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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 6

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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In the next place Menelaus, valiant in the din of war, took Adrastus alive; for his two steeds, flying bewildered over the plain, coming in violent contact with a branch of tamarisk, and having broken the curved chariot at the extremity of the pole, themselves flew towards the city, whither others also fled terrified. But he was rolled from his chariot near the wheel, prone in the dust on his mouth: but near him stood Menelaus, the son of Atreus, holding his long-shadowed spear. Adrastus then embracing his knees supplicated him:

"Take me alive, O son of Atreus, and receive a worthy ransom; in my wealthy father's [house][236] lie abundant stores, brass and gold, and well-wrought steel; out of which my sire will bestow on thee countless ransom-gifts, if he shall hear that I am alive at the ships of the Greeks."

Thus he spoke; and persuaded his mind in his breast, and already he was on the point of consigning him to the care of his attendant to conduct him to the ships of the Greeks: but Agamemnon running up, met him, and shouting in a chiding tone, spoke:

"O soft one, O Menelaus, why art thou thus so much concerned for these men? In sooth very kind offices were done to thee in thy family by the Trojans.[237] Of whom let none escape utter destruction, and our hands; not even him whom the mother carries, being an infant in her womb, let not even him escape; but let all the inhabitants of Ilium perish totally, without burial-rites, and obscure."

[Footnote 236: Supply [Greek: oiko] or [Greek: domo].]

[Footnote 237: Ironically spoken.]

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