The Iliad of Homer | Chapter 15 of 35

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BOOK SEVEN

 

          So speaking Hektor the glorious swept on through the gates,

       and with him went Alexandros his brother, both of them minded

       in their hearts to do battle and take their part in the fighting.

       And as to men of the sea in their supplication the god sends

5       a fair wind, when they are breaking their strength at the smoothed oar-sweeps,

       driving over the sea, and their arms are weak with weariness,

       so these two appeared to the Trojans, who had longed for them.

          Each killed his man: Paris, the son of lord Areïthoös,

       Menesthios, who lived in Arne, born to him of the war club

10   Areïthoös, and to ox-eyed Phylomedousa;

       while Hektor with the sharp spear struck Eïoneus, under

       the circle of the bronze helm, in the neck, and broke his limbs’ strength.

       And Glaukos, lord of the Lykian men, the son of Hippolochos,

       struck down with the spear Iphinoös in the strong encounter,

15   Dexias’ son, as he leapt up behind his fast horses, striking him

       in the shoulder. He dropped from car to ground, and his limbs’ strength was broken.

          Now as the goddess gray-eyed Athene was aware of these two

       destroying the men of Argos in the strong encounter,

       she went down in a flash of speed from the peaks of Olympos

20   to sacred Ilion, where Apollo stirred forth to meet her

       from his seat on Pergamos, where he planned that the Trojans should conquer.

       These two then encountered each other beside the oak tree,

       and speaking first the son of Zeus, lord Apollo, addressed her:

       “What can be your desire this time, O daughter of great Zeus,

25   that you came down from Olympos at the urge of your mighty spirit?

       To give the Danaäns victory in the battle, turning it

       back? Since you have no pity at all for the Trojans who are dying.

       But if you might only do as I say, it would be far better.

       For this day let us put an end to the hatred and the fighting

30   now; they shall fight again hereafter, till we witness the finish

       they make of Ilion, since it is dear to the heart of you, who

       are goddesses immortal, that this city shall be made desolate.”

          Then in answer the goddess gray-eyed Athene spoke to him:

       “Worker from afar, thus let it be. These were my thoughts also

35   as I came down from Olympos among the Achaians and Trojans.

       Tell me then, how are you minded to stop these men in their fighting?”

          Now in turn the son of Zeus, lord Apollo, addressed her:

       “Let us rouse up the strong heart in Hektor, breaker of horses,

       if he might call forth some Danaän to do battle against him,

40   single man against single man, in bitter combat;

       and let the strong-greaved Achaians, stirred into admiration,

       send forth a single man to do battle with brilliant Hektor.”

          He spoke, nor failed to persuade the goddess gray-eyed Athene.

       Now Helenos, Priam’s beloved son, gathered into his heart their

45   deliberation, and all that pleased the musing divinities.

       He went on his way and stood beside Hektor and spoke a word to him:

       “Hektor, O son of Priam and equal of Zeus in counsel,

       would you now be persuaded by me, for I am your brother?

       Make the rest of the Trojans sit down, and all the Achaians,

50   and yourself call forth one of the Achaians, their bravest,

       to fight man to man against you in bitter combat.

       Since it is not your destiny yet to die and encounter

       fate. For thus I heard it in the speech of the gods everlasting.”

          So he spoke, and Hektor hearing his word was happy,

55   and went into the space between and forced back the Trojan battalions,

       holding his spear by the middle, until they were all seated,

       while Agamemnon in turn seated the strong-greaved Achaians,

       and Athene and the lord of the silver bow, Apollo,

       assuming the likenesses of birds, of vultures, settled

60   aloft the great oak tree of their father, Zeus of the aegis,

       taking their ease and watching these men whose ranks, dense-settled,

       shuddered into a bristle of spears, of shields and of helmets.

       As when the shudder of the west wind suddenly rising

       scatters across the water, and the water darkens beneath it,

65   so darkening were settled the ranks of Achaians and Trojans

       in the plain. And now Hektor spoke forth between them:

       “Listen to me, you Trojans and strong-greaved Achaians,

       while I speak forth what the heart within my breast urges.

       Zeus, son of Kronos, who sits on high, would not bring to fulfillment

70   our oaths, but is found to be of evil intention toward both sides

       until that day when you storm Troy of the strong towers, or that day

       when you yourselves are broken beside your seafaring vessels.

       Seeing now that among you are the bravest of all the Achaians,

       let one of you, whose heart stirs him to combat against me,

75   stand forth before all to fight by himself against brilliant Hektor.

       Behold the terms that I make, let Zeus be witness upon them.

       If with the thin edge of the bronze he takes my life, then

       let him strip my armor and carry it back to the hollow ships,

       but give my body to be taken home again, so that the Trojans

80   and the wives of the Trojans may give me in death my rite of burning.

       But if I take his life, and Apollo grants me the glory,

       I will strip his armor and carry it to sacred Ilion

       and hang it in front of the temple of far-striking Apollo,

       but his corpse I will give back among the strong-benched vessels

85   so that the flowing-haired Achaians may give him due burial

       and heap up a mound upon him beside the broad passage of Helle.

       And some day one of the men to come will say, as he sees it,

       one who in his benched ship sails on the wine-blue water:

       ‘This is the mound of a man who died long ago in battle,

90   who was one of the bravest, and glorious Hektor killed him.’

       So will he speak some day, and my glory will not be forgotten.”

          So he spoke, and all of them stayed stricken to silence

       in shame of refusing him, and in fear to take up his challenge.

       But now at long last Menelaos stood forth and addressed them

95   in scorn and reproach, and stirred within the heart to great sorrow:

       “Ah me! You brave in words, you women, not men, of Achaia!

       This will be a defilement upon us, shame upon shame piled,

       if no one of the Danaäns goes out to face Hektor.

       No, may all of youturn to water and earth, all of you

100  who sit by yourselves with no life in you, utterly dishonored.

       I myself will arm against this man. While above us

       the threads of victory are held in the hands of the immortals.”

          So he spoke, and began to put on his splendid armor.

       And there, O Menelaos, would have shown forth the end of your life

105  under the hands of Hektor, since he was far stronger than you were,

       had not the kings of the Achaians leapt up and caught you;

       and the son of Atreus himself, powerful Agamemnon,

       caught you by the right hand, and called you by name, and spoke to you:

       “Menelaos, beloved of God, you are mad; you have no need

110  to take leave of your senses thus. Hold fast, though it hurts you,

       nor long in your pride to fight with a man who is better than you are,

       with Hektor, Priam’s son. There are others who shudder before him.

       Even Achilleus, in the fighting where men win glory,

       trembles to meet this man, and he is far better than you are.

115  Go back now and sit down in the throng of your own companions;

       the Achaians will set up another to fight against this man,

       and even though he is without fear, and can never be glutted

       with rough work, I think he will be glad to leave off, even

       if he comes off whole from the hateful fighting and bitter combat.”

 

120      The hero spoke like this and bent the heart of his brother

       since he urged wisely. And Menelaos obeyed him; his henchmen

       joyfully thereupon took off the armor from his shoulders.

       Nestor among the Argives now stood forth and addressed them:

       “Oh, for shame. Great sorrow settles on the land of Achaia.

125   Surely he would groan aloud, Peleus, the aged horseman,

       the great man of counsel among the Myrmidons, and their speaker.

       Once, as he questioned me in his house, he was filled with great joy

       as he heard the generation and blood of all of the Argives.

       Now if he were to hear how all cringe away before Hektor,

130   many a time he would lift up his very hands to the immortals,

       and the life breath from his limbs would go down into the house of Hades.

       If only, O father Zeus, Athene, Apollo,

       I were in my youth as when the Pylians assembled

       and the spear-fighting Arkadians battled by swirling Keladon,

135  by the streams of Iardanos and before the ramparts of Pheia.

       Their champion stood forth, Ereuthalion, a man godlike,

       wearing upon his shoulders the armor of lord Areïthoös,

       Areïthoös the brilliant, given by the men of that time

       and the fair-girdled women the name club-fighter, because he

140  went into battle armed neither with the bow nor the long spear,

       but with a great bar clubbed of iron broke the battalions.

       Lykourgos killed this man by craft, not strength, for he met him

       in the narrow pass of the way, where the iron club served not to parry

       destruction, for Lykourgos, too quick with a stab beneath it,

145  pinned him through the middle with the spear, so he went down backward

       to the ground; and he stripped the armor brazen Ares had given him

       and wore the armor thereafter himself through the grind of battle.

       But when Lykourgos was grown an old man in his halls, he gave it

       to his beloved henchman, Ereuthalion, to carry.

150  Wearing this armor he called forth all the bravest to fight him,

       but they were all afraid and trembling: none had the courage,

       only I, for my hard-enduring heart in its daring

       drove me to fight him. I in age was the youngest of all of them.

       And I fought with him, and Pallas Athene gave me the glory.

155  Of all the men I have killed this was the tallest and strongest.

       For he sprawled in his great bulk this way and that way. If only

       I were young now, as then, and the strength still steady within me;

       Hektor of the glancing helm would soon find his battle.

       But you, now, who are the bravest of all the Achaians,

160  are not minded with a good will to go against Hektor.”

          So the old man scolded them, and nine in all stood forth.

       Far the first to rise up was the lord of men, Agamemnon,

       and rose after him the son of Tydeus, strong Diomedes,

       and next the two Aiantes rose, their fierce strength upon them,

165  and after these Idomeneus, and Idomeneus’ companion,

       Meriones, a match for the murderous Lord of Battles,

       and after these Eurypylos, the glorious son of Euaimon,

       and Thoas rose up, Andraimon’s son, and brilliant Odysseus.

       All of these were willing to fight against brilliant Hektor.

170  Now before them again spoke the Gerenian horseman, Nestor:

       “Let the lot be shaken for all of you, to see who wins it.

       He shall be the one to gladden the strong-greaved Achaians,

       and to be glad within his own heart, if he can come off

       whole again from the hateful battle and bitter combat.”

175      So he spoke, and each of them marked a lot as his own one lot.

       They threw them in the helmet of Atreus’ son, Agamemnon,

       and the people, holding up their hands to the gods, prayed to them.

       Then would murmur any man, gazing into the wide sky:

       “Father Zeus, let Aias win the lot, or else Diomedes,

180  Tydeus’ son, or the king himself of golden Mykenai.”

          So they spoke, and Nestor the Gerenian horseman shook the lots,

       and a lot leapt from the helmet, that one that they all had wished for,

       the lot of Aias; and a herald carrying it all through the great throng

       showed it from left to right to the great men of the Achaians,

185  all of them. Each man knew not the mark, and denied it,

       but as carrying it all through the great throng he showed it to that one

       who had marked it as his, and thrown it in the helmet, glorious Aias,

       he held forth his hand, and the herald stood by him, and put the lot in it,

       and he saw his mark on the lot, and knew it, and his heart was gladdened.

190  “He threw it down on the ground beside his foot, and spoke to them:

       See, friends, the lot is mine, and I myself am made happy

       in my heart, since I think I can win over brilliant Hektor.

       Do this, then: while I put on my armor of fighting,

       all of you be praying to the lord Zeus, the son of Kronos,

195  in silence and each to himself, let none of the Trojans hear you;

       or openly out loud, since we have nothing to be afraid of

       at all, since no man by force will beat me backward unwilling

       as he wills, nor by craft either, since I think that the man who was born

       and raised in Salamis, myself, is not such a novice.”

200      So he spoke, and they prayed to the lord Zeus, the son of Kronos.

       And then would murmur any man, gazing into the wide sky:

       “Father Zeus, watching over us from Ida, most high, most honored,

       grant that Aias win the vaunt of renown and the victory;

       but if truly you love Hektor and are careful for him,

205  give to both of them equal strength, make equal their honor.”

 

          So they spoke, and meanwhile Aias armed him in shining

       bronze. Then when he had girt his body in all its armor,

       he strode on his way, as Ares the war god walks gigantic

       going into the fighting of men whom the son of Kronos

210  has driven to fight angrily in heart-perishing hatred.

       Such was Aias as he strode gigantic, the wall of the Achaians,

       smiling under his threatening brows, with his feet beneath him

       taking huge strides forward, and shaking the spear far-shadowing.

       And the Argives looking upon him were made glad, while the Trojans

215  were taken every man in the knees with trembling and terror,

       and for Hektor himself the heart beat hard in his breast, but he could not

       anymore find means to take flight and shrink back into

       the throng of his men, since he in his pride had called him to battle.

       Now Aias came near him, carrying like a wall his shield

220   of bronze and sevenfold ox-hide which Tychios wrought him with much toil;

       Tychios, at home in Hyle, far the best of all workers in leather

       who had made him the great gleaming shield of sevenfold ox-hide

       from strong bulls, and hammered an eighth fold of bronze upon it.

       Telamonian Aias, carrying this to cover

225  his chest, came near to Hektor and spoke to him in words of menace:

       “Hektor, single man against single man you will learn now

       for sure what the bravest men are like among the Danaäns

       even after Achilleus the lion-hearted who breaks men in battle.

       He lies now apart among his own beaked seafaring

230  ships, in anger at Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people.

       But here are we; and we are such men as can stand up against you;

       there are plenty of us; so now begin your fight and your combat.”

          Tall Hektor of the glancing helm answered him: “Aias,

       son of Telamon, seed of Zeus, O lord of the people,

235  do not be testing me as if I were some ineffectual

       boy, or a woman, who knows nothing of the works of warfare.

       I know well myself how to fight and kill men in battle;

       I know how to turn to the right, how to turn to the left the ox-hide

       tanned into a shield which is my protection in battle;

240  I know how to storm my way into the struggle of flying horses;

       I know how to tread my measures on the grim floor of the war god.

       Yet great as you are I would not strike you by stealth, watching

       for my chance, but openly, so, if perhaps I might hit you.”

          So he spoke, and balanced the spear far-shadowed, and threw it,

245  and struck the sevenfold-ox-hide terrible shield of Aias

       in the uttermost bronze, which was the eighth layer upon it,

       and the unwearying bronze spearhead shore its way through six folds

       but was stopped in the seventh ox-hide. Then after him Aias

       the illustrious in turn cast with his spear far-shadowing

250  and struck the shield of Priam’s son on its perfect circle.

       All the way through the glittering shield went the heavy spearhead,

       and crashed its way through the intricately worked corselet;

       straight ahead by the flank the spearhead shore through his tunic,

       yet he bent away to one side and avoided the dark death.

255  Both now gripping in their hands the long spears pulled them

       out, and went at each other like lions who live on raw meat,

       or wild boars, whose strength is no light thing. The son of

       Priam stabbed then with his spear into the shield’s center,

       nor did the bronze point break its way through, but the spearhead bent back.

260  Now Aias plunging upon him thrust at the shield, and the spearhead

       passed clean through, and pounded Hektor back in his fury,

       and tore at his neck passing so that the dark blood broke. Yet

       even so Hektor of the shining helmet did not stop fighting,

       but gave back and in his heavy hand caught up a stone that

265  lay in the plain, black and rugged and huge. With this

       he struck the sevenfold-ox-hide terrible shield of Aias

       in the knob of the center so that the bronze clashed loud about it.

       After him Aias in turn lifting a stone far greater

       whirled it and threw, leaning into the cast his strength beyond measure,

270  and the shield broke inward under the stroke of the rock like a millstone,

       and Hektor’s very knees gave, so that he sprawled backward,

       shield beaten upon him, but at once Apollo lifted him upright.

       And now they would have been stabbing with their swords at close quarters,

       had not the heralds, messengers of Zeus and of mortals,

275  come up, one for the bronze-armored Achaians, one for the Trojans,

       Idaios and Talthybios, both men of good counsel.

       They held their staves between the two men, and the herald Idaios

       out of his knowledge of prudent advices spoke a word to them:

       “Stop the fight, dear children, nor go on with this battle.

280   To Zeus who gathers the clouds both of you are beloved,

       and both of you are fighters; this thing all of us know surely.

       Night darkens now. It is a good thing to give way to the night-time.”

          Aias the son of Telamon spoke to him in answer:

       “Bid Hektor answer this, Idaios, since it was he who

285  in his pride called forth all our bravest to fight him.

       Let him speak first; and I for my part shall do as he urges.”

          Tall Hektor of the glancing helm answered him: “Aias,

       seeing that God has given you strength, stature and wisdom

       also, and with the spear you surpass the other Achaians,

290  let us now give over this fighting and hostility

       for today; we shall fight again, until the divinity

       chooses between us, and gives victory to one or the other.

       Night darkens now. It is a good thing to give way to the night-time.

       Thus you may bring joy to all the Achaians beside their

295  ships, and above all to those who are your own kindred and company;

       and I in the great city of lord Priam will gladden

       the Trojans, and the women of Troy with their trailing robes, who

       will go before the divine assembly in thanksgiving for my sake.

       Come then, let us give each other glorious presents,

300  so that any of the Achaians or Trojans may say of us:

       ‘These two fought each other in heart-consuming hate, then

       joined with each other in close friendship, before they were parted.’”

          So he spoke, and bringing a sword with nails of silver

       gave it to him, together with the sheath and the well-cut sword belt,

305  and Aias gave a war belt colored shining with purple.

       So separating, Aias went among the Achaian people,

       and Hektor went back to the thronging Trojans, who were made happy

       when they saw him coming alive and unwounded out of the combat,

       escaping the strength and the unconquerable hands of Aias,

310  and they, who had not hoped to see him alive, escorted him

       back to the town. On the other side the strong-greaved Achaians

       led Aias, happy in his victory, to great Agamemnon.

          When these had come to the shelters of the son of Atreus,

       Agamemnon the lord of men dedicated an ox among them,

315  a five-year-old male, to Zeus, all-powerful son of Kronos.

       They skinned the victim and put it in order, and butchered the carcass,

       and cut up the meat expertly into small pieces, and spitted them,

       and roasted all carefully, and took off the pieces.

       Then after they had finished the work and got the feast ready,

320  they feasted, nor was any man’s hunger denied a fair portion;

       and Atreus’ son, the hero wide-ruling Agamemnon,

       gave to Aias in honor the long cuts of the chine’s portion.

       But when they had put away their desire for eating and drinking,

       the aged man began to weave his counsel before them

325  first, Nestor, whose advice had shown best before this.

       He in kind intention toward all stood forth and addressed them:

       “Son of Atreus, and you other great men of all the Achaians:

       seeing that many flowing-haired Achaians have died here,

       whose dark blood has been scattered beside the fair waters of Skamandros

330  by the fierce war god, while their souls went down into the house of Hades;

       therefore with the dawn we should set a pause to the fighting

       of Achaians, and assembling them wheel back the bodies

       with mules and oxen; then must we burn them a little apart from

       the ships, so that each whose duty it is may carry the bones back

335  to a man’s children, when we go home to the land of our fathers.

       And let us gather and pile one single mound on the corpse-pyre

       indiscriminately from the plain, and build fast upon it

       towered ramparts, to be a defense of ourselves and our vessels.

       And let us build into these walls gates strongly fitted

340  that there may be a way through them for the driving of horses;

       and on the outer side, and close, we must dig a deep ditch

       circling it, so as to keep off their people and horses,

       that we may not be crushed under the attack of these proud Trojans.”

          So he spoke, and all the kings gave him their approval.

345  Now there was an assembly of Trojans high on the city of Ilion

       fiercely shaken to tumult before the doors of Priam,

       and among these Antenor the thoughtful began to address them:

       “Trojans and Dardanians and companions in arms: hear me

       while I speak forth what the heart within my breast urges.

350   Come then: let us give back Helen of Argos and all her possessions

       to the sons of Atreus to take away, seeing now we fight with

       our true pledges made into lies; and I see no good thing’s

       accomplishment for us in the end, unless we do this.”

          He spoke thus and sat down again, and among them rose up

355  brilliant Alexandros, the lord of lovely-haired Helen,

       who spoke to him in answer and addressed them in winged words:

       “Antenor, these things that you argue please me no longer.

       Your mind knows how to contrive a saying better than this one.

       But if in all seriousness this is your true argument; then

360  it is the very gods who ruined the brain within you.

       I will speak out before the Trojans, breakers of horses.

       I refuse, straight out. I will not give back the woman.

       But of the possessions I carried away to our house from Argos

       I am willing to give all back, and to add to these from my own goods.”

365      He spoke thus and sat down again, and among them rose up

       Priam, son of Dardanos, equal of the gods in counsel,

       who in kind intention toward all stood forth and addressed them:

       “Trojans and Dardanians and companions in arms: hear me

       while I speak forth what the heart within my breast urges.

370  Take now your supper about the city, as you did before this,

       and remember your duty of the watch, and be each man wakeful;

       and at dawn let Idaios go to the hollow ships, and speak with

       the sons of Atreus, Menelaos and Agamemnon, giving

       the word of Alexandros, for whose sake this strife has arisen,

375  and to add this solid message, and ask them if they are willing

       to stop the sorrowful fighting until we can burn the bodies

       of our dead. We shall fight again until the divinity

       chooses between us, and gives victory to one or the other.”

          So he spoke, and they listened to him with care, and obeyed him;

380  and so took their supper, watch succeeding watch, through the army.

       Then at dawn Idaios went down to the hollow ships, where

       he found the Danaäns, henchmen of the war god, in assembly

       beside the stern of Agamemnon’s ship; the herald

       with the great voice took his stand in their midst, and spoke to them:

385  “Son of Atreus, and you other great men of all the Achaians,

       Priam and the rest of the haughty Trojans have bidden me

       give you, if this message be found to your pleasure and liking,

       the word of Alexandros, for whose sake this strife has arisen.

       All those possessions that Alexandros carried in his hollow

390  ships to Troy, and I wish that he had perished before then,

       he is willing to give all back, and to add to these from his own goods.

       But the very wedded wife of glorious Menelaos

       he says that he will not give, though the Trojans would have him do it.

       They told me to give you this message also, if you are willing;

395  to stop the sorrowful fighting until we can burn the bodies

       of our dead. We shall fight again afterward, until the divinity

       chooses between us, and gives victory to one or the other.”

          So he spoke, and all of them stayed quiet in silence;

       but now at long last Diomedes of the great war cry addressed them:

400  “Now let none accept the possessions of Alexandros,

       nor take back Helen; one who is very simple can see it,

       that by this time the terms of death hang over the Trojans.”

          So he spoke, and all sons of the Achaians shouted

       acclaim for the word of Diomedes, breaker of horses;

405  and now powerful Agamemnon spoke to Idaios:

       “Idaios, you hear for yourself the word of the Achaians,

       how they are answering you; and such is my pleasure also.

       But about the burning of the dead bodies I do not begrudge you;

       no, for there is no sparing time for the bodies of the perished,

410  once they have died, to give them swiftly the pity of burning.

       Let Zeus, high-thundering lord of Hera, witness our pledges.”

          He spoke, and held up the scepter in the sight of all the gods. Then

       Idaios made his way back once more to sacred Ilion.

       The Trojans and Dardanians were in session of assembly,

415  all gathered in one place, awaiting Idaios when he might come

       back; and he returned to them and delivered his message

       standing there in their midst, and they made their swift preparations,

       for two things, some to gather the bodies, and the others firewood;

       while the Argives on the other side from their strong-benched vessels

420  went forward, some to gather the bodies, and others firewood.

          Now the sun of a new day struck on the ploughlands, rising

       out of the quiet water and the deep stream of the ocean

       to climb the sky. The Trojans assembled together. They found

       it hard to recognize each individual dead man;

425  but with water they washed away the blood that was on them

       and as they wept warm tears they lifted them onto the wagons.

       But great Priam would not let them cry out; and in silence

       they piled the bodies upon the pyre, with their hearts in sorrow,

       and burned them upon the fire, and went back to sacred Ilion.

430  In the same way on the other side the strong-greaved Achaians

       piled their own slain upon the pyre, with their hearts in sorrow,

       and burned them upon the fire, and went back to their hollow vessels.

          But when the dawn was not yet, but still the pallor of night’s edge,

       a chosen body of the Achaians formed by the pyre;

435  and they gathered together and piled one single mound all above it

       indiscriminately from the plain, and built a fort on it

       with towered ramparts, to be a defense for themselves and their vessels;

       and they built within these walls gates strongly fitted

       that there might be a way through them for the driving of horses;

440  and on the outer side and against it they dug a deep ditch,

       making it great and wide, and fixed the sharp stakes inside it.

          So the flowing-haired Achaians labored, and meanwhile

       the gods in session at the side of Zeus who handles the lightning

       watched the huge endeavor of the bronze-armored Achaians;

445  and the god Poseidon who shakes the earth began speaking among them:

       “Father Zeus, is there any mortal left on the wide earth

       who will still declare to the immortals his mind and his purpose?

       Do you not see how now these flowing-haired Achaians

       have built a wall landward of their ships, and driven about it

450  a ditch, and not given to the gods any grand sacrifice?

       Now the fame of this will last as long as dawnlight is scattered,

       and men will forget that wall which I and Phoibos Apollo

       built with our hard work for the hero Laomedon’s city.”

          Deeply troubled, Zeus who gathers the clouds answered him:

455  “What a thing to have said, earth-shaker of the wide strength.

       Some other one of the gods might fear such a thought, one who

       is a god far weaker of his hands and in anger than you are;

       but the fame of you shall last as long as dawnlight is scattered.

       Come then! After once more the flowing-haired Achaians

460  are gone back with their ships to the beloved land of their fathers,

       break their wall to pieces and scatter it into the salt sea

       and pile again the beach deep under the sands and cover it;

       so let the great wall of the Achaians go down to destruction.”

          As these two were talking thus together, the sun went

465  down, and the work of the Achaians was finished. They slaughtered

       oxen then beside their shelters, and took their supper.

       The ships came over to them from Lemnos bringing them wine, ships

       sent over to them in numbers by the son of Jason, Euneos,

       whom Hypsipyle had borne to the shepherd of the people, Jason.

470   Apart to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaos,

       Jason’s son had given wine as a gift, a thousand

       measures; and thence the rest of the flowing-haired Achaians

       bought wine, some for bronze and others for shining iron,

       some for skins and some for the whole oxen, while others

475  paid slaves taken in war; and they made their feasting abundant.

       All night long thereafter the flowing-haired Achaians

       feasted, and the Trojans and their companions in arms in the city;

       but all night long Zeus of the counsels was threatening evil

       upon them in the terrible thunderstroke. Green fear took hold of them.

480   They spilled the wine on the ground from their cups, and none was so hardy

       as to drink, till he had poured to the all-powerful son of Kronos.

       They lay down thereafter and took the blessing of slumber.

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Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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