The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 667 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
  His head he smote, and, uttering doleful cries
  Of supplication, sued to his own son. 
  He, fixt before the gate, desirous stood
  Of combat with Achilles, when his sire 40
  With arms outstretch’d toward him, thus began. 
    My Hector! wait not, oh my son! the approach
  Of this dread Chief, alone, lest premature
  Thou die, this moment by Achilles slain,
  For he is strongest far.  Oh that the Gods 45
  Him loved as I! then, soon should vultures rend
  And dogs his carcase, and my grief should cease. 
  He hath unchilded me of many a son,
  All valiant youths, whom he hath slain or sold
  To distant isles, and even now, I miss 50
  Two sons, whom since the shutting of the gates
  I find not, Polydorus and Lycaon,
  My children by Laothoee the fair. 
  If they survive prisoners in yonder camp,
  I will redeem them with gold and brass 55
  By noble Eltes to his daughter given,
  Large store, and still reserved.  But should they both,
  Already slain, have journey’d to the shades,
  We, then, from whom they sprang have cause to mourn
  And mourn them long, but shorter shall the grief 60
  Of Ilium prove, if thou escape and live. 
  Come then, my son! enter the city-gate
  That thou may’st save us all, nor in thy bloom
  Of life cut off, enhance Achilles’ fame. 
  Commiserate also thy unhappy sire 65
  Ere yet distracted, whom Saturnian Jove
  Ordains to a sad death, and ere I die
  To woes innumerable; to behold
  Sons slaughter’d, daughters ravish’d, torn and stripp’d
  The matrimonial chamber, infants dash’d 70
  Against the ground in dire hostility,[2]
  And matrons dragg’d by ruthless Grecian hands. 
  Me, haply, last of all, dogs shall devour
  In my own vestibule, when once the spear
  Or falchion of some Greek hath laid me low. 75
  The very dogs fed at my table-side,
  My portal-guards, drinking their master’s blood
  To drunkenness, shall wallow in my courts. 
  Fair falls the warlike youth in battle slain,
  And when he lies torn by the pointed steel, 80
  His death becomes him well; he is secure,
  Though dead, from shame, whatever next befalls: 
  But when the silver locks and silver beard
  Of an old man slain by the sword, from dogs
  Receive dishonor, of all ills that wait 85
  On miserable man, that sure is worst. 
    So spake the ancient King, and his grey hairs
  Pluck’d with both hands, but Hector firm endured. 
  On the other side all tears his mother stood,
  And lamentation; with one hand she bared, 90
  And with the other hand produced her breast,
  Then in wing’d accents, weeping,
Project Gutenberg
The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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