Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/29

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Such were my friends in youth:—such the comrades I met in my travel,
Far from the Apian realm;—and at their wish we were comrades.
'Mid them I fought as I might;—but not their equal in battle
Breathes there of mortal men, of men such as now are created. 270
These men heard me advise;—and as I advised they attended:
O be ye like unto them; for the words that I speak will avail you.
Great as thou art, O King, from Achilleus take not the damsel!—
Touch not the prize which he holds as the gift of the sons of Achaia!—
Neither do thou, O Pelides, indulge in unseemly contention
With him, the King!—for I tell thee this:—never yet was there monarch
Honor'd by Zeus as he is;—of all who rule with the sceptre.
Grant thou art strong in fight,—that a Goddess-mother has borne thee;—
Yet he excels in this,—his rule and sway are the wider.
Calm then thy wrath, O Atrides;—for I, even I, do entreat thee, 280
Pray thee to master thy hate to Achilleus:—who, as a bulwark,
Stands 'twixt the sons of Achaia, and all of the chances of battle."

Then to the sage, yet again, spake in answer the King Agamemnon.

"What thou hast said, O father, is true; right well hast thou spoken.
But that man seated there must still be the first of his fellows:
All are to yield unto him; he still is to lord it o'er others;
Still to dictate unto all.—But I trow he will find me his equal.
If he be strong in fight, by the gift of the Gods, the Immortals,
Is it their will he is thus to abound in abuse and invective?"

Then, interrupting the King, spake the Godlike leader Achilleus. 290

"Well should I merit the name of coward and spiritless dastard,
Were I to yield unto thee, and tamely submit to thy bidding.
Lay what commands thou wilt on the rest:—but to me, for the future,
Venture no more to dictate;—for I trow thou'lt find me thine equal!
But let me tell thee this—and my words they had best be remember'd—