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Unformatted text preview: Book 1 1-53  The wrath sing, goddess, of Peleus ' son, Achilles , that destructive wrath which brought countless woes upon the Achaeans , and sent forth to Hades many valiant souls of heroes, and made them themselves spoil for dogs and every bird; thus the plan of Zeus came to fulfillment,  from the time when 1 first they parted in strife Atreus ' son, king of men, and brilliant Achilles . Who then of the gods was it that brought these two together to contend? The son of Leto and Zeus ; for he in anger against the king roused throughout the host an evil pestilence, and the people began to perish,  because upon the priest Chryses the son of Atreus had wrought dishonour. For he had come to the swift ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, bearing ransom past counting; and in his hands he held the wreaths of Apollo who strikes from afar, 2 on a staff of gold; and he implored all the Achaeans ,  but most of all the two sons of Atreus , the marshallers of the people: Sons of Atreus , and other well-greaved Achaeans , to you may the gods who have homes upon Olympus grant that you sack the city of Priam , and return safe to your homes; but my dear child release to me, and accept the ransom  out of reverence for the son of Zeus , Apollo who strikes from afar. Then all the rest of the Achaeans shouted assent, to reverence the priest and accept the glorious ransom, yet the thing did not please the heart of Agamemnon , son of Atreus , but he sent him away harshly, and laid upon him a stern command:  Let me not find you, old man, by the hollow ships, either tarrying now or coming back later, lest your staff and the wreath of the god not protect you. Her I will not set free. Sooner shall old age come upon her in our house, in Argos , far from her native land,  as she walks to and fro before the loom and serves my bed. But go, do not anger me, that you may return the safer. So he spoke, and the old man was seized with fear and obeyed his word. He went forth in silence along the shore of the loud-resounding sea, and earnestly then, when he had gone apart, the old man prayed  to the lord Apollo , whom fair-haired Leto bore: Hear me, god of the silver bow, who stand over Chryse and holy Cilla , and rule mightily over Tenedos , Sminthian god, 1 if ever I roofed over a temple to your pleasing, or if ever I burned to you fat thigh-pieces of bulls and goats,  fulfill this prayer for me: let the Danaans pay for my tears by your arrows So he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Down from the peaks of Olympus he strode, angered at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow and covered quiver.  The arrows rattled on the shoulders of the angry god as he moved, and his coming was like the night. Then he sat down apart from the ships and let fly an arrow: terrible was the twang of the silver bow. The mules he assailed first and the swift dogs,  but then on the men themselves he let fly his stinging shafts, and struck; and constantly the pyres of the dead burned thick. For nine stinging shafts, and struck; and constantly the pyres of the dead burned thick....
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- Spring '08