Chapman’s Homer’s Iliad, Book 1

Index page



Apollo’s priest to the Argive fleet doth bring
Gifts for his daughter, prisoner to the king ;
For which her tendered freedom he entreats ;
But, being dismissed with contumelious threats,
At Phoebus’ hands, by vengeful prayer, he seeks
To have a plague inflicted on the Greeks.
Which had, Achilles doth a council cite,
Emboldening Calchas, in the king’s despite,
To tell the truth why they were punished so.
From hence their fierce and deadly strife did grow.
For wrong in which Æacides so raves,
That goddess Thetis, from her throne of waves
Ascending heaven, of Jove assistance won,
To plague the Greeks by absence of her son,
And make the general himself repent
To wrong so much his army’s ornament.
This found by Juno, she with Jove contends ;
Till Vulcan, with heaven’s cup, the quarrel ends.

Another Argument

Alpha the prayer of Chryses sings :
The army’s plague : the strife of kings.

Achilles’ baneful wrath resound, O Goddess, that imposed
Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls losed
From breasts heroic ; sent them far to that invisible cave
That no light comforts ; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave :
To all which Jove’s will gave effect ; from whom first strife begun
Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis’ godlike son.

What god gave Eris their command, and oped that fighting vein ?
Jove’s and Latona’s son ; who, fired against the king of men
For contumely shown his priest, infectious sickness sent
To plague the army, and to death by troops the soldiers went.
Occasioned thus : Chryses, the priest, came to the fleet to buy,
For presents of unvalued price, his daughter’s liberty ;
The golden sceptre and the crown of Phoebus in his hands
Proposing ; and made suit to all, but most to the commands
Of both the Atrides, who most ruled. “Great Atreus’ sons,” said he,
“And all ye well-greaved Greeks, the gods, whose habitations be
In heavenly houses, grace your powers with Priam’s razed town,
And grant ye happy conduct home ! To win which wished renown
Of Jove, by honouring his son, far-shooting Phoebus deign
For these fit presents to dissolve the ransomable chain
Of my loved daughter’s servitude.” The Greeks entirely gave
Glad acclamations, for sign that their desires would have
The grave priest reverenced, and his gifts of so much price embraced.
The general yet bore no such mind, but viciously disgraced
With violent terms the priest, and said :—“Dotard ! avoid our fleet,
Where lingering be not found by me, nor thy returning feet
Let ever visit us again, lest nor thy godhead’s crown,
Nor sceptre, save thee ! Her thou seekest I still will hold mine own
Till age deflower her. In our court Argos, far transferred
From her loved country, she shall ply her web, and see prepared
With all fit ornaments my bed. Incense me then no more,
But, if thou wilt be safe, begone.” This said, the sea-beat shore,
Obeying his high will, the priest trod off with haste and fear ;
And walking silent, till he left far off his enemies’ ear,
Phoebus, fair-haired Latona’s son, he stirred up with a vow.
To this stern purpose : “Hear, thou God that bear’st the silver bow,
That Chrysa guard’st, rul’st Tenedos with strong hand, and the round
Of Cilla most divine dost walk ! O Smintheus ! if crowned
With thankful offerings thy rich fane I ever saw, or fired
Fat thighs of oxen and of goats to thee, this grace desired
Vouchsafe to me : pains for my tears let these rude Greeks repay,
Forced with thy arrows.” Thus he prayed, and Phoebus heard him pray,
And, vexed at heart, down from the tops of steep fieaven stooped ; his bow
And quiver covered round, his hands did on his shoulders throw ;
And of the angry Deity the arrows as he moved
Rattled about him. Like the night he ranged the host, and roved
(Apart the fleet set) terribly ; with his hard-loosing hand
His silver bow twanged ; and his shafts did first the mules command
And swift hounds ; then the Greeks themselves his deadly arrows shot,
The fires of death went never out ; nine days his shafts flew hot
About the army ; and the tenth, Achilles called a court
Of all the Greeks ; heaven’s white-armed Queen (who, everywhere cut short,
Beholding her loved Greeks, by death) suggested it ; and he
(All met in one) arose, and said : “Atrides, now I see
We must be wandering again, flight must be still our stay.
If flight can save us now, at once sickness and battle lay
Such strong hand on us. Let us ask some prophet, priest, or prove
Some dream-interpreter (for dreams are often sent from Jove)
Why Phoebus is so much incensed ; if unperformed vows
He blames in us, or hecatombs ; and if these knees he bows
To death may yield his graves no more, but offering all supply
Of savours burnt from lambs and goats, avert his fervent eye,
And turn his temperate.” Thus he sat, and then stood up to them
Calchas, surnamed Thestorides, of augurs the supreme ;
He knew things present, past, to come, and ruled the equipage
Of the Argive fleet to Ilion, for his prophetic rage
Given by Apollo ; who, well seen in the ill they felt, proposed
This to Achilles : “Jove’s beloved, would thy charge see disclosed
The secret of Apollo’s wrath ? then covenant and take oath
To my discovery, that, with words and powerful actions both,
Thy strength will guard the truth in me ; because I well conceive
That he whose empire governs all, whom all the Grecians give
Confirmed obedience, will be moved ; and then you know the state
Of him that moves him. When a king hath once marked for his hate
A man inferior, though that day his wrath seems to digest
The offence he takes, yet evermore he rakes up in his breast
Brands of quick anger, till revenge hath quenched to his desire
The fire reserved. Teli me, then, if whatsoever ire
Suggests in hurt of me to him, thy valour will prevent ?”

Achilles answered : “All thou knowest speak, and be confident ;
For by Apollo, Jove’s beloved (to whom performing vows,
Calchas, for the state of Greece, thy spirit prophetic shows
Skills that direct us) not a man of all these Grecians here,
I living, and enjoying the light shot through this flowery sphere.
Shall touch thee with offensive hands : though Agamemnon be
The man in question, that doth boast the mightiest empery
Of all our army.” Then took heart the prophet, unreproved,
And said : “They are not unpaid vows, nor hecatombs, that moved
The God against us ; his offence is for his priest impaired
By Agamemnon, that refused the present he preferred,
And kept his daughter. This is cause why heaven’s Far-darter darts
These plagues amongst us ; and this still will empty in our hearts
His deathful quiver, uncontained till to her loved sire
The black-eyed damsel be resigned ; no redemptory hire
Took for her freedom,—not a gift, but all the ransom quit,
And she conveyed, with sacrifice, till her enfranchised feet
Tread Chrysa under ; then the God, so pleased perhaps we may
Move to remission.” Thus, he sate ; and up, the great in sway,
Heroic Agamemnon rose, eagerly bearing all ;
His mind’s seat overcast with fumes ; an anger general
Filled all his faculties ; his eyes sparkled like kindling fire.
Which sternly cast upon the priest, thus vented he his ire :
“Prophet of ill ; for never good came from thee towards me
Not to a word’s worth ; evermore thou took’st delight to be
Offensive in thy auguries, which thou continuest still.
Now casting thy prophetic gall, and vouching all our ill,
Shot from Apollo, is imposed since I refused the price
Of fair Chryseis’ liberty ; which would in no worth rise
To my rate of herself, which moves my vows to have her home,
Past Clytemnestra loving her, that graced my nuptial room
With her virginity and flower. Nor ask her merits less
For person, disposition, wit, and skill in housewiferies.
And yet, for all this, she shall go, if more conducible
That course be than her holding here. I rather wish the weal
Of my loved army than the death. Provide yet instantly
Supply for her, that I alone of all our royalty
Lose not my winnings. ’Tis not fit. Ye see all I lose mine
Forced by another, see as well some other may resign
His prize to me.” To this replied the swift-foot, god-like son
Of Thetis, thus : “King of us all, in all ambition
Most covetous of all that breathe, why should the great-souled Greeks
Supply thy lost prize out of theirs ? Nor what thy avarice seeks
Our common treasury can find ; so little it doth guard
Of what our razed town yielded us ; of all which most is shared,
And given our soldiers ; which again to take into our hands
Were ignominious and base. Now then, since God commands,
Part with thy most loved prize to him ; not any one of us
Exacts it of thee, yet we all, all loss thou sufferest thus,
Will treble, quadruple, in gain, when Jupiter bestows
The sack of well-walled Troy on us ; which by his word he owes.”
“Do not deceive yourself with wit,” he answered, “god-like man,
Though your good name may colour it ; ’tis not your swift foot can
Outrun me here ; nor shall the gloss, set on it with the God,
Persuade me to my wrong. Wouldst thou maintain in sure abode
Thine own prize, and slight me of mine ? Resolve this : if our friends,
As fits in equity my worth, will right me with amends,
So rest it ; otherwise, myself will enter personally
On thy prize, that of Ithacus, or Ajax, for supply ;
Let him on whom I enter rage. But come, we’ll order these
Hereafter, and in other place. Now put to sacred seas
Our black sail ; in it rowers put, in it fit sacrifice ;
And to these I will make ascend my so much envied prize,
Bright-cheeked Chryseis. For conduct of all which, we must choose
A chief out of our counsellors. Thy service we must use,
Idomeneus ; Ajax, thine ; or thine, wise Ithacus ;
Or thine, thou terriblest of men, thou son of Peleus,
Which fittest were, that thou might’st see these holy acts performed
For which thy cunning zeal so pleads ; and he, whose bow thus stormed
For our offences, may be calmed.” Achilles,’with a frown,
Thus answered : “O thou impudent ! of no good but thine own
Ever respectful, but of that with all craft covetous.
With what heart can a man attempt a service dangerous,
Or at thy voice be spirited to fly upon a foe,
Thy mind thus wretched ? For myself, I was not injured so
By any Trojan, that my powers should bid them any blows ;
In nothing bear they blame of me ; Phthia, whose bosom flows
With corn and people, never felt impair of her increase
By their invasion ; hills enow, and far-resounding seas,
Pour out their shades and deeps between ; but thee, thou frontless man,
We follow, and thy triumphs make with bonfires of our bane ;
Thine, and thy brother’s, vengeance sought, thou dog’s eyes, of this Troy
By our exposed lives ; whose deserts thou neither dost employ
With honour nor with care. And now, thou threat’st to force from me
The fruit of my sweat, which the Greeks gave all ; and though it be,
Compared with thy part, then snatched up, nothing ; nor ever is
At any sacked town ; but of fight, the fetcher in of this,
My hands have most share ; in whose toils when I have emptied me
Of all my forces, my amends in liberality,
Though it be little, I accept, and turn pleased to my tent ;
And yet that little thou esteem’st too great a continent
In thy incontinent avarice. For Phthia therefore now
My course is ; since ’tis better far than here to endure that thou
Should’st still be ravishing my right, draw my whole treasure dry,
And add dishonour.” He replied : “If thy heart serve thee, flee ;
Stay not for my cause ; others here will aid and honour me ;
If not, yet Jove I know is sure ; that counsellor is he
That I depend on. As for thee, of all our Jove-kept kings
Thou still art most mine enemy ; strifes, battles, bloody things,
Make thy blood-feasts still. But if strength, that these moods build upon,
Flow in thy nerves, God gave thee it ; and so ’tis not thine own,
But in his hands still. What then lifts thy pride in this so high ?
Home with thy fleet, and Myrmidons ; use there their empery ;
Command not here. I weigh thee not, nor mean to magnify
Thy rough-hewn rages, but, instead, I thus far threaten thee :
Since Phoebus needs will force from me Chryseis, she shall go ;
My ships and friends shall waft her home ; but I will imitate so
His pleasure, that mine own shall take, in person, from thy tent
Bright-cheeked Briseis ; and so tell thy strength how eminent
My power is, being compared with thine ; all other making fear
To vaunt equality with me, or in this proud kind bear
Their beards against me.” Thetis’s son at this stood vexed, his heart
Bristled his bosom, and two ways drew his discursive part ;
If, from his thigh his sharp sword drawn, he should make room about
Atrides’ person slaughtering him, or sit his anger out,
And curb his spirit. While these thoughts strived in his blood and mind,
And he his sword drew, down from heaven Athenia stooped, and shined
About his temples, being sent by the ivory-wristed Queen
Saturnia, who out of her heart had ever loving been
And careful for the good of both. She stood behind, and took
Achilles by the yellow curls, and only gave her look
To him ; appearance not a man of all the rest could see.
He turning back his eye, amaze strook every faculty ;
Yet straight he knew her by her eyes, so terrible they were,
Sparkling with ardour, and thus spake : “Thou seed of Jupiter,
Why comest thou ? To behold his pride that boasts our empery ?
Then witness with it my revenge, and see that insolence die
That lives to wrong me.” She replied : “I come from heaven to see
Thine anger settled, if thy soul will use her sovereignty
In fit reflection. I am sent from Juno, whose affects
Stand heartily inclined to both, Come, give us both respects,
And cease contention ; draw no sword ; use words, and such as may
Be bitter to his pride, but just ; for trust in what I say,
A time shall come, when, thrice the worth of that he forceth now,
He shall propose for recompense of these wrongs ; therefore throw
Reins on thy passions, and serve us.” He answered : “Though my heart
Burn in just anger, yet my soul must conquer the angry part,
And yield you conquest. Who subdues his earthy part for heaven.
Heaven to his prayers subdues his wish.” This said, her charge was given
Fit honour ; in his silver hilt he held his able hand,
And forced his broad sword up ; and up to heaven did re-ascend
Minerva, who, in Jove’s high roof that bears the rough shield, took
Her place with other deities. She gone, again forsook
Patience his passion, and no more his silence could confine
His wrath, that this broad language gave : “Thou ever steeped in wine,
Dog’s face, with heart but of a hart, that nor in the open eye
Of fight dar’st thrust into a prease, nor with our noblest lie
In secret ambush ! These works seem too full of death for thee ;
’Tis safer far in the open host to dare an injury
To any crosser of thy lust. Thou subject-eating king !
Base spirits thou govern’st, or this wrong had been the last foul thing
Thou ever author’dst ; yet I vow, and by a great oath swear,
Even by this sceptre, that, as this never again shall bear
Green leaves or branches, nor increase with any growth his size,
Nor did since first it left the hills, and had his faculties
And ornaments bereft with iron ; which now to other end
Judges of Greece bear, and their laws, received from Jove, defend
(For which my oath to thee is great) ; so, whensoever need
Shall burn with thirst of me thy host, no prayers shall ever breed
Affection in me to their aid, though well-deserved woes
Afflict thee for them, when to death man-slaughtering Hector throws
Whole troops of them, and thou torment’st thy vexed mind with conceit
Of thy rude rage now, and his wrong that most deserved the right
Of all thy army.” Thus, he threw his sceptre against the ground.
With golden studs stuck, and took seat. Atrides’ breast was drowned
In rising choler. Up to both sweet-spoken Nestor stood,
The cunning Pylian orator, whose tongue poured forth a flood
Of more-than-honey-sweet discourse ; two ages were increased
Of divers-languaged men, all born in his time and deceased
In sacred Pylos, where he reigned amongst the third aged men.
He, well-seen in the world, advised, and thus expressed it then :
“O Gods ! Our Greek earth will be drowned in just tears ; rapeful
Her king, and all his sons, will make as just a mock, and joy,
Of these disjunctions ; if of you, that all our host excel
In counsel and in skill of fight, they hear this. Come, repel
These young men’s passions. Ye are not both, put both your years in one
So old as I. I lived long since, and was companion
With men superior to you both, who yet would ever hear
My counsels with respect. Mine eyes yet never witness were,
Nor ever will be, of such men as then delighted them :
Pirithous, Exadius, and god-like Polypheme,
Caeneus, and Dryas prince of men, Ægean Theseus,
A man like heaven’s immortals formed ; all, all most vigorous,
Of all men that even those days bred ; most vigorous men, and fought
With beasts most vigorous, mountain beasts (for men in strength were nought
Matched with their forces) fought with them, and bravely fought them down.
Yet even with these men I conversed, being called to the renown
Of their societies, by their suits from Pylos far, to fight
In the Asian kingdom ; and I fought, to a degree of might
That helped even their mights, against such as no man now would dare
To meet in conflict ; yet even these my counsels still would hear,
And with obedience crown my words. Give you such palm to them ;
’Tis better than to wreath your wrath. Atrides, give not stream
To all thy power, nor force his prise, but yield her still his own,
As all men else do. Nor do thou encounter with thy crown,
Great son of Peleus, since no king that ever Jove allowed
Grace of a sceptre equals him. Suppose thy nerves endowed
With strength superior, and thy birth a very goddess gave,
Yet he of force is mightier, since what his own nerves have
Is amplified with just command of many other. King of men,
Command thou then thyself ; and I with my prayers will obtain
Grace of Achilles to subdue his fury ; whose parts are
Worth our entreaty, being chief check to all our ill in war.”

“All this, good father,” said the king, “is comely and good right ;
But this man breaks all such bonds ; he affects, past all men, height :
All would in his power hold, all make his subjects, give to all
His hot will for a temperate law ; all which he never shall
Persuade at my hands. If the gods have given him the great style
Of ablest soldier, made they that his licence to revile
Men with vile language ?” Thetis’ son prevented him, and said :

“Fearful and vile I might be thought, if the exactions laid
By all means on me I should bear. Others command to this,
Thou shalt not me ; or if thou dost, far my free spirit is
From serving thy command. Besides, this I affirm (afford
Impression of it in thy soul) I will not use my sword
On thee or any for a wench, unjustly though thou takest
The thing thou gavest ; but all things else that in my ship thou makest
Greedy survey of, do not touch without my leave ; or do,—
Add that act’s wrong to this, that these may see that outrage too,—
And then comes my part ; then be sure thy blood upon my lance
Shall flow in vengeance.” These high terms these two at variance
Used to each other ; left their seats ; and after them arose
The whole court. To his tents and ships, with friends and soldiers, goes
Angry Achilles. Atreus’ son the swift ship launched, and put
Within it twenty chosen rowers, within it likewise shut
The hecatomb to appease the God ; then caused to come aboard
Fair-cheeked Chryseis ; for the chief, he in whom Pallas poured
Her store of counsels, Ithacus, aboard went last ; and then
The moist ways of the sea they sailed. And now the king of men
Bade all the host to sacrifice. They sacrificed and cast
The offal of all to the deeps ; the angry God they graced
With perfect hecatombs ; some bulls, some goats, along the shore
Of the unfruitful sea, inflamed. To heaven the thick fumes bore
Enwrapped savours. Thus, though all the politic king made show
Respects to heaven, yet he himself all that time did pursue
His own affections ; the late jar, in which he thundered threats
Against Achilles, still he fed, and his affections’ heats
Thus vented to Talthybius, and grave Eurybates
Heralds, and ministers of trust, to all his messages.

“Haste to Achilles’ tent ; where take Briseis’ hand, and bring
Her beauties to us. If he fail to yield her, say your king
Will come himself, with multitudes that shall the horribler
Make both his presence, and your charge, that so he dares defer.”

This said, he sent them with a charge of hard condition.
They went unwillingly, and trod the fruitless sea’s shore ; soon
They reached the navy and the tents, in which the quarter lay
Of all the Myrmidons, and found the chief Chief in their sway
Set at his black bark in his tent. Nor was Achilles glad
To see their presence ; nor themselves in any glory had
Their message ; but with reverence stood, and feared the offended king,
Asked not the dame, nor spake a word. He yet, well knowing the thing
That caused their coming, graced them thus : “Heralds, ye men that bear
The messages of men and gods, ye are welcome, come ye near.
I nothing blame you, but your king ’tis he, I know, doth send
You for Briseis ; she is his. Patroclus, honoured friend.
Bring forth the damsel, and these men let lead her to their lord.
But, heralds, be you witnesses before the most adored,
Before us mortals, and before your most ungentle king,
Of what I suffer, that, if war ever hereafter bring
My aid in question, to avert any severest bane
It brings on others, I am ’scused to keep mine aid in wane,
Since they mine honour. But your king, in tempting mischief, raves,
Nor sees at once by present things the future ; how like waves
Ills follow ills ; injustices being never so secure
In present times, but after-plagues even then are seen as sure ;
Which yet he sees not, and so soothes his present lust, which checked
Would check plagues future ; and he might, in succouring right, protect
Such as fight for his right at fleet. They still in safety fight
That fight still justly.” This speech used, Patroclus did the rite
His friend commanded, and brought forth Briseis from her tent,
Gave her the heralds, and away to the Achive ships they went.
She sad, and scarce for grief could go. Her love all friends forsook,
And wept for anger. To the shore of the old sea he betook
Himself alone, and casting forth upon the purple sea
His wet eyes, and his hands to heaven advancing, this sad plea
Made to his mother : “Mother ! since you brought me forth to breathe
So short a life, Olympius had good right to bequeath
My short life honour ; yet that right he doth in no degree,
But lets Atrides do me shame, and force that prize from me
That all the Greeks gave.” This with tears he uttered, and she heard,
Set with her old sire in his deeps, and instantly appeared
Up from the grey sea like a cloud, sate by his side, and said :

“Why weeps my son ? What grieves thee ? Speak, conceal not what hath laid
Such hard hand on thee, let both know.” He, sighing like a storm,
Replied : “Thou dost know. Why should I things known again inform ?
We marched to Thebes, the sacred town of King Eetion,
Sacked it, and brought to fleet the spoil, which every valiant son
Of Greece indifferently shared. Atrides had for share
Fair-cheeked Chryseis. After which, his priest, that shoots so far,
Chryses, the fair Chryseis’ sire, arrived at th’ Achive fleet,
With infinite ransom, to redeem the dear imprisoned feet
Of his fair daughter. In his hands he held Apollo’s crown,
And golden sceptre ; making suit to every Grecian son,
But most the sons of Atreus, the others’ orderers.
Yet they least heard him ; all the rest received with reverend ears
The motion, both the priest and gifts gracing, and holding worth
His wished acceptance. Atreus’ son yet (vexed) commanded forth
With rude terms Phoebus’ reverend priest ; who, angry, made retreat,
And prayed to Phoebus, in whose grace he standing passing great
Got his petition. The God an ill shaft sent abroad
That tumbled down the Greeks in heaps. The host had no abode
That was not visited. We asked a prophet that well knew
The cause of all ; and from his lips Apollo’s prophecies flew,
Telling his anger. First myself exhorted to appease
The angered God, which Atreus’ son did at the heart displease ;
And up he stood, used threats, performed. The black-eyed Greeks sent home
Chryseis to her sire, and gave his God a hecatomb.
Then, for Briseis, to my tents Atrides’ heralds came.
And took her that the Greeks gave all. If then thy powers can frame
Wreak for thy son, afford it. Scale Olympus, and implore
Jove (if by either word or fact thou ever didst restore
Joy to his grieved heart) now to help. I oft have heard thee vaunt
In court of Peleus, that alone thy hand was conversant
In rescue from a cruel spoil the black cloud-gathering Jove,
Whom other Godheads would have bound (the Power whose pace doth move
The round earth, heaven’s great Queen, and Pallas) ; to whose bands
Thou cam’st with rescue, bringing up him with the hundred hands
To great Olympus, whom the Gods call Briareus, men
Ægæon, who his sire surpassed, and was as strong again,
And in that grace sat glad by Jove. Th’ immortals stood dismayed
At his ascension, and gave free passage to his aid.
Of all this tell Jove ; kneel to him, embrace his knee, and pray,
If Troy’s aid he will ever deign, that now their forces may
Beat home the Greeks to fleet and sea ; embruing their retreat
In slaughter ; their pains paying the wreak of their proud sovereign’s heat :
And that far-ruling king may know from his poor soldier’s harms
His own harm falls ; his own and all in mine, his best in arms.”

Her answer she poured out in tears : “O me, my son,” said she,
“Why brought I up thy being at all, that brought thee forth to be
Sad subject of so hard a fate ? O would to heaven, that since
Thy fate is little, and not long, thou might’st without offence
And tears perform it ! But to live thrall to so stern a fate
As grants thee least life, and that least so most unfortunate.
Grieves me to have given thee any life. But what thou wishest now,
If Jove will grant, I’ll up and ask ; Olympus crowned with snow
I’ll climb ; but sit thou fast at fleet, renounce all war, and feed
Thy heart with wrath, and hope of wreak ; till which come, thou shalt need
A little patience. Jupiter went yesterday to feast
Amongst the blameless Æthiops, in th’ ocean’s deepened breast,
All Gods attending him ; the twelfth, high heaven again he sees,
And then his brass-paved court I’ll scale, cling to his powerful knees,
And doubt not but to win thy wish.” Thus, made she her remove,
And left wrath tyring on her son for his enforced love.

Ulysses, with the hecatomb, arrived at Chrysa’s shore ;
And when amidst the haven’s deep mouth they came to use the oar,
They straight struck sail, then rolled them up, and on the hatches threw ;
The top-mast to the kelsine then with halyards down they drew ;
Then brought the ship to port with oars ; then forked anchor cast ;
And, against the violence of storm, for drifting made her fast.

All come ashore, they all exposed the holy hecatomb
To angry Phoebus, and, with it, Chryseis welcomed home ;
Whom to her sire, wise Ithacus, that did at the altar stand.
For honour, led, and, speaking thus, resigned her to his hand :
“Chryseis, the mighty king of men, great Agamemnon sends
Thy loved seed by my hands to thine ; and to thy God commends
A hecatomb, which my charge is to sacrifice, and seek
Our much-sigh-mixed woe his recure, invoked by every Greek.”

Thus he resigned her, and her sire received her highly joyed.
About the well-built altar, then, they orderly employed
The sacred offering, washed their hands, took salt cakes ; and the priest,
With hands held up to heaven, thus prayed : “thou that all things seest,
Fautour of Chrysa, whose fair hand doth guardfully dispose
Celestial Cilia, governing in all power Tenedos,
O hear thy priest, and as thy hand, in free grace to my prayers.
Shot fervent plague-shafts through the Greeks, now hearten their affairs
With health renewed, and quite remove th’infection from their blood.”

He prayed ; and to his prayers again the God propitious stood.
All, after prayer, cast on salt cakes, drew back, killed, flayed the beeves.
Cut out and dubbed with fat their thighs, fair dressed with doubled leaves,
And on them all the sweetbreads pricked. The priest, with small sere wood,
Did sacrifice, poured on red wine ; by whom the young men stood,
And turned, in five ranks, spits. On which (the legs enough) they eat
The inwards ; then in giggots cut the other fit for meat,
And put to fire ; which roasted well they drew. The labour done,
They served the feast in that fed all to satisfaction.

Desire of meat and wine thus quenched, the youths crowned cups of wine,
Diunk off, and filled again to all. That day was held divine,
And spent in paeans to the Sun, who heard with pleased ear ;
When whose bright chariot stooped to sea, and twilight hid the clear,
All soundly on their cables slept, even till the night was worn.
And when the Lady of the light, the rosy-fingered Morn,
Rose from the hills, all fresh arose, and to the camp retired.
Apollo with a fore-right wind their swelling bark inspired.
The top-mast hoisted, milk-white sails on his round breast they put,
The mizens strooted with the gale, the ship her course did cut
So swiftly that the parted waves against her ribs did roar ;
Which, coming to the camp, they drew aloft the sandy shore ;
Where, laid on stocks, each soldier kept his quarter as before.

But Peleus’ son, swift-foot Achilles, at his swift ships sate
Burning in wrath, nor ever came to councils of estate
That make men honoured, never trod the fierce embattled field,
But kept close, and his loved heart pined, what fight and cries could yield
Thirsting at all parts to the host. And now, since first he told
His wrongs to Thetis, twelve fair morns their ensigns did unfold,
And then the ever-living Gods mounted Olympus, Jove
First in ascension. Thetis then remembered well to move
Achilles’ motion, rose from sea, and, by the morn’s first light
The great heaven and Olympus climbed ; where, in supremest height
Of all that many-headed hill, she saw the far-seen son
Of Saturn, set from all the rest, in his free seat alone.
Before whom, on her own knees fall’n, the knees of Jupiter
Her left hand held, her right his chin, and thus she did prefer
Her son’s petition : “Father Jove ! If ever I have stood
Aidful to thee in word or work, with this implored good
Requite my aid, renown my son, since in so short a race
(Past others) thou confin’st his life. An insolent disgrace
Is done him by the king of men ; he forced from him a prize
Won with his sword. But thou, O Jove, that art most strong, most wise,
Honour my son for my sake ; add strength to the Trojans’ side
By his side’s weakness in his want ; and see Troy amplified
In conquest, so much and so long, till Greece may give again
The glory reft him, and the more illustrate the free reign
Of his wronged honour.” Jove at this sate silent ; not a word
In long space passed him. Thetis still hung on his knee, implored
The second time his help, and said : “Grant or deny my suit,
Be free in what thou dost ; I know thou canst not sit thus mute
For fear of any ; speak, deny, that so I may be sure
Of all heaven’s Goddesses, ’tis I that only must endure
Dishonour by thee.” Jupiter, the great cloud-gatherer, grieved
With thought of what a world of griefs this suit asked, being achieved,
Swelled, sighed, and answered : “Works of death thou urgest. O at this
Juno will storm, and all my powers inflame with contumelies.
Ever she wrangles, charging me in ear of all the Gods
That I am partial still, that I add the displeasing odds
Of my aid to the Ilians. Begone then, lest she see ;
Leave thy request to my care ; yet, that trust may hearten thee
With thy desire’s grant, and my power to give it act approve
How vain her strife is, to thy prayer my eminent head shall move ;
Which is the great sign of my will with all th’ immortal states ;
Irrevocable ; never fails ; never without the rates
Of all powers else ; when my head bows, all heads bow with it still
As their first mover ; and gives power to any work I will.”

He said ; and his black eyebrows bent ; above his deathless head
The ambrosian curls flowed ; great heaven shook ; and both were severed ;
Their counsels broken. To the depths of Neptune’s kingdom dived
Thetis from heaven’s height ; Jove arose, and all the Gods received
(All rising from their thrones) their sire, attending to his court.
None sate when he rose, none delayed the furnishing his port
Till he came near, all met with him, and brought him to his throne.

Nor sate great Juno ignorant, when she beheld alone
Old Nereus’ silver-footed seed with Jove, that she had brought
Counsels to heaven ; and straight her tongue had teeth in it, that wrought
This sharp invective : “Who was that (thou craftiest counsellor
Of all the Gods) that so apart some secret did implore ?
Ever, apart from me, thou lovest to counsel and decree
Things of more close trust than thou think’st are fit t’ impart to me.
Whatever thou determin’st, I must ever be denied
The knowledge of it by thy will.” To her speech thus replied
The Father both of men and Gods : “Have never hope to know
My whole intentions, though my wife ; it fits not, nor would show
Well to thine own thoughts : but what fits thy woman’s ear to hear,
Woman, nor man, nor God, shall know before it grace thine ear.
Yet, what apart from men and Gods I please to know, forbear
T’ examine or inquire of that.” She with the cow’s fair eyes.
Respected Juno, this returned : “Austere king of the skies,
What hast thou uttered ? When did I before this time inquire
Or sift thy counsels ? Passing close you are still. Your desire
Is served with such care, that I fear you can scarce vouch the deed
That makes it public ; being seduced by this old sea-god’s seed,
That could so early use her knees, embracing thine. I doubt
The late act of thy bowed head was for the working out
Of some boon she asked ; that her son thy partial hand would please
With plaguing others.” “Wretch !” said he, “thy subtle jealousies
Are still exploring ; my designs can never ’scape thine eye.
Which yet thou never canst prevent. Thy curiosity
Makes thee less cared for at my hands, and horrible the end
Shall make thy humour. If it be what thy suspects intend.
What then ? ’Tis my free will it should ; to which let way be given
With silence. Curb your tongue in time, lest all the Gods in heaven
Too few be and too weak to help thy punished insolence,
When my inaccessible hands shall fall on thee,” The sense
Of this high threatening made her fear, and silent she sate down,
Humbling her great heart. All the Gods in court of Jove did frown
At this offence given ; amongst whom heaven’s famous artizan,
Ephaistus, in his mother’s care this comely speech began :

“Believe it, these words will breed wounds beyond our powers to bear,
If thus for mortals ye fall out. Ye make a tumult here
That spoils our banquet. Evermore worst matters put down best.
But, mother, though yourself be wise, yet let your son request
His wisdom audience. Give good terms to our loved father Jove,
For fear he take offence again, and our kind banquet prove
A wrathful battle. If he will, the heavenly Light’ner can
Take you and toss you from your throne, his power Olympian
Is so surpassing. Soften then with gentle speech his spleen.
And drink to him ; I know his heart will quickly down again.”

This said, arising from his throne, in his loved mother’s hand
He put the double-handed cup, and said : “Come, do not stand
On these cross humours, suffer, bear, though your great bosom grieve.
And lest blows force you, all my aid not able to relieve
Your hard condition, though these eyes behold it, and this heart
Sorrow to think it. ’Tis a task too dangerous to take part
Against Olympius. I myself the proof of this still feel.
When other Gods would fain have helped, he took me by the heel,
And hurled me out of heaven. All day I was in falling down ;
At length in Lemnos I struck earth. The likewise-falling sun
And I, together, set ; my life almost set too ; yet there
The Sintii cheered and took me up.” This did to laughter cheer
White-wristed Juno, who now took the cup of him and smiled.
The sweet peace-making draught went round, and lame Ephaistus filled
Nectar to all the other Gods. A laughter never left
Shook all the blessed deities, to see the lame so deft
At that cup service. All that day, even till the sun went down.
They banqueted, and had such cheer as did their wishes crown.
Nor had they music less divine ; Apollo there did touch
His most sweet harp, to which, with voice, the Muses pleased as much.
But when the sun’s fair light was set, each Godhead to his house
Addressed for sleep, where every one, with art most curious,
By heaven’s great both-foot-halting God a several roof had built.
Even he to sleep went, by whose hand heaven is with lightning gilt,
High Jove, where he had used to rest when sweet sleep seized his eyes :
By him the golden-throned Queen slept, the Queen of Deities.

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