Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/20

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Wreath'd with the sacred fillets:—and much besought all the Achaians
Atreus' sons most of all men, who order'd and govern'd the people.

"Hear me, O Atreus' sons, and ye warrior ranks of Achaia!
Yours be it soon, by the aid of the Gods who inhabit Olympus,
Storming the Trojan wall, to return in peace to your homesteads. 20
Only restore me my child!—take the ransom I bring to redeem her!—
Take it, and honor the God:—son of Zeus:— far-darting Apollo!"

Thus did the father pray.—Content were the other Achaians,
Both to give ear to the priest, and to take the rich gift of the ransom.
Little, however, did this suit the mood of the King Agamemnon:
Fiercely the elder he drave from the galleys, and sternly rebuked him.

"Never, again, old man, let me find thee here by the galleys!
Linger not mid them now, nor return thou hither hereafter!
Fillets, and sacred staff, perchance will little avail thee!
Whom thou seekest is mine: and mine, be sure, I retain her! 30
Mine, in my palace at Argos, away from the land of her fathers;
Plying the loom[1], and sharing my bed, till age come upon her.
Hence then !—tempt me no more !—but begone if thou lovest thy safety!"—

And—in his fear of the King—he obey'd that heavy commandment.
Mourning, he paced by the margin of Ocean eternally sounding—
Mourning, yet silent; 'til far from the galleys—and then to Apollo
Deeply and long did he pray—to the son of the fair-tress'd Leto.

"God of the silver bow—thou that art the protector of Chrysa[2];
Guardest Cilia divine; over Tenedos mightily rulest;
Smintheus[3]:—list to my prayer!— If e'er on the walls of thy temple, 40

  1. This was not, in those ages, a necessarily servile occupation.
  2. Chrysa seems to have been a district near Cilician Thebes, where there was a
    temple, of which Chryses, father of Chrysèis, was the priest.
  3. A title of Apollo; said to be derived from his having destroyed a plague of mice.