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Within my walls, in Argos, far from home,
Her lot is cast, domestic cares to ply,
And share a master's bed. For thee, begone!
Incense me not, lest ill betide thee now.”

He said: the old man trembled, and obey'd ;
Beside the many-dashing Ocean's shore
Silent he pass’d; and all apart, he pray'd
To great Apollo, fair Latona's son:

God of the silver bow! whose care
Chrysa surrounds, and Cilla's lovely isle;
Whose sov’reign sway o'er Tenedos extends;
O Smintheus, hear! if e'er my offer'd gifts
Found favour in thy sight; if e'er to thee
I burn'd the fat of bulls and choicest goats,
Grant me this boon— upon the Grecian host
Let thine unerring darts avenge my tears.”

Thus as he pray'd, his pray’r Apollo heard :
Along Olympus' heights he pass’d, his heart
Burning with wrath ; behind his shoulders hung
His bow, and ample quiver ; at his back
Rattled the fateful arrows as he mov’d;


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Like the night-cloud he pass’d; and from afar
He bent against the ships, and sped the bolt;
And fierce and deadly twang'd the silver bow.

First on the mules and dogs, on man the last,
Was pour'd the arrowy storm; and through the camp,
Constant and num’rous, blaz'd the funeral fires.

Nine days the heav'nly Archer on the troops Hurl'd his dread shafts; the tenth, th' assembled Greeks 65 Achilles call'd to council ; so inspir'd By Juno, white-arm'd goddess, who beheld With pitying eyes, the wasting hosts of Greece. When all were met, and closely throng'd around, Rose the swift-footed chief, and thus began :

70 “Ye sons of Atreus, to my mind there seems, If we would ’scape from death, one only course, Home to retrace our steps: since here at once By war and pestilence our forces waste. But seek we first some prophet, or some priest, Or some wise vision-seer (since visions too From Heav'n are sent), who may the cause explain, Which with such deadly wrath Apollo fires.

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If for neglected hecatombs or pray’rs
He blame us; or if fat of lambs and goats
May soothe his anger and the plague assuage.”

This said, he sat; and Thestor's son arose,
Calchas, the chief of seers, to whom were known
The present, and the future, and the past;
Who, by his mystic art, Apollo's gift,
Guided to Ilion's shore the Grecian fleet.
Who thus with cautious speech replied, and said:
“ Achilles, lov’d of Heav'n, thou bidst me say
Why thus incens'd the far-destroying King:
Therefore I speak; but promise thou, and swear,
By word and hand, to bear me harmless through.
For well I know my speech must one offend,
One mighty chief, whom all our hosts obey;
And terrible to men of low estate
The anger of a king; for though awhile
He veil his wrath, yet in his bosom pent
It still is nurst, until the time arrive;
Say, then, wilt thou protect me, if I speak ?”

Him answer'd thus Achilles, swift of foot :






Speak boldly out whate'er thine art can tell;
For by Apollo's self I swear, whom thou,
O Calchas, serv'st, and who thy words inspires,
That, while I live, and see the light of heav'n,
Not one of all the Greeks shall dare on thee,
Beside our ships, injurious hands to lay:
No, not if Agamemnon's self were he,
Who ʼmid our warriors boasts the foremost place.”

Embolden'd thus, th’unerring prophet spoke:
“Not for neglected hecatombs or pray’rs,
But for his priest, whom Agamemnon scorn’d,
Nor took his ransom, nor his child restor'd;
On his account the Far-destroyer sends
This scourge of pestilence, and yet will send ;
Nor shall we cease bis heavy hand to feel,
Till to her sire we give the dark-ey'd girl,
Unbought, unransom’d, and to Chrysa's Isle
A solemn hecatomb despatch; this done,
We may at length the angry God appease."

” This said, he sat; and Atreus' godlike son, The mighty monarch, Agamemnon, rose,

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His dark soul filld with fury, and his eyes
Flashing like flames of fire; on Calchas first
A with’ring glance he cast, and thus he spoke :

Prophet of ill! thou never speak'st to me
But words of evil omen; for thy soul

Delights to augur ill, but aught of good
Thou never yet hast promis'd, nor perform’d.
And now among the Greeks thou spread'st abroad
Thy lying prophecies, that all these ills
Come from the Far-destroyer, for that I
Refus'd the ransom of my lovely prize,
And that I rather chose herself to keep,
To me not less than Clytemnestra dear,
My virgin-wedded wife; nor less adorn’d
In gifts of form, of feature, or of mind.
Yet, if it must be so, I give her back;
I wish my people's safety, not their death.
But seek me out forthwith some other spoil,
Lest empty-handed I alone appear
Of all the Greeks; for this would ill beseem ;
And how I lose my present share, ye see.”



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