Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Much easier for the Greeks to rage among

Now he is gone; but I, before I see
That time, and Troy laid waste and trampled on,
Shall have gone down into the darksome house.”

So saying, with his stick he drove them off,
And they went out, the old man urged them so.
And he called out in anger to his sons,
To Helenus, and Paris, god-like Agathon,
And Pammon, and Antiphonus, and Polites
Loud in the tumult, and Deiphobus,
Hippothous, and the admirable Dius ;---
These nine he gave his orders to, in anger :-

Be quicker, do, and help me, evil children,
Down-looking set! Would ye had all been killed,
Instead of Hector, at the ships. Oh me!
Curs'd creature that I am! I had brave sons,
Here in wide Troy, and now I cannot say

That one is left me,-Mestor, like a god,
And Troilus, my fine-hearted charioteer,
And Hector, who, for mortal, was a god,
For he seemed born, not of a mortal man,
But of a god; yet Mars has swept them all ;
And none but these convicted knaves are left me,
Liars and dancers, excellent time-beaters,
Notorious pilferers of lambs and goats !
Why don't ye get the chariot ready, and set
The things upon it here, that we may go?”

He said; and the young men took his rebuke With awe, and brought the rolling chariot forth.

1

PRIAM AT THE FEET OF ACHILLES.

Ως αρα φωνησας απεβη προς μακρον Ολυμπος
Ερμείας: Πριαμος δ' εξίππων αλτο χαμαζε.

ILIAD, Lib. 24, v. 468.

So saying, Mercury vanished up to heaven.
And Priam then alighted from the chariot,
Leaving Idous with it, who remained
Holding the mules and horses ; and the old man
Went straight in-doors, where the beloved of Jove,
Achilles sat, and found him there within.

The household sat apart; and two alone,
The hero Automedon, and Alcimus,
A branch of Mars, stood by him. They had been
At meals, and had not yet removed the board.
Great Priam came, without their seeing him,
And kneeling down, he grasped Achilles' knees,
And kissed those terrible hands, man-slaughtering,
Which had deprived him of so many sons.
And as a man, who is pressed heavily
For having slain another, flies away
To foreign lands, and comes into the house
Of some great man, and is beheld with wonder;
So did Achilles wonder, to see Priam ;
And the rest wondered, looking at each other.
But Priam, praying to him, spoke these words :-

“ God-like Achilles, think of thine own father, Who is, as I am, at the weary door

Of age : and though the neighbouring chiefs may

vex him,

And he has none to keep his evils off,
Yet, when he hears that thou art still alive,
He gladdens inwardly; and daily hopes
To see his dear son coming back from Troy.
But I, forbidden creature! I had once
Brave sons in Troy, and now I cannot say
That one is left me. Fifty children had I,
When the Greeks came; nineteen were of one

womb; The rest my women bore me in my house. The knees of many of these fierce Mars has loos

ened; And he who had no peer, Troy's prop and theirs, Him hast thou killed now, fighting for his country, Hector ; and for his sake am I come here To ransom him, bringing a countless ransom.

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »