Page:The Iliad of Homer in English Hexameter Verse.djvu/32

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Honor, at least, was my due from him who is throned on Olympus,
E'en from the Thunderer, Zeus[1]!—But no honor at all doth he give me!
Foul dishonor is mine, at the hands of the King Agamemnon:
He for himself has seized on my prize;—has seized and retains her."

Weeping he spake;—and his mother divine heard all that he utter'd;
E'en in the caves of her sire, in the depths of the fathomless ocean.
Swift from the hoary main, she emerged as the mist of the morning;
Came to her weeping son, and sat her down softly before him;
Touch'd with her soothing hand, and call'd him by name and address'd him.

"Why these tears, O my son?—What sorrow has come to thy bosom?360
Keep it not there conceal'd—let us know it, and share it together!"

Then, with a deep-drawn groan, spake the swift-footed chieftain Achilleus.

"Thou know'st all!—Why then should I tellthee a tale that thou knowest?—
We attack'd sacred Thebeè,—Eeëtion's beautiful city,—
Storm'd and plunder'd the place, and hurried the spoil to the galleys.
Fairly the spoil was portion'd around by the sons of Achaia;
Giving to Atreus' son Chryseèis, daintily featured.
Chryses, priest of the far-darting Deity,—priest of Apollo,—
Came to the swift-sailing ships of the well-mailed sons of Achaia,
Suppliant seeking his child, with priceless gifts for her ransom,370
Bearing aloft his sceptre, the golden staff of his priesthood,
Wreath'd with the sacred fillets: and much besought all the Achaians;
Atreus' sons most of all men, who ordered and governed the people.
Suppliant thus did he pray; and content were the other Achaians,
Both to give ear to the priest, and to take the rich price of the ransom
Little however did this suit the mood of the King Agamemnon:
Fiercely the elder he drove from the galleys and sternly rebuked him.

  1. It appears, vide infra, book ix, v. 411, that Achilles had the choice of long life, or military glory; and had selected the latter.