Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/25

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


Stir from his native home, or mix in the strife of the valiant?
Not for offences to me, came I here as the foe of the Trojans.
Me did they never injure—no herds, no steeds, have they plundered:—
Never have they in Phthia, that fertile cradle of heroes,
Wasted my crops:—right safe from their arms is the vale of my fathers;
Girt by the shadowy hills, by the belt of the sonorous ocean!—
Only for thee, dog-faced as thou art, in thy cause, and thy brother's,
Even to work thy revenge upon Troy, come we here to the battle:
Yielding service to princes who neither esteem nor regard it.
And dost thou venture to threaten to pilfer the prize which the Argives 160
Gave to me—petty reward, as it is, of my toil and my labors?
Diverse in sooth our lots in the day when the sons of Achaia
Sack and level to dust any populous town of the Trojans.
Full of the work are my hands in the toil and heat of the battle:
Mine is the weight of the war: but when men share in the plunder
Thine are the great rewards; while I, worn down by the conflict,
Blest with a niggard gift, must march content to my vessels.
But to the shores of Phthia the black-beak'd prows of my galleys
Home shall return:—better far it were so!—What then will Atrides
Gain of plunder or spoil, by himself left sole and deserted?" 170

Then to the chief in reply spake the King of men—Agamemnon.
 
"Fly, by all means, if thine anger impel thee!—I will not entreat thee!—
Hope not for prayers from me!—There are chieftains many beside thee,
Ready to honor their King:—and Zeus himself will protect me.
Hatefullest art thou to me amid all the high princes among us!—
All thy delight is in strife, and in war, and the tumult of battle.
Strong if thou art, it is God who has given thee strength to presume on.
Hence then!—Fly, with thy ships, and thyself, and thy doughty companions!—
Rule as thou pleasest thy Myrmidon vassals!—As nought I regard thee,
Thee and thine anger alike:—and here it is mine to threaten. 180
True is it Chryses' daughter is claimed by Phœbus Apollo:
Home shall the maiden return, in my ship, with my chosen companions.