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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 22

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Hector persists in remaining outside the walls, despite the entreaties of his father. He flies thrice round Troy, fights, and is slain by Achilles, who drags his body to the fleet at the wheels of his chariot. The lamentations of his wife and parents follow.


Thus they, indeed, driven by fright through the city, like fawns, were refreshing themselves from sweat, and were drinking and allaying their thirst, leaning against the handsome battlements; but the Greeks were coming near the wall, resting their shields upon their shoulders. But Hector his destructive fate fettered to remain there, before Ilium and the Scaean gates. And Phoebus Apollo thus addressed the son of Peleus:

"Why, O son of Peleus, dost thou pursue me, an immortal god, with swift feet, thyself being a mortal? Nor yet hast thou at all discovered that I am a god; but thou incessantly ragest. For certainly the labour of the Trojans is not now a care to thee, whom thou hast routed, and who are now enclosed within their city, while thou art turned aside hither. Neither canst thou slay me, since I am not mortal."

But him swift-footed Achilles, greatly indignant,[695] addressed:

[Footnote 695: Milton, P.L. ii. 708: "On th' other side Incensed with indignation Satan stood Unterrified, and like a comet burn'd, That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair Shakes pestilence and war."]

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