The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.
long crest
Seized fast; then, turning, drew him by that hold Toward the Grecian host.  The broider’d band That underbraced his helmet at the chin, 440 Strain’d to his smooth neck with a ceaseless force, Chok’d him; and now had Menelaus won Deathless renown, dragging him off the field, But Venus, foam-sprung Goddess, feeling quick His peril imminent, snapp’d short the brace 445 Though stubborn, by a slaughter’d[19] ox supplied, And the void helmet follow’d as he pull’d.  That prize the Hero, whirling it aloft, Threw to his Greeks, who caught it and secured, Then with vindictive strides he rush’d again 450 On Paris, spear in hand; but him involved In mist opaque Venus with ease divine Snatch’d thence, and in his chamber placed him, fill’d With scents odorous, spirit-soothing sweets.  Nor stay’d the Goddess, but at once in quest 455 Of Helen went; her on a lofty tower She found, where many a damsel stood of Troy, And twitch’d her fragrant robe.  In form she seem’d An ancient matron, who, while Helen dwelt In Lacedaemon, her unsullied wool 460 Dress’d for her, faithfullest of all her train.  Like her disguised the Goddess thus began. 
  Haste—­Paris calls thee—­on his sculptured couch,
(Sparkling alike his looks and his attire) He waits thy wish’d return.  Thou wouldst not dream 465 That he had fought; he rather seems prepared For dance, or after dance, for soft repose. 
  So saying, she tumult raised in Helen’s mind. 
Yet soon as by her symmetry of neck, By her love-kindling breasts and luminous eyes 470 She knew the Goddess, her she thus bespake. 
  Ah whence, deceitful deity! thy wish
Now to ensnare me?  Wouldst thou lure me, say, To some fair city of Maeonian name Or Phrygian, more remote from Sparta still? 475 Hast thou some human favorite also there?  Is it because Atrides hath prevailed To vanquish Paris, and would bear me home Unworthy as I am, that thou attempt’st Again to cheat me?  Go thyself—­sit thou 480 Beside him—­for his sake renounce the skies; Watch him, weep for him; till at length his wife He deign to make thee, or perchance his slave.  I go not (now to go were shame indeed) To dress his couch; nor will I be the jest 485 Of all my sex in Ilium.  Oh! my griefs Are infinite, and more than I can bear. 
  To whom, the foam-sprung Goddess, thus incensed. 
Ah wretch! provoke not me; lest in my wrath Abandoning thee, I not hate thee less 490 Than now I fondly love thee, and beget Such detestation of thee in all hearts, Grecian and Trojan, that thou die abhorr’d. 
  The Goddess ceased.  Jove’s daughter, Helen, fear’d,
And, in her lucid veil close wrapt around, 495 Silent retired, of all those Trojan dames Unseen, and Venus led, herself, the way.  Soon then as Alexander’s fair abode
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The Iliad of Homer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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