The Iliad Of Homer: Translated Into English Blank Verse: Book I. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Argument Of The First BookA
The book opens with an account of a pestilence that prevailed in the Grecian camp and the cause of it is assigned A council is called in which fierce altercation takes place between Agamemnon and Achilles The latter solemnly renounces the field Agamemnon by his heralds demands Bris is and Achilles resigns her He makes his complaint to Thetis who undertakes to plead his cause with Jupiter She pleads it and prevails The book concludes with an account of what passed in Heaven on that occasionB
The reader will please observe that by Achaians Argives Dana are signified Grecians Homer himself having found these various appellatives both graceful and convenient it seemed unreasonable that a Translator of him should be denied the same advantage TRC
Achilles sing O Goddess Peleus' sonB
His wrath pernicious who ten thousand woesD
Caused to Achaia's host sent many a soulE
Illustrious into Ades prematureC
And Heroes gave so stood the will of JoveF
To dogs and to all ravening fowls a preyC
When fierce dispute had separated onceG
The noble Chief Achilles from the sonB
Of Atreus Agamemnon King of menH
Who them to strife impell'd What power divineI
Latona's son and Jove's For he incensedJ
Against the King a foul contagion raisedK
In all the host and multitudes destroy'dL
For that the son of Atreus had his priestM
Dishonored Chryses To the fleet he cameN
Bearing rich ransom glorious to redeemO
His daughter and his hands charged with the wreathP
And golden sceptre of the God shaft arm'dQ
His supplication was at large to allR
The host of Greece but most of all to twoS
The sons of Atreus highest in commandT
Ye gallant Chiefs and ye their gallant hostU
So may the Gods who in Olympus dwellV
Give Priam's treasures to you for a spoilW
And ye return in safety take my giftsX
And loose my child in honor of the sonB
Of Jove Apollo archer of the skiesY
At once the voice of all was to respectZ
The priest and to accept the bounteous priceA2
But so it pleased not Atreus' mighty sonB
Who with rude threatenings stern him thence dismiss'dB2
Beware old man that at these hollow barksC2
I find thee not now lingering or henceforthD2
Returning lest the garland of thy GodE2
And his bright sceptre should avail thee noughtE2
I will not loose thy daughter till old ageF2
Steal on her From her native country farC
In Argos in my palace she shall plyG2
The loom and shall be partner of my bedE2
Move me no more Begone hence while thou may'stE2
He spake the old priest trembled and obey'dE2
Forlorn he roamed the ocean's sounding shoreC
And solitary with much prayer his KingH2
Bright hair'd Latona's son Phoebus imploredE2
God of the silver bow who with thy powerC
Encirclest Chrysa and who reign'st supremeO
In Tenedos and Cilla the divineI
Sminthian Apollo If I e'er adornedE2
Thy beauteous fane or on the altar burn'dE2
The fat acceptable of bulls or goatsI2
Grant my petition With thy shafts avengeJ2
On the Achaian host thy servant's tearsK2
Such prayer he made and it was heard The GodE2
Down from Olympus with his radiant bowL2
And his full quiver o'er his shoulder slungM2
Marched in his anger shaken as he movedE2
His rattling arrows told of his approachN2
Gloomy he came as night sat from the shipsO2
Apart and sent an arrow Clang'd the cordE2
Dread sounding bounding on the silver bowL2
Mules first and dogs he struck but at themselvesP2
Dispatching soon his bitter arrows keenQ2
Smote them Death piles on all sides always blazedE2
Nine days throughout the camp his arrows flewS
The tenth Achilles from all parts convenedE2
The host in council Juno the white armedE2
Moved at the sight of Grecians all aroundE2
Dying imparted to his mind the thoughtE2
The full assembly therefore now convenedE2
Uprose Achilles ardent and beganR2
Atrides Now it seems no course remainsS2
For us but that the seas roaming againH
We hence return at least if we surviveF
But haste consult we quick some prophet hereC
Or priest or even interpreter of dreamsT2
For dreams are also of Jove that we may learnU2
By what crime we have thus incensed ApolloV2
What broken vow what hecatomb unpaidE2
He charges on us and if soothed with steamO
Of lambs or goats unblemish'd he may yetE2
Be won to spare us and avert the plagueW2
He spake and sat when Thestor's son aroseD
Calchas an augur foremost in his artE2
Who all things present past and future knewS
And whom his skill in prophecy a giftE2
Conferred by Phoebus on him had advancedE2
To be conductor of the fleet to TroyC
He prudent them admonishing repliedE2
Jove loved Achilles Wouldst thou learn from meX2
What cause hath moved Apollo to this wrathY2
The shaft arm'd King I shall divulge the causeZ2
But thou swear first and covenant on thy partE2
That speaking acting thou wilt stand preparedE2
To give me succor for I judge amissA3
Or he who rules the Argives the supremeO
O'er all Achaia's host will be incensedE2
Wo to the man who shall provoke the KingH2
For if to day he smother close his wrathY2
He harbors still the vengeance and in timeB3
Performs it Answer therefore wilt thou save meX2
To whom Achilles swiftest of the swiftE2
What thou hast learn'd in secret from the GodE2
That speak and boldly By the son of JoveF
Apollo whom thou Calchas seek'st in prayerC
Made for the Dana and who thy soulE
Fills with futurity in all the hostE2
The Grecian lives not who while I shall breatheC3
And see the light of day shall in this campD3
Oppress thee no not even if thou nameN
Him Agamemnon sovereign o'er us allR
Then was the seer embolden'd and he spakeE3
Nor vow nor hecatomb unpaid on usF3
He charges but the wrong done to his priestE2
Whom Agamemnon slighted when he soughtE2
His daughter's freedom and his gifts refusedE2
He is the cause Apollo for his sakeE3
Afflicts and will afflict us neither endE2
Nor intermission of his heavy scourgeG3
Granting 'till unredeem'd no price requiredE2
The black eyed maid be to her father sentE2
And a whole hecatomb in Chrysa bleedE2
Then not before the God may be appeasedE2
He spake and sat when Atreus' son aroseD
The Hero Agamemnon throned supremeO
Tempests of black resentment overchargedE2
His heart and indignation fired his eyesY
On Calchas lowering him he first address'dE2
Prophet of mischief from whose tongue no noteE2
Of grateful sound to me was ever heardE2
Ill tidings are thy joy and tidings gladE2
Thou tell'st not or thy words come not to passH3
And now among the Dana thy dreamsT2
Divulging thou pretend'st the Archer GodE2
For his priest's sake our enemy becauseI3
I scorn'd his offer'd ransom of the maidE2
Chrys is more desirous far to bearC
Her to my home for that she charms me moreC
Than Clytemnestra my own first espousedE2
With whom in disposition feature formJ3
Accomplishments she may be well comparedE2
Yet being such I will return her henceK3
If that she go be best Perish myselfF
But let the people of my charge be savedE2
Prepare ye therefore a reward for meX2
And seek it instant It were much unmeetE2
That I alone of all the Argive hostE2
Should want due recompense whose former prizeY
Is elsewhere destined as ye all perceiveF
To whom Achilles matchless in the raceL3
Atrides glorious above all in rankM3
And as intent on gain as thou art greatE2
Whence shall the Grecians give a prize to theeX2
The general stock is poor the spoil of townsN3
Which we have taken hath already passedE2
In distribution and it were unjustE2
To gather it from all the Greeks againH
But send thou back this Virgin to her GodE2
And when Jove's favor shall have given us TroyC
A threefold fourfold share shall then be thineI
To whom the Sovereign of the host repliedE2
Godlike Achilles valiant as thou artE2
Wouldst thou be subtle too But me no fraudE2
Shall overreach or art persuade of thineI
Wouldst thou that thou be recompensed and IG2
Sit meekly down defrauded of my dueE2
And didst thou bid me yield her Let the boldE2
Achaians give me competent amendsO3
Such as may please me and it shall be wellV
Else if they give me none I will commandE2
Thy prize the prize of Ajax or the prizeY
It may be of Ulysses to my tentE2
And let the loser chafe But this concernU2
Shall be adjusted at convenient timeB3
Come launch we now into the sacred deepP3
A bark with lusty rowers well suppliedE2
Then put on board Chrys is and with herC
The sacrifice required Go also oneB
High in authority some counsellorC
Idomeneus or Ajax or thyselfF
Thou most untractable of all mankindE2
And seek by rites of sacrifice and prayerC
To appease Apollo on our host's behalfF
Achilles eyed him with a frown and spakeE3
Ah clothed with impudence as with a cloakQ3
And full of subtlety who thinkest thouL2
What Grecian here will serve thee or for theeX2
Wage covert war or open Me thou know'stE2
Troy never wronged I came not to avengeJ2
Harm done to me no Trojan ever droveF
My pastures steeds or oxen took of mineI
Or plunder'd of their fruits the golden fieldsR3
Of Phthia the deep soil'd She lies remoteE2
And obstacles are numerous interposedE2
Vale darkening mountains and the dashing seaX2
No Shameless Wolf For thy good pleasure's sakeE3
We came and Face of flint to avenge the wrongsS3
By Menelaus and thyself sustain'dE2
On the offending Trojan service kindE2
But lost on thee regardless of it allR
And now What now Thy threatening is to seizeT3
Thyself the just requital of my toilsU3
My prize hard earn'd by common suffrage mineI
I never gain what Trojan town soe'erC
We ransack half thy booty The swift marchV3
And furious onset these I largely reapP3
But distribution made thy lot exceedsW3
Mine far while I with any pittance pleasedE2
Bear to my ships the little that I winX3
After long battle and account it muchY3
But I am gone I and my sable barksC2
My wiser course to Phthia and I judgeZ3
Scorn'd as I am that thou shalt hardly gleanQ2
Without me more than thou shalt soon consumeA4
He ceased and Agamemnon thus repliedE2
Fly and fly now if in thy soul thou feelB4
Such ardor of desire to go begoneQ2
I woo thee not to stay stay not an hourC
On my behalf for I have others hereC
Who will respect me more and above allR
All judging Jove There is not in the hostE2
King or commander whom I hate as theeX2
For all thy pleasure is in strife and bloodE2
And at all times yet valor is no groundE2
Whereon to boast it is the gift of HeavenQ2
Go get ye back to Phthia thou and thineQ2
There rule thy Myrmidons I need not theeX2
Nor heed thy wrath a jot But this I sayC
Sure as Apollo takes my lovely prizeY
Chrys is and I shall return her homeC4
In mine own bark and with my proper crewC
So sure the fair Bris is shall be mineQ2
I shall demand her even at thy tentE2
So shalt thou well be taught how high in powerC
I soar above thy pitch and none shall dareC
Attempt thenceforth comparison with meX2
He ended and the big disdainful heartE2
Throbbed of Achilles racking doubt ensuedE2
And sore perplex'd him whether forcing wideE2
A passage through them with his blade unsheathedE2
To lay Atrides breathless at his footE2
Or to command his stormy spirit downQ2
So doubted he and undecided yetE2
Stood drawing forth his falchion huge when loV2
Down sent by Juno to whom both alikeD4
Were dear and who alike watched over bothE4
Pallas descended At his back she stoodE2
To none apparent save himself aloneQ2
And seized his golden locks Startled he turnedE2
And instant knew Minerva Flashed her eyesY
Terrific whom with accents on the wingH2
Of haste incontinent he questioned thusF3
Daughter of Jove why comest thou that thyselfF
May'st witness these affronts which I endureC
From Agamemnon Surely as I speakF4
This moment for his arrogance he diesY
To whom the blue eyed Deity From heavenQ2
Mine errand is to sooth if thou wilt hearC
Thine anger Juno the white arm'd alikeD4
To him and thee propitious bade me downQ2
Restrain thy wrath Draw not thy falchion forthD2
Retort and sharply and let that sufficeA2
For I foretell thee true Thou shalt receiveF
Some future day thrice told thy present lossG4
For this day's wrong Cease therefore and be stillH4
To whom Achilles Goddess although muchY3
Exasperate I dare not disregardE2
Thy word which to obey is always bestE2
Who hears the Gods the Gods hear also himI4
He said and on his silver hilt the forceJ4
Of his broad hand impressing sent the bladeE2
Home to its rest nor would the counsel scornQ2
Of Pallas She to heaven well pleased return'dE2
And in the mansion of Jove gis armedE2
Arriving mingled with her kindred GodsK4
But though from violence yet not from wordsL4
Abstained Achilles but with bitter tauntE2
Opprobrious his antagonist reproachedE2
Oh charged with wine in steadfastness of faceL3
Dog unabashed and yet at heart a deerC
Thou never when the troops have taken armsM4
Hast dared to take thine also never thouL2
Associate with Achaia's Chiefs to formJ3
The secret ambush No The sound of warC
Is as the voice of destiny to theeX2
Doubtless the course is safer far to rangeN4
Our numerous host and if a man have daredE2
Dispute thy will to rob him of his prizeY
King over whom Women and spiritlessY
Whom therefore thou devourest else themselvesY
Would stop that mouth that it should scoff no moreC
But hearken I shall swear a solemn oathE4
By this same sceptre which shall never budE2
Nor boughs bring forth as once which having leftE2
Its stock on the high mountains at what timeB3
The woodman's axe lopped off its foliage greenQ2
And stript its bark shall never grow againQ2
Which now the judges of Achaia bearC
Who under Jove stand guardians of the lawsY
By this I swear mark thou the sacred oathE4
Time shall be when Achilles shall be missedE2
When all shall want him and thyself the powerC
To help the Achaians whatsoe'er thy willH4
When Hector at your heels shall mow you downQ2
The Hero slaughtering Hector Then thy soulE
Vexation stung shall tear thee with remorseY
That thou hast scorn'd as he were nothing worthO4
A Chief the soul and bulwark of your causeY
So saying he cast his sceptre on the groundE2
Studded with gold and sat On the other sideE2
The son of Atreus all impassion'd stoodE2
When the harmonious orator aroseY
Nestor the Pylian oracle whose lipsY
Dropped eloquence the honey not so sweetE2
Two generations past of mortals bornQ2
In Pylus co taneous with himselfF
He govern'd now the third amid them allR
He stood and thus benevolent beganQ2
Ah what calamity hath fall'n on GreeceY
Now Priam and his sons may well exultE2
Now all in Ilium shall have joy of heartE2
Abundant hearing of this broil the primeB3
Of Greece between in council and in armsY
But be persuaded ye are younger bothE4
Than I and I was conversant of oldE2
With Princes your superiors yet from themP4
No disrespect at any time receivedE2
Their equals saw I never never shallQ4
Exadius Coeneus and the Godlike sonQ2
Of geus mighty Theseus men renown'dE2
For force superior to the race of manQ2
Brave Chiefs they were and with brave foes they foughtE2
With the rude dwellers on the mountain heightsY
The Centaurs whom with havoc such as fameN
Shall never cease to celebrate they slewC
With these men I consorted erst what timeB3
From Pylus though a land from theirs remoteE2
They called me forth and such as was my strengthR4
With all that strength I served them Who is heX2
What Prince or Chief of the degenerate raceY
Now seen on earth who might with these compareC
Yet even these would listen and conformJ3
To my advice in consultation givenQ2
Which hear ye also for compliance provesY
Oft times the safer and the manlier courseY
Thou Agamemnon valiant as thou artE2
Seize not the maid his portion from the GreeksY
But leave her his nor thou Achilles striveF
With our imperial Chief for never KingH2
Had equal honor at the hands of JoveF
With Agamemnon or was throned so highF
Say thou art stronger and art Goddess bornQ2
How then His territory passes thineQ2
And he is Lord of thousands more than thouL2
Cease therefore Agamemnon calm thy wrathY2
And it shall be mine office to entreatE2
Achilles also to a calm whose mightE2
The chief munition is of all our hostE2
To whom the sovereign of the Greeks repliedE2
The son of Atreus Thou hast spoken wellV
Old Chief and wisely But this wrangler hereC
Nought will suffice him but the highest placeY
He must control us all reign over allR
Dictate to all but he shall find at leastE2
One here disposed to question his commandsY
If the eternal Gods have made him braveF
Derives he thence a privilege to railS4
Whom thus Achilles interrupted fierceY
Could I be found so abject as to takeE3
The measure of my doings at thy lipsY
Well might they call me coward through the campD3
A vassal and a fellow of no worthO4
Give law to others Think not to controlE
Me subject to thy proud commands no moreC
Hear yet again And weigh what thou shalt hearC
I will not strive with thee in such a causeY
Nor yet with any man I scorn to fightE2
For her whom having given ye take awayC
But I have other precious things on boardE2
Of those take none away without my leaveF
Or if it please thee put me to the proofF
Before this whole assembly and my spearC
Shall stream that moment purpled with thy bloodE2
Thus they long time in opposition fierceY
Maintained the war of words and now at lengthR4
The grand consult dissolved Achilles walkedE2
Patroclus and the Myrmidons his stepsY
Attending to his camp and to his fleetE2
But Agamemnon order'd forth a barkT4
A swift one manned with twice ten lusty rowersY
He sent on board the Hecatomb he placedE2
Chrys is with the blooming cheeks himselfF
And to Ulysses gave the freight in chargeU4
So all embarked and plow'd their watery wayC
Atrides next bade purify the hostE2
The host was purified as he enjoin'dE2
And the ablution cast into the seaY
Then to Apollo on the shore they slewC
Of the untillable and barren deepP3
Whole Hecatombs of bulls and goats whose steamO
Slowly in smoky volumes climbed the skiesY
Thus was the camp employed nor ceased the whileV4
The son of Atreus from his threats denouncedE2
At first against Achilles but commandE2
Gave to Talthybius and EurybatesY
His heralds ever faithful to his willH4
Haste Seek ye both the tent of Peleus' sonQ2
Achilles Thence lead hither by the handE2
Blooming Bris is whom if he withholdE2
Not her alone but other spoil myselfF
Will take in person He shall rue the hourC
With such harsh message charged he them dismissedE2
They sad and slow beside the barren wasteE2
Of Ocean to the galleys and the tentsY
Moved of the Myrmidons Him there they foundE2
Beneath the shadow of his bark reclinedE2
Nor glad at their approach Trembling they stoodE2
In presence of the royal Chief awe struckW4
Nor questioned him or spake He not the lessY
Knew well their embassy and thus beganQ2
Ye heralds messengers of Gods and menQ2
Hail and draw near I bid you welcome bothE4
I blame not you the fault is his aloneQ2
Who sends you to conduct the damsel henceY
Bris is Go Patroclus generous friendE2
Lead forth and to their guidance give the maidE2
But be themselves my witnesses beforeC
The blessed Gods before mankind beforeC
The ruthless king should want of me be feltE2
To save the host from havoc Oh his thoughtsY
Are madness all intelligence or skillH4
Forecast or retrospect how best the campD3
May be secured from inroad none hath heY
He ended nor Patroclus disobey'dE2
But leading beautiful Bris is forthD2
Into their guidance gave her loth she wentE2
From whom she loved and looking oft behindE2
Then wept Achilles and apart from allR
With eyes directed to the gloomy DeepP3
And arms outstretch'd his mother suppliant soughtE2
Since mother though ordain'd so soon to dieE2
I am thy son I might with cause expectE2
Some honor at the Thunderer's hands but noneQ2
To me he shows whom Agamemnon ChiefF
Of the Achaians hath himself disgracedE2
Seizing by violence my just rewardE2
So prayed he weeping whom his mother heardE2
Within the gulfs of Ocean where she satE2
Beside her ancient sire From the gray floodE2
Ascending sudden like a mist she cameN
Sat down before him stroked his face and saidE2
Why weeps my son and what is thy distressY
Hide not a sorrow that I wish to shareC
To whom Achilles sighing deep repliedE2
Why tell thee woes to thee already knownQ2
At Thebes E tion's city we arrivedE2
Smote sack'd it and brought all the spoil awayC
Just distribution made among the GreeksY
The son of Atreus for his lot receivedE2
Blooming Chrys is Her Apollo's priestE2
Old Chryses followed to Achaia's campD3
That he might loose his daughter Ransom richX4
He brought and in his hands the hallow'd wreathP
And golden sceptre of the Archer GodE2
Apollo bore to the whole Grecian hostE2
But chiefly to the foremost in commandE2
He sued the sons of Atreus then the restE2
All recommended reverence of the SeerC
And prompt acceptance of his costly giftsY
But Agamemnon might not so be pleasedE2
Who gave him rude dismission he in wrathY2
Returning prayed whose prayer Apollo heardE2
For much he loved him A pestiferous shaftE2
He instant shot into the Grecian hostE2
And heap'd the people died His arrows sweptE2
The whole wide camp of Greece 'till at the lastE2
A Seer by Phoebus taught explain'd the causeY
I first advised propitiation RageF2
Fired Agamemnon Rising he denouncedE2
Vengeance and hath fulfilled it She in truthY4
Is gone to Chrysa and with her we sendE2
Propitiation also to the KingH2
Shaft arm'd Apollo But my beauteous prizeY
Bris is mine by the award of allR
His heralds at this moment lead awayC
But thou wherein thou canst aid thy own sonQ2
Haste hence to Heaven and if thy word or deedE2
Hath ever gratified the heart of JoveF
With earnest suit press him on my behalfF
For I not seldom in my father's hallR
Have heard thee boasting how when once the GodsY
With Juno Neptune Pallas at their headE2
Conspired to bind the Thunderer thou didst looseY
His bands O Goddess calling to his aidE2
The Hundred handed warrior by the GodsY
Briareus but by men geon namedE2
For he in prowess and in might surpassedE2
His father Neptune who enthroned sublimeB3
Sits second only to Saturnian JoveF
Elate with glory and joy Him all the GodsY
Fearing from that bold enterprise abstainedE2
Now therefore of these things reminding JoveF
Embrace his knees entreat him that he giveF
The host of Troy his succor and shut fastE2
The routed Grecians prisoners in the fleetE2
That all may find much solace in their KingH2
And that the mighty sovereign o'er them allR
Their Agamemnon may himself be taughtE2
His rashness who hath thus dishonor'd foulZ4
The life itself and bulwark of his causeY
To him with streaming eyes Thetis repliedE2
Born as thou wast to sorrow ah my sonQ2
Why have I rear'd thee Would that without tearsY
Or cause for tears transient as is thy lifeF
A little span thy days might pass at TroyC
But short and sorrowful the fates ordainQ2
Thy life peculiar trouble must be thineQ2
Whom therefore oh that I had never borneQ2
But seeking the Olympian hill snow crown'dE2
I will myself plead for thee in the earC
Of Jove the Thunderer Meantime at thy fleetE2
Abiding let thy wrath against the GreeksY
Still burn and altogether cease from warC
For to the banks of the OceanusY
Where thiopia holds a feast to JoveF
He journey'd yesterday with whom the GodsY
Went also and the twelfth day brings them homeC4
Then will I to his brazen floor'd abodeE2
That I may clasp his knees and much misdeemC4
Of my endeavor or my prayer shall speedE2
So saying she went but him she left enragedE2
For fair Bris is' sake forced from his armsY
By stress of power Meantime Ulysses cameC4
To Chrysa with the Hecatomb in chargeU4
Arrived within the haven deep their sailsY
Furling they stowed them in the bark belowV2
Then by its tackle lowering swift the mastE2
Into its crutch they briskly push'd to landE2
Heaved anchors out and moor'd the vessel fastE2
Forth came the mariners and trod the beach
Forth came the victims of Apollo nextE2
And last Chrys is Her Ulysses ledE2
Toward the altar gave her to the armsY
Of her own father and him thus address'dE2
O Chryses Agamemnon King of menQ2
Hath sent thy daughter home with whom we bringH2
A Hecatomb on all our host's behalfF
To Phoebus hoping to appease the GodE2
By whose dread shafts the Argives now expireC
So saying he gave her to him who with joyC
Received his daughter Then before the shrineQ2
Magnificent in order due they rangedE2
The noble Hecatomb Each laved his handsY
And took the salted meal and Chryses madeE2
His fervent prayer with hands upraised on highF
God of the silver bow who with thy powerC
Encirclest Chrysa and who reign'st supremeC4
In Tenedos and Cilla the divineQ2
Thou prov'dst propitious to my first requestE2
Hast honor'd me and punish'd sore the GreeksY
Hear yet thy servant's prayer take from their hostE2
At once the loathsome pestilence awayC
So Chryses prayed whom Phoebus heard well pleasedE2
Then prayed the Grecians also and with mealB4
Sprinkling the victims their retracted necksY
First pierced then flay'd them the disjointed thighsY
They next invested with the double caul
Which with crude slices thin they overspreadE2
The priest burned incense and libation pouredE2
Large on the hissing brands while him besideE2
Busy with spit and prong stood many a youthY4
Trained to the task The thighs with fire consumedE2
They gave to each his portion of the mawC4
Then slashed the remnant pierced it with the spitsY
And managing with culinary skillH4
The roast withdrew it from the spits againQ2
Their whole task thus accomplish'd and the boardE2
Set forth they feasted and were all sufficedE2
When neither hunger more nor thirst remainedE2
Unsatisfied boys crown'd the beakers highF
With wine delicious and from right to leftE2
Distributing the cups served every guestE2
Thenceforth the youths of the Achaian raceY
To song propitiatory gave the dayE2
P ans to Phoebus Archer of the skiesY
Chaunting melodious Pleased Apollo heardE2
But when the sun descending darkness fellV
They on the beach beside their hawsers sleptE2
And when the day spring's daughter rosy palm'dE2
Aurora look'd abroad then back they steer'dE2
To the vast camp Fair wind and blowing fresh
Apollo sent them quick they rear'd the mastE2
Then spread the unsullied canvas to the galeS4
And the wind filled it Roared the sable floodE2
Around the bark that ever as she wentE2
Dash'd wide the brine and scudded swift awayE2
Thus reaching soon the spacious camp of GreeceY
Their galley they updrew sheer o'er the sandsY
From the rude surge remote then propp'd her sidesY
With scantlings long and sought their several tentsY
But Peleus' noble son the speed renown'dE2
Achilles he his well built bark besideE2
Consumed his hours nor would in council moreC
Where wise men win distinction or in fightE2
Appear to sorrow and heart withering woV2
Abandon'd though for battle ardent stillH4
He panted and the shout resounding fieldE2
But when the twelfth fair morrow streak'd the EastE2
Then all the everlasting Gods to HeavenQ2
Resorted with the Thunderer at their headE2
And Thetis not unmindful of her sonQ2
Prom the salt flood emerged seeking betimesY
Olympus and the boundless fields of heavenQ2
High on the topmost eminence sublimeC4
Of the deep fork'd Olympian she perceivedE2
The Thunderer seated from the Gods apartE2
She sat before him clasp'd with her left handE2
His knees her right beneath his chin she placedE2
And thus the King Saturnian Jove imploredE2
Father of all by all that I have doneQ2
Or said that ever pleased thee grant my suitE2
Exalt my son by destiny short livedE2
Beyond the lot of others Him with shameC4
The King of men hath overwhelm'd by forceY
Usurping his just meed thou therefore JoveF
Supreme in wisdom honor him and giveF
Success to Troy till all Achaia's sonsY
Shall yield him honor more than he hath lostE2
She spake to whom the Thunderer nought repliedE2
But silent sat long time She as her handE2
Had grown there still importunate his kneesY
Clasp'd as at first and thus her suit renew'dE2
Or grant my prayer and ratify the grantE2
Or send me hence for thou hast none to fearC
Plainly refused that I may know and feelB4
By how much I am least of all in heavenQ2
To whom the cloud assembler at the lastE2
Spake deep distress'd Hard task and full of strifeF
Thou hast enjoined me Juno will not spareC
For gibe and taunt injurious whose complaintE2
Sounds daily in the ears of all the GodsY
That I assist the Trojans but departE2
Lest she observe thee my concern shall beY
How best I may perform thy full desireC
And to assure thee more I give the signQ2
Indubitable which all fear expelsY
At once from heavenly minds Nought so confirmedE2
May after be reversed or render'd vainQ2
He ceased and under his dark brows the nodE2
Vouchsafed of confirmation All aroundE2
The Sovereign's everlasting head his curlsY
Ambrosial shook and the huge mountain reeledE2
Their conference closed they parted She at onceY
From bright Olympus plunged into the floodE2
Profound and Jove to his own courts withdrewC
Together all the Gods at his approachN2
Uprose none sat expectant till he cameC4
But all advanced to meet the Eternal SireC
So on his throne he sat Nor Juno himC4
Not understood she watchful had observedE2
In consultation close with Jove engagedE2
Thetis bright footed daughter of the deepP3
And keen the son of Saturn thus reprovedE2
Shrewd as thou art who now hath had thine earC
Thy joy is ever such from me apartE2
To plan and plot clandestine and thy thoughtsY
Think what thou may'st are always barred to meY
To whom the father thus of heaven and earthO4
Expect not Juno that thou shalt partakeE3
My counsels at all times which oft in heightE2
And depth thy comprehension far exceedE2
Jove's consort as thou art When aught occursY
Meet for thine ear to none will I impartE2
Of Gods or men more free than to thyselfF
But for my secret thoughts which I withholdE2
From all in heaven beside them search not thouL2
With irksome curiosity and vainQ2
Him answer'd then the Goddess ample eyedE2
What word hath passed thy lips Saturnian JoveF
Thou most severe I never search thy thoughtsY
Nor the serenity of thy profoundE2
Intentions trouble they are safe from meY
But now there seems a cause Deeply I dreadE2
Lest Thetis silver footed daughter fairC
Of Ocean's hoary Sovereign here arrivedE2
At early dawn to practise on thee JoveF
I noticed her a suitress at thy kneesY
And much misdeem or promise bound thou stand'stE2
To Thetis past recall to exalt her sonQ2
And Greeks to slaughter thousands at the shipsY
To whom the cloud assembler God incensedE2
Ah subtle ever teeming with surmiseY
And fathomer of my concealed designsY
Thy toil is vain or which is worse for theeY
Shall but estrange thee from mine heart the moreC
And be it as thou sayest I am well pleasedE2
That so it should be Be advised desistE2
Hold thou thy peace Else if my glorious handsY
Once reach thee the Olympian Powers combinedE2
To rescue thee shall interfere in vainQ2
He said whom Juno awful Goddess heardE2
Appall'd and mute submitted to his willH4
But through the courts of Jove the heavenly PowersY
All felt displeasure when to them aroseY
Vulcan illustrious artist who with speech
Conciliatory interposed to soothY
His white armed mother Juno Goddess dreadE2
Hard doom is ours and not to be enduredE2
If feast and merriment must pause in heavenQ2
While ye such clamor raise tumultuous hereC
For man's unworthy sake yet thus we speedE2
Ever when evil overpoises goodE2
But I exhort my mother though herselfF
Already warn'd that meekly she submitE2
To Jove our father lest our father chideE2
More roughly and confusion mar the feastE2
For the Olympian Thunderer could with easeY
Us from our thrones precipitate so farC
He reigns to all superior Seek to assuageF2
His anger therefore so shall he with smilesY
Cheer thee nor thee alone but all in heavenQ2
So Vulcan and upstarting placed a cup
Full charged between his mother's hands and saidE2
My mother be advised and though aggrievedE2
Yet patient lest I see thee whom I loveF
So dear with stripes chastised before my faceY
Willing but impotent to give thee aidE2
Who can resist the Thunderer Me when onceY
I flew to save thee by the foot he seizedE2
And hurl'd me through the portal of the skiesY
From morn to eve I fell a summer's dayE2
And dropped at last in Lemnos There half deadE2
The Sintians found me and with succor promptE2
And hospitable entertained me fallenQ2
So He then Juno smiled Goddess white arm'dE2
And smiling still from his unwonted handE2
Received the goblet He from right to leftE2
Rich nectar from the beaker drawn alertE2
Distributed to all the powers divineQ2
Heaven rang with laughter inextinguishableH4
Peal after peal such pleasure all conceivedE2
At sight of Vulcan in his new employH4
So spent they in festivity the dayE2
And all were cheered nor was Apollo's harp
Silent nor did the Muses spare to addE2
Responsive melody of vocal sweetsY
But when the sun's bright orb had now declinedE2
Each to his mansion wheresoever builtE2
By the lame matchless Architect withdrewC
Jove also kindler of the fires of heavenQ2
His couch ascending as at other timesY
When gentle sleep approach'd him slept sereneQ2
With golden sceptred Juno at his sideE2
The first book contains the preliminaries to the commencement of serious action First the visit of the priest of Apollo to ransom his captive daughter the refusal of Agamemnon to yield her up and the pestilence sent by the god upon the Grecian army in consequence Secondly the restoration the propitiation of Apollo the quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilles and the withdrawing of the latter from the Grecian army Thirdly the intercession of Thetis with Jupiter his promise unwillingly given to avenge Achilles and the assembly of the gods in which the promise is angrily alluded to by Juno and the discussion peremptorily checked by Jupiter The poet throughout this book maintains a simple unadorned style but highly descriptive and happily adapted to the nature of the subject FELTONQ2

William Cowper


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