the nipples, and thrust him from the car.
§ 5.20 And Idaeus sprang back, and left the beauteous chariot, and had no heart to bestride his slain brother. Nay, nor would he himself have escaped black fate, had not Hephaestus guarded him, and saved him, enfolding him in darkness, that his aged priest might not be utterly fordone with grief.
§ 5.25 Howbeit the horses did the son of great souled Tydeus drive forth and give to his comrades to bring to the hollow ships. But when the great-souled Trojans beheld the two sons of Dares, the one in flight and the other slain beside the car, the hearts of all were dismayed. And flashing-eyed Athene
§ 5.30 took furious Ares by the hand and spake to him, saying: “Ares, Ares, thou bane of mortals, thou blood-stained stormer of walls, shall we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight, to whichsoever of the two it be that father Zeus shall vouchsafe glory? But for us twain, let us give place, and avoid the wrath of Zeus.”
§ 5.35 So spake she, and led furious Ares forth from the battle. Then she made him to sit down on the sandy banks of Scamander, and the Trojans were turned in flight by the Danaans. Each one of the captains slew his man; first the king of men, Agamemnon, thrust from his car the leader of the Halizones, great Odius,
§ 5.40 for as he turned first of all to flee he fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders and drave it through his breast; and he fell with a thud, and upon him his armour clanged. And Idomeneus slew Phaestus, son of Borus the Maeonian, that had come from deep-soiled Tarne.
§ 5.45 Him even as he was mounting his chariot Idomeneus, famed for his spear, pierced with a thrust of his long spear through the right shoulder; and he fell from his car, and hateful darkness gat hold of him. Him then the squires of Idomeneus stripped of his armour; and Scamandrius, son of Strophius, cunning in the chase,
§ 5.50 did Atreus' son Menelaus slay with his sharp spear, even him the mighty hunter; for Artemis herself had taught him to smite all wild things that the mountain forest nurtureth. Yet in no wise did the archer Artemis avail him now, neither all that skill in archery wherein of old he excelled;
§ 5.55 but the son of Atreus, Menelaus famed for his spear, smote him as he fled before him with a thrust of his spear in the back between the shoulders, and drave it through his breast. So he fell face foremost, and upon him his armour clanged. And Meriones slew Phereclus, son of Tecton,
§ 5.60 Harmon's son, whose hands were skilled to fashion all manner of curious work; for Pallas Athene loved him above all men. He it was that had also built for Alexander the shapely ships, source of ills, that were made the bane of all the Trojans and of his own self, seeing he knew not in any wise the oracles of the gods.
§ 5.65 After him Meriones pursued, and when he had come up with him, smote him in the right buttock, and the spear-point passed clean through even to the bladder beneath the bone;, and he fell to his knees with a groan, and death enfolded him. And Pedaeus, Antenor's son, was slain of Meges;
§ 5.70 he was in truth a bastard, howbeit goodly Theano had reared him carefully even as her own children, to do pleasure to her husband. To him Phyleus' son, famed for his spear, drew nigh and smote him with a cast of his sharp spear on the sinew of the head;1 and straight through amid the teeth the bronze shore away the tongue at its base.
§ 5.75 So he fell in the dust, and bit the cold bronze with his teeth. And Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, slew goodly Hypsenor, son of Dolopion high of heart, that was made priest of Scamander, and was honoured of the folk even as a god—upon him did Eurypylus, Euaemon's glorious son,
§ 5.80 rush with his sword as he fled before him, and in mid-course smite him upon the shoulder and lop off his heavy arm. So the arm all bloody fell to the ground; and down over his eyes came dark death and mighty fate. Thus toiled they in the mighty conflict;
§ 5.85 but of Tydeus' son couldst thou not have told with which host of the twain he was joined, whether it was with the Trojans that he had fellowship or with the Achaeans. For he stormed across the plain like unto a winter torrent at the full, that with its swift flood sweeps away the embankments; this the close-fenced embankments hold not back,
§ 5.90 neither do the walls of the fruitful vineyards stay its sudden coming when the rain of Zeus driveth it on; and before it in multitudes the fair works of men fall in ruin. Even in such wise before Tydeus' son were the thick battalions of the Trojans driven in rout, nor might they abide him for all they were so many.
§ 5.95 But when the glorious son of Lycaon was ware of him as he raged across the plain and drove the battalions in rout before him, forthwith he bent against the son of Tydeus his curved bow, and with sure aim smote him as he rushed onwards upon the right shoulder on the plate of his corselet; through this sped the bitter arrow
§ 5.100 and held straight on its way, and the corselet was spattered with blood. Over him then shouted aloud the glorious son of Lycaon: “Rouse you, great-souled Trojans, ye goaders of horses. Smitten is the best man of the Achaeans, and I deem he will not for long endure the mighty shaft, if in very truth the king,
§ 5.105 the son of Zeus, sped me on my way when I set forth from Lycia.” So spake he vauntingly; howbeit that other did the swift arrow not lay low, but he drew back, and took his stand before his horses and chariot, and spake to Sthenelus, son of Capaneus: “Rouse thee, good son of Capaneus; get thee down from the car,
§ 5.110 that thou mayest draw forth from my shoulder the bitter arrow.” So spake he, and Sthenelus leapt from his chariot to the ground, and stood beside him, and drew forth the swift arrow clean through his shoulder; and the blood spurted up through the pliant tunic. And thereat Diomedes, good at the war-cry, made prayer:
§ 5.115 “Hear me, child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one! If ever with kindly thought thou stoodest by my father's side amid the fury of battle, even so do thou now be likewise kind to me, Athene. Grant that I may slay this man, and that he come within the cast of my spear, that hath smitten me or ever I was ware of him, and boasteth over me,
§ 5.120 and declareth that not for long shall I behold the bright light of the sun.” So spake he in prayer, and Pallas Athene heard him, and made his limbs light, his feet and his hands above; and she drew near to his side and spake to him winged words: “Be of good courage now, Diomedes, to fight against the Trojans,
§ 5.125 for in thy breast have I put the might of thy father, the dauntless might, such as the horseman Tydeus, wielder of the shield, was wont to have. And the mist moreover have I taken from thine eyes that afore was upon them, to the end that thou mayest well discern both god and man. Wherefore now if any god come hither to make trial of thee,
§ 5.130 do not thou in any wise fight face to face with any other immortal gods, save only if Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus, shall enter the battle, her do thou smite with a thrust of the sharp bronze.” When she had thus spoken, the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, departed, and the son of Tydeus returned again and mingled with the foremost fighters;
§ 5.135 and though afore his heart had been eager to do battle with the Trojans, now verily did fury thrice so great lay hold upon him, even as upon a lion that a shepherd in the field, guarding his fleecy sheep, hath wounded as he leapt over the wall of the sheep-fold, but hath not vanquished; his might hath he roused, but thereafter maketh no more defence,
§ 5.140 but slinketh amid the farm buildings, and the flock all unprotected is driven in rout, and the sheep are strewn in heaps, each hard by each, but the lion in his fury leapeth forth from the high fold; even in such fury did mighty Diomedes mingle with the Trojans. Then slew he Astynous and Hypeiron, shepherd of the host;
§ 5.145 the one he smote above the nipple with a cast of his bronze-shod spear, and the other he struck with his great sword upon the collar-bone beside the shoulder, and shore off the shoulder from the neck and from the back. These then he let be, but went his way in pursuit of Abas and Polyidus, sons of the old man Eurydamas, the reader of dreams;
§ 5.150 howbeit they came not back for the old man to interpret dreams for them, but mighty Diomedes slew them. Then went he on after Xanthus and Thoon, sons twain of Phaenops, and both well beloved; and their father was fordone with grievous old age, and begat no other son to leave in charge of his possessions.
§ 5.155 There Diomedes slew them, and bereft them of dear life, both the twain; but for the father he left lamentation and grievous sorrow, seeing they lived not for him to welcome them on their return; and the next of kin divided his goods. Then took he two sons of Priam, Dardanus' son,
§ 5.160 Echemmon and Chromius, the twain being in one car. Even as a lion leapeth among the kine and breaketh the neck of a heifer or a cow as they graze in a woodland pasture, so did Tydeus' son thrust both these in evil wise from their car, sorely against their will, and thereafter despoiled them of their armour;
§ 5.165 and the horses he gave to his comrades to drive to the ships. But Aeneas was ware of him as he made havoc of the ranks of warriors, and went his way along the battle amid the hurtling of the spears in quest of godlike Pandarus, if so be he might anywhere find him. He found the son of Lycaon, goodly and valiant,
§ 5.170 and took his stand before his face, and spake to him, saying: “Pandarus, where now are thy bow and thy winged arrows, and thy fame? Therein may no man of this land vie with thee, nor any in Lycia declare himself to be better than thou. Come now, lift up thy hands in prayer to Zeus, and let fly a shaft at this man,
§ 5.175 whoe'er he be that prevaileth thus, and hath verily wrought the Trojans much mischief, seeing he hath loosed the knees of many men and goodly; if indeed he be not some god that is wroth with the Trojans, angered by reason of sacrifices; with grievous weight doth the wrath of god rest upon men.”4 To him then spake the glorious son of Lycaon:
§ 5.180 “Aeneas, counsellor of the brazen-coated Trojans, to the wise-hearted son of Tydeus do I liken him in all things, knowing him by his shield and his crested helm, and when I look on his horses; yet I know not surely if he be not a god. But if he be the man I deem him, even the wise-hearted son of Tydeus,
§ 5.185 not without the aid of some god doth he thus rage, but one of the immortals standeth hard by him, his shoulders wrapped in cloud, and turned aside from him my swift shaft even as it lighted. For already have I let fly a shaft at him, and I smote him upon the right shoulder clean through the plate of his corselet;
§ 5.190 and I deemed that I should send him forth to Aidoneus, yet I subdued him not; verily he is some wrathful god. And horses have I not at hand, neither car whereon I might mount—yet in Lycaon's halls, I ween, there be eleven fair chariots, new-wrought, new-furnished, with cloths spread over them;
§ 5.195 and by each standeth its yoke of horses feeding on white barley and spelt. Aye, and as I set out hither the old spearman Lycaon straitly charged me in our well-built house: he bade me be mounted on horse and car,
§ 5.200 and so lead the Trojans in mighty conflicts. Howbeit I hearkened not— verily it had been better far!—but spared the horses lest in the multitude of men they should lack fodder, they that were wont to eat their fill. So I left them, and am come on foot to Ilios, trusting in my bow;
§ 5.205 but this, meseems, was to avail me not. Already have I let fly a shaft at two chieftains, the son of Tydeus and Atreus' son, and smitten them fairly, and from them both of a surety I drew forth blood, yet did I but arouse them the more. Wherefore with ill hap was it that I took from the peg my curved bow
§ 5.210 on that day when I led my Trojans to lovely Ilios to do pleasure to Hector. But if so be I shall return and behold with mine eyes my native land and my wife and great, high-roofed palace, then may some alien forthwith cut my head from me,
§ 5.215 if I break not this bow with my hands and cast it into the blazing fire; for worthless as wind doth it attend me.” To him then spake in answer Aeneas, leader of the Trojans: “Nay, speak not thus; things shall in no wise be any better before that we twain with horses and chariot
§ 5.220 go to face this man and make trial of him in arms. Nay, come, mount upon my car, that thou mayest see of what sort are the horses of Tros, well skilled to course fleetly hither and thither over the plain whether in pursuit or in flight. They twain will bring the two of us safely to the city,
§ 5.225 if again Zeus shall vouchsafe glory to Tydeus' son Diomedes. Come, therefore, take thou now the lash and the shining reins, and I will dismount to fight; or else do thou await his onset, and I will look to the horses.” Then made answer to him the glorious son of Lycaon:
§ 5.230 “Aeneas, keep thou the reins thyself, and drive thine own horses; better will they draw the curved car under their wonted charioteer, if so be we must flee from the son of Tydeus. I would not that they take fright and run wild, and for want of thy voice be not minded to bear us forth from the battle,
§ 5.235 and so the son of great-souled Tydeus leap upon us and slay the two of us, and drive off the single-hooved horses. Nay, drive thou thyself thine own car and thine own horses, and I will abide this man's onset with my sharp spear.” So saying they mounted upon the inlaid car and
§ 5.240 eagerly drave the swift horses against the son of Tydeus. And Sthenelus, the glorious son of Capaneus, saw them and straightway spake to Tydeus' son winged words: “Diomedes, son of Tydeus, dear to my heart, I behold two valiant warriors eager to fight against thee,
§ 5.245 endued with measureless strength. The one is well skilled with the bow, even Pandarus, and moreover avoweth him to be the son of Lycaon; while Aeneas avoweth himself to be born of peerless Anchises, and his mother is Aphrodite. Nay, come, let us give ground on the car, neither rage thou thus,
§ 5.250 I pray thee, amid the foremost fighters, lest thou haply lose thy life.” Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows mighty Diomedes spake to him: “Talk not thou to me of flight, for I deem thou wilt not persuade me. Not in my blood is it to fight a skulking fight or to cower down; still is my strength steadfast.
§ 5.255 And I have no mind to mount upon a car, but even as I am will I go to face them; that I should quail Pallas Athene suffereth not. As for these twain, their swift horses shall not bear both back from us again, even if one or the other escape. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart.
§ 5.260 If so be Athene, rich in counsel, shall vouchsafe me this glory, to slay them both, then do thou hold here these swift horses, binding the reins taut to the chariot rim; but be mindful to rush upon the horses of Aeneas and drive them forth from the Trojans to the host of the well-greaved Achaeans.
§ 5.265 For they are of that stock wherefrom Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, gave to Tros recompense for his son Ganymedes, for that they were the best of all horses that are beneath the dawn and the sun. Of this stock the king of men Anchises stole a breed, putting his mares to them while Laomedon knew naught thereof.
§ 5.270 And from these a stock of six was born him in his palace; four he kept himself and reared at the stall, and the other two he gave to Aeneas, devisers of rout. Could we but take these twain, we should win us goodly renown.” Thus they spake on this wise one to the other,
§ 5.275 and forthwith drew near those other twain, driving the swift horses. And Lycaon's glorious son spake first to him, saying: “Thou son of lordly Tydeus, stalwart and wise of heart, verily my swift shaft subdued thee not, the bitter arrow; now will I again make trial of thee with my spear, if so be I may hit thee.”
§ 5.280 So saying, he poised and hurled his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon the shield of Tydeus' son; and straight therethrough sped the point of bronze and reached the corselet. Then over him shouted aloud the glorious son of Lycaon: “Thou art smitten clean through the belly, and not for long, methinks,
§ 5.285 shalt thou endure; but to me hast thou granted great glory.” Then with no touch of fear spake to him mighty Diomedes: “Thou hast missed and not hit; but ye twain, I deem, shall not cease till one or the other of you shall have fallen and glutted with his blood Ares, the warrior with tough shield of hide.”
§ 5.290 So spake he and hurled; and Athene guided the spear upon his nose beside the eye, and it pierced through his white teeth. So the stubborn bronze shore off his tongue at its root, and the spear-point came out by the base of the chin. Then he fell from out the car,
§ 5.295 and his armour all bright and flashing clanged upon him, and the swift-footed horses swerved aside; and there his spirit and his strength were undone. But Aeneas leapt down with shield and long spear, seized with fear lest perchance the Achaeans might drag from him the dead man. Over him he strode like a lion confident in his strength, and before him he held his spear and his shield that was well balanced on every side,
§ 5.300 eager to slay the man whosoever should come to seize the corpse, and crying a terrible cry. But the son of Tydeus grasped in his hand a stone—a mighty deed—one that not two men could bear, such as mortals now are; yet lightly did he wield it even alone.
§ 5.305 Therewith he smote Aeneas on the hip, where the thigh turns in the hip joint,—the cup, men call it—and crushed the cup-bone, and broke furthermore both sinews, and the jagged stone tore the skin away. Then the warrior fell upon his knees, and thus abode, and with his stout hand leaned he
§ 5.310 upon the earth; and dark night enfolded his eyes. And now would the king of men, Aeneas, have perished, had not the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, been quick to mark, even his mother, that conceived him to Anchises as he tended his kine. About her dear son she flung her white arms,
§ 5.315 and before him she spread a fold of her bright garment to be a shelter against missiles, lest any of the Danaans with swift horses might hurl a spear of bronze into his breast and take away his life. She then was bearing her dear son forth from out the battle; but the son of Capaneus forgat not
§ 5.320 the commands that Diomedes good at the war-cry laid upon him. He held his own single-hooved horses away from the turmoil, binding the reins taut to the chariot rim, but rushed upon the fair-maned horses of Aeneas, and drave them forth from the Trojans into the host of the well-greaved Achaeans,
§ 5.325 and gave them to Deipylus his dear comrade, whom he honoured above all the companions of his youth, because he was like-minded with himself; him he bade drive them to the hollow ships. Then did the warrior mount his own car and take the bright reins, and straightway drive his stout-hooved horses in eager quest of Tydeus' son.
§ 5.330 He the while had gone in pursuit of Cypris with his pitiless bronze, discerning that she was a weakling goddess, and not one of those that lord it in the battle of warriors,—no Athene she, nor Enyo, sacker of cities. But when he had come upon her as he pursued her through the great throng,
§ 5.335 then the son of great-souled Tydeus thrust with his sharp spear and leapt upon her, and wounded the surface of her delicate hand, and forthwith through the ambrosial raiment that the Graces themselves had wrought for her the spear pierced the flesh upon the wrist above the palm and forth flowed the immortal blood of the goddess,
§ 5.340 the ichor, such as floweth in the blessed gods; for they eat not bread neither drink flaming wine, wherefore they are bloodless, and are called immortals. She then with a loud cry let fall her son, and Phoebus Apollo took him in his arms
§ 5.345 and saved him in a dark cloud, lest any of the Danaans with swift horses might hurl a spear of bronze into his breast and take away his life. But over her shouted aloud Diomedes good at the war-cry: “Keep thee away, daughter of Zeus, from war and fighting. Sufficeth it not that thou beguilest weakling women?
§ 5.350 But if into battle thou wilt enter, verily methinks thou shalt shudder at the name thereof, if thou hearest it even from afar.” So spake he, and she departed frantic, and was sore distressed; and wind-footed Iris took her and led her forth from out the throng, racked with pain, and her fair flesh was darkened.
§ 5.355 Anon she found furious Ares abiding on the left of the battle, and upon a cloud was his spear leaning, and at hand were his swift horses twain. Then she fell upon her knees and with instant prayer begged for her dear brother's horses with frontlets of gold: “Dear brother, save me, and give me thy horses,
§ 5.360 that I may get me to Olympus, where is the abode of the immortals. For sorely am I pained with a wound which a mortal man dealt me, Tydeus' son, that would now fight even with father Zeus.” So spake she, and Ares gave her his horses with frontlets of gold; and she mounted upon the car, her heart distraught,
§ 5.365 and beside her mounted Iris and took the reins in her hand. She touched the horses with the lash to start them, and nothing loath the pair sped onward. Straightway then they came to the abode of the gods, to steep Olympus and there wind-footed, swift Iris stayed the horses and loosed them from the car, and cast before them food ambrosial;
§ 5.370 but fair Aphrodite flung herself upon the knees of her mother Dione. She clasped her daughter in her arms, and stroked her with her hand and spake to her, saying: “Who now of the sons of heaven, dear child, hath entreated thee thus wantonly, as though thou wert working some evil before the face of all?”
§ 5.375 To her then made answer laughter-loving Aphrodite: “Tydeus' son, Diomedes high of heart, wounded me, for that I was bearing forth from out the war my dear son Aeneas, who is in my eyes far the dearest of all men. For no longer is the dread battle one between Trojans and Achaeans;
§ 5.380 nay, the Danaans now fight even with the immortals.” To her then made answer Dione, the fair goddess: “Be of good heart, my child, and endure for all thy suffering; for full many of us that have dwellings on Olympus have suffered at the hands of men, in bringing grievous woes one upon the other.
§ 5.385 So suffered Ares, when Otus and mighty Ephialtes, the sons of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds, and in a brazen jar he lay bound for thirteen months; and then would Ares, insatiate of war, have perished, had not the stepmother of the sons of Aloeus, the beauteous Eeriboea,
§ 5.390 brought tidings unto Hermes; and he stole forth Ares, that was now sore distressed, for his grievous bonds were overpowering him. So suffered Hera, when the mighty son of Amphitryon smote her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow; then upon her too came pain that might in no wise be assuaged.
§ 5.395 And so suffered monstrous Hades even as the rest a bitter arrow, when this same man, the son of Zeus that beareth the aegis, smote him in Pylos amid the dead, and gave him over to pains. But he went to the house of Zeus and to high Olympus with grief at heart, pierced through with pains;
§ 5.400 for into his mighty shoulder had the shaft been driven, and distressed his soul. But Paeeon spread thereon simples that slay pain, and healed him; for verily he was in no wise of mortal mould. Rash man, worker of violence, that recked not of his evil deeds, seeing that with his arrows he vexed the gods that hold Olympus.
§ 5.405 And upon thee has the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, set this man—fool that he is; for the heart of Tydeus' son knoweth not this, that verily he endureth not for long who fighteth with the immortals, nor do his children prattle about his knees when he is come back from war and the dread conflict.
§ 5.410 Wherefore now let Tydeus' son, for all he is so mighty, beware lest one better than thou fight against him, lest in sooth Aegialeia, the daughter of Adrastus, passing wise, wake from sleep with her long lamentings all her household, as she wails for her wedded husband, the best man of the Achaeans, even she,
§ 5.415 the stately wife of horse-taming Diomedes.” She spake, and with both her hands wiped the ichor from the arm; the arm was restored, and the grievous pains assuaged. But Athene and Hera, as they looked upon her, sought to anger Zeus, son of Cronos, with mocking words.
§ 5.420 And among them the goddess flashing-eyed Athene was first to speak: “Father Zeus, wilt thou anywise be wroth with me for the word that I shall say? Of a surety now Cypris has been urging some one of the women of Achaea to follow after the Trojans, whom now she so wondrously loveth; and while stroking such a one of the fair-robed women of Achaea,
§ 5.425 she hath scratched upon her golden brooch her delicate hand.” So spake she, but the father of men and gods smiled, and calling to him golden Aphrodite, said: “Not unto thee, my child, are given works of war; nay, follow thou after the lovely works of marriage,
§ 5.430 and all these things shall be the business of swift Ares and Athene.” On this wise spake they one to the other; but Diomedes, good at the war-cry, leapt upon Aeneas, though well he knew that Apollo himself held forth his arms above him; yet had he no awe even of the great god, but was still eager
§ 5.435 to slay Aeneas and strip from him his glorious armour. Thrice then he leapt upon him, furiously fain to slay him, and thrice did Apollo beat back his shining shield. But when for the fourth time he rushed upon him like a god, then with a terrible cry spake to him Apollo that worketh afar:
§ 5.440 “Bethink thee, son of Tydeus, and give place, neither be thou minded to be like of spirit with the gods; seeing in no wise of like sort is the race of immortal gods and that of men who walk upon the earth.” So spake he, and the son of Tydeus gave ground a scant space backward, avoiding the wrath of Apollo that smiteth afar.
§ 5.445 Aeneas then did Apollo set apart from the throng in sacred Pergamus where was his temple builded. There Leto and the archer Artemis healed him in the great sanctuary, and glorified him; but Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a wraith
§ 5.450 in the likeness of Aeneas' self and in armour like to his; and over the wraith the Trojans and goodly Achaeans smote the bull's-hide bucklers about one another's breasts, the round shields and fluttering targets. Then unto furious Ares spake Phoebus Apollo:
§ 5.455 “Ares, Ares, thou bane of mortals, thou blood-stained stormer of walls, wilt thou not now enter into the battle and withdraw this man therefrom, this son of Tydeus, who now would fight even against father Zeus? Cypris first hath he wounded in close fight on the hand at the wrist, and thereafter rushed he upon mine own self like unto a god.”
§ 5.460 So spake he, and himself sate him down upon the height of Pergamus, and baneful Ares entered amid the Trojans' ranks and urged them on, in the likeness of swift Acamas, leader of the Thracians. To Priam's sons, nurtured of Zeus, he called, saying: “Ye sons of Priam, the king nurtured of Zeus,
§ 5.465 how long will ye still suffer your host to be slain by the Achaeans? Shall it be until such time as they fight about our well-built gates? Low lieth a man whom we honoured even as goodly Hector, Aeneas, son of great-hearted Anchises. Nay, come, let us save from out the din of conflict our noble comrade.”
§ 5.470 So saying he aroused the strength and spirit of every man. And Sarpedon moreover sternly chid goodly Hector, saying: “Hector, where now is the strength gone that aforetime thou hadst? Thou saidst forsooth that without hosts and allies thou wouldst hold the city alone with the aid of thy sisters' husbands and thy brothers;
§ 5.475 howbeit of these can I now neither behold nor mark anyone, but they cower as dogs about a lion; and it is we that fight, we that are but allies among you. For I that am but an ally am come from very far; afar is Lycia by eddying Xanthus,
§ 5.480 where I left my dear wife and infant son, and my great wealth the which every man that is in lack coveteth. Yet even so urge I on the Lycians, and am fain myself to fight my man, though here is naught of mine such as the Achaeans might bear away or drive;
§ 5.485 whereas thou standest and dost not even urge thy hosts to abide and defend their wives. Beware lest thou and they, as if caught in the meshes of all-ensnaring flax, become a prey and spoil unto your foemen; and they shall anon lay waste your well-peopled city. On thee should all these cares rest by night and day,
§ 5.490 and thou shouldest beseech the captains of thy far-famed allies to hold their ground unflinchingly, and so put away from thee strong rebukings.” So spake Sarpedon, and his word stung Hector to the heart. Forthwith he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground,
§ 5.495 and brandishing his two sharp spears went everywhere throughout the host, urging men to fight, and roused the dread din of battle. So they rallied and took their stand with their faces towards the Achaeans; and the Argives in close throng abode their coming and fled not. And even as the wind carrieth chaff about the sacred threshing-floors
§ 5.500 of men that are winnowing, when fair-haired Demeter amid the driving blasts of wind separates the grain from the chaff, and the heaps of chaff grow white; even so now did the Achaeans grow white over head and shoulders beneath the cloud of dust that through the midst of the warriors the hooves of their horses beat up to the brazen heaven,
§ 5.505 as the fight was joined again; and the charioteers wheeled round. The might of their hands they bare straight forward, and about the battle furious Ares drew a veil of night to aid the Trojans, ranging everywhere; so fulfilled he the behest of Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who bade him
§ 5.510 rouse the spirit of the Trojans, whenso he saw that Pallas Athene was departed; for she it was that bare aid to the Danaans. And Apollo himself sent Aeneas forth from out the rich sanctuary, and put courage in the breast of the shepherd of the host. And Aeneas took his place in the midst of his comrades, and these waxed glad
§ 5.515 as they saw him come to join them alive and whole and possessed of valiant courage. Howbeit they questioned him not at all, for toil of other sort forbade them, even that which he of the silver bow was stirring, and Ares the bane of mortals, and Discord that rageth without ceasing. On the other side the Aiantes twain and Odysseus and Diomedes
§ 5.520 roused the Danaans to fight; yet these even of themselves quailed not before the Trojans' violence and their onsets, but stood their ground like mists that in still weather the son of Cronos setteth on the mountain-tops moveless, what time the might of the North Wind sleepeth and of the other furious winds
§ 5.525 that blow with shrill blasts and scatter this way and that the shadowy clouds; even so the Danaans withstood the Trojans steadfastly, and fled not. And the son of Atreus ranged throughout the throng with many a word of command: “My friends, be men, and take to you hearts of valour, and have shame each of the other in the fierce conflict. Of men that have shame more are saved than are slain, but from them that flee cometh neither glory nor any avail.” He spake, and hurled his spear swiftly and smote a foremost warrior, a comrade of great-souled Aeneas, Deicoon,
§ 5.535 son of Pergasus, whom the Trojans honoured even as the sons of Priam, for that he was swift to fight amid the foremost. Him did lord Agamemnon smite with his spear upon the shield, and this stayed not the spear, but clean through it passed the bronze, and into the lower belly he drave it through the belt;
§ 5.540 and he fell with a thud, and upon him his armour clanged. Then Aeneas slew two champions of the Danaans, the sons of Diocles, Crethon and Orsilochus, whose father dwelt in well-built Pheme, a man rich in substance, and in lineage was he sprung from the river
§ 5.545 Alpheius that flows in broad stream through the land of the Pylians, and that begat Orsilochus to be king over many men. And Orsilochus begat greatsouled Diocles, and of Diocles were born twin sons, Crethon and Orsilochus, well skilled in all manner of fighting.
§ 5.550 Now when the twain had reached manhood, they followed with the Argives on the black ships to Ilios famed for its horses, seeking to win recompense for the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus; but their own selves in that land did the doom of death enfold. Like them two lions upon the mountain tops
§ 5.555 are reared by their dam in the thickets of a deep wood; and the twain snatch cattle and goodly sheep and make havoc of the farmsteads of men, until themselves are slain by the hands of men with the sharp bronze; even in such wise were these twain vanquished beneath the hands of Aeneas, and fell like tall fir-trees.
§ 5.560 But as they fell Menelaus dear to Ares had pity for them, and strode through the foremost fighters, harnessed in flaming bronze and brandishing his spear; and Ares roused his might with intent that he might be vanquished beneath the hands of Aeneas.
§ 5.565 But Antilochus, son of great-souled Nestor, beheld him, and strode through the foremost fighters; for greatly did he fear for the shepherd of the host, lest aught befall him, and he utterly thwart them of their toil. Now the twain were holding forth their hands and their sharp spears each against the other, fain to do battle,
§ 5.570 when Antilochus came close beside the shepherd of the host. Then Aeneas abode not, swift warrior though he was, when he beheld the two holding their ground side by side; and they, when they had dragged the dead to the host of the Achaeans, laid the hapless pair in the arms of their comrades,
§ 5.575 and themselves turned back and fought amid the foremost. Then the twain slew Pylaemenes, peer of Ares, the leader of the great-souled Paphlagonian shieldmen. Him as he stood still, the son of Atreus, spear-famed Menelaus, pierced with his spear, smiting him upon the collar-bone;
§ 5.580 and Antilochus made a cast at Mydon, his squire and charioteer, the goodly son of Atymnius, even as he was turning the single-hooved horses, and smote him with a stone full upon the elbow; and the reins, white with ivory, fell from his hands to the ground in the dust. Then Antilochus leapt upon him and drave his sword into his temple,
§ 5.585 and gasping he fell forth from out the well-built car headlong in the dust on his head and shoulders. Long time he stood there—for he lighted on deep sand—until his horses kicked him and cast him to the ground in the dust; and them Antilochus lashed, and drave into the host of the Achaeans.
§ 5.590 But Hector marked them across the ranks, and rushed upon them shouting aloud, and with him followed the strong battalions of the Trojans; and Ares led them and the queen Enyo, she bringing ruthless Din of War, while Ares wielded in his hands a monstrous spear,
§ 5.595 and ranged now in front of Hector and now behind him. At sight of him Diomedes, good at the war-cry shuddered; and even as a man in passing over a great plain halteth in dismay at a swift-streaming river that floweth on to the sea, and seeing it seething with foam starteth backward,
§ 5.600 even so now did the son of Tydeus give ground, and he spake to the host: “Friends, look you how we were ever wont to marvel at goodly Hector, deeming him a spearman and a dauntless warrior; whereas ever by his side is some god that wardeth from him ruin, even as now Ares is by his side in the likeness of a mortal man.
§ 5.605 But with faces turned toward the Trojans give ye ground ever backwards, neither rage ye to fight amain with gods.” So spake he, and the Trojans came very close to them. Then Hector slew two warriors well skilled in fight, Menesthes and Anchialus, the twain being in one car.
§ 5.610 And as they fell great Telamonian Aias had pity of them, and came and stood close at hand, and with a cast of his shining spear smote Amphius, son of Selagus, that dwelt in Paesus, a man rich in substance, rich in corn-land; but fate led him to bear aid to Priam and his sons.
§ 5.615 Him Telamonian Aias smote upon the belt, and in the lower belly was the far-shadowing spear fixed, and he fell with a thud. Then glorious Aias rushed upon him to strip him of his armour, and the Trojans rained upon him their spears, all sharp and gleaming, and his shield caught many thereof.
§ 5.620 But he planted his heel upon the corpse and drew forth the spear of bronze, yet could he not prevail likewise to strip the rest of the fair armour from his shoulders, for he was sore pressed with missiles. Furthermore, he feared the strong defence of the lordly Trojans, that beset him both many and valiant with spears in their hands and,
§ 5.625 for all he was so tall and mighty and lordly, thrust him from them; and he gave ground and was made to reel. So these toiled in the mighty conflict, but Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, a valiant man and tall, was roused by resistless fate against godlike Sarpedon.
§ 5.630 And when they were come near as they advanced one against the other, the son and grandson of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, then Tlepolemus was first to speak, saying: “Sarpedon, counsellor of the Lycians, why must thou be skulking here, that art a man unskilled in battle?
§ 5.635 They speak but a lie that say thou art sprung from Zeus that beareth the aegis, seeing thou art inferior far to those warriors that were sprung from Zeus in the days of men of old. Of other sort, men say, was mighty Heracles, my father, staunch in fight, the lionhearted,
§ 5.640 who on a time came hither by reason of the mares of Laomedon with but six ships and a scantier host, yet sacked the city of Ilios and made waste her streets. But thine is a coward's heart, and thy people are minishing. In no wise methinks shall thy coming from Lycia prove a defence to the men of Troy,
§ 5.645 though thou be never so strong, but thou shalt be vanquished by my hand and pass the gates of Hades.” And to him Sarpedon, captain of the Lycians, made answer: “Tlepolemus, thy sire verily destroyed sacred Ilios through the folly of the lordly man, Laomedon,
§ 5.650 who chid with harsh words him that had done him good service, and rendered him not the mares for the sake of which he had come from afar. But for thee, I deem that death and black fate shall here be wrought by my hands, and that vanquished beneath my spear thou shalt yield glory to me, and thy soul to Hades of the goodly steeds.”
§ 5.655 So spake Sarpedon, and Tlepolemus lifted on high his ashen spear, and the long spears sped from the hands of both at one moment. Sarpedon smote him full upon the neck, and the grievous point passed clean through, and down upon his eyes came the darkness of night and enfolded him.
§ 5.660 And Tlepolemus smote Sarpedon upon the left thigh with his long spear, and the point sped through furiously and grazed the bone; howbeit his father as yet warded from him destruction. Then his goodly companions bare godlike Sarpedon forth from out the fight, and the long spear burdened him sore,
§ 5.665 as it trailed, but no man marked it or thought in their haste to draw forth from his thigh the spear of ash, that he might stand upon his feet; such toil had they in tending him. And on the other side the well-greaved Achaeans bare Tlepolemus from out the fight, and goodly Odysseus
§ 5.670 of the enduring soul was ware of it, and his spirit waxed furious within him; and he pondered then in heart and soul whether he should pursue further after the son of Zeus that thundereth aloud, or should rather take the lives of more Lycians. But not for great-hearted Odysseus was it ordained
§ 5.675 to slay with the sharp bronze the valiant son of Zeus; wherefore Athene turned his mind toward the host of the Lycians. Then slew he Coeranus and Alastor and Chromius and Alcandrus and Halius and Noemon and Prytanis; and yet more of the Lycians would goodly Odysseus have slain,
§ 5.685 Then glad at his coming was Sarpedon, son of Zeus, and spake to him a piteous word: “Son of Priam, suffer me not to lie here a prey to the Danaans, but bear me aid; thereafter, if need be, let life depart from me in your city, seeing it might not be that I should return home to mine own native land to make glad my dear wife and infant son.” So spake he, yet Hector of the flashing helm spake no word in answer,
§ 5.690 but hastened by, eager with all speed to thrust back the Argives and take the lives of many. Then his goodly comrades made godlike Sarpedon to sit beneath a beauteous oak of Zeus that beareth the aegis,
§ 5.695 and forth from his thigh valiant Pelagon, that was his dear comrade, thrust the spear of ash; and his spirit failed him, and down over his eyes a mist was shed. Howbeit he revived, and the breath of the North Wind as it blew upon him made him to live again after in grievous wise he had breathed forth his spirit. But the Argives before the onset of Ares and Hector harnessed in bronze
§ 5.700 neither turned them to make for the black ships, nor yet could they hold out in fight, but they ever gave ground backward, when they heard that Ares was amid the Trojans. Who then was first to be slain and who last by Hector, Priam's son, and brazen Ares?
§ 5.705 Godlike Teuthras, and thereafter Orestes, driver of horses, Trechus, spearman of Aetolia, and Oenomaus, and Helenus, son of Oenops, and Oresbius with flashing taslet, he that dwelt in Hyle on the border of the Cephisian mere, having great care of his wealth;
§ 5.710 and hard by him dwelt other Boeotians having a land exceeding rich. But when the goddess, white-armed Hera, was ware of them as they made havoc of the Argives in the fierce conflict, forthwith she spake winged words to Athene: “Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one,
§ 5.715 verily it was for naught that we pledged our word to Menelaus, that not until he had sacked well-walled Ilios should he get him home, if we are to suffer baneful Ares thus to rage. Nay, come, let us twain likewise bethink us of furious valour.” So spake she, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken.
§ 5.720 Then Hera, the queenly goddess, daughter of great Cronos, went to and fro harnessing the horses of golden frontlets. and Hebe quickly put to the car on either side the curved wheels of bronze, eight-spoked, about the iron axle-tree. Of these the felloe verily is of gold imperishable,
§ 5.725 and thereover are tires of bronze fitted, a marvel to behold; and the naves are of silver, revolving on this side and on that; and the body is plaited tight with gold and silver thongs, and two rims there are that run about it. From the body stood forth the pole of silver, and on the end
§ 5.730 thereof she bound the fair golden yoke, and cast thereon the fair golden breast-straps; and Hera led beneath the yoke the swift-footed horses, and was eager for strife and the war-cry. But Athene, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis, let fall upon her father's floor her soft robe,
§ 5.735 richly broidered, that herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the tunic of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in armour for tearful war. About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror, all about which Rout is set as a crown,
§ 5.740 and therein is Strife, therein Valour, and therein Onset, that maketh the blood run cold, and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon, dread and awful, a portent of Zeus that beareth the aegis. And upon her head she set the helmet with two horns and with bosses four, wrought of gold, and fitted with the men-at-arms of an hundred cities.
§ 5.745 Then she stepped upon the flaming car and grasped her spear, heavy and huge and strong, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men—of warriors with whom she is wroth, she, the daughter of the mighty sire. And Hera swiftly touched the horses with the lash, and self-bidden groaned upon their hinges the gates of heaven which the Hours had in their keeping,
§ 5.750 to whom are entrusted great heaven and Olympus, whether to throw open the thick cloud or shut it to. There through the gate they drave their horses patient of the goad; and they found the son of Cronos as he sat apart from the other gods on the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus.
§ 5.755 Then the goddess, white-armed Hera, stayed the horses, and made question of Zeus most high, the son of Cronos, and spake to him: “Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation with Ares for these violent deeds, that he hath destroyed so great and so goodly a host of the Achaeans recklessly and in no seemly wise to my sorrow;
§ 5.760 while at their ease Cypris and Apollo of the silver bow take their joy, having set on this madman that regardeth not any law? Father Zeus, wilt thou in any wise be wroth with me if I smite Ares in sorry fashion and drive him out of the battle?” Then in answer spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:
§ 5.765 “Nay, come now, rouse against him Athene, driver of the spoil, who has ever been wont above others to bring sore pain upon him.” So spake he, and the goddess, white-armed Hera, failed not to hearken, but touched her horses with the the lash; and nothing loath the pair flew on between earth and starry heaven.
§ 5.770 As far as a man seeth with his eyes into the haze of distance as he sitteth on a place of outlook and gazeth over the wine-dark deep, even so far do the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a bound. But when they were come to the land of Troy and the two flowing rivers, where the Simois and Scamander join their streams,
§ 5.775 there the goddess, white-armed Hera, stayed her horses, and loosed them from the car, and shed thick mist about them; and Simois made ambrosia to spring up for them to graze upon. Then the goddesses twain went their way with steps like those of timorous doves, eager to bring aid to the Argive warriors.
§ 5.780 And when they were come where the most and the bravest stood close thronging about mighty Diomedes, tamer of horses, in semblance like ravening lions or wild boars, whose is no weakling strength, there the goddess, white-armed Hera,
§ 5.785 stood and shouted in the likeness of great-hearted Stentor of the brazen voice, whose voice is as the voice of fifty other men: “Fie, ye Argives, base things of shame fair in semblance only! So long as goodly Achilles was wont to fare into battle, never would the Trojans come forth even before the Dardanian gate;
§ 5.790 for of his mighty spear had they dread; but now far from the city they are fighting at the hollow ships.” So saying she roused the strength and spirit of every man. And to the side of Tydeus' son sprang the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene. She found that prince beside his horses and car,
§ 5.795 cooling the wound that Pandarus had dealt him with his arrow. For the sweat vexed him beneath the broad baldric of his round shield; therewith was he vexed and his arm grew weary, so he was lifting up the baldric and wiping away the dark blood. Then the goddess laid hold of the yoke of his horses, and said:
§ 5.800 “Verily little like himself was the son that Tydeus begat. Tydeus was small in stature, but a warrior. Even when I would not suffer him to fight or make a show of prowess, what time he came, and no Achaean with him, on an embassage to Thebes into the midst of the many Cadmeians—
§ 5.805 I bade him feast in their halls in peace—yet he having his valiant soul as of old challenged the youths of the Cadmeians and vanquished them in everything full easily; so present a helper was I to him. But as for thee, I verily stand by thy side and guard thee,
§ 5.810 and of a ready heart I bid thee fight with the Trojans, yet either hath weariness born of thy many onsets entered into thy limbs, or haply spiritless terror possesseth thee. Then art thou no offspring of Tydeus, the wise-hearted son of Oeneus.” Then in answer to her spake mighty Diomedes:
§ 5.815 “I know thee, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis; therefore with a ready heart will I tell thee my thought and hide it not. In no wise doth spiritless terror possess me nor any slackness, but I am still mindful of thy behest which thou didst lay upon me. Thou wouldest not suffer me to fight face to face with the other blessed gods,
§ 5.820 but if Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus should enter the battle, her thou badest me smite with the sharp bronze. Therefore it is that I now give ground myself and have given command to all the rest of the Argives to be gathered here likewise; for I discern Ares lording it over the battle-field.”
§ 5.825 And the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, answered him, saying: “Son of Tydeus, Diomedes, dear to my heart, fear thou not Ares for that, neither any other of the immortals; so present a helper am I to thee. Nay, come, at Ares first drive thou thy single-hooved horses,
§ 5.830 and smite him in close fight, neither have thou awe of furious Ares that raveth here a full-wrought bane, a renegade, that but now spake with me and Hera, and made as though he would fight against the Trojans but give aid to the Argives; yet now he consorteth with the Trojans and hath forgotten these.”
§ 5.835 So saying, with her hand she drew back Sthenelus, and thrust him from the car to earth, and he speedily leapt down; and she stepped upon the car beside goodly Diomedes, a goddess eager for battle. Loudly did the oaken axle creak beneath its burden, for it bare a dread goddess and a peerless warrior.
§ 5.840 Then Pallas Athene grasped the lash and the reins, and against Ares first she speedily drave the single-hooved horses. He was stripping of his armour huge Periphas that was far the best of the Aetolians, the glorious son of Ochesius. Him was blood-stained Ares stripping; but Athene
§ 5.845 put on the cap of Hades, to the end that mighty Ares should not see her. Now when Ares, the bane of mortals, was ware of goodly Diomedes, he let be huge Periphas to lie where he was, even where at the first he had slain him and taken away his life but made straight for Diomedes, tamer of horses.
§ 5.850 And when they were now come near as they advanced one against the other, Ares first let drive over the yoke and the reins of the horses with his spear of bronze, eager to take away the other's life; but the spear the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, caught in her hand and thrust above the car to fly its way in vain.
§ 5.855 Next Diomedes, good at the war-cry, drave at Ares with his spear of bronze, and Pallas Athene sped it mightily against his nethermost belly, where he was girded with his taslets. There did he thrust and smite him, rending the fair flesh, and forth he drew the spear again. Then brazen Ares bellowed
§ 5.860 loud as nine thousand warriors or ten thousand cry in battle, when they join in the strife of the War-god; and thereat trembling came upon Achaeans alike and Trojans, and fear gat hold of them; so mightily bellowed Ares insatiate of war. Even as a black darkness appeareth from the clouds
§ 5.865 when after heat a blustering wind ariseth, even in such wise unto Diomedes, son of Tydeus, did brazen Ares appear, as he fared amid the clouds unto broad heaven. Speedily he came to the abode of the gods, to steep Olympus, and sate him down by the side of Zeus, son of Cronos, grieved at heart, and shewed the immortal blood flowing from the wound,
§ 5.870 and with wailing spake to him winged words: “Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation to behold these violent deeds? Ever do we gods continually suffer most cruelly by one another's devices, whenas we show favour to men.
§ 5.875 With thee are we all at strife, for thou art father to that mad and baneful maid, whose mind is ever set on deeds of lawlessness. For all the other gods that are in Olympus are obedient unto thee, and subject to thee, each one of us; but to her thou payest no heed whether in word or in deed,
§ 5.880 but rather settest her on, for that this pestilent maiden is thine own child. Now hath she set on the son of Tydeus, Diomedes high of heart, to vent his rage upon immortal gods. Cypris first he wounded with a thrust in close fight upon the hand at the wrist, and thereafter rushed upon mine own self as he had been a god.
§ 5.885 Howbeit my swift feet bare me away; otherwise had I long suffered woes there amid the gruesome heaps of the dead, or else had lived strengthless by reason of the smitings of the spear.” Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows spake to him Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: “Sit thou not in any wise by me and whine, thou renegade.
§ 5.890 Most hateful to me art thou of all gods that hold Olympus, for ever is strife dear to thee and wars and fightings. Thou hast the unbearable, unyielding spirit of thy mother, even of Hera; her can I scarce control by my words. Wherefore it is by her promptings, meseems, that thou sufferest thus.
§ 5.895 Howbeit I will no longer endure that thou shouldest be in pain, for thou art mine offspring, and it was to me that thy mother bare thee; but wert thou born of any other god, thus pestilent as thou art, then long ere this hadst thou been lower than the sons of heaven.”9 He spake, and bade Paeeon heal his hurt;
§ 5.900 and Paeeon spread thereon simples that slay pain, and healed him; for verily he was in no wise of mortal mould. Even as the juice of the fig speedily maketh to grow thick the white milk that is liquid, but is quickly curdled as a man stirreth it, even so swiftly healed he furious Ares.
§ 5.905 And Hebe bathed him, and clad him in beautiful raiment, and he sate him down by the side of Zeus, son of Cronos, exulting in his glory. Then back to the palace of great Zeus fared Argive Hera and Alalcomenean Athene, when they had made Ares, the bane of mortals, to cease from his man-slaying.
§ 6.1 BOOK 6
So was the dread strife of the Trojans and Achaeans left to itself, and oft to this side and to that surged the battle over the plain, as they aimed one at the other their bronze-tipped spears between the Simois and the streams of Xanthus.
§ 6.5 Aias, son of Telamon, bulwark of the Achaeans was first to break a battalion of the Trojans, and to bring a light of deliverance to his comrades, for he smote a man that was chiefest among the Thracians, even Eussorus' son Acamas, a valiant man and tall. Him he was first to smite upon the horn of his helmet with thick crest of horse-hair,
§ 6.10 and drave the spear into his forehead so that the point of bronze pierced within the bone; and darkness enfolded his eyes. And Diomedes, good at the war-cry, slew Axylus, Teuthras' son, that dwelt in well-built Arisbe, a man rich in substance, that was beloved of all men;
§ 6.15 for he dwelt in a home by the high-road and was wont to give entertainment to all. Howbeit of all these was there not one on this day to meet the foe before his face, and ward from him woeful destruction; but Diomedes robbed the twain of life, himself and his squire Calesius, that was then the driver of his car; so they two passed beneath the earth.
§ 6.20 Then Euryalus slew Dresus and Opheltius, and went on after Aesepus and Pedasus, whom on a time the fountain-nymph Abarbarea bare to peerless Bucolion. Now Bucolion was son of lordly Laomedon, his eldest born, though the mother that bare him was unwed;
§ 6.25 he while shepherding his flocks lay with the nymph in love, and she conceived and bare twin sons. Of these did the son of Mecisteus loose the might and the glorious limbs and strip the armour from their shoulders. And Polypoetes staunch in fight slew Astyalus,
§ 6.30 and Odysseus with his spear of bronze laid low Pidytes of Percote, and Teucer goodly Aretaon. And Antilochus, son of Nestor, slew Ablerus with his bright spear, and the king of men, Agamemnon, slew Elatus that dwelt in steep Pedasus by the banks of fair-flowing Satnioeis.
§ 6.35 And the warrior Leitus slew Phylacus, as he fled before him; and Eurypylus laid Melanthius low. But Adrastus did Menelaus, good at the war-cry, take alive; for his two horses, coursing in terror over the plain, became entangled in a tamarisk bough, and breaking the curved car at the end of the pole,
§ 6.40 themselves went on toward the city whither the rest were fleeing in rout; but their master rolled from out the car beside the wheel headlong in the dust upon his face. And to his side came Menelaus, son of Atreus, bearing his far-shadowing spear.
§ 6.45 Then Adrastus clasped him by the knees and besought him: “Take me alive, thou son of Atreus, and accept a worthy ransom; treasures full many lie stored in the palace of my wealthy father, bronze and gold and iron wrought with toil; thereof would my father grant thee ransom past counting,
§ 6.50 should he hear that I am alive at the ships of the Achaeans.” So spake he, and sought to persuade the other's heart in his breast, and lo, Menelaus was about to give him to his squire to lead to the swift ships of the Achaeans, but Agamemnon came running to meet him, and spake a word of reproof, saying:
§ 6.55 “Soft-hearted Menelaus, why carest thou thus for the men? Hath then so great kindness been done thee in thy house by Trojans? Of them let not one escape sheer destruction and the might of our hands, nay, not the man-child whom his mother bears in her womb; let not even him escape,
§ 6.60 but let all perish together out of Ilios, unmourned and unmarked.” So spake the warrior, and turned his brother's mind, for he counselled aright; so Menelaus with his hand thrust from him the warrior Adrastus, and lord Agamemnon smote him on the flank, and he fell backward; and the son of Atreus
§ 6.65 planted his heel on his chest, and drew forth the ashen spear. Then Nestor shouted aloud, and called to the Argives: “My friends, Danaan warriors, squires of Ares, let no man now abide behind in eager desire for spoil, that he may come to the ships bearing the greatest store;
§ 6.70 nay, let us slay the men; thereafter in peace shall ye strip the armour from the corpses that lie dead over the plain.” So saying he aroused the strength and spirit of every man. Then would the Trojans have been driven again by the Achaeans dear to Ares up to Ilios, vanquished in their weakness,
§ 6.75 had not the son of Priam, Helenus, far the best of augurs, come up to Aeneas and Hector, and said to them: “Aeneas and Hector, seeing that upon you above all others rests the war-toil of Trojans and Lycians, for that in every undertaking ye are the best both in war and in counsel,
§ 6.80 hold ye your ground, and go ye this way and that throughout the host and keep them back before the gates, or ever in flight they fling themselves in their women's arms, and be made a joy to their foemen. But when ye have aroused all our battalions, we verily will abide here and fight against the Danaans,
§ 6.85 sore wearied though we be, for necessity weighs hard upon us; but do thou, Hector, go thy way to the city and speak there to her that is thy mother and mine; let her gather the aged wives to the temple of flashing-eyed Athene in the citadel, and when she has opened with the key the doors of the holy house,
§ 6.90 the robe that seemeth to her the fairest and amplest in her hall, and that is far dearest to her own self, this let her lay upon the knees of fair-haired Athene, and vow to her that she will sacrifice in her temple twelve sleek heifers that have not felt the goad, if she will have compassion
§ 6.95 on the city and the Trojan's wives and their little children; in hope she may hold back from sacred Ilios the son of Tydeus, that savage spearman, a mighty deviser of rout, who has verily, meseems, proved himself the mightiest of the Achaeans. Not even Achilles did we ever fear on this wise, that leader of men,
§ 6.100 who, they say, is born of a goddess; nay this man rageth beyond all measure, and no one can vie with him in might.” So spake he, and Hector was in no wise disobedient unto his brother's word. Forthwith he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground, and brandishing his two sharp spears went everywhere throughout host,
§ 6.105 urging them to fight; and he roused the dread din of battle. So they rallied, and took their stand with their faces toward the Achaeans, and the Argives gave ground and ceased from slaying; and they deemed that one of the immortals had come down from starry heaven to bear aid to the Trojans, that they rallied thus.
§ 6.110 And Hector shouted aloud and called to the Trojans: “Ye Trojans, high of heart, and far-famed allies, be men, my friends, and bethink you of furious valour, the while I go to Ilios and bid the elders that give counsel, and our wives
§ 6.115 to make prayer to the gods, and promise them hecatombs.” So saying, Hector of the flashing helm departed, and the black hide at either end smote against his ankles and his neck, even the rim that ran about the outermost edge of his bossed shield. But Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, and the son of Tydeus
§ 6.120 came together in the space between the two hosts, eager to do battle. And when the twain were now come near as they advanced one against the other, Diomedes, good at the war-cry, was first to speak, saying: “Who art thou, mighty one, among mortal men? For never have I seen thee in battle where men win glory
§ 6.125 until this day, but now hast thou come forth far in advance of all in thy hardihood, in that thou abidest my far-shadowing spear. Unhappy are they whose children face my might. But and if thou art one of the immortals come down from heaven, then will I not fight with the heavenly gods.
§ 6.130 Nay, for even the son of Dryas, mighty Lycurgus, lived not long, seeing that he strove with heavenly gods—he that on a time drave down over the sacred mount of Nysa the nursing mothers of mad Dionysus; and they all let fall to the ground their wands, smitten with an ox-goad by man-slaying Lycurgus.
§ 6.135 But Dionysus fled, and plunged beneath the wave of the sea, and Thetis received him in her bosom, filled with dread, for mighty terror gat hold of him at the man's threatenings. Then against Lycurgus did the gods that live at ease wax wroth, and the son of Cronos made him blind;
§ 6.140 and he lived not for long, seeing that he was hated of all the immortal gods. So would not I be minded to fight against the blessed gods. But if thou art of men, who eat the fruit of the field, draw nigh, that thou mayest the sooner enter the toils of destruction.”2 Then spake to him the glorious son of Hippolochus:
§ 6.145 “Great-souled son of Tydeus, wherefore inquirest thou of my lineage? Even as are the generations of leaves, such are those also of men. As for the leaves, the wind scattereth some upon the earth, but the forest, as it bourgeons, putteth forth others when the season of spring is come; even so of men one generation springeth up and another passeth away.
§ 6.150 Howbeit, if thou wilt, hear this also, that thou mayest know well my lineage; and many there be that know it. There is a city Ephyre in the heart of Argos, pasture-land of horses, and there dwelt Sisyphus that was craftiest of men, Sisyphus, son of Aeolus; and he begat a son Glaucus;
§ 6.155 and Glaucus begat peerless Bellerophon. To him the gods granted beauty and lovely manliness; but Proetus in his heart devised against him evil, and drave him, seeing he was mightier far, from the land of the Argives; for Zeus had made them subject to his sceptre.
§ 6.160 Now the wife of Proetus, fair Anteia, lusted madly for Bellerophon, to lie with him in secret love, but could in no wise prevail upon wise-hearted Bellerophon, for that his heart was upright. So she made a tale of lies, and spake to king Proetus: “Either die thyself, Proetus, or slay Bellerophon,
§ 6.165 seeing he was minded to lie with me in love against my will.” So she spake, and wrath gat hold upon the king to hear that word. To slay him he forbare, for his soul had awe of that; but he sent him to Lycia, and gave him baneful tokens, graving in a folded tablet many signs and deadly,
§ 6.170 and bade him show these to his own wife's father, that he might be slain. So he went his way to Lycia under the blameless escort of the gods. And when he was come to Lycia and the stream of Xanthus, then with a ready heart did the king of wide Lycia do him honour: for nine days' space he shewed him entertainment, and slew nine oxen. Howbeit when the tenth rosy-fingered Dawn appeared,
§ 6.175 then at length he questioned him and asked to see whatever token he bare from his daughter's husband, Proetus. But when he had received from him the evil token of his daughter's husband, first he bade him slay the raging Chimaera.
§ 6.180 She was of divine stock, not of men, in the fore part a lion, in the hinder a serpent, and in the midst a goat, breathing forth in terrible wise the might of blazing fire. And Bellerophon slew her, trusting in the signs of the gods. Next fought he with the glorious Solymi,
§ 6.185 and this, said he was the mightest battle of warriors that ever he entered; and thirdly he slew the Amazons, women the peers of men. And against him, as he journeyed back therefrom, the king wove another cunning wile; he chose out of wide Lycia the bravest men and set an ambush; but these returned not home in any wise,
§ 6.190 for peerless Bellerophon slew them one and all. But when the king now knew that he was the valiant offspring of a god, he kept him there, and offered him his own daughter, and gave to him the half of all his kingly honour; moreover the Lycians meted out for him a demesne pre-eminent above all,
§ 6.195 a fair tract of orchard and of plough-land, to possess it. And the lady bare to wise-hearted Bellerophon three children, Isander and Hippolochus and Laodameia. With Laodameia lay Zeus the counsellor, and she bare godlike Sarpedon, the warrior harnessed in bronze.
§ 6.200 But when even Bellerophon came to be hated of all the gods, then verily he wandered alone over the Aleian plain, devouring his own soul, and shunning the paths of men; and Isander his son was slain by Ares, insatiate of battle, as he fought against the glorious Solymi;
§ 6.205 and his daughter was slain in wrath by Artemis of the golden reins. But Hippolochus begat me and of him do I declare that I am sprung; and he sent me to Troy and straitly charged me ever to be bravest and pre-eminent above all, and not bring shame upon the race of my fathers,
§ 6.210 that were far the noblest in Ephyre and in wide Lycia. This is the lineage and the blood whereof I avow me sprung.” So spake he, and Diomedes, good at the warcry, waxed glad. He planted his spear in the bounteous earth, and with gentle words spake to the shepherd of the host:
§ 6.215 “Verily now art thou a friend of my father's house from of old: for goodly Oeneus on a time entertained peerless Bellerophon in his halls, and kept him twenty days; and moreover they gave one to the other fair gifts of friendship. Oeneus gave a belt bright with scarlet,
§ 6.220 and Bellerophon a double cup of gold which I left in my palace as I came hither. But Tydeus I remember not, seeing I was but a little child when he left, what time the host of the Achaeans perished at Thebes. Therefore now am I a dear guest-friend to thee in the midst of Argos,
§ 6.225 and thou to me in Lycia, whenso I journey to the land of that folk. So let us shun one another's spears even amid the throng; full many there be for me to slay, both Trojans and famed allies, whomsoever a god shall grant me and my feet overtake;
§ 6.230 and many Achaeans again for thee to slay whomsoever thou canst. And let us make exchange of armour, each with the other, that these men too may know that we declare ourselves to be friends from our fathers' days.” When they had thus spoken, the twain leapt down from their chariots and clasped each other's hands and pledged their faith. And then from Glaucus did Zeus, son of Cronos, take away his wit,
§ 6.235 seeing he made exchange of armour with Diomedes, son of Tydeus, giving golden for bronze, the worth of an hundred oxen for the worth of nine. But when Hector was come to the Scaean gate and the oak-tree, round about him came running the wives and daughters of the Trojans asking of their sons and brethren and friends
§ 6.240 and husbands. But he thereupon bade them make prayer to the gods, all of them in turn; yet over many were sorrows hung. But when he was now come to the beauteous palace of Priam, adorned with polished colonnades —and in it were fifty chambers of polished stone,
§ 6.245 built each hard by the other; therein the sons of Priam were wont to sleep beside their wedded wives; and for his daughters over against them on the opposite side within the court were twelve roofed chambers of polished stone, built each hard by the other;
§ 6.250 therein slept Priam's sons-in-law beside their chaste wives—there his bounteous mother came to meet him, leading in Laodice, fairest of her daughters to look upon; and she clasped him by the hand and spake and addressed him: “My child, why hast thou left the fierce battle and come hither?
§ 6.255 Of a surety the sons of the Achaeans, of evil name, are pressing sore upon thee as they fight about our city, and thy heart hath bid thee come hitherward and lift up thy hands to Zeus from the citadel. But stay till I have brought thee honey-sweet wine that thou mayest pour libation to Zeus and the other immortals first,
§ 6.260 and then shalt thou thyself have profit thereof, if so be thou wilt drink. When a man is spent with toil wine greatly maketh his strength to wax, even as thou art spent with defending thy fellows.” Then in answer to her spake great Hector of the flashing helm: “Bring me no honey-hearted wine, honoured mother,
§ 6.265 lest thou cripple me, and I be forgetful of my might and my valour; moreover with hands unwashen I have awe to pour libation of flaming wine to Zeus; nor may it in any wise be that a man should make prayer to the son of Cronos, lord of the dark clouds, all befouled with blood and filth. Nay, do thou go to the temple of Athene,
§ 6.270 driver of the spoil, with burnt-offerings, when thou hast gathered together the aged wives; and the robe that seemeth to thee the fairest and amplest in thy hall, and that is dearest far to thine own self, this do thou lay upon the knees of fair-haired Athene and vow to her that thou wilt sacrifice in her temple twelve sleek heifers that have not felt the goad,
§ 6.275 if she will take pity on Troy and the Trojans' wives and their little children; in hope she may hold back the son of Tydeus from sacred Ilios, that savage spearman, a mighty deviser of rout. So go thou to the temple of Athene, driver of the spoil;
§ 6.280 and I will go after Paris, to summon him, if haply he will hearken to my bidding. Would that the earth might straightway gape for him! for in grievous wise hath the Olympian reared him as a bane to the Trojans and to great-hearted Priam, and the sons of Priam. If I but saw him going down to the house of Hades,
§ 6.285 then might I deem that my heart had forgotten its woe.” So spake he, and she went to the hall and called to her handmaidens; and they gathered together the aged wives throughout the city. But the queen herself went down to the vaulted treasurechamber wherein were her robes, richly broidered, the handiwork of Sidonian women,
§ 6.290 whom godlike Alexander had himself brought from Sidon, as he sailed over the wide sea on that journey on the which he brought back high-born Helen. Of these Hecabe took one, and bare it as an offering for Athene, the one that was fairest in its broiderings and amplest,
§ 6.295 and shone like a star, and lay undermost of all. Then she went her way, and the throng of aged wives hastened after her. Now when they were come to the temple of Athene in the citadel, the doors were opened for them by fair-cheeked Theano, daughter of Cisseus, the wife of Antenor, tamer of horses;
§ 6.300 for her had the Trojans made priestess of Athene. Then with sacred cries they all lifted up their hands to Athene; and fair-cheeked Theano took the robe and laid it upon the knees of fair-haired Athene, and with vows made prayer to the daughter of great Zeus:
§ 6.305 “Lady Athene, that dost guard our city, fairest among goddesses, break now the spear of Diomedes, and grant furthermore that himself may fall headlong before the Scaean gates; to the end that we may now forthwith sacrifice to thee in thy temple twelve sleek heifers that have not felt the goad, if thou wilt take pity
§ 6.310 on Troy and the Trojans' wives and their little children.” So spake she praying, but Pallas Athene denied the prayer. Thus were these praying to the daughter of great Zeus, but Hector went his way to the palace of Alexander, the fair palace that himself had builded with the men
§ 6.315 that were in that day the best builders in deep-soiled Troy; these had made him a chamber and hall and court hard by the palaces of Priam and Hector in the citadel. There entered in Hector, dear to Zeus, and in his hand he held a spear of eleven cubits, and before him blazed
§ 6.320 the spear-point of bronze, around which ran a ring of gold. He found Paris in his chamber busied with his beauteous arms, his shield and his corselet, and handling his curved bow; and Argive Helen sat amid her serving-women and appointed to them their glorious handiwork.
§ 6.325 And at sight of him Hector rebuked him with words of shame: “Strange man, thou dost not well to nurse this anger in thy heart. Thy people are perishing about the town and the steep wall in battle, and it is because of thee that the battle-cry and the war are ablaze about this city; thou wouldest thyself vent wrath on any other,
§ 6.330 whomso thou shouldest haply see shrinking from hateful war. Nay, then, rouse thee, lest soon the city blaze with consuming fire.” And to him did godlike Alexander make answer, saying: “Hector, seeing that thou dost chide me duly, and not beyond what is due, therefore will I tell thee; and do thou take thought and hearken unto me.
§ 6.335 Not so much by reason of wrath and indignation against the Trojans sat I in my chamber, but I was minded to yield myself to sorrow. Even now my wife sought to turn my mind with gentle words and urged me to the war: and I, mine own self, deem that it will be better so; victory shifteth from man to man.
§ 6.340 But come now, tarry a while, let me don my harness of war; or go thy way, and I will follow; and methinks I shall overtake thee.” So said he, and Hector of the flashing helm answered him not a word, but unto him spake Helen with gentle words: “O Brother of me that am a dog, a contriver of mischief and abhorred of all,
§ 6.345 I would that on the day when first my mother gave me birth an evil storm-wind had borne me away to some mountain or to the wave of the loud-resounding sea, where the wave might have swept me away or ever these things came to pass. Howbeit, seeing the gods thus ordained these ills,
§ 6.350 would that I had been wife to a better man, that could feel the indignation of his fellows and their many revilings. But this man's understanding is not now stable, nor ever will be hereafter; thereof I deem that he will e'en reap the fruit. But come now, enter in, and sit thee upon this chair,
§ 6.355 my brother, since above all others has trouble encompassed thy heart because of shameless me, and the folly of Alexander; on whom Zeus hath brought an evil doom, that even in days to come we may be a song for men that are yet to be.” Then made answer to her great Hector of the flashing helm:
§ 6.360 “Bid me not sit, Helen, for all thou lovest me; thou wilt not persuade me. Even now my heart is impatient to bear aid to the Trojans that sorely long for me that am not with them. Nay, but rouse thou this man, and let him of himself make haste, that he may overtake me while yet I am within the city.
§ 6.365 For I shall go to my home, that I may behold my housefolk, my dear wife, and my infant son; for I know not if any more I shall return home to them again, or if even now the gods will slay me beneath the hands of the Achaeans.” So saying, Hector of the flashing helm departed,
§ 6.370 and came speedily to his well-built house. But he found not white-armed Andromache in his halls; she with her child and a fair-robed handmaiden had taken her stand upon the wall, weeping and wailing. So Hector when he found not his peerless wife within,
§ 6.375 went and stood upon the threshold, and spake amid the serving-women: “Come now, ye serving-women, tell me true; whither went white-armed Andromache from the hall? Is she gone to the house of any of my sisters or my brothers' fair-robed wives, or to the temple of Athene, where the other
§ 6.380 fair-tressed women of Troy are seeking to propitiate he dread goddess?” Then a busy house-dame spake to him, saying: “Hector, seeing thou straitly biddest us tell thee true, neither is she gone to any of thy sisters or thy brothers' fair-robed wives, nor yet to the temple of Athene, where the other
§ 6.385 fair-tressed Trojan women are seeking to propitiate the dread goddess; but she went to the great wall of Ilios, for that she heard the Trojans were sorely pressed, and great victory rested with the Achaeans. So is she gone in haste to the wall, like one beside herself; and with her the nurse beareth the child.”
§ 6.390 So spake the house-dame, and Hector hasted from the house back over the same way along the well-built streets. When now he was come to the gate, as he passed through the great city, the Scaean gate, whereby he was minded to go forth to the plain, there came running to meet him his bounteous wife,
§ 6.395 Andromache, daughter of great-hearted Eetion, Eetion that dwelt beneath wooded Placus, in Thebe under Placus, and was lord over the men of Cilicia; for it was his daughter that bronze-harnessed Hector had to wife. She now met him, and with her came a handmaid bearing in her bosom
§ 6.400 the tender boy, a mere babe, the well-loved son of Hector, like to a fair star. Him Hector was wont to call Scamandrius, but other men Astyanax; for only Hector guarded Ilios.4 Then Hector smiled, as he glanced at his boy in silence,
§ 6.405 but Andromache came close to his side weeping, and clasped his hand and spake to him, saying: “Ah, my husband, this prowess of thine will be thy doom, neither hast thou any pity for thine infant child nor for hapless me that soon shall be thy widow; for soon will the Achaeans
§ 6.410 all set upon thee and slay thee. But for me it were better to go down to the grave if I lose thee, for nevermore shall any comfort be mine, when thou hast met thy fate, but only woes. Neither father have I nor queenly mother. My father verily goodly Achilles slew,
§ 6.415 for utterly laid he waste the well-peopled city of the Cilicians, even Thebe of lofty gates. He slew Eetion, yet he despoiled him not, for his soul had awe of that; but he burnt him in his armour, richly dight, and heaped over him a barrow; and all about were elm-trees planted by nymphs of the mountain, daughters of Zeus that beareth the aegis.
§ 6.420 And the seven brothers that were mine in our halls, all these on the selfsame day entered into the house of Hades, for all were slain of swift-footed, goodly Achilles, amid their kine of shambling gait and their white-fleeced sheep.
§ 6.425 And my mother, that was queen beneath wooded Placus, her brought he hither with the rest of the spoil, but thereafter set her free, when he had taken ransom past counting; and in her father's halls Artemis the archer slew her. Nay, Hector, thou art to me father and queenly mother,
§ 6.430 thou art brother, and thou art my stalwart husband. Come now, have pity, and remain here on the wall, lest thou make thy child an orphan and thy wife a widow. And for thy host, stay it by the wild fig-tree, where the city may best be scaled, and the wall is open to assault.
§ 6.435 For thrice at this point came the most valiant in company with the twain Aiantes and glorious Idomeneus and the sons of Atreus and the valiant son of Tydeus, and made essay to enter: whether it be that one well-skilled in soothsaying told them, or haply their own spirit urgeth and biddeth them thereto.”
§ 6.440 Then spake to her great Hector of the flashing helm: “Woman, I too take thought of all this, but wondrously have I shame of the Trojans, and the Trojans' wives, with trailing robes, if like a coward I skulk apart from the battle. Nor doth mine own heart suffer it, seeing I have learnt to be valiant
§ 6.445 always and to fight amid the foremost Trojans, striving to win my father's great glory and mine own. For of a surety know I this in heart and soul: the day shall come when sacred Ilios shall be laid low, and Priam, and the people of Priam with goodly spear of ash.
§ 6.450 Yet not so much doth the grief of the Trojans that shall be in the aftertime move me, neither Hecabe's own, nor king Priam's, nor my brethren's, many and brave, who then shall fall in the dust beneath the hands of their foemen, as doth thy grief, when some brazen-coated Achaean
§ 6.455 shall lead thee away weeping and rob thee of thy day of freedom. Then haply in Argos shalt thou ply the loom at another s bidding, or bear water from Messeis or Hypereia, sorely against thy will, and strong necessity shall be laid upon thee. And some man shall say as he beholdeth thee weeping:
§ 6.460 “Lo, the wife of Hector, that was pre-eminent in war above all the horse-taming Trojans, in the day when men fought about Ilios.” So shall one say; and to thee shall come fresh grief in thy lack of a man like me to ward off the day of bondage. But let me be dead, and let the heaped-up earth cover me,
§ 6.465 ere I hear thy cries as they hale thee into captivity.” So saying, glorious Hector stretched out his arms to his boy, but back into the bosom of his fair-girdled nurse shrank the child crying, affrighted at the aspect of his dear father, and seized with dread of the bronze and the crest of horse-hair,
§ 6.470 as he marked it waving dreadfully from the topmost helm. Aloud then laughed his dear father and queenly mother; and forthwith glorious Hector took the helm from his head and laid it all-gleaming upon the ground. But he kissed his dear son, and fondled him in his arms,
§ 6.475 and spake in prayer to Zeus and the other gods: “Zeus and ye other gods, grant that this my child may likewise prove, even as I, pre-eminent amid the Trojans, and as valiant in might, and that he rule mightily over Ilios. And some day may some man say of him as he cometh back from war,‘He is better far than his father’;
§ 6.480 and may he bear the blood-stained spoils of the foeman he hath slain, and may his mother's heart wax glad.” So saying, he laid his child in his dear wife's arms, and she took him to her fragrant bosom, smiling through her tears; and her husband was touched with pity at sight of her,
§ 6.485 and he stroked her with his hand, and spake to her, saying: “Dear wife, in no wise, I pray thee, grieve overmuch at heart; no man beyond my fate shall send me forth to Hades; only his doom, methinks, no man hath ever escaped, be he coward or valiant, when once he hath been born.
§ 6.490 Nay, go thou to the house and busy thyself with thine own tasks, the loom and the distaff, and bid thy handmaids ply their work: but war shall be for men, for all, but most of all for me, of them that dwell in Ilios.” So spake glorious Hector and took up his helm
§ 6.495 with horse-hair crest; and his dear wife went forthwith to her house, oft turning back, and shedding big tears. Presently she came to the well-built palace of man-slaying Hector and found therein her many handmaidens; and among them all she roused lamentation.
§ 6.500 So in his own house they made lament for Hector while yet he lived; for they deemed that he should never more come back from battle, escaped from the might and the hands of the Achaeans. Nor did Paris tarry long in his lofty house, but did on his glorious armour, dight with bronze,
§ 6.505 and hastened through the city, trusting in his fleetness of foot. Even as when a stalled horse that has fed his fill at the manger breaketh his halter and runneth stamping over the plain—being wont to bathe him in the fair-flowing river—and exulteth; on high doth he hold his head, and about his shoulders
§ 6.510 his mane floateth streaming, and as he glorieth in his splendour, his knees nimbly bear him to the haunts and pastures of mares; even so Paris, son of Priam, strode down from high Pergamus, all gleaming in his armour like the shining sun, laughing for glee, and his swift feet bare him on. Speedily then
§ 6.515 he overtook goodly Hector, his brother, even as he was about to turn back from the place where he had dallied with his wife. Then godlike Alexander was first to speak to him, saying: “My brother, full surely I delay thee in thine haste by my long tarrying, and came not in due season, as thou badest me.”
§ 6.520 Then in answer to him spake Hector of the flashing helm: “Strange man, no one that is rightminded could make light of thy work in battle, for thou art valiant; but of thine own will art thou slack, and hast no care; and thereat my heart is grieved within me, whenso I hear regarding thee words of shame
§ 6.525 from the lips of the Trojans, who because of thee have grievous toil. But let us go our way; these things we will make good hereafter, if so be Zeus shall grant us to set for the heavenly gods that are for ever a bowl of deliverance in our halls, when we have driven forth from the land of Troy the well-greaved Achaeans.”
§ 7.1 BOOK 7
So saying, glorious Hector hastened forth from the gates, and with him went his brother Alexander; and in their hearts were both eager for war and battle. And as a god giveth to longing seamen
§ 7.5 a fair wind when they have grown weary of beating the sea with polished oars of fir, and with weariness are their limbs fordone; even so appeared these twain to the longing Trojans. Then the one of them slew the son of king Areithous, Menesthius, that dwelt in Arne, who was born of the mace-man
§ 7.10 Areithous and ox-eyed Phylomedusa; and Hector with his sharp spear smote Eioneus on the neck beneath the well-wrought helmet of bronze, and loosed his limbs. And Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, leader of the Lycians, made a cast with his spear in the fierce conflict at Iphinous,
§ 7.15 son of Dexios, as he sprang upon his car behind his swift mares, and smote him upon the shoulder; so he fell from his chariot to the ground and his limbs were loosed. But when the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, was ware of them as they were slaying the Argives in the fierce conflict, she went darting down from the peaks of Olympus
§ 7.20 to sacred Ilios. And Apollo sped forth to meet her, for he looked down from out of Pergamus and beheld her, and was fain to have victory for the Trojans. So the twain met one with the other by the oak-tree. Then to her spake first the king Apollo, son of Zeus: “Wherefore art thou again come thus eagerly from Olympus, thou daughter of great Zeus,
§ 7.25 and why hath thy proud spirit sent thee? Is it that thou mayest give to the Danaans victory to turn the tide of battle, seeing thou hast no pity for the Trojans, that perish? But if thou wouldst in anywise hearken unto me—and so would it be better far—let us now stay the war and fighting
§ 7.30 for this day. Hereafter shall they fight again until they win the goal of Ilios, since thus it seemeth good to the hearts of you immortal goddesses, to lay waste this city.” And in answer to him spake the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene: “So be it, thou god that workest afar;
§ 7.35 with this in mind am I myself come from Olympus to the midst of Trojans and Achaeans. But come, how art thou minded to stay the battle of the warriors?” Then in answer to her spake king Apollo, son of Zeus: “Let us rouse the valiant spirit of horse-taming Hector, in hope that he may challenge some one of the Danaans in single fight
§ 7.40 to do battle with him man to man in dread combat. So shall the bronze-greaved Achaeans have indignation and rouse some one to do battle in single combat against goodly Hector.” So he spake, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken. And Helenus, the dear son of Priam, understood in spirit
§ 7.45 this plan that had found pleasure with the gods in council; and he came and stood by Hector's side, and spake to him, saying: “Hector, son of Priam, peer of Zeus in counsel, wouldst thou now in anywise hearken unto me? for I am thy brother. Make the Trojans to sit down, and all the Achaeans,
§ 7.50 and do thou challenge whoso is best of the Achaeans to do battle with thee man to man in dread combat. Not yet is it thy fate to die and meet thy doom; for thus have I heard the voice of the gods that are for ever.” So spake he and Hector rejoiced greatly when he heard his words;
§ 7.55 and he went into the midst and kept back the battalions of the Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down, and Agamemnon made the well-greaved Achaeans to sit. And Athene and Apollo of the silver bow in the likeness of vultures sate them
§ 7.60 upon the lofty oak of father Zeus that beareth the aegis, rejoicing in the warriors; and the ranks of these sat close, bristling with shields and helms and spears. Even as there is spread over the face of the deep the ripple of the West Wind, that is newly risen, and the deep groweth black beneath it,
§ 7.65 so sat the ranks of the Achaeans and Trojans in the plain. And Hector spake between the two hosts: “Hear me, ye Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me. Our oaths the son of Cronos, throned on high, brought not to fulfillment,
§ 7.70 but with ill intent ordaineth a time for both hosts, until either ye take well-walled Troy or yourselves be vanquished beside your sea-faring ships. With you are the chieftains of the whole host of the Achaeans; of these let now that man whose heart soever biddeth him fight with me,
§ 7.75 come hither from among you all to be your champion against goodly Hector. And thus do I declare my word, and be Zeus our witness thereto: if so be he shall slay me with the long-edged bronze, let him spoil me of my armour and bear it to the hollow ships, but my body let him give back to my home,
§ 7.80 that the Trojans and the Trojan wives may give me my due meed of fire in my death. But if so be I slay him, and Apollo give me glory, I will spoil him of his armour and bear it to sacred Ilios and hang it upon the temple of Apollo, the god that smiteth afar, but his corpse will I render back to the well-benched ships,
§ 7.85 that the long-haired Achaeans may give him burial, and heap up for him a barrow by the wide Hellespont. And some one shall some day say even of men that are yet to be, as he saileth in his many-benched ship over the wine-dark sea: ‘This is a barrow of a man that died in olden days,
§ 7.90 whom on a time in the midst of his prowess glorious Hector slew.’ So shall some man say, and my glory shall never die.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence; shame had they to deny him, but they feared to meet him. Howbeit at length Menelaus arose among them and spake,
§ 7.95 chiding them with words of reviling, and deeply did he groan at heart: “Ah me, Ye braggarts, ye women of Achaea, men no more! Surely shall this be a disgrace dread and dire, if no man of the Danaans shall now go to meet Hector. Nay, may ye one and all turn to earth and water,
§ 7.100 ye that sit there each man with no heart in him, utterly inglorious. Against this man will I myself arm me; but from on high are the issues of victory holden of the immortal gods.” So spake he, and did on his fair armour. And now Menelaus, would the end of life have appeared for thee
§ 7.105 at the hands of Hector, seeing he was mightier far, had not the kings of the Achaeans sprung up and laid hold of thee. And Atreus' son himself, wide-ruling Agamemnon, caught him by the right hand and spake to him, saying: “Thou art mad, Menelaus, nurtured of Zeus, and this thy madness beseemeth thee not.
§ 7.110 Hold back, for all thy grief, and be not minded in rivalry to fight with one better than thou, even with Hector, son of Priam, of whom others besides thee are adread. Even Achilles shuddereth to meet this man in battle, where men win glory; and he is better far than thou.
§ 7.115 Nay, go thou for this present, and sit thee amid the company of thy fellows; against this man shall the Achaeans raise up another champion. Fearless though he be and insatiate of battle, methinks he will be glad to bend his knees in rest, if so be he escape from the fury of war and the dread conflict.”
§ 7.120 So spake the warrior and turned his brother's mind, for he counselled aright; and Menelaus obeyed. Then with gladness his squires took his armour from his shoulders; and Nestor rose up and spake amid the Argives: “Fie upon you! In good sooth is great grief come upon the land of Achaea.
§ 7.125 Verily aloud would old Peleus groan, the driver of chariots, goodly counsellor, and orator of the Myrmidons, who on a time questioned me in his own house, and rejoiced greatly as he asked of the lineage and birth of all the Argives. If he were to hear that these were now all cowering before Hector
§ 7.130 then would he lift up his hands to the immortals in instant prayer that his soul might depart from his limbs into the house of Hades. I would, O father Zeus and Athene and Apollo, that I were young as when beside swift-flowing Celadon the Pylians and Arcadians that rage with spears gathered together and fought
§ 7.135 beneath the walls of Pheia about the streams of Iardanus. On their side stood forth Ereuthalion as champion, a godlike man, bearing upon his shoulders the armour of king Areithous, goodly Areithous that men and fair-girdled women were wont to call the mace-man,
§ 7.140 for that he fought not with bow or long spear, but with a mace of iron brake the battalions. Him Lycurgus slew by guile and nowise by might, in a narrow way, where his mace of iron saved him not from destruction. For ere that might be Lycurgus came upon him at unawares
§ 7.145 and pierced him through the middle with his spear, and backward was he hurled upon the earth; and Lycurgus despoiled him of the armour that brazen Ares had given him. This armour he thereafter wore himself amid the turmoil of Ares, but when Lycurgus grew old within his halls
§ 7.150 he gave it to Ereuthalion, his dear squire, to wear. And wearing this armour did Ereuthalion challenge all the bravest; but they trembled sore and were afraid, nor had any man courage to abide him. But me did my enduring heart set on to battle with him in my hardihood, though in years I was youngest of all. So fought I with him, and Athene gave me glory.
§ 7.155 The tallest was he and the strongest man that ever I slew: as a huge sprawling bulk he lay stretched this way and that. Would I were now as young and my strength as firm, then should Hector of the flashing helm soon find one to face him. Whereas ye that are chieftains of the whole host of the Achaeans,
§ 7.160 even ye are not minded with a ready heart to meet Hector face to face.” So the old man chid them, and there stood up nine in all. Upsprang far the first the king of men, Agamemnon, and after him Tydeus' son, mighty Diomedes, and after them the Aiantes, clothed in furious valour,
§ 7.165 and after them Idomeneus and Idomeneus' comrade Meriones, the peer of Enyalius, slayer of men, and after them Eurypylus, the glorious son of Euaemon; and upsprang Thoas, son of Andraemon, and goodly Odysseus; all these were minded to do battle with goodly Hector.
§ 7.170 Then among them spake again the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia: “Cast ye the lot now from the first unto the last for him whoso shall be chosen; for he shall verily profit the well-greaved Achaeans and himself in his own soul shall profit withal, if so be he escape from the fury of war and the dread conflict.”
§ 7.175 So said he, and they marked each man his lot and cast them in the helmet of Agamemnon, son of Atreus; and the host made prayer, and lifted up their hands to the gods. And thus would one say with a lance up to the broad heaven: “Father Zeus, grant that the lot fall of Aias or the son of Tydeus
§ 7.180 or else on the king himself of Mycene rich in gold.” So spake they, and the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, shook the helmet, and forth therefrom leapt the lot that themselves desired, even the lot of Aias. And the herald bare it everywhither throughout the throng, and showed it from left to right to all the chieftains of the Achaeans;
§ 7.185 but they knew it not, and denied it every man. But when in bearing it everywhither throughout the throng he was come to him that had marked it and cast it into the helm, even to glorious Aias, then Aias held forth his hand, and the herald drew near and laid the lot therein; and Aias knew at a glance the token on the lot, and waxed glad at heart.
§ 7.190 The lot then he cast upon the ground beside his foot, and spake: “My friends, of a surety the lot is mine, and mine own heart rejoiceth, for I deem that I shall vanquish goodly Hector. But come now, while I am doing on me my battle gear, make ye prayer the while to king Zeus, son of Cronos,
§ 7.195 in silence by yourselves, that the Trojans learn naught thereof—nay, or openly, if ye will, since in any case we fear no man. For by force shall no man drive me in flight of his own will and in despite of mine, nor yet by skill; since as no skilless wight methinks was I born and reared in Salamis.”
§ 7.200 So spake he, and they made prayer to king Zeus, son of Cronos; and thus would one speak with a glance up to the broad heaven: “Father Zeus, that rulest from Ida, most glorious, most great, vouchsafe victory to Aias and that he win him glorious renown; or if so be thou lovest Hector too, and carest for him,
§ 7.205 vouchsafe to both equal might and glory.” So they spake, and Aias arrayed him in gleaming bronze. But when he had clothed about his flesh all his armour, then sped he in such wise as huge Ares goeth forth when he enters into battle amid warriors whom the son of Cronos
§ 7.210 hath brought together to contend in the fury of soul-devouring strife. Even in such wise sprang forth huge Aias, the bulwark of the Achaeans, with a smile on his grim face; and he went with long strides of his feet beneath him, brandishing his far-shadowing spear. Then were the Argives glad as they looked upon him,
§ 7.215 but upon the Trojans crept dread trembling on the limbs of every man, and Hector's own heart beat fast within his breast. Howbeit in no wise could he any more flee or shrink back into the throng of the host, seeing he had made challenge to fight. So Aias drew near, bearing his shield that was like a city wall,
§ 7.220 a shield of bronze with sevenfold bull's-hide, the which Tychius had wrought with toil, he that was far best of workers in hide, having his home in Hyle, who had made him his flashing shield of seven hides of sturdy bulls, and thereover had wrought an eighth layer of bronze. This Telamonian Aias bare before his breast,
§ 7.225 and he came and stood close by Hector, and spake threatening: “Hector, now verily shalt thou know of a surety, man to man, what manner of chieftains there be likewise among the Danaans, even after Achilles, breaker of the ranks of men, the lion-hearted. Howbeit he abideth amid his beaked seafaring ships
§ 7.230 in utter wrath against Agamemnon, Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; yet are we such as to face thee, yea, full many of us. But begin thou war and battle.” To him then made answer great Hector of the flashing helm: “Aias, sprung from Zeus, thou son of Telamon, captain of the host,
§ 7.235 in no wise make thou trial of me as of some puny boy or a woman that knoweth not deeds of war. Nay, full well know I battles and slayings of men. I know well how to wield to right, and well how to wield to left my shield of seasoned hide, which I deem a sturdy thing to wield in fight;
§ 7.240 and I know how to charge into the mellay of chariots drawn by swift mares; and I know how in close fight to tread the measure of furious Ares. Yet am I not minded to smite thee, being such a one as thou art, by spying thee at unawares; but rather openly, if so be I may hit thee.” He spake, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled it;
§ 7.245 and he smote Aias' dread shield of sevenfold bull's-hide upon the outermost bronze, the eighth layer that was thereon. Through six folds shore the stubborn bronze, but in the seventh hide it was stayed. Then in turn Zeus-born Aias hurled his far-shadowing spear,
§ 7.250 and smote upon the son of Priam's shield, that was well balanced upon every side. Through the bright shield went the mighty spear, and through the corselet, richly dight, did it force its way; and straight on beside his flank the spear shore through his tunic; but he bent aside, and escaped black fate.
§ 7.255 Then the twain both at one moment drew forth with their hands their long spears, and fell to, in semblance like ravening lions or wild boars, whose is no weakling strength. Then the son of Priam smote full upon the shield of Aias with a thrust of his spear, howbeit the bronze brake not through, for its point was turned;
§ 7.260 but Aias leapt upon him and pierced his buckler, and clean through went the spear and made him reel in his onset; even to his neck it made its way, and gashed it, and the dark blood welled up. Yet not even so did Hector of the flashing-helm cease from fight, but giving ground he seized with stout hand a stone
§ 7.265 that lay upon the plain, black and jagged and great; therewith he smote Aias' dread shield of sevenfold bull's-hide full upon the boss; and the bronze rang about it. Then Aias in turn lifted on high a far greater stone, and swung and hurled it, putting into the cast measureless strength;
§ 7.270 and he burst the buckler inwards with the cast of the rock that was like unto a mill-stone, and beat down Hector's knees; so he stretched upon his back, gathered together under his shield; howbeit Apollo straightway raised him up. And now had they been smiting with their swords in close fight, but that the heralds, messengers of Zeus and men,
§ 7.275 came, one from the Trojans and one from the brazen-coated Achaeans, even Talthybius and Idaeus, men of prudence both. Between the two they held forth their staves, and the herald Idaeus, skilled in prudent counsel, spake, saying: “Fight ye no more, dear sons, neither do battle;
§ 7.280 both ye twain are loved of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and both are spearmen; that verily know we all. Moreover night is now upon us, and it is well to yield obedience to night's behest.” Then in answer to him spake Telamonian Aias: “Idaeus, bid ye Hector speak these words,
§ 7.285 for it was he who of himself challenged to combat all our best. Let him be first and I verily will hearken even as he shall say.” Then spake unto him great Hector of the flashing helm: “Aias, seeing God gave thee stature and might, aye, and wisdom, and with thy spear thou art pre-eminent above all the Achaeans,
§ 7.290 let us now cease from battle and strife for this day; hereafter shall we fight again until God judge between us, and give victory to one side or the other. Howbeit night is now upon us, and it is well to yield obedience to night's behest, that thou mayest make glad all the Achaeans beside their ships,
§ 7.295 and most of all the kinsfolk and comrades that are thine; and I throughout the great city of king Priam shall make glad the Trojan men and Trojan women with trailing robes, who because of me will enter the gathering of the gods with thanksgivings. But come, let us both give each to the other glorious gifts,
§ 7.300 to the end that many a one of Achaeans and Trojans alike may thus say: ‘The twain verily fought in rivalry of soul-devouring strife, but thereafter made them a compact and were parted in friendship.’” When he had thus said, he brought and gave him his silver-studded sword with its scabbard and well-cut baldric;
§ 7.305 and Aias gave his belt bright with scarlet. So they parted, and one went his way to the host of the Achaeans and the other betook him to the throng of the Trojans. And these waxed glad when they saw Hector coming to join them alive and whole, escaped from the fury of Aias and his invincible hands;
§ 7.310 and they brought him to the city scarce deeming that he was safe. And Aias on his part was led of the well-greaved Achaeans unto goodly Agamemnon, filled with joy of his victory. And when they were now come to the huts of the son of Atreus, then did the king of men, Agamemnon slay there a bull,
§ 7.315 a male of five years, for the son of Cronos, supreme in might. This they flayed and dressed, and cut up all the limbs. Then they sliced these cunningly, and spitted them and roasted them carefully and drew all off the spits. But when they had ceased from their labour and had made ready the meal,
§ 7.320 they feasted, nor did their hearts lack aught of the equal feast. And unto Aias for his honour was the long chine given by the warrior son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, first of all the old man began to weave the web of counsel for them,
§ 7.325 even Nestor, whose rede had of old ever seemed the best. He with good intent addressed their gathering and spake among them: “Son of Atreus and ye other princes of the hosts of Achaea, lo, full many long-haired Achaeans are dead, whose dark blood keen Ares hath now spilt about fair-flowing Scamander,
§ 7.330 and their souls have gone down to the house of Hades; therefore were it well that thou make the battle of the Achaeans to cease at daybreak, and we will gather to hale hither on carts the corpses with oxen and mules; and we will burn them a little way from the ships that each man may bear their bones home to their children,
§ 7.335 whenso we return again to our native land. And about the pyre let us heap a single barrow, rearing it from the plain for all alike, and thereby build with speed a lofty wall, a defence for our ships and for ourselves. And therein let us build gates close-fastening,
§ 7.340 that through them may be a way for the driving of chariots; and without let us dig a deep ditch hard by, which shall intervene and keep back chariots and footmen, lest ever the battle of the lordly Trojans press heavily upon us.” So spake he, and all the kings assented thereto.
§ 7.345 And of the Trojans likewise was a gathering held in the citadel of Ilios, a gathering fierce and tumultuous, beside Priam's doors. Among them wise Antenor was first to speak, saying: “Hearken to me, ye Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me.
§ 7.350 Come ye now, let us give Argive Helen and the treasure with her unto the sons of Atreus to take away. Now do we fight after proving false to our oaths of faith, wherefore have I no hope that aught will issue to our profit, if we do not thus.” When he had thus spoken he sate him down, and among them uprose
§ 7.355 goodly Alexander, lord of fair-haired Helen; he made answer, and spake to him winged words: “Antenor, this that thou sayest is no longer to my pleasure; yea thou knowest how to devise better words than these. But if thou verily speakest this in earnest,
§ 7.360 then of a surety have the gods themselves destroyed thy wits. Howbeit I will speak amid the gathering of horse-taming Trojans and declare outright: my wife will I not give back; but the treasure that I brought from Argos to our home, all this am I minded to give, and to add thereto from mine own store.”
§ 7.365 When he had thus spoken he sate him down, and among them uprose Priam, son of Dardanus, peer of the gods in counsel. He with good intent addressed their gathering, and spake among them: “Hearken to me, ye Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that I may say what the heart in my breast biddeth me.
§ 7.370 For this present take ye your supper throughout the city, even as of old, and take heed to keep watch, and be wakeful every man; and at dawn let Idaeus go to the hollow ships to declare to Atreus' sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, the word of Alexander, for whose sake strife hath been set afoot.
§ 7.375 And let him furthermore declare to them this word of wisdom, whether they are minded to cease from dolorous war till we have burned the dead; thereafter shall we fight again until God judge between us, and give victory to one side or the other.” So spake he, and they readily hearkened to him, and obeyed;
§ 7.380 then they took their supper throughout the host by companies, and at dawn Idaeus went his way to the hollow ships. There he found in the place of gathering the Danaans, squires of Ares, beside the stern of Agamemnon's ship; and the loud-voiced herald took his stand in the midst and spake among them:
§ 7.385 “Son of Atreus, and ye other princes of the hosts of Achaea, Priam and the other lordly Trojans bade me declare to you—if haply it be your wish and your good pleasure—the saying of Alexander, for whose sake strife hath been set afoot. The treasure that Alexander brought to Troy
§ 7.390 in his hollow ships—would that he had perished first!—all this he is minded to give, and to add thereto from his own store; but the wedded wife of glorious Menelaus, he declares he will not give; though verily the Trojans bid him do it. Moreover they bade me declare unto you this word also, whether ye be minded
§ 7.395 to cease from dolorous war till we have burned the dead; thereafter shall we fight again until God judge between us and give victory to one side or the other.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence. But at length there spake among them Diomedes, good at the war-cry:
§ 7.400 “Let no man now accept the treasure from Alexander, nay, nor Helen; known is it, even to him who hath no wit at all, that now the cords of destruction are made fast upon the Trojans.” So spake he, and all the sons of the Achaeans shouted aloud, applauding the saying of Diomedes, tamer of horses.
§ 7.405 Then to Idaeus spake lord Agamemnon: “Idaeus, verily of thyself thou hearest the word of the Achaeans, how they make answer to thee; and mine own pleasure is even as theirs. But as touching the dead I in no wise grudge that ye burn them; for to dead corpses should no man grudge,
§ 7.410 when once they are dead, the speedy consolation of fire. But to our oaths let Zeus be witness, the loud-thundering lord of Hera.” So saying, he lifted up his staff before the face of all the gods, and Idaeus went his way back to sacred Ilios. Now they were sitting in assembly, Trojans and Dardanians alike,
§ 7.415 all gathered in one body waiting until Idaeus should come; and he came and stood in their midst and declared his message. Then they made them ready with all speed for either task, some to bring the dead, and others to seek for wood. And the Argives over against them hasted from the benched ships,
§ 7.420 some to bring the dead and others to seek for wood. The sun was now just striking on the fields, as he rose from softly-gliding, deep-flowing Oceanus, and climbed the heavens, when the two hosts met together. Then was it a hard task to know each man again;
§ 7.425 howbeit with water they washed from them the clotted blood, and lifted them upon the waggons, shedding hot tears the while. But great Priam would not suffer his folk to wail aloud; so in silence they heaped the corpses upon the pyre, their hearts sore stricken; and when they had burned them with fire they went their way to sacred Ilios.
§ 7.430 And in like manner over against them the well-greaved Achaeans heaped the corpses upon the pyre, their hearts sore stricken, and when they had burned them with fire they went their way to the hollow ships. Now when dawn was not yet, but night was still 'twixt light and dark, then was there gathered about the pyre the chosen host of the Achaeans,
§ 7.435 and they made about it a single barrow, rearing it from the plain for all alike; and thereby they built a wall and a lofty rampart, a defence for their ships and for themselves. And therein they made gates, close-fastening, that through them might be a way for the driving of chariots.
§ 7.440 And without they dug a deep ditch hard by, wide and great, and therein they planted stakes. Thus were they toiling, the long-haired Achaeans; and the gods, as they sat by the side of Zeus, the lord of the lightning, marvelled at the great work of the brazen-coated Achaeans.
§ 7.445 And among them Poseidon, the Shaker of Earth, was first to speak: “Father Zeus, is there now anyone of mortals on the face of the boundless earth, that will any more declare to the immortals his mind and counsel? Seest thou not that now again the long-haired Achaeans have builded them a wall to defend their ships, and about it have drawn a trench,
§ 7.450 but gave not glorious hecatombs to the gods? Of a surety shall the fame thereof reach as far as the dawn spreadeth, and men will forget the wall that I and Phoebus Apollo built with toil for the warrior Laomedon.” Then greatly troubled, Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, spake to him:
§ 7.455 “Ah me, thou Shaker of Earth, wide of sway, what a thing thou hast said! Another of the gods might haply fear this device, whoso was feebler far than thou in hand and might; whereas thy fame shall of a surety reach as far as the dawn spreadeth. Go to now, when once the long-haired Achaeans have gone with their ships to their dear native land,
§ 7.460 then do thou burst apart the wall and sweep it all into the sea, and cover the great beach again with sand, that so the great wall of the Achaeans may be brought to naught of thee.” On this wise spake they, one to the other,
§ 7.465 and the sun set, and the work of the Achaeans was accomplished; and they slaughtered oxen throughout the huts and took supper. And ships full many were at hand from Lemnos, bearing wine, sent forth by Jason's son, Euneus, whom Hypsipyle bare to Jason, shepherd of the host.
§ 7.470 And for themselves alone unto the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, had Euneus given wine to be brought them, even a thousand measures. From these ships the long-haired Achaeans bought them wine, some for bronze, some for gleaming iron, some for hides, some for whole cattle,
§ 7.475 and some for slaves; and they made them a rich feast. So the whole night through the long-haired Achaeans feasted, and the Trojans likewise in the city, and their allies; and all night long Zeus, the counsellor, devised them evil, thundering in terrible wise. Then pale fear gat hold of them,
§ 7.480 and they let the wine flow from their cups upon the ground, neither durst any man drink until he had made a drink-offering to the son of Cronos, supreme in might. Then they laid them down, and took the gift of sleep.
§ 8.1 BOOK 8
Now Dawn the saffron-robed was spreading over the face of all the earth, and Zeus that hurleth the thunderbolt made a gathering of the gods upon the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus, and himself addressed their gathering; and all the gods gave ear:
§ 8.5 “Hearken unto me, all ye gods and goddesses, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me. Let not any goddess nor yet any god essay this thing, to thwart my word, but do ye all alike assent thereto, that with all speed I may bring these deeds to pass.
§ 8.10 Whomsoever I shall mark minded apart from the gods to go and bear aid either to Trojans or Danaans, smitten in no seemly wise shall he come back to Olympus, or I shall take and hurl him into murky Tartarus,
§ 8.15 far, far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth, the gates whereof are of iron and the threshold of bronze, as far beneath Hades as heaven is above earth: then shall ye know how far the mightiest am I of all gods. Nay, come, make trial, ye gods, that ye all may know. Make ye fast from heaven a chain of gold,
§ 8.20 and lay ye hold thereof, all ye gods and all goddesses; yet could ye not drag to earth from out of heaven Zeus the counsellor most high, not though ye laboured sore. But whenso I were minded to draw of a ready heart, then with earth itself should I draw you and with sea withal;
§ 8.25 and the rope should I thereafter bind about a peak of Olympus and all those things should hang in space. By so much am I above gods and above men.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence, marvelling at his words; for full masterfully did he address their gathering.
§ 8.30 But at length there spake among them the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene: “Father of us all, thou son of Cronos, high above all lords, well know we of ourselves that thy might is unyielding, yet even so have we pity for the Danaan spearmen who now shall perish and fulfill an evil fate.
§ 8.35 Yet verily will we refrain us from battle, even as thou dost bid; howbeit counsel will we offer to the Argives which shall be for their profit, that they perish not all by reason of thy wrath.” Then with a smile spake to her Zeus the cloud-gatherer: “Be of good cheer, Tritogeneia, dear child. In no wise
§ 8.40 do I speak with full purpose of heart, but am minded to be kindly to thee.” So saying, he let harness beneath his car his bronze-hooved horses, swift of flight, with flowing manes of gold; and with gold he clad himself about his body, and grasped the well-wrought whip of gold, and stepped upon his car
§ 8.45 and touched the horses with the lash to start them; and nothing loath the pair sped onward midway between earth and starry heaven. To Ida he fared, the many-fountained, mother of wild beasts, even to Gargarus, where is his demesne and his fragrant altar. There did the father of men and gods stay his horses,
§ 8.50 and loose them from the car, and shed thick mist upon them; and himself sat amid the mountain peaks exulting in his glory, looking upon the city of the Trojans and the ships of the Achaeans. But the long-haired Achaeans took their meal hastily throughout the huts, and as they rose up therefrom arrayed them in armour;
§ 8.55 and in like manner, the Trojans, on their side, armed themselves throughout the city; fewer they were, but even so were they eager to contend in battle through utter need, for their children's sake and their wives'. And all the gates were opened, and the host hasted forth, footmen alike and charioteers; and a great din arose.
§ 8.60 But when they were met together and come into one place, then clashed they their shields and spears, and the fury of bronze-mailed warriors; and the bossed shields closed each with each, and a great din arose. Then were heard alike the sound of groaning and the cry of triumph
§ 8.65 of the slayers and the slain, and the earth flowed with blood. Now as long as it was morn and the sacred day was waxing, so long the missiles of either side struck home, and the folk kept falling. But when the sun had reached mid heaven, then verily the Father lifted on high his golden scales,
§ 8.70 and set therein two fates of grievous death, one for the horse-taming Trojans, and one for the brazen-coated Achaeans; then he grasped the balance by the midst and raised it, and down sank the day of doom of the Achaeans. So the Achaeans' fates settled down upon the bounteous earth and those of the Trojans were raised aloft toward wide heaven.
§ 8.75 Then himself he thundered aloud from Ida, and sent a blazing flash amid the host of the Achaeans; and at sight thereof they were seized with wonder, and pale fear gat hold of all. Then had neither Idomeneus the heart to abide, nor Agamemnon, nor yet the Aiantes twain, squires of Ares;
§ 8.80 only Nestor of Gerenia abode, the warder of the Achaeans, and he nowise of his own will, but his horse was sore wounded, seeing goodly Alexander, lord of fair-haired Helen, had smitten him with an arrow upon the crown of the head where the foremost hairs of horses grow upon the skull, and where is the deadliest spot.
§ 8.85 So, stung with agony the horse leapt on high as the arrow sank into his brain, and he threw into confusion horses and car as he writhed upon the bronze. And while the old man sprang forth and with his sword was cutting away the traces, meanwhile the swift horses of Hector came on through the tumult, bearing a bold charioteer,
§ 8.90 even Hector. And now would the old man here have lost his life, had not Diomedes, good at the war-cry, been quick to see; and he shouted with a terrible shout, urging on Odysseus: “Zeus-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, whither fleest thou with thy back turned, like a coward in the throng?
§ 8.95 Let it not be that as thou fleest some man plant his spear in thy back. Nay, hold thy ground, that we may thrust back from old Nestor this wild warrior.” So spake he, howbeit the much-enduring goodly Odysseus heard him not, but hasted by to the hollow ships of the Achaeans. But the son of Tydeus, alone though he was, mingled with the foremost fighters,
§ 8.100 and took his stand before the horses of the old man, Neleus' son, and spake and addressed him with winged words: “Old sir, of a surety young warriors press thee sore; whereas thy might is broken and grievous old age attends thee, and thy squire is a weakling and thy horses slow.
§ 8.105 Nay, come, mount upon my car, that thou mayest see of what sort are the horses of Tros, well skilled to course fleetly hither and thither over the plain whether in pursuit or in flight, even those that once I took from Aeneas, devisers of rout. Thy horses shall our two squires tend, but these twain
§ 8.110 shall thou and I drive straight against the horse-taming Trojans, that Hector too may know whether my spear also rageth in my hands.” So spake he, and the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, failed not to hearken. So the mares of Nestor were tended by the two squires, valiant Sthenelus and Eurymedon the kindly;
§ 8.115 and the other twain mounted both upon the car of Diomedes. Nestor took in his hands the shining reins, and touched the horses with the lash, and speedily they drew nigh to Hector. Upon him then as he charged straight at them the son of Tydeus made a cast: him he missed, but his squire that drave the chariot, Eniopeus, son of Thebaeus, high of heart,
§ 8.120 even as he was holding the reins, he smote on the breast beside the nipple. So he fell from out the car, and the swift-footed horses swerved aside thereat; and there his spirit and his strength were undone. Then was the soul of Hector clouded with dread sorrow for his charioteer.
§ 8.125 Yet left he him to lie there, albeit he sorrowed for his comrade, and sought him a bold charioteer; nor did his horses twain long lack a master, for straightway he found Iphitus' son, bold Archeptolemus, and made him mount behind his swift-footed horses, and gave the reins into his hands.
§ 8.130 Then had ruin come and deeds beyond remedy been wrought, and they had been penned in Ilios like lambs, had not the father of men and gods been quick to see. He thundered terribly and let fly his white lightning-bolt, and down before the horses of Diomedes he hurled it to earth;
§ 8.135 and a terrible flame arose of burning sulphur, and the two horses, seized with terror, cowered beneath the car. Then from the hands of Nestor slipped the shining reins, and he waxed afraid at heart, and spake to Diomedes: “Son of Tydeus, come now, turn thou in flight thy single-hooved horses.
§ 8.140 Seest thou not that victory from Zeus waited not on thee? Now to yon man doth Zeus, the son of Cronos, vouchsafe glory for this day; hereafter shall he grant it also to us, if so be he will. But a man may in no wise thwart the purpose of Zeus, be he never so valiant; for in sooth he is mightier far.”
§ 8.145 And in answer to him spake Diomedes, good at the war cry: “Yea, verily, old sir, all this hast thou spoken according to right. But herein dread grief cometh upon my heart and soul, for Hector will some day say, as he speaketh in the gathering of the Trojans: ‘Tydeus' son, driven in flight before me, betook him to the ships.’
§ 8.150 So shall he some day boast—on that day let the wide earth gape for me.” And in answer to him spake the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia: “Ah me, thou son of wise-hearted Tydeus, what a thing hast thou said! For though Hector shall call thee coward and weakling, yet will not the Trojans or the Dardanians hearken to him,
§ 8.155 nor the wives of the great-souled Trojans, bearers of the shield, they whose lusty husbands thou hast hurled in the dust.” So spake he, and turned in flight his single-hooved horses, back through the tumult; and the Trojans and Hector with wondrous shouting poured forth upon them their missiles fraught with groanings.
§ 8.160 Over him then shouted aloud great Hector of the flashing helm: “Son of Tydeus, above all others were the Danaans with swift steeds wont to honour thee with a seat of honour and meats and full cups, but now will they scorn thee; thou art, it appeareth, no better than a woman. Begone, cowardly puppet; since through no flinching of mine
§ 8.165 shalt thou mount upon our walls, and carry away our women in thy ships; ere that will I deal thee thy doom.” So spake he, and the son of Tydeus was divided in counsel whether he should not wheel his horses and fight him face to face. Thrice he wavered in heart and soul
§ 8.170 and thrice from the mountains of Ida Zeus the counsellor thundered, giving to the Trojans a sign and victory to turn the tide of battle. And Hector shouted aloud and called to the Trojans: “Ye Trojans and Lycians and Dardanians, that fight in close combat, be men, my friends, and bethink you of furious valour.
§ 8.175 I perceive that of a ready heart the son of Cronos hath given unto me victory and great glory, and to the Danaans woe. Fools they are, that contrived forsooth these walls, weak and of none account; these shall not withhold our might, and our horses shall lightly leap over the digged ditch.
§ 8.180 But when I be at length come amid the hollow ships, then see ye that consuming fire be not forgotten, that with fire I may burn the ships and furthermore slay the men, even the Argives beside their ships, distraught by reason of the smoke.” So saying he shouted to his horses, and said: “Xanthus, and thou Podargus, and Aethon, and goodly Lampus,
§ 8.185 now pay me back your tending wherewith in abundance Andromache, daughter of great-hearted Eetion, set before you honey-hearted wheat, and mingled wine for you to drink when your souls bade you,
§ 8.190 sooner than for me, that avow me to be her stalwart husband. Nay, haste ye in pursuit, that we may take the shield of Nestor, the fame whereof now reacheth unto heaven, that it is all of gold, the rods alike and the shield itself; and may take moreover from the shoulders of horse-taming Diomedes
§ 8.195 his breastplate richly-dight, which Hephaestus wrought with toil. Could we but take these twain, then might I hope to make the Achaeans this very night embark upon their swift ships.” So spake he vauntingly, and queenly Hera had indignation thereat; she shook herself on her throne and made high Olympus to quake,
§ 8.200 and to the mighty god Poseidon she spake, saying: “Ah me, thou Shaker of Earth, wide of sway, not even hath the heart in thy breast pity of the Danaans that are perishing. Yet in thine honour do they bring to Helice and Aegae offerings many and gracious and hitherto thou didst wish them victory.
§ 8.205 For did we but will, all we that are aiders of the Danaans, to drive back the Trojans and to withhold Zeus whose voice is borne afar, then, in vexation of spirit, would he sit alone there upon Ida.” Then, his heart sore troubled, the lord, the Shaker of Earth, spake to her: “Hera, reckless in speech, what a word hast thou spoken!
§ 8.210 It is not I that were fain to see us all at strife with Zeus, son of Cronos, for he verily is mightier far.” On this wise spake they, one to the other; and now was all the space that the moat of the wall enclosed on the side of the ships filled alike with chariots and shield-bearing men
§ 8.215 huddled together: and huddled they were by Hector, Priam's son, the peer of swift Ares, now that Zeus vouchsafed him glory. And now would he have burned the shapely ships with blazing fire, had not queenly Hera put it in Agamemnon's mind himself to bestir him, and speedily rouse on the Achaeans.
§ 8.220 So he went his way along the huts and ships of the Achaeans, bearing his great purple cloak in his stout hand, and took his stand by Odysseus' black ship, huge of hull, that was in the midst so that a shout could reach to either end, both to the huts of Aias, son of Telamon,
§ 8.225 and to those of Achilles; for these had drawn up their shapely ships at the furthermost ends, trusting in their valour and in the strength of their hands. There uttered he a piercing shout, calling aloud to the Danaans: “Fie, ye Argives, base things of shame fair in semblance only.
§ 8.230 Whither are gone our boastings, when forsooth we declared that we were bravest, the boasts that when ye were in Lemnos ye uttered vaingloriously as ye ate abundant flesh of straight-horned kine and drank bowls brim full of wine, saying that each man would stand to face in battle an hundred, aye, two hundred Trojans! whereas now can we match not even one,
§ 8.235 this Hector, that soon will burn our ships with blazing fire. Father Zeus, was there ever ere now one among mighty kings whose soul thou didst blind with blindness such as this, and rob him of great glory? Yet of a surety do I deem that never in my benched ship did I pass by fair altar of thine on my ill-starred way hither,
§ 8.240 but upon all I burned the fat and the thighs of bulls, in my eagerness to lay waste well-walled Troy. Nay, Zeus, this desire fulfill thou me: ourselves at least do thou suffer to flee and escape, and permit not the Achaeans thus to be vanquished by the Trojans.”
§ 8.245 So spake he, and the Father had pity on him as he wept, and vouchsafed him that his folk should be saved and not perish. Forthwith he sent an eagle, surest of omens among winged birds, holding in his talons a fawn, the young of a swift hind. Beside the fair altar of Zeus he let fall the fawn,
§ 8.250 even where the Achaeans were wont to offer sacrifice to Zeus from whom all omens come. So they, when they saw that it was from Zeus that the bird was come, leapt the more upon the Trojans and bethought them of battle. Then might no man of the Danaans, for all they were so many, vaunt that he before the son of Tydeus guided his swift horses
§ 8.255 to drive them forth across the trench and to fight man to man; nay he was first by far to slay a mailed warrior of the Trojans, even Agelaus, Phradraon's son. He in sooth had turned his horses to flee, but as he wheeled about Diomedes fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders, and drave it through his breast;
§ 8.260 so he fell from out the car, and upon him his armour clanged. And after him came the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, and after them the Aiantes, clothed in furious valour, and after them Idomeneus and Idomeneus' comrade, Meriones, peer of Enyalius, slayer of men,
§ 8.265 and after them Eurypylus, the glorious son of Euaemon; and Teucer came as the ninth, stretching his back-bent bow, and took his stand beneath the shield of Aias, son of Telamon. Then would Aias move his shield aside from over him, and the warrior would spy his chance; and when he had shot his bolt and had smitten one in the throng,
§ 8.270 then would that man fall where he was and give up his life, and Teucer would hie him back, and as a child beneath his mother, so betake him for shelter to Aias; and Aias would ever hide him with his shining shield. Whom first then of the Trojans did peerless Teucer slay? Orsilochus first and Ormenus and Ophelestes and
§ 8.275 Daetor and Chromius and godlike Lycophontes and Amopaon, Polyaemon's son, and Melanippus. All these, one after another, he brought down to the bounteous earth. And at sight of him Agamemnon, king of men, waxed glad, as with his mighty bow he made havoc of the battalions of the Trojans;
§ 8.280 and he came and stood by his side and spake to him, saying: “Teucer, beloved, son of Telamon, captain of hosts, shoot on in this wise, if so be thou mayest prove a light of deliverance to the Danaans and a glory to thy father Telamon, who reared thee when thou wast a babe, and for all thou wast a bastard cherished thee in his own house;
§ 8.285 him, far away though he be, do thou bring to honour. Moreover, I will declare to thee as it verily shall be brought to pass. If Zeus that beareth the aegis, and Athene shall vouchsafe me to lay waste the well-built citadel of Ilios, in thy hand first after mine own self will I place a meed of honour,
§ 8.290 either a tripod or two horses with their car, or a woman that shall go up into thy bed.” Then in answer to him spake peerless Teucer: “Most glorious son of Atreus, why urgest thou me on, that of myself am eager? Verily I forbear not so far as might is in me,
§ 8.295 but from the time when we drave them toward Ilios, even from that moment I lie in wait with my bow and slay the men. Eight long-barbed arrows have I now let fly, and all are lodged in the flesh of youths swift in battle; only this mad dog can I not smite.”
§ 8.300 He spake, and shot another arrow from the string straight against Hector; and his heart was fain to smite him. Howbeit him he missed, but peerless Gorgythion he smote in the breast with his arrow, Priam's valiant son, that a mother wedded from Aesyme had born,
§ 8.305 even fair Castianeira, in form like to the goddesses. And he bowed his head to one side like a poppy that in a garden is laden with its fruit and the rains of spring; so bowed he to one side his head, laden with his helmet. And Teucer shot another arrow from the string
§ 8.310 straight against Hector, and his heart was fain to smite him. Howbeit he missed him once again, for Apollo made his dart to swerve, but Archeptolemus, the bold charioteer of Hector, as he hasted into battle he smote on the breast beside the nipple. So he fell from out the car, and the swift-footed horses swerved aside thereat;
§ 8.315 and there his spirit and his strength were undone. Then was the soul of Hector clouded with dread sorrow for his charioteer. Yet left he him to lie there, though he sorrowed for his comrade, and bade Cebriones, his own brother, that was nigh at hand, take the reins of the horses; and he heard and failed not to hearken.
§ 8.320 And himself Hector leapt to the ground from his gleaming car crying a terrible cry, and seizing a stone in his hand made right at Teucer, and his heart bade him smite him. Now Teucer had drawn forth from the quiver a bitter arrow, and laid it upon the string, but even as he was drawing it back Hector of the flashing helm
§ 8.325 smote him beside the shoulder where the collar-bone parts the neck and the breast, where is the deadliest spot; even there as he aimed eagerly against him he smote him with the jagged stone, and he brake the bow-string; but his hand grew numb at the wrist, and he sank upon his knees and thus abode, and the bow fell from his hand.
§ 8.330 Howbeit Aias was not unmindful of his brother's fall, but ran and bestrode him and flung before him his shield as a cover. Then two trusty comrades stooped beneath him, even Mecisteus, son of Echius, and goodly Alastor, and bare him, groaning heavily, to the hollow ships.
§ 8.335 Then once again the Olympian aroused might in the hearts of the Trojans; and they thrust the Achaeans straight toward the deep ditch; and amid the foremost went Hector exulting in his might. And even as a hound pursueth with swift feet after a wild boar or a lion, and snatcheth at him from behind
§ 8.340 either at flank or buttock, and watcheth for him as he wheeleth; even so Hector pressed upon the long-haired Achaeans, ever slaying the hindmost; and they were driven in rout. But when in their flight they had passed through stakes and trench, and many had been vanquished beneath the hands of the Trojans,
§ 8.345 then beside their ships they halted and abode, calling one upon the other, and lifting up their hands to all the gods they made fervent prayer each man of them. But Hector wheeled this way and that his fair-maned horses, and his eyes were as the eyes of the Gorgon or of Ares, bane of mortals.
§ 8.350 Now at sight of them the goddess, white-armed Hera, had pity; and forthwith spake winged words to Athene: “Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, shall not we twain any more take thought of the Danaans that are perishing, even for this last time? Now will they fill up the measure of evil doom and perish
§ 8.355 before the onset of one single man, even of Hector, Priam's son, who now rageth past all bearing, and lo, hath wrought evils manifold.” Then spake unto her the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene: “Yea, verily, fain were I that this fellow lose strength and life, slain beneath the hands of the Argives in his own native land;
§ 8.360 howbeit mine own father rageth with evil mind, cruel that he is, ever froward, a thwarter of my purposes; neither hath he any memory of this, that full often I saved his son when he was fordone by reason of Eurystheus' tasks. For verily he would make lament toward heaven and from heaven would Zeus
§ 8.365 send me forth to succour him. Had I but known all this in wisdom of my heart when Eurystheus sent him forth to the house of Hades the Warder, to bring from out of Erebus the hound of loathed Hades, then had he not escaped the sheer-falling waters of Styx.
§ 8.370 Howbeit now Zeus hateth me, and hath brought to fulfillment the counsels of Thetis, that kissed his knees and with her hand clasped his chin, beseeching him to show honour to Achilles, sacker of cities. Verily the day shall come when he shall again call me his flashing-eyed darling. But now make thou ready for us twain our single-hooved horses,
§ 8.375 the while I enter into the palace of Zeus, that beareth the aegis, and array me in armour for battle, to the end that I may see whether Priam's son, Hector of the flashing helm, will rejoice when we twain appear to view along the dykes of battle. Nay of a surety many a one of the Trojans shall glut the dogs and birds
§ 8.380 with his fat and flesh, when he is fallen at the ships of the Achaeans.” So spake she, and the goddess, white-armed Hera, failed not to hearken. She then went to and fro harnessing the horses of golden frontlets, even Hera, the queenly goddess, daughter of great Cronos; but Athene, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis,
§ 8.385 let fall upon her father's floor her soft robe, richly broidered, that herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the tunic of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in armour for tearful war. Then she stepped upon the flaming car and grasped her spear,
§ 8.390 heavy and huge and strong, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men, of warriors with whom she is wroth, she the daughter of the mighty sire. And Hera swiftly touched the horses with the lash, and self-bidden groaned upon their hinges the gates of heaven, which the Hours had in their keeping, to whom are entrusted great heaven and Olympus,
§ 8.395 whether to throw open the thick cloud or shut it to. There through the gate they drave their horses patient of the goad. But when father Zeus saw them from Ida he waxed wondrous wroth, and sent forth golden-winged Iris to bear a message: “Up, go, swift Iris; turn them back and suffer them not to come face to face with me,
§ 8.400 seeing it will be in no happy wise that we shall join in combat. For thus will I speak and verily this thing shall be brought to pass. I will maim their swift horses beneath the chariot, and themselves will I hurl from out the car, and will break in pieces the chariot; nor in the space of ten circling years
§ 8.405 shall they heal them of the wounds wherewith the thunderbolt shall smite them; that she of the flashing eyes may know what it is to strive against her own father. But against Hera have I not so great indignation nor wrath, seeing she is ever wont to thwart me in whatsoe'er I have decreed.” So spake he, and storm-footed Iris hasted to bear his message,
§ 8.410 and went forth from the mountains of Ida to high Olympus. And even at the entering-in of the gate of many-folded Olympus she met them and stayed them, and declared to them the saying of Zeus: “Whither are ye twain hastening? Why is it that the hearts are mad within your breasts? The son of Cronos suffereth not that ye give succour to the Argives.
§ 8.415 For on this wise he threateneth, even as he will bring it to pass: he will maim your swift horses beneath your chariot, and yourselves will he hurl from out the car, and will break in pieces the chariot; nor in the space of ten circling years shall ye heal you of the wounds wherewith the thunderbolt shall smite you;
§ 8.420 that thou mayest know, thou of the flashing eyes, what it is to strive against thine own father. But against Hera hath he not so great indignation nor wrath, seeing she is ever wont to thwart him in whatsoe'er he hath decreed. But most dread art thou, thou bold and shameless thing, if in good sooth thou wilt dare to raise thy mighty spear against Zeus.”
§ 8.425 When she had thus spoken swift-footed Iris departed; but Hera spake to Athene, saying: “Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis! I verily will no more suffer that we twain seek to wage war against Zeus for mortals' sake. Of them let one perish and another live,
§ 8.430 even as it may befall; and for him, let him take his own counsel in his heart and judge between Trojans and Danaans, as is meet.” So spake she, and turned back her single-hooved horses. Then the Hours unyoked for them their fair-maned horses, and tethered them at their ambrosial mangers,
§ 8.435 and leaned the chariot against the bright entrance wall; and the goddesses sate them down upon golden thrones amid the other gods, with sore grief at heart. But father Zeus drave from Ida his well-wheeled chariot and his horses unto Olympus, and came to the session of the gods.
§ 8.440 And for him the famed Shaker of Earth both unyoked his horses and set the car upon a stand, and spread thereover a cloth; and Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, himself sat upon his throne of gold, and beneath his feet great Olympus quaked. Only Athene and Hera
§ 8.445 sat apart from Zeus, and spake no word to him nor made question. But he knew in his heart and spake, saying: “Why are ye thus grieved, Athene and Hera? Surely ye twain be not grown weary with making havoc of the Trojans in battle, wherein men win glory, seeing ye cherish against them wondrous hate!
§ 8.450 Come what will, seeing I have such might and hands irresistible, all the gods that are in Olympus could not turn me; and for you twain, trembling gat hold of your glorious limbs or ever ye had sight of war and the grim deeds of war. For thus will I speak, and verily this thing had been brought to pass:
§ 8.455 not upon your car, once ye were smitten by the thunderbolt, would ye have fared back to Olympus, where is the abode of the immortals.” So spake he, and thereat murmured Athene and Hera, that sat by his side and were devising ills for the Trojans. Athene verily held her peace and said naught,
§ 8.460 wroth though she was with father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold of her; howbeit Hera's breast contained not her anger, but she spake to him, saying: “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! Well know we of ourselves that thine is no weakling strength; yet even so have we pity for the Danaan spearmen
§ 8.465 who now shall perish and fulfill an evil fate. Yet verily will we refrain us from battle, if so thou biddest; howbeit counsel will we offer to the Argives which shall be for their profit, that they perish not all by reason of thy wrath.” Then in answer spake to her Zeus the cloud-gatherer:
§ 8.470 “At dawn shalt thou behold, if so be thou wilt, O ox-eyed, queenly Hera, the most mighty son of Cronos making yet more grievous havoc of the great host of Argive spearmen; for dread Hector shall not refrain him from battle until the swift-footed son of Peleus be uprisen beside his ships
§ 8.475 on the day when at the sterns of the ships they shall be fighting in grimmest stress about Patroclus fallen; for thus it is ordained of heaven. But of thee I reck not in thine anger, no, not though thou shouldst go to the nethermost bounds of earth and sea, where abide Iapetus and Cronos,
§ 8.480 and have joy neither in the rays of Helios Hyperion nor in any breeze, but deep Tartarus is round about them. Though thou shouldst fare even thither in thy wanderings, yet reck I not of thy wrath, seeing there is naught more shameless than thou.” So said he; howbeit white-armed Hera spake no word in answer.
§ 8.485 Then into Oceanus fell the bright light of the sun drawing black night over the face of the earth, the giver of grain. Sorely against the will of the Trojans sank the daylight, but over the Achaeans welcome, aye, thrice-prayed-for, came the darkness of night. Then did glorious Hector make a gathering of the Trojans,
§ 8.490 leading them apart from the ships beside the eddying river in an open space, where the ground shewed clear of dead. Forth from their chariots they stepped upon the ground, to hearken to the word that Hector dear to Zeus spake among them. In his hand he held a spear of eleven cubits, and before him blazed
§ 8.500 but now to make havoc of the ships and all the Achaeans, and so return back again to windy Ilios; but darkness came on ere that might be, the which above all else hath now saved the Argives and their ships upon the beach of the sea. So then for this present let us yield to black night and make ready our supper; loose ye from the cars your fair-maned horses, and cast fodder before them;
§ 8.505 and from the city bring ye oxen and goodly sheep with speed, and get you honey-hearted wine and bread from your houses, and furthermore gather abundant wood, that all night long until early dawn we may burn fires full many and the gleam thereof may reach to heaven,
§ 8.510 lest haply even by night the long-haired Achaeans make haste to take flight over the broad back of the sea. Nay, verily, not without a struggle let them board their ships neither at their ease; but see ye that many a one of them has a missile to brood over even at home, being smitten either with an arrow or sharp-pointed spear
§ 8.515 as he leapt upon his ship; that so others may dread to bring tearful war against the horse-taming Trojans. And let heralds, dear to Zeus, make proclamation throughout the city that stripling boys and old men of hoary temples gather them round the city upon the battlement builded of the gods;
§ 8.520 and for the women folk, let them build each one a great fire in her halls; and let a diligent watch be kept, lest an ambush enter the city while the host is afield. Thus be it, great-hearted Trojans, even as I proclaim; of counsel, good and sound for this present, be this enough;
§ 8.525 but more will I proclaim at dawn amid the horse-taming Trojans. I pray in high hope to Zeus and the other gods to drive out from hence these dogs borne by the fates, whom the fates bare on their black ships. Howbeit for the night will we guard our own selves,
§ 8.530 but in the morning at the coming of dawn arrayed in our armour let us arouse sharp battle at the hollow ships. I shall know whether the son of Tydeus, mighty Diomedes, will thrust me back from the ships to the wall, or whether I shall slay him with the bronze and bear off his bloody spoils.
§ 8.535 Tomorrow shall he come to know his valour, whether he can abide the on-coming of my spear. Nay, amid the foremost, methinks, shall he lie smitten with a spear-thrust, and full many of his comrades round about him at the rising of to-morrow's sun. I would that mine own self I might be immortal and ageless all my days,
§ 8.540 and that I might be honoured even as Athene and Apollo, so surely as now this day bringeth evil upon the Argives.” So Hector addressed their gathering, and thereat the Trojans shouted aloud. Their sweating horses they loosed from beneath the yoke, and tethered them with thongs, each man beside his own chariot;
§ 8.545 and from the city they brought oxen and goodly sheep with speed, and got them honey-hearted wine and bread from their houses, and furthermore gathered abundant wood; and to the immortals they offered hecatombs that bring fulfillment. And from the plain the winds bore the savour up into heaven—a sweet savour,
§ 8.550 but thereof the blessed gods partook not, neither were minded thereto; for utterly hated of them was sacred Ilios, and Priam, and the people of Priam with goodly spear of ash. These then with high hearts abode the whole night through along the dykes of war, and their fires burned in multitudes.
§ 8.555 Even as in heaven about the gleaming moon the stars shine clear, when the air is windless, and forth to view appear all mountain peaks and high headlands and glades, and from heaven breaketh open the infinite air, and all stars are seen, and the shepherd joyeth in his heart;
§ 8.560 even in such multitudes between the ships and the streams of Xanthus shone the fires that the Trojans kindled before the face of Ilios. A thousand fires were burning in the plain and by each sat fifty men in the glow of the blazing fire. And their horses, eating of white barley and spelt,
§ 8.565 stood beside the cars and waited for fair-throned Dawn.
§ 9.1 BOOK 9
Thus kept the Trojans watch, but the Achaeans were holden of wondrous Panic, the handmaid of numbing fear and with grief intolerable were all the noblest stricken. Even as two winds stir up the teeming deep,
§ 9.5 the North Wind and the West Wind that blow from Thrace, coming suddenly, and forthwith the dark wave reareth itself in crests and casteth much tangle out along the sea; even so were the hearts of the Achaeans rent within their breasts. But the son of Atreus, stricken to the heart with sore grief,
§ 9.10 went this way and that, bidding the clear-voiced heralds summon every man by name to the place of gathering, but not to shout aloud; and himself he toiled amid the foremost. So they sat in the place of gathering, sore troubled, and Agamemnon stood up weeping even as a fountain of dark water
§ 9.15 that down over the face of a beetling cliff poureth its dusky stream; even so with deep groaning spake he amid the Argives, saying: “My friends, leaders and rulers of the Argives, great Zeus, son of Cronos, hath ensnared me in grievous blindness of heart, cruel god! seeing that of old he promised me, and bowed his head thereto,
§ 9.20 that not until I had sacked well-walled Ilios should I get me home; but now hath he planned cruel deceit, and biddeth me return inglorious to Argos, when I have lost much people. So, I ween, must be the good pleasure of Zeus supreme in might, who hath laid low the heads of many cities,
§ 9.25 yea, and shall lay low; for his power is above all. Nay, come, even as I shall bid let us all obey: let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for no more is there hope that we shall take broad-wayed Troy.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence.
§ 9.30 Long time were they silent in their grief, the sons of the Achaeans, but at length there spake among them Diomedes, good at the war-cry: “Son of Atreus, with thee first will I contend in thy folly, where it is meet, O king, even in the place of gathering: and be not thou anywise wroth thereat. My valour didst thou revile at the first amid the Danaans,
§ 9.35 and saidst that I was no man of war but a weakling; and all this know the Achaeans both young and old. But as for thee, the son of crooked-counselling Cronos hath endowed thee in divided wise: with the sceptre hath he granted thee to be honoured above all, but valour he gave thee not, wherein is the greatest might.
§ 9.40 Strange king, dost thou indeed deem that the sons of the Achaeans are thus unwarlike and weaklings as thou sayest? Nay, if thine own heart is eager to return, get thee gone; before thee lies the way, and thy ships stand beside the sea, all the many ships that followed thee from Mycenae.
§ 9.45 Howbeit the other long-haired Achaeans will abide here until we have laid waste Troy. Nay, let them also flee in their ships to their dear native land; yet will we twain, Sthenelus and I, fight on, until we win the goal of Ilios; for with the aid of heaven are we come.”
§ 9.50 So spake he, and all the sons of the Achaeans shouted aloud, applauding the word of Diomedes, tamer of horses. Then uprose and spake among them the horseman Nestor: “Son of Tydeus, above all men art thou mighty in battle,
§ 9.55 and in council art the best amid all those of thine own age. Not one of all the Achaeans will make light of what thou sayest neither gainsay it; yet hast thou not reached a final end of words. Moreover, thou art in sooth but young, thou mightest e'en be my son, my youngest born; yet thou givest prudent counsel to the princes of the Argives, seeing thou speakest according to right.
§ 9.60 But come, I that avow me to be older than thou will speak forth and will declare the whole; neither shall any man scorn my words, no, not even lord Agamemnon. A clanless, lawless, hearthless man is he that loveth dread strife among his own folk.
§ 9.65 Howbeit for this present let us yield to black night and make ready our supper; and let sentinels post themselves severally along the digged ditch without the wall. To the young men give I this charge; but thereafter do thou, son of Atreus, take the lead, for thou art most kingly.
§ 9.70 Make thou a feast for the elders; this were but right and seemly for thee. Full are thy huts of wine that the ships of the Achaeans bring thee each day from Thrace, over the wide sea; all manner of entertainment hast thou at hand, seeing thou art king over many. And when many are gathered together thou shalt follow him whoso shall devise
§ 9.75 the wisest counsel. And sore need have all the Achaeans of counsel both good and prudent, seeing that foemen hard by the ships are kindling their many watchfires; what man could rejoice thereat? This night shall either bring to ruin or save our host.” So spake he, and they readily hearkened to him and obeyed.
§ 9.80 Forth hasted the sentinels in their harness around Nestor's son Thrasymedes, shepherd of the host, and Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, and Meriones and Aphareus and Deipyrus, and the son of Creon, goodly Lycomedes.
§ 9.85 Seven were the captains of the sentinels, and with each fared an hundred youths bearing long spears in their hands; then they went and sate them down midway betwixt trench and wall; and there they kindled a fire and made ready each man his meal. But the son of Atreus led the counsellors of the Achaeans all together
§ 9.90 to his hut, and set before them a feast to satisfy the heart. So they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, first of all the old man began to weave the web of counsel for them, even Nestor, whose rede had of old ever seemed the best.
§ 9.95 He with good intent addressed their gathering and spake among them: “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, with thee will I begin and with thee make an end, for that thou art king over many hosts, and to thee Zeus hath vouchsafed the sceptre and judgements, that thou mayest take counsel for thy people.
§ 9.100 Therefore it beseemeth thee above all others both to speak and to hearken, and to fulfill also for another whatsoever his heart may bid him speak for our profit; for on thee will depend whatsoever any man may begin. So will I speak what seemeth to me to be best. No man beside shall devise a better thought
§ 9.105 than this I have in mind from old even until now, even since the day when thou, O king sprung from Zeus, didst take from the hut of the angry Achilles the damsel Briseis and go thy way—in no wise according to our will. Nay, for I, mine own self, urgently sought to dissuade thee; but thou didst yield to thy lordly spirit,
§ 9.110 and upon a man most mighty, whom the very immortals honoured, didst thou put dishonour; for thou tookest away and keepest his prize. Howbeit let us still even now take thought how we may make amends, and persuade him with kindly gifts and with gentle words.” To him then spake in answer the king of men, Agamemnon:
§ 9.115 “Old sir, in no false wise hast thou recounted the tale of my blind folly. Blind I was, myself I deny it not. Of the worth of many hosts is the man whom Zeus loveth in his heart, even as now he honoureth this man and destroyeth the host of the Achaeans. Yet seeing I was blind, and yielded to my miserable passion,
§ 9.120 I am minded to make amends and to give requital past counting. In the midst of you all let me name the glorious gifts; seven tripods that the fire hath not touched, and ten talents of gold and twenty gleaming cauldrons, and twelve strong horses, winners in the race, that have won prizes by their fleetness.
§ 9.125 Not without booty were a man, nor unpossessed of precious gold, whoso had wealth as great as the prizes my single-hooved steeds have won me. And I will give seven women skilled in goodly handiwork, women of Lesbos, whom on the day when himself took well-built Lesbos I chose me from out the spoil,
§ 9.130 and that in beauty surpass all women folk. These will I give him, and amid them shall be she that then I took away, the daughter of Briseus; and I will furthermore swear a great oath that never went I up into her bed neither had dalliance with her as is the appointed way of mankind, even of men and women.
§ 9.135 All these things shall be ready to his hand forthwith; and if hereafter it so be the gods grant us to lay waste the great city of Priam, let him then enter in, what time we Achaeans be dividing the spoil, and heap up his ship with store of gold and bronze, and himself choose twenty Trojan women
§ 9.140 that be fairest after Argive Helen. And if we return to Achaean Argos, the richest of lands, he shall be my son, and I will honour him even as Orestes that is reared in all abundance, my son well-beloved. Three daughters have I in my well-builded hall,
§ 9.145 Chrysothemis, and Laodice, and Iphianassa; of these let him lead to the house of Peleus which one he will, without gifts of wooing, and I will furthermore give a dower full rich, such as no man ever yet gave with his daughter. And seven well-peopled cities will I give him,
§ 9.150 Cardamyle Enope, and grassy Hire, and sacred Pherae and Antheia with deep meadows, and fair Aepeia and vine-clad Pedasus. All are nigh to the sea, on the uttermost border of sandy Pylos, and in them dwell men rich in flocks and rich in kine,
§ 9.155 men that shall honour him with gifts as though he were a god, and beneath his sceptre shall bring his ordinances to prosperous fulfillment. All this will I bring to pass for him, if he but cease from his wrath. Let him yield—Hades, I ween, is not to be soothed, neither overcome, wherefore he is most hated by mortals of all gods.
§ 9.160 And let him submit himself unto me, seeing I am more kingly, and avow me his elder in years.” Then made answer the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia: “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, the gifts that thou offerest the prince Achilles may no man any more condemn.
§ 9.165 Come, therefore, let us send forth chosen men to go forthwith to the hut of Peleus' son, Achilles. Nay, rather, whomsoever I shall choose, let them consent. First of all let Phoenix, dear to Zeus, lead the way, and after him great Aias and goodly Odysseus;
§ 9.170 and of the heralds let Odius and Eurybates attend them. And now bring ye water for our hands, and bid keep holy silence, that we may make prayer unto Zeus, son of Cronos, if so be he will have compassion upon us.” So said he and the words that he spake were pleasing unto all. Then heralds poured water over their hands,
§ 9.175 and youths filled the bowls brim full of drink, and served out to all, pouring first drops for libation into the cups. But when they had made libation and had drunk to their hearts' content, they went forth from the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus. And the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia,
§ 9.180 laid straight command upon them with many a glance at each, and chiefly upon Odysseus, that they should make essay to persuade the peerless son of Peleus. So the twain went their way along the shore of the loud-resounding sea, with many an instant prayer to the god that holdeth the earth and shaketh it, that they might easily persuade the great heart of the son of Aeacus.
§ 9.185 And they came to the huts and the ships of the Myrmidons, and found him delighting his soul with a clear-toned lyre, fair and richly wrought, whereon was a bridge of silver; this had he taken from the spoil when he laid waste the city of Eetion. Therewith was he delighting his soul, and he sang of the glorious deeds of warriors;
§ 9.190 and Patroclus alone sat over against him in silence, waiting until Aeacus' son should cease from singing. But the twain came forward and goodly Odysseus led the way, and they took their stand before his face; and Achilles leapt up in amazement with the lyre in his hand, and left the seat whereon he sat;
§ 9.195 and in like manner Patroclus when he beheld the men uprose. Then swift-footed Achilles greeted the two and spake, saying: “Welcome, verily ye be friends that are come—sore must the need be — ye that even in mine anger are to me the dearest of the Achaeans.” So saying, goodly Achilles led them in
§ 9.200 and made them sit on couches and rugs of purple; and forthwith he spake to Patroclus, that was near: “Set forth a larger bowl, thou son of Menoetius; mingle stronger drink, and prepare each man a cup, for these be men most dear, that are beneath my roof.” So he spake, and Patroclus gave ear to his dear comrade. He cast down a great fleshing-block in the light of the fire and laid thereon a sheep's back and a fat goat's, and the chine of a great hog withal, rich with fat. And Automedon held them for him, while goodly Achilles carved.
§ 9.210 Then he sliced the meat with care and spitted it upon spits, and the son of Menoetius, a godlike man, made the fire blaze high. But when the fire had burned down and the flame was abated, he scattered the embers and laid thereover the spits, and sprinkled the morsels with holy salt when he had set them upon the fire-dogs. But when he had roasted the meat and laid it on platters,
§ 9.215 Patroclus took bread and dealt it forth on the table in fair baskets, while Achilles dealt the meat. Himself he sate him down over against godlike Odysseus, by the other wall, and bade Patroclus, his comrade, offer sacrifice to the gods;
§ 9.220 and Patroclus cast burnt-offering into the fire. So they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, Aias nodded to Phoenix; and goodly Odysseus was ware thereof, and filling a cup with wine he pledged Achilles:
§ 9.225 “Hail, O Achilles, of the equal feast have we no stinting, either in the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, or now in thine; for here is abundance that satisfies the heart to feast withal. Yet matters of the delicious feast are not in our thoughts, nay, Zeus-nurtured one, it is utter ruin that we behold, and are afraid;
§ 9.230 for it is in doubt whether we save the benched ships or they perish, except thou clothe thee in thy might. Hard by the ships and the wall have the Trojans, high of heart, and their far-famed allies set their bivouac, and kindled many fires throughout the host, and they deem that they shall no more be stayed,
§ 9.235 but will fall upon our black ships. And Zeus, son of Cronos, shows them signs upon the right with his lightnings, and Hector exulting greatly in his might rageth furiously, trusting in Zeus, and recketh not of men nor gods, for mighty madness hath possessed him.
§ 9.240 His prayer is that with all speed sacred Dawn may appear, for he declareth that he will hew from the ships' sterns the topmost ensigns, and burn the very hulls with consuming fire, and amidst them make havoc of the Achaeans, distraught by reason of the smoke. This then is the great fear of my heart, lest the gods fulfill for him his boastings, and it be our fate to
§ 9.245 perish here in Troy, far from horse-pasturing Argos. Nay, up then, if thou art minded even at the last to save from the war-din of the Trojans the sons of the Achaeans, that are sore bested. To thine own self shall sorrow be hereafter, nor can healing
§ 9.250 be found for ill once wrought—nay, rather, ere it be too late bethink thee how thou mayest ward from the Danaans the day of evil. Good friend, surely it was to thee that thy father Peleus gave command on the day when he sent thee to Agamemnon forth from Phthia: ‘My son, strength shall Athene and Hera
§ 9.255 give thee if they be so minded, but do thou curb thy proud spirit in thy breast, for gentle-mindedness is the better part; and withdraw thee from strife, contriver of mischief, that so the Argives both young and old may honour thee the more.’ On this wise did that old man charge thee, but thou forgettest. Yet do thou lease even now,
§ 9.260 and put from thee thy bitter wrath. To thee Agamemnon offereth worthy gifts, so thou wilt cease from thine anger. Nay come, hearken thou to me, and I will tell the tale of all the gifts that in his hut Agamemnon promised thee: seven tripods, that the fire hath not touched, and ten talents of gold
§ 9.265 and twenty gleaming cauldrons, and twelve strong horses, winners in the race that have won prizes by their fleetness. Not without booty were a man nor unpossessed of precious gold, whoso had wealth as great as the prizes Agamemnon's horses have won by their speed.
§ 9.270 And he will give seven women skilled in goodly handiwork, women of Lesbos, whom on the day when thou thyself tookest well-built Lesbos he chose him from the spoil, and that in beauty surpassed all women folk. These will he give thee, and amid them shall be she whom he then took away, the daughter of Briseus; and he will furthermore swear a great oath,
§ 9.275 that never went he up into her bed, neither had dalliance with her, as is the appointed way, O king, of men and women. All these things shall be ready to thy hand forthwith; and if hereafter it so be the gods grant us to lay waste the great city of Priam, do thou then enter in,
§ 9.280 what time we Achaeans be dividing the spoil, and heap up thy ship with store of gold and bronze, and thyself choose twenty Trojan women that be fairest after Argive Helen. And if we return to Achaean Argos, richest of lands, thou shalt be his son, and he will honour thee even as Orestes,
§ 9.285 that is reared in all abundance, his son well-beloved. Three daughters has he in his well-builded hall, Chrysothemis, and Laodice, and Ophianassa; of these mayest thou lead to the house of Peleus which one thou wilt, without gifts of wooing; and he will furthermore give a dower
§ 9.290 full rich, such as no man ever yet gave with his daughter. And seven well-peopled cities will he give thee, Cardamyle, Enope, and grassy Hire, and sacred Pherae, and Antheia, with deep meadows, and fair Aipeia, and vine-clad Pedasus.
§ 9.295 All are nigh the sea, on the uttermost borders of sandy Pylos, and in them dwell men rich in flocks and rich in kine, men that shall honour thee with gifts as though thou wert a god, and beneath thy sceptre shall bring thy ordinances to prosperous fulfillment. All this will he bring to pass for thee, if thou but cease from thy wrath.
§ 9.300 But if the son of Atreus be too utterly hated by thee at heart, himself and his gifts, yet have thou pity at least on the rest of the Achaeans, that are sore bested throughout the host; these shall honour thee as though thou wert a god, for verily shalt thou win great glory in their eyes. Now mightest thou slay Hector, seeing he would come very nigh thee
§ 9.305 in his baneful rage, for he deemeth there is no man like unto him among the Danaans that the ships brought hither.” Then in answer to him spake swift-footed Achilles: “Zeus-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, needs must I verily speak my word outright, even as I am minded,
§ 9.310 and as it shall be brought to pass, that ye sit not by me here on this side and on that and prate endlessly. For hateful in my eyes, even as the gates of Hades, is that man that hideth one thing in his mind and sayeth another. Nay, I will speak what seemeth to me to be best.
§ 9.315 Not me, I ween, shall Atreus' son, Agamemnon, persuade, nor yet shall the other Danaans, seeing there were to be no thanks, it seemeth, for warring against the foeman ever without respite. Like portion hath he that abideth at home, and if one warreth his best, and in one honour are held both the coward and the brave;
§ 9.320 death cometh alike to the idle man and to him that worketh much. Neither have I aught of profit herein, that I suffered woes at heart, ever staking my life in fight. Even as a bird bringeth in her bill to her unfledged chicks whatever she may find, but with her own self it goeth ill,
§ 9.325 even so was I wont to watch through many a sleepless night, and bloody days did I pass in battle, fighting with warriors for their women's sake. Twelve cities of men have I laid waste with my ships and by land eleven, I avow, throughout the fertile land of Troy;
§ 9.330 from out all these I took much spoil and goodly, and all would I ever bring and give to Agamemnon, this son of Atreus; but he staying behind, even beside his swift ships, would take and apportion some small part, but keep the most. Some he gave as prizes to chieftains and kings,
§ 9.335 and for them they abide untouched; but from me alone of the Achaeans hath he taken and keepeth my wife, the darling of my heart. Let him lie by her side and take his joy. But why must the Argives wage war against the Trojans? Why hath he gathered and led hither his host, this son of Atreus? Was it not for fair-haired Helen's sake?
§ 9.340 Do they then alone of mortal men love their wives, these sons of Atreus? Nay, for whoso is a true man and sound of mind, loveth his own and cherisheth her, even as I too loved her with all my heart, though she was but the captive of my spear. But now, seeing he hath taken from my arms my prize, and hath deceived me,
§ 9.345 let him not tempt me that know him well; he shall not persuade me. Nay, Odysseus, together with thee and the other princes let him take thought to ward from the ships consuming fire. Verily full much hath he wrought without mine aid; lo, he hath builded a wall and digged a ditch hard by,
§ 9.350 wide and great, and therein hath he planted stakes; yet even so availeth he not to stay the might of man-slaying Hector. But so long as I was warring amid the Achaeans Hector had no mind to rouse battle far from the wall, but would come only so far as the Scaean gates and the oak-tree;
§ 9.355 there once he awaited me in single combat and hardly did he escape my onset. But now, seeing I am not minded to battle with goodly Hector, tomorrow will I do sacrifice to Zeus and all the gods, and heap well my ships, when I have launched them on the sea; then shalt thou see, if so be thou wilt, and carest aught therefor,
§ 9.360 my ships at early dawn sailing over the teeming Hellespont, and on board men right eager to ply the oar; and if so be the great Shaker of the Earth grants me fair voyaging, on the third day shall I reach deep-soiled Phthia. Possessions full many have I that I left on my ill-starred way hither,
§ 9.365 and yet more shall I bring from hence, gold and ruddy bronze, and fair-girdled women and grey iron—all that fell to me by lot; howbeit my prize hath he that gave it me taken back in his arrogant pride, even lord Agamemnon, son of Atreus. To him do ye declare all, even as I bid,
§ 9.370 openly, to the end that other Achaeans also may be wroth, if haply he hopeth to deceive yet some other of the Danaans, seeing he is ever clothed in shamelessness. Yet not in my face would he dare to look, though he have the front of a dog. Neither counsel will I devise with him nor any work,
§ 9.375 for utterly hath he deceived me and sinned against me. Never again shall he beguile me with words; the past is enough for him. Nay, let him go to his ruin in comfort, seeing that Zeus the counsellor hath utterly robbed him of his wits. Hateful in my eyes are his gifts, I count them at a hair's worth. Not though he gave me ten times, aye twenty times all that now he hath,
§ 9.380 and if yet other should be added thereto I care not whence, not though it were all the wealth that goeth in to Orchomenus, or to Thebes of Egypt, where treasures in greatest store are laid up in men's houses,—Thebes which is a city of an hundred gates wherefrom sally forth through each two hundred warriors with horses and cars;
§ 9.385 —nay, not though he gave gifts in number as sand and dust; not even so shall Agamemnon any more persuade my soul, until he hath paid the full price of all the despite that stings my heart. And the daughter of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, will I not wed, not though she vied in beauty with golden Aphrodite
§ 9.390 and in handiwork were the peer of flashing-eyed Athene: not even so will I wed her; let him choose another of the Achaeans that is of like station with himself and more kingly than I. For if the gods preserve me, and I reach my home, Peleus methinks will thereafter of himself seek me a wife.
§ 9.395 Many Achaean maidens there be throughout Hellas and Phthia, daughters of chieftains that guard the cities; of these whomsoever I choose shall I make my dear wife. Full often was my proud spirit fain to take me there a wedded wife, a fitting helpmeet,
§ 9.400 and to have joy of the possessions that the old man Peleus won him. For in my eyes not of like worth with life is even all that wealth that men say Ilios possessed, the well-peopled citadel, of old in time of peace or ever the sons of the Achaeans came,—nay, nor all that the marble threshold of the Archer
§ 9.405 Phoebus Apollo encloseth in rocky Pytho. For by harrying may cattle be had and goodly sheep, and tripods by the winning and chestnut horses withal; but that the spirit of man should come again when once it hath passed the barrier of his teeth, neither harrying availeth nor winning.
§ 9.410 For my mother the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, telleth me that twofold fates are bearing me toward the doom of death: if I abide here and war about the city of the Trojans, then lost is my home-return, but my renown shall be imperishable; but if I return home to my dear native land,
§ 9.415 lost then is my glorious renown, yet shall my life long endure, neither shall the doom of death come soon upon me. Aye, and I would counsel you others also to sail back to your homes; seeing there is no more hope that ye shall win the goal of steep Ilios; for mightily doth Zeus, whose voice is borne afar,
§ 9.420 hold forth his hand above her, and her people are filled with courage. But go ye your way and declare my message to the chieftains of the Achaeans—for that is the office of elders—to the end that they may devise some other plan in their minds better than this, even such as shall save their ships, and the host of the Achaeans
§ 9.425 beside the hollow ships; seeing this is not to be had for them, which now they have devised, by reason of the fierceness of my anger. Howbeit let Phoenix abide here with us, and lay him down to sleep, that he may follow with me on my ships to my dear native land on the morrow, if so he will; but perforce will I not take him.”
§ 9.430 So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence, marveling at his words; for with exceeding vehemence did he deny them. But at length there spake among them the old horseman Phoenix, bursting into tears, for that greatly did he fear for the ships of the Achaeans: “If verily thou layest up in thy mind, glorious Achilles,
§ 9.435 the purpose of returning, neither art minded at all to ward from the swift ships consuming fire, for that wrath hath fallen upon thy heart; how can I then, dear child, be left here without thee, alone? It was to thee that the old horseman Peleus sent me on the day when he sent thee to Agamemnon, forth from Phthia,
§ 9.440 a mere child, knowing naught as yet of evil war, neither of gatherings wherein men wax preeminent. For this cause sent he me to instruct thee in all these things, to be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Wherefore, dear child, I am not minded hereafter
§ 9.445 to be left alone without thee, nay, not though a god himself should pledge him to strip from me my old age and render me strong in youth as in the day when first I left Hellas, the home of fair women, fleeing from strife with my father Amyntor, son of Ormenus; for he waxed grievously wroth against me by reason of his fair-haired concubine,
§ 9.450 whom himself he ever cherished, and scorned his wife, my mother. So she besought me by my knees continually, to have dalliance with that other first myself, that the old man might be hateful in her eyes. I hearkened to her and did the deed, but my father was ware thereof forthwith and cursed me mightily, and invoked the dire Erinyes
§ 9.455 that never should there sit upon his knees a dear child begotten of me; and the gods fulfilled his curse, even Zeus of the nether world and dread Persephone. Then I took counsel to slay him with the sharp sword, but some one of the immortals stayed mine anger, bringing to my mind
§ 9.460 the voice of the people and the many revilings of men, to the end that I should not be called a father-slayer amid the Achaeans. Then might the heart in my breast in no wise be any more stayed to linger in the halls of my angered father. My fellows verily and my kinsfolk beset me about
§ 9.465 with many prayers and sought to stay me there in the halls, and many goodly sheep did they slaughter, and sleek kine of shambling gait, and many swine, rich with fat, were stretched to singe over the flame of Hephaestus, and wine in plenty was drunk from the jars of that old man.
§ 9.470 For nine nights' space about mine own body did they watch the night through; in turn kept they watch, neither were the fires quenched, one beneath the portico of the well-fenced court, and one in the porch before the door of my chamber. Howbeit when the tenth dark night was come upon me,
§ 9.475 then verily I burst the cunningly fitted doors of my chamber and leapt the fence of the court full easily, unseen of the watchmen and the slave women. Thereafter I fled afar through spacious Hellas, and came to deep-soiled Phthia, mother of flocks,