Page:The Iliad of Homer (Butler).djvu/14

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PREFACE

thou this my desire; let the Danaans pay by thine arrows for my tears."

So spake he in prayer, and Phœbus Apollo heard him, and came down from the peaks of Olympus wroth at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow and covered quiver. And the arrows clanged upon his shoulders in his wrath, as the god moved; and he descended like to night. Then he sate him aloof from the ships, and let an arrow fly; and there was heard a dread clanging of the silver bow. First did he assail the mules and fleet dogs, but afterward, aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and the pyres of the dead burnt continually in multitude.

 

I have given the foregoing extract with less compunction, by reason of the reflection, ever present with me, that not a few readers—nor these the least cultured—will prefer Dr. Leaf's translation to my own. Throughout my work I have taken the same kind of liberties as those that the reader will readily detect if he compares Dr. Leaf's rendering with mine. But I do not believe that I have anywhere taken greater ones. The difference between us in the prayer of Chryses, where Dr. Leaf translates "If ever I built a temple," &c., while I render "If ever I decked your temple with garlands," &c., is not a case in point, for it is due to my preferring Liddell and Scott's translation. I very readily admit that Dr. Leaf has in the main kept more closely to the words of Homer, but I believe him to have lost more of the spirit of the original through his abandonment (no doubt deliberate) of all attempt at stately, and at the same time easy, musical, flow of language, than he has gained in adher-