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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 16

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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But deeply sighing, O knight Patroclus, him thou didst address: "O Achilles, son of Peleus, by far the bravest of the Greeks, be not indignant; since a grief so heavy does oppress the Greeks: for now all they, as many as were formerly most valiant, lie in the ships, wounded or stricken. Brave Diomede, indeed, the son of Tydeus, is wounded, and spear-renowned Ulysses is stricken, as also Agamemnon; and Eurypylus is also wounded in the thigh with an arrow. About these, indeed, physicians skilled in many remedies are employed healing their wounds: but thou, O Achilles, art inexorable. Never may such anger seize me at least, as thee, O cruelly brave, dost preserve. What other after-born man will be defended by thee, if thou will not avert unworthy ruin from the Greeks? merciless one! Certainly the knight Peleus was not thy father, nor Thetis thy mother; but the grey[509] Ocean produced thee, and the lofty rocks; for thy mind is cruel. But if thou wouldst avoid any oracle in thy mind, and thy venerable mother has told any to thee from Jove, at least send me quickly, and at the same time give me the rest of the army of the Myrmidons, if perchance I may become any aid to the Greeks. Grant me also to be armed on my shoulders with thy armour, if perchance the Trojans, likening me to thee, may cease from battle, and the warlike sons of the Greeks, now fatigued, breathe again; and there be a short respite from war.[510] But we [who are] fresh, can easily repulse men worn out with battle from our ships and tents towards the city."

[Footnote 509: Alluding to the colour of the ocean when ruffled by a storm. With the following passage compare Theocrit. iii. 15, sqq.; Eurip. Bacch. 971, sqq.; Virg. Aen. iv. 365, sqq.; [Greek: Epsi]. viii. 43, sqq., with Macrob. Sat. v. 11.]

[Footnote 510: Cf. xi. 800, with the note.]

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