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TRANSLATIONS FROM HOMER.
What power provok'd, and for what cause relate, THE FIRST BOOK
Sow'd, in their breasts, the seeds of stern debate :
Jove's and Latona's son his wrath express'd,
In vengeance of his violated priest,
Refus'd his presents, and his prayers deny'd.
For this the god a swift contagion spread
Amid the camp, where heaps on heaps lay deadi. Chryses, priest of Apollo, brings presents to the For venerable Chryses came to buy, [berly.
Grecian princes, to ransom his daughter Chry- With gold and gifts of price, his daughter's liseis, who was prisoner in the fleet. Agamemnon, Suppliant before the Grecian chiefs he stood; the general, whose captive and mistress the
Awful, and arm'd with ensigns of his god : young lady was, refuses to deliver, threatens the
Bare was his hoary head; one holy hand venerable old man, and dismisses bim with con Held forth bis laurel crown, and one his sceptre tumely. The priest craves vengeance of his
of command. god; who sends a plague among the Greeks: His suit was common; but above the rest, which occasions Achilles, their great champion, To both the brother-princes thus address'd: to summon a council of the chief officers : he “ Ye sons of Atreus, and ye Grecian powers, encourages Calchas, the bigh priest and prophet, So may the gods who dwell in heavenly bowers to tel the reason, why the gods were so much Succeed your siege, accord the vows you make, incensed against them. Calchas is fearful of And give you Troy's imperial town to take ; provoking Agamemnon, till Achilles engages to So, by their happy conduct, may you come protect him: then, emboldened by the hero, he With conquest back to your sweet native home; accuses the general as the cause of all, by de
As you receive the ransom which I bring taining the fair captive, and refusing the pre- (Respecting Jove, and the far-shooting king), sents offered for her ransom. By this proceed and break my daughter's bonds, at my desire; ing, Agamemnon is obliged, against his will, to And glad with her return her grieving sire.” restore Chryseis, with gifts, that he might ap With shouts of loud acclaim the Greeks decree pease the wrath of Phoebus; but, at the same
To take the gifts, to set the damsel free. time, to rever himself on Achilles, sends to
The king of men alone with fury burn'd: seize his slave Briseis. Achilles, thus affronted, And, haughty, these opprobrious words returnd: complains to his mother Thetis; and begs her
“ Hence, holy dotard, and avoid my sight, to revenge his injury, not only on the general, Ere evil intercept thy tardy Bight: but on all the army, by giving victory to the Nor dare to tread this interdicted strand, Trojans, till the ungrateful king became sensible | Lest not that idle sc. ptre in thy hand, [stand, of bis injustice. At the same time, he retires
Nor thy god's crown, my vow'd revenge withfrom the camp into his ships, and withdraws his Hence, on thy life: the captive maid is mine; aid from bis countrymen. Thetis prefers her Whom not for price or prayers I will resign: son's petition to Jupiter, who grants her suit. Mine she shall be, till creeping age and time Juno suspects her errand, and quarrels with her Her bloom have wither'd, and consum'd her prime, husband for his grant; till Vulcan reconciles Till then my royal bed she shall attend; his parents with a bowl of nectar, and sends And, having first adorn'd it, late ascend : them peaceably to bed.
This, for the night; by day, the web and loom,
And homely household-task, shall be her doom, THE wrath of Peleus' son,
o Muse, resound; Far from thy lov'd embrace, and her sweet native Whose dire effects the Grecian army found,
home.” And many a hero, king, and hardy knight, He said : the helpless priest reply'd no more, Were sent, in early youth, to shades of night: But sped his steps along the hoarse resounding Their limbs a prey to dogs and vultures made: Silent he fled; secure at length be stood, (shore : So was the sovereign will of Jove obey'd :
Devoutly curs'd his foes, and thus invok'd his god : From that ill-omen'd hour when strife begun,
“ ( source of sacred light, attend my prayer, Petwixt Atrides' great, and Thetis' god-like son.
God with the silver bow and golden hair;
Whom Crysa, Cilla, Tenedos obeys,
Secure me then from his foreseen intent, And whose broad eye their happy soil surveys; That what his wrath may doom, thy valour may If, Smintheus, I have pourd before thy shrine
prevent.” The blood of oxen, goats, and ruddy wine,
To this the stern Achilles made reply: And larded thighs on loaded altars laid,
“Be bold; and on my plighted faith rely, Hear, and my just revenge propitious aid. To speak what Phæbus has inspir'd thy soul Pierce the proud Greeks, and with thy shafts attest For common good ; and speak without control. How much thy power is injur'd in thy priest.” His godhead I invoke, by him I swear,
He prav’d, and Phæbus, hearing, urg'd his That while my nostrils draw this vital air, With fury kindled, from Olympus' height; [fight, None shall presume to violate those bands; His quiver o'er his ample shoulders threw; Oi touch thy person with unhallow'd hands; His bow twangd, and bis arrows rattled as they Ev'n not the king of men that all commands." Black as a stormy night, he rang'd around [few. At this, resuming heart, the prophet said: The tents, and compass'd the devoted ground. “ Nor hecatomb unslain, nor vows unpaid, Then with full force bis deadly bow he bent, On Greeks, accurs'd, this dire contagion bring, And feather'd fates among the mules and sump Or call for vengeance from the bowyer king; ters sent:
But he the tyrant, whom none dares resist, Th'essay of rage, on faithful dogs the next; Affronts the gudhead in his injur'd priest: And last, in human hearts his arrows fix'd. He keeps the damsel captive in his cbain, The god nine days the Greeks at rovers killid, And presents are refus’d, and prayers preferr'd Nine days the camp with funeral fires was fillid;
The kings assembled, soon their chief enclose; And ransom-free restor'd to his abode,
Upstarting from his throne, the king of men, Such woes at once encompass us about,
His breast with fury fill'd, his eyes with fire; The plague within the camp, the sword without. Which, rolling round, he shot in sparkles on the sire: Consult, О king, the prophets of th’ event:
Augur of ill, whose tongue was never found And whence these ills, and what the gods intent, Without a priestly curse, or boding sound; Let them by dreams explore; for dreams from For not one bless'd event foretold to me Jove are sent.
Pass'd through that mouth, or pass'd unwillingly. What want of offer'd victims, what offence And now thou dost with lies the throne invade, In fact committed could the Sun incense,
By practice harden'd in thy slandering trade, To deal his deadly shafts? What may remove Obtending Heaven, for whate'er ills befal; , His settled bate, and reconcile his love?
And sputtering under specious names thy gall. That he may look propitious on our toils;
Now Phoebus is provok’d, his rites and laws And hungry graves no more be glutted with our Are in his priest profan'd, and I the cause: spoils."
Since I detain a slave, my sovereign prize; Thus to the king of men the hero spoke,
And sacred gold, your idol-god, despise. Then Calchas the desir'd occasion took :
I love her well: and well her merits claim, Calchas the sacred seer, who had in view
To stand preferr'd before my Grecian daine : Things present and the past ; and things to come Not Clytemnestra's self in beauty's bloom foreknew :
More charm'd, or better ply'd the various loom: Supreme of augurs, who, by Phæbus taught, Mine is the maid; and brought in happy hour, The Grecian powers to Troy's destruction brought. With every household-grace adorn'd, to bless my Skill'd in the secret causes of their woes,
nuptial bower. The reverend priest in graceful act arose :
Yet shall she be restord; since public good And thus bespoke Pelides : “ Care of Jove, For private interest ought not to be withstood, Favour'd of all th’immortal powers above; To save th' effusion of my people's blood, Wouldst thou the seeds deep-sown of mischief | But right requires, if I resign my own, And why provok'd Apollo bends his bow ? [know, I should not suffer for your sakes alone; Plight first thy faith, inviolably true,
Alone excluded from the prize I gain'd, To save me from those ills, that may ensue. And by your cominon suffrage have obtain'd. For I shall tell ungrateful truths to those
The slave without a ransom shall be sent : Whose boundless powers of life and death dispose. It rests for you to make th' equivalent.” And sovereigns, ever jealous of their staté,
To this the fierce Thessalian prince reply'd : Forgive not those whom once they mark for hate; “ O first in power, but passing all in pride, Ev’n though th' offence they seemingly digest, Griping, and still tenacious of thy hold, Revenge, like embers rak'd, within their breast, Wouldst thou the Grecian chiefs, though largelyBursts forth in flames; whose unresisted power
soul'd, Will seize th’unwary wretch, and soon devour. Should give the prizes they had gain'd before, Such, and no less is he, on whom depends
And with their loss thy sacrilege restore? The sum of things ; and whom my tongue of Whate'er by force of arms the soldier got, force offends.
Is each his own, by dividend of lot:
Which to resume, were both unjust and base; The king, whose brows with shining gold were Not to be borne but by a servile race.
(compass'd round, But this we can: if Saturn's son bestows
Who saw his throne with scepter'd slaves enThe sack of Troy, which he by promise owes ; Thus answer'd stern: “Go, at thy pleasure, go: Then shall the conquering Greeks thy loss restore, We need not such a friend, nor fear we such a foe. And with large interest inake th’advantage more.!' | There will not want to follow me in fight:
To this Atrides answer'd: Though thy boast Jove will assist, and Jove assert my right. Assumes the foremost oame of all our host,
But thou of all the kings (his care below) Pretend not, mighty man, that what is mine, Art least at my command, and most my foe. Controld by thee, I tamely should resign.
Debates, dissensions, uproars, are thy joy; Shall I release the prize I gain'd by right,
Provok'd without offence, and practis'd to destroy. In taken towns, and many a bloody fight, Strength is of brutes, and not thy boast alone; While thou detain'st Briseis in thy bands,
At least 'tis lent from Heaven; and not thy own. By priestly glossing on the god's coinmands? Fly then, ill-manner'd, to thy native land, Resolve on this, (a short alternative)
And there thy ant-born myrmidons command. 2uit mine, or, in exchange, another give;
But mark this menace; since I must resign Else I, assure thy soul, by sovereign right
My black-ey'd maid, to please the powers divine: Will seize thy captive in thy own despight. (A well-rigg'd vessel in the port attends, Or from stout Ajax, or Ulysses, bear
Mann'd at my charge, commanded by my friends,) What other prize my fancy shall prefer:
The ship shall waft her to her wish'd abode, [god. Then softly murmur, or aloud complain,
Full fraught with holy bribes to the far-shooting Rage as you please, you shall resist in vain. This thus dispatch'd, I owe myself the care, But more of this, in proper time and place; My fame and injur'd honour to repair: To things of greater moment let us pass.
From thy own tent, proud man, in thy despight, A ship to sail the sacred seas prepare;
This hand shall ravish thy pretended right. Proud in her trim: and put on board the fair, Briseis shall be mine, and thou shalt see, With sacrifice and gifts, and all the pomp of prayer. What odds of awful power I have on thee: The crew well chosen, the command shall be That others at thy cost may learn the difference lo Ajax; or if other I decree,
of degree.” In Creta's king, or Ithacus, or if I please in thee : At this th' impatient hero sourly smild: Most fit thyself to see perform'd th’intent His heart impetuous in his bosom boild. For which my prisoner froin my sight is sent; And, justled by two tides of equal sway, (Thanks to thy pious care) that Phoebus may Stood, for a while, suspended in his way. relent.”
Betwixt his reason, and his rage untam'd;
One whisper'd soft, and one aloud reclaim'd:
This to the sword, his really hand apply'd. Whose thoughts are center'd on thyself alone, Unpunish'd to support th' affront was hard : Adranc'd to sovereign stay, for better ends Nor easy was th' attempt to force the guard. Than thus like abject slaves to treat thy friends. But soon the thirst of vengeance fir'd his blood : What Greek is he, that, arg'd by thy command,
Half shone his falchion, and half sheath'd it Against the Trojan troops will lift his hand ?
stood. Not l: nor such enforc'd respect I owe ;
In that nice moment, Pallas, from above, Nor Pergamus I hate, nor Priam is my foe. Commission'd by th' imperial wife of Jove, What wrong from Troy remote could I sustain, Descended swift (the white-arın'd queen was loath To leare my fruitful soil and happy reign, The fight should follow ; for she favour'd both): And plough the surges of the stormy main? Just as in act he stood, in clouds enshrin'd, Thee, frontless man, we follow'd from afar; Her hand she fasten'd on his hair behind: Thy instruments of death, and tools of war. Then backward by his yellow curls she drew; Thine is the triumph: ours the toil alone:
To him, and him alone, confess'd in view. We bear thee on our backs, and mount thee on Tam'd by superior force, he turn’d his eyes the throne.
Aghast at first, and stupid with surprise : For thee we fall in fight; for thee redress
But by her sparkling eyes, and ardent look, Thy baffled brother; not the wrongs of Greece. The virgin-warrior knowıı, he thus bespoke: And now thou threaten'st with unjust decree, “ Com'st thou, Celestial, to behold my wrongs? To punish thy affronting Heaven, on me. To view the vengeance which to crimes belongs ?” To seize the prize which l so dearly bought; Thus he. The blue-ey'd goddless thus rejoin'd: By common suffrage given, confirm'd by lot. “I come to calm thy turbulence of mind, Mean match to thine: for still above the rest If Reason will resume her sovereign sway, Thy book'd rapacious hands usurp the best. And, sent by Juno, her commands obey. Thouzh mine are first in fight, to force the prey ; Equal she loves you both, and I protect: And last sastain the labours of the day.
Then give thy guardian gods their due respect; Nor grudge I thee the much the Grecians give; And cease contention; be thy words severe, Nor murmuring take the little I receive.
Sharp as he merits : but the sword forbear. Yet evin this little, thou, who wouldst engross An hour unhop'd already wings her way, The whole, insatiate, envy'st as thy loss.
When he his dire affront shall dearly pay: Know, then, for Phthia fix'd is my return: When the proud king shall sue, with treble gain, Petter at home my ill-paid pains to mourn, To quit thy loss, and conquer thy disdain. Taan froin an equal here sustain the public But thou, secure of my unfailing word, scorn,”
Compose thy swelling soul, and sheath the sword."
The youth thus answer'd mild: “ Auspicious | But let Pelides in his prize rejoice, maid,
Achiev'd in arms, allow'd by public voice. Heaven's will be mine, and your commands obey'd. Nor thou, brave champion, with his power contend, The gods are just, and when, subduing sense, Before whose throne, ev'n kings their lower'd We serve their powers, provide the recompense."
sceptres bend. He said; with surly faith believ'd her word, The head of action he, and thou the hand, And in the sheath, reluctant, plung'd the sword. Matcbless thy force; but mightier his command. Her message done, she mounts the bless'd abodes, Thou first, o king, release the rights of sway; And mix'd among the senate of the gods,
Power, self-restrain'd, the people best obey. At her departure his disdain return'd;
Sanctions of law from thee derive their source; The fire she fann'd, with greater fury burn'd; Command thyself, whom no commands can force. Rumbling within, till thus it found a vent: The son of Thetis, rampire of our host, “ Dastard, and drunkard, mean and insolent : Is worth our care to keep; nor shall my prayers be Tongue-valiant hero, vaunter of thy might,
lost.” In threats the foremost, but the lag in fight;
Thus Nestor said, and ceas'd: Atrides broke When didst thou thrust amid the mingled prease, His silence next; but ponder'd ere he spoke. Content to bid the war aloof in peace?
“ Wise are thy words, and glad I would obey, Arms are the trade of each plebeian soul ;
But this proud man affects imperiai sway. 'Tis death to fight; but kingly to control. Controling kings, and trampling on our state, Lord-like at ease, with arbitrary power,
His will is law; and what he wills is fate. (style To peel the chiefs, the people to devour.
The gods have given him strength: but whence the These, traitor, are thy talents; safer far
Of lawless power assum'd, or licence to revile?" Than to contend in fields, and toils of war.
Achilles cut him short; and thus reply'd : Nor couldst thou thus have dar'd the common hate, “ My worth, allow'd in words, is in effect denyd. Were not their souls as abject as their state. For who but a poltron, possess'd with fear, But, by this sceptre, solemnly I swear,
Such haughty insolence can tamely bear? (Which never more green leaf or growing branch Command thy slaves : my freeborn soul disdains shall bear,
A tyrant's curb; and restiff breaks the reins. Torn from the tree, and given by Jove to those Take this along; that no dispute shall rise Who laws dispense, and mighty wrongs oppose) (Though mine the woman) for my ravishd prize : That when the Grecians want my wonted aid, But she excepted, as unworthy strife, No gift shall bribe it, and no prayer persuade. Dare not, 1 charge thee dare not, on thy life, When Hector comes, the homicide, to wield Touch aught of mine beside, by lot my due, His conquering arms, with corps to strow the field, But stand aloof, and think profane to view : Then shalt thou mourn thy pride; and late confess This falchion, else, not hitherto withstood, My wrong repented, when 'tis past redress.” These hostile fields shall fatten with thy blood." He said : and with disdain, in open view,
He said ; and rose the first: the council broke; Against the ground his golden sceptre threw ; And all their grave consults dissolv'd in smoke. Then sate: with boiling rage Atrides burn'd, The royal youth retir'd, on vengeance bent, And foam betwixt his gnashing grinders churn'd. Patroclus follow'd silent to his tent. But from his seat the Pylian prince arose,
Meantime, the king with gifts a vessel stores; With reasoning mild, their madness to compose : Supplies the banks with twenty chosen oars : Words, sweet as honey, from his mouth distillid; And next, to reconcile the shooter god, Two centuries already he fulfill'd;
Within her hollow sides the sacrifice he stow'd : And now began the third ; unbroken yet:
Chryseis last was set on board; whose hand Once fam'd for courage; still in council great. Ulysses took, intrusted with command :
“What worse," he said, “can Argos undergo, They plow the liquid seas, and leave the lessen. What can more gratify the Phrygian foe,
ing land. Than these distemper'd heats? If both the lights Atrides then, his outward zeal to boast, Of Greece their private interest disunites ! Bade purify the sin-polluted host. Believe a friend, with thrice your years increas'd, With perfect hecatombs the god they gracd; And let these youthful passions be repress'd: Whose offer'd entrails in the main were cast. 1 flourish'd long before your birth; and then Black bulls and bearded goats on altars lie; Liv'd equal with a race of braver men
And clouds of savory stench involve the sky. Than these dim eyes shall e'er behold again. These pomps the royal hypocrite design'd Ceneus and Dryas, and, excelling them,
For show; but harbour'd vengeance in his mind:
At length discover'd his conceal'd intent,
Heralds of arms, and ministers of trust, (way: When salvage beasts, and men's more salvage He call'd, and thus bespoke: “Haste hence your bands,
And from the goddess-born demand his prey. Their virtuous toil subdu'd : yet those I sway'd, If yielded, bring the captive: if denyd, With powerful speech: I spoke, and they obey'd. The king (so tell him) shall chastise his pride : If such as those my counsels could reclaim, And with arm'd multitudes in person come, Think not, young warriors, your diminish'd name To vindicate his power, and justify his doom." Shall lose of lustre, by subjecting rage
This bard command unwilling they obey, To the cool dictates of experienc'd age.
And o'er the barren shore pursue their way, Thou, king of men, stretch not thy sovereign sway Where quarterd in their camp the fierce ThessaBeyond the bounds free subjects can obey :
Their sovereign seated on his chair, they find; The good old man, forlorn of human aid,
For vengeance to his heavenly patron pray'd :
And heaps on heaps of slaughter'd Greeks lay He soon, the cause divining, clear'd his brow;
dead, And thus did liberty of speech allow.
While round the camp he rang'd: at length arose " Interpreters of gods and men, be bold :
A seer who well divin'd; and durst disclose Awful your character, and uncontrol'd,
The source of all our ills: I took the word; Howe'er unpleasing be the news you bring, And urg'd the sacred slave to be restord, I blame not you, but your imperious king. The god appeas'd: the swelling monarch stormd: You come, I know, my captive to demand; And then the vengeance vow'd, he since perform'd : Patrocius, give her to the herald's hand.
The Greeks, 'tis true, their ruin to prevent, But you, authentic witnesses 1 bring,
Have to the royal priest his daughter sent ; Before the gods, and your ungrateful king,
But from their haughty king his heralds came, Of this my manifest : that never more
And seiz'd, by his command, my captive dame, This hand shall combat on the crooked shore : By common suffrage given; but, thou, be won, No, let the Grecian powers, oppress'd in fight, If in thy power, t'avenge thy injur'd son: Unpity'd perish in their tyrant's sight.
Ascend the skies; and supplicating move Blind of the future, and by rage misled,
Thy just complaints, to cloud-compelling Jove, He pulls his crimes upon his people's head : If thou by either word or deed hast wrought Forc'd from the field in trenehes to contend,
A kind remembrance in his grateful thought, And his insulted camp from foes defend."
Urge him by that: for often hast thou said He said; and soon obeying his intent,
Thy power was once not useless in his aid, Patroclus brought Briseis from her tent;
When he, who high above the highest reigns, Then to th' intrusted messengers resign'd: Surpriz'd by traitor gods, was bound in chains. She wept, and often cast her eyes behind :
When Juno, Pallas, with ambition fir'd,
Sole on the barren sands the suffering chief Thou brought'st Briareus with his huudred hands,
By his terrestrial name Ægeou know:
Twice stronger than his sire, who sat above Unhappy parent of a short-liv'd son,
Assessor to the throne of thundering Jove.) Since Jove in pity by thy prayers was won
The gods, dismay'd at his approach, withdrew,
Set by old Ocean's side the goddess heard ; Let Troy's triumphant troops the camp enclose:
To whom the mother-goddess thus reply'd, Then, sighing from the bottom of his breast, Sigh'd ere she spoke, and while she spoke she cry'd: To the sea-goddess thus the goddess-born ad “ Ah, wretched me! by Fates averse, decreed, dress'd :
To bring thee forth with pain, with care to breed! " Thou know'st my pain, which telling but recals: Did envious Heaven not otherwise ordain, By force of arms we raz'd the Theban walls; Safe in thy hollow sbips thou shouldst remain; The ransack'd city, taken by our toils,
Nor ever tempt the fatal field again. We left, and hither brought the golden spoils; But now thy planet sheds his poisoimus rays, Equal we shar'd them; but before the rest, And short, and full of sorrow are thy days. The proud Prerogative had seiz'd the best. For what remains, to Heaven I will ascend, Chryseis was the greedy tyrant's prize,
And at the Thunderer's throne thy suit commend. Chryseis rosy-cheek’d, with charining eyes. Till then, secure in ships, abstain from fight; Her sire, Apollo's priest, arriv'd to buy,
Tudulge thy grief in tears, and vent thy spight. With proffer'd gifts of price, his daughter's liberty. For yesterday the court of Heaven with Jove Suppliant before the Grecian chiefs he stood, Remov'd: 'tis dead vacation now above. Awful, and arın'd with ensigns of his god : Twelve days the gods their solemn revels keep, Bare was his hoary head, one holy hand
And quaff with blameless Ethiops in the deep. Helf forth his laurel-crown, and one, his sceptre Return'd from thence, to Heaven my flight I take, of command.
Knock at the brazen gates, and Providence awake. His suit was common, bit above the rest Embrace his knees, and suppliant to the sire, To both the brother-princes was address'd. Doubt not I will obtain the grant of thy desire.” With shouts of loud acclaim the Greeks agree She said: and parting left him on the place, To take the gifts, to set the prisoner free. Swoln with disdain, resenting his disgrace: Not so the tyrant, who with scorn the priest Revengeful thoughts revolving in his mind, Receiv'd, and with opprobrious words dismiss'd. He wept for anger, and for love he pin'd.