|Homer, Iliad (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; hexameter] [word count] [Hom. Il.].|
|<<Hom. Il. 8||Hom. Il. 9 (Greek English(2))||>>Hom. Il. 10|
9.1Thus did the Trojans watch. But Panic, comrade of blood-stained Rout, had taken fast hold of the Achaeans and their princes were all of them in despair. As when the two winds that blow from
9.9The son of Atreus in dismay bade the heralds call the people to a council man by man, but not to cry the matter aloud; he made haste also himself to call them, and they sat sorry at heart in their assembly. Agamemnon shed tears as it were a running stream or cataract on the side of some sheer cliff; and thus, with many a heavy sigh he spoke to the Achaeans. "My friends," said he, "princes and councilors, Zeus has tied down with ruin [
9.29Thus he spoke, and the sons of the Achaeans for a long while sat sorrowful there, but they all held their peace, till at last Diomedes of the loud battle-cry made answer saying,
9.32"Son of Atreus, I will chide your folly, as is my right [themis] in council. Be not then aggrieved that I should do so. In the first place you attacked me before all the Danaans and said that I was a coward and no warrior. The Argives young and old know that you did so. But the son of scheming Kronos endowed you by halves only. He gave you honor as the chief ruler over us, but valor, which is the highest both right and might he did not give you. Sir, think you that the sons of the Achaeans are indeed as unwarlike and cowardly as you say they are? If your own mind is set upon going home - go - the way is open to you; the many ships that followed you from
9.50The sons of the Achaeans shouted approval at the words of Diomedes, and presently Nestor rose to speak. "Son of Tydeus," said he, "in war your prowess is beyond question, and in council you excel all who are of your own years; no one of the Achaeans can make light of what you say nor gainsay it, but you have not yet come to the end [
9.65"Now, however, let us obey the behests of night and get our suppers, but let the sentinels every man of them camp by the trench that is without the wall. I am giving these instructions to the young men; when they have been attended to, do you, son of Atreus, give your orders, for you are the most royal among us all. Prepare a feast for your councilors; it is right and reasonable that you should do so;
9.71there is abundance of wine in your tents, which the ships of the Achaeans bring from
9.79Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. The sentinels went out in their armor under command of Nestor's son Thrasymedes, a leader of the host, and of the bold warriors Askalaphos and Ialmenos: there were also Meriones, Aphareus and Deipyros, and the son of Kreion, noble Lykomedes. There were seven leaders of the sentinels, and with each there went a hundred youths armed with long spears: they took their places midway between the trench and the wall, and when they had done so they lit their fires and got every man his supper.
9.89The son of Atreus then bade many councilors of the Achaeans to his quarters prepared a great feast in their honor. They laid their hands on the good things that were before them, and as soon as they had enough to eat and drink, old Nestor, whose counsel was ever truest, was the first to lay his mind before them. He, therefore, with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus.
9.96"With yourself, most noble son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, will I both begin my speech and end it, for you are king over many people. Zeus, moreover, has granted you to wield the scepter and to uphold what is right [
9.108I urged you not to do so, but you yielded to your own pride, and dishonored a hero whom heaven itself had honored - for you still hold the prize that had been awarded to him. Now, however, let us think how we may appease him, both with presents and fair speeches that may conciliate him."
9.115And King Agamemnon answered, "Sir, you have reproved my folly [
9.135"All these things will I give him now down, and if hereafter the gods grant me to sack the city of Priam, let him come when we Achaeans are dividing the spoil, and load his ship with gold and bronze to his liking; furthermore let him take twenty Trojan women, the loveliest after Helen herself. Then, when we reach Achaean Argos, wealthiest of all lands, he shall be my son-in-law and I will show him like honor with my own dear son Orestes, who is being nurtured in all abundance. I have three daughters, Chrysothemis, Laodike, and Iphianassa, let him take the one of his choice, freely and without gifts of wooing, to the house of Peleus;
9.147I will add such dower to boot as no man ever yet gave his daughter, and will give him seven well established cities,
9.163Then Nestor answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon. The gifts you offer are no small ones, let us then send chosen messengers, who may go to the tent of Achilles son of Peleus without delay. Let those go whom I shall name. Let Phoenix, dear to Zeus, lead the way; let Ajax and Odysseus follow, and let the heralds Odios and Eurybates go with them. Now bring water for our hands, and bid all keep silence while we pray to Zeus the son of Kronos, if so be that he may have mercy upon us."
9.173Thus did he speak, and his saying pleased them well. Men-servants poured water over the hands of the guests, while pages filled the mixing-bowls with wine and water, and handed it round after giving every man his drink-offering; then, when they had made their offerings, and had drunk each as much as he was minded, the envoys set out from the tent of Agamemnon son of Atreus; and Nestor, looking first to one and then to another, but most especially at Odysseus, was instant with them that they should prevail with the noble son of Peleus.
9.182They went their way by the shore of the sounding sea, and prayed earnestly to earth-encircling Poseidon that the high spirit of the son of Aiakos might incline favorably towards them. When they reached the ships and tents of the Myrmidons,
9.186they found Achilles playing on a lyre, fair, of cunning workmanship, and its cross-bar was of silver. It was part of the spoils which he had taken when he sacked the city of Eetion, and he was now diverting himself with it and singing the glories [
9.199With this he led them forward, and bade them sit on seats covered with purple rugs; then he said to Patroklos who was close by him, "Son of Menoitios, set a larger bowl upon the table, mix less water with the wine, and give every man his cup, for these are very dear friends, who are now under my roof."
9.205Patroklos did as his comrade bade him; he set the chopping-block in front of the fire, and on it he laid the loin of a sheep, the loin also of a goat, and the chine of a fat hog. Automedon held the meat while Achilles chopped it; he then sliced the pieces and put them on spits while the son of Menoitios made the fire burn high. When the flame had died down, he spread the embers, laid the spits on top of them, lifting them up and setting them upon the spit-racks; and he sprinkled them with salt. When the meat was roasted, he set it on platters, and handed bread round the table in fair baskets, while Achilles dealt them their portions. Then Achilles took his seat facing Odysseus against the opposite wall, and bade his comrade Patroklos offer sacrifice to the gods; so he cast the offerings into the fire, and they laid their hands upon the good things that were before them. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, Ajax made a sign to Phoenix, and when he saw this, Odysseus filled his cup with wine and pledged Achilles.
9.225"Hail," said he, "Achilles, we have had no scant of good cheer, neither in the tent of Agamemnon, nor yet here; there has been plenty to eat and drink, but our thought turns upon no such matter. Sir, we are in the face of great disaster, and without your help know not whether we shall save our fleet or lose it. The Trojans and their allies have camped hard by our ships and by the wall; they have lit watchfires throughout their host and deem that nothing can now prevent them from falling on our fleet. Zeus, moreover, has sent his lightnings on the right side, as signs [
9.252"My good friend, when your father Peleus sent you from
9.266Rich indeed both in land and gold is he who has as many prizes as these horses have won for Agamemnon. Moreover he will give you seven excellent workers, women of
9.307Achilles answered, "Odysseus, noble son of
9.334"Nevertheless he did distribute some prizes of honor among the chieftains and kings, and these have them still; from me alone of the Achaeans did he take the woman in whom I delighted - let him keep her and sleep with her. Why, pray, must the Argives needs fight the Trojans? What made the son of Atreus gather the host and bring them? Was it not for the sake of Helen? Are the sons of Atreus the only men in the world who love their wives? Any man of common right feeling will love and cherish her who is his own, as I this woman, with my whole heart, though she was but a fruitling of my spear. Agamemnon has taken her from me; he has played me false; I know him; let him tempt me no further, for he shall not move me. Let him look to you, Odysseus, and to the other princes to save his ships from burning.
9.347He has done much without me already. He has built a wall; he has dug a trench deep and wide all round it, and he has planted it within with stakes; but even so he stays not the murderous might of Hektor. So long as I fought the Achaeans Hektor suffered not the battle range far from the city walls; he would come to the Scaean gates and to the oak tree, but no further. Once he stayed to meet me and hardly did he escape my onset: now, however, since I am in no mood to fight him, I will tomorrow offer sacrifice to Zeus and to all the gods; I will draw my ships into the water and then victual them duly; tomorrow morning, if you care to look, you will see my ships on the
9.372"As for me, hound that he is, he dares not look me in the face. I will take no counsel with him, and will undertake nothing in common with him. He has wronged me and deceived me enough, he shall not cozen me further; let him go his own way, for Zeus has robbed him of his reason. Hateful [
9.385he may offer me gifts as the sands of the sea or the dust of the plain in multitude, but even so he shall not move me till I have been revenged in full for the bitter wrong he has done me. I will not marry his daughter; she may be fair as Aphrodite, and skillful as Athena, but I will have none of her: let another take her, who may be a good match for her and who rules a larger kingdom. If the gods spare me to return home, Peleus will find me a wife; there are Achaean women in
9.410"My mother Thetis tells me that there are two ways in which I may meet my end [
9.430They all held their peace, dismayed at the sternness with which he had denied them, till presently the old horseman Phoenix in his great fear for the ships of the Achaeans, burst into tears and said, "Noble Achilles, if you are now minded to have your homecoming [
9.474but when the darkness of the tenth night came, I broke through the closed doors of my room, and climbed the wall of the outer court after passing quickly and unperceived through the men on guard and the women servants. I then fled through
9.485"It was I, Achilles, who had the making of you; I loved you with all my heart: for you would eat neither at home nor when you had gone out elsewhere, till I had first set you upon my knees, cut up the dainty morsel that you were to eat, and held the wine-cup to your lips. Many a time have you slobbered your wine in baby helplessness over my shirt; I had infinite trouble with you, but I knew that heaven had granted me no offspring of my own, and I made a son of you, Achilles, that in my hour of need you might protect me. Now, therefore, I say battle with your pride and beat it; cherish not your anger for ever; the excellence [
9.513Therefore, Achilles, give these daughters of Zeus due reverence [
9.527"I totally recall [
9.555He was incensed with his mother Althaia, and therefore stayed at home with his wedded wife fair Cleopatra, who was daughter of Marpessa daughter of Euenos, and of Ides the man then living. He it was who took his bow and faced King Apollo himself for fair Marpessa's sake; her father and mother then named her Halcyone, because her mother had mourned with the strains of the halcyon, bird of much grief [
9.573"Then was heard the din of battle about the gates of Calydon, and the dull thump of the battering against their walls. Thereon the elders of the Aetolians besought Meleager; they sent the chiefest of their priests, and begged him to come out and help them, promising him a great reward. They bade him choose fifty plough-gates, the most fertile in the plain of Calydon, the one-half vineyard and the other open plough-land. The old warrior Oeneus implored him, standing at the threshold of his room and beating the doors in supplication. His sisters and his mother herself besought him sore, but he the more refused them; those of his comrades who were nearest and dearest to him also prayed him, but they could not move him till the foe was battering at the very doors of his chamber, and the Curetes had scaled the walls and were setting fire to the city. Then at last his sorrowing wife detailed the horrors that befall those whose city is taken; she reminded him how the men are slain, and the city is given over to the flames, while the women and children are carried into captivity;
9.595when he heard all this, his heart was touched, and he donned his armor to go forth. Thus of his own inward motion he saved the city of the Aetolians; but they now gave him nothing of those rich rewards that they had offered earlier, and though he saved the city he took nothing by it. Be not then, my son, thus minded; let not heaven lure you into any such course. When the ships are burning it will be a harder matter to save them. Take the gifts, and go, for the Achaeans will then honor you as a god [
9.606And Achilles answered, "Phoenix, old friend and foster-father, I have no need of such honor. I have honor [
9.620On this he nodded quietly to Patroklos as a sign that he was to prepare a bed for Phoenix, and that the others should take their leave [
9.638whereas we now offer you the seven best we have, and much else into the bargain. Be then of a more gracious mind, respect the hospitality of your own roof. We are with you as messengers from the host of the Danaans, and would fain he held nearest and dearest to yourself of all the Achaeans."
9.644"Ajax," replied Achilles, "noble son of Telamon, you have spoken much to my liking, but my blood boils when I think it all over, and remember how the son of Atreus treated me with contumely as though I were some vile tramp, and that too in the presence of the Argives. Go, then, and deliver your message; say that I will have no concern with fighting till Hektor, son of noble Priam, reaches the tents of the Myrmidons in his murderous course, and flings fire upon their ships. For all his lust of battle, I take it he will be held in check when he is at my own tent and ship."
9.656On this they took every man his double cup, made their drink-offerings, and went back to the ships, Odysseus leading the way. But Patroklos told his men and the maid-servants to make ready a comfortable bed for Phoenix; they therefore did so with sheepskins, a rug, and a sheet of fine linen. The old man then laid himself down and waited till morning came. But Achilles slept in an inner room, and beside him the daughter of Phorbas lovely Diomede, whom he had carried off from
9.669When the envoys reached the tents of the son of Atreus, the Achaeans rose, pledged them in cups of gold, and began to question them. King Agamemnon was the first to do so. Tell me, Odysseus," said he, "will he save the ships from burning, or did be refuse, and is he still furious?"
9.677Odysseus answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, Achilles will not be calmed, but is more fiercely angry than ever, and spurns both you and your gifts. He bids you take counsel with the Achaeans to save the ships and host as you best may;
9.681as for himself, he said that at daybreak he should draw his ships into the water. He said further that he should advise every one to sail home likewise, for that you will not reach the goal of
9.692They all held their peace, sitting for a long time silent and dejected, by reason of the sternness with which Achilles had refused them, till presently Diomedes said, "Most noble son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, you ought not to have sued the son of Peleus nor offered him gifts. He is proud enough as it is, and you have encouraged him in his pride am further. Let him stay or go as he will. He will fight later when he is in the humor, and heaven puts it in his mind to do so. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say; we have eaten and drunk our fill, let us then take our rest, for in rest there is both strength and stay. But when fair rosy-fingered morn appears, forthwith bring out your host and your horsemen in front of the ships, urging them on, and yourself fighting among the foremost."
9.710Thus he spoke, and the other chieftains approved his words. They then made their drink-offerings and went every man to his own tent, where they laid down to rest and enjoyed the boon of sleep. 9.713
|Homer, Iliad (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; hexameter] [word count] [Hom. Il.].|
|<<Hom. Il. 8||Hom. Il. 9 (Greek English(2))||>>Hom. Il. 10|