“Bibber besotted, with scowl of a cur, having
heart of a deer, thou!
Never to join to thy warriors armed for the press of the conflict,
Never for ambush forth with the princeliest sons of Achaia
Dared thy soul, for to thee that thing would have looked as a death-stroke.
Sooth, more easy it seems, down the lengthened array of Achaians,
Snatch at the prize of the one whose voice has been lifted against thee.
Ravening king of the folk, for that thou hast thy rule over abjects;
Else, son of Atreus, now were this outrage on me thy last one.
Nay, but I tell thee, and I do swear a big oath on it likewise:
Yea, by the sceptre here, and it surely bears branches and leaf-buds
Never again, since first it was lopped from its trunk on the mountains,
No more sprouting; for round it all clean has the sharp metal clipped off
Leaves and the bark; ay, verify now do the sons of Achaia,
Guardian hands of the counsels of Zeus, pronouncing the judgement,
Hold it aloft; so now unto thee shall the oath have its portent;
Loud will the cry for Achilles burst from the sons of Achaia
Throughout the army, and thou chafe powerless, though in an anguish,
How to give succour when vast crops down under man-slaying Hector
Tumble expiring; and thou deep in thee shalt tear at thy heart-strings,
Rage-wrung, thou, that in nought thou didst honour the flower of Achaians.”
[Iliad, B. II V. 455]
Like as a terrible fire feeds fast on a forest enormous,
Up on a mountain height, and the blaze of it radiates round far,
So on the bright blest arms of the host in their march did the splendour
Gleam wide round through the circle of air right up to the sky-vault.
They, now, as when swarm thick in the air multitudinous winged flocks,
Be it of geese or of cranes or the long-necked troops of the wild-swans,
Off that Asian mead, by the flow of the waters of Kaistros;
Hither and yon fly they, and rejoicing in pride of their pinions,
Clamour, shaped to their ranks, and the mead all about them resoundeth;
So those numerous tribes from their ships and their shelterings poured forth
On that plain of Scamander, and horrible rumbled beneath them
Earth to the quick-paced feet of the men and the tramp of the horse-hooves.
Stopped they then on the fair-flower’d field of Scamander, their thousands
Many as leaves and the blossoms born of the flowerful season.
Even as countless hot-pressed flies in their multitudes traverse,
Clouds of them, under some herdsman’s wonning, where then are the milk-pails
Also, full of their milk, in the bountiful season of spring-time;
Even so thickly the long-haired sons of Achaia the plain held,
Prompt for the dash at the Trojan host, with the passion to crush them.
Those, likewise, as the goatherds, eyeing their vast