The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
Of Peleus, loth to go, and won at last 45
With difficulty, such his anger was
And deep resentment of his slaughter’d friend. 
Soon then as Agamemnon’s tent they reach’d,
The sovereign bade his heralds kindle fire
Around an ample vase, with purpose kind 50
Moving Achilles from his limbs to cleanse
The stains of battle; but he firm refused
That suit, and bound refusal with an oath—­
No; by the highest and the best of all,
By Jove I will not.  Never may it be 55
That brazen bath approach this head of mine,
Till I shall first Patroclus’ body give
To his last fires, till I shall pile his tomb,
And sheer my locks in honor of my friend;
For, like to this, no second wo shall e’er 60
My heart invade, while vital breath I draw. 
But, all unwelcome as it is, repast
Now calls us.  Agamemnon, King of men! 
Give thou command that at the dawn they bring
Wood hither, such large portion as beseems 65
The dead, descending to the shades, to share,
That hungry flames consuming out of sight
His body soon, the host may war again. 
He spake; they, hearing, readily obey’d. 
Then, each his food preparing with dispatch, 70
They ate, nor wanted any of the guests
Due portion, and their appetites sufficed
To food and wine, all to their tents repair’d
Seeking repose; but on the sands beside
The billowy deep Achilles groaning lay 75
Amidst his Myrmidons, where space he found
With blood unstain’d beside the dashing wave.[1]
There, soon as sleep, deliverer of the mind,
Wrapp’d him around (for much his noble limbs
With chase of Hector round the battlements 80
Of wind-swept Ilium wearied were and spent)
The soul came to him of his hapless friend,
In bulk resembling, in expressive eyes
And voice Patroclus, and so clad as he. 
Him, hovering o’er his head, the form address’d. 85
Sleep’st thou, Achilles! of thy friend become
Heedless?  Him living thou didst not neglect
Whom thou neglectest dead.  Give me a tomb
Instant, that I may pass the infernal gates. 
For now, the shades and spirits of the dead 90
Drive me afar, denying me my wish
To mingle with them on the farthest shore,
And in wide-portal’d Ades sole I roam. 
Give me thine hand, I pray thee, for the earth
I visit never more, once burnt with fire; 95
We never shall again close council hold
As we were wont, for me my fate severe,
Mine even from my birth, hath deep absorb’d. 
And oh Achilles, semblance of the Gods! 
Thou too predestined art beneath the wall 100
To perish of the high-born Trojan race. 
But hear my last injunction! ah, my friend! 
Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook