The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)
The windy heights of Lesbos. Rounded now
Was Lecton's foreland, where is the last peak
Of Ida. In the sails loud hummed the wind,
Crashed round the prows the dark surge: the long waves
Showed shadowy hollows, far the white wake gleamed.
Now had the Argives all to the hallowed soil
Of Hellas won, by perils of the deep
Unscathed, but for Athena Daughter of Zeus
The Thunderer, and her indignation's wrath.
When nigh Euboea's windy heights they drew,
She rose, in anger unappeasable
Against the Locrian king, devising doom
Crushing and pitiless, and drew nigh to Zeus
Lord of the Gods, and spake to him apart
In wrath that in her breast would not be pent:
"Zeus, Father, unendurable of Gods
Is men's presumption! They reck not of thee,
Of none of the Blessed reck they, forasmuch
As vengeance followeth after sin no more;
And ofttimes more afflicted are good men
Than evil, and their misery hath no end.
Therefore no man regardeth justice: shame
Lives not with men! And I, I will not dwell
Hereafter in Olympus, not be named
Thy daughter, if I may not be avenged
On the Achaeans' reckless sin! Behold,
Within my very temple Oileus' son
Hath wrought iniquity, hath pitied not
Cassandra stretching unregarded hands
Once and again to me; nor did he dread
My might, nor reverenced in his wicked heart
The Immortal, but a deed intolerable
He did. Therefore let not thy spirit divine
Begrudge mine heart's desire, that so all men
May quake before the manifest wrath of Gods."
Answered the Sire with heart-assuaging words:
"Child, not for the Argives' sake withstand I thee;
But all mine armoury which the Cyclops' might
To win my favour wrought with tireless hands,
To thy desire I give. O strong heart, hurl
A ruining storm thyself on the Argive fleet."
Then down before the aweless Maid he cast
Swift lightning, thunder, and deadly thunderbolt;
And her heart leapt, and gladdened was her soul.
She donned the stormy Aegis flashing far,
Adamantine, massy, a marvel to the Gods,
Whereon was wrought Medusa's ghastly head,
Fearful: strong serpents breathing forth the blast
Of ravening fire were on the face thereof.
Crashed on the Queen's breast all the Aegis-links,
As after lightning crashes the firmament.
Then grasped she her father's weapons, which no God
Save Zeus can lift, and wide Olympus shook.
Then swept she clouds and mist together on high;
Night over earth was poured, haze o'er the sea.
Zeus watched, and was right glad as broad heaven's floor
Rocked 'neath the Goddess's feet, and crashed the sky,
As though invincible Zeus rushed forth to war.
Then sped she Iris unto Acolus,
From heaven far-flying over misty seas,
To bid him send forth all his buffering winds