Imatges de pÓgina

Sca, and

To earth from hcar'n, strive with me as yc mat.
But I, if willing to exert my power,
The earth itself, itself the

Will lift with ease together, and will wind
The chain around the spiry summit sharp
Of the Olympian, that all things upheaved
Shall hang in the mid heav'n. So much am I
Alone superior both to gods and men.

XXXI. The embassy from Agamemnon to Achilles.

HEALTH to Achilles ! hospitable cheer
And well prepared, we want not at the boarel
Of royal Agamemnon, or at thine,
For both are nobly spread; but dainties now,
Or plenteous boards, are little our concern.
Oh godlike chief! tremendous are our themes
Of contemplation, while in doubt we sit
If life or death with loss of all our ships
Attend us, unless thou put on thy might.
For lo! the haughty Trojans, with their friends
Całld from afar, beside the fleet encamp ...!
Fast by the wall, where they have kindled fires.
Num'rous, and threaten that no force of ours
Shall check their purpos'd inroad on the camp.
Jove grants them favourable signs from hear'n,
Bright lightnings; Hector glares revenge, with rage
Infuriate, and by Jove assisted, heeds
Nor God nor man, but, maniac-like, implores
Incessantly the morn at once to rise,
That he

may hew away our vessel-heads,
Burn all our fleet with fire, and at their sides
Slay the Achaians panting in the smoké.
Dread overwhelms my spirit, lest the gods
His threats accomplish, and it be our doom
To perish here, from Argos far remote.
Up, therefore! if thou can'st at last relent,
Oh! rise and save Achaia's weary sons
From Trojan violence. Regret, but vain,
Shall else be thine hereafter, when no cure
Of such great ill, once suffer'd, can be found.

Thou therefore, seasonably kind, devise
Means to preserve from such disastrous fate
The Grecians. Ah, my friend! when Peleus thee
From Phthia sent to Agamemnon's aid,
On that same day he gave thee thus in charge.
“Juno, my son, and Pallas, if they please,
“ Can make thee valiant; but thy own big heart

Thyself restrain. Sweet manners win respect.
“ Cease from pernicious strife, and young and old
“ Throughout the host shall honour thee the more."
Such was thy father's charge, which thou, it seems,
Remember'st not. Yet even gow thy wrath
Renounce; be reconciled; for princely gifts
Atrides gives thee if thy wrath subside.
Hear, if thou wilt, and I will tell thee all,
How vast the gifts which Agamemnon made
By promise thine, this night within his tent.
Ser'n tripods never sullied yet with fire;
Of gold ten talents; twenty cauldrons bright;
Twelve steeds strong-limb'd, victorious in the race;
No man should need complain that he is poor,
Or shield be troubled with a want of gold,
Possessing what those steeds have won for him.
Ser'n well-born female captives he will give,
Expert in arts domestic, Lesbians all,
Whom, when thou conquer'dst Lesbos, he received
His chosen portion, passing woman-kind
In perfect loveliness of face and form.
These will he give, and will with these resign
Her whom he took, Briseïs, with an oath
Most solemn, that unconscious as she was
Of his embraces, such he yields her back.
All these he gives thee now! and if at length
The blessed gods shall grant us to destroy
Priam's great city, thou shalt heap thy ships
With gold and brass, ent'ring and choosing first,
When we shall share the spoil; and shalt beside
Take twenty from among the maids of Troy,
Except fair Helen, loveliest of their sex.
And if once more we reach the milky land
Of pleasant Argos, thou shalt there become
His son-in-law, and shalt enjoy like state
With hina, whom he in all abundance rears,

Ilis only son Orestes. At his court
lle hath three daughters; thou may'st home conduct
To Phthia, her whom thou shalt most approve,
Chrysothemis, Laodice, or the young
Iphianassa; and from thee he asks
No dow'r; himself will such a dow'r bestow
As never father on his child before.
Sev'n strong well-peopled cities will he give;
Cardamyle and Enope; and rich
In herbage, Hira; Pheræ stately-built,
And for her depth of pasturage renown'd,
Antheia; proud Epeia's lofty towers,
And Pedasus impurpled dark with vines.
All these are maritime, and on the shore
They stand of Pylas, by a race possess'd
Most rich in flocks and herds, who tribute large
And gifts presenting to thy sceptred hand,
Shall hold thee high in honour as a god.
These will he give thee, if thy wrath subside.
But shouldst thou rather in thine heart the more
Both Agamemnoni and his gifts detest,
Yet oh compassionate th' afflicted host
Prepared to adore thee. Thou shalt win renown
Among the Grecians that shall never die.
Now strike at Hector--he is here himself
Provokes thee forth; madness is in his heart,
And in his rage he glories that our ships
llave hither brought no Grecian brave as he.

XXXII. Achilles' reply.

LAERTES' noble son, for wiles renown'd!. I must with plainness speak my fixt resolve Unalterable; lest I hear from each The same long murmur'd melancholy tale. For, as the gates of Ades I detest The man, whose heart and language disagree. So shall not mine. My most approved resolve Is this; that neither Agamemnon me Nor all the Greeks shall move; for ceaseless toil... Wins here no thanks; one recompense awaits

The sedentary and the most alert, The brave and base in equal honour stand, And drones and heroes fall unwept alike. I after all my toils, who have exposed Life daily in the field, have earn’d no prize Superior to the rest, but as the bird Gives to her unfledged brood a morsel gain'd After long search, though wanting it herself, So have I worn out many a sleepless night, And waded deep through many a bloody day In battle for their wives. I have destroy'd Twelve cities with my fleet, and twelve, save one, On foot contending in the fields of Troy. From all these cities, precious spoils I took Abundant, and to Agamemnon's hand Gave all the treasure. He within his ships Abode the while, and having all received, Little distributed, and much retained; He

gave, however, to the kings and chiefs A portion, and they keep it. Me alone Of all the Grecian host he hath despoil'd; My bride, my soul's delight is in his hands, And let him couch with her. What urgent need Have the Achaians to contend with Troy? Why hath Atrides gather'd such an host, And led them hither ?

Was't not for the sake
Of beauteous Helen? And of all mankind
Can none be found who love their proper wives
But the Atridæ ? There is no good man
Who loves not, guards not, and with care provides
For his own wife, and, though in battle won,
I loved the fair Briseïs at my

But having dispossess'd me of my prize
So foully, let him not essay me now,
For I am warn'd, and he shall not prevail.
Let him advise with thee and with thy peers,
Ulysses! how the feet may likeliesť 'scape
Yon hostile fires; since many an arduous task
He hath accomplish'd without aid of mine;
So hath he now this rampart and the trench
Which he hath sunk around it, and with stakes
Contiguous planted-puny barriers all
To hero-slaught'ring Hector's force opposed.

While, present with the host of Greece, I waged
Myself the battle, Hector never fought.
Far from his walls, but to the Scæan gate
Advancing and the beech-tree, there remain’d.
Once, on that spot he met me, and my arm
Escaped with difficulty even there.
But, since I feel myself not now inclined
To fight with noble Hector, yielding first
To Jove due worship, and to all the gods,
To-morrow will I launch, and give my ships
Their ladingLook thou forth at early dawn,
And, if such spectacle delight thee aught,
Thou shalt behold me cleaving with my prows
The wares of llellespont, and all my crews
Of lusty rowers, active in their task.
So shall I reach (if ocean's mighty god
Prosper my voyage) Phthia the deep-soil'd
On the third day. I have possessions there,
Which hither roaming in an evil hour
I left abundant. I shall also hence
Convey much treasure, gold and burnish'd brass,
And glittering steel, and women passing fair
My portion of the spoils. But he, your king,
The prize he gave, himself, himself resumed,
And taunted at me. Tell him my reply,
And tell it him aloud, that other Greeks
May indignation feel like me, if arm'd
Always in impudence, he seek to wrong
Themi also. Let him not henceforth presume,
Canine and hard in aspect though he be,
To look me in the face. I will not share
His counsels, neither will I aid his works.
Let it suffice him, that he wrong'd me once,
Deceived me once, henceforth his glozing arts
Are lost on me. But let him rot in peace
Crazed as he is, and hy the stroke of Jove
Infatuate. I detest his gifts, and him
So honour, as the thing which most I scorn.
And would he give me twenty times the worth
Of this his offer, all the treasured heaps
Which he possesses, or shall yet possess,
All that Orchonenos within her walls,
And all that opulent Ægyptian Thebes

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