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  • 1.
    The Iliad: Book 1

    Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought
    countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send
    hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs
    and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the
    day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first
    fell out with one another.
    And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the
    son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a
    pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of
    Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the
    ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a
    great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo
    wreathed with a suppliant's wreath and he besought the Achaeans, but
    most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs.
    "Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods
    who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach
    your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for
    her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove."
    On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for
    respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not
    so Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away.
    "Old man," said he, "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor
    yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall
    profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my
    house at Argos far from her own home, busying herself with her loom
    and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the
    worse for you."
    The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went
    by the shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo
    whom lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the
    silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos
    with thy might, hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your
    temple with garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or
    goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon
    the Danaans."
    Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down
    furious from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver
    upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage
    that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with
    a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot
    his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their
    hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves,
    and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning.
    For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon
    the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly- moved thereto by Juno,
    who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon
    them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them.
    "Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving
    home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by
    war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some
    reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why
    Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we
    have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will
    accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take
    away the plague from us."
    With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest
    of augurs, who knew things past present and to come, rose to speak. He
    it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius,
    through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him.
    With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus:-
    "Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of
    King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that
    you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I
    shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the
    Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger
    of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse
    revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you
    will protect me."
    And Achilles answered, "Fear not, but speak as it is borne in upon
    you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose
    oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his hand
    upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth- no, not
    though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of the
    Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god," he said, "is angry neither
    about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon
    has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a
    ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will
    yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans from this
    pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or
    ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus
    we may perhaps appease him."
    With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart
    was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on
    Calchas and said, "Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth
    things concerning me, but have ever loved to foretell that which was
    evil. You have brought me neither comfort nor performance; and now you
    come seeing among Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plagued us
    because I would not take a ransom for this girl, the daughter of
    Chryses. I have set my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I
    love her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she
    is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments.
    Still I will give her up if I must, for I would have the people
    live, not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone
    among the Argives shall be without one. This is not well; for you
    behold, all of you, that my prize is to go elsewhither."
    And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond
    all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We have no
    common store from which to take one. Those we took from the cities
    have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made
    already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove
    grants us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and
    Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not
    thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me.
    Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss and
    give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize
    in fair exchange to my liking, or I will come and take your own, or
    that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may come shall
    rue my coming. But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the
    present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her
    expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis
    also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax,
    or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are,
    that we may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the god."
    Achilles scowled at him and answered, "You are steeped in
    insolence and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the Achaeans do
    your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not
    warring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel
    with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut
    down my harvests on the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them
    there is a great space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have
    followed you, Sir Insolence! for your pleasure, not ours- to gain
    satisfaction from the Trojans for your shameless self and for
    Menelaus. You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize for
    which I have toiled, and which the sons of the Achaeans have given me.
    Never when the Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive
    so good a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better
    part of the fighting. When the sharing comes, your share is far the
    largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take what I can
    get and be thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now,
    therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for me to
    return home with my ships, for I will not stay here dishonoured to
    gather gold and substance for you."
    And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no
    prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour, and
    above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so
    hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill
    affected. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you
    so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it over the
    Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus will
    I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send
    her with my ship and my followers, but I shall come to your tent and
    take your own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much stronger I am
    than you are, and that another may fear to set himself up as equal
    or comparable with me."
    The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy
    breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside,
    and kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his
    anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty
    sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had
    sent her in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of
    Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others
    no man could see her. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire that
    flashed from her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. "Why are
    you here," said he, "daughter of aegis-bearing Jove? To see the
    pride of Agamemnon, son of Atreus? Let me tell you- and it shall
    surely be- he shall pay for this insolence with his life."
    And Minerva said, "I come from heaven, if you will hear me, to bid
    you stay your anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of you
    alike. Cease, then, this brawling, and do not draw your sword; rail at
    him if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for I tell you-
    and it shall surely be- that you shall hereafter receive gifts three
    times as splendid by reason of this present insult. Hold, therefore,
    and obey."
    "Goddess," answered Achilles, "however angry a man may be, he must
    do as you two command him. This will be best, for the gods ever hear
    the prayers of him who has obeyed them."
    He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his sword, and thrust it
    back into the scabbard as Minerva bade him. Then she went back to
    Olympus among the other gods, and to the house of aegis-bearing Jove.
    But the son of Peleus again began railing at the son of Atreus,
    for he was still in a rage. "Wine-bibber," he cried, "with the face of
    a dog and the heart of a hind, you never dare to go out with the
    host in fight, nor yet with our chosen men in ambuscade. You shun this
    as you do death itself. You had rather go round and rob his prizes
    from any man who contradicts you. You devour your people, for you
    are king over a feeble folk; otherwise, son of Atreus, henceforward
    you would insult no man. Therefore I say, and swear it with a great
    oath- nay, by this my sceptre which shalt sprout neither leaf nor
    shoot, nor bud anew from the day on which it left its parent stem upon
    the mountains- for the axe stripped it of leaf and bark, and now the
    sons of the Achaeans bear it as judges and guardians of the decrees of
    heaven- so surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter they shall
    look fondly for Achilles and shall not find him. In the day of your
    distress, when your men fall dying by the murderous hand of Hector,
    you shall not know how to help them, and shall rend your heart with
    rage for the hour when you offered insult to the bravest of the
    With this the son of Peleus dashed his gold-bestudded sceptre on the
    ground and took his seat, while the son of Atreus was beginning
    fiercely from his place upon the other side. Then uprose
    smooth-tongued Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, and the
    words fell from his lips sweeter than honey. Two generations of men
    born and bred in Pylos had passed away under his rule, and he was
    now reigning over the third. With all sincerity and goodwill,
    therefore, he addressed them thus:-
    "Of a truth," he said, "a great sorrow has befallen the Achaean
    land. Surely Priam with his sons would rejoice, and the Trojans be
    glad at heart if they could hear this quarrel between you two, who are
    so excellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either of you;
    therefore be guided by me. Moreover I have been the familiar friend of
    men even greater than you are, and they did not disregard my counsels.
    Never again can I behold such men as Pirithous and Dryas shepherd of
    his people, or as Caeneus, Exadius, godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus
    son of Aegeus, peer of the immortals. These were the mightiest men
    ever born upon this earth: mightiest were they, and when they fought
    the fiercest tribes of mountain savages they utterly overthrew them. I
    came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would
    have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now living
    could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were persuaded by
    them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the more excellent
    way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong, take not this girl
    away, for the sons of the Achaeans have already given her to Achilles;
    and you, Achilles, strive not further with the king, for no man who by
    the grace of Jove wields a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You
    are strong, and have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon is
    stronger than you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus,
    check your anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who
    in the day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."
    And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, all that you have said is true, but
    this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be lord
    of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall hardly be.
    Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior, have they also
    given him the right to speak with railing?"
    Achilles interrupted him. "I should be a mean coward," he cried,
    "were I to give in to you in all things. Order other people about, not
    me, for I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say- and lay my saying
    to your heart- I shall fight neither you nor any man about this
    girl, for those that take were those also that gave. But of all else
    that is at my ship you shall carry away nothing by force. Try, that
    others may see; if you do, my spear shall be reddened with your
    When they had quarrelled thus angrily, they rose, and broke up the
    assembly at the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went back
    to his tents and ships with the son of Menoetius and his company,
    while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a crew of
    twenty oarsmen. He escorted Chryseis on board and sent moreover a
    hecatomb for the god. And Ulysses went as captain.
    These, then, went on board and sailed their ways over the sea. But
    the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they
    purified themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they
    offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the sea-shore,
    and the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose curling up
    towards heaven.
    Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon did
    not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called his trusty
    messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go," said he, "to
    the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis by the hand and
    bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall come with others and
    take her- which will press him harder."
    He charged them straightly further and dismissed them, whereon
    they went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to
    the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting by
    his tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he beheld them.
    They stood fearfully and reverently before him, and never a word did
    they speak, but he knew them and said, "Welcome, heralds, messengers
    of gods and men; draw near; my quarrel is not with you but with
    Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus,
    bring her and give her to them, but let them be witnesses by the
    blessed gods, by mortal men, and by the fierceness of Agamemnon's
    anger, that if ever again there be need of me to save the people
    from ruin, they shall seek and they shall not find. Agamemnon is mad
    with rage and knows not how to look before and after that the Achaeans
    may fight by their ships in safety."
    Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought Briseis
    from the tent and gave her over to the heralds, who took her with them
    to the ships of the Achaeans- and the woman was loth to go. Then
    Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar sea, weeping and
    looking out upon the boundless waste of waters. He raised his hands in
    prayer to his immortal mother, "Mother," he cried, "you bore me doomed
    to live but for a little season; surely Jove, who thunders from
    Olympus, might have made that little glorious. It is not so.
    Agamemnon, son of Atreus, has done me dishonour, and has robbed me
    of my prize by force."
    As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard him where she was
    sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father.
    Forthwith she rose as it were a grey mist out of the waves, sat down
    before him as he stood weeping, caressed him with her hand, and
    said, "My son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves you?
    Keep it not from me, but tell me, that we may know it together."
    Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, "You know it; why tell you
    what you know well already? We went to Thebe the strong city of
    Eetion, sacked it, and brought hither the spoil. The sons of the
    Achaeans shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely Chryseis as
    the meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, priest of Apollo, came to the
    ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and brought with him a
    great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo,
    wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans,
    but most of all the two sons of Atreus who were their chiefs.
    "On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting
    the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so
    Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. So
    he went back in anger, and Apollo, who loved him dearly, heard his
    prayer. Then the god sent a deadly dart upon the Argives, and the
    people died thick on one another, for the arrows went everywhither
    among the wide host of the Achaeans. At last a seer in the fulness
    of his knowledge declared to us the oracles of Apollo, and I was
    myself first to say that we should appease him. Whereon the son of
    Atreus rose in anger, and threatened that which he has since done. The
    Achaeans are now taking the girl in a ship to Chryse, and sending
    gifts of sacrifice to the god; but the heralds have just taken from my
    tent the daughter of Briseus, whom the Achaeans had awarded to myself.
    "Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go to Olympus, and
    if you have ever done him service in word or deed, implore the aid
    of Jove. Ofttimes in my father's house have I heard you glory in
    that you alone of the immortals saved the son of Saturn from ruin,
    when the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas Minerva would have put
    him in bonds. It was you, goddess, who delivered him by calling to
    Olympus the hundred-handed monster whom gods call Briareus, but men
    Aegaeon, for he is stronger even than his father; when therefore he
    took his seat all-glorious beside the son of Saturn, the other gods
    were afraid, and did not bind him. Go, then, to him, remind him of all
    this, clasp his knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans. Let
    the Achaeans be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and perish
    on the sea-shore, that they may reap what joy they may of their
    king, and that Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering insult to
    the foremost of the Achaeans."
    Thetis wept and answered, "My son, woe is me that I should have
    borne or suckled you. Would indeed that you had lived your span free
    from all sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief; alas, that you
    should be at once short of life and long of sorrow above your peers:
    woe, therefore, was the hour in which I bore you; nevertheless I
    will go to the snowy heights of Olympus, and tell this tale to Jove,
    if he will hear our prayer: meanwhile stay where you are with your
    ships, nurse your anger against the Achaeans, and hold aloof from
    fight. For Jove went yesterday to Oceanus, to a feast among the
    Ethiopians, and the other gods went with him. He will return to
    Olympus twelve days hence; I will then go to his mansion paved with
    bronze and will beseech him; nor do I doubt that I shall be able to
    persuade him."
    On this she left him, still furious at the loss of her that had been
    taken from him. Meanwhile Ulysses reached Chryse with the hecatomb.
    When they had come inside the harbour they furled the sails and laid
    them in the ship's hold; they slackened the forestays, lowered the
    mast into its place, and rowed the ship to the place where they
    would have her lie; there they cast out their mooring-stones and
    made fast the hawsers. They then got out upon the sea-shore and landed
    the hecatomb for Apollo; Chryseis also left the ship, and Ulysses
    led her to the altar to deliver her into the hands of her father.
    "Chryses," said he, "King Agamemnon has sent me to bring you back your
    child, and to offer sacrifice to Apollo on behalf of the Danaans, that
    we may propitiate the god, who has now brought sorrow upon the
    So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who received her
    gladly, and they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the
    altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the
    barley-meal to sprinkle over the victims, while Chryses lifted up
    his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf. "Hear me," he cried, "O
    god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla, and
    rulest Tenedos with thy might. Even as thou didst hear me aforetime
    when I prayed, and didst press hardly upon the Achaeans, so hear me
    yet again, and stay this fearful pestilence from the Danaans."
    Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. When they had done
    praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of
    the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the
    thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some
    pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then Chryses laid them on
    the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood
    near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the
    thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut
    the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till
    they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished
    their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his
    full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough
    to eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine and water and
    handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering.
    Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song,
    hymning him and chaunting the joyous paean, and the god took
    pleasure in their voices; but when the sun went down, and it came on
    dark, they laid themselves down to sleep by the stern cables of the
    ship, and when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they
    again set sail for the host of the Achaeans. Apollo sent them a fair
    wind, so they raised their mast and hoisted their white sails aloft.
    As the sail bellied with the wind the ship flew through the deep
    blue water, and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward.
    When they reached the wide-stretching host of the Achaeans, they
    drew the vessel ashore, high and dry upon the sands, set her strong
    props beneath her, and went their ways to their own tents and ships.
    But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his anger. He went not to
    the honourable assembly, and sallied not forth to fight, but gnawed at
    his own heart, pining for battle and the war-cry.
    Now after twelve days the immortal gods came back in a body to
    Olympus, and Jove led the way. Thetis was not unmindful of the
    charge her son had laid upon her, so she rose from under the sea and
    went through great heaven with early morning to Olympus, where she
    found the mighty son of Saturn sitting all alone upon its topmost
    ridges. She sat herself down before him, and with her left hand seized
    his knees, while with her right she caught him under the chin, and
    besought him, saying-
    "Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or deed among the
    immortals, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, whose life is to
    be cut short so early. King Agamemnon has dishonoured him by taking
    his prize and keeping her. Honour him then yourself, Olympian lord
    of counsel, and grant victory to the Trojans, till the Achaeans give
    my son his due and load him with riches in requital."
    Jove sat for a while silent, and without a word, but Thetis still
    kept firm hold of his knees, and besought him a second time.
    "Incline your head," said she, "and promise me surely, or else deny
    me- for you have nothing to fear- that I may learn how greatly you
    disdain me."
    At this Jove was much troubled and answered, "I shall have trouble
    if you set me quarrelling with Juno, for she will provoke me with
    her taunting speeches; even now she is always railing at me before the
    other gods and accusing me of giving aid to the Trojans. Go back
    now, lest she should find out. I will consider the matter, and will
    bring it about as wish. See, I incline my head that you believe me.
    This is the most solemn that I can give to any god. I never recall
    my word, or deceive, or fail to do what I say, when I have nodded my
    As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark brows, and the
    ambrosial locks swayed on his immortal head, till vast Olympus reeled.
    When the pair had thus laid their plans, they parted- Jove to his
    house, while the goddess quitted the splendour of Olympus, and plunged
    into the depths of the sea. The gods rose from their seats, before the
    coming of their sire. Not one of them dared to remain sitting, but all
    stood up as he came among them. There, then, he took his seat. But
    Juno, when she saw him, knew that he and the old merman's daughter,
    silver-footed Thetis, had been hatching mischief, so she at once began
    to upbraid him. "Trickster," she cried, "which of the gods have you
    been taking into your counsels now? You are always settling matters in
    secret behind my back, and have never yet told me, if you could help
    it, one word of your intentions."
    "Juno," replied the sire of gods and men, "you must not expect to be
    informed of all my counsels. You are my wife, but you would find it
    hard to understand them. When it is proper for you to hear, there is
    no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, but when I mean to keep a
    matter to myself, you must not pry nor ask questions."
    "Dread son of Saturn," answered Juno, "what are you talking about?
    I? Pry and ask questions? Never. I let you have your own way in
    everything. Still, I have a strong misgiving that the old merman's
    daughter Thetis has been talking you over, for she was with you and
    had hold of your knees this self-same morning. I believe, therefore,
    that you have been promising her to give glory to Achilles, and to
    kill much people at the ships of the Achaeans."
    "Wife," said Jove, "I can do nothing but you suspect me and find
    it out. You will take nothing by it, for I shall only dislike you
    the more, and it will go harder with you. Granted that it is as you
    say; I mean to have it so; sit down and hold your tongue as I bid
    you for if I once begin to lay my hands about you, though all heaven
    were on your side it would profit you nothing."
    On this Juno was frightened, so she curbed her stubborn will and sat
    down in silence. But the heavenly beings were disquieted throughout
    the house of Jove, till the cunning workman Vulcan began to try and
    pacify his mother Juno. "It will be intolerable," said he, "if you two
    fall to wrangling and setting heaven in an uproar about a pack of
    mortals. If such ill counsels are to prevail, we shall have no
    pleasure at our banquet. Let me then advise my mother- and she must
    herself know that it will be better- to make friends with my dear
    father Jove, lest he again scold her and disturb our feast. If the
    Olympian Thunderer wants to hurl us all from our seats, he can do
    so, for he is far the strongest, so give him fair words, and he will
    then soon be in a good humour with us."
    As he spoke, he took a double cup of nectar, and placed it in his
    mother's hand. "Cheer up, my dear mother," said he, "and make the best
    of it. I love you dearly, and should be very sorry to see you get a
    thrashing; however grieved I might be, I could not help for there is
    no standing against Jove. Once before when I was trying to help you,
    he caught me by the foot and flung me from the heavenly threshold. All
    day long from morn till eve, was I falling, till at sunset I came to
    ground in the island of Lemnos, and there I lay, with very little life
    left in me, till the Sintians came and tended me."
    Juno smiled at this, and as she smiled she took the cup from her
    son's hands. Then Vulcan drew sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl, and
    served it round among the gods, going from left to right; and the
    blessed gods laughed out a loud applause as they saw him ing
    bustling about the heavenly mansion.
    Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun they
    feasted, and every one had his full share, so that all were satisfied.
    Apollo struck his lyre, and the Muses lifted up their sweet voices,
    calling and answering one another. But when the sun's glorious light
    had faded, they went home to bed, each in his own abode, which lame
    Vulcan with his consummate skill had fashioned for them. So Jove,
    the Olympian Lord of Thunder, hied him to the bed in which he always
    slept; and when he had got on to it he went to sleep, with Juno of the
    golden throne by his side.

    Translated by Samuel Butler read more »

  • 2.
    Don Juan: Canto The Fourteenth

    If from great nature's or our own abyss
    Of thought we could but snatch a certainty,
    Perhaps mankind might find the path they miss--
    But then 'twould spoil much good philosophy. read more »

  • 3.
    Inferno Canto 01

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
    ché la diritta via era smarrita . read more »

  • 4.
    The Aeneid of Virgil: Book 1

    Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
    And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
    Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
    Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore, read more »

  • 5.
    Canto I

    And then went down to the ship,
    Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
    We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
    Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also read more »

  • 6.
    The Odyssey: Book 1

    Tell me, o muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide
    after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit,
    and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was
    acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save read more »

  • 7.
    Baseball Canto

    Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
    reading Ezra Pound,
    and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
    Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto read more »

  • 8.
    A Song of the Pen

    Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft,
    Not for the people's praise;
    Only because our goddess made us her own and laughed,
    Claiming us all our days, read more »

  • 9.
    The Epic Stars

    The heroic stars spending themselves,
    Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
    They must burn out at length like used candles;
    And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes. read more »

  • 10.
    Don Juan: Canto the First

    I want a hero: an uncommon want,
    When every year and month sends forth a new one,
    Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, read more »

  • 11.
    After the Poet's Death

    His poems refuse
    to mourn his passing, they
    detach themselves from
    books, magazines, wall hangings read more »

  • 12.
    The Gardener XXXVIII: My Love, Once upon a Time

    My love, once upon a time your poet
    launched a great epic in his mind.
    Alas, I was not careful, and it struck
    your ringing anklets and came to read more »

New Epic Poems

  1. The human condition, BurningDesire PhekoMotaung
  2. Wars in earlier times., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  3. হযরত শাহ্‌ জালাল (রা.) : একটি মহাকাব্য- .., Md. Ziaul Haque
  4. Tulsidas, Md. Ziaul Haque
  5. Expression Eruption: Pigs & Rule, Vinz Poetry
  6. Dawn of the Days, Dorthe Wisbech Clausen
  7. Epic or Lines, Ashraful Alam Shikder
  8. If My Voice Is Not Reaching You, Afzal Ahmed Syed
  9. Ramayana Epic poem., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  10. Kannaki, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  11. Epic, Nassy Fesharaki
  12. The Only Difference Was..., Tajudeen Shah
  13. Love's Story, Cathy Hodgson
  14. K. V. Suryanarayana Murti As A Poet (Vis.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  15. Epic Fight To Save Our Home, Joseph S. Josephides
  16. Homer, Elia Michael
  17. Epic Eternal On Unfold, Aniruddha Pathak
  18. Fatal: Ms Onyeche, Vinz Poetry
  19. David and Elaine’s Epic Birthday Battle.., David McLansky
  20. Fatal 2: ‘MRS. ONYECHE’, Vinz Poetry
  22. Fright, Metin Sahin
  23. Concepts 3, Somanathan Iyer
  24. I Am An Epic-Writer Of My Tribe, Muhammad Shanazar
  25. IN YOUR FACE, Philo Yan
  26. Poet In A Cage, Leslie Philibert
  27. Epic Grand Doer, Charles Hice
  28. Rape Country, rajendran muthiah
  30. Epic, Jojo JAC
  31. Epics are stories., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  32. The epic center, hasmukh amathalal
  33. The Epic Battles, Diwakar Pokhriyal
  34. O Singer of the epic war history, Aniruddha Pathak
  35. A War Between Ravna And Kauravas, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  36. Give Me the Harp of Epic Song, Anacreon
  37. When, Harriet James
  38. He Can't Believe In Me, Freddy Ibarra
  39. Honour The Womenfolk, rajendran muthiah
  40. 2011 Global Fish Extinction Crisis, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  41. Silent Solitary Ominous Kiwi Flight, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  42. Mother O My Dear Mother, KAVIN CHARALAN
  43. Why These Eyes I Have?, rajendran muthiah
  44. Birds Are Not My Epic, Chester Maynes
  45. Trafficking In Black Diamonds, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  46. Depictions May Solicit Unhealthy Images, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  47. Epic Men, Patti Masterman
  48. My Mom’s Epic, Qeeony Luv
  49. LIFE… An Epic., kunjubi varghese
  50. Wedlock…, kunjubi varghese
  51. Death of an Unknown Poet, Meggan McGuire
  52. Time Walkers, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  53. For The WoW Widows Of The World (Of Warc.., Justin Phillips
  54. The Iliad Odyssey: The Summary Of A Man, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  55. @Adam's Sons, Jordan Legaspi
  56. Dropout, Edward Kofi Louis
  57. OCEAN OF LOVE, C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  58. Translation Of The Epitaph On Virgil And.., George Gordon Byron
  59. for once in my life, RIC S. BASTASA
  60. Ode to the World, Jaya Razo
  61. Epics are read to feel the emotion, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  62. Literature is the negative of photo, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  63. Aurobindo-3 Savitri-Book -1, Indira Renganathan
  64. Seaking, Bob Ubetcha
  66. Epic Smile, Brian Hinckley
  67. An epic, Brandon Butler
  68. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Of locks.., Mamta Agarwal
  69. Epic Poem, Torben Duncan
  70. (((12th Of Never Goin' Happen))), Theodora (Theo) Onken
  71. epic night elipse o' light, mitch king
  72. Forever Young, Alejandro Torres
  73. i like to write an epic, RIC S. BASTASA
  74. Written With Love, Alejandro Torres
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