Monday, December 14, 2009

The Illiad - First Book - 3

by Homer

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

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book

From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
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