|Homer, Iliad (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Hom. Il.].|
|<<Hom. Il. 8||Hom. Il. 9 (GreekEnglish)||>>Hom. Il. 10|
My friends, leaders and rulers of the Argives, great Zeus, son of Cronos, hath ensnared me in grievous blindness of heart, cruel god! seeing that of old he promised me, and bowed his head thereto,9.20that not until I had sacked well-walled Ilios should I get me home; but now hath he planned cruel deceit, and biddeth me return inglorious to Argos, when I have lost much people. So, I ween, must be the good pleasure of Zeus supreme in might, who hath laid low the heads of many cities, 9.25yea, and shall lay low; for his power is above all. Nay, come, even as I shall bid let us all obey: let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for no more is there hope that we shall take broad-wayed Troy. So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence. 9.30Long time were they silent in their grief, the sons of the Achaeans, but at length there spake among them Diomedes, good at the war-cry:
Son of Atreus, with thee first will I contend in thy folly, where it is meet, O king, even in the place of gathering: and be not thou anywise wroth thereat. My valour didst thou revile at the first amid the Danaans,9.35and saidst that I was no man of war but a weakling; and all this know the Achaeans both young and old. But as for thee, the son of crooked-counselling Cronos hath endowed thee in divided wise: with the sceptre hath he granted thee to be honoured above all, but valour he gave thee not, wherein is the greatest might. 9.40Strange king, dost thou indeed deem that the sons of the Achaeans are thus unwarlike and weaklings as thou sayest? Nay, if thine own heart is eager to return, get thee gone; before thee lies the way, and thy ships stand beside the sea, all the many ships that followed thee from Mycenae. 9.45Howbeit the other long-haired Achaeans will abide here until we have laid waste Troy. Nay, let them also flee in their ships to their dear native land; yet will we twain, Sthenelus and I, fight on, until we win the goal of Ilios; for with the aid of heaven are we come.
Son of Tydeus, above all men art thou mighty in battle,9.55and in council art the best amid all those of thine own age. Not one of all the Achaeans will make light of what thou sayest neither gainsay it; yet hast thou not reached a final end of words. Moreover, thou art in sooth but young, thou mightest e'en be my son, my youngest born; yet thou givest prudent counsel to the princes of the Argives, seeing thou speakest according to right. 9.60But come, I that avow me to be older than thou will speak forth and will declare the whole; neither shall any man scorn my words, no, not even lord Agamemnon. A clanless, lawless, hearthless man is he that loveth dread strife among his own folk. 9.65Howbeit for this present let us yield to black night and make ready our supper; and let sentinels post themselves severally along the digged ditch without the wall. To the young men give I this charge; but thereafter do thou, son of Atreus, take the lead, for thou art most kingly. 9.70Make thou a feast for the elders; this were but right and seemly for thee. Full are thy huts of wine that the ships of the Achaeans bring thee each day from Thrace, over the wide sea; all manner of entertainment hast thou at hand, seeing thou art king over many. And when many are gathered together thou shalt follow him whoso shall devise 9.75the wisest counsel. And sore need have all the Achaeans of counsel both good and prudent, seeing that foemen hard by the ships are kindling their many watchfires; what man could rejoice thereat? This night shall either bring to ruin or save our host. So spake he, and they readily hearkened to him and obeyed. 9.80Forth hasted the sentinels in their harness around Nestor's son Thrasymedes, shepherd of the host, and Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, and Meriones and Aphareus and Deïpyrus, and the son of Creon, goodly Lycomedes. 9.85Seven were the captains of the sentinels, and with each fared an hundred youths bearing long spears in their hands; then they went and sate them down midway betwixt trench and wall; and there they kindled a fire and made ready each man his meal.
Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, with thee will I begin and with thee make an end, for that thou art king over many hosts, and to thee Zeus hath vouchsafed the sceptre and judgements, that thou mayest take counsel for thy people.9.100Therefore it beseemeth thee above all others both to speak and to hearken, and to fulfilll also for another whatsoever his heart may bid him speak for our profit; for on thee will depend whatsoever any man may begin. So will I speak what seemeth to me to be best. No man beside shall devise a better thought 9.105than this I have in mind from old even until now, even since the day when thou, O king sprung from Zeus, didst take from the hut of the angry Achilles the damsel Briseïs and go thy way—in no wise according to our will. Nay, for I, mine own self, urgently sought to dissuade thee; but thou didst yield to thy lordly spirit, 9.110and upon a man most mighty, whom the very immortals honoured, didst thou put dishonour; for thou tookest away and keepest his prize. Howbeit let us still even now take thought how we may make amends, and persuade him with kindly gifts and with gentle words.
Old sir, in no false wise hast thou recounted the tale of my blind folly. Blind I was, myself I deny it not. Of the worth of many hosts is the man whom Zeus loveth in his heart, even as now he honoureth this man and destroyeth the host of the Achaeans. Yet seeing I was blind, and yielded to my miserable passion,9.120I am minded to make amends and to give requital past counting. In the midst of you all let me name the glorious gifts; seven tripods that the fire hath not touched, and ten talents of gold and twenty gleaming cauldrons, and twelve strong horses, winners in the race, that have won prizes by their fleetness. 9.125Not without booty were a man, nor unpossessed of precious gold, whoso had wealth as great as the prizes my single-hooved steeds have won me. And I will give seven women skilled in goodly handiwork, women of Lesbos, whom on the day when himself took well-built Lesbos I chose me from out the spoil, 9.130and that in beauty surpass all women folk. These will I give him, and amid them shall be she that then I took away, the daughter of Briseus; and I will furthermore swear a great oath that never went I up into her bed neither had dalliance with her as is the appointed way of mankind, even of men and women. 9.135All these things shall be ready to his hand forthwith; and if hereafter it so be the gods grant us to lay waste the great city of Priam, let him then enter in, what time we Achaeans be dividing the spoil, and heap up his ship with store of gold and bronze, and himself choose twenty Trojan women 9.140that be fairest after Argive Helen. And if we return to Achaean Argos, the richest of lands, he shall be my son, and I will honour him even as Orestes that is reared in all abundance, my son well-beloved. Three daughters have I in my well-builded hall, 9.145Chrysothemis, and Laodice, and Iphianassa; of these let him lead to the house of Peleus which one he will, without gifts of wooing, and I will furthermore give a dower full rich, such as no man ever yet gave with his daughter. And seven well-peopled cities will I give him, 9.150Cardamyle Enope, and grassy Hire, and sacred Pherae and Antheia with deep meadows, and fair Aepeia and vine-clad Pedasus. All are nigh to the sea, on the uttermost border of sandy Pylos, and in them dwell men rich in flocks and rich in kine, 9.155men that shall honour him with gifts as though he were a god, and beneath his sceptre shall bring his ordinances to prosperous fulfillment. All this will I bring to pass for him, if he but cease from his wrath. Let him yield—Hades, I ween, is not to be soothed, neither overcome, wherefore he is most hated by mortals of all gods. 9.160And let him submit himself unto me, seeing I am more kingly, and avow me his elder in years.
Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, the gifts that thou offerest the prince Achilles may no man any more condemn.9.165Come, therefore, let us send forth chosen men to go forthwith to the hut of Peleus' son, Achilles. Nay, rather, whomsoever I shall choose, let them consent. First of all let Phoenix, dear to Zeus, lead the way, and after him great Aias and goodly Odysseus; 9.170and of the heralds let Odius and Eurybates attend them. And now bring ye water for our hands, and bid keep holy silence, that we may make prayer unto Zeus, son of Cronos, if so be he will have compassion upon us. So said he and the words that he spake were pleasing unto all. Then heralds poured water over their hands, 9.175and youths filled the bowls brim full of drink, and served out to all, pouring first drops for libation into the cups. But when they had made libation and had drunk to their hearts' content, they went forth from the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus. And the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, 9.180laid straight command upon them with many a glance at each, and chiefly upon Odysseus, that they should make essay to persuade the peerless son of Peleus. So the twain [Note] went their way along the shore of the loud-resounding sea, with many an instant prayer to the god that holdeth the earth and shaketh it, that they might easily persuade the great heart of the son of Aeacus. 9.185And they came to the huts and the ships of the Myrmidons, and found him delighting his soul with a clear-toned lyre, fair and richly wrought, whereon was a bridge of silver; this had he taken from the spoil when he laid waste the city of Eëtion. Therewith was he delighting his soul, and he sang of the glorious deeds of warriors; 9.190and Patroclus alone sat over against him in silence, waiting until Aeacus' son should cease from singing. But the twain came forward and goodly Odysseus led the way, and they took their stand before his face; and Achilles leapt up in amazement with the lyre in his hand, and left the seat whereon he sat; 9.195and in like manner Patroclus when he beheld the men uprose. Then swift-footed Achilles greeted the two and spake, saying:
Welcome, verily ye be friends that are come—sore must the need be [Note] — ye that even in mine anger are to me the dearest of the Achaeans.So saying, goodly Achilles led them in 9.200and made them sit on couches and rugs of purple; and forthwith he spake to Patroclus, that was near:
Set forth a larger bowl, thou son of Menoetius; mingle stronger drink, and prepare each man a cup, for these be men most dear, that are beneath my roof.
Hail, O Achilles, of the equal feast have we no stinting, either in the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, or now in thine; for here is abundance that satisfies the heart to feast withal. Yet matters of the delicious feast are not in our thoughts, nay, Zeus-nurtured one, it is utter ruin that we behold, and are afraid;9.230for it is in doubt whether we save the benched ships or they perish, except thou clothe thee in thy might. Hard by the ships and the wall have the Trojans, high of heart, and their far-famed allies set their bivouac, and kindled many fires throughout the host, and they deem that they shall no more be stayed, 9.235but will fall upon our black ships. [Note] And Zeus, son of Cronos, shows them signs upon the right with his lightnings, and Hector exulting greatly in his might rageth furiously, trusting in Zeus, and recketh not of men nor gods, for mighty madness hath possessed him. 9.240His prayer is that with all speed sacred Dawn may appear, for he declareth that he will hew from the ships' sterns the topmost ensigns, and burn the very hulls with consuming fire, and amidst them make havoc of the Achaeans, distraught by reason of the smoke.
Zeus-born son of Laërtes, Odysseus of many wiles, needs must I verily speak my word outright, even as I am minded,9.310and as it shall be brought to pass, that ye sit not by me here on this side and on that and prate endlessly. For hateful in my eyes, even as the gates of Hades, is that man that hideth one thing in his mind and sayeth another. Nay, I will speak what seemeth to me to be best. 9.315Not me, I ween, shall Atreus' son, Agamemnon, persuade, nor yet shall the other Danaans, seeing there were to be no thanks, it seemeth, for warring against the foeman ever without respite. Like portion hath he that abideth at home, and if one warreth his best, and in one honour are held both the coward and the brave; 9.320death cometh alike to the idle man and to him that worketh much. Neither have I aught of profit herein, that I suffered woes at heart, ever staking my life in fight. Even as a bird bringeth in her bill to her unfledged chicks whatever she may find, but with her own self it goeth ill, 9.325even so was I wont to watch through many a sleepless night, and bloody days did I pass in battle, fighting with warriors for their women's sake.
If verily thou layest up in thy mind, glorious Achilles,9.435the purpose of returning, neither art minded at all to ward from the swift ships consuming fire, for that wrath hath fallen upon thy heart; how can I then, dear child, be left here without thee, alone? It was to thee that the old horseman Peleus sent me on the day when he sent thee to Agamemnon, forth from Phthia, 9.440a mere child, knowing naught as yet of evil war, neither of gatherings wherein men wax preeminent. For this cause sent he me to instruct thee in all these things, to be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Wherefore, dear child, I am not minded hereafter 9.445to be left alone without thee, nay, not though a god himself should pledge him to strip from me my old age and render me strong in youth as in the day when first I left Hellas, the home of fair women, fleeing from strife with my father Amyntor, son of Ormenus; for he waxed grievously wroth against me by reason of his fair-haired concubine, 9.450whom himself he ever cherished, and scorned his wife, my mother. So she besought me by my knees continually, to have dalliance with that other first myself, that the old man might be hateful in her eyes.
Phoenix, old sire, my father, nurtured of Zeus, in no wise have I need of this honour: honoured have I been, I deem, by the apportionment of Zeus, which shall be mine amid the beaked ships so long as the breath9.610abideth in my breast and my knees are quick. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart; seek not to confound my spirit by weeping and sorrowing, to do the pleasure of the warrior, son of Atreus; it beseemeth thee not to cherish him, lest thou be hated of me that cherish thee. 9.615Well were it that with me thou shouldest vex him whosoever vexeth me. Be thou king even as I am, and share the half of my honour. Howbeit these shall bear my message, but abide thou here and lay thee down on a soft couch, and at break of day we will take counsel whether to return to our own or to tarry here.
Zeus—born son of Laërtes, Odysseus of many wiles,9.625let us go our way, for the fulfillment of the charge laid on us will not methinks be brought to pass by our coming hither; and it behoveth us with speed to declare the message, though it be no wise good, to the Danaans, that, I ween, now sit waiting therefor. But Achilles hath wrought to fury the proud heart within him, 9.630cruel man! neither recketh he of the love of his comrades wherewith we ever honoured him amid the ships above all others—pitiless one! Lo, a man accepteth recompense from the slayer of his brother, or for his dead son; and the slayer abideth in his own land for the paying of a great price, 9.635and the kinsman's heart and proud spirit are restrained by the taking of recompense. But as for thee, the gods have put in thy breast a heart that is obdurate and evil by reason of one only girl; whereas we now offer thee seven, far the best that there be, and many other gffts besides; nay then, take to thee a heart of grace, 9.640and have respect unto thine hall; for under thy roof are we come from the host of the Danaans, and we would fain be nearest to thee and dearest beyond all other Achaeans as many as there be. Then in answer to him spake Achilles, swift of foot:
Aias, sprung from Zeus, thou son of Telamon, captain of the host,9.645all this thou seemest to speak almost after mine own mind; but my heart swelleth with wrath whenso I think of this, how the son of Atreus hath wrought indignity upon me amid the Argives, as though I were some alien that had no rights. Howbeit do ye go and declare my message, 9.650for I will not sooner bethink me of bloody war until wise-hearted Priam's son, even goodly Hector, be come to the huts and ships of the Myrmidons, as he slays the Argives, and have smirched the ships with fire. But about my hut and my black ship 9.655I deem that Hector will be stayed, eager though he be for battle. So spake he, but they took each man a two handled cup, and when they had made libation went their way along the lines of ships, and Odysseus led. But Patroclus bade his comrades and the handmaids spread forthwith a thick couch for Phoenix; 9.660and they obeyed, and spread the couch, as he bade, fleeces and a rug and soft fabric of linen. There the old man laid him down and waited for bright Dawn. But Achilles slept in the innermost part of the well-builded hut, and by his side lay a woman that he had brought from Lesbos, 9.665even the daughter of Phorbas, fair-cheeked Diomede. And Patroclus laid him down on the opposite side, and by him in like manner lay fair-girdled Iphis, whom goodly Achilles had given him when he took steep Scyrus, the city of Enyeus.
Come, tell me now, Odysseus, greatly to be praised, thou great glory of the Achaeans, is he minded to ward off consuming fire from the ships,9.675or said he nay, and doth wrath still possess his proud spirit? Then much-enduring goodly Odysseus answered him:
Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, he verily is not minded to quench his wrath but is filled yet more with fury, and will have none of thee, or of thy gifts.9.680For thine own self he biddeth thee to take counsel amid the Argives how thou mayest save the ships and the host of the Achaeans. But himself he threateneth that at break of day he will launch upon the sea his well-benched curved ships. Aye and he said that he would counsel others also 9.685to sail back to their homes, seeing there is no more hope that ye shall win the goal of steep Ilios; for mightily doth Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, hold forth his hand above her, and her people are filled with courage. So spake he, and these be here also to tell thee this, even they that followed with me, Aias and the heralds twain, men of prudence both. 9.690But the old man Phoenix laid him down there to rest, for so Achilles bade, that he may follow with him on his ships to his dear native land on the morrow, if he will, but perforce will he not take him. So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence marvelling at his words; for full masterfully did he address their gathering. 9.695Long time were they silent in their grief, the sons of the Achaeans, but at length there spake among them Diomedes, good at the war-cry:
Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, would thou hadst never besought the peerless son of Peleus, nor offered countless gifs; haughty is he even of himself,9.700and now hast thou yet far more set him amid haughtinesses. But verily we will let him be; he may depart or he may tarry; hereafter will he fight when the heart in his breast shall bid him, and a god arouse him. But come, even as I shall bid, let us all obey. 9.705For this present go ye to your rest, when ye have satisfied your hearts with meat and wine, for therein is courage and strength; but so soon as fair, rosy-fingered Dawn appeareth, forthwith do thou array before the ships thy folk and thy chariots, and urge them on; and fight thou thyself amid the foremost. 9.710So spake he, and all the kings assented thereto, marvelling at the words of Diomedes, tamer of horses. Then they made libation, and went every man to his hut, and there laid them down and took the gift of sleep.
|Homer, Iliad (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Hom. Il.].|
|<<Hom. Il. 8||Hom. Il. 9 (GreekEnglish)||>>Hom. Il. 10|