Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/27

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For of a truth I affirm,—and my words shall be surely accomplished,— 210
Presents of threefold value shall soon make costly atonement
For this insult foul!—So master thyself: and obey me!"
Thus, to the Goddess in answer, the swift-footed chieftain Achilleus.

"Meet is it, O thou divine One, that, e'en in the heat of my great wrath,
I should obey the command of the two;—of thee and of Herè.—
Whoso gives ear to the Gods, to his prayer will the Gods be propitious."

Speaking he stay'd his hand from the silver hilt of his broadsword:
Sent to the scabbard the blade;—and respected the words of the Goddess,
E'en of the Goddess Athenè.—And she up again to Olympus
Rose;—to the home of the Gods, and of Zeus the Ægis-wielder. 220

Then did Pelides again, in accents of hate and of fury,
Speak, unto Atreus' son;—in accents of bitter invective.

"Dog as thou art in face; tame at heart as the deer of the woodlands;
Sot of a king!—When wert thou ever seen, mid the lords of Achaia,
Arm'd in the van of fight; or, in the more perilous ambush,
Winning the spoils of a foe?—Not for thee such uncertain encounters!—
Thou lovest safer plunder—the plunder of friends not of foemen—
Ranging the camp of Achaia, to pilfer from those who oppose thee.
—King preying on thine own people;—a king that rules over dastards;—
Were they not such, Atrides, thy pride had ere this been abated! 230
List but a moment longer, and mark the great oath I am swearing!—
Even by this very sceptre—which, stripped of its leaves and its branches,
Never to know them again, left its parent stem on the mountains,
Never again to bud forth[1]—for the cold keen steel has dissever'd
Leaves, and shoots, and bark; and thus do the sons of Achaia,
They who defend Heaven's right, and enforce the will of the Highest,

  1. Compare this with the sign of the miraculous buckling of Aaron's staff.