Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/19

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THE


ILIAD OF HOMER.





BOOKTHEFIRST.




"Chryses' prayer:—and the pest on the host:—and the strife of the Princes."


Sing, divine Muse, sing the implacable wrath of Achilleus!
Heavy with death and with woe to the banded sons of Achaia!
Many the souls of the mighty, the souls of redoubtable heroes,
Hurried by it prematurely to Hades. The vultures and wild-dogs
Tore their tombless limbs. Yet thus did the will of the Highest
Work to an end[1]—from the day when strife drove madly asunder,
Atreus' son, king of men; and the Godlike leader Achilleus.

Say—from whom of the Gods, at first did the bitter contention
Seize on the chiefs?—From Him:—from the son of Zeus and of Leto!
He, on the leaguering armies, in wrath at the sin of the monarch, 10
Sent a fell pest:—for the monarch sinn'd, and the people were slaughter'd :
Slain for the crime of the king, who dishonor'd the priest of Apollo.

Suppliant Chryses came, to the swift-sailing ships ot Achaia:
Suppliant, seeking his child[2]—with priceless gifts for her ransom;
Bearing aloft his sceptre, the golden staff of his priesthood,

  1. Viz., the death of Hector, as preliminary to the fall of Troy.
  2. Chrysèis—who had been allotted to Agamemnon out of the spoil of Cilician Thebes, which had been stormed by Achilles.