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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Homer Bilingual Anthology : ACHILLES' GRIEF - 2

From Homer's Iliad * Rhapsody 18, lines 1-128,  * Translated by S. Butler.
Text in Angle Brackets translated by Elpenor.   *
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As he was thus pondering, the son of Nestor came up to him and told his sad tale, weeping bitterly the while. "Alas," he cried, "son of noble Peleus, I bring you bad tidings, would indeed that they were untrue. < Patroclus lies >, and a fight is raging about his naked body--for Hector holds his armour."

< Thus spoke he, and a dark cloud of grief covered the other. With both hands he took sooty ash and poured it over his head and he disgraced the glorious face, and on the divine shirt dark ash was falling all over. > He flung himself down all huge and hugely at full length, and tore his hair with his hands. The bondswomen whom Achilles and Patroclus had taken captive screamed aloud for grief, beating their breasts, and with their limbs failing them for sorrow. Antilochus bent over him the while, weeping and holding both his hands as he lay groaning for he feared that he might plunge a knife into his own throat. Then Achilles gave a loud cry and his mother heard him as she was sitting in the depths of the sea by the old man her father, whereon she screamed, and all the goddesses daughters of Nereus that dwelt at the bottom of the sea, came gathering round her. There were Glauce, Thalia and Cymodoce, Nesaia, Speo, Thoe and dark-eyed Halie, Cymothoe, Actaea and Limnorea, Melite, Iaera, Amphithoe and Agave, Doto and Proto, Pherusa and Dynamene, Dexamene, Amphinome and Callianeira, Doris, Panope, and the famous sea-nymph Galatea, Nemertes, Apseudes and Callianassa. There were also Clymene, Ianeira and Ianassa, Maera, Oreithuia and Amatheia of the lovely locks, with other Nereids who dwell in the depths of the sea. The crystal cave was filled with their multitude and they all beat their breasts while Thetis led them in their lament.

Εἷος ὃ ταῦθ΄ ὥρμαινε κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν͵ τόφρα οἱ ἐγγύθεν ἦλθεν ἀγαυοῦ Νέστορος υἱὸς δάκρυα θερμὰ χέων͵ φάτο δ΄ ἀγγελίην ἀλεγεινήν· ὤ μοι Πηλέος υἱὲ δαΐφρονος ἦ μάλα λυγρῆς πεύσεαι ἀγγελίης͵ ἣ μὴ ὤφελλε γενέσθαι. κεῖται Πάτροκλος͵ νέκυος δὲ δὴ ἀμφιμάχονται γυμνοῦ· ἀτὰρ τά γε τεύχε΄ ἔχει κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ.

Ὣς φάτο͵ τὸν δ΄ ἄχεος νεφέλη ἐκάλυψε μέλαινα· ἀμφοτέρῃσι δὲ χερσὶν ἑλὼν κόνιν αἰθαλόεσσαν χεύατο κὰκ κεφαλῆς͵ χαρίεν δ΄ ᾔσχυνε πρόσωπον· νεκταρέῳ δὲ χιτῶνι μέλαιν΄ ἀμφίζανε τέφρη. αὐτὸς δ΄ ἐν κονίῃσι μέγας μεγαλωστὶ τανυσθεὶς κεῖτο͵ φίλῃσι δὲ χερσὶ κόμην ᾔσχυνε δαΐζων. δμῳαὶ δ΄ ἃς Ἀχιλεὺς ληΐσσατο Πάτροκλός τε θυμὸν ἀκηχέμεναι μεγάλ΄ ἴαχον͵ ἐκ δὲ θύραζε ἔδραμον ἀμφ΄ Ἀχιλῆα δαΐφρονα͵ χερσὶ δὲ πᾶσαι στήθεα πεπλήγοντο͵ λύθεν δ΄ ὑπὸ γυῖα ἑκάστης. Ἀντίλοχος δ΄ ἑτέρωθεν ὀδύρετο δάκρυα λείβων χεῖρας ἔχων Ἀχιλῆος· ὃ δ΄ ἔστενε κυδάλιμον κῆρ· δείδιε γὰρ μὴ λαιμὸν ἀπαμήσειε σιδήρῳ. σμερδαλέον δ΄ ᾤμωξεν· ἄκουσε δὲ πότνια μήτηρ ἡμένη ἐν βένθεσσιν ἁλὸς παρὰ πατρὶ γέροντι͵ κώκυσέν τ΄ ἄρ΄ ἔπειτα· θεαὶ δέ μιν ἀμφαγέροντο πᾶσαι ὅσαι κατὰ βένθος ἁλὸς Νηρηΐδες ἦσαν. ἔνθ΄ ἄρ΄ ἔην Γλαύκη τε Θάλειά τε Κυμοδόκη τε Νησαίη Σπειώ τε Θόη θ΄ Ἁλίη τε βοῶπις Κυμοθόη τε καὶ Ἀκταίη καὶ Λιμνώρεια καὶ Μελίτη καὶ Ἴαιρα καὶ Ἀμφιθόη καὶ Ἀγαυὴ Δωτώ τε Πρωτώ τε Φέρουσά τε Δυναμένη τε Δεξαμένη τε καὶ Ἀμφινόμη καὶ Καλλιάνειρα Δωρὶς καὶ Πανόπη καὶ ἀγακλειτὴ Γαλάτεια Νημερτής τε καὶ Ἀψευδὴς καὶ Καλλιάνασσα· ἔνθα δ΄ ἔην Κλυμένη Ἰάνειρά τε καὶ Ἰάνασσα Μαῖρα καὶ Ὠρείθυια ἐϋπλόκαμός τ΄ Ἀμάθεια ἄλλαι θ΄ αἳ κατὰ βένθος ἁλὸς Νηρηΐδες ἦσαν. τῶν δὲ καὶ ἀργύφεον πλῆτο σπέος· αἳ δ΄ ἅμα πᾶσαι στήθεα πεπλήγοντο͵ Θέτις δ΄ ἐξῆρχε γόοιο· 

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