The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
"Friends, it befits not to say many words
This day to you, in sorrow's weariness.
I know that wearied men can find no joy
In speech or song, though the Pierides,
The immortal Muses, love it. At such time
Few words do men desire. But now, this thing
That pleaseth all the Achaean host, will I
Accomplish, so Tydeides fare with me;
For, if we twain go, we shall surely bring,
Won by our words, war-fain Achilles' son,
Yea, though his mother, weeping sore, should strive
Within her halls to keep him; for mine heart
Trusts that he is a hero's valorous son."
Then out spake Menelaus earnestly:
"Odysseus, the strong Argives' help at need,
If mighty-souled Achilles' valiant son
From Scyros by thy suasion come to aid
Us who yearn for him, and some Heavenly One
Grant victory to our prayers, and I win home
To Hellas, I will give to him to wife
My noble child Hermione, with gifts
Many and goodly for her marriage-dower
With a glad heart. I trow he shall not scorn
Either his bride or high-born sire-in-law."
With a great shout the Danaans hailed his words.
Then was the throng dispersed, and to the ships
They scattered hungering for the morning meat
Which strengtheneth man's heart. So when they ceased
From eating, and desire was satisfied,
Then with the wise Odysseus Tydeus' son
Drew down a swift ship to the boundless sea,
And victual and all tackling cast therein.
Then stepped they aboard, and with them twenty men,
Men skilled to row when winds were contrary,
Or when the unrippled sea slept 'neath a calm.
They smote the brine, and flashed the boiling foam:
On leapt the ship; a watery way was cleft
About the oars that sweating rowers tugged.
As when hard-toiling oxen, 'neath the yoke
Straining, drag on a massy-timbered wain,
While creaks the circling axle 'neath its load,
And from their weary necks and shoulders streams
Down to the ground the sweat abundantly;
So at the stiff oars toiled those stalwart men,
And fast they laid behind them leagues of sea.
Gazed after them the Achaeans as they went,
Then turned to whet their deadly darts and spears,
The weapons of their warfare. In their town
The aweless Trojans armed themselves the while
War-eager, praying to the Gods to grant
Respite from slaughter, breathing-space from toil.
To these, while sorely thus they yearned, the Gods
Brought present help in trouble, even the seed
Of mighty Hercules, Eurypylus.
A great host followed him, in battle skilled,
All that by long Caicus' outflow dwelt,
Full of triumphant trust in their strong spears.
Round them rejoicing thronged the sons of Troy:
As when tame geese within a pen gaze up
On him who casts them corn, and round his feet
Throng hissing uncouth love, and his heart warms