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Title: Stories of the Old world
Author: Church, Alfred John, 1829-1912
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories of the Old world" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  Classics for Children.






  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by
  in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.




  CHAPTER I.                        7
  CHAPTER II.                      19
  CHAPTER III.                     30


  CHAPTER I.                       47
  CHAPTER II.                      57


  CHAPTER I.                       69
  CHAPTER II.                      86
  CHAPTER III.                    109
  CHAPTER IV.                     128
  CHAPTER V.                      147
  CHAPTER VI.                     156
  CHAPTER VII.                    171


  CHAPTER VIII.                   182
  CHAPTER IX.                     204
  CHAPTER X.                      210
  CHAPTER XI.                     220
  CHAPTER XII.                    229
  CHAPTER XIII.                   237
  CHAPTER XIV.                    242


  CHAPTER I.                      247
  CHAPTER II.                     265
  CHAPTER III.                    291
  CHAPTER IV.                     307
  CHAPTER V.                      331
  CHAPTER VI.                     342


    In “The Adventures of Æneas” the names of the gods are of the
    Latin form. As the story is taken from Virgil, this could not
    be avoided. The following table sets forth the correspondence
    of the Greek and Latin names:--

    GREEK.          LATIN.

    Zeus           Jupiter.
    Heré           Juno.
    Aphrodité      Venus.
    Ares           Mars.
    Hermes         Mercury.
    Poseidon       Neptune.
    Artemis        Diana.




The son of Cretheus, Æson, bequeathed the kingdom of Thessaly to his
brother Pelias, to keep for Jason, his son, whom he had sent to be
taught by Chiron, the wise Centaur. Now when Jason was returning from
Chiron he came to Anaurus, which is a river of Thessaly, and would
have crossed it; but there was an old woman on the river bank, and she
entreated of Jason that he would carry her over the river, for she
feared herself, she said, to cross it. But the old woman was in truth
the goddess Heré, who had taken upon herself the likeness of an old
woman to try the young man’s heart. Jason therefore carried her over,
but in crossing he lost one of his sandals, for it cleaved to the sand
that was in the river; and so he came to the dwelling of King Pelias,
where they were preparing a great sacrifice and feast to Poseidon and
the other gods. Now there had come an oracle aforetime to Pelias,
saying, “Beware of him who shall come to thee with one sandal only, for
it is thy doom to die by his means.” Therefore, when Pelias saw Jason
come in this plight, he was afraid; also he would fain keep the kingdom
for himself. He dared not slay him; but he set him a task from which he
might win great renown, hoping that he should never return therefrom;
and the task was this: to fetch the fleece of gold from the land of the

Now the story of the fleece is this: To Athamas, that was brother to
Cretheus, were born two children of Nephele, his wife, and the names of
these two were Phrixus and Helle. But Ino, whom Athamas had taken to
wife when Nephele was dead, laid a plot against the children to cause
them to be put to death, and the plot was this. She persuaded the women
of the land to parch with fire the seed of the corn that their husbands
sowed in the earth. And when the seed bare no increase, King Athamas
sent to inquire of the oracle at Delphi what the cause might be. But
Ino persuaded the messengers that they should bring back this message,
as though it were the answer of the god, “Sacrifice the two children,
Phrixus and Helle, if ye would be rid of this barrenness.” So Athamas,
being persuaded, brought the children to the altar to sacrifice them;
but the gods had pity on them, and sent a winged ram with a fleece of
gold to carry them away. So the ram carried them away; but Helle fell
from it and was drowned (for which cause the sea in those parts is
called the Sea of Helle to this day), but Phrixus came safe to the land
of the Colchians. There he sacrificed the ram as a thankoffering to
Zeus, and afterwards married the daughter of the king of that land, and
then died. And now Pelias would have Jason fetch the fleece of gold as
belonging of right to his own house. To this Jason consented, and he
sent messengers through the land of Greece to gather the heroes, that
they might be his companions in this labor; and the heroes hearkened to
his word.

First there came Orpheus, the great singer of Thrace, who could cause
rocks to move from their places, and rivers to stay their course, and
trees to follow him, so sweetly he sang; and Polyphemus, who in his
youth had fought with the Lapithæ against the Centaurs, and though his
limbs were burdened with many years, he bare a brave heart within him;
and Admetus of Thessaly, for whom his wife Alcestis was willing to
die; and the two sons of Æacus of Ægina, Telamon and Peleus, of whom
Telamon dwelt in Salamis, and Peleus in Phthia, for they had fled from
Ægina, having slain Phocus, their brother, unwittingly. But Theseus,
the bravest of the sons of Attica, came not, being imprisoned with
Pirithoüs in the dwellings of the dead. Also there came Tiphys, who was
the most skilful of men to foresee when the waves would rise, and the
winds blow, and to guide a ship by sun and stars; and Hercules, who
was newly come to Argos from Arcadia, whence he had brought alive the
great Erymanthian boar, and put him down in the market-place of Mycenæ;
and the twin brethren, Castor, the tamer of horses, and Pollux, the
mighty boxer; and Lynceus, who was keener of sight than all other men,
so that he could see even the things below the earth. With these came
also two brethren, sons of Boreas, Prince of Thrace, whom men call also
the North Wind. Wings had these two upon their feet,--a wonder to see,
black, shining with scales of gold,--and their hair streamed behind
them on either side as they ran. These, and many more heroes whom it
needs not name, did Jason gather together.

As for the ship _Argo_, the goddess Athene devised it, but the hands of
Argus, the son of Arestor, builded it.

Great was the wonder among the people to see such a gathering of
heroes. “Surely,” they said, “they will burn the house of Æætes with
fire if he withhold from them the fleece.” But the women lifted up
their hands and prayed for a safe return; also they wept one to
another, no one more bitterly than Alcimedé, the mother of Jason,
casting her arms about her son, and bewailing the day when Pelias had
sent him on this errand, seeing that he was her only son, and she would
be left desolate and alone. But Jason comforted her, saying that Athene
would help him in his quest, and that Apollo had prophesied good things
for him; only he bade her abide within the house, lest she should speak
some word of ill omen at their departure.

When the heroes were gathered together at the ship, Jason stood up
in the midst, and spake: “My friends, seeing that all things are now
ready for the voyage, and that there is nothing to hinder us from
sailing, the wind being favorable, let us choose for our leader him
whom we judge to be the best among us, for our going and our returning
concerneth us all.” Then the young men cast their eyes on Hercules, and
cried out with one voice that he should be their leader. But the hero
stretched forth his right hand from where he sat, and cried, “Not so;
let no man seek to give me this honor, for I will not receive it. Let
him that hath gathered us be also our leader.” So spake Hercules, and
they all were obedient to his word, and chose Jason to be their leader.
Then said Jason, “First let us make a feast and a sacrifice to Apollo.
But while the slaves fetch the oxen, let us drag down the ship to the
sea, and when we have put all her tackling into her, let us cast lots
for the benches whereon we shall sit.” Then the heroes undergirded the
ship with ropes, that she might be the stronger against the waves; and
afterwards, standing on either side, pushed her with all their might;
but Tiphys stood in the midst and gave the word, that they might do it
with one heart and at one time. Quickly ran the _Argo_ on the slips,
and the heroes shouted as she ran. Then they fastened the oars in the
rowlocks, and put a mast in the ship, and sails well woven. After this
they divided the heroes among the benches, two heroes to a bench; and
in the hindmost bench they set Hercules and Ancæus of Tegea, by choice
and not by lot, considering the stature of the heroes, for there the
ship was deepest. But for helmsman they chose Tiphys by common consent.

After this they built an altar of stones upon the shore. Then Jason
prayed to Apollo, “O king, bring us again safe to Greece; so will
we offer young bullocks on thy altars, both at Delphi and in Delos.
And now let us raise our cable in peace, and give us favorable winds
and a calm sea.” Then Hercules smote one of the oxen with his fist
between the horns and felled him to the earth; and Ancæus slew the
other, smiting him on the neck with an axe. And the young men cut them
in pieces, and they covered the thighs with fat, and burned them in
the fire. But when Idmon, the seer, saw the blue smoke, how it arose
in circles above the flames, he cried, by the inspiration of Apollo,
“Truly ye shall come hither again, and bring the fleece of gold with
you; but as for me, I must die far from my home in the land of Asia.
This, indeed, I knew before, yet am I with you to-day, that I may
share the glory of this voyage.” And now the sun was setting, and the
heroes sat in order on the shore, and drank the wine out of great
cups, talking with each other as men are wont to talk at the banquet.
But Jason sat apart, busy with many thoughts, which, when the hero
Idas saw, he said, “What fearest thou, son of Æson? By this spear I
swear--and in truth my spear helpeth me more than Zeus--thou shalt
fail in nought if only Idas be with thee.” And as he spake he raised
with both his hands a mighty bowl of wine, and drenched his lips and
bearded cheeks. Then the heroes murmured against him; but Idmon, the
seer, spake aloud, “These are evil words that thou speakest against
thyself. Hath the wine so wrought with thee that thou revilest the
gods? Remember the sons of Aloeus, how mighty they were; but when they
spake against the gods, Apollo slew them with his darts.” Then Idas
laughed aloud, and cried, “Thinkest thou, then, that the gods will slay
me as Apollo slew the sons of Aloeus? Only take heed to thyself if thou
shalt be found to have prophesied falsely concerning me.” But Jason
stayed them, that they should not strive together any more.

After this Orpheus took his harp and sang. He sang how the earth and
heaven and sky, having had but one form before, were divided from
each other; and how the stars are fixed in heaven; and of the moon
and the courses of the sun. Also he sang how the mountains arose, and
the rivers flowed; and how of old Chronos reigned in Olympus, ruling
the Titan gods, while Zeus was yet a child, dwelling in the caves of
Ida, before the Cyclopes had armed his hand with the thunderbolt. Then
Orpheus ended his song; but the heroes sat awhile, after that he had
ceased, with their heads bent forwards, so mighty was the spell upon
them. After this they burnt the tongues of the beasts with fire, and
poured wine upon them, and so lay down to sleep.

But when the morning shone on the top of Pelion, Tiphys first woke
out of sleep, and roused the heroes, bidding them embark and prepare
for rowing. But before they departed came Chiron down from the hills,
and his wife with him, carrying in her arms the little Achilles, that
Peleus, his father, might embrace him. And Chiron prayed aloud to the
gods that the heroes might have a safe return.

Thus did the ship _Argo_ depart upon her voyage. The heroes smote the
sea with their oars in time to the music of Orpheus, and drave her
on her course with a marvellous quickness. The tackling of the ship
glistened like gold in the sun, and the waves were parted, foaming on
either side of the prow, and their way was white behind them, plain to
see as the path upon a meadow.

So soon as they were clear of the harbor’s winding ways--and well did
Tiphys guide them, holding the polished tiller in his hands--they
set up the great mast in its socket, fastening it by ropes on either
side; and upon the mast they spread out the sail, setting it duly with
pulleys and sheets. Then, with the wind blowing fair behind them, they
sped forward; and Orpheus sang the while of Artemis; and the fishes
followed, leaping out of the sea about the ship, even as sheep when
they are fed to the full follow back the shepherd to the sheepfold as
he goes before them, making sweet music on his oaten pipe. Past the
rocks of Pelion they sped, and Sciathos and Magnessa; and when they
came to the tomb of Dolops, they drave their ship to the shore and did
sacrifice by the tomb. There they abode for two days, for the sea was
stormy; but on the third day they launched their ship and hoisted the
great sail. Whereupon to this day they call this place “The Launching
of the _Argo_.” Then as they sailed they saw the valleys of Ossa and
Olympus; all night the wind carried them on, and the next day there
appeared Athos, the great mountain of Thrace; so great is it that its
shadow falls on Myrina in Lemnos, though it be a half-day’s journey for
a fleet ship.

Then they came to Lemnos. There, but a year before, had been wrought a
dreadful deed; for the women had slain their husbands, aye, and every
male throughout the land, lest the children, being grown to manhood,
should avenge their fathers. Only Hypsipyle had spared the old man
Thoas, her father, hiding him in a cave by the sea, that she might
send him away alive. And now the women ploughed the fields, and donned
the armor of men; nevertheless, they watched ever in fear lest the
Thracians that dwelt on the shore over against them should come upon
them. And now, when they saw the _Argo_ and the band of heroes, they
sallied forth from their city, duly armed, with Hypsipyle their Queen
for their leader; for they thought that now indeed the Thracians were
come. Speechless they were for fear, for all their brave show of war.
But the heroes sent their herald to tell who they were, and whence they
had come, and whither they went. For that day, therefore, they abode on
the shore. But the Queen called the women to council; and when these
were gathered together, she rose in the midst, and said: “Let us give
gifts to these strangers, food and wine; but let them abide without the
walls, for we have done a dreadful deed, and it is not well that they
should know it. But if anyone have some better counsel, let her speak.”
Then Polyxo, that was nurse to the Queen, stood forth. Very old she
was; she halted upon her feet, she leant upon her staff; and four young
maidens, with long yellow hair, held her up. Yet could she scarce lift
up her head, so bowed she was with age; nevertheless, age had not tamed
her tongue. Thus she spake: “It is well, as saith the Queen, to send
gifts to these strangers. Yet, bethink you, my daughters, what will ye
do in the time to come? How will it fare with you, if these Thracians
come, or other enemies? When ye are old, how will ye live? Will the
oxen yoke themselves to the plough, or the harvests come without toil?
As for me, though hitherto the Fates have passed me by, I shall surely
die this year or the next, and escape from the evil to come. But what
will ye do, my daughters? Wherefore my counsel is that ye make these
men the partners of all that ye have.” And the whole assembly gave
their consent, and they sent Iphinoe as their herald to the heroes. And
when these had heard the words of the daughter of Lemnos, the thing
pleased them.

Then indeed had they dwelt in Lemnos to the end of their days, but
Hercules called them apart and said: “Did ye come hither, my friends,
to marry wives? Are there not maidens fair enough whom ye may wed at
home? Will ye be content to plough and sow and reap in Lemnos? Think
you that some god will put this fleece of gold into your hands while ye
tarry here?” So did he rebuke them; but they answered him not again,
nor dared so much as to lift their eyes from the ground. But the next
day they climbed into their ship, and ranged themselves in order on the
benches, and so departed. And after a while, the south wind blowing,
they entered the Hellespont, and passing through it, came to the sea
which men call the Propontis, and to a certain city of which Cyzicus
was king, and now men call it by his name. Here were they entertained
with all hospitality; for the King had been warned that if a ship of
strangers should come, he should deal kindly with them, if haply he
might so escape his fate. For his fate was this, that he should die by
the hands of a stranger. Wherefore he gave them great store of flesh
and wine. Now the next day some would climb the hill Dindymus, that
they might behold the sea on which they should sail; and some rowed the
_Argo_ to a more convenient haven. But there were in an island hard by
certain giants, of monstrous shape. Six hands had each of them,--two
such as other men have, and four strangely growing from their sides.
These sallied forth against the heroes, and would have blocked the
mouth of the haven with rocks, as men block a wild beast in a cavern.
But Hercules drew his bow against them, and slew many with arrows. And
the heroes, when they saw what had befallen, left their journey and
came to the help of their companions, and pursued the giants till they
had destroyed them. But Queen Heré had reared these giants that they
might do some harm to Hercules. After this the heroes set sail, and
all that day they sped onward on their course; but at nightfall the
wind blew contrary, and carried them back to the city of Cyzicus. Yet
they knew not whither they were come; neither did any of the men of
Cyzicus know the heroes for the darkness. Therefore they joined battle
as though they had been enemies; and Jason smote King Cyzicus on the
breast and slew him. Thus was his doom fulfilled. Many others also
were slain; and the men of Cyzicus fled before the heroes, and shut
themselves into their city. But when it was morning the heroes knew
what they had done in their ignorance, and lamented. Also they set up a
great tomb for the slain, and circled it thrice, clad in their armor,
and celebrated funeral games in the meadow hard by. But Clite, that was
the wife of Cyzicus, when she knew that her husband was dead, hanged
herself; and the gods changed her tears into a fountain which is yet
called Clite, after her name.

For twelve days the heroes tarried in this land, so stormy were the
winds; but in the twelfth night a kingfisher flew with a shrill cry
over the head of Jason as he slept; and Mopsus the seer knew what the
kingfisher said, and cried, “Let us build an altar to Cybele, the
mother of the gods, and do sacrifice to her. So shall we have an end of
these stormy winds.”

This therefore they did; and the next morning they departed. Quickly
they sped, so that not even the chariot of Poseidon could have
outstripped them. But towards the evening the wind blew more strongly,
and the waves arose. Then indeed did Hercules, as he toiled with all
his might in rowing, break his oar in the middle. One half he held in
his hands and fell therewith, but the other half the sea carried with
it. But when they were come to the land the people of Mysia entertained
them with hospitality. And the next day Hercules went into the woods,
seeking a pine-tree for an oar. And when he had found one that had but
few branches or leaves upon it, but was tall and straight as a poplar,
he laid his bow and his arrows and his lion-skin also on the ground,
and first he smote the pine-tree with his club and loosened it, and
then put his hands about the stem, and tare it by the roots from the
earth, and so went back to the ship bearing it on his shoulders.

But in the meanwhile the youth Hylas had gone forth with his pitcher to
fetch water from a spring; for he was page to Hercules, and would have
all things ready for him against his coming back. Now all the Nymphs of
the land, whether they dwelt in the water or on the hills, were wont to
assemble at this fountain. And one of these saw the youth, how fair he
was, for the moon was at her full and shone upon him as he went, and
she loved him in her heart. And when the youth dipped his pitcher into
the spring to fill it, she threw her arms about his neck and drew him
down, and he fell into the fountain, but called aloud on Hercules as he
fell. Now one of the heroes heard the cry of the youth, and hastened to
the place, but found nothing. But as he returned from out of the wood,
for he feared lest some wild beast or enemy should assail him, he met
Hercules, and spake, saying, “These are sad tidings that I bring thee.
For Hylas is gone to the spring and hath not returned, and either some
beast hath slain him, or robbers have carried him away.” So all that
night Hercules wandered through the wood seeking for the youth, even as
a bull which some gad-fly stings rusheth over the fields nor resteth
anywhere. So Hercules hastened hither and thither, seeking for the
youth, and calling him by his name, but found him not.

When it was now day, Tiphys, the helmsman, bade them depart, for that
the wind favored them. But after a while they found that they had left
the best of their company behind them unwittingly; and then arose great
strife and contention among them. Then spake Telamon in his wrath:
“Truly this is well, that we have left our bravest behind us! Thine
is this counsel, O Jason, that thy glory might not be shadowed by his
glory in the land of Greece, if so be that the gods shall bring us
back.” And he would have leapt on Tiphys, the helmsman, only the two
sons of Boreas held him back; for which deed they suffered afterwards,
seeing that Hercules slew them both as they returned from the funeral
games of Pelias, because they had hindered the heroes from seeking for
him. But in the midst of their anger there appeared to them the sea-god
Glaucus. From the midst of the waves he lifted his shaggy head and
breast, and laid hold of the ship, and spake: “Why do ye seek to take
Hercules to the land of the Colchians against the will of Zeus? For it
is his doom that he should fulfil his previous toils for Eurystheus,
and afterwards be numbered with the gods. And as for Polyphemus, it is
his fate to build a city in the land of the Mysians. Neither mourn ye
for Hylas, seeing that the Nymph of the fountain hath taken him for her
husband.” And when the god had so spoken he sank again into the sea,
and was hidden from their sight. Then said Telamon to Jason, clasping
him by the hand, “Pardon me, son of Æson, if I have wronged thee, and
be not wroth for my hasty words. For indeed a great sorrow drave me to
speak, and now let us be friends as before.” To him answered Jason,
“Thy words indeed were harsh when thou saidst that I had betrayed my
friend, yet I bear no anger for them. For thy wrath was not for cattle
or gold, but for a man whom thou lovest. And, indeed, I would have thee
contend with me yet again for a like cause, if such should arise.” So
Telamon and Jason were made friends. And all that day and all that
night the wind blew strong; but in the morning there was a calm; yet
the heroes plied their oars, and at sunset they drave their ship on to
the shore.


Now the land whereunto they were come was the land of the Bebryces,
whose King was one Amycus, the son of Poseidon. No man was more
arrogant than he, for he made it a law that no stranger should depart
from the land before he had made trial of him in boxing; and thus had
he slain many. And coming down to the ship, when he had inquired of
them the cause of their journey, he spake, saying, “Hearken to me,
ye wanderers of the sea; no man cometh to the land of the Bebryces
but he must stand up against me in a fight of boxers. Choose me out,
therefore, the best of your company, and set him to fight with me
here; and if not, I will compel you.” But the heroes were very wroth
when they heard these words, and Pollux more than all. Wherefore
he stood forth before his fellows, and said, “Talk not to us of
compulsion. We will follow this custom of thine. Lo, I will meet thee
myself.” Then Amycus glared at him, even as a lion upon the hill glares
at the man that wounded him at the first, caring not for the others
that gird him about. Then Pollux laid aside his mantle, which one of
the daughters of Lemnos had given him; and Amycus also stripped off
his cloak, and put aside the great shepherd’s crook made of a wild
olive tree, that he bare. Very diverse were they to behold, for the
King was like to Typhœus, or one of the giants, the sons of Earth; but
Pollux was like a star of Heaven, so fair he was. And he tried his
hands, whether they were supple as of old, or haply were grown stiff
with toiling at the oar. But Amycus stood still, looking upon Pollux
as thirsting for his blood. Then Lycoreus, the King’s companion, threw
down at Pollux’s feet two pair of gauntlets covered with blood, and
stiff, and marvellously hard. And Amycus said, “Take which thou wilt,
stranger, that thou blame me not hereafter, and fit them to thine
hands. So haply shalt thou learn that I can fell an ox or wound a man’s
cheek to bleeding.” But Pollux answered him nothing, but smiled and
took the gauntlets that lay nearest. Then came Castor and Talaus, and
bound the gauntlets upon him, and bade him be of good courage. But
Aretus and Orniptus bound them for King Amycus, and knew not that they
should never bind them for him any more. Then the two stood up against
each other. And Amycus came on as a wave of the sea comes upon a ship;
which yet, by the skilful handling of the pilot, escapes from its
might. Then did the King follow hard after Pollux, suffering him not to
rest; but he, so skilful was he, escaped ever without a wound, for he
knew wherein lay the strength of the King, and wherein also he failed.
So the two strove together, and the sounds of their strokes was as the
sound of shipwrights that build a ship. And after awhile they rested,
wiping the sweat from their faces. Then they joined battle again, as
bulls that fight for the mastery. But at the last Amycus, rising as
one that fells an ox, smote with all his might. But Pollux leapt from
under the blow, turning his head aside; yet did the King’s arm graze
his shoulder. Then he reached forward with his knee by the knee of the
King, and smote him with all his might under the ear; and the giant
fell to the earth with a groan, and all the heroes set up a shout when
they saw it.

But the Bebryces were wroth to see that their King was slain, and they
set themselves with their clubs and hunting-spears against Pollux; but
the heroes drew their swords and stood by him. Then the battle waxed
fierce, and many of the Bebryces were slain, and of the heroes certain
were wounded; but at the last Ancæus and the two sons of Æacus and
Jason rushed upon the enemy and scattered them. After this they feasted
on the shore; and the next day they put into their ships so much of the
spoil of the land as they would, and so departed; and on the morrow
they came to the land of Phineus, the son of Agenor. Now Phineus, being
skilled in divination beyond all other men, revealed to men all that
Zeus prepared to do; for which reason the god smote him with old age
and with blindness, and also sent the plague of the Harpies upon him,
which, coming down suddenly upon him as he sat at the banquet, snatched
away the meat from the table. And if they left somewhat, it stank so
foully that a man might not touch it.

When Phineus heard that the heroes were come, he was glad, and came
forth to meet them. Very feeble was he with old age and hunger; and
when he saw them he said, “Welcome, ye heroes! Right glad I am to see
you, for I know by the inspiration of Apollo that there shall come
to this land the two sons of Boreas, who shall deliver me from this
plague that I endure.” And he told them what things he suffered from
the Harpies. Then Zetes laid hold of the old man’s hand, and said, “We
pity thee, son of Agenor, and will help thee if it may be; but first
thou must swear that we shall not anger the gods thereby; for, as thou
knowest, these evils have come upon thee because thou hast revealed
their will to men too plainly.” And the old man swore that the thing
was pleasing to the gods. Then they prepared a banquet for him, and as
soon as the old man had reached his hand to the food, of a sudden the
Harpies flew down, as lightning cometh out of the clouds, and carried
off the meat. But the two sons of Boreas followed hard after them, and
Zeus gave them strength; otherwise of a truth they had not caught them,
for the winds themselves were not more fleet. And when they had caught
them they would have slain them, only Iris, the messenger of Zeus, came
down and said, “Slay not the Harpies, that are the hounds of Zeus. I
will swear to you that they shall not come any more to the dwelling of
Phineus, the son of Agenor.” So they stayed from slaying them. After
this Phineus and the heroes feasted together, and the King said, “I
will expound to you things to come, yet so much only as the gods will
have me tell; for they will not that men should know all things, but
that they should yet need counsel and help. When ye have departed
from this land ye shall see certain rocks, between the which ye must
needs pass. Do ye therefore first send a dove before you, and if she
pass through safely then may ye also follow. And row with all your
might, for your hands rather than your prayers shall deliver you. But
if the dove perish, then do ye go back, for it is not the will of the
gods that ye should go further. After this ye shall see many places,
as Helica, and the river of Halys, and the land of the Chalybes, the
workers of iron, and at the last shall come to the river of Phasis,
whereby ye shall see the town of Æætes and the grove of Æa, where the
fleece of gold hangeth even on the top of a beech tree, and the dragon,
a terrible monster to behold, watcheth it with eyes that turn every
way.” Then were the heroes much dismayed; but when Jason would have
questioned him further, he said, “Seek ye for the help of Aphrodite,
for the victory will be of her. And now ask me no more.” And when he
had ended his words, the two sons of Boreas came back, panting from
their course, and told what things they had done. And the next morning
many were gathered together to hear from him of things to come, among
whom was a certain Parœbius, whom the King had delivered from great
trouble; for the man’s father had cut down an oak upon the mountains,
not heeding the prayers of the Nymph that dwelt therein that he should
spare it, for which reason the Nymph sent all manner of evil upon him
and his children after him. Nor did they know the cause till Phineus
expounded it to them.

After this they departed, and forgot not to take with them a dove,
which Euphemus held bound to his hand by a cord; and Athene helped
them on their way. And when they came to the rocks whereof Phineus had
spoken, Euphemus let fly the dove, and it passed through, yet did the
rocks, clashing together, touch the last feather of her tail. Then
Tiphys shouted to them that they should row with all their might, for
the rocks had parted again; but as they rowed a great terror came upon
them, for they saw destruction hanging over them; and a great wave,
like to a mountain, rose up against them. And when they saw it they
turned their heads away, thinking it must overwhelm them; but Tiphys
turned the helm, and the wave passed under the keel, lifting up the
_Argo_ to the top of the rocks. Then said Euphemus, “Row ye with all
your might.” And the heroes rowed till the stout oars were bent as
bows. Athene, also, with one hand kept the ship from the rocks, and
with the other drave it forward; and the rocks clashed together behind
it, nor were divided any more; for it was the will of the gods that
this should be so when the ship should pass through safely. But the
heroes breathed again, being delivered from death. And Tiphys cried,
“Fear not, son of Æson, for surely Athene hath delivered us, and now
all things will be easy to thee, and thou wilt accomplish the command
of the King.” But Jason spoke, “Nay, my friend. Would that I had died
before I took this task in hand, for there are perils by sea and perils
by land, and I have no rest day or night. For myself I fear not, but
for these, my companions, lest I should not take them back in safety.”
This he said, for he would try the temper of the heroes; and when they
cried out that they feared not, he was glad at heart.

So the heroes passed on their way till they came to the land of the
Mariandyni, of whom one Lycus was king. Here his doom came upon Idmon,
the seer, that he should perish; for though he was a prophet, yet his
prophecy availed him not against fate. Now there chanced to be in the
marsh a great boar, that lay wallowing in the mud. Great white tusks
had he, and even the Nymphs feared him. And as Idmon walked by the
river side, the boar rushed on him of a sudden out of the reeds, and
smote him on the thigh with his tusk, making a great wound. The hero
fell not, indeed, but shouted aloud; and his companions ran thither at
his voice. And first Peleus cast his javelin at the beast, but missed
his aim; and afterwards Idas smote him, and he gnashed his teeth upon
the spear. Then the heroes carried back their companion to the ship,
but he died even as they carried him. Then they abode in that place for
three days, and on the fourth they made a great funeral for him; and
Lycus and his people came also to do honor to the dead man. But while
they mourned for him it befell that Tiphys, the pilot, died also; for
he could not endure his great sorrow for his companion. So they buried
Tiphys also; and for each they built a great tomb, to be a memorial to
them who should come after.

Sore dismayed were the heroes that their helmsman was dead, and they
sat a long time in silence, and neither ate nor drank. Then Heré put
courage into the heart of Ancæus, and he spake to Peleus, saying, “Is
it well, son of Æacus, to abide here in the land of strangers? Here am
I that know more of seamanship than of war, and others also as skilful;
nor should we suffer loss if we set one of them at the helm.” Then
spake Peleus in the midst of the heroes, “Why waste we time in sorrow,
my friends? There are skilful helmsmen; many are in this company, of
whom let us choose us out the best.” But Jason answered, “If there be
such, why sit they here with the rest lamenting? I fear me much that we
shall neither see the city of Æætes nor yet the land of Greece.” But
Ancæus stood forth, saying that he would be their helmsman; so also did
Euphemus and other two; but the heroes chose Ancæus.

So on the morning of the twelfth day they set sail, and a strong
west wind blew from behind and carried them quickly over the sea.
But when they came to the tomb of Sthenelus they beheld a marvellous
sight. Now this Sthenelus was companion to Hercules in battling with
the Amazons, and had been wounded with an arrow, and so died. And he
besought Persephone, that is Queen of the dead, that he might look upon
the heroes; and when she consented, he stood upon the top of his tomb
equipped as one that went forth to battle, with a fair four-crested
helmet on his head. Much did the heroes marvel to behold him. But
Mopsus, the seer, bade them tarry and make offerings to the dead.
Wherefore they landed and built an altar, and offered sacrifices, and
Orpheus also dedicated his harp for a gift. After this they departed,
and sailed by the river of Parthenius, which is by interpretation the
Virgin River; so men call it, because Artemis the Virgin, the daughter
of Latona, is wont to bathe therein when she is weary with hunting.
Also they passed the river of Thermodon, and tarried not, for such was
the will of Zeus, that they might not join battle with the Amazons
who dwelt in these parts, a fierce race and delighting in war. Surely
not without much bloodshed and damage to both such battle had been.
The next day they came to the land of the Chalybes. These care not to
plough the land with oxen, or to plant seed or to reap harvests; nor
have they flocks or herds; but they dig iron out of the earth, and
change it with other men for food. Never doth morning come, but it
seeth them at their toil, where they labor without ceasing in the midst
of reek and smoke. But after the Chalybes they came to the Mossyni, a
strange folk that are contrary to other men, doing abroad what others
do at home, and at home what others do abroad. Their king also sitteth
all day on his throne, and judgeth his people; nor, indeed, is he to
be envied for all his royal state, seeing that if he err at all in
his judgment the people shut him in prison till he die of hunger.
Next they came to the island of Aretias, wherefrom as they sailed in
the twilight there came a great bird flying over them, and shooting a
sharp-pointed feather from its wing. And the feather struck Oïleus on
his left shoulder and wounded him, so that he dropped the oar from his
hand. After this came other like birds also; and though the heroes shot
at them with arrows and slew certain of them, yet could they not drive
them away. Then said Amphidamas to his companions: “We are come to the
island of Aretias, and I judge that we shall not prevail over these
birds with our arrows. For Hercules prevailed not thus over the birds
of the Lake Stymphalus, as I saw with my own eyes. Do ye, therefore,
as I bid you. Put ye on your helmets, and let some of you row with the
oars, and let the rest so order their spears and their shields that
they may be a covering to the ship. Shout also with all your might; and
when ye shall be come nigh unto the island, beat upon your shields, and
make all the noise that ye may.” And the heroes did so, and covered the
ship, even as a house is covered from the rain by its roof; and they
shouted and beat upon their shields; nor did they suffer further damage
from the birds.

Now it chanced in these days that the sons of Phrixus sailed from the
land of King Æætes to the city of Orchomenus, that they might get for
themselves the possessions of their father. And coming near to this
same island of Aretias, a mighty wind from the north brake their ship;
and the men, being four in number, laid hold of a beam, and so were
driven about by the waves, being in great peril of death, till, at the
last, they were cast upon the shore of the island. Therefore, when the
_Argo_ came near, one of them spake to the heroes, saying, “We entreat
you, whosoever ye be, to help us, seeing that the waves have broken our
ship. Give us, I pray you, some clothing and a morsel of food.” Then
said Jason, “Tell us who you are, and whence ye are come, and whither
ye go.” Then the man made answer, “Doubtless ye have heard how Phrixus
came to the city of King Æætes on a ram with the fleece of gold, and
how the fleece hangeth to this day on a tree near to the city; how
the King gave to this Phrixus his daughter Chalciope in marriage; and
we are the children of these two. And our father being newly dead, we
sailed to Orchomenus that we might get for ourselves the possessions of
Athamas, our grandfather; for so Phrixus, our father, commanded us.”

The heroes were right glad of this meeting, and Jason made answer,
“Ye are my kinsmen, for Cretheus and Athamas were brothers, and I am
grandson to Cretheus; and I sail with these my comrades to the city of
King Æætes. But of these things we will talk hereafter. But now we will
give you what ye need.” So he gave them clothing, and afterwards they
did sacrifice in the Temple of Ares that was hard by, and there feasted
together. And after the feast Jason spake, saying, “It is manifest that
Zeus hath a care both for you and for us; for us he hath brought safely
through many perils to this place, and you he suffered not to perish in
the sea. Ye shall sail hereafter in this ship whithersoever ye will;
but now do ye help us in our quest, for we are come from the land of
Greece seeking the fleece of gold, and we would gladly have you for our

But the men were sore dismayed to hear these words, knowing what
manner of man King Æætes was. And he who had spoken at the first made
answer, “O my friends, ye shall have such help as we can give you. But
know that Æætes is fierce and savage beyond all other men, and that
your voyage is perilous. Men say that he is of the race of the Sun, and
he is mighty in battle as Ares himself. Nor will it be an easy thing to
carry away the fleece, for a dragon watcheth it continually, and this
dragon cannot be slain, and it sleepeth not.” Then many of the heroes,
when they heard these words, grew pale. But Peleus spake out boldly:
“Fear not, my friend; we lack not strength to meet King Æætes in
battle, if need be, for we are well used to war, and are, for the most
part, of the race of the gods. Wherefore, if the King yield us not the
fleece peaceably, I judge that his Colchians shall not help him.”

After this the heroes slept. And the next day they departed, and
sailing with a favorable wind, came near to the further end of the
Euxine Sea; thence they could see the mountains of Caucasus, whereto
the Titan Prometheus is bound. And indeed in the evening they beheld
the great vulture which feedeth on his liver flying above their ship;
and after a while they heard the Titan groaning with the bitterness of
his pain, and then again the vulture returning by the same way when
his feast was ended. That night, by skilful guidance of the sons of
Phrixus, they came to the river of Phasis, and straightway they lowered
the sails and the yardarms, and afterwards the mast, and so entered the
river. And on their left hand was the mountain of Caucasus and the city
of Æætes, and on the right the oak grove wherein the dragon watched
continually the fleece of gold. And Jason poured a libation of wine
from a cup of gold into the river, praying to the gods of the land and
to the spirits of the dead heroes that they should help them in their
quest. And when their prayers were ended they fastened the ship with
anchors under cover of a wood that was hard by, and so slept.


But while the heroes lay hidden among the reeds of the river, Heré
and Athene sought a chamber where they might hold counsel apart from
the other gods. And Heré first spake, saying, “Come now, daughter of
Zeus, consider by what craft or device we may bring it to pass that the
heroes may carry back the fleece of gold to the land of Greece.” Then
Athene made answer, “That which thou askest, O Heré, I had already in
my thoughts; but though I have weighed many counsels, yet have I not
found one that would serve this purpose.” Then said Heré, “Come, let
us go to Aphrodite, and when we have found her let us persuade her to
command her son, if only he will hearken to her words, that he smite
the daughter of King Æætes with an arrow, that she may love Prince
Jason, for she is skilful in magic and drugs.” This counsel pleased
Athene mightily, and she said, “I know not anything of these matters,
nor can I say what may work love in a maiden’s heart. Yet thy counsel
pleaseth me; only when we are come to Aphrodite do thou speak for us

So the two departed, and came to the palace of Aphrodite, which her
husband, the halting god, had wrought for her when he first took her
to wife, and they stood in the porch. Now Hephæstes was gone to his
workshop, and the goddess sat alone over against the door; and she
was combing her hair with a comb of gold, and weaving her tresses. But
when she saw the two she rose from her seat, and gave them welcome, and
spake, saying, “What is your errand, that ye are come now after these
many years?”

To her Heré made answer, “We are in trouble, O Queen, for Jason and
they that are with him are come to the river of Phasis, seeking the
fleece of gold; and I fear for him. Yet would I serve him with all my
strength, on whatever errand he might go, for he hath always honored
me with sacrifices; and besides he did me good service at the river
of Anaurus. For the mountains were white with snow, and the streams
came down from the heights, and the river was swollen. And Jason came
from his hunting, and when he saw me he had pity on me, for I had made
myself like to an old woman, and he carried me over the river.”

Then said Aphrodite, “It were ill done of me were I to deny such help
as these weak hands can give.”

And Heré spake again, “We want no help of hands, be they weak or
strong. Only bid thy son smite with his arrows the daughter of King
Æætes, for surely if she be willing to help him he will easily carry
away the fleece of gold, and so come safe to Iolcos.”

But Aphrodite made answer, “Surely he will hearken to you rather than
to me. For to you, shameless though he be, he must needs pay some
reverence; but me he heedeth not at all. I had well-nigh broken in my
wrath his arrows and his bows.”

And when the goddesses laughed, she spake again, saying, “Yea, I know
that others laugh at my sorrows. But if ye are urgent for this thing, I
will persuade him, and I doubt not but that he will hearken to me.”

So the three went together to the halls of Olympus. And they found
Eros playing at dice with Ganymede, that was the cupbearer of Zeus;
and he laughed aloud, for he had won at his playing, but the other was
angry, having lost. And when Aphrodite saw him, she said, “Hast thou
defrauded him, after thy wont, that thou laughest? But come, do now
what I shall tell thee, and thou shalt have a fair plaything of Zeus
that his nurse Adrastea made for him, a ball with two bands of gold
about it; and none can see the seams of it; and when thou throwest it
it will glitter like a star. And the thing is this: that thou make the
maiden daughter of King Æætes to love Jason; and this thou must do
without delay, or it profiteth nothing.”

Then cried Eros, “Give me the ball straightway.” But she caught him in
her arms and kissed him, and said, “I will not deceive thee, only do my
bidding.” Then he took up his bow and passed his quiver on his back,
and went his way to the land of Colchis.

Meanwhile Jason spoke to the heroes, “Hearken now, and I will unfold
my counsel. I will go to the hall of Æætes, and the sons of Phrixus
with me, and two heroes besides; and first I will make trial of him,
whether he will yield the fleece of gold willingly, for it would be ill
to seek to take it by force till we have seen what words can do.” To
this the heroes agreed; wherefore Jason departed, taking with him the
sons of Phrixus, and Telamon and Augeas; and as they went Heré threw a
mist about them till they had passed through the city, but when they
came to the palace of the King, then was the mist scattered; and they
stood in the porch marvelling at the things which they saw, even the
mighty gates, and the walls set with pillars, and the cornice of brass
above them. Round about the threshold grew great vines, and under the
vines four fountains that ceased not to flow, whereof one was of milk,
and one of wine, and one of sweet-smelling olive-oil, and of water the
fourth; and the water was hot in the wintertide, and as cold as ice in
the summer. In the midst stood the hall, with chambers on either side,
two chambers being loftier than the rest, in one whereof dwelt the King
and his wife, and in the other Absyrtus his son, whom the Colchians
also called Phaeton, because he excelled all his equals of age. Now
two of the chambers were of the King’s daughters, Chalciope and Medea;
and it chanced that Medea was now going to the chamber of her sister.
Meanwhile came Eros unseen through the air, and stood behind a pillar
in the porch, and bent his bow, fitting to it an arrow, the sharpest
of all his quiver. And he came lightly into the hall, following close
upon Jason, and drew his bow with both his hands, and shot the arrow
at Medea, and smote her under the heart. And when he had so done he
laughed, and departed from the palace. Then the servants prepared a
meal for the sons of Phrixus and for Jason. And when they had bathed
they sat down, and ate, and drank, and were merry.

Jason and the sons of Phrixus having eaten well, the King inquired
of his grandsons, saying, “What brings you back? Did some misfortune
overtake you on your journey? Surely it was not of my bidding that ye
went; for I knew how perilous was the way, having seen it from the
chariot of the Sun, my father, when he took Circé, my sister, to the
land of Hesperia. But tell me now what befell you, and who are these
your companions?” Then Argus made answer, “Our ship was broken and
we scarcely were saved; and as for these men, they gave us food and
raiment, treating us kindly when they heard thy name and the name of
Phrixus our father; and they are come for the fleece of gold, for they
say that the wrath of Zeus may not be turned away from the land of
Greece till this be brought back. Never was such ship as theirs, for
Athene built it; neither can storm break it, and it is swift alike
with sails or with oars; and for a crew it hath all the heroes of the
land of Greece. But their chief thinketh not to take the fleece by
force, but will make thee due return, subduing under thee thy enemies,
the Sauromatæ. And if thou wouldst hear his name, know that it is
Jason, grandson to King Cretheus, whose brother was Athamas, father to
Phrixus, and they that are with him are Augeas and Telamon.”

But the King was very wroth when he heard these words, and cried, “Get
you out of my sight! Ye are not come for the fleece, but to spy out the
land, that ye may possess my kingdom. Surely, had ye not eaten at my
table, I had cut out your tongues and lopped your hands.”

Then Telamon was minded to give the King a fierce answer, but Jason
held him back, and spake softly, “’Tis not as thou thinkest, O King; we
do not desire thy kingdom, but are coming at the bidding of the gods.
Also for what we seek we will make thee due recompense, subduing under
thee the Sauromatæ, or whomsoever thou wilt.”

Then the King doubted awhile whether he should not fall on them
straightway with the sword, but afterwards spake again, “If ye be in
truth of the race of the gods, I will give you the fleece, for I grudge
nothing to brave men. But first I must make trial of your strength.
There feed in the plain of Ares two bulls, having hoofs of brass and
breathing fire from their nostrils. With these I plough the field of
Ares, four acres and more; and, having ploughed it, I sow it with
seed--not, indeed, with the seed of corn, but with the teeth of a
serpent; and when these have sprung up into armed men, I slay the men
and so finish my harvest. In the morning I yoke the bulls, and in the
evening I rest from my reaping. And if ye will do this, ye shall have
the fleece of gold; but if not, ye shall not have it.”

Then the heroes stood for a while, with their eyes cast upon the
ground, speechless, for they knew not what they should say. But
afterwards Jason spake, “I will do this thing, even if I die for it.”
And the King answered, “If ye hold back from the ploughing or the
reaping it shall be the worse for you.” Then Jason and his companions
departed from the palace; and Medea looked upon Jason, as he went,
from behind her veil, and loved him. And when he was gone she thought
to herself of his face, and of the garments wherewith he was clothed,
and of the words which he had spoken. But when the heroes were now
without the city, Argus spake to Jason saying, “There is a maiden,
the priestess of Hecate, that is skilled in all manner of witchcraft;
and, if she be willing to help you, ye need not fear this task. Only I
doubt me much whether I shall prevail with her. Nevertheless, if thou
art willing, I will speak with my mother, who is her sister, of the
matter.” And Jason said, “Speak to thy mother, if thou wilt; but, if
we must trust in women, there is little hope of our return.” Then they
went back to the ship to the rest of the heroes, and told to them the
words of the King. And for a while they sat speechless and sad, for
the thing seemed greater than they could do. But then rose up Peleus,
and cried, “If thou wilt give thyself to this task, son of Æson, it
is well; but if not, and if there be none other of this company that
will adventure upon it, yet will I not shrink from it, for a man can
but die.” And Telamon and the sons of Tyndarus, and Meleager the son
of Œneus, said that they would follow him. Then said Argus, “This can
ye do, my friends, if there be no other way. But hearken to me: abide
ye yet in your ship, for there is a maiden in the palace of the King
whom Hecate hath taught to use all the drugs that are in the earth, so
that she can quench fire, and stay winds, and turn the stars from their
courses. Maybe my mother will persuade her that she help you. If this
counsel please you, I will go to her straightway.”

And as he spake, the birds gave a favorable sign, for a dove that fled
from a hawk fell into the bosom of Jason; and the hawk fell upon the
hinder part of the ship. And when Mopsus saw it he prophesied saying,
“Ye must make your supplication to the maiden. Nor do I doubt that she
will hearken to you; for did not Phrixus prophesy that our help should
be in Aphrodite? And did ye not see how the dove that is her bird hath
escaped from death?” And all the heroes gave heed to his words; but
Idas was very wroth, and cried with a terrible voice, “Will ye look at
doves and hawks, and turn back from battle? Out on you, that ye think
to cheat maidens with words, rather than to trust in your spears!” But
Jason said, “We will send Argus as he hath said. Only we will not lie
hidden here, as if we were afraid, but will go forth.” So the heroes
brought forth the ship.

Meanwhile, King Æætes held a council of the Colchians, to whom he said,
“So soon as the oxen have killed, as surely they will kill, the man
who shall seek to yoke them, then will I burn these fellows with their
ship. For, verily, I had not received Phrixus with hospitality, but
for the commands of Zeus; but as for these robbers, they shall not go

But while he yet spake, Argus went to the palace to his mother
Chalciope, and besought her that she should persuade her sister Medea
to help the heroes. And this the woman had herself thought to do; only
she feared the anger of her father. And as they talked, it befell that
Medea dreamed a dream, for she had fallen asleep for weariness. And in
her dream she yoked the bulls right easily; but her father would not
fulfil his promise, saying that he had given this task not to maidens
but to men; and hereupon there arose great strife; but she took part
with the strangers, and her parents cried shame upon her. After this
she awoke, and leapt in great fear from her bed, saying to herself, “I
fear me much lest this coming of the heroes should be the beginning of
great sorrows. As for this Jason, let him wed a maiden of his own race;
but I will keep my unmarried state, and abide in my father’s house;
yet, if my sister need help for her sons, I will not stand aloof.” Then
she made as if she would seek her sister, standing barefoot on the
threshold of her chamber, yet went not, for shame. Thrice she essayed
to go, and thrice she returned, for love drove her on, as shame kept
her back; but one of her maidens spied her, and told the thing to her
sister Chalciope. And Chalciope came to her and took her by the hand,
saying, “Why weepest thou, Medea? Dost thou fear the wrath of thy
father? As for me, would that I had perished before I saw this day!”
And after long silence Medea made answer, speaking craftily, for love
so taught her to speak, “My sister, I am troubled for thy sons, lest
thy father slay them with these strangers; for, verily, I have seen
terrible dreams in my sleep.” So she spake, for she would have her
sister pray to her for help for her sons. And when Chalciope heard
these words she cried aloud, “O my sister, I beseech thee by the gods,
and by thy father and mother, that thou help us in our strait. For,
verily, if thou help us not, I will haunt thee as a Fury.” Then the two
lifted up their voices together and wept. But at the last Chalciope
said, “Wilt thou not, for my children’s sake, give help to this
stranger? Verily, my son Argus is come to beg this thing of me, and he
is even now in my chamber.” When Medea heard these words she was glad
at heart, and said, “My sister, I will surely help thy sons, for they
are as brothers to me, and thou as my mother. Wherefore, so soon as it
is dark, I will carry to the temple of Hecate such drugs as shall tame
these oxen.” Then Chalciope went to her chamber, and told the tidings
to her son that Medea would help them; but Medea sat alone and lamented
over herself, because she was minded to betray her father to do service
to a stranger. Nor did she sleep when night came and all the world was
at rest, doubting whether she should do this thing or no, and crying,
“Would that Artemis had slain me with her arrows before this stranger
came to the land!” And she rose from her bed, and looked into the chest
wherein her drugs were stored, some being good and some evil. And now
she was minded to take from it some deadly thing that she might end
herewith her troubles, but there came upon her a great horror at death,
for she thought of all the joys that the living possess, but the dead
lose forever; and also, when she regarded her face in the glass, she
seemed to herself fairer to look upon than before.

But in the morning she arose and adorned herself, and put a white veil
about her head. Then she bade her maidens--twelve she had of like
age with herself--to yoke the mules to her chariot, that she might
go to the temple of Hecate. And while they yoked them, she took from
the chest the medicine that is called the _Medicine of Prometheus_,
wherewith if a man anoint himself, water shall not hurt him, nor fire
burn. This cometh, men say, from a certain flower which grew from the
blood of Prometheus when it dropped from the vulture’s beak, and the
flower is of the color saffron, having a root like to flesh that is
newly cut, but the juice of the root is black. Then she climbed into
the chariot, and a maiden stood on either side, but she took the reins
and the whip, and drove the horses through the city, and the other
maidens ran behind, laying their hands on the chariot; and the people
made way before them as they went.

And when they were come to the temple, Medea said to her maidens,
“Argus and his brethren have besought me to help this stranger in his
task, and I made as if I hearkened to their words. But the thing that I
am minded to do is this: I will give him some medicine indeed, but it
shall not be that which he needs, and we will divide his gifts between
us. And now he cometh to have speech with me; do ye, therefore, depart,
and leave us alone.” And the counsel pleased the maidens well.

Now when Jason went his way to the temple, Argus and Mopsus, the
soothsayer, were with him; and as they went Mopsus heard the speech of
a raven that said, “Verily the prophet is a fool; if he knew what all
men know, will a maid speak kind words to a youth if his companions
be with us?” And Mopsus laughed when he heard it, and spake to Jason
saying, “Go now to the temple of Hecate, and Aphrodite will help thee,
but go alone; and I and Argus will abide where we are.” So Jason went
forward, and Medea saw him as he came, very beautiful and bright to
behold, even as the star Sirius, when it riseth from the sea. But when
she saw him her eyes were darkened with fear, and her cheeks burned
with a blush, and her knees failed under her. But when Jason saw how
she was troubled, he spake softly to her: “Fear me not, lady, for I am
not of those who speak the thing that is false; but listen to my words,
and give me this medicine that shall strengthen me for my work, as thou
hast promised to Chalciope, thy sister. Verily thou shalt not miss thy
reward. For thou shalt be famous in the land of Greece; and all the
heroes shall tell of thee, and their wives and mothers, who now sit
lamenting upon the shore for those who are far away. Did not Ariadne
help King Theseus, and the gods loved her for her kindness, making her
a star in the heavens? So shalt thou be loved of the gods, if thou wilt
save this famous company of heroes. And, indeed, thou seemest to be
both wise and of a kindly heart.”

And when the maiden heard these words, she took the medicine from her
bosom and gave it to Jason, who took it with great gladness of heart.
Then spake Medea: “Hear, now, O Prince, what thou must do, so soon as
my father shall give thee the serpent’s teeth to sow. Wait till it be
midnight; but have no companion with thee. Then dig a trench that shall
be round of form; and build in it a pile of wood, and slay on it a ewe
sheep, and pour over the sheep a libation of honey to Queen Hecate.
After this, depart from the place, and turn not at any sound, or the
barking of dogs. But in the morning thou shalt anoint thyself with the
medicine; and it shall give thee the strength of the gods. Anoint also
thy spear and thy shield. So the spears of the giants shall not harm
thee, nor the fire that the bulls shall breathe. But remember that
this strength endureth for the day only; wherefore slack not thy hand,
but finish thy work. And I will tell thee another thing that shall be
for thy help. So soon as the giants shall begin to spring up from the
furrows wherein thou shalt have sown the teeth, throw secretly among
them a great stone; and it shall come to pass that they will fall upon
each other and perish by their own hands. So wilt thou carry away the
fleece of gold to the land of Greece, departing when it shall please
thee to go.” And when she had spoken these words she wept, thinking
how he would depart and leave her. Then she spake again: “When thou
art come to thy home, remember, I pray thee, Medea, even as I shall
remember thee; and tell me whither thou art minded to go.”

Then Jason made answer, “Surely, lady, I shall not cease to think of
thee if only I return safe to my native country. And if thou wouldst
fain hear what manner of land it is, know that it is girded about
with the hills and feedeth many sheep. The name of him that founded
the kingdom is Deucalion, and the name of the city is Iolcos.” And
Medea said, “I would that where thou shalt be there could come some
tidings of thee by bird of the air or the like; or that the winds could
carry me thither, that I may know for a certainty that thou hast not
forgotten me.” Then Jason said, “O lady, if thou wilt come to that
land, surely all shall honor thee, and thou shalt be my wife, neither
shall anything but death only divide us twain.” And when the maiden
heard these words she stood divided between fear and love. But Jason
said, “Surely now the sun is setting, and it is time to go back, lest
some stranger come upon us.” So Medea went back to the city, and Jason
to the heroes, to whom he showed the medicine that the maiden had given
him. And they all rejoiced, save Idas only, who sat apart in great

The next day Jason sent Telamon and another to fetch from the King the
serpent’s teeth; and the King gave them gladly, for he thought that if
Jason should yoke the oxen, yet he should not overcome the giants in
battle. And when the heroes slept, Jason went alone and did as Medea
had commanded him. And when he had finished the sacrifice he departed;
and Queen Hecate came, and there was a great shaking of the earth and a
barking of dogs. But Jason looked not behind him, but departed to the

On the morrow King Æætes armed him for the battle, giving him a
breastplate which Ares had given to him, and a helmet of gold with
four crests, and a shield of bull’s hide, many folds thick, and a
spear such as none of the others but Hercules only could have borne.
And Jason anointed them with the medicine; which when he had done, all
the heroes made trial of the arms, but did them no damage; and when
Idas smote with his sword on the butt of the spear, it bounded back as
from an anvil. After this he anointed himself with the medicine, and
it was as if his strength had been multiplied tenfold. Afterwards he
took to himself a helmet and a sword, and so went forth to his labor.
And there lay ready to his hand a brazen yoke of the bulls, and a great
plough of iron. Then he fixed his spear in the earth, and laid down his
helmet, but he himself went on with his shield. But when the bulls saw
him, they ran forth from their stalls, and all the heroes trembled to
behold them; but Jason stood firm, holding his shield before him. And
the bulls drave their horns against the shield, but harmed him not.
And though they breathed fire from their nostrils, for all this the
medicine of Medea kept him safe. Then he took hold of the right-hand
bull by the horns, and dragged it down to the yoke, and, kicking its
hoof from under it, so brought it to the ground; and in like manner
dealt with the other. And the King marvelled at his strength. Then the
heroes helped him with the fastening of the bulls to the plough, for so
much was permitted to him. Then he put his shield upon his shoulders
and took the serpent’s teeth, a helmet full, and drave the bulls before
him, which went with a horrible bellowing; and as he made the furrow he
threw the teeth into it. Now when the day was a third part spent he had
finished the ploughing; and he loosed the bulls and went back to the
ship, for as yet there had sprung nothing from the furrows. And he took
of the water of the river in his helmet and drank, and while he drank
the giants sprang up from the furrows.

Then Jason remembered the words of Medea, and took from the earth a
great round stone--of such bigness it was that four youths could not
lift it--and cast it into the midst of the giants. And straightway they
fell upon each other with great rage, and Jason sat behind his shield
and watched. But when they had been now fighting among themselves for a
long while, and many were wounded and many dead, Jason drew his sword
and ran among them till he had slain them all. So he finished his work
that day; but the King and his people returned, sad at heart, to the

All that night the King sat with his nobles, meditating harm against
Jason and the heroes; for he knew that the thing had been done by
craft, and also that his daughter was concerned in the matter. And
Medea also sat grievously troubled in her chamber, fearing the wrath of
her father; and ofttime she thought that she had best kill herself with
poison. But at last Heré put it into her heart that she should flee,
taking the sons of Phrixus for companions. Then she arose from her bed,
and took the medicines that she had from their chest, and hid them in
her bosom.

And she kissed her bed and the posts of her chamber doors and the
walls. Also she cut off a long lock of her hair, to be a memorial
of her to her mother. And when she had done this, she cried with a
lamentable voice, “Farewell, my mother, and thou, Chalciope, my sister!
Would that this stranger had perished before he came to the land of the
Colchians!” Then she went out from the house, the great gates opening
before her of their own accord, for she had anointed them with a mighty
drug; and, being come into the street, she ran very swiftly, holding
her robe over her head, till she saw the light of the fires where the
heroes sat feasting all the night in the joy of the victory that Jason
had won. Then she came near, and, lifting up her voice, cried to the
youngest of the sons of Phrixus, whose name was Phrontis. And Phrontis
heard her, and knew the voice that it was the voice of Medea, and told
the thing to Jason. Then Jason bade the heroes be silent; and they
listened. Thrice she cried, and thrice did Phrontis answer her. And the
heroes loosed the ship and rowed it across the river; but ere ever it
came to the other shore, Jason and the sons of Phrixus leapt from the
deck on to the land.

And when Medea saw the brothers, she ran to them, and caught them by
the knees, and cried to them, “Save me now from King Æætes! yea, and
save yourselves also, for all things are now known to him. Let us
fly hence in the ship, before he come upon us with a great army. But
first I will give the fleece into your hands, having laid to sleep the
dragon that guardeth it. But do thou, Prince Jason, do as thou didst
promise, calling the gods to witness.” And Jason was glad when he saw
her, and took her by the hand, and lifted her up, and spake kindly to
her, saying, “Dearest of women, now may Zeus and Heré his wife, that
is the goddess of marriage, be my witnesses that I will take thee to
wife as soon as we shall have returned to the land of Greece.” Then he
bade the heroes row the ship to the sacred grove, for he was minded
to take away the fleece that very night, before the King should know
of the matter. Then the heroes rowed; and the _Argo_ passed quickly
over the waves till they came to the grove. Then Medea and Jason went
forth from the ship, and followed the path, seeking for the great bush
whereon the fleece was hung. And in no long space they found it; for
it was like a cloud which the shining of the sun makes bright when he
riseth in the East. But before the tree there lay a great serpent, with
eyes that slept not night nor day. Horribly did it hiss as they came.
But Medea cried aloud to Sleep, that is mightiest among the servants
of the gods, that he should help her. Also she called to the Queen of
Night, that their undertaking might prosper in their hands. And now the
great serpent, being wrought upon by her charms, began to unloose his
folds; yet his head was lifted up against them, and his dreadful jaws
were opened. Therefore Medea took a bough that she had newly cut from a
juniper tree, and put a mighty medicine upon it, and dropped the drops
of the medicine into his mouth, singing her charms all the while. Then
sleep came upon the beast, and he dropped his head upon the ground.
When Jason saw this, he snatched the fleece of gold from the tree, for
Medea had bidden him do it and delay not; but she stood the while and
put the medicine on the head of the beast, fearing lest perchance he
should awake. After this they both departed from the grove; and Jason
carried the fleece with great gladness of heart. A mighty fleece
it was, hanging down from his shoulders even to his feet. And as he
went the day dawned. And when he was come near to the ship the heroes
marvelled to behold him, for the fleece was very bright to look upon.
But when they would have touched it, Jason hindered them, and covered
it with a covering which he had prepared for it.

Then Jason said to his companions, “Come now, my friends; we have
accomplished this thing for the which we came to this land. Let us
think, therefore, of our return. As to this maiden, I will take her
to be my wife in the land of Greece. But do you remember that she has
saved all our lives this day. Row, therefore, with all your might,
the half of you; and let half hold forth your shields to be a defence
against the spears of our enemies, if they should come upon us. For as
ye shall quit yourselves this day, so shall it be whether or no we see
again our native country and our homes.” Then he cut with his sword the
cable of the ship; bidding the maiden sit by the helmsman Ancæus. Then
the heroes rowed with all their might, and were far away before the
King had knowledge of their going.

Many things they suffered in their journey, and many lands they
visited, for the gods suffered them not to return by the way by which
they went, and some of them perished; but at the last they brought back
the ship _Argo_ to the land of Greece, and the Fleece of Gold for which
Pelias had sent them. And when they were returned, Prince Jason took
Medea to be his wife.




It befell in times past that the Gods, being angry with the inhabitants
of Thebes, sent into their land a very noisome beast which men called
the Sphinx. Now this beast had the face and breast of a very fair
woman, but the feet and claws of a lion; and it was wont to ask a
riddle of such as encountered it; and such as answered not aright it
would tear and devour. Now when it had laid waste the land many days,
there chanced to come to Thebes one Œdipus, who had fled from the city
of Corinth that he might escape the doom which the Gods had spoken
against him. And the men of the place told him of the Sphinx, how she
cruelly devoured the people, and that he who should deliver them from
her should have the kingdom. So Œdipus, being very bold, and also ready
of wit, went forth to meet the monster. And when she saw him she spake,

    “Read me this riddle right, or die:
    What liveth there beneath the sky,
    Four-footed creature that doth choose
    Now three feet and now twain to use.
    And still more feebly o’er the plain
    Walketh with three feet than with twain?”

And Œdipus made reply:--

    “’Tis man, who in life’s early day
    Four-footed crawleth on his way;
    When time hath made his strength complete,
    Upright his form and twain his feet;
    When age hath bowed him to the ground,
    A third foot in his staff is found.”

And when the Sphinx found that her riddle was answered, she cast
herself from a high rock and perished. Now for a while Œdipus reigned
in great power and glory; but afterwards his doom came upon him, so
that in his madness he put out his own eyes. Then his two sons cast him
into prison, and took his kingdom, making agreement between themselves
that each should reign for the space of one year. And the elder of the
two, whose name was Eteocles, first had the kingdom; but when his year
was come to an end, he would not abide by his promise, but kept that
which he should have given up, and drave out his younger brother from
the city. Then the younger, whose name was Polynices, fled to Argos, to
King Adrastus. And after a while he married the daughter of the King,
who made a covenant with him that he would bring him back with a high
hand to Thebes, and set him on the throne of his father. Then the King
sent messengers to certain of the princes of Greece, entreating that
they would help in this matter. And of these some would not, but others
hearkened to his words, so that a great army was gathered together,
and followed the King and Polynices to make war against Thebes. So
they came and pitched their camp over against the city. And after that
they had fought against it many days, and yet had prevailed nothing,
Adrastus held a council of the chiefs, and it was agreed that next day,
early in the morning, they should assault the city with all their
might. And when the morning was come the chiefs were gathered together,
being seven in number. And first of all they slew a bull, and caught
the blood of the beast in the hollow of a shield, into which they
dipped their hands, and sware a great oath that they would take the
city of Thebes or die. And having sworn, they hung upon the chariot of
Adrastus what should be memorials of them, each for his own father and
mother, all weeping the while. After this they cast lots for the places
which they should take, for there were seven gates to the city, that
each chief might assault a gate.

But their purpose was known to the King, Eteocles, for he had heard the
whole matter from Tiresias, the wise seer, who told beforehand all that
should come to pass, discovering it from the voice of birds; for, being
blind he could not judge from their flight, or from the tokens of fire,
as other soothsayers are wont. Wherefore the King gathered together
all that could bear arms, even youths not grown, and old men that were
waxed feeble with age, and bade them fight for the land, for “she,” he
said, “gave you birth and reared you, and now asketh that ye help her
in this her need. And though hitherto we have fared well in this war,
know ye for certain, for Tiresias the soothsayer hath said it, that
there cometh a great danger this day upon the city. Wherefore haste ye
to the battlements, and to the towers that are upon the walls, and take
your stand in the gates, and be of good courage, and quit you like men.”

And as he made an end of speaking there ran in one who declared that
even now the enemy was about to assault the city. And after him came a
troop of maidens of Thebes, crying out that the enemy had come forth
from the camp, and that they heard the tramp of many feet upon the
earth, and the rattling of shields, and the noise of many spears. And
they lifted up their voices to the Gods that they should help the
city, to Ares, the God of the Golden Helmet, that he should defend the
land which in truth was his from old time, and to Father Zeus, and to
Pallas, who was the daughter of Zeus, and to Poseidon, the great ruler
of the sea, and to Aphrodité the Fair, for that she was the mother
of their race, and to Apollo, the Wolf-king, that he would be as a
devouring wolf to the enemy, and to Artemis, that she should bend her
bow against them, and to Heré, the Queen of Heaven, even to all the
dwellers in Olympus, that they should defend the city, and save it.

But the King was very wroth when he heard this outcry, and cried,
“Think ye to make bold the hearts of our men by these lamentations?
Now may the Gods save me from this race of women; for if they be bold
no man can endure their insolence, and if they be afraid they vex
both their home and their country. Even so now do ye help them that
are without and trouble your own people. But hearken to this. He that
heareth not my command, be he man or woman, the people shall stone him.
Speak I plainly?”

“But, O son of Œdipus,” the maidens made reply, “we hear the rolling of
the chariot wheels, and the rattling of the axles, and the jingling of
the bridle reins.”

“What then?” said the King, “if the ship labor in the sea, and the
helmsman leave the helm and fly to the prow that he may pray before the
image, doeth he well?”

“Nay, blame us not that we came to beseech the Gods when we heard the
hailstorm of war rattling on the gates.”

“’Tis well,” cried the King, “yet men say that the Gods leave the city
that is at the point to fall. And mark ye this, that safety is the
child of obedience. But as for duty, ’tis for men to do sacrifice to
the Gods, and for women to keep silence and to abide at home.”

But the maidens made reply, “’Tis the Gods who keep this city, nor do
they transgress who reverence them.”

“Yea, but let them reverence them in due order. And now hearken to me.
Keep ye silence. And when I have made my prayer, raise ye a joyful
shout that shall gladden the hearts of our friends and put away all
fear from them. And to the Gods that keep this city I vow that if they
give us victory in this war I will sacrifice to them sheep and oxen,
and will hang up in their houses the spoils of the enemy. And now, ye
maidens, do ye also make your prayers, but not with vain clamor. And
I will choose seven men, being myself the seventh, who shall meet the
seven that come against the gates of our city.”

Then the King departed, and the maidens made their prayer after this
fashion: “My heart feareth as a dove feareth the serpent for her young
ones, so cruelly doth the enemy come about this city to destroy it!
Shall ye find elsewhere as fair a land, ye Gods, if ye suffer this to
be laid waste, or streams as sweet? Help us then, for indeed it is a
grievous thing when men take a city; for the women, old and young, are
dragged by the hair, and the men are slain with the sword, and there
is slaughter and burning, while they that plunder cry each man to his
comrade, and the fruits of the earth are wasted upon the ground; nor is
there any hope but in death.”

And as they made an end, the King came back, and at the same time a
messenger bringing tidings of the battle, how the seven chiefs had
ranged themselves each against a gate of the city. And the man’s story
was this.

“First Tydeus, the Ætolian, standeth in great fury at the gate of
Prœtus. Very wroth is he because the soothsayer, Amphiaraüs, suffereth
him not to cross the Ismenus, for that the omens promise not victory.
A triple crest he hath, and there are bells of bronze under his shield
which ring terribly. And on his shield he hath this device: the heaven
studded with stars, and in the midst the mightiest of the stars, the
eye of night, even the moon. Whom, O King, wilt thou set against this

Then the King made reply, “I tremble not at any man’s adorning, and a
device woundeth not. And, indeed, as for the night that thou tellest
to be on his shield, haply it signifieth the night of death that shall
fall upon his eyes. Over against him will I set the son of Astacus, a
brave man and a modest. Also he is of the race of the Dragon’s Teeth,
and men call him Melanippus.”

And the messenger said, “Heaven send him good fortune! At the gate of
Electra standeth Capaneus, a man of great stature, and his boastings
are above all measure, for he crieth out that he will destroy this city
whether the Gods will or no, and that Zeus with his thunder shall not
stay him, for that the thunder is but as the sun at noon. And on his
shield he hath a man bearing a torch, and these words, ‘I WILL BURN
THIS CITY.’ Who now shall stand against this boaster and fear not?”

Then the King said, “His boastings I heed not. They shall turn to his
own destruction. For as he sendeth out swelling words against Zeus,
so shall Zeus send against him the thunder, smiting him, but not of a
truth as the sun smiteth. Him shall Polyphantus encounter, a valiant
man and dear to Queen Artemis.”

“He that is set against the gate of Neïs is called Eteoclus by name. He
driveth a chariot with four horses, in whose nostrils are pipes making
a whistling noise, after the fashion of barbarians. And on his shield
he hath this device: a man mounting a ladder that is set against a
tower upon a wall, and with it these words, ‘NOT ARES’ SELF SHALL DRIVE
ME HENCE.’ See that thou set a fit warrior against him.”

“Megarius, son of Creon, of the race of the Dragon, shall fight against
him, who will not leave the gate for any whistling noise of horses; for
either he will die as a brave man dieth for his country, or will take a
double spoil, even this boaster and him also that he beareth upon his

“At the next gate to this, even the gate of Athené, standeth
Hippomedon. A great shield and a terrible he hath, and on it this
device, which no mean workman hath wrought: Typhon breathing out a
great blast of black smoke, and all about it serpents twined together.
And the man also is terrible as his shield, and seemeth to be inspired
of Ares. Whom wilt thou set against this man, O King?”

“First shall Pallas stand against him and drive him from this city,
even as bird driveth a snake from her young ones. And next I have set
Hyperbius, son of Œneus, to encounter him, being inferior neither in
form nor courage, nor yet in skill of arms, and also dear to Hermes.
Enemies shall they be, bearing also on their shields gods that are
enemies, for Hippomedon hath Typhon, but Hyperbius hath Zeus; and even
as Zeus prevailed over Typhon, so also shall Hyperbius prevail over
this man.”

“So be it, O King. Know also that at the north gate is set Parthenopæus
the Arcadian. Very young is he, and fair also to behold, and his mother
was the huntress Atalanta. This man sweareth by his spear, which he
holdeth to be better than all the gods whatsoever, that he will lay
waste this city. And on his shield he beareth a device, the Sphinx,
which holdeth in her claws one of the sons of Cadmus.”

“Against this Arcadian will I set Actor, brother to Hyperbius, no
boaster but a man of deeds, who will not let this hateful monster, the
Sphinx, pass thus into the city; but will rather make it ill content to
have come hither, so many and fierce blows shall he deal it.”

“Hear now of the sixth among the chiefs, the wise soothsayer,
Amphiaraüs. Ill pleased is he with these things, for against Tydeus he
uttereth many reproaches, that he is an evil counsellor to Argos and
to King Adrastus, stirring up strife and slaughter. And to thy brother
also he speaketh in like fashion, saying, ‘Is this a thing that the
Gods love, and that men shall praise in the days to come, that thou
bringest a host of strangers to lay waste the city of thy fathers?
Shall this land, if thou subduest it by the spear of the enemy, ever
make alliance with thee? As for me I shall fall in this land, for am I
not a seer? Be it so. I shall not die without honor!’ No device hath
this man on his shield, for he seeketh not to seem, but to be in very
deed most excellent. Thou must need send some wise man to stand against

“It is an ill fate that bringeth a just man into company with the
wicked. And of a truth there is not a worse thing upon the earth than
ill companionship, wherein the sowing is madness and the harvest is
death. For thus a godfearing man being on shipboard with godless
companions perisheth with them; and one that is righteous, if he dwell
in one city with the wicked, is destroyed with the same destruction.
So shall it fare with this Amphiaraüs; for though he be a good man
and righteous, and that feareth God, yet shall he perish because he
beareth these boasters company. And I think that he will not come near
to the gates, so well knoweth he what shall befall him. Yet have I set
Lasthenes to stand against him, young in years but old in counsel,
very keen of eye, and swift of hand to cast his javelin from under his

“And now, O King, hear how thy brother beareth himself, for he it is
who standeth yonder at the seventh gate. For he crieth aloud that he
will climb upon the wall and slay thee, even though he die with thee,
or drive thee forth into banishment, even as thou, he saith, hast
driven him. And on his shield there is this device: a woman leading an
armed man, and while she leadeth him she saith, ‘I AM JUSTICE, AND I

But when the King heard this he brake forth in much fury, “Now will
the curse of this house be fulfilled to the uttermost. Yet must I not
bewail myself, lest there should fall upon us an evil that is yet
greater than this. And as for this Polynices, thinketh he that signs
and devices will give him that which he coveteth? Thinketh he that
Justice is on his side? Nay, but from the day that he came forth from
the womb he hath had no converse with her, neither will she stand by
him this day. I will fight against him. Who more fit than I? Bring
forth my armor that I may make ready.”

And though the maidens entreated with many words that he would not do
this thing, but leave the place to some other of the chiefs, saying
that there was no healing or remedy for a brother’s blood shed in such
fashion, he would not hearken, but armed himself and went forth to the
battle. Thus ever doth the madness of men work out to the full the
curses of the Gods.

Then the battle grew fierce about the wall, and the men of Thebes
prevailed. For when Parthenopæus the Arcadian fell like a whirlwind
upon the gate that was over against him, Actor the Theban smote him
on the head with a great stone, and brake his head, so that he fell
dead upon the ground. And when Capaneus assaulted the city, crying
that not even the Gods should stay him, there came upon him the wrath
which he defied; for when he had mounted the ladder and was now about
to leap upon the battlements, Zeus smote him with the thunderbolt,
and there was no life left in him, so fierce was the burning heat of
the lightning. But the chiefest fight was between the two brothers;
and this, indeed, the two armies stood apart to see. For the two came
together in an open space before the gates; and first Polynices prayed
to Heré, for she was the goddess of the great city of Argos, which
had helped him in this enterprise, and Eteocles prayed to Pallas of
the Golden Shield, whose temple stood hard by. Then they crouched,
each covered with his shield, and holding his spear in his hand, if by
chance his enemy should give occasion to smite him; and if one showed
so much as an eye above the rim of his shield the other would strike
at him. But after a while King Eteocles slipped upon a stone that was
under his foot, and uncovered his leg, at which straightway Polynices
took aim with his spear, piercing the skin. And the men of Argos
shouted to see it. But so doing he laid his own shoulder bare, and King
Eteocles gave him a wound in the breast; and then the men of Thebes
shouted for joy. But he brake his spear in striking, and would have
fared ill but that with a great stone he smote the spear of Polynices,
and brake this also in the middle. And now were the two equal, for
each had lost his spear. So they drew their swords and came yet
closer together. But Eteocles used a device which he had learnt in the
land of Thessaly; for he drew his left foot back, as if he would have
ceased from the battle, and then of a sudden moved the right forward;
and so smiting sideways, drave his sword right through the body of
Polynices. But when, thinking that he had slain him, he set his weapons
in the earth, and began to spoil him of his arms, the other, for he
yet breathed a little, laid his hand upon his sword, and though he had
scarce strength to smite, yet gave the King a mortal blow, so that the
two lay dead together on the plain. And the men of Thebes lifted up the
bodies of the dead, and bare them both into the city.

So was the doom of the house of Œdipus accomplished; and yet not all,
as shall now be told.


When the two brothers, the sons of King Œdipus, had fallen each by the
hand of the other, the kingdom fell to Creon their uncle. For not only
was he the next of kin to the dead, but also the people held him in
great honor because his son Menœceus had offered himself with a willing
heart that he might deliver his city from captivity. Now when Creon
was come to the throne, he made a proclamation about the two Princes,
commanding that they should bury Eteocles with all honor, seeing that
he died as beseemed a good man and a brave, doing battle for his
country, that it should not be delivered into the hands of the enemy;
but as for Polynices he bade them leave his body to be devoured by the
fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, because he had joined
himself to the enemy, and would have beaten down the walls of the
city, and burned the temples of the Gods with fire, and led the people
captive. Also he commanded that if any man should break this decree he
should suffer death by stoning.

Now Antigone, who was sister to the two Princes, heard that the decree
had gone forth, and chancing to meet her sister Ismené before the gates
of the palace, spake to her, saying, “O my sister, hast thou heard this
decree that the King hath put forth concerning our brethren that are

Then Ismené made answer, “I have heard nothing, my sister, only that we
are bereaved of both of our brethren in one day, and that the army of
the Argives is departed in this night that is now past. So much I know,
but no more.”

“Hearken then. King Creon hath made a proclamation that they shall bury
Eteocles with all honor; but that Polynices shall lie unburied, that
the birds of the air and the beasts of the field may devour him, and
that whosoever shall break this decree shall suffer death by stoning.”

“But if it be so, my sister, how can we avail to change it?”

“Think whether or no thou wilt share with me the doing of this deed.”

“What deed? What meanest thou?”

“To pay due honor to this dead corpse.”

“What? Wilt thou bury him when the King hath forbidden it?”

“Yea, for he is my brother and also thine, though perchance thou
wouldst not have it so. And I will not play him false.”

“O my sister, wilt thou do this when Creon hath forbidden it?”

“Why should he stand between me and mine?”

“But think now what sorrows are come upon our house. For our father
perished miserably, having first put out his own eyes; and our mother
hanged herself with her own hands; and our two brothers fell in one
day, each by the other’s spear; and now we two only are left. And shall
we not fall into a worse destruction than any if we transgress these
commands of the King. Think, too, that we are women and not men, and
must of necessity obey them that are stronger. Wherefore, as for me, I
will pray the dead to pardon me, seeing that I am thus constrained; but
I will obey them that rule.”

“I advise thee not, and if thou thinkest thus I would not have thee for
helper. But know that I will bury my brother, nor could I better die
than for doing such a deed. For as he loved me, so also do I love him
greatly. And shall not I do pleasure to the dead rather than to the
living, seeing that I shall abide with the dead forever? But thou, if
thou wilt, do dishonor to the laws of the Gods.”

“I dishonor them not. Only I cannot set myself against the powers that

“So be it: but I will bury my brother.”

“O my sister, how I fear for thee!”

“Fear for thyself. Thine own lot needeth all thy care.”

“Thou wilt at least keep thy counsel, nor tell the thing to any man.”

“Not so: hide it not. I shall scorn thee more if thou proclaim it not
aloud to all.”

So Antigone departed; and after a while came to the same place King
Creon, clad in his royal robes, and with his sceptre in his hand,
and set forth his counsel to the elders who were assembled, how he
had dealt with the two Princes according to their deserving, giving
all honor to him that loved his country, and casting forth the other
unburied. And he bade them take care that this decree should be kept,
saying that he had also appointed certain men to watch the dead body.

But he had scarcely left speaking when there came one of these same
watchers and said, “I have not come hither in haste, O King; nay, I
doubted much while I was yet on the way whether I should not turn
again. For now I thought, ‘Fool, why goest thou where thou shalt
suffer for it;’ and then again, ‘Fool, the King will hear the matter
elsewhere, and then how wilt thou fare?’ But at the last I came as I
had purposed, for I know that nothing may happen to me contrary to

“But say,” said the King, “what troubles thee so much?”

“First hear my case. I did not the thing, and know not who did it, and
it were a grievous wrong should I fall into trouble for such a cause.”

“Thou makest a long preface excusing thyself, but yet hast, as I judge,
something to tell.”

“Fear, my lord, ever causeth delay.”

“Wilt thou not speak out thy news and then begone?”

“I will speak it. Know then that some man hath thrown dust upon this
dead corpse, and done besides such things as are needful.”

“What sayest thou? Who hath dared to do this deed?”

“That I know not, for there was no mark as of spade or pickaxe; nor was
the earth broken, nor had wagon passed thereon. We were sore dismayed
when the watchman showed the thing to us; for the body we could not
see. Buried indeed it was not, but rather covered with dust. Nor was
there any sign as of wild beast or of dog that had torn it. Then there
arose a contention among us, each blaming the other, and accusing his
fellows, and himself denying that he had done the deed or was privy
to it. And doubtless we had fallen to blows but that one spake a word
which made us all tremble for fear, knowing that it must be as he said.
For he said that the thing must be told to thee, and in no wise hidden.
So we drew lots, and by evil chance the lot fell upon me. Wherefore
I am here, not willingly, for no man loveth him that bringeth ill

Then said the chief of the old men, “Consider, O King, for haply this
thing is from the Gods.”

But the King cried, “Thinkest thou that the Gods care for such an one
as this dead man, who would have burnt their temples with fire, and
laid waste the land which they love, and set at naught the laws? Not
so. But there are men in this city who have long time had ill will to
me, not bowing their necks to my yoke; and they have persuaded these
fellows with money to do this thing. Surely there never was so evil a
thing as money, which maketh cities into ruinous heaps, and banisheth
men from their houses, and turneth their thoughts from good unto evil.
But as for them that have done this deed for hire, of a truth they
shall not escape, for I say to thee, fellow, if ye bring not here
before my eyes the man that did this thing, I will hang you up alive.
So shall ye learn that ill gains bring no profit to a man.”

So the guard departed; but as he went he said to himself, “Now may the
Gods grant the man be found; but however this may be, thou shalt not
see me come again on such errand as this, for even now have I escaped
beyond all hope.” Notwithstanding, after a space he came back with one
of his fellows; and they brought with them the maiden Antigone, with
her hands bound together. And it chanced that at the same time King
Creon came forth from the palace. Then the guard set forth the thing
to him, saying, “We cleared away the dust from the dead body, and sat
watching it. And when it was now noon, and the sun was at his height,
there came a whirlwind over the plain, driving a great cloud of dust.
And when this had passed, we looked, and lo! this maiden whom we have
brought hither stood by the dead corpse. And when she saw that it lay
bare as before, she sent up an exceeding bitter cry, even as a bird
whose young ones have been taken from the nest. Then she cursed them
that had done this deed; and brought dust and sprinkled it upon the
dead man, and poured water upon him three times. Then we ran and laid
hold upon her, and accused her that she had done this deed; and she
denied it not. But as for me, ’tis well to have escaped from death,
but it is ill to bring friends into the same. Yet I hold that there is
nothing dearer to a man than his life.”

Then said the King to Antigone, “Tell me in a word, didst thou know my

“I knew it. Was it not plainly declared?”

“How daredst thou to transgress the laws?”

“Zeus made not such laws, nor Justice that dwelleth with the Gods
below. I judged not that thy decrees had such authority that a man
should transgress for them the unwritten sure commandments of the Gods.
For these, indeed, are not of to-day or yesterday, but they live for
ever, and their beginning no man knoweth. Should I, for fear of thee,
be found guilty against them? That I should die I knew. Why not? All
men must die. And if I die before my time, what loss? He who liveth
among many sorrows, even as I have lived, counteth it gain to die. But
had I left my own mother’s son unburied, this had been loss indeed.”

Then said the King, “Such stubborn thoughts have a speedy fall, and
are shivered even as the iron that hath been made hard in the furnace.
And as for this woman and her sister,--for I judge her sister to have
had a part in this matter,--though they were nearer to me than all my
kindred, yet shall they not escape the doom of death. Wherefore let
some one bring the other woman hither.”

And while they went to fetch the maiden Ismené, Antigone said to the
King, “Is it not enough for thee to slay me? What need to say more? For
thy words please me not nor mine thee. Yet what nobler thing could I
have done than to bury my own mother’s son? And so would all men say
but fear shutteth their mouths.”

“Nay,” said the King, “none of the children of Cadmus thinketh thus,
but thou only. But, hold, was not he that fell in battle with this man
thy brother also?”

“Yes, truly, my brother he was.”

“And dost thou not dishonor him when thou honorest his enemy?”

“The dead man would not say it, could he speak.”

“Shall then the wicked have like honor with the good?”

“How knowest thou but that such honor pleaseth the Gods below?”

“I have no love for them I hate, though they be dead.”

“Of hating I know nothing; ’tis enough for me to love.”

“If thou wilt love, go love the dead. But while I live no woman shall
rule me.”

Then those that had been sent to fetch the maiden Ismené brought her
forth from the palace. And when the King accused her that she had been
privy to the deed, she denied not, but would have shared one lot with
her sister. But Antigone turned from her, saying, “Not so; thou hast no
part or lot in the matter. For thou hast chosen life, and I have chosen
death; and even so shall it be.” And when Ismené saw that she prevailed
nothing with her sister, she turned to the King and said, “Wilt thou
slay the bride of thy son?”

“Aye,” said he, “there are other brides to win!”

“But none,” she made reply, “that accord so well with him.”

“I will have no evil wives for my sons,” said the King.

Then cried Antigone, “O Hæmon, whom I love, how thy father wrongeth

Then the King bade the guards lead the two into the palace. But
scarcely had they gone when there came to the palace the Prince Hæmon,
the King’s son, who was betrothed to the maiden Antigone. And when the
King saw him, he said, “Art thou content, my son, with thy father’s

And the young man answered, “My father, I would follow thy counsels in
all things.”

Then said the King, “’Tis well spoken, my son. This is a thing to
be desired, that a man should have obedient children. But if it be
otherwise with a man, he hath gotten great trouble for himself, and
maketh sport for them that hate him. And now as to this matter. There
is nought worse than an evil wife. Wherefore I say, let this damsel
wed a bridegroom among the dead. For since I have found her, alone of
all this people, breaking my decree, surely she shall die. Nor shall
it profit her to claim kinship with me, for he that would rule a city
must first deal justly with his own kindred. And as for obedience,
this it is that maketh a city to stand both in peace and in war!”

To this the Prince Hæmon made answer, “What thou sayest, my father,
I do not judge. Yet bethink thee, that I see and hear on thy behalf
what is hidden from thee. For common men cannot abide thy look if they
say that which pleaseth thee not. Yet do I hear it in secret. Know
then that all the city mourneth for this maiden, saying that she dieth
wrongfully for a very noble deed, in that she buried her brother. And
’tis well, my father, not to be wholly set on thy own thoughts, but
listen to the counsels of others.”

“Nay,” said the King; “shall I be taught by such an one as thou?”

“I pray thee regard my words, if they be well, and not my years.”

“Can it be well to honor them that transgress? And hath not this woman

“The people of this city judgeth not so.”

“The people, sayest thou! Is it for them to rule, or for me?”

“No city is the possession of one man only.”

So the two answered one the other, and their anger waxed hot. And at
the last the King cried, “Bring this accursed woman, and slay her
before his eyes.”

And the Prince answered, “That thou shalt never do. And know this also,
that thou shalt never see my face again.”

So he went away in a rage; and the old men would have appeased the
King’s wrath, but he would not hearken to them, but said that the two
maidens should die. “Wilt thou then slay them both?” said the old men.

“’Tis well said,” the King made answer. “Her that meddled not with the
matter I harm not.”

“And how wilt thou deal with the other?”

“There is a desolate place, and there I will shut her up alive in a
sepulchre; yet giving her so much of food as shall quit us of guilt
in the matter, for I would not have the city defiled. There let her
persuade Death, whom she loveth so much, that he harm her not.”

So the guards led Antigone away to shut her up alive in the sepulchre.
But scarcely had they departed when there came the old prophet
Tiresias, seeking the King. Blind he was, so that a boy led him by the
hand; but the Gods had given him to see things to come. And when the
King saw him he asked, “What seekest thou, wisest of men?”

Then the prophet answered, “Hearken, O King, and I will tell thee. I
sat in my seat, after my custom, in the place whither all manner of
birds resort. And as I sat I heard a cry of birds that I knew not,
very strange and full of wrath. And I knew that they tare and slew
each other, for I heard the fierce flapping of their wings. And being
afraid, I made inquiry about the fire, how it burned upon the altars.
And this boy, for as I am a guide to others so he guideth me, told
me that it shone not at all, but smouldered and was dull, and that
the flesh which was burnt upon the altar spluttered in the flame, and
wasted away into corruption and filthiness. And now I tell thee, O
King, that the city is troubled by thy ill counsels. For the dogs and
the birds of the air tear the flesh of this dead son of Œdipus, whom
thou sufferest not to have due burial, and carry it to the altars,
polluting them therewith. Wherefore the Gods receive not from us prayer
or sacrifice; and the cry of the birds hath an evil sound, for they
are full of the flesh of a man. Therefore I bid thee be wise in time.
For all men may err; but he that keepeth not his folly, but repenteth,
doeth well; but stubbornness cometh to great trouble.”

Then the King answered, “Old man, I know the race of prophets full
well, how ye sell your art for gold. But, make thy trade as thou wilt,
this man shall not have burial; yea, though the eagles of Zeus carry
his flesh to their master’s throne in heaven, he shall not have it.”

And when the prophet spake again, entreating him, and warning, the
King answered him after the same fashion, that he spake not honestly,
but had sold his art for money. But at the last the prophet spake in
great wrath, saying, “Know, O King, that before many days shall pass,
thou shalt pay a life for a life, even one of thine own children, for
them with whom thou hast dealt unrighteously, shutting up the living
with the dead, and keeping the dead from them to whom they belong.
Therefore the Furies lie in wait for thee, and thou shalt see whether
or no I speak these things for money. For there shall be mourning and
lamentation in thine own house; and against thy people shall be stirred
up all the cities, whose sons thou hast made to lie unburied. And now,
my child, lead me home, and let this man rage against them that are
younger than I.”

So the prophet departed, and the old men were sore afraid, and said,
“He hath spoken terrible things, O King; nor ever since these gray
hairs were black have we known him say that which was false.”

“Even so,” said the King, “and I am troubled in heart, and yet am loath
to depart from my purpose.”

“King Creon,” said the old men, “thou needest good counsel.”

“What, then, would ye have done?”

“Set free the maiden from the sepulchre, and give this dead man burial.”

Then the King cried to his people that they should bring bars wherewith
to loosen the doors of the sepulchre, and hasted with them to the
place. But coming on their way to the body of Prince Polynices, they
took it up, and washed it, and buried that which remained of it, and
raised over the ashes a great mound of earth. And this being done, they
drew near to the place of the sepulchre; and as they approached, the
King heard within a very piteous voice, and knew it for the voice of
his son. Then he bade his attendants loose the door with all speed; and
when they had loosed it, they beheld within a very piteous sight. For
the maiden Antigone had hanged herself by the girdle of linen which
she wore, and the young man Prince Hæmon stood with his arms about her
dead corpse, embracing it. And when the King saw him, he cried to him
to come forth; but the Prince glared fiercely upon him, and answered
him not a word, but drew his two-edged sword. Then the King, thinking
that his son was minded in his madness to slay him, leapt back, but
the Prince drave the sword into his own heart, and fell forward on the
earth, still holding the dead maiden in his arms. And when they brought
the tidings of these things to Queen Eurydice, that was the wife of
King Creon and mother to the Prince, she could not endure the grief,
being thus bereaved of her children, but laid hold of a sword, and slew
herself therewith.

So the house of King Creon was left desolate unto him that day, because
he despised the ordinances of the Gods.




Prince Paris that was son to Priam, King of Troy, carried away the
Fair Helen, wife of Menelaüs, King of Sparta. Now all the kings and
princes of Greece had bound themselves by an oath that they would
avenge Menelaüs on any man that should rob him of his wife. But first
of all they sent ambassadors to Troy, who should demand the Fair Helen
of Priam and his people. So the ambassadors came and made their demand;
and the King himself was willing that she should be given back, and the
wisest of the princes gave like counsel. But there stood up certain
evil men, whom Paris had persuaded with his gold, and said, “Fear not,
men of Troy, to suffer Prince Paris to keep the Fair Helen for his
wife. For verily these words of the ambassadors, that the Greeks will
come with an army and fetch her away, are but idle talk. Think ye that
they will indeed journey so far and endure such trouble for the sake of
a woman? Not so. It standeth not to reason. And if indeed they come,
how shall they take the city? Were not these walls builded of gods, and
shall any man that is born of a woman avail to overthrow them?” And the
men of Troy gave ear to this counsel, and sent away the ambassadors
empty, for the Gods would destroy them.

Then King Agamemnon, that was brother to Menelaüs, being the greatest
lord in the land of Greece, gathered together an army, not without
great pains and trouble, because many of the princes were loath to
go. Thus the wise Ulysses feigned that he was mad, and, for proof of
his madness, ploughed the sand upon the sea-shore. But when a certain
counsellor of the King put his son, being an infant of a few days
old, before the plough, Ulysses turned away his plough lest he should
hurt him, and so betrayed himself. Also Thetis, that was mother to
Achilles, knowing that if her son should go to the land of Troy he
would die before his time, put upon him women’s garments and hid him in
the palace of the King of Scyros. Then Ulysses disguised himself as a
merchant and journeyed to Scyros. And when he was come into the hall of
the palace, he opened his wares, goodly robes of purple, and earrings,
and necklaces, and divers other ornaments, both of jewels and gold. And
when the maidens gathered about him, and chose such things as women
love, then of a sudden he opened another bale in which were a hand
spear, and a sword, and a shield. And when Achilles saw them, he sprang
forth and laid his hands upon them with great joy. So he also betrayed

Thus King Agamemnon at the last gathered his army of the Greeks
together, and sailed to the land of Troy. For nine years and more he
besieged the city and pressed it hard, so that they that were within
scarce dared to go without their walls. And doubtless he had taken it
without more delay, but that there arose a deadly quarrel between him
and Achilles, who was the bravest and most valiant man of all the host.
Now the strife chanced in this wise.

The Greeks, having been away from home now many years, were in great
want of things needful. Wherefore it was their custom to leave a part
of their army to watch the city, and to send a part to spoil such
towns in the country round about as they knew to be friendly to the
men of Troy, or as they thought to contain good store of provision or
treasure. “Are not all these,” they were wont to say, “towns of the
barbarians, and therefore lawful prey to men that are Greeks?” Now
among the towns with which they dealt in this fashion was Chrysa, which
was sacred to Apollo, who had a great temple therein and a priest. The
temple and the priest the Greeks, fearing the anger of the god, had
not harmed; but they had carried off with other prisoners the priest’s
daughter, Chryseïs by name. These and the rest of the spoil they
divided among the kings, of whom there were many in the army, ruling
each his own people. Now King Agamemnon, as being sovereign lord, went
not commonly with the army at such times, but rather stayed behind,
having charge of the siege that it should not be neglected. Yet did
he always receive, as indeed was fitting, a share of the spoil. This
time the Greeks gave him, with other things, the maiden Chryseïs. But
there came to the camp next day the priest Chryses, wishing to ransom
his daughter. Much gold he brought with him, and he had on his head
the priest’s crown, that all men might reverence him the more. He went
to all the chiefs, making his prayer that they would take the gold and
give him back his daughter. And they all spake him fair, and would have
done what he wished. Only Agamemnon would not have it so.

“Get thee out, graybeard!” he cried in great wrath. “Let me not find
thee lingering now by the ships, neither coming hither again, or it
shall be the worse for thee, for all thy priesthood. And as for thy
daughter, I shall carry her away to Argos, when I shall have taken this
city of Troy.”

Then the old man went out hastily in great fear and trouble. And he
walked in his sorrow by the shore of the sounding sea, and prayed to
his god Apollo.

“Hear me, God of the silver bow. If I have built thee a temple, and
offered thee the fat of many bullocks and rams, hear me, and avenge me
on these Greeks!”

And Apollo heard him. Wroth he was that men had so dishonored his
priest, and he came down from the top of Olympus, where he dwelt.
Dreadful was the rattle of his arrows as he went, and his presence was
as the night coming over the sky. Then he shot the arrows of death,
first on the dogs and the mules, and then on the men; and soon all
along the shore rolled the black smoke from the piles of wood on which
they burnt the bodies of the dead.

On the tenth day Achilles, who was the bravest and strongest of all
the Greeks, called the people to an assembly. When they were gathered
together he stood up among them and spake to Agamemnon.

“Surely it were better to return home, than that we should all perish
here by the plague. But come, let us ask some prophet, or priest, or
dreamer of dreams, why it is that Apollo is so wroth with us.”

Then stood up Calchas, best of seers, who knew what had been, and what
was, and what was to come, and spake.

“Achilles, thou biddest me tell the people why Apollo is wroth with
them. Lo! I tell thee, but thou must first swear to stand by me, for I
know that what I shall say will anger King Agamemnon, and it goes ill
with common men when kings are angry.”

“Speak out, thou wise man!” cried Achilles; “for I swear by Apollo that
while I live no one shall lay hands on thee, no, not Agamemnon’s self,
though he be sovereign lord of the Greeks.”

Then the prophet took heart and spake. “It is on behalf of his priest
that Apollo is wroth, for he came to ransom his daughter, but Agamemnon
would not let the maiden go. Now, then, ye must send her back to Chrysa
without ransom, and with her a hundred beasts for sacrifice, so that
the plague may be stayed.”

Then Agamemnon stood up in a fury, his eyes blazing like fire.

“Never,” he cried, “hast thou spoken good concerning me, ill prophet
that thou art, and now thou tellest me to give up this maiden! I will
do it, for I would not that the people should perish. Only take care,
ye Greeks, that there be a share of the spoil for me, for it would ill
beseem the lord of all the host that he alone should be without his

“Nay, my lord Agamemnon,” cried Achilles, “thou art too eager for gain.
We have no treasures out of which we may make up thy loss, for what we
got out of the towns we have either sold or divided; nor would it be
fitting that the people should give back what has been given to them.
Give up the maiden, then, without conditions, and when we shall have
taken this city of Troy, we will repay thee three and four fold.”

“Nay, great Achilles,” said Agamemnon, “thou shalt not cheat me thus.
If the Greeks will give me such a share as I should have, well and
good. But if not, I will take one for myself, whether it be from thee,
or from Ajax, or from Ulysses; for my share I will have. But of this
hereafter. Now let us see that this maiden be sent back. Let them get
ready a ship, and put her therein, and with her a hundred victims, and
let some chief go with the ship, and see that all things be rightly

Then cried Achilles, and his face was black as a thunder-storm, “Surely
thou art altogether shameless and greedy, and, in truth, an ill ruler
of men. No quarrel have I with the Trojans. They never harried oxen
or sheep of mine. But I have been fighting in thy cause, and that of
thy brother Menalaüs. Naught carest thou for that. Thou leavest me to
fight, and sittest in thy tent at ease. But when the spoil is divided,
thine is always the lion’s share. Small indeed is my part--’a little
thing, but dear.’ And this, forsooth, thou wilt take away! Now am I
resolved to go home. Small booty wilt thou get then, methinks!”

And King Agamemnon answered, “Go, and thy Myrmidons with thee! I have
other chieftains as good as thou art, and ready, as thou art not, to
pay me due respect. I hate thee, with thy savage, bloodthirsty ways.
And as for the matter of the spoil, know that I will take thy share,
the girl Briseïs, and fetch her myself, if need be, that all may know
that I am sovereign lord here in the host of the Greeks.”

Then Achilles was mad with anger, and he thought in his heart, “Shall
I arise and slay this caitiff, or shall I keep down the wrath in my
breast?” And as he thought he laid his hand on his sword-hilt, and had
half drawn his sword from the scabbard, when lo! the goddess Athené
stood behind him (for Heré, who loved both this chieftain and that,
had sent her), and caught him by the long locks of his yellow hair.
But Achilles marvelled much to feel the mighty grasp, and turned, and
looked, and knew the goddess, but no one else in the assembly might see
her. Then his eyes flashed with fire, and he cried, “Art thou come,
child of Zeus, to see the insolence of Agamemnon? Of a truth, I think
that he will perish for his folly.”

But Athené said, “Nay, but I am come to stay thy wrath. Use bitter
words, if thou wilt, but put up thy sword in its sheath, and strike him
not. Of a truth, I tell thee that for this insolence of to-day he will
bring thee hereafter splendid gifts, threefold and fourfold for all
that he may take away.”

Then Achilles answered, “I shall abide by thy command, for it is ever
better for a man to obey the immortal gods.” And as he spake he laid
his heavy hand upon the hilt, and thrust back the sword into the
scabbard, and Athené went her way to Olympus.

Then he turned him to King Agamemnon, and spake again. “Drunkard, with
the eyes of a dog and the heart of a deer! never fighting in the front
of the battle, nor daring to lie in the ambush! ’Tis a puny race thou
rulest, or this had been thy last wrong. And as for me, here is this
sceptre: once it was the branch of a tree, but a cunning craftsman
bound it with bronze to be the sign of the lordship which Zeus gives to
kings; as surely as it shall never again have bark or leaves or shoot,
so surely shall the Greeks one day miss Achilles, when they fall in
heaps before the dreadful Hector, and thou shalt eat thy heart to think
that thou hast wronged the bravest of thy host.”

And as he spake he dashed his sceptre on the ground and sat down. And
on the other side Agamemnon sat in furious anger. Then Nestor rose,
an old man of a hundred years and more, and counselled peace. Let
them listen, he said, to his counsel. Great chiefs in the old days,
with whom no man now alive would dare to fight, had listened. Let not
Agamemnon take away from the bravest of the Greeks the prize of war;
let not Achilles, though he was mightier in battle than all other men,
contend with Agamemnon, who was sovereign lord of all the hosts of
Greece. But he spake in vain. For Agamemnon answered,--

“Nestor, thou speakest well, and peace is good. But this fellow would
lord it over all, and he must be taught that there is one here, at
least, who is better than he.”

And Achilles said, “I were a slave and a coward if I owned thee as my
lord. Not so: play the master over others, but think not to master me.
As for the prize which the Greeks gave me, let them do as they will.
They gave it; let them take it away. But if thou darest to touch aught
that is mine own, that hour thy life-blood shall redden on my spear.”

Then the assembly was dismissed. Chryseïs was sent to her home with
due offerings to the god, the wise Ulysses going with her. And all the
people purified themselves, and the plague was stayed.

But King Agamemnon would not go back from his purpose. So he called to
him the heralds, Talthybius and Eurybates, and said,--

“Heralds, go to the tents of Achilles and fetch the maiden Briseïs. But
if he will not let her go, say that I will come myself with many others
to fetch her; so will it be the worse for him.”

Sorely against their will the heralds went. Along the sea-shore they
walked, till they came to where, amidst the Myrmidons, were the tents
of Achilles. There they found him sitting, but stood silent in awe and
fear. But Achilles spied them, and cried aloud, “Come near, ye heralds,
messengers of gods and men. ’Tis no fault of yours that ye are come on
such an errand.”

Then he turned to Patroclus (now Patroclus was his dearest friend) and
said, “Bring the maiden from her tent, and let the heralds lead her
away. But let them be witnesses before gods and men, and before this
evil-minded king, against the day when he shall have sore need of me to
save his host from destruction. Fool that he is, who thinks not of the
past nor of the future, that his people may be safe!”

Then Patroclus brought forth the maiden from her tent and gave her to
the heralds. And they led her away, but it was sorely against her will
that she went. But Achilles went apart from his comrades and sat upon
the sea-shore, falling into a great passion of tears, and stretching
out his hands with loud prayer to his mother, who indeed was a goddess
of the sea, Thetis by name. She heard him where she sat in the depths
by her father, the old god of the sea, and rose--you would have thought
it a mist rising--from the waves, and came to where he sat weeping, and
stroked him with her hand and called him by his name.

“What ails thee, my son?” she said.

Then he told her the story of his wrong, and when he had ended he

“Go, I pray thee, to the top of Olympus, to the palace of Zeus. Often
have I heard thee boast how, long ago, thou didst help him when the
other gods would have bound him, fetching Briareus of the hundred
hands, who sat by him in his strength, so that the gods feared to touch
him. Go now and call these things to his mind, and pray him that he
help the sons of Troy and give them victory in the battle, so that the
Greeks, as they flee before them, may have joy of this king of theirs,
who has done such wrong to the bravest of his host.”

And his mother answered him, “Surely thine is an evil lot, my son! Thy
life is short, and it should of right be without tears and full of joy;
but now it seems to me to be both short and sad. But I will go as thou
sayest to Olympus, to the palace of Zeus, but not now, for he has gone,
and the other gods with him, to a twelve days’ feast with the pious
Ethiopians. But when he comes back I will entreat and persuade him. And
do thou sit still, nor go forth to battle.”

When the twelve days were past Thetis went to the top of Olympus, to
the palace of Zeus, and made her prayer to him. He was loath to grant
it, for he knew it would anger his wife, Heré who loved the Greeks and
hated the sons of Troy. Yet he could not refuse her, but promised that
it should be as she wished. And to make his word the surer, he nodded
his awful head, and with the nod all Olympus was shaken.

That night Zeus took counsel with himself how he might best work his
will. And he called to him a dream, and said, “Dream, go to the tent of
Agamemnon, and tell him to set his army in array against Troy, for that
the gods are now of one mind, and the day of doom is come for the city,
so that he shall take it, and gain eternal glory for himself.”

So the dream went to the tent of Agamemnon, and it took the shape of
Nestor, the old chief, whom the king honored more than all beside.

Then the false Nestor spake: “Sleepest thou, Agamemnon? It is not for
kings to sleep all through the night, for they must take thought for
many, and have many cares. Listen now to the words of Zeus: ‘Set the
battle in array against Troy, for the gods are now of one mind, and
the day of doom is come for the city, and thou shall take it, and gain
eternal glory for thyself.’”

And Agamemnon believed the dream, and knew not the purpose of Zeus
in bidding him go forth to battle, how that the Trojans should win
the day, and great shame should come to himself, but great honor to
Achilles, when all the Greeks should pray him to deliver them from
death. So he rose from his bed and donned his tunic, and over it a
great cloak, and fastened the sandals on his feet, and hung from his
shoulders his mighty silver-studded sword, and took in his right hand
the great sceptre of his house, which was the token of his sovereignty
over all the Greeks. Then he went forth, and first took counsel with
the chiefs, and afterwards called the people to the assembly. And after
the assembly the shrill-voiced heralds called the host to the battle.
As is the flare of a great fire when a wood is burning on a hill-top,
so was the flash of their arms and their armor as they thronged to the
field. And as the countless flocks of wild geese or cranes or swans now
wheel and now settle in the great Asian fen by the stream of Caÿster,
or as the bees swarm in the spring, when the milk-pails are full, so
thick the Greeks thronged to the battle in the great plain by the banks
of the Scamander. Many nations were there, and many chiefs. But the
most famous among them were these: Agamemnon, King of Mycenæ, and his
brother, the yellow-haired Menelaüs, King of Sparta, and husband of the
beautiful Helen; Ajax Oïleus, or, as men called him, the lesser Ajax,
King of the Locri, swiftest of foot among the Greeks after the great
Achilles; Ajax Telamon, from Salamis; Diomed, son of Tydeus, King of
Argos, and with him Sthenelus; Nestor, King of Pylos, oldest and wisest
among the Greeks; Ulysses, King of Ithaca, than whom there was no one
more crafty in counsel; Idomeneus, grandson of the great judge Minos,
King of Crete, and with him Meriones; Tlepolemus, son of Hercules,
from Rhodes; Eumelus from Pheræ, son of that Alcestis who died for her
husband and was brought back from death by Hercules. All these were
there that day, and many more; and the bravest and strongest of all was
Ajax, son of Telamon, and the best horses were the horses of Eumelus;
but there was none that could compare with Achilles and the horses of
Achilles, bravest man and swiftest steeds. Only Achilles sat apart, and
would not go to the battle.

And on the other side the sons of Troy and their allies came forth from
the gates of the city and set themselves in array. The most famous of
their chiefs were these: Hector, son of King Priam, bravest and best
of all; Æneas, son of Anchises and the goddess Aphrodité; Pandarus,
from Mount Ida, with the bow which Apollo gave him; Asius, the son
of Hyrtacus, who came from the broad salt river, the Hellespont;
Pylæmenes, King of Paphlagonia; and Sarpedon from Lycia, whom men
affirmed to be the son of Zeus himself, and with him Glaucus.

So the battle was set in array, and the two hosts stood over against
each other.

They were now about to fight, when from the ranks of the Trojans Paris
rushed forth. He had a panther’s skin over his shoulders, and a bow and
a sword, and in either hand a spear, and he called aloud to the Greeks
that they should send forth their bravest to fight with him. But when
Menelaüs saw him he was glad, for he said that now he should avenge
himself on the man who had done him such wrong. So a lion is glad when,
being sorely hungered, he finds a stag or a wild goat; he devours it,
and will not be driven from it by dogs or hunters. He leapt from his
chariot and rushed to meet his enemy; but Paris, having done evil, and
being therefore a coward in his heart, was afraid when he saw Menelaüs,
and fled back into the ranks of his comrades, just as a man steps back
in haste when unawares in a mountain glen he comes upon a snake. But
Hector saw him and rebuked him. “Fair art thou to look upon, Paris,
but nothing worth. Surely the Greeks will scorn us if they think that
thou art our bravest warrior, because thou art of stately presence. But
thou art a coward; and yet thou daredst to go across the sea and carry
off the fair Helen. Why dost thou not stand and abide the onset of her
husband, and see what manner of man he is? Little, I ween, would thy
harp and thy long locks and thy fair face avail when thou wert lying in
the dust! A craven race are the sons of Troy, or they would have stoned
thee ere this.”

Then Paris answered, “Thou speakest well, Hector, and thy rebuke is
just. As for thee, thy heart is like iron, ever set on battle; yet are
beauty and love also the gifts of the gods, and not to be despised. But
now set Menelaüs and me in the midst, and let us fight, man to man, for
the fair Helen and for all her possessions. And if he prevail over me,
let him take her and them and depart, and the Greeks with him, but ye
shall dwell in peace; but if I prevail they shall depart without her.”

Then Hector was glad, and going before the Trojan ranks, holding his
spear by the middle, he kept them back. But the Greeks would have
thrown spears and stones at him, only Agamemnon cried aloud and said,
“Hold: Hector has somewhat to say to us.”

Then Hector said, “Hear, Trojans and Greeks, what Paris saith: Let all
besides lay their arms upon the ground, and let Menelaüs and me fight
for the fair Helen and all her wealth. And let him that is the better
keep her and them, but the rest shall dwell in peace.”

Then Menelaüs said, “The word pleaseth me well; let us fight together,
and let us make agreement with oath and sacrifice. And because the sons
of Priam are men of fraud and violence, let Priam himself come.”

So they sent a herald to King Priam, but he sat on the wall with the
old men. And as they talked, the fair Helen came near, and they said,
“What wonder that men should suffer much for such a woman, for indeed
she is divinely fair. Yet let her depart in the ships, nor bring a
curse on us and our children.”

But Priam called to her, “Come near, my daughter; tell me about these
old friends of thine. For ’tis not thou, ’tis the gods who have brought
about all this trouble. But tell me, who is this warrior that I see, so
fair and strong? There are others even a head taller than he, but none
of such majesty.”

And Helen answered, “Ah, my father! would that I had died before I left
husband and child to follow thy son. But as for this warrior, he is
Agamemnon, a good king and brave soldier, and my brother-in-law in the
old days.”

“Happy Agamemnon,” said Priam, “to rule over so many! Never saw I such
an army gathered together, not even when I went to help the Phrygians
when they were assembled on the banks of the Sangarus against the
Amazons. But who is this that I see, not so tall as Agamemnon, but of
broader shoulders? His arms lie upon the ground, and he is walking
through the ranks of his men just as some great ram walks through a
flock of sheep.”

“This,” said Helen, “is Ulysses of Ithaca, who is better in craft and
counsel than all other men.”

“’Tis well spoken, lady,” said Antenor. “Well I remember Ulysses when
he came hither on an embassy about thee with the brave Menelaüs. My
guests they were, and I knew them well. And I remember how, in the
assembly of the Trojans, when both were standing, Menelaüs was the
taller, but when they sat, Ulysses was the more majestic to behold. And
when they rose to speak, Menelaüs said few words, but said them wisely
and well; and Ulysses--you had thought him a fool, so stiffly he held
his sceptre and so downcast were his eyes; but as soon as he began, oh!
the mighty voice, and the words thick as the falling snow!”

Then Priam said, “Who is that stalwart hero, so tall and strong,
overtopping all by head and shoulders?”

“That,” said Helen, “is mighty Ajax, the bulwark of the Greeks. And
next to him is Idomeneus. Often has Menelaüs had him as his guest in
the old days, when he came from Crete. As for the other chiefs, I see
and could name them all. But I miss my own dear brothers, Castor, tamer
of horses, and Pollux, the mighty boxer. Either they came not from
Sparta, or, having come, shun the meeting of men for shame of me.”

So she spake, and knew not that they were sleeping their last sleep far
away in their dear fatherland. And when they had ended talking, the
heralds came and told King Priam how that the armies called for him. So
he went, and Antenor with him. And he on the one side, for the Trojans,
and King Agamemnon for the Greeks, made a covenant with sacrifice that
Paris and Menelaüs should fight together, and that the fair Helen,
with all her treasures, should go with him who should prevail. And
afterwards Hector and Ulysses marked out a space for the fight, and
Hector shook two pebbles in a helmet, looking away as he shook them,
that he whose pebble leapt forth the first should be the first to throw
his spear. And it so befell that the lot of Paris leapt forth first.
Then the two warriors armed themselves and came forth into the space,
and stood over against each other, brandishing their spears, with hate
in their eyes. Then Paris threw his spear. It struck the shield of
Menelaüs, but pierced it not, for the spear-point was bent back. Then
Menelaüs prayed to Zeus, “Grant, father Zeus, that I may avenge myself
on Paris, who has done me this wrong: so shall men in after time fear
to do wrong to their host.” So speaking, he cast his long-shafted
spear. It struck the shield of Paris and pierced it through, and passed
through the corselet, and through the tunic, close to the loin; but
Paris shrank aside, and the spear wounded him not. Then Menelaüs drew
his silver-studded sword and struck a mighty blow on the top of the
helmet of Paris, but the sword broke in four pieces in his hand. Then
he cried in his wrath, “O Zeus, most mischief-loving of the gods, my
spear I cast in vain, and now my sword is broken.” Then he rushed
forward and seized Paris by the helmet, and dragged him towards the
host of the Greeks. And truly he had taken him, but Aphrodité loosed
the strap that was beneath the chin, and the helmet came off in his
hand. And Menelaüs whirled it among the Greeks and charged with another
spear in his hand. But Aphrodité snatched Paris away, covering him with
a mist, and put him down in his chamber in Troy. Then Menelaüs looked
for him everywhere, but no one could tell him where he might be. No son
of Troy would have hidden him out of kindness, for all hated him as

Then King Agamemnon said, “Now, ye sons of Troy, it is for you to give
back the fair Helen and her wealth, and to pay me besides so much as
may be fitting for all my cost and trouble.”

But it was not the will of the gods that the sons of Troy should
do this thing, but rather that their city should perish. So Athené
took upon herself the shape of Laodocus, son of Antenor, and went
to Pandarus, son of Lycaon, where he stood among his men. Then the
false Laodocus said, “Pandarus, darest thou aim an arrow at Menelaüs?
Truly the Trojans would love thee well, and Paris best of all, if
they could see Menelaüs slain by an arrow from thy bow. Aim then, but
first pray to Apollo, and vow that thou wilt offer a hundred beasts
when thou returnest to thy city, Zeleia.” Now Pandarus had a bow made
of the horns of a wild goat which he had slain; sixteen palms long
they were, and a cunning workman had made them smooth, and put a tip
of gold whereon to fasten the bowstring. And Pandarus strung his bow,
his comrades hiding him with their shields. Then he took an arrow from
his quiver, and laid it on the bow-string, and drew the string to his
breast, till the arrow-head touched the bow, and let fly. Right well
aimed was the dart, but it was not the will of heaven that it should
slay Menelaüs. It struck him, indeed, and passed through the belt and
through the corselet and through the girdle, and pierced the skin.
Then the red blood rushed out and stained the white skin, even as some
Lycian or Carian woman stains the white ivory with red to adorn the
war-horse of a king.

Sore dismayed was King Agamemnon to see the blood; sore dismayed also
was the brave Menelaüs till he spied the barb of the arrow, and knew
that the wound was not deep. But Agamemnon cried,--

“It was in an evil hour for thee, my brother, that I made a covenant
with these false sons of Troy. Right well, indeed, I know that oath
and sacrifice are not in vain, but will have vengeance at the last.
Troy shall fall; but woe is me if thou shouldst die, Menelaüs. For
the Greeks will straight go back to their fatherland, and the fair
Helen will be left a boast to the sons of Troy, and I shall have great
shame when one of them shall say, as he leaps on the tomb of the brave
Menelaüs, ‘Surely the great Agamemnon has avenged himself well; for
he brought an army hither, but now is gone back to his home, but left
Menelaüs here.’ May the earth swallow me up before that day!”

“Nay,” said Menelaüs, “fear not, for the arrow has but grazed the skin.”

Then King Agamemnon bade fetch the physician. So the herald fetched
Machaon, the physician. And Machaon came, and drew forth the arrow, and
when he had wiped away the blood he put healing drugs upon the wound,
which Chiron, the wise healer, had given to his father.


But while this was doing, King Agamemnon went throughout the host,
and if he saw anyone stirring himself to get ready for the battle he
praised him and gave him good encouragement; but whomsoever he saw
halting and lingering and slothful, him he blamed and rebuked whether
he were common man or chief. The last that he came to was Diomed, son
of Tydeus, with Sthenelus, son of Capaneus, standing by his side. And
Agamemnon spake, “How is this, son of Tydeus? Shrinkest thou from the
battle? This was not thy father’s wont. I never saw him indeed, but
I have heard that he was braver than all other men. Once he came to
Mycenæ with great Polynices to gather allies against Thebes. And the
men of Mycenæ would have sent them, only Zeus showed evil signs from
heaven and forbade them. Then the Greeks sent Tydeus on an embassy
to Thebes, where he found many of the sons of Cadmus feasting in the
palace of Eteocles; but Tydeus was not afraid, though he was but one
among many. He challenged them to contend with him in sport, and in
everything he prevailed. But the sons of Cadmus bare it ill, and
they laid an ambush for Tydeus as he went back, fifty men with two
leaders--Mæon and Lycophon. But Tydeus slew them all, leaving only
Mæon alive, that he might carry back the tidings to Thebes. Such was
thy father; but his son is worse in battle, but better, it may be, in

Nothing said Diomed, for he reverenced the king; but Sthenelus cried
out, “Why speakest thou false, King Agamemnon, knowing the truth? We
are not worse but better than our fathers. Did not we take Thebes,
though we had fewer men than they, who indeed took it not?” But Diomed
frowned and said, “Be silent, friend. I blame not King Agamemnon that
he rouses the Greeks to battle. Great glory will it be to him if they
take the city, and great loss if they be worsted. But it is for us to
be valiant.”

So he passed through all the host. And the Greeks went forward to the
battle, as the waves that curl themselves and then dash upon the shore,
throwing high the foam. In order they went after their chiefs; you had
thought them dumb, so silent were they. But the Trojans were like a
flock of ewes which wait to be milked, and bleat hearing the voice of
their lambs, so confused a cry went out from their army, for there
were men of many tongues gathered together. And on either side the gods
urged them on, but chiefly Athené the Greeks, and Ares the sons of
Troy. Then, as two streams in flood meet in some chasm, so the armies
dashed together, shield on shield and spear on spear.

Antilochus, son of Nestor, was the first to slay a man of Troy,
Echepolus by name, smiting him through the helmet into the forehead.
Like a tower he fell, and Elphenor the Euban sought to drag him away
that he might strip him of his arms. But Agenor smote him with his
spear as he stooped, so baring his side to a wound. Dreadful was the
fight around his body. Like wolves the Trojans and the Greeks rushed
upon each other. And Ajax Telamon slew Simoisius (so they called him,
because he was born on the banks of Simoïs). He fell as a poplar falls,
and Antiphon, son of King Priam, aimed at Ajax, but, missing him, slew
Leucus, the valiant comrade of Ulysses. And Ulysses, in great anger,
stalked through the foremost fighters, brandishing his spear, and the
sons of Troy gave way, and when he hurled it he slew Democoön, a son of
Priam. Then Hector and the foremost ranks of Troy were borne backward,
till Apollo cried from the heights of Pergamos, “On, Trojans! The flesh
of these Greeks is not stone or iron, that ye cannot pierce it. Know,
too, that the mighty Achilles does not fight to-day.” But on the other
side Athené urged on the Greeks to battle. Then Peiros the Thracian
slew Diores, first striking him to the ground with a huge stone, and
then piercing him with his spear; and him in turn Thoas of Ætolia slew,
but could not spoil of his arms, so strongly did the men of Thrace
defend the body. Then Athené roused Diomed to battle, making a fire
shine from his helmet, bright as Orion shines in the vintage time.
First there met him two warriors, sons of Dares, priest of Hephæstus,
Phegeus and Idæus, the one fighting on foot and the other from his
chariot. First Phegeus threw his spear and missed his aim; but Diomed
missed not, smiting him through the breast. And Idæus, when he saw his
brother fall, fled, Hephæstus saving him, lest the old man should be
altogether bereaved. And each of the chiefs slew a foe; but there was
none like Diomed, who raged through the battle so furiously that you
could not tell with which host he was, whether with the Greeks or with
the sons of Troy. Then Pandarus aimed an arrow at him, and smote him
in the right shoulder as he was rushing forward, and cried aloud, “On,
great-hearted sons of Troy, the bravest of the Greeks is wounded! Soon,
methinks, will his strength fail him, unless Apollo has deceived me.”

But Diomed cared not for the arrow. Only he leapt down from the chariot
and spake to Sthenelus, his charioteer, “Come down and draw this arrow
from my shoulder.” Then Sthenelus drew it, and the blood spirted out
from the wound. And Diomed prayed to Athené, “O goddess, if ever thou
hast helped me, be with me now, and grant me to slay this boaster whose
arrow has wounded me!” So speaking, he rushed into the ranks of the
Trojans, slaying a man at every stroke. Æneas saw him, and thought how
he might stay him in his course. So he passed through the host till he
found Pandarus. “Pandarus,” he said, “where are thy bow and arrows? See
how this man deals death through the ranks. Send a shaft at him, first
making thy prayer to Zeus.”

Then Pandarus answered,--

“This man, methinks, is Diomed. The shield and the helmet and the
horses are his. And yet I know not whether he is not a god. Some god,
at least, stands by him and guards him. But now I sent an arrow at him
and smote him on the shoulder, right through the corselet, and thought
that I had slain him; but lo! I have harmed him not at all. And now
I know not what to do, for here I have no chariot. Eleven, indeed,
there are at home, in the house of my father Lycaon, and the old man
was earnest with me that I should bring one of them; but I would not,
fearing for my horses, lest they should not have provender enough. So
I came, trusting in my bow, and lo! it has failed me these two times.
Two of the chiefs I have hit, Menelaüs and Diomed, and from each have
seen the red blood flow, yet have I not harmed them. Surely, if ever I
return safe to my home, I will break this useless bow.”

“Nay,” said Æneas, “talk not thus. Climb into my chariot, and see what
horses we have in Troy. They will carry us safe to the city, even
should Diomed prevail against us. But take the rein and the whip, and I
will fight; or, if thou wilt, fight thou, and I will drive.”

“Nay,” said Pandarus, “let the horses have the driver whom they know.
It might lose us both, should we turn to flee, and they linger or start
aside, missing their master’s voice.”

So Pandarus mounted the chariot and they drove together against Diomed.
And Sthenelus saw them coming, and said to his comrades--“I see two
mighty warriors, Lycaon and Æneas. It would be well that we should go
back to our chariot.”

But Diomed frowned and said, “Talk not of going back. Thou wilt talk
in vain to me. As for my chariot, I care not for it. As I am will I
go against these men. Both shall not return safe, even if one should
escape. But do thou stay my chariot where it is, tying the reins to the
rail; and if I slay these men, mount the chariot of Æneas and drive
into the hosts of the Greeks. There are no horses under the sun such as
these, for they are of the breed which Zeus himself gave to King Tros.”

Meanwhile Pandarus and Æneas were coming near, and Pandarus cast his
spear. Right through the shield of Diomed it passed, and reached the
corselet, and Pandarus cried,--

“Thou art hit in the loin. This, methinks, will lay thee low.”

“Nay,” said Diomed, “thou hast missed and not hit at all.”

And as he spake he threw his spear. Through nose and teeth and tongue
it passed, and stood out below the chin. Headlong from the chariot he
fell, and his armor clashed about him. Straightway Æneas leapt off
with spear and shield to guard the body of his friend, and stood as a
lion stands over a carcase. But Diomed lifted a great stone, such as
two men of our day could scarcely carry, and cast it. It struck Æneas
on the hip, crushing the bone. The hero stooped on his knee, clutching
the ground with his hand, and darkness covered his eyes. That hour he
had perished, but his mother Aphrodité caught him in her white arms and
threw her veil about him. But even so Diomed was loath to let his foe
escape, and knowing that the goddess was not of those who mingle in the
battle, he rushed on her and wounded her on the wrist, and the blood
gushed out--such blood (they call it _ichor_) as flows in the veins of
the immortal gods, who eat not the meat and drink not the drink of men.
With a loud shriek she dropped her son, but Apollo caught him up and
covered him with a dark mist, lest perchance one of the Greeks should
spy him and slay him. And still Diomed pursued. Thrice he rushed on,
and thrice Apollo pushed back his shining shield; but the fourth time
the god cried to him,--

“Be wise, son of Tydeus, and give way, nor think to match the gods.”

And Diomed gave way, fearing the wrath of the far-shooting bow. But
Apollo carried Æneas out of the battle, and laid him down in his own
temple in the citadel of Troy, and there Artemis and Latona healed
him of his wound. And all the while the Trojans and the Greeks were
fighting, as they thought, about his body, for Apollo had made a
likeness of the hero and thrown it down in their midst. Then Sarpedon
the Lycian spake to Hector with bitter words,--

“Where are thy boasts, Hector? Thou saidst that thou couldst guard thy
city, without thy people or thy allies, thou alone, with thy brothers
and thy brothers-in-law. But I cannot see even one of them. They go
and hide themselves, as dogs before a lion. It is we, your allies, who
maintain the battle. I have come from far to help thy people,--from
Lycia, where I left wife and child and wealth,--nor do I shrink from
the fight, but thou shouldst do thy part.”

And the words stung Hector to the heart. He leapt from his chariot and
went through the host, urging them to the battle. And on the other side
the Greeks strengthened themselves. But Ares brought back Æneas whole
from his wound, and gave him courage and might. Right glad were his
comrades to see him, nor did they ask him any question; scant leisure
was there for questions that day. Then were done many valiant deeds,
nor did any bear himself more bravely than Æneas. Two chieftains of
the Greeks he slew, Crethon and Orsilochus, who came from the banks of
Alpheüs. Sore vexed was Menelaüs to see them fall, and he rushed to
avenge them, Ares urging him on, for he hoped that Æneas would slay
him. But Antilochus, Nestor’s son, saw him go, and hasted to his side
that he might help him. So they went and slew Pylæmenes, King of the
Paphlagonians, and Medon, his charioteer. Then Hector rushed to the
front, and Ares was by his side. Diomed saw him, and the god also, for
his eyes were opened that day, and he fell back a space and cried,--

“O my friends! here Hector comes; nor he alone, but Ares is with him in
the shape of a mortal man. Let us give place, still keeping our faces
to the foe, for men must not fight with gods.”

Then drew near to each other Sarpedon the Lycian and Tlepolemus, the
son of Hercules, the one a son and the other a grandson of Zeus. First
Tlepolemus spake,--

“What art thou doing here, Sarpedon? Surely ’tis a false report that
thou art a son of Zeus. The sons of Zeus in the old days were better
men than thou art, such as my father Hercules, who came to this city
when Laomedon would not give him the horses which he had promised, and
brake down the walls and wasted the streets. No help, methinks, wilt
thou be to the sons of Troy, slain here by my hands.”

But Sarpedon answered, “He indeed spoiled Troy, for Laomedon did him
grievous wrong. But thou shalt not fare so, but rather meet with thy

Then they both hurled their spears, aiming truly, both of them. For
Sarpedon smote Tlepolemus in the neck, piercing it through so that he
fell dead, and Tlepolemus smote Sarpedon in the left thigh, driving the
spear close to the bone, but slaying him not, his father Zeus warding
off the doom of death. And his comrades carried him out of the battle,
sorely burdened with the spear, which no one had thought to take out of
the wound. And as he was borne along, Hector passed by, and Sarpedon
rejoiced to see him, and cried,--

“Son of Priam, suffer me not to become a prey to the Greeks; let me
at least die in your city, for Lycia I may see no more, nor wife, nor

But Hector heeded him not, so eager was he for the battle. So his
comrades carried him to the great beech-tree and laid him down, and
one of them drew the spear out of his thigh. When it was drawn out he
fainted, but the cool north wind blew and revived him, and he breathed

But all the while Hector, with Ares at his side, dealt death and
destruction through the ranks of the Greeks. Heré and Athené saw him
where they sat on the top of Olympus, and were wroth. So they went to
Father Zeus and prayed that it might be lawful to them to stop him in
his fury. And Zeus said, “Be it as you will.” So they yoked the horses
to the chariot of Heré and passed down to earth, the horses flying at
every stride over so much space as a man sees who sits upon a cliff
and looks across the sea to where it meets the sky. They alighted on
the spot where the two rivers Simoïs and Scamander join their streams.
There they loosed the horses from the yoke, and then sped like doves
to where the bravest of the Greeks stood round King Diomed. There Heré
took the shape of Stentor with the lungs of bronze, whose voice was as
the voice of fifty men, and cried, “Shame, men of Greece! When Achilles
went to the battle, the men of Troy came not beyond the gates, but now
they fight far from the city, even by the ships.” But Athené went
to Diomed where he stood wiping away the blood from the wound where
Pandarus had struck him with the arrow. And she spake, “Surely the son
of Tydeus is little like to his sire. Small of stature was he, but a
keen fighter. But thou--whether it be weariness or fear that keeps thee
back I know not--canst scarcely be a true son of Tydeus.”

But Diomed answered, “Nay, great goddess, for I know thee who thou art,
daughter of Zeus, it is not weariness or fear that keeps me back. ’Tis
thy own command that I heed. Thou didst bid me fight with none other
of the immortal gods but only with Aphrodité, should she come to the
battle. Therefore I give place, for I see Ares lording it through the
ranks of war.”

“Heed not Ares; drive thy chariot at him, and smite him with the spear.
This very morning he promised that he would help the Greeks, and now he
hath changed his purpose.”

And as she spake she pushed Sthenelus, who drove the chariot, so that
he leapt out upon the ground, and she mounted herself and caught the
reins and lashed the horses. So the two went together, and they found
Ares where he had just slain Periphas the Ætolian. But Athené had
donned the helmet of Hades, which whosoever puts on straightway becomes
invisible, for she would not that Ares should see her who she was. The
god saw Diomed come near, and left Periphas, and cast his spear over
the yoke of the chariot, eager to slay the hero. But Athené caught the
spear in her hand, and turned it aside, so that it flew vainly through
the air. Then Diomed in turn thrust forward his spear, and Athené
leant upon it, so that it pierced the loin of Ares where his girdle
was clasped. And Ares shouted with the pain, loud as a host of men,
thousands nine or ten, shouts when it joins in battle. And the Greeks
and Trojans trembled as they heard. And Diomed saw the god go up to
Olympus as a thunder-cloud goes up when the wind of the south blows hot.

But when Ares had departed the Greeks prevailed again, slaying many of
the sons of Troy and of their allies. But at last Helenus, the wise
seer, spake to Hector and Æneas,--

“Cause the army to draw back to the walls, and go through the ranks and
give them such strength and courage as ye may. And do thou, Hector,
when thou hast so done, pass into the city, and bid thy mother go with
the daughters of Troy, and take the costliest robe that she hath,
and lay it on the knees of Athené in her temple, vowing therewith to
sacrifice twelve heifers, if perchance she may have pity upon us, and
keep this Diomed from our walls. Surely there is no Greek so strong as
he; we did not fear even Achilles’ self so much as we fear this man
to-day, so dreadful is he and fierce. Go, and we will make such stand
meanwhile as we can.”

Then Hector passed through the ranks, bidding them be of good heart,
and so departed to the city.

But when he was gone, Glaucus the Lycian and Diomed met in the space
between the two hosts. And Diomed said,--

“Who art thou that meetest me thus? for never have I seen thee before.
If thou art a man, know that luckless are the fathers whose sons meet
my spear. But if thou art a god, I will not fight with thee. It fares
ill with them that fight with gods.”

Then Glaucus answered, “Diomed, why askest thou of my race? The races
of men are as the leaves of the forest which the wind blows to the
earth, and lo! in the spring they shoot forth again. Yet, if thou
wouldst know it, hearken to my words. There is a city Ephyra in the
land of Argos, where Sisyphus dwelt, who was the craftiest of men;
and Sisyphus begat Glaucus, and Glaucus, Bellerophon. Now Bellerophon
was the fairest and most valiant of men. And Queen Antea accused him
falsely to her husband, King Prœtus. Whereupon the king sent him to his
father-in-law, who was king of Lycia, and gave him a tablet, whereon
were written letters of death, so that the king having read them should
cause him to be slain. So Bellerophon came to Lycia. And for nine days
the king feasted him, but on the tenth he asked for the tablet. And
when he had read it, he sought how he might slay him. For first he sent
him to subdue the Chimæra. Now the Chimæra was a marvellous thing,
having the forepart of a lion, and the body of a goat, and the tail of
a snake. And afterwards he sent him against the Solymi, who are the
fiercest warriors of all that dwell on the earth. And his third labor
was that he slew the Amazons. And as he was returning the king set
an ambush for him, yet harmed him not, for Bellerophon slew all the
men that lay in wait for him. Then the king knew him to be a good man
and of the race of the gods. Wherefore he kept him, and gave him his
daughter to wife, and with her the half of his kingdom; and the Lycians
gave him a fair domain of orchard and plough-land. Now Bellerophon had
three children--Laodamia, who bare Sarpedon to Zeus; and Isander, whom
Ares slew in battle against the Solymi; and Hippolochus, my father, who
sent me hither, bidding me ever bear myself bravely, nor shame the race
of my fathers.”

This Diomed was right glad to hear, and cried, “Nay, but thou art a
friend by inheritance. For in former times Œneus, my grandfather,
feasted Bellerophon for twenty days, and gave him a belt broidered with
purple, and Bellerophon gave him a great cup with two mouths, which
indeed I left behind me when I came hither. And now let us two make
agreement that we fight not with each other, for there are Trojans
enough whom I may slay, and there are Greeks enough for thee. And let
us also exchange our armor, that these men may know us to be friends by

So they leapt down from their chariots and exchanged their armor. And
Zeus took away all wise counsel from the heart of Glaucus, so that he
gave golden armor for armor of bronze, the worth of a hundred oxen for
the worth of nine.

Hector came into the city by the Scæan gates, and as he went wives and
mothers crowded about him, asking how it had fared with their husbands
and sons. But he said nought, save to bid them pray; and indeed there
was sore news for many if he had told that which he knew. Then he came
to the palace of King Priam, and there he saw Hecuba, his mother, and
with her Laodicé, fairest of her daughters. She caught him by the hand
and said,--

“Why hast thou come from the battle, my son? Do the Greeks press thee
hard, and art thou minded to pray to Father Zeus from the citadel? Let
me bring thee honey-sweet wine, that thou mayest pour out before him,
aye, and that thou mayest drink thyself, and gladden thy heart.”

But Hector said, “Give me not wine, my mother, lest thou weaken my
knees and make me forget my courage. Nor must I pour out an offering
with Zeus thus, with unwashed hands. But do thou gather the mothers of
Troy together, and go to the temple of Athené, and take a robe, the
one that is the most precious and beautiful in thy stores, and lay it
on the knees of the goddess, and pray her to keep this dreadful Diomed
from the walls of Troy; and forget not to vow therewith twelve heifers
as a sacrifice. As for me, I will go and seek Paris, if perchance he
will come with me to the war. Would that the earth might open and
swallow him up, for of a truth he is a curse to King Priam and to Troy.”

So Queen Hecuba and the mothers of Troy did as Hector had bidden them.
But when they laid the robe on the knees of the goddess she would not
hear them.

And Hector went to the house of Paris, where it stood on the citadel,
near to his own dwelling and the dwelling of Priam. He found him busy
with his arms, and the fair Helen sat near him and gave their tasks to
her maidens.

But Hector spake: “Be not wroth, my brother. The people perish about
the wall, and the war burns hot round the city, and all for thy sake.
Rouse thee, lest it be consumed.”

And Paris answered, “Brother, thou hast spoken well. It was not in
wrath that I sat here. I was vexed at my sore defeat. But now my wife
has urged me to join the battle, and truly it is well, for victory
comes now to one and now to another. Wait thou, then, till I don my
arms, or if thou wouldst depart, I will overtake thee.”

So Hector departed and went to his own home, seeking his wife
Andromaché, but found her not, for she was on a tower of the wall with
her child and her child’s nurse, weeping sore for fear. And Hector
spake to the maids,--

“Tell me, whither went the white-armed Andromaché; to see some
sister-in-law, or to the temple of Athené with the mothers of Troy?”

“Nay,” said an aged woman, keeper of the house. “She went to one of
the towers of the wall, for she had heard that the Greeks were pressing
our people hard. She hasted like as she were mad, and the nurse carried
the child.”

So Hector ran through the city to the Scæan gates, and there Andromaché
spied him, and hasted to meet him--Andromaché, daughter of King Eëtion,
of Thebé-under-Placus. And with her was the nurse, bearing the young
child on her bosom--Hector’s only child, beautiful, headed as a star.
His father called him Scamandrius, after the river, but the sons of
Troy called him Astyanax, the “City-King,” because it was his father
who saved the city. Silently he smiled when he saw the child, but
Andromaché clasped his hand and wept, and said,--

“O Hector, thy courage will bring thee to death. Thou hast no pity on
thy wife and child, but sparest not thyself, and all the Greeks will
rush on thee and slay thee. It were better for me, losing thee, to die;
for I have no comfort but thee. My father is dead, for Achilles slew
him in Thebé--slew him but spoiled him not, so much he reverenced him.
With his arms he burnt him, and the mountain-nymphs planted poplars
about his grave. Seven brethren I had, and lo! they all fell in one day
by the hand of the great Achilles. And my mother, she is dead, for when
she had been ransomed, Artemis smote her with an arrow in her father’s
house. But thou art father to me, and mother and brother and husband
also. Have pity, then, and stay here upon the wall, lest thou leave me
a widow and thy child an orphan. And set the people here in array by
this fig-tree, where the city is easiest to be taken; for there come
the bravest of the Greeks, Ajax the Greater, and Ajax the Less, and
Idomeneus, and the two sons of Atreus, and the son of Tydeus.”

But Hector said, “Nay, let these things be my care. I would not that
any son or daughter of Troy should see me skulking from the war. And
my own heart loathes the thought, and bids me fight in the front. Well
I know, indeed, that Priam, and the people of Priam, and holy Troy,
will perish. Yet it is not for Troy, or for the people, or even for my
father or my mother that I care so much, as for thee in the day when
some Greek shall carry thee away captive, and thou shalt ply the loom
or carry the pitcher in the land of Greece. And some one shall say when
he sees thee, ‘This was Hector’s wife, who was the bravest of the sons
of Troy.’ May the earth cover me before that day!”

Then Hector stretched out his arms to his child. But the child drew
back into the bosom of his nurse with a loud cry, fearing the shining
bronze and the horse-hair plume which nodded awfully from his helmet
top. Then father and mother laughed aloud. And Hector took the helmet
from his head and laid it on the ground, and caught his child in his
hands, and kissed him and dandled him, praying aloud to Father Zeus and
all the gods.

“Grant, Father Zeus and all ye gods, that this child may be as I am,
great among the sons of Troy; and may they say some day, when they see
him carrying home the bloody spoils from the war, ‘A better man than
his father, this,’ and his mother shall be glad at heart.”

Then he gave the child to his mother, and she clasped him to her breast
and smiled a tearful smile. And her husband had pity on her, and
stroked her with his hand, and spake,--

“Be not troubled over much. No man shall slay me against the ordering
of fate; but as for fate, that, I trow, no man may escape, be he coward
or brave. But go, ply thy tasks, the shuttle and the loom, and give
their tasks to thy maidens, and let men take thought for the battle.”

Then Hector took up his helmet from the ground, and Andromaché went
her way to her home, oft turning back her eyes. And when she was come,
she and all her maidens wailed for the living Hector as though he were
dead, for she thought that she should never see him any more returning
safe from the battle.

And as Hector went his way, Paris came running, clad in shining arms,
like to some proud steed which has been fed high in his stall, and now
scours the plain with head aloft and mane streaming over his shoulders.
And he spake to Hector,--

“I have kept thee, I fear, when thou wast in haste, nor came at thy

But Hector answered, “No man can blame thy courage, only thou wilfully
heldest back from the battle. Therefore do the sons of Troy speak shame
of thee. But now let us go to the war.”

So they went together out of the gates, and fell upon the hosts of the
Greeks and slew many chiefs of fame, and Glaucus the Lycian went with

Now when Athené saw that the Greeks were perishing by the hand of
Hector and his companions, it grieved her sore. So she came down from
the heights of Olympus, if haply she might help them. And Apollo met
her and said,--

“Art thou come, Athené, to help the Greeks whom thou lovest? Well, let
us stay the battle for this day; hereafter they shall fight till the
doom of Troy be accomplished.”

But Athené answered, “How shall we stay it?”

And Apollo said, “We will set on Hector to challenge the bravest of
the Greeks to fight with him, man to man.”

So they two put the matter into the mind of Helenus the seer. Then
Helenus went near to Hector:--

“Listen to me, for I am thy brother. Cause the rest of the sons of Troy
and of the Greeks to sit down, and do thou challenge the bravest of the
Greeks to fight with thee, man to man. And be sure thou shalt not fall
in the battle, for the will of the immortal gods is so.”

Then Hector greatly rejoiced, and passed to the front of the army,
holding his spear by the middle, and kept back the sons of Troy; and
King Agamemnon did likewise with his own people. Then Hector spake:--

“Hear me, sons of Troy, and ye men of Greece. The covenant that we made
one with another hath been broken, for Zeus would have it so, purposing
evil to both, till either you shall take our high-walled city, or we
shall conquer you by your ships. But let one of you who call yourselves
champions of the Greeks come forth and fight with me, man to man. And
let it be so that if he vanquish me he shall spoil me of my arms but
give my body to my people, that they may burn it with fire; and if I
vanquish him, I will spoil him of his arms but give his body to the
Greeks, that they may bury him and raise a great mound above him by the
broad salt river of Hellespont. And so men of after days shall see it,
sailing by, and say, ‘This is the tomb of the bravest of the Greeks,
whom Hector slew.’ So shall my name live for ever.”

But all the Greeks kept silence, fearing to meet him in battle, but
shamed to hold back. Then at last Menelaüs leapt forward and spake:--

“Surely now ye are women and not men. Foul shame it were should there
be no man to stand up against this Hector. Lo! I will fight with him
my own self, for the issues of battle are with the immortal gods.”

So he spake in his rage rashly, courting death, for Hector was much
stronger than he. Then King Agamemnon answered:--

“Nay, but this is folly, my brother. Seek not in thy anger to fight
with one that is stronger than thou; for as for this Hector, even
Achilles was loath to meet him. Sit thou down among thy comrades, and
the Greeks will find some champion who shall fight with him.”

And Menelaüs hearkened to his brother’s words, and sat down. Then
Nestor rose in the midst and spake:--

“Woe is me to-day for Greece! How would the old Peleus grieve to hear
such a tale! Well I remember how he rejoiced when I told him of the
house and lineage of all the chieftains of the Greeks, and now he would
hear that they cower before Hector, and are sore afraid when he calls
them to the battle. Surely he would pray this day that he might die!
Oh that I were such as I was in the old days, when the men of Pylos
fought with the Arcadians by the stream of Iardanus! Now the leader of
the Arcadians was Ereuthalion, and he wore the arms of Areïthous, whom
men called ‘Areïthous of the club,’ because he fought not with bow or
spear, but with a club of iron. Him Lycurgus slew, not by might but by
craft, taking him in a narrow place where his club of iron availed him
not, and smiting him with his spear. He slew him, and took his arms.
And when Lycurgus grew old he gave the arms to Ereuthalion to wear. So
Ereuthalion wore them, and challenged the men of Pylos to fight with
him. But they feared him. Only I, who was the youngest of all, stood
forth, and Athené gave me glory that day, for I slew him, though he was
the strongest and tallest among the sons of men. Would that I were
such to-day! Right soon would I meet this mighty Hector.”

Then rose up nine chiefs of fame. First of all, King Agamemnon, lord
of many nations, and next to him Diomed, son of Tydeus, and Ajax the
Greater and Ajax the Less, and then Idomeneus and Meriones, who was his
companion in arms, and Eurypylus, and Thoas, son of Andræmon, and the
wise Ulysses.

Then Nestor said, “Let us cast lots who shall do battle with the mighty

So they threw the lots into the helmet of King Agamemnon, a lot for
each. And the people prayed, “Grant, ye gods, that the lot of Ajax
the Greater may leap forth, or the lot of Diomed, or the lot of King
Agamemnon.” Then Nestor shook the lots in the helmet, and the one which
they most wished leapt forth. For the herald took it through the ranks
and showed it to the chiefs, but none knew it for his own till he came
to where Ajax the Greater stood among his comrades. But Ajax had marked
it with his mark, and put forth his hand for it, and claimed it, right
glad at heart. On the ground by his feet he threw it, and said,--

“Mine is the lot, my friends, and right glad I am, for I think that I
shall prevail over the mighty Hector. But come, let me don my arms; and
pray ye to Zeus, but silently, lest the Trojans hear, or aloud, if ye
will, for no fear have we. Not by force or craft shall any one vanquish
me, for not such are the men that Salamis breeds.”

So he armed himself and moved forwards, dreadful as Ares, smiling with
grim face. With mighty strides he came, brandishing his long-shafted
spear. And all the Greeks were glad to behold him, but the knees of the
Trojans were loosened with fear, and great Hector’s heart beat fast;
but he trembled not, nor gave place, seeing that he had himself called
him to battle. So Ajax came near, holding before the great shield,
like a wall, which Tychius, best of craftsmen, had made for him. Seven
folds of bull’s hide it had, and an eighth of bronze. Threateningly he

“Now shalt thou know, Hector, what manner of men there are yet among
our chiefs, though Achilles the lion-hearted is far away, sitting idly
in his tent, in great wrath with King Agamemnon. Do thou, then, begin
the battle.”

“Speak not to me, Zeus-descended Ajax,” said Hector, “as though I were
a woman or a child, knowing nothing of war. Well I know all the arts of
battle, to ply my shield this way and that, to guide my car through the
tumult of steeds, and to stand fighting hand to hand. But I would not
smite so stout a foe by stealth, but openly, if it so befall.”

And as he spake he hurled his long shafted spear, and smote the great
shield on the rim of the eighth fold, that was of bronze. Through six
folds it passed, but in the seventh it was stayed. Then Ajax hurled his
spear, striking Hector’s shield. Through shield it passed and corselet,
and cut the tunic close against the loin; but Hector shrank away and
escaped the doom of death. Then, each with a fresh spear, they rushed
together like lions or wild boars of the wood. First Hector smote the
middle of the shield of Ajax, but pierced it not, for the spear-point
was bent back; then Ajax, with a great bound, drove his spear at
Hector’s shield and pierced it, forcing him back, and grazing his neck
so that the black blood welled out. Yet did not Hector cease from the
combat. A great stone and rough he caught up from the ground, and
hurled it at the boss of the seven-fold shield. Loud rang the bronze,
but the shield brake not. Then Ajax took a stone heavier by far, and
threw it with all his might. It brake the shield of Hector, and bore
him backwards, so that he fell at length with his shield above him. But
Apollo raised him up. Then did both draw their swords; but ere they
could join in close battle came the heralds, and held their sceptres
between them, and Idæus, the herald of Troy, spake:--

“Fight no more, my sons; Zeus loves you both, and ye are both mighty
warriors. That we all know right well. But now the night bids you
cease, and it is well to heed its bidding.”

Then said Ajax, “Nay, Idæus, but it is for Hector to speak, for he
called the bravest of the Greeks to battle. And as he wills it, so will

And Hector said, “O Ajax, the gods have given thee stature and strength
and skill, nor is there any better warrior among the Greeks. Let us
cease then from the battle; we may yet meet again, till the gods give
the victory to me or thee. And now let us give gifts the one to the
other, so that Trojans and Greeks may say--Hector and Ajax met in
fierce fight and parted in friendship.”

So Hector gave to Ajax a silver-studded sword with the scabbard and the
sword-belt, and Ajax gave to Hector a buckler splendid with purple.
So they parted. Right glad were the sons of Troy when they saw Hector
returning safe. Glad also were the Greeks, as they led Ajax rejoicing
in his victory to King Agamemnon. Whereupon the king called the chiefs
to banquet together, and bade slay an ox of five years old, and Ajax
he honored most of all, giving him the chine. And when the feast was
ended, Nestor said,--

“It were well that we should cease awhile from war and burn the dead,
for many, in truth, are fallen. And we will build a great wall, and
dig a trench about it, and we will make gates, wide that a chariot may
pass through, so that our ships may be safe, if the sons of Troy should
press us hard.”

But the next morning came a herald from Troy to the chiefs, as they sat
in council by the ship of King Agamemnon, and said,--

“This is the word of Priam and the men of Troy: Paris will give back
all the treasures of the fair Helen, and many more besides; but the
fair Helen herself he will not give. But if this please you not, grant
us a truce that we may bury our dead.”

Then Diomed spake, “Nay, we will not take the fair Helen’s self, for a
man may know, even though he be a fool, that the doom of Troy is come.”

And King Agamemnon said, “Herald, thou hast heard the word of the
Greeks, but as for the truce, be it as you will.”

So the next day they burnt their dead, and the Greeks made a wall with
gates and dug a trench about it. And when it was finished, even at
sunset, they made ready a meal, and lo! there came ships from Lemnos
bringing wine, and Greeks bought thereof, some with bronze, and some
with iron, and some with shields of ox hide. All night they feasted
right joyously. The sons of Troy also feasted in their city. But the
dreadful thunder rolled through the night, for Zeus was counselling
evil against them.



The next day the battle was set in array as before. And all the morning
the armies fought without advantage to the one or the other; but at
noon, at the hour when one who cuts wood upon the hills sits down
to his meal, the Greeks prevailed and drove back the sons of Troy.
Nor was there one of all the chiefs who fought so bravely as King
Agamemnon. Many valiant men he slew, and among them the two sons of
Antimachus. These, indeed, he took alive in their chariot, for they
had dropped the reins, and stood helpless before him, crying out that
he should spare them and take ransom, for that Antimachus their father
had much gold and bronze and iron in his house, and would gladly buy
them back alive. Now Antimachus had taken a bribe from Prince Paris,
and had given counsel to the Trojans that they should not give back
the fair Helen. So when King Agamemnon heard them, he said, “Nay, but
if ye be sons of Antimachus, who counselled the men of Troy that they
should slay Menelaüs when he came an ambassador to their city, ye
shall die for your father’s sin.” So he slew them both, and leaving
them he still rushed on, driving back the Trojans even to the walls
of their city. Nor did Hector himself dare to meet him, for Zeus had
sent him a message saying that he should hold himself back till King
Agamemnon should chance to be wounded. And indeed this chance happened
presently, for the king had slain Iphidamas, son to Antenor, and Coön,
his brother, the eldest born, was very wroth to see it. So standing
sideways he aimed with his spear, Agamemnon not knowing, and smote
the king in the hand near the wrist. Then he seized the body of his
brother, and shouted to his comrades that they should help him; but
Agamemnon dealt him a deadly blow underneath his shield. So he fell;
and for a while, while the wound was warm, the king fought as before;
but when it grew cold and stiff great pain came upon him, and he leapt
into his chariot and bade the charioteer drive him to the ships, for
that he could fight no more.

Then again the battle went for the Trojans, though Diomed and Ulysses,
who fought very valiantly, stayed it awhile, Diomed coming very near to
slay Hector. But Paris, who was in hiding behind the pillar on the tomb
of Ilus, drew his bow, and smote him with an arrow through the ankle of
the right foot. Loud he boasted of his aim. “Only,” he said, “I would
that I had pierced thee in the loin; then hadst thou troubled the sons
of Troy no more.”

But Diomed answered, “Small good were thy bow to thee, cowardly archer,
if thou shouldst dare to meet me face to face. And as for this graze on
my foot, I care no more than if a woman or child had smitten me. Not
such the wounds I deal; as for those that meet my spear in the battle,
I trow that they are dearer to the fowls of the air than to women in
the chamber.”

Then Ulysses stood before him while he drew the arrow out of his foot.
Grievous was the smart of the wound, for all his brave words. Wherefore
he leapt into his chariot, and bade drive in haste to the ships. So
Ulysses was left alone, and the Trojans came about him as men with dogs
come about a wild boar who stands at bay gnashing his white teeth.
Fiercely he stood at bay, and slew five chiefs of fame. But one of
them, Socus by name, before he fell, wounded him on the side, scraping
the flesh from the ribs. High spurted the blood from the wound, and the
Trojans shouted to see it. Then Ulysses shouted for help; three times
he shouted, and Menelaüs heard him and called to Ajax that it was the
voice of Ulysses, and that they should help him. So they went together
and made head awhile against the Trojans. But soon Paris wounded with
an arrow another brave chieftain, even the physician Machaon. Then
Ajax himself was affrighted and gave way, but slowly, and sore against
his will. Just so a lion is driven off from a herd of oxen by dogs and
men. Loath he is to go, so hungry is he, but the spears and the burning
torches affright him. So Ajax gave way. Now he would turn and face the
sons of Troy, and now he would flee, and they sought how to slay him,
but harmed him not. Then once more Paris loosed his bow and wounded a
chief, Eurypylus, striking him on the right thigh. So the battle went
sorely against the Greeks.

Now Achilles was standing on the stern of his ship, looking at the war,
and he saw Nestor carrying Machaon in his chariot to the ships. Then he
called to Patroclus, and Patroclus, who was in the tent, came forth;
but it was an evil hour for him. Then said Achilles,--

“Now will the Greeks soon come, methinks, praying for help, for their
need is sore. But go and see who is this whom Nestor is taking to the
ships. His shoulders are the shoulders of Machaon, but I saw not his
face, so swift the horses passed me by.”

Then Patroclus ran. And as he stood in the tent door, old Nestor saw
him, and went and took him by the hand, and would have had him sit
down. But Patroclus would not, saying,--

“Stay me not. I came but to see who is this that thou hast brought
wounded from the battle. And now I see that it is Machaon. Therefore I
will return, for thou knowest what manner of man is Achilles, that he
is hasty and swift to blame.”

Then said Nestor, “But what cares Achilles for the Greeks? or why does
he ask who are wounded? But, O Patroclus, dost thou mind the day when
I and Ulysses came to the house of Peleus, and how thy father Menætius
was there, and how we feasted in the hall; and when the feast was
finished told our errand, for we were gathering the heroes for the war
against the sons of Troy? Right willing were ye two to come, and many
counsels did the old men give you. Then to Achilles Peleus said that he
should always be foremost in the host, but to thee thy father Menætius
spake, ‘Achilles is nobler born than thou, and stronger far; but thou
art older. Do thou therefore counsel him well, when there is need.’ But
this thou forgettest, Patroclus. Hear, then, what I say. It may be that
Achilles will not go forth to the battle. But let him send thee forth,
and the Myrmidons with thee, and let him put his arms upon thee, so
that the sons of Troy be affrighted, thinking that he is in the battle,
and we shall have breathing space.”

Then Patroclus turned to run to Achilles, but as he ran he met
Eurypylus, who spake to him,--

“Small hope is there now for the Greeks, seeing that all their bravest
chiefs lie wounded at the ships. But do thou help me, for thou knowest
all the secrets of healing, seeing that the wise Chiron himself taught

Then Patroclus answered, “I am even now on my way to tell these things
to Achilles, but thee I may not leave in thy trouble.”

So he took him to his tent, and cut out the arrow from his thigh,
washing the wound with water, and putting on it a bitter healing root,
so that the pain was stayed and the blood stanched.

Now by this time the Trojans were close upon the trench. But the horses
stood on the brink, fearing to leap it, for it was broad and deep, and
the Greeks had put great stakes therein. Thus said Polydamas,--

“Surely, Hector, this is madness that we strive to cross the trench
in our chariots, for it is broad and deep, and there are great stakes
therein. Look, too, at this: even if we should be able to cross it, how
will the matter stand? If indeed it be the pleasure of Zeus that the
Greeks should perish utterly,--it will be well. But if they turn upon
us and pursue us, driving us back from the ships, then shall we not
be able to return. Wherefore let us leave our chariots here upon the
brink, and go on foot against the wall.”

So they went in five companies, of whom Hector led that which was
bravest and largest, and with him were Polydamas and Cebriones. And
the next Paris commanded. And of the third Helenus and Deïphobus were
leaders, and with them was Asius, the son of Hyrtacus, from Arisbê.
And the fourth followed Æneas, the valiant son of Anchises. But of
the allies Sarpedon was the leader, and with him were Glaucus and
Asteropæus. And in each company they joined shield to shield, and so
went against the Greeks. Nor was there one of them but hearkened to
the counsel of Polydamas when he bade them leave their chariots by the
trench, save Asius only. But Asius drove his chariot right up to that
gate which was on the left hand in the wall. Now the gates chanced to
be open, for the warders had opened them, if so any of the Greeks that
fled might save themselves within them. Now the warders were two mighty
heroes of the race of the Lapithæ, Polypœtes and Leonteus; and these,
when they saw Asius and his company coming, went without and stood in
front of the gates, just as two wild boars stand at bay against a crowd
of men and dogs. And all the while they that stood on the wall threw
heavy stones which fell, thick as the snow-flakes fall in the winter,
on the men of Troy, and loud rang the helmets and the shields. And many
fell wounded to the death, nor could Asius, for all his fury, win his
way into the walls. But where, at another of the gates, Hector led the
way, there appeared a strange marvel in the skies, for an eagle was
bearing in his claws a great snake, which it had taken as a prey. But
the snake fought fiercely for its life, and writhed itself about, even
till it bit the eagle on the breast. Whereupon the eagle dropped it
into the midst of the host, and fled with a loud cry. Then Polydamas,
the wise counsellor, came near to Hector, and said,--

“Now it will be well that we should not follow these Greeks to their
ships. For I take that this marvel that we have seen is a sign to us.
For as this eagle had caught in his claws a snake, but held it not,
dropping it before it could bear it to her young, so shall it fare with
us. For we shall drive the Greeks to their ships, but shall not subdue
them, but shall return in disorder by the way that we came, leaving
full many of our comrades behind us.”

But Hector frowned and answered, “Nay, but this is ill counsel,
Polydamas. For if thou sayest this from thy heart, surely the gods
have changed thy wisdom into foolishness. Dost thou bid me forget the
command of Zeus the Thunderer, and take heed to birds, how they fly?
Little care I whether they go to the east or to the west, to the right
or to the left. Surely there is but one sign for a brave man, that he
is fighting for his fatherland. Wherefore take thou heed; for if thou
holdest back from the war, or holdest back any other, lo! I will smite
thee with my spear.”

Then he sprang forward, and the men of Troy followed him with a shout.
And Zeus sent down from Ida a great blast of wind which bore the dust
of the plain straight to the ships, troubling the hearts of the Greeks.
Then the Trojans sought to drag down the battlements from the wall, and
to wrench up the posts which had been set to strengthen it. Nor did
the Greeks give way, but they joined shield to shield and fought for
the wall. And foremost among them were Ajax the Greater and Ajax the
Less. Just as the snow falls in mid-winter, when the winds are hushed,
and the mountain-tops are covered, and the plains and the dwellings of
men and the very shores of the sea, up to the waves’ edge, so thickly
fell the stones which the Greeks showered from the wall against the
men of Troy, and which these again threw upon the Greeks. But still
Hector and his men availed not to break through the gate. But at the
last Zeus stirred up the heart of his own son, Sarpedon. Holding his
shield before him he went, and he shook in either hand a spear. As
goes a lion, when hunger presses him sore, against a stall of oxen or
a sheepfold, and cares not though he find men and dogs keeping watch
against him, so Sarpedon went against the wall. And first he spake to
stout Glaucus, his comrade,--

“Tell me, Glaucus, why is it that men honor us at home with the chief
rooms at feasts, and with fat portions of flesh and with sweet wine,
and that we have a great domain of orchard and plough land by the banks
of Xanthus? Surely it is that we may fight in the front rank. Then
shall some one who may behold us say, ‘Of a truth these are honorable
men, these princes of Lycia, and not without good right do they eat
the fat and drink the sweet, for they fight ever in the front.’ Now,
indeed, if we might live for ever, nor know old age nor death, neither
would I fight among the first, nor would I bid thee arm thyself for the
battle. But seeing that there are ten thousand fates above us which no
man may avoid, let us see whether we shall win glory from another, or
another shall take it from us.”

And Glaucus listened to his words and charged at his side, and the
great host of the Lycians followed them. Sore dismayed was Menestheus
the Athenian when he saw them. All along the wall of the Greeks he
looked, spying out for help; and he saw Ajax the Greater and Ajax the
Less, and with them Teucer, who had just come forth from his tent.
Close to him they were, but it was of no avail to shout, so loud was
the clash and din of arms, of shield and helmets, and the thundering at
the gates, for each one of these did the men of Troy assail.

Wherefore he called to him Thoas, the herald, and said, “Run, Thoas,
and call Ajax hither,--both of the name if that may be,--for the end
is close upon us in this place, so mightily press on the chiefs of the
Lycians, who were ever fiery fighters. But if there is trouble there
also, let at the least Ajax the Greater come, and with him Teucer of
the bow.”

Then the herald ran, and said as he had been bidden.

And Ajax Telamon spake to the son of Oïleus: “Stand thou here with
Lycomedes and stay the enemy. But I will go thither, and come again
when I have finished my work.”

So he went, and Teucer his brother went with him, with Pandion
carrying his bow. And even as they went the Lycians came up like a
tempest on the wall. But Ajax slew Epicles, a comrade of Sarpedon,
smiting him on the head with a mighty stone, and crushing all the bones
of his head. And Teucer smote Glaucus on the shoulder and wounded him
sore. Silently did Glaucus leap down from the wall, for he would not
that any of the Greeks should see that he was wounded. But Sarpedon
saw that he had departed, and it grieved him. Nevertheless, he ceased
not from the battle, but first slew Alcmaon, the son of Mestor, and
next caught one of the battlements in his hands and dragged it down. So
the wall was laid open, and a way was made for the Trojans to enter.
Then did both Ajax and Teucer aim at him together. And Teucer smote
the strap of the shield, but harmed him not, and Ajax drove his spear
through his shield and stayed him, so that he fell back a space from
the battlement, yet would not cease from the fight. Loud he shouted to
the Lycians that they should follow him, and they came crowding about
their king. Then fierce and long was the fight, for the Lycians could
not break down the wall of the Greeks and make a way to the ships, and
the Greeks could not drive away the Lycians from the wall where they
stood. Just so two men contend for the boundary in some common field.
Small is the space, and they stand close together. So close stood the
Lycians and the Greeks, on this side of the battlement, and on that,
and all the wall was red with blood. But not to Sarpedon and the men of
Lycia, but to Hector, did Zeus give the glory that day. Now, in front
of the gate there lay a great stone, broad at the base and sharp at the
top. Scarce could two men of the strongest, such as are men in these
days, move it with levers on to a wagon; but Hector lifted it easily,
easily as a shepherd carries in one hand the fleece of a sheep. Two
folding doors there were in the gates, held by bolts and a key, and at
these he hurled the great stone, planting his feet apart, that his aim
might be the surer and stronger. With a mighty crash it came against
the gates, and the bolts held not against it, and the hinges were
broken, so that the folding doors flew back. Then Hector leapt into the
space, holding a spear in either hand, and his eyes flashed as fire.
And the men of Troy came after him, some mounting the wall, and some
pouring through the gates.

Now Poseidon was watching the battle from the wooded height of
Samothrace, whence he could see Ida and Troy and the ships. And he
pitied the Greeks when he saw how they fled before Hector, and purposed
in his heart to help them. So he left the height of Samothrace, and
came with four strides to Ægæ, where his palace was in the depths of
the sea. There he harnessed the horses to his chariot and rode, passing
over the waves, and the great beasts of the sea gambolled about him
as he went, knowing their king. But when he came to the camp of the
Greeks, he took upon him the shape of Calchas, the herald, and went
through the host strengthening the heroes for the battle--Ajax the
Greater, and Ajax the Less, and others also--so that they turned their
faces again to the enemy. But not the less did the men of Troy press
on, Hector leading the way.

Then first of all Teucer slew a Trojan, Imbrius by name, wounding him
under the ear. He fell as some tall poplar falls which a woodman fells
with axe of bronze. Then Teucer rushed to seize his arms, but Hector
cast his spear. Teucer it struck not, missing him by a little, but
Amphimachus it smote on the breast so that he fell dead. Then Hector
seized the dead man’s helmet, seeking to drag the body among the sons
of Troy. But Ajax stretched forth his great spear against him, and
struck the boss of his shield mightily, driving him backwards, so that
he loosed hold of the helmet of Amphimachus. And him his comrades bore
to the rear of the host, and the body of Imbrius also they carried off.
Then did Idomeneus the Cretan, son of Minos, the wise judge, perform
many valiant deeds, going to the left-hand of the battle-line, for he

“The Greeks have stay enough where the great Ajax is. No man that eats
bread is better than he; no, not Achilles’ self, were the two to stand
man to man, but Achilles indeed is swifter of foot.”

And first of all he slew Othryoneus, who had but newly come, hearing
the fame of the war. For Cassandra’s sake he had come, that he might
have her to wife, vowing that he would drive the Greeks from Troy, and
Priam had promised him the maiden. But now Idomeneus slew him, and
cried over him,--

“This was a great thing that thou didst promise to Priam, for which
he was to give thee his daughter. Thou shouldst have come to us, and
we would have given thee the fairest of the daughters of Agamemnon,
bringing her from Argos, if thou wouldst have engaged to help us to
take this city of Troy. But come now with me to the ships, that we may
treat about this marriage: thou wilt find that we have open hands.”

So he spake, mocking the dead. Then King Asius charged, coming on
foot with his chariot behind him. But ere he could throw his spear,
Idomeneus smote him that he fell, as falls an oak, or an alder, or a
pine, which men fell upon the hills. And the driver of his chariot
stood dismayed, nor thought to turn his horses and flee, so that
Antilochus, the son of Nestor, struck him down, and took the chariot
and horses for his own. Then Deïphobus in great wrath came near to
Idomeneus, and would have slain him with a spear, but could not, for he
covered himself with his shield, and the spear passed over his head.
Yet did it not fly in vain, for it lighted on Hypsenor, striking him on
the right side. And as he fell, Deïphobus cried aloud,--

“Now is Asius avenged; and though he go down to that strong porter who
keeps the gates of hell, yet will he be glad, for I have sent him a

But scarce had he spoken when Idomeneus the Cretan slew another of the
chiefs of Troy, Alcathoüs, son-in-law of old Anchises. And having slain
him, he cried,--

“Small reason hast thou to boast, Deïphobus, for we have slain three
for one. But come thou and meet me in battle, that thou mayest know me
who I am, son of Deucalion, who was the son of Minos, who was the son
of Zeus.”

Then Deïphobus thought within himself, should he meet this man alone,
or should he take some brave comrade with him? And it seemed to him
better that he should take a brave comrade with him. Wherefore he went
for Æneas, and found him in the rear of the battle, vexed at heart
because King Priam did not honor him among the princes of Troy. Then
said he,--

“Come hither, Æneas, to fight for Alcathoüs, who was wont to care for
thee when thou wast young, and now he lies dead under the spear of

So they two went together; and Idomeneus saw them, but yielded not
from his place, only called to his comrades that they should gather
themselves together and help him. And on the other side Æneas called
to Deïphobus, and Paris, and Agenor. So they fought about the body of
Alcathoüs. Then did Æneas cast his spear at Idomeneus, but struck him
not; but Idomeneus slew Œnomaüs, only when he would have spoiled him of
his arms he could not, for the men of Troy pressed him hard, so that
perforce he gave way. And as he turned, Deïphobus sought to slay him
with his spear, but smote in his stead Ascalaphus, son of Ares. But
when he would have spoiled him of his arms, Meriones struck him through
the wrist with a spear. Straightway he dropped the helmet which he had
seized, and Polites, his brother, led him out of the battle. And he
climbed into his chariot and went back to the city. But the rest stayed
not their hands from fighting, and many valiant heroes fell, both on
this side and on that. For on the left the sons of Greece prevailed,
so fiercely fought Idomeneus the Cretan, and Meriones, his comrade,
and Antilochus, the son of Nestor, and Menelaüs; but on the right the
Locrians and the Bœotians and the men of Athens could scarce keep
Hector from the ships. Yet here for a while the battle went with them,
for the Locrians, who were mighty archers, bent their bows against the
men of Troy and dismayed them, so thick flew the arrows, dealing wounds
and death. Then said Polydamas to Hector,--

“O Hector, thou art ever loath to hear counsel from others. Yet think
not that because thou art stronger than other men, therefore Zeus hath
also made thee wiser. For truly he gives diverse gifts to diverse
men--strength to one and counsel to another. Hear, then, my words. Thou
seest that the Trojans keep not all together, for some stand aloof,
while some fight, being few against many. Do thou therefore call the
bravest together. Then shall we see whether we shall burn the ships,
or, it may be, win our way back without harm to Troy; for indeed I
forget not that there is a warrior here whom no man may match, nor will
he, I trow, always keep aloof from the battle.”

And the saying pleased Hector. So he went through the host looking for
the chiefs--for Deïphobus, and Helenus, and Asius, and Acamas, son of
Asius, and others, who were the bravest among the Trojans and allies.
And some he found, and some he found not, for they had fallen in the
battle, or had gone sorely wounded to the city. But at last he spied
Paris, where he stood strengthening the hearts of his comrades.

“O Paris, fair of face, cheater of the hearts of women, where is
Deïphobus, and Helenus, and Asius, and Acamas, son of Asius?”

But Paris answered him, “Some of these are dead, and some are sorely
wounded. But we who are left fight on. Only do thou lead us against the
Greeks, nor wilt thou say that we are slow to follow.”

So Hector went along the front of the battle, leading the men of Troy.
Nor did the Greeks give way when they saw him, but Ajax the Greater

“Friend, come near, nor fear the men of Greece. Thou thinkest in thine
heart to spoil the ships, but we have hands to keep them, and ere they
perish Troy itself shall fall before us. Soon, I trow, wilt thou wish
that thy horses were swifter than hawks, when they bear thee fleeing
before us across the plain to the city.”

But Hector answered, “Nay, thou braggart Ajax, what words are these?
I would that I were as surely one of the Immortals as this day shall
surely bring woe to the Greeks. And thou, if thou darest to meet my
spear, shalt be slain among the rest, and feed with thy flesh the
beasts of the field and the fowls of the air.”

So he spake, and from this side and from that there went up a great cry
of battle.

So loud was the cry that it roused old Nestor where he sat in his tent,
tending the wounded Machaon. Whereupon he said, “Sit thou here and
drink the red wine till the fair Hecamedé shall have got ready the bath
to wash the blood from thy wound, but I will ask how things fare in the

So he went forth from the tent, seeking King Agamemnon. And lo! as
he went the king met him, and with him were Diomed and Ulysses, who
also had been wounded that day. So they held counsel together. And
Agamemnon--for it troubled him sore that the people were slain--would
that they should draw down the ships into the sea, and should flee
homewards, as soon as the darkness should cover them, and the Trojans
should cease from the battle.

But Ulysses would have none of such counsel, saying, “Now, surely,
son of Atreus, thou art not worthy to rule over us, who have been men
of war from our youth. Wilt thou leave this city, for the taking of
which we have suffered so much? That may not be; let not any one of the
Greeks hear thee say such words. And what is this, that thou wouldst
have us launch our ships now, whilst the hosts are fighting? Surely, so
doing, we should perish altogether, for the Greeks would not fight any
more, seeing that the ships were being launched, and the men of Troy
would slay us altogether.”

Then King Agamemnon said, “Thou speakest well.” And he went through
the host, bidding the men bear themselves bravely, and all the while
Poseidon put courage and strength into their hearts. Then Hector cast
his spear against Ajax Telamon. The shield kept it not off, for it
passed beneath, but the two belts, of the shield and of the sword,
stayed it, so that it wounded not his body. Then Hector in wrath and
fear went back into the ranks of his comrades; but as he went Ajax took
a great stone--now were there many such which they had as props for the
ships--and smote him above the rim of his shield, on the neck. As an
oak falls, stricken by the thunder of Zeus, so he fell, and the Greeks
rushed with a great cry to drag him to them, but could not, for all the
bravest of the sons of Troy held their shields before him--Polydamas,
and Æneas, and Sarpedon, and Glaucus. Then they carried him to the
Xanthus, and poured water upon him. And after a while he sat up, and
then again his spirit left him, for the blow had been very grievous.
But when the Greeks saw that Hector had been carried out of the battle,
they pressed on the more, slaying the men of Troy, and driving them
back even out of the camp and across the trench. But when they came
to their chariots, where they had left them on the other side of the
trench, there they stood trembling and pale with fear. But Apollo, at
the bidding of Zeus, went to Hector, where he lay, and healed him of
his wound, pouring strength and courage into his heart, so that he
went back to the battle whole and sound. Then great fear came upon the
Greeks when they saw him, and Thoas the Ætolian spake, saying,--

“Surely this is a great marvel that I see with mine eyes. For we
thought that Hector had been slain by the hand of Ajax, son of Telamon,
and now, behold! he is come back to the battle. Many Greeks have fallen
before him, and many, I trow, will fall, for of a truth some god has
raised him up and helps him. But come, let all the bravest stand
together. So, mighty though he be, he shall fear to enter our array.”

And all the bravest gathered together and stood in the front, but the
multitude made for the ships. But Hector came on, and Apollo before
him, with his shoulders wrapped in cloud and the ægis shield in his
hand. And many of the Greeks fell slain before the sons of Troy, as
Iäsus of Athens, and Arcesilaüs the Bœotian, and Medon, who was brother
to Ajax the Less, and many more. Thus the battle turned again, and came
near to the trench; and now Apollo made it easy for the men of Troy to
pass, so that they left not their chariots, as before, upon the brink,
but drave them across.

Meanwhile Patroclus sat in the tent of Eurypylus dressing his wound and
talking with him. But when he saw what had chanced, he struck his thigh
with his hand and cried,--

“Now must I leave thee, Eurypylus, for I must haste to Achilles, so
dreadful is now the battle. Perchance I may persuade him that he go
forth to the fight.”

So he ran to the tent of Achilles. And now the men of Troy were at the
ships. And Hector and Ajax were fighting for one of them, and Ajax
could not drive him back, and Hector could not burn the ship with fire.
Then sprang forward Caletor with a torch in his hand, and Ajax smote
him on the heart with a sword, so that he fell close by the ship. Then
Hector cried,--

“Come now, Trojans and allies, and fight for Caletor, that the Greeks
spoil him not of his arms.”

So saying he cast his spear at Ajax. Him he struck not, but Cytherius,
his comrade, he slew. Then was Ajax sore dismayed, and spake to Teucer
his brother,--

“See now, Cytherius, our dear comrade, is dead, slain by Hector. But
where are thy arrows and thy bow?”

So Teucer took his bow and laid an arrow on the string, and smote
Clitus, who was charioteer to Polydamas. And then he aimed an arrow
at Hector’s self; but ere he could loose it, the bowstring was broken
in his hands, and the arrow went far astray, for Zeus would not that
Hector should so fall. Then Teucer cried aloud to his brother,--

“Surely some god confounds our counsels, breaking my bowstring, which
this very day I tied new upon my bow.”

But Ajax said, “Let be thy bow, if it please not the gods, but take
spear and shield and fight with the men of Troy. For though they master
us to-day, they shall not take our ships for nought.”

So Teucer armed himself afresh for the battle. But Hector, when he saw
the broken bow, cried out,--

“Come on, ye men of Troy, for Zeus is with us. Even now he broke the
bow of Teucer, the great archer. And they whom Zeus helps prevail, and
they whom he favors grow not weak. Come on; for even though a man fall,
it is well that he fall fighting for his fatherland; and his wife and
his children are safe, nor shall his glory cease, if so be that we
drive the Greeks in their ships across the sea.”

And on the other side Ajax, the son of Telamon, called to the Greeks,
and bade them quit themselves like men. Then the battle grew yet
fiercer, for Hector slew Schedius, who led the men of Phocis, and Ajax
slew Laodamas, son of Antenor, and Polydamas Otus of Cyllene. Then
Meges thought to slay Polydamas; but his spear went astray, smiting
down Cræsmus; and Dolops, who was grandson to Laomedon, cast his spear
at Meges, but the corselet stayed the point, though it pierced the
shield. But Dolops’ self Menelaüs smote through the shoulder, but could
not spoil him of his arms, for Hector and his brothers hindered him.
So they fought, slaying one another; but Hector still waxed greater
and greater in the battle, and still the men of Troy came on, and
still the Greeks gave way. So they came again, these pushing forward
and these yielding ground, to the ships. And Hector caught hold of one
of them, even the ship of Protesilaüs: him indeed it had brought from
Troy, but it took him not back, for he had fallen, slain by the hand
of Hector, as he leapt, first of all the Greeks, upon the shore of
Troy. This Hector caught, and the battle raged like fire about it; for
the men of Troy and the Greeks were gathered round, and none fought
with arrows or javelins from afar, but man to man, with battle-axe and
sword and great spears pointed at either end. And many a fair weapon
lay shattered on the ground, and the earth flowed with blood as with a
river. But still Hector held the stem of the ship with his hand, and
called to the men of Troy that they should bring fire, for that Zeus
had given them the victory that day. Then even Ajax himself gave way,
so did the spears of the Trojans press him; for now he stood no longer
upon the stern deck, but on the rowers’ bench, thrusting thence with
his spear at any one who sought to set fire to the ship. And ever he
cried to the Greeks with a terrible voice,--

“O ye Greeks, now must ye quit yourselves like men. For have ye any
helpers behind? or have ye any walls to shelter you? No city is here,
with well-built battlements, wherein ye might be safe, while the people
should fight for you. For we are here in the plain of Troy, and the sea
is close behind us, and we are far from our country. Wherefore all our
hope is in valor, and not in shrinking back from the battle.”

And still he thrust with his spear, if any of the men of Troy, at
Hector’s bidding, sought to bring fire against the ship. Full twelve he
wounded where he stood.



Patroclus stood by Achilles, weeping bitterly. Then said Achilles,
“What ails thee, Patroclus, that thou weepest like a girl-child that
runs along by her mother’s side and would be taken up, holding her
gown, and looking at her with tearful eyes till she lift her in her
arms? Hast thou heard evil news from Phthia? Menœtius yet lives, they
say, and Peleus. Or art thou weeping for the Greeks, because they
perish for their folly?”

Then said Patroclus, “Be not wroth with me, great Achilles, for indeed
the Greeks are in grievous straits, and all their bravest are wounded,
and still thou cherishest thy wrath. Surely Peleus was not thy father,
nor Thetis thy mother; but the rocks begat thee, and the sea brought
thee forth. Or if thou goest not to the battle, fearing some warning
from the gods, yet let me go, and thy Myrmidons with me. And let me put
thy armor on me; so shall the Greeks have breathing space from the war.”

So he spake, entreating, nor knew that for his own doom he entreated.
And Achilles made reply,--

“It is no warning that I heed, that I keep back from the war. But these
men took from me my prize, which I won with my own hands. But let the
past be past. I said that I would not rise up till the battle should
come nigh to my own ships. But thou mayest put my armor upon thee,
and lead my Myrmidons to the fight. For in truth the men of Troy are
gathered as a dark cloud about the ships, and the Greeks have scarce
standing-ground between them and the sea. For they see not the gleam
of my helmet. And Diomed is not there with his spear; nor do I hear
the voice of Agamemnon, but only the voice of Hector, as he calls the
men of Troy to battle. Go, therefore, Patroclus, and drive the fire
from the ships. And then come thou back, nor fight any more with the
Trojans, lest thou take my glory from me. And go not near, in the
delight of battle, to the walls of Troy, lest one of the gods meet thee
to thy hurt; and, of a truth, the keen archer Apollo loves them well.”

But as they talked the one to the other, Ajax could hold out no longer.
For swords and javelins came thick upon him, and clattered on his
helmet, and his shoulder was weary with the great shield which he
held; and he breathed heavily and hard, and the great drops of sweat
fell upon the ground. Then at the last Hector came near and smote his
spear with a great sword, so that the head fell off. Then was Ajax sore
afraid, and gave way, and the men of Troy set torches to the ship’s
stem, and a great flame shot up to the sky. And Achilles saw it, and
smote his thigh and spake,--

“Haste thee, Patroclus, for I see the fire rising up from the ships.
Put thou on the armor, and I will call my people to the war.” So
Patroclus put on the armor--corselet and shield and helmet--and bound
upon his shoulder the silver-studded sword, and took a mighty spear in
his hand. But the great Pelian spear he took not, for that no man but
Achilles might wield. Then Automedon yoked the horses to the chariot,
Bayard and Piebald, and with them in the side harness, Pedasus; and
they two were deathless steeds, but he was mortal.

Meanwhile Achilles had called the Myrmidons to battle. Fifty ships had
he brought to Troy, and in each there were fifty men. Five leaders they
had, and the bravest of the five was Pisander.

Then Achilles said, “Forget not, ye Myrmidons, the bold words that
ye spake against the men of Troy during the days of my wrath, making
complaint that I kept you from the battle against your will. Now,
therefore, ye have that which you desired.”

So the Myrmidons went to the battle in close array, helmet to helmet
and shield to shield, close as the stones with which a builder builds a
wall. And in front went Patroclus, and Automedon in the chariot beside
him. Then Achilles went to his tent and took a great cup from the chest
which Thetis his mother had given him. Now no man drank of that cup
but he only, nor did he pour out of it libations to any of the gods
but only to Zeus. This first he cleansed with sulphur, and then with
water from the spring. And after this he washed his hand, and stood in
the midst of the space before his tent, and poured out of it to Zeus,

“O Zeus, I send my comrade to this battle; make him strong and bold,
and give him glory, and bring him home safe to the ships, and my people
with him.”

So he prayed, and Father Zeus heard him, and part he granted and part

But when Patroclus with the Myrmidons had come to where the battle was
raging about the ship of Protesilaüs, and when the men of Troy beheld
him, they thought that Achilles had forgotten his wrath, and was come
forth to the war. And first Patroclus slew Pyræchmes, who was the chief
of the Pæonians who live on the banks of the broad Axius. Then the men
of Troy turned to flee, and many chiefs of fame fell by the spears of
the Greeks. So the battle rolled back to the trench, and in the trench
many chariots of the Trojans were broken, but the horses of Achilles
went across it at a stride, so nimble were they and strong. And the
heart of Patroclus was set to slay Hector; but he could not overtake
him, so swift were his horses. Then did Patroclus turn his chariot, and
keep back those that fled, that they should not go to the city, and
rushed hither and thither, still slaying as he went.

But Sarpedon, when he saw the Lycians dismayed and scattered, called to
them that they should be of good courage, saying that he would himself
make trial of this great warrior. So he leapt down from his chariot,
and Patroclus also leapt down, and they rushed at each other as two
eagles rush together. Then first Patroclus struck down Thrasymelus, who
was the comrade of Sarpedon; and Sarpedon, who had a spear in either
hand, with the one struck the horse Pedasus, which was of mortal breed,
on the right shoulder, and with the other missed his aim, sending it
over the left shoulder of Patroclus. But Patroclus missed not his aim,
driving his spear into Sarpedon’s heart. Then fell the great Lycian
chief, as an oak, or a poplar, or a pine falls upon the hills before
the axe. But he called to Glaucus, his companion, saying,--

“Now must thou show thyself a good warrior, Glaucus. First call the men
of Lycia to fight for me, and do thou fight thyself, for it would be
foul shame to thee, all thy days, if the Greeks should spoil me of my

Then he died. But Glaucus was sore troubled, for he could not help
him, so grievous was the wound where Teucer had wounded him. Therefore
he prayed to Apollo, and Apollo helped him and made him whole. Then
he went first to the Lycians, bidding them fight for their king, and
then to the chiefs of the Trojans, that they should save the body of
Sarpedon. And to Hector he said,--

“Little carest thou for thy allies. Lo! Sarpedon is dead, slain by
Patroclus. Suffer not the Myrmidons to carry him off and do dishonor to
his body.”

But Hector was troubled to hear such news, and so were all the sons
of Troy, for Sarpedon was the bravest of the allies, and led most
people to the battle. So with a great shout they charged and drove the
Greeks back a space from the body; and then again the Greeks did the
like. And so the battle raged, till no one would have known the great
Sarpedon, so covered was he with spears and blood and dust. But at
last the Greeks drave back the men of Troy from the body, and stripped
the arms, but the body itself they harmed not. For Apollo came down at
the bidding of Zeus and carried it out of the midst of the battle, and
washed it with water, and anointed it with ambrosia, and wrapped it in
garments of the gods. And then he gave it to Sleep and Death, and these
two carried it to Lycia, his fatherland.

Then did Patroclus forget the word which Achilles had spoken to him,
that he should not go near to Troy, for he pursued the men of the city
even to the wall. Thrice he mounted on the angle of the wall, and
thrice Apollo himself drove him back, pushing his shining shield. But
the fourth time the god said, “Go thou back, Patroclus. It is not for
thee to take the city of Troy; no, nor for Achilles, who is far better
than thou art.”

So Patroclus went back, fearing the wrath of the archer-god. Then
Apollo stirred up the spirit of Hector, that he should go against
Patroclus. Therefore he went, with his brother Cebriones for driver
of his chariot. But when they came near, Patroclus cast a great stone
which he had in his hand, and smote Cebriones on the forehead,
crushing it in, so that he fell headlong from the chariot. And
Patroclus mocked him, saying,--

“How nimble is this man! how lightly he dives! What spoil he would take
of oysters, diving from a ship, even in a stormy sea! Who would have
thought that there were such skilful divers in Troy!”

Then again the battle waxed hot about the body of Cebriones, and this
too, at the last, the Greeks drew unto themselves, and spoiled it of
the arms. And this being accomplished, Patroclus rushed against the
men of Troy. Thrice he rushed, and each time he slew nine chiefs of
fame. But the fourth time Apollo stood behind him and struck him on
the head and shoulders, so that his eyes were darkened. And the helmet
fell from off his head, so that the horsehair plumes were soiled with
dust. Never before had it touched the ground, for it was the helmet of
Achilles. And also the god brake the spear in his hand, and struck the
shield from his arms, and loosed his corselet. All amazed he stood, and
then Euphorbus, son of Panthoüs, smote him on the back with his spear,
but slew him not. Then Patroclus sought to flee to the ranks of his
comrades. But Hector saw him, and thrust at him with his spear, smiting
him in the groin, so that he fell. And when the Greeks saw him fall,
they sent up a terrible cry. Then Hector stood over him and cried,--

“Didst thou think to spoil our city, Patroclus, and to carry away our
wives and daughters in the ships? But, lo! I have slain thee, and the
fowls of the air shall eat thy flesh; nor shall the great Achilles help
thee at all--Achilles, who bade thee, I trow, strip the tunic from my
breast, and thou thoughtest in thy folly to do it.”

But Patroclus answered, “Thou boasteth much, Hector. Yet _thou_ didst
not slay me, but Apollo, who took from me my arms, for had twenty such
as thou met me, I had slain them all. And mark thou this: death and
fate are close to thee by the hand of the great Achilles.”

And Hector answered, but Patroclus was dead already,--

“Why dost thou prophesy death to me? May be the great Achilles himself
shall fall by my hand.”

Then he drew his spear from the wound, and went after Automedon, to
slay him, but the swift horses of Achilles carried him away.

Fierce was the fight about the body of Patroclus, and many heroes fell,
both on this side and on that, and first of them all Euphorbus, who,
indeed, had wounded him. For as he came near to strip the dead man of
his arms, Menelaüs slew him with his spear. He slew him, but took not
his arms, for Hector came through the battle; nor did Menelaüs dare to
abide his coming, but went back into the ranks of his own people. Then
did Hector strip off the arms of Patroclus, the arms which the great
Achilles had given him to wear. Then he laid hold of the body, and
would have dragged it into the host of the Trojans, but Ajax Telamon
came forth, and put his broad shield before it, as a lion stands before
its cubs when the hunters meet it in the woods, drawing down over its
eyes its shaggy brows. Then Hector gave place, but Glaucus saw him and

“Now is this a shame to thee, that thou darest not to stand against
Ajax. How wilt thou and thy countrymen save the city of Troy? For
surely no more will thy allies fight for it. Small profit have they
of thee. Did not Sarpedon fall, and didst thou not leave him to be a
prey to the dogs? And now, if thou hadst stood firm and carried off
Patroclus, we might have made exchange, and gained from the Greeks
Sarpedon and his arms. But it may not be, for thou fearest Ajax, and
fleest before him.”

But Hector said, “I fear him not, nor any man. Only Zeus gives victory
now to one man and now to another. But wait thou here, and see whether
I be a coward, as thou sayest.”

Now he had sent the armor of Patroclus to the city. But now he ran
after those that were carrying it, and overtook them, and put on the
armor himself (but Zeus saw him doing it, and liked it not), and came
back to the battle; and all who saw him thought that it had been the
great Achilles himself. Then they all charged together, and fiercer
grew the battle and fiercer as the day went on. For the Greeks said
one to another, “Now had the earth better yawn and swallow us up
alive, than we should let the men of Troy carry off Patroclus to their
city”; and the Trojans said, “Now if we must all fall by the body of
this man, be it so, but we will not yield.” But the horses of Achilles
stood apart from the battle, when they knew that Patroclus was dead,
and wept. Nor could Automedon move them with the lash, nor with gentle
words, nor with threats. They would not return to the ships, nor would
they go into the battle; but as a pillar stands on the tomb of some
dead man, so they stood, with their heads drooped to the ground, with
the big tears dropping to the earth, and their long manes trailing in
the dust.

But Father Zeus beheld them, and pitied them, and said,--

“It was not well that we gave you, immortal as ye are, to a mortal man;
for of all things that move on earth, mortal man is the fullest of
sorrow. But Hector shall not possess you. It is enough for him, yea,
and too much, that he has the arms of Achilles.”

Then did the horses move from their place and obey their charioteer as
before. Nor could Hector take them, though he desired them very much.
And all the while the battle raged about the dead Patroclus. And at
last Ajax said to Menelaüs (now these two had borne themselves more
bravely in the fight than all others),--

“See if thou canst find Antilochus, Nestor’s son, that he may carry the
tidings to Achilles, how that Patroclus is dead.”

So Menelaüs went and found Antilochus on the left of the battle, and
said to him, “I have ill news for thee. Thou seest, I trow, that the
men of Troy have the victory to-day. And also Patroclus lies dead. Run,
therefore, to Achilles, and tell him, if haply he may save the body;
but as for the arms, Hector has them already.”

Sore dismayed was Antilochus to hear such tidings, and his eyes were
filled with tears and his voice was choked. Yet did he give heed to the
words of Menelaüs, and ran to tell Achilles of what had chanced. But
Menelaüs went back to Ajax, where he had left him by Patroclus, and

“Antilochus, indeed, bears the tidings to Achilles. Yet I doubt whether
he will come, for all his wrath against Hector, seeing that he has no
armor to cover him. Let us think, then, how we may best carry Patroclus
away from the men of Troy.”

Then said Ajax, “Do thou and Meriones run forward and raise the body in
your arms, and I and the son of Oïleus will keep off meanwhile the men
of Troy.”

So Menelaüs and Meriones ran forward and lifted up the body. And the
Trojans ran forward with a great shout when they saw them, as dogs run
barking before the hunters when they chase a wild boar; but when the
beast turns to bay, lo! they flee this way and that. So did the men
of Troy flee when Ajax the Greater and Ajax the Less turned to give
battle. But still the Greeks gave way, and still the Trojans came on,
and ever in the front were Hector, the son of Priam, and Æneas, the son
of Anchises. But in the meantime Antilochus came near to Achilles, who,
indeed, seeing that the Greeks fled and the men of Troy pursued, was
already sore afraid. And he said, weeping as he spake,--

“I bring ill news,--Patroclus lies low. The Greeks fight for his body,
but Hector has his arms.”

Then Achilles took of the dust of the plain in his hands, and poured it
on his head, and lay at his length upon the ground, and tare his hair.
And all the women wailed. And Antilochus sat weeping; but ever he held
the hands of Achilles, lest he should slay himself in his great grief.

Then came his mother, hearing his cry, from where she sat in the depths
of the sea, and laid her hand on him and said,--

“Why weepest thou, my son? Hide not the matter from me, but tell me.”

And Achilles answered, “All that Zeus promised thee for me he hath
fulfilled. But what profit have I, for lo! my friend Patroclus is dead,
and Hector has the arms which I gave him to wear. And as for me, I care
not to live, except I can avenge me upon him.”

Then said Thetis, “Nay, my son, speak not thus. For when Hector dieth,
thy doom also is near.”

And Achilles spake in great wrath: “Would that I might die this
hour, seeing that I could not help my friend, but am a burden on the
earth--I, who am better in battle than all the Greeks besides. Cursed
be the wrath that sets men to strive the one with the other, even as
it set me to strive with King Agamemnon! But let the past be past. And
as for my fate,--let it come when it may, so that I first avenge myself
on Hector. Wherefore seek not to keep me back from the battle.”

Then Thetis said, “Be it so; only thou canst not go without thy arms,
which Hector hath. But to-morrow will I go to Hephæstus, that he may
furnish thee anew.”

But while they talked the men of Troy pressed the Greeks more and more,
and the two heroes, Ajax the Greater and Ajax the Less, could no longer
keep Hector back, but that he should lay hold of the body of Patroclus.
And indeed he would have taken it, but that Zeus sent Iris to Achilles,
who said,--

“Rouse thee, son of Peleus, or Patroclus will be a prey for the dogs of

But Achilles said, “How shall I go?--for arms have I none, nor know I
whose I might wear. Haply I could shift with the shield of Ajax, son of
Telamon, but he, I know, is carrying it in the front of the battle.”

Then answered Iris, “Go only to the trench and show thyself; so shall
the men of Troy tremble and cease from the battle, and the Greeks shall
have breathing space.”

So he went, and Athené put her ægis about his mighty shoulders, and a
golden halo about his head, making it shine as a flame of fire, even as
the watch-fires shine at night from some city that is besieged. Then
went he to the trench; with the battle he mingled not, heeding his
mother’s commands, but he shouted aloud, and his voice was as the sound
of a trumpet. And when the men of Troy heard, they were stricken with
fear, and the horses backed with the chariots, and the drivers were
astonished when they saw the flaming fire above his head which Athené
had kindled. Thrice across the trench the great Achilles shouted, and
thrice the men of Troy fell back. And that hour there perished twelve
chiefs of fame, wounded by their own spears or trampled by their own
steeds, so great was the terror among the men of Troy.

Right gladly did the Greeks take Patroclus out of the press. Then they
laid him on a bier and carried him to the tent, Achilles walking with
many tears by his side.

But on the other side the men of Troy held an assembly. Standing they
held it, for none dared to sit, lest Achilles should be upon them.

Then spake Polydamas: “Let us not wait here for the morning. It was
well for us to fight at the ships while Achilles yet kept his wrath
against Agamemnon. But now it is not so. For to-morrow he will come
against us in his anger, and many will fall before him. Wherefore let
us go back to the city, for high are the walls and strong the gates,
and he will perish before he pass them.”

Then said Hector, “This is ill counsel, Polydamas. Shall we shut
ourselves up in the city, where all our goods are wasted already,
buying meat for the people? Nay, let us watch to-night, and to-morrow
will we fight with the Greeks. And if Achilles be indeed come forth
from his tent, be it so. I will not shun to meet him, for Ares gives
the victory now to one man and now to another.”

So he spake, and all the people applauded, foolish, not knowing what
the morrow should bring forth.

Meanwhile in the camp of the Greeks they mourned for Patroclus. And
Achilles stood among his Myrmidons and said,--

“Vain was the promise that I made to Menœtius that I would bring back
his son with his portion of the spoils of Troy. But Zeus fulfils not
the thoughts of man. For he lies dead, nor shall I return to the house
of Peleus, my father, for I, too, must die in this land. But thee, O
Patroclus, I will not bury till I bring hither the head and the arms of
Hector, and twelve men of Troy to slay at thy funeral pile.”

So they washed the body of Patroclus and anointed it, putting ointment
into the wounds, and laid it on a bed, and covered it with a veil from
the head to the feet.

Then went Thetis to the palace of Hephæstus, to pray him that he would
make arms for her son. And the lady his wife, whose name was Grace,
bade her welcome, and said,--

“Why comest thou, Thetis? for thou art not wont to come hither, though
thou art dear to us.”

Then she called to her husband that Thetis sought him, and he answered
from his forge where he wrought,--

“Dear is Thetis to me, for she saved me in the old time, when my mother
would have put me away because that I was lame. Greet her therefore
for me; right willingly will I pay her what she deserves at my hands.”
Then he came from his forge and sat down by the goddess, and asked her,
“What wantest thou?”

Then did Thetis tell him of her son Achilles, and of the wrong that had
been done to him, and of his wrath, and of how Patroclus was dead, and
the arms that he had had were lost.

Then said Hephæstus, “Be of good cheer: I will make what thou askest.
Would that I could as easily keep from him the doom of death.”

Then Hephæstus wrought at his forge. And first of all he made a mighty
shield. On it he wrought the earth, and the sky, and the sea, and the
sun, and the moon, and all the stars. He wrought also two cities. In
the one there was peace, and about the other there was war. For in the
first they led a bride to her home with music and dancing, and the
women stood in the doors to see the show, and in the market-place the
judges judged about one that had been slain, and one man said that he
had paid the price of blood, and the other denied. But about the other
city there sat an army besieging it, and the men of the city stood upon
the wall, defending it. These had also set an ambush by a river where
the herds were wont to drink. And when the herds came down, they rose
up and took them, and slew the herdsmen. But the army of the besiegers
heard the cry, and came swiftly on horses, and fought by the bank of
the river. Also he wrought one field where many men drove the plough,
and another where reapers reaped the corn, and boys gathered it in
their arms to bind into sheaves, while the lord stood glad at heart
beholding them. Also he wrought a vineyard, wherein was a path, and
youths and maidens bearing baskets of grapes, and in the midst a boy
played on a harp of gold and sang a pleasant song. Also he made a herd
of oxen going from the stables to the pastures, and herdsmen and dogs,
and in the front two lions had caught a mighty bull and were devouring
it, while the dogs stood far off and barked. Also he made a sheepfold;
also a marvellous dance of men and maidens, and these had coronets
of gold, and those daggers of gold hanging from belts of silver. And
round about the shield he wrought the great river of ocean. Besides the
shield, he also made a corselet brighter than fire, and a great helmet
with a crest of gold, and greaves of tin.

But all the while Achilles sat mourning for Patroclus, and his comrades
wept about him. And at dawn Thetis brought him the arms and laid them
before him. Loud they rattled on the ground, and all the Myrmidons
trembled to hear; but when Achilles saw them his eyes blazed with fire,
and he rejoiced in his heart. Only he said to his mother that he feared
lest the body should decay, but she answered,--

“Be not troubled about this, for I will see to it. Make thy peace with
Agamemnon, and go to the battle.”

Then Achilles went along the shore and called the Greeks to an
assembly, shouting mightily; and all, even those who were wont to
abide in the ships, listened to his voice and came. So the assembly
was gathered, and Achilles stood up in the midst, saying that he had
put away his wrath; and King Agamemnon, sitting on his throne (for his
wound hindered him from standing), said that he repented him of the
wrong which he had done, only that Zeus had turned his thoughts to
folly; but now he would give to Achilles all that Ulysses had promised
on his behalf. And Achilles would have led the Greeks straightway to
battle, but the wise Ulysses hindered him, saying that it was not well
that he should send them to the fight fasting. Then did Agamemnon send
to the tents of Achilles all the gifts that he had promised, and with
them the maiden Briseïs. But she, when she came and saw Patroclus,
beat her breast and her fair neck and face, and wailed aloud, for he
had been gentle and good, she said. And all the women wailed with her,
thinking each of her own sorrows.

Then the chiefs would have Achilles feast with them; but he hearkened
not, for he would neither eat nor drink till he had had vengeance for
the dead. And he spake, saying,--

“Often, Patroclus, hast thou ordered the feast when we were hastening
to the war. And now thou liest slain, and for grief for thee I cannot
eat nor drink. For greater sorrow could not have come to me, not though
Peleus himself were dead, or my young son Neoptolemus. Often did I
think that I only should perish here, but that thou shouldst return and
show him all that was mine--goods and servants and palace.”

And as he wept the old men wept with him, thinking each of what he had
left at home.

But after this the Greeks were gathered to the battle, and Achilles
shone in the midst with the arms of Hephæstus upon him, and he flashed
like fire. Then he spake to his horses,--

“Take heed, Bayard and Piebald, that you save your driver to-day, nor
leave him dead on the field, as you left Patroclus.”

Then Heré gave to the horse Bayard a voice, so that he spake: “Surely
we will save thee, great Achilles; yet, for all that, doom is near to
thee, nor are we the cause, but the gods and mastering Fate. Nor was it
of us that Patroclus died, but Apollo slew him, and gave the glory to
Hector. So shalt thou, too, die by the hands of a god and of a mortal

And Achilles said, “What need to tell me of my doom? Right well I know
it. Yet will I not cease till I have made the Trojans weary of battle.”

Then with a shout he rushed to the battle. And first there met him
Æneas. Now Achilles cared not to fight with him, but bade him go back
to his comrades. But Æneas would not, but told him of his race, how
that he came from Zeus on his father’s side, and how that his mother
was Aphrodité, and that he held himself a match for any mortal man.
Then he cast his spear, which struck the shield of Achilles with so
dreadful a sound that the hero feared lest it should pierce it through,
knowing not that the gifts of the gods are not easy for mortal man
to vanquish. Two folds indeed it pierced that were of bronze, but in
the gold it was stayed, and there were yet two of tin within. Then
Achilles cast his spear. Through the shield of Æneas it passed, and
though it wounded him not, yet was he sore dismayed, so near it came.
Then Achilles drew his sword and rushed on Æneas, and Æneas caught up
a great stone to cast at him. But it was not the will of the gods that
Æneas should perish, seeing that he and his sons after him should rule
over the men of Troy in the ages to come. Therefore Poseidon lifted him
up and bore him over the ranks of men to the left of the battle, but
first he drew the spear out of the shield and laid it at the feet of
Achilles. Much the hero marvelled to see it, crying,--

“This is a great wonder that I see with mine eyes. For, lo! the spear
is before me, but the man whom I sought to slay I see not. Of a truth
Æneas spake truth, saying that he was dear to the immortal gods.”

Then he rushed into the battle, slaying as he went. And Hector would
have met him, but Apollo stood by him and said, “Fight not with
Achilles, lest he slay thee.” Therefore he went back among the men of
Troy. Many did Achilles slay, and among them Polydorus, son of Priam,
who, because he was the youngest and very dear, his father suffered
not to go to the battle. Yet he went, in his folly, and being very
swift of foot, he trusted in his speed, running through the foremost
of the fighters. But as he ran Achilles smote him and wounded him to
the death. But when Hector saw it he could not bear any more to stand
apart. Therefore he rushed at Achilles, and Achilles rejoiced to see
him, saying, “This is the man who slew my comrade.” But they fought not
then, for when Hector cast his spear, Athené turned it aside, and when
Achilles charged, Apollo bore Hector away.

Then Achilles turned to the others, and slew multitudes of them, so
that they fled, part across the plain, and part to the river, the
eddying Xanthus. And these leapt into the water as locusts leap into a
river when the fire which men light drives them from the fields. And
all the river was full of horses and men. Then Achilles leapt into the
stream, leaving his spear on the bank, resting on the tamarisk trees.
Only his sword had he, and with this he slew many; and they were as
fishes which fly from some great dolphin in the sea. In all the bays of
a harbor they hide themselves, for the great beast devours them apace.
So did the Trojans hide themselves under the banks of the river. And
when Achilles was weary of slaying he took twelve alive, whom he would
slay on the tomb of Patroclus. Nor was there but one who dared to stand
up against him, and this was Asteropæus, who was the grandson of the
river-god Axius, and led the men of Pæonia. And Achilles wondered to
see him, and said,--

“Who art thou, that standest against me?”

And he said, “I am the grandson of the river-god Axius, fairest of all
the streams on the earth, and I lead the men of Pæonia.”

And as he spake he cast two spears, one with each hand, for he could
use either alike; and the one struck the shield, nor pierced it
through, for the gold stayed it, and the other grazed the right hand
so that the blood spurted forth. Then did Achilles cast his spear, but
missed his aim, and the great spear stood fast in the bank. And thrice
Asteropæus strove to draw it forth. Thrice he strove in vain, and the
fourth time he strove to break the spear. But as he strove Achilles
smote him that he died. Yet had he some glory, for that he wounded the
great Achilles.

But Priam stood on a tower of the wall and saw the people. Sore
troubled was he, and he hastened down to the gates and said to the
keepers, “Keep the wicket-gates in your hands open, that the people
may enter in, for they fly before Achilles.” So the keepers held the
wicket-gates in their hands, and the people hastened in, wearied
with toil and thirst, and covered with dust, and Achilles followed
close upon them. And that hour would the Greeks have taken the city
of Troy, but that Apollo saved it. For he put courage into the heart
of Antenor’s son Agenor, standing also by him, that he should not be
slain. Therefore Agenor stood, thinking within himself,--

“Shall I now flee with these others? Nay, for not the less will
Achilles take me and slay me, and I shall die as a coward dies. Or
shall I flee across the plain to Ida, and hide me in the thickets,
and come back at nightfall to the city? Yet should he see me he will
overtake me and smite me, so swift of foot is he and strong. But what
if I stand to meet him before the gates? Well, he, too, is a mortal
man, and his flesh may be pierced by the spear.”

Therefore he stood till Achilles should come near. And when he came he
cast his spear, striking the leg below the knee, but the greave turned
off the spear, so strong was it. But when Achilles would have slain
him, lo! Apollo lifted him up and set him within the city. And that the
men of Troy might have space to enter, he took upon him Agenor’s shape.
And the false Agenor fled, and Achilles pursued. But meanwhile the men
of Troy flocked into the city, nor did they stay to ask who was safe
and who was dead, in such haste and fear did they flee.



The Trojans were now safe in the city, refreshing themselves after all
their grievous toil. Only Hector remained outside the walls, standing
in front of the great Scæan gates. But all the while Achilles was
fiercely pursuing the false Agenor, till at last Apollo turned and
spake to him,--

“Why dost thou pursue me, swift-footed Achilles? Hast thou not yet
found out that I am a god, and that all thy fury is in vain? And now
all the sons of Troy are safe in their city, and thou art here, far out
of the way, seeking to slay me, who cannot die.”

In great wrath Achilles answered him, “Thou hast done me wrong in so
drawing me away from the wall, great archer, most mischief-loving of
all the gods that are. Had it not been for this, many a Trojan more had
bitten the ground. Thou hast robbed me of great glory, and saved thy
favorites. O that I had the power to take vengeance on thee! Thou hadst
paid dearly for thy cheat!”

Then he turned and rushed towards the city, swift as a racehorse whirls
a chariot across the plain. Old Priam spied him from the walls, with
his glittering armor, bright as that brightest of the stars--men call
it Orion’s dog--which shines at vintage-time, a baleful light, bringing
the fevers of autumn to men. And the old man groaned aloud when he saw
him, and stretching out his hands, cried to his son Hector, where he
stood before the gates, eager to do battle with this dread warrior,--

“Wait not for this man, dear son, wait not for him, lest thou die
beneath his hand, for indeed he is stronger than thou. Wretch that he
is! I would that the gods bare such love to him as I bear! Right soon
would the dogs and vultures eat him. Of many brave sons has he bereaved
me. Two I miss to-day--Polydorus and Lycaon. May be they are yet alive
in the host of the Greeks, and I shall buy them back with gold, of
which I have yet great store in my house. And if they are dead, sore
grief will it be to me and to the mother who bare them; but little will
care the other sons of Troy, so that thou fall not beneath the hand of
Achilles. Come within the walls, dear child; come to save the sons and
daughters of Troy; come in pity for me, thy father, for whom, in my old
age, an evil fate is in store, to see sons slain with the sword, and
daughters carried into captivity, and babes dashed upon the ground. Ay,
and last of all, the dogs which I have reared in my palace will devour
me, lapping my blood and tearing my flesh as I lie on the threshold of
my home. That a young man should fall in battle and suffer such lot
as happens to the slain, this is to be borne; but that such dishonor
should be done to the white hair and white beard of the old, mortal
eyes can see no fouler sight than this.”

Thus old Priam spake, but could not turn the heart of his son. And
from the wall on the other side of the gate his mother called to him,
weeping sore, and if perchance she might thus move his pity, she bared
her bosom in his sight, and said,--

“Pity me, my son; think of the breast which I gave thee in the old
days, and stilled thy cries. Come within the walls; wait not for this
man, nor stand in battle against him. If he slay thee, nor I, nor thy
wife, shall pay thee the last honors of the dead, but far away by the
ships of the Greeks the dogs and vultures will devour thee.”

So father and mother besought their son, but all in vain. He was still
minded to abide the coming of Achilles. Just as in the mountains a
great snake at its hole abides the coming of a man: fierce glare its
eyes, and it coils its tail about its hole: so Hector waited for
Achilles; and as he waited he thought thus within himself,--

“Woe is me if I go within the walls! Polydamas will be the first to
reproach me, for he advised me to bring back the sons of Troy to the
city before the night when Achilles roused himself to war. But I would
not listen to him. Would that I had! it had been much better for us;
but now I have destroyed the people by my folly. I fear the sons and
daughters of Troy, what they may say; I fear lest some coward reproach
me; ‘Hector trusted in his strength, and lo! he has destroyed the
people.’ Better were it for me either to slay Achilles or to fall by
his hand with honor here before the walls. Or, stay: shall I put down
my shield, and lay aside my helmet, and lean my spear against the wall
and go to meet the great Achilles, and promise that we will give back
the fair Helen, and all the wealth that Paris carried off with her;
ay, and render up all the wealth that there is in the city, that the
Greeks may divide it among themselves, binding the sons of Troy with
an oath that they keep nothing back? But this is idle talk: he will
have no shame or pity, but will slay me while I stand without arms or
armor before him. It is not for us to talk as a youth and a maiden talk
together. It is better to meet in arms, and see whether the ruler of
Olympus will give victory to him or to me.”

Thus he thought in his heart; and Achilles came near, brandishing over
his right shoulder the great Pelian spear, and the flash of his arms
was as the flame of fire or as the rising sun. And Hector trembled
when he saw him, nor dared to abide his coming. Fast he fled from the
gates, and fast Achilles pursued him, as a hawk, fastest of all the
birds of air, pursues a dove upon the mountains. Past the watch-tower
they ran, past the wind-blown fig-tree, along the wagon-road which went
about the walls, and they came to the fair-flowing fountain where from
two springs rises the stream of eddying Scamander. Hot is one spring,
and a steam ever goes up from it, as from a burning fire; and cold is
the other, cold, even in the summer heats, as hail or snow or ice.
There are fair basins of stone where the wives and fair daughters of
Troy were wont to wash their garments, but that was in the old days of
peace, or ever the Greeks came to the land. Past the springs they ran,
one flying, the other pursuing: brave was he that fled, braver he that
pursued; it was no sheep for sacrifice or shield of ox-hide for which
they ran, but for the life of Hector, the tamer of horses. Thrice they
ran round the city, and all the gods looked on.

And Zeus said, “This is a piteous sight that I behold. My heart is
grieved for Hector--Hector, who has ever worshipped me with sacrifice,
now on the heights of Ida, and now in the citadel of Troy; and now the
great Achilles is pursuing him round the city of Priam. Come, ye gods,
let us take counsel together. Shall we save him from death, or let him
fall beneath the hand of Achilles?”

Then Athené said, “What is this that thou sayest, great sire?--to
rescue a man whom fate has appointed to die? Do it, if it be thy will;
but we, the other gods, approve it not.”

Zeus answered her, “My heart is loath; yet I would do thee pleasure. Be
it as thou wilt.”

Then Athené came down in haste from the top of Olympus, and still
Hector fled and Achilles pursued, just as a dog pursues a fawn upon the
hills. And ever Hector made for the gates, or to get shelter beneath
the towers, if haply those that stood upon them might defend him with
their spears; and ever Achilles would get before him, and drive him
towards the plain. So they ran, one making for the city, and the other
driving him to the plain. Just as in a dream, when one seems to fly and
another seems to pursue, and the one cannot escape and the other cannot
overtake, so these two ran together. But as for Hector, Apollo even yet
helped him, and gave him strength and nimble knees, else could he not
have held out against Achilles, who was swiftest of foot among the sons
of men.

Now Achilles had beckoned to the Greeks that no man should throw his
spear at Hector, lest, perchance, he should be robbed of his glory. And
when the two came in their running for the fourth time to the springs
of Scamander, Zeus held out the great balance of doom, and in one scale
he put the fate of Achilles, and in the other the fate of Hector; and
lo! the scale of Hector sank down to the realms of death, and Apollo
left him.

Then Athené lighted down from the air close to Achilles and said,
“This, great Achilles, is our day of glory, for we shall slay Hector,
mighty warrior though he be. For it is his doom to die, and not
Apollo’s self shall save him. But stand thou still and take breath, and
I will give this man heart to meet thee in battle.”

So Achilles stood, leaning upon his spear. And Athené took the shape of
Deïphobus, and came near to Hector and said,--

“Achilles presses thee hard, my brother, pursuing thee thus round the
city of Priam. Come, let us make a stand and encounter him.”

Then Hector answered him, “Deïphobus, I always loved thee best of all
my brothers; but now I love thee yet more, for that thou alone, while
all others remained within, hast ventured forth to stand by my side.”

But the false Deïphobus said, “Much did father and mother and all my
comrades beseech me to remain. But my heart was sore troubled for thee,
and I could not stay. But let us stand and fight this man, not stinting
our spears, and see whether he shall carry our spoil to the ships or we
shall slay him here.”

Then the two chiefs came near to each other, and Hector with the waving
plume spake first and said, “Thrice, great Achilles, hast thou pursued
me round the walls of Troy, and I dared not stand up against thee; but
now I fear thee no more. Only let us make this covenant between us: if
Zeus give me the victory, I will do no dishonor to thy body; thy arms
and armor will I take, and give back thy body to the Greeks; and do
thou promise to do likewise.”

But Achilles scowled at him and said, “Hector, talk not of covenants to
me. Men and lions make no oaths between each other, neither is there
any agreement between wolves and sheep. So there shall be no covenant
between me and thee. One of us two shall fall; and now is the time for
thee to show thyself a warrior, for of a truth Athené will slay thee by
my spear, and thou shalt pay the penalty for all my comrades whom thou
hast slain.”

Then he threw the mighty spear, but Hector saw it coming and avoided
it, crouching on the ground, so that the mighty spear flew above his
head and fixed itself in the earth. But Athené snatched it from the
ground and gave it back to Achilles, Hector not perceiving.

Then Hector spake to Achilles: “Thou hast missed thy aim, great
Achilles. It was no word of Zeus that thou spakest, prophesying my
doom, but thou soughtest to cheat me, terrifying me by thy words. Thou
shalt not drive thy steel into my back, but here into my breast, if the
gods will it so. But now look out for my spear. Would it might bury
itself in thy flesh. The battle would be easier for the men of Troy
were thou only out of the way.”

And as he spake he threw his long-shafted spear. True aim he took,
for the spear struck the very middle of Achilles’ shield. It struck,
but pierced it not, but bounded far away, for the shield was not of
mortal make. And Hector stood dismayed, for he had not another spear,
and when he called to Deïphobus that he should give him another, lo!
Deïphobus was gone. Then Hector knew that his end was come, and he said
to himself, “Now have the gods called me to my doom. I thought that
Deïphobus was near; but he is within the walls, and the help which he
promised me was but a cheat with which Athené cheated me. Zeus and
Apollo are with me no more; but, if I must die, let me at least die in
such a deed as men of after time may hear of.”

So he spake, and drew the mighty sword that hung by his side; then, as
an eagle rushes through the clouds to pounce on a leveret or a lamb,
rushed on the great Achilles. But he dealt never a blow; for Achilles
charged to meet him, his shield before his breast, his helmet bent
forward as he ran, with the long plumes streaming behind, and the gleam
of his spear-point was as the gleam of the evening star, which is the
fairest of all the stars in heaven. One moment he thought where he
should drive it home, for the armor which Hector had won from Patroclus
guarded him well; but one spot there was, where by the collar-bone the
neck joins the shoulder (and nowhere is the stroke of sword or spear
more deadly). There he drave in the spear, and the point stood out
behind the neck, and Hector fell in the dust.

Then Achilles cried aloud, “Hector, thou thoughtest in the day when
thou didst spoil Patroclus of his arms that thou wouldst be safe from
vengeance, taking, forsooth, no account of me. And lo! thou art fallen
before me, and now the dogs and vultures shall devour thee, but to him
all the Greeks shall give due burial.”

But Hector, growing faint, spake to him, “Nay, great Achilles, by thy
life, and by thy knees, and by thy parents dear, I pray thee, let not
the dogs of the Greeks devour me. Take rather the ransom, gold and
bronze, that my father and mother shall pay thee, and let the sons and
daughters of Troy give me burial rites.”

But Achilles scowled at him, and cried, “Dog, seek not to entreat me!
I could mince that flesh of thine and devour it raw, such grief hast
thou wrought me. Surely the dogs shall devour thee, nor shall any man
hinder. No ransom, though it were ten times told, should buy thee back;
no, not though Priam should offer thy weight in gold.”

Then Hector, who was now at the point to die, spake to him. “I know
thee well, what manner of man thou art, that the heart in thy breast is
iron only. Only beware lest some vengeance from the gods come upon thee
in the day when Paris and Apollo shall slay thee, for all thy valor, by
the Scæan gates.”

So speaking, he died. But Achilles said, “Die, hound; but my fate I
meet when Zeus and the other gods decree.”

Then he drew his spear out of the corpse and stripped off the arms; and
all the Greeks came about the dead man, marvelling at his stature and
beauty, and no man came but wounded the dead corpse. And one would say
to another, “Surely this Hector is less dreadful now than in the day
when he would burn our ships with fire.”

Then Achilles devised a ruthless thing in his heart. He pierced the
ankle-bones of Hector, and so bound the body with thongs of ox-hide to
the chariot, letting the head drag behind, the head that once was so
fair, and now was so disfigured in the dust. So he dragged Hector to
the ships. And Priam saw him from the walls, and scarce could his sons
keep him back, but that he should go forth and beg the body of his dear
son from him who had slain him. And Hecuba his mother also bewailed
him, but Andromaché knew not as yet of what had befallen. For she sat
in her dwelling, wearing a great purple mantle broidered with flowers.
And she bade her maidens make ready a bath for Hector, when he should
come back from the battle, nor knew that he should never need it more.
But the voice of wailing from the town came to her, and she rose up
hastily in great fear, and dropped the shuttle from her hand and called
to her maidens,--

“Come with me, ye maidens, that I may see what has befallen, for I
heard the voice of Queen Hecuba, and I fear me much that some evil has
come to the children of Priam. For it may be that Achilles has run
between Hector and the city, and is pursuing him to the plain, for
never will Hector abide with the army, but will fight in the front, so
bold is he.”

Then she hasted through the city like as she were mad. And when she
came to the wall she stood and looked; and lo! the horses of Achilles
were dragging Hector to the ships. Then did darkness come on her, and
she fell back fainting, and from her fair head dropped the net and the
wreath and the diadem which golden Aphrodité gave her on the day when
Hector of the waving plume took her from the house of Eëtion to be his


Although Hector, that was the chief stay of Troy was dead, yet could
not King Agamemnon take the city. And when it came to pass that
Achilles was slain, being smitten by Paris with an arrow (but some
say that Apollo slew him), then did he well-nigh despair. But the
soothsayers said, “Send, O King, for Philoctetes, and thou shalt have
thy desire.”

Now Philoctetes had been companion to Hercules in many of his labors,
and also had been with him when he died upon Mount Æta. For which cause
Hercules gave him the bow and the arrows which he bare, having received
them at the first from Apollo. A very mighty bow it was, shooting
arrows so as none other could do, and the arrows were sure dealers of
death, for they had been dipped in the blood of the great dragon of
Lerna, and the wounds which they made no physician might heal. But
it chanced that the Prince, being on his voyage to Troy, landed at
the island of Chrysa, where there was an altar of Athené, the goddess
of the place, and, desiring to show the altar to his companions, he
approached it too nearly; whereupon the serpent that guarded it, lest
it should be profaned, bit him in the foot. The wound was very sore
and could not be healed, but tormented him day and night with grievous
pains, making him groan and cry aloud. And when men were troubled
with his complainings, and also with the noisome stench of his wound,
the chiefs took counsel together, and it seemed good to the sons of
Atreus, King Agamemnon and King Menelaüs, who were the leaders of
the host, that he should be left alone on the island of Lemnos. This
matter they committed to Ulysses, who did according to their bidding.
Now, therefore, the king took counsel with his chiefs; and they chose
Ulysses, who was crafty beyond all other men, to accomplish this
matter, and with him they sent Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, who
excelled in strength, even as his father had done.

Now when these two were landed upon the island, Ulysses led the way to
the place where in time past he had left Philoctetes. A cave it was
in the cliff, with two mouths to it, of which the one looked to the
east and the other to the west, so that in winter time a man might see
the sun and be warm, but in summer the wind blew through it, bringing
coolness and sleep, and a little below was a spring of fair water to
drink. Then said Ulysses to Neoptolemus, “Go and spy out the place, and
see whether or no the man be there.”

And the Prince went up and looked into the cave, and found that it
was empty, but that there were signs of one who dwelt there, a bed of
leaves, and a cup of wood, very rudely fashioned, and pieces of wood
for kindling fires, and also, a very piteous sight, the rags wherewith
the sick man was wont to dress his wound. And when he had told what he
saw, Ulysses said, “That the man dwelleth here is manifest; nor can he
be far away, for how can one that is wounded travel far? Doubtless he
is gone to some place whither the birds resort to slay them, or, haply,
to find some herb wherewith to assuage his pain. But do thou set one
who will wait for his coming, for it would fare ill with me should he
find me.”

And when the watch had been set Ulysses said again, “I will tell what
it is needful for thee to say and do. Only thou must be bold, son of
Achilles, and that not only with thy hand, but in heart also, if what I
shall now unfold to thee shall seem new or strange. Hearken then: when
the man shall ask thee who thou art, and whence thou comest, thou shalt
answer him that thou art the son of Achilles, and that thou hast left
the host of the Greeks, because they had done thee great wrong, for
that, having prayed thee to come as not being able to take the great
city of Troy without thee, yet they would not deliver to thee the arms
of thy father Achilles, but gave them to Ulysses. And here thou mayest
speak against me all kinds of evil, for such words will not trouble me,
but if thou accomplish not this thing thou wilt trouble the whole host
of the Greeks. For know that without this man’s bow thou canst not take
the city of Troy; know also that thou only canst approach him without
peril, not being of the number of those who sailed with him at the
first. And if it please thee not to get the bow by stealth, for this
indeed thou must do--and I know thee to be one that loveth not to speak
falsely or to contrive deceit--yet bethink thee that victory is sweet.
Be thou bold to-day, and we will be righteous to-morrow.”

Then the Prince made reply, “’Tis not in me, son of Laertes, to work by
craft and guile, neither was it in my father before me. I am ready to
carry off this man with a strong arm; and how, being a cripple, shall
he stand against us? but deceit I will not use. And though I should be
loath to fail thee in this our common enterprise, yet were this better
than to prevail by fraud.”

Then said Ulysses, “And I, too, in my youth would do all things by the
hand and not by the tongue; but now I know that the tongue hath alone
the mastery.”

And the Prince replied, “But thou biddedst me speak the thing that is

“I bid thee prevail over Philoctetes by craft.”

“But why may I not persuade him, or even constrain him by force?”

“To persuasion he will not hearken, and force thou mayest not use, for
he hath arrows that deal death without escape.”

“But is it not a base thing for a man to lie?”

“Surely not, if a lie save him.”

“Tell me what is the gain to me if this man come to Troy.”

“Without this bow and these arrows Troy falleth not. For though it is
the pleasure of the Gods that thou take the city, yet canst not thou
take it without these, nor indeed these without thee.”

And when the Prince had mused a while, he said, “If this be so with the
arms, I must needs get them.”

Then Ulysses said, “Do this, and thou shalt gain a double honor.”

And the Prince said, “What meanest thou by thy ‘double honor’? Tell me,
and I refuse no more.”

“The praise of wisdom and of courage also.”

“Be it so: I will do this deed, nor count it shame.”

“’Tis well,” said Ulysses, “and now I will despatch this watcher to the
ship, whom I will send again in pilot’s disguise if thou desire, and
it seems needful. Also I myself will depart, and may Hermes, the god of
craft, and Athené, who ever is with me, cause us to prevail.”

After a while Philoctetes came up the path to the cave, very slowly,
and with many groans. And when he saw the strangers (for now some of
the ship’s crew were with Prince Neoptolemus) he cried, “Who are ye
that are come to this inhospitable land? Greeks I know you to be by
your garb; but tell me more.”

And when the Prince had told his name and lineage, and that he was
sailing from Troy, Philoctetes cried, “Sayest thou from Troy? Yet
surely thou didst not sail with us in the beginning.”

“What?” cried the Prince. “Hadst thou then a share in this matter of

And Philoctetes made reply, “Knowest thou not whom thou seest? Hast
thou not heard the story of my sorrows?” And when he heard that the
young man knew nothing of these things: “Surely this is sorrow upon
sorrow if no report of my state hath come to the land of Greece, and I
lie here alone, and my disease groweth upon me, but my enemies laugh
and keep silence!” And then he told his name and fortunes, and how the
Greeks had left him on the shore while he slept, and how it was the
tenth year of his sojourning in the island. “For know,” he said, “that
it is without haven or anchorage, and no man cometh hither of his free
will; and if any come unwilling, as indeed it doth sometimes chance,
they speak soft words to me and give me, haply, some meat; but when I
make suit to them that they carry me to my home, they will not. And
this wrong the sons of Atreus and Ulysses have worked against me; for
which may the gods who dwell in Olympus make them equal recompense.”

“And I,” said the Prince, “am no lover of these men. For when Achilles
was dead----”

“How sayest thou? Is the son of Peleus dead?”

“Yea; but it was the hand of a god and not of a man that slew him.”

“A mighty warrior slain by a mighty foe! But say on.”

“Ulysses, and Phœnix who was my sire’s foster-father, came in a ship to
fetch me; and when I was come to the camp they even greeted me kindly,
and sware that it was Achilles’ self they saw, so like was I to my
sire. And, my mourning ended, I sought the sons of Atreus and asked of
them the arms of my father, but they made answer that they had given
them to Ulysses; and Ulysses, chancing to be there, affirmed that they
had done well, seeing that he had saved them from the enemy. And when I
could prevail nothing, I sailed away in great wrath.”

“’Tis even,” Philoctetes made reply, “as I should have judged of them.
But I marvel that the Greater Ajax endured to see such doings.”

“Ah! but he was already dead.”

“This is grievous news. And how fares old Nestor of Pylos?”

“But ill, for his eldest born, Antilochus, is dead.”

“I could have spared any rather than these two, Ajax and Antilochus.
But Patroclus, where was he when thy father died?”

“He was already slain. For ’tis ever thus that war taketh the true man
and leaveth the false. But of these things I have had enough and more
than enough. Henceforth my island of Scyros, though it be rocky and
small, shall content me. And now, Prince Philoctetes, I go, for the
wind favors us, and we must take the occasion which the gods give us.”

And when Philoctetes knew that Neoptolemus was about to depart, he
besought him with many prayers that he would take him also on his ship;
for the voyage, he said, would not be of more than a single day. “Put
me,” he said, “where thou wilt, in forecastle, or hold, or stern, and
set me on shore even as it may seem best to thee. Only take me from
this place.” And the sailors also made entreaty to the Prince that he
would do so; and he, after a while, made as if he consented to their

But while Philoctetes was yet thanking him and his companions, there
came two men to the cave, of whom one was a sailor in the Prince’s
ship, and the other a merchant. And the merchant said that he was
sailing from Troy to his home, and that chancing to come to the island,
and knowing that the Prince was there, he judged it well to tell him
his news; ‘twas briefly this, that Phœnix and the sons of Theseus had
sailed, having orders from the sons of Atreus that they should bring
the Prince back; and also that Ulysses and Diomed were gone on another
errand, even to fetch some one of whom the rulers had need. And when
the Prince would know who he might be, the merchant bade him say who it
was standing near; and when he heard that it was Philoctetes, he cried,
“Haste thee to thy ship, son of Achilles, for this is the very man whom
the two are coming to fetch. Haply thou hast not heard what befell
at Troy. There is a certain Helenus, son of King Priam, and a famous
soothsayer. Him Ulysses, the man of craft, took a prisoner, and brought
into the assembly of Greeks; and the man prophesied to them that they
should never take the city of Troy, unless they should bring thither
the Prince Philoctetes from the island whereon he dwelt. And Ulysses
said, ‘If I bring not the man, whether willing or unwilling, then cut
off my head.’”

And when Philoctetes heard this his anger was very great, and he became
yet more eager to depart. But first he must go into the cave and fetch
such things as he needed, herbs with which he was wont to soothe the
pains of his wounds, and all the furniture of his bow. And when he
spake of the bow, the Prince asked whether it was indeed the famous bow
of Hercules that he carried in his hand, and would fain, he said, touch
it, if only it were lawful so to do. And Philoctetes answered, “Yes,
thou shalt touch it and handle it, which, indeed, no other man hath
ever done, for thou hast done a good deed to me, and it was for a good
deed that I myself also received it.”

But when they would have gone towards the ship, the pangs of his wound
came upon Philoctetes. And then at first he cried, saying that it was
well with him; but at the last he could endure no more, and cried to
the Prince that he should draw his sword and smite off the foot, nor
heed if he should slay him; only he would be rid of the pain. And then
he bade him take the bow and keep it for him while he slept, for that
sleep came ever upon him after these great pains. Only he must keep
it well, especially if those two, Ulysses and Diomed, should chance
to come in the meanwhile. And when the Prince had promised this,
Philoctetes gave him the bow, saying, “Take it, my son, and pray to the
jealous gods that it bring not sorrow to thee as it hath brought sorrow
to me, and to him that was its master before me.”

And after a while the sick man slept. And the Prince, with the sailors
that were his companions, watched by him the while.

But when the sailors would have had the Prince depart, seeing that he
had now the great bow and the arrows, for whose sake he had come, he
would not, for they would be of no avail, he said, without the archer
himself. And in no long space of time the sick man woke. Right glad
was he to see that the strangers had not departed, for, indeed, he had
scarce hoped that this might be. Therefore commending the young man
much for his courage and loving kindness, he would have him help him
straightway to the ship, that his pain having now ceased awhile, they
might be ready to depart without delay. So they went, but the Prince
was sorely troubled in his mind and cried, “Now what shall I do?” and
“now am I at my wits’ end, so that even words fail me.” At which words,
indeed, Philoctetes was grieved, thinking that it repented the Prince
of his purpose, so that he said, “Doth the trouble of my disease then
hinder thee from taking me in thy ship?”

Then said the Prince, “All is trouble when a man leaveth his nature to
do things that are not fitting.”

And Philoctetes made answer, “Nay, is not this a fitting thing, seeing
of what sire thou art the son, to help a brave man in his trouble?”

“Can I endure to be so base,” said the Prince, “hiding that which
I should declare, and speaking the thing that is false?” And while
Philoctetes still doubted whether he repented not of his purpose, he
cried aloud, “I will hide the thing no longer. Thou shalt sail with me
to Troy.”

“What sayest thou?”

“I say that thou shalt be delivered from these pains, and shalt prevail
together with me over the great city of Troy.”

“What treachery is this? What hast thou done to me? Give me back the

“Nay, that I cannot do, for I am under authority, and must needs obey.”

And when Philoctetes heard these words, he cried with a very piteous
voice, “What a marvel of wickedness thou art that hast done this thing.
Art thou not ashamed to work such wrong to a suppliant? Give me my bow,
for it is my life. But I speak in vain, for he goeth away and heedeth
me not. Hear me then, ye waters and cliffs, and ye beasts of the field,
who have been long time my wonted company, for I have none else to
hearken to me. Hear what the son of Achilles hath done to me. For he
sware that he would carry me to my home, and lo! he taketh me to Troy.
And he gave me the right hand of fellowship, and now he robbeth me of
the bow, the sacred bow of Hercules. Nay,--for I will make trial of
him once more,--give back this thing to me and be thy true self. What
sayest thou? Nothing? Then am I undone. O cavern of the rock wherein I
have dwelt, behold how desolate I am! Never more shall I slay with my
arrows bird of the air or beast of the field; but that which I hunted
shall pursue me, and that on which I fed shall devour me.”

And the Prince was cut to the heart when he heard these words, hating
the thing which he had done, and cursing the day on which he had come
from Scyros to the plains of Troy. Then turning himself to the sailors,
he asked what he should do, and was even about to give back the bow,
when Ulysses, who was close at hand, watching what should be done, ran
forth crying that he should hold his hand.

Then said Philoctetes, “Is this Ulysses that I see? Then am I undone.”

“’Tis even so: and as for what thou asketh of this youth, that he
should give back the bow, he shall not do it; but rather thou shalt
sail with us to Troy; and if thou art not willing, these that stand by
shall take thee by force.”

“Lord of fire, that rulest this land of Lemnos, hearest thou this?”

“Nay, ’tis Zeus that is master here, and Zeus hath commanded this deed.”

“What lies are these? Thou makest the gods false as thyself.”

“Not so. They are true and I also. But this journey thou must take.”

“Methinks I am a slave, and not freeborn, that thou talkest thus.”

“Thou art peer to the bravest, and with them shalt take the great city
of Troy.”

“Never; I had sooner cast myself down from this cliff.”

Then Ulysses cried to the men that they should lay hold on him; and
this they straightway did. Then Philoctetes in many words reproached
him with all the wrongs that he had done; how at the first he had
caused him to be left on this island, and now had stolen his arms, not
with his own hands, indeed, but with craft and deceit, serving himself
of a simple youth, who knew not but to do as he was bidden. And he
prayed to the gods that they would avenge him on all that had done him
wrong, and chiefly on this man Ulysses.

Then Ulysses made reply, “I can be all things as occasion serveth; such
as thou sayest, if need be; and yet no man more pious if the time call
for goodness and justice. One thing only I must needs do, and that is
to prevail. Yet here I will yield to thee. Thou wilt not go; so be it.
Loose him! We need thee not, having these arms of thine. Teucer is with
us, an archer not one whit less skilful than thou. And now I leave
thee to this Lemnos of thine. May be this bow shall bring me the honor
which thou refusest.”

When he had thus spoken he departed, and the Prince Neoptolemus with
him. Only the Prince gave permission to the sailors that they should
tarry with the sick man till it was time to make ready for the voyage.

Then Philoctetes bewailed himself, crying to his bow, “O my bow,
my beloved, that they have wrested from my hands, surely, if thou
knowest aught, thou grievest to see that the man who was the comrade
of Hercules will never hold thee more, but that base hands will grasp
thee, mixing thee with all manner of deceit.” And then again he called
to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, that they should
not fly from him any more, seeing that he had now no help against
them, but should come and avenge themselves upon him and devour him.
And still the sailors would have comforted him. Also they sought to
persuade him that he should listen to the chiefs; but he would not,
crying that the lightning should smite him before he would go to Troy
and help them that had done him such wrong. And at the last he cried
that they should give him a spear or a sword, that he might be rid of
his life.

But while they thus talked together, the Prince came back like one that
is in haste, with Ulysses following him, who cried, “Wherefore turnest
thou back?”

“To undo what I did amiss.”

“How sayest thou? When didst thou thus?”

“When I listened to thee, and used deceit to a brave man.”

“What wilt thou then? (I fear me much what this fool may do.)”

“I will give back this bow and these arrows to him from whom I took
them by craft.”

“That shalt thou not do.”

“But who shall hinder me?”

“That will I, and all the sons of the Greeks with me.”

“This is idle talk for a wise man as thou art.”

“Seest thou this sword whereto I lay my hand?”

“If thou talkest of swords, thou shalt see right soon that I also have
a sword.”

“Well--I let thee alone. To the host will I tell this matter; they
shall judge thee.”

“Now thou speakest well; be ever as wise; so shalt thou keep thy foot
out of trouble.”

Then the Prince called to Philoctetes, who, being loosed by the
sailors, had hidden himself in the cave, and asked of him again whether
he were willing to sail with him, or were resolved to abide in the

And when the man had denied that he would go, and had begun again to
call down a curse on the sons of Atreus, and on Ulysses, and on the
Prince himself, then the Prince bade him stay his speech, and gave him
back the bow and the arrows.

And when Ulysses, seeing this deed, was very wroth, and threatened
vengeance, Philoctetes put an arrow to the string, and drew the bow to
the full, and would have shot at the man, but the Prince stayed his

And then the Prince was urgent with him that he should cease from his
anger, and should sail with him to Troy, saying that there he should be
healed by the great physician, the son of Asclepius, and should also
win great glory by taking the city, and that right soon; for that the
soothsayer Helenus had declared that it was the will of the gods that
the city of Troy should be taken that same summer.

But for all this he prevailed nothing; for Philoctetes was obstinate
that he would not go to Troy, nor do any pleasure to the chiefs who had
done him such wrong. But he would that the Prince should fulfil the
promise which he had made, that he would carry him in his ship to his
own country. And this the Prince said that he would do.

And now the two were about to depart to the ship, when lo! there
appeared in the air above their heads the great Hercules. Very
wonderful was he to behold, with bright raiment, and a great glory
shining from his face, even as the everlasting gods beheld him with
whom he dwelt in the palace of Olympus. And Hercules spake, saying,--

“Go not yet, son of Pœas, before thou hearest what I shall say to thee.
For ’tis Hercules whom thou seest and hearest; and I am come from my
dwelling in heaven to declare to thee the will of Zeus. Know then that
even as I attained to this blessedness after much toil, so shall it
be with thee. For thou shalt go to the land of Troy; and first thou
shalt be healed of thy grievous sickness, and afterwards thou shalt
slay Paris with thine arrows, and shalt take the city of Troy, whereof
thou shalt carry the spoils to thy home, even to Pœas thy father,
having received from thy fellows the foremost prize for valor. But
remember that all that thou winnest in this warfare thou must take
as an offering to my tomb. And to thee, son of Achilles, I say; thou
canst not take the city of Troy without this man, nor he without thee.
Whereof, as two lions that consort together, guard ye each other. And
I will send Asclepius to heal him of his sickness; for it is the will
of the gods that Troy should yet again be taken by my bow. And remember
this, when ye lay waste the land, to have the gods and that which
belongeth to them in reverence.”

Then said Philoctetes, “O my master, whom I have long desired to hear
and see, I will do as thou sayest.”

And the Prince also gave his consent.

Then Philoctetes bade farewell to the island in these words:--

    “Home that hast watched with me, farewell!
    And nymphs that haunt the springs or dwell
    In seaward meadows, and the roar
    Of waves that break upon the shore;
    Where often, through the cavern’s mouth,
    The drifting of the rainy South
    Hath coldly drenched me as I lay;
    And Hermes’ hill, whence many a day,
    When anguish seized me, to my cry
    Hoarse-sounding echo made reply.
    O fountains of the land, and thou,
    Pool of the Wolf, I leave you now;
    Beyond all hope I leave thy strand,
    O Lemnos, sea-encircled land!
    Grant me with favoring winds to go
    Whither the mighty Fates command,
    And this dear company of friends,
    And mastering Powers who shape our ends
    To issues fairer than we know.”


It fell out that at the last Troy was taken by a stratagem. Now the
stratagem was this: The Greeks made a great Horse of wood, feigning it
to be a peace-offering to the gods, that they might have a safe return
to their homes.

In the belly of this there hid themselves certain of the bravest of the
chiefs, as Menelaüs, and Ulysses, and Thoas the Ætolian, and Machaon,
the great physician, and Pyrrhus, son of Achilles (but Achilles himself
was dead, slain by Paris, Apollo helping, even as he was about to take
the city), and others also, and with them Epeius himself. But the rest
of the people made as if they had departed to their homes; only they
went not further than Tenedos, which was an island near to the coast.

Great joy was there in Troy when it was noised abroad that the men of
Greece had departed. The gates were opened, and the people went forth
to see the plain and the camp. And one said to another, as they went,
“Here they set the battle in array, and there were the tents of the
fierce Achilles, and there lay the ships.” And some stood and marvelled
at the great peace-offering to Minerva, even the Horse of wood. And
Thymœtes, who was one of the elders of the city, was the first who
advised that it should be brought within the walls and set in the
citadel. Now whether he gave this counsel out of a false heart, or
because the gods would have it so, no man knows. But Capys, and others
with him, said that it should be drowned in water, or burned with fire,
or that men should pierce it and see whether there were aught within.
And the people were divided, some crying one thing and some another.
Then came forward the priest Laocoön, and a great company with him,
crying, “What madness is this? Think ye that the men of Greece are
indeed departed, or that there is any profit in their gifts? Surely,
there are armed men in this mighty Horse; or haply they have made it
that they may look down upon our walls. Touch it not, for as for these
men of Greece, I fear them, even though they bring gifts in their

And as he spake he cast his great spear at the Horse, so that it
sounded again. But the gods would not that Troy should be saved.

Meanwhile there came certain shepherds, dragging with them one whose
hands were bound behind his back. He had come forth to them, they said,
of his own accord, when they were in the field. And first the young men
gathered about him mocking him, but when he cried aloud, “What place is
left for me, for the Greeks suffer me not to live, and the men of Troy
cry for vengeance upon me?” they rather pitied him, and bade him speak,
and say whence he came and what he had to tell.

Then the man spake, turning to King Priam: “I will speak the truth,
whatever befall me. My name is Sinon, and I deny not that I am a Greek.
Haply thou hast heard the name of Palamedes, whom the Greeks slew, but
now, being dead, lament; and the cause was that, because he counselled
peace, men falsely accused him of treason. Now, of this Palamedes I was
a poor kinsman, and followed him to Troy. And when he was dead, through
the false witness of Ulysses, I lived in great grief and trouble, nor
could I hold my peace, but sware that if ever I came back to Argos I
would avenge me of him that had done this deed. Then did Ulysses seek
occasion against me, whispering evil things, nor rested till at the
last, Calchas the soothsayer helping him--but what profit it that I
should tell these things? For doubtless ye hold one Greek to be even
as another. Wherefore slay me, and doubtless ye will do a pleasure to
Ulysses and the sons of Atreus.”

Then they bade him tell on, and he said,--

“Often would the Greeks have fled to their homes, being weary of the
war, but still the stormy sea hindered them. And when this Horse that
ye see had been built, most of all did the dreadful thunder roll from
the one end of the heaven to the other. Then the Greeks sent one
who should inquire of Apollo; and Apollo answered them thus: ‘Men
of Greece, even as ye appeased the winds with blood when ye came to
Troy, so must ye appease them with blood now that ye would go from
thence.’ Then did men tremble to think on whom the doom should fall,
and Ulysses, with much clamor, drew forth Calchas the soothsayer
into the midst, and bade him say who it was that the gods would
have as a sacrifice. Then did many forebode evil for me. Ten days
did the soothsayer keep silence, saying that he would not give any
man to death. But then, for in truth the two had planned the matter
beforehand, he spake, appointing me to die. And to this thing they all
agreed, each being glad to turn to another that which he feared for
himself. But when the day was come, and all things were ready, the
salted meal for the sacrifice and the garlands, lo! I burst my bonds
and fled, and hid myself in the sedges of a pool, waiting till they
should have set sail, if haply that might be. But never shall I see
country, or father, or children again. For doubtless on these will they
take vengeance for my flight. Only do thou, O king, have pity on me,
who have suffered many things, not having harmed any man.”

And King Priam had pity on him, and bade them loose his bonds, saying,
“Whoever thou art, forget now thy country. Henceforth thou art one of
us. But tell me true: why made they this huge Horse? Who contrived it?
What seek they by it,--to please the gods or to further their siege?”

Then said Sinon, and as he spake he stretched his hands to the sky,
“I call you to witness, ye everlasting fires of heaven, that with
good right I now break my oath of fealty and reveal the secrets of my
countrymen. Listen then, O king. All our hope has ever been in the help
of Minerva. But, from the day when Diomed and Ulysses dared, having
bloody hands, to snatch her image from her holy place in Troy, her
face was turned from us. Well do I remember how the eyes of the image,
well-nigh before they had set it in the camp, blazed with wrath, and
how the salt sweat stood upon its limbs, aye, and how it thrice leapt
from the ground, shaking shield and spear. Then Calchas told us that we
must cross the seas again, and seek at home fresh omens for our war.
And this, indeed, they are doing even now, and will return anon. Also
the soothsayer said, ‘Meanwhile ye must make the likeness of a Horse,
to be a peace-offering to Minerva. And take heed that ye make it huge
of bulk, so that the men of Troy may not receive it into their gates,
nor bring it within their walls, and get safety for themselves thereby.
For if,’ he said, ‘the men of Troy harm this image at all, they shall
surely perish; but if they bring it into their city, then shall Asia
lay siege hereafter to the city of Pelops, and our children shall
suffer the doom which we would fain have brought on Troy.’”

These words wrought much on the men of Troy, and as they pondered on
them, lo! the gods sent another marvel to deceive them. For while
Laocoön, the priest of Neptune was slaying a bull at the altar of
his god, there came two serpents across the sea from Tenedos, whose
heads and necks, whereon were thick manes of hair, were high above the
waves, and many scaly coils trailed behind in the waters. And when they
reached the land they still sped forward. Their eyes were red as blood
and blazed with fire, and their forked tongues hissed loud for rage.
Then all the men of Troy grew pale with fear and fled away, but these
turned not aside this way or that, seeking Laocoön where he stood.
And first they wrapped themselves about his little sons, one serpent
about each, and began to devour them. And when the father would have
given help to his children, having a sword in his hand, they seized
upon himself, and bound him fast with their folds. Twice they compassed
about his body, and twice his neck, lifting their heads far above him.
And all the while he strove to tear them away with his hands, his
priest’s garlands dripping with blood. Nor did he cease to cry horribly
aloud, even as a bull bellows when after an ill stroke of the axe it
flees from the altar. But when their work was done, the two glided to
the citadel of Minerva, and hid themselves beneath the feet and the
shield of the goddess. And men said one to another, “Lo! the priest
Laocoön has been judged according to his deeds; for he cast his spear
against this holy thing, and now the gods have slain him.” Then all
cried out together that the Horse of wood must be drawn to the citadel.
Whereupon they opened the Scæan Gate, and pulled down the wall that
was thereby, and put rollers under the feet of the Horse, and joined
ropes thereto. So, in much joy, they drew it into the city, youths and
maidens singing about it the while, and laying their hands to the ropes
with great gladness. And yet there wanted not signs and tokens of evil
to come. Four times it halted on the threshold of the gate, and men
might have heard a clashing of arms within. Cassandra also opened her
mouth, prophesying evil: but no man heeded her, for that was ever the
doom upon her, not to be believed speaking truth. So the men of Troy
drew the Horse into the city. And that night they kept a feast to all
the gods with great joy, not knowing that the last day of the great
city had come.

But when night was now fully come, and the men of Troy lay asleep, lo!
from the ship of King Agamemnon there rose up a flame for a signal to
the Greeks; and these straightway manned their ships, and made across
the sea from Tenedos, there being a great calm, and the moon also
giving them light. Sinon likewise opened a secret door that was in the
great Horse, and the chiefs issued forth therefrom, and opened the
gates of the city, slaying those that kept watch.

Meanwhile there came a vision to Æneas, who now, Hector being dead, was
the chief hope and stay of the men of Troy. It was Hector’s self that
he seemed to see, but not such as he had seen him coming back rejoicing
with the arms of Achilles, or setting fire to the ships, but even as
he lay after that Achilles dragged him at his chariot wheels, covered
with dust and blood, his feet swollen and pierced through with thongs.
To him said Æneas, not knowing what he said, “Why hast thou tarried
so long? Much have we suffered waiting for thee! And what grief hath
marked thy face? and whence these wounds?”

But to this the spirit answered nothing, but said, groaning the while,
“Fly, son of Venus, fly, and save thee from these flames. The enemy is
in the walls, and Troy hath utterly perished. If any hand could have
saved our city, this hand had done so. Thou art now the hope of Troy.
Take then her gods, and flee with them for company, seeking the city
that thou shalt one day build across the sea.”

And now the alarm of battle came nearer and nearer, and Æneas, waking
from sleep, climbed upon the roof, and looked on the city. As a
shepherd stands, and sees a fierce flame sweeping before the south wind
over the cornfields or a flood rushing down from the mountains, so he
stood. And as he looked, the great palace of Deïphobus sank down in
the fire, and the house of Ucalegon, that was hard by, blazed forth,
till the sea by Sigeüm shone with the light. Then, scarce knowing what
he sought, he girded on his armor, thinking, perchance, that he might
yet win some place of vantage, or, at the least, might avenge himself
on the enemy, or find honor in his death. But as he passed from out of
his house there met him Panthus, the priest of Apollo that was on the
citadel, who cried to him, “O Æneas, the glory is departed from Troy,
and the Greeks have the mastery in the city; for armed men are coming
forth from the great Horse of wood, and thousands also swarm in at the
gates, which Sinon hath treacherously opened.” And as he spake others
came up under the light of the moon, as Hypanis, and Dymas, and young
Corœbus, who had but newly come to Troy, seeking Cassandra to be his
wife. To whom Æneas spake:

“If ye are minded, my brethren, to follow me to the death, come on.
For how things fare this night ye see. The gods who were the stay of
this city have departed from it; nor is aught remaining to which we may
bring succor. Yet can we die as brave men in battle. And haply he that
counts his life to be lost may yet save it.” Then, even as ravening
wolves hasten through the mist seeking for prey, so they went through
the city, doing dreadful deeds. And for a while the men of Greece fled
before them.

First of all there met them Androgeos with a great company following
him, who, thinking them to be friends, said, “Haste, comrades, why are
ye so late? We are spoiling this city of Troy, and ye are but newly
come from the ships.” But forthwith, for they answered him not as he
had looked for, he knew that he had fallen among enemies. Then even
as one who treads upon a snake unawares among thorns, and flies from
it when it rises angrily against him with swelling neck, so Androgeos
would have fled. But the men of Troy rushed on, and seeing that they
knew all the place, and that great fear was upon the Greeks, slew many
men. Then said Corœbus, “We have good luck in this matter, my friends.
Come now, let us change our shields, and put upon us the armor of these
Greeks. For whether we deal with our enemy by craft or by force, who
will ask?” Then he took to himself the helmet and shield of Androgeos,
and also girded the sword upon him. In like manner did the others, and
thus going disguised among the Greeks slew many, so that some again
fled to the ships and some were fain to climb into the Horse of wood.
But lo! men came dragging by the hair from the temple of Minerva the
virgin Cassandra, whom when Corœbus beheld, and how she lifted up her
eyes to heaven (but as for her hands, they were bound with iron), he
endured not the sight, but threw himself upon those that dragged her,
the others following him. Then did a grievous mischance befall them,
for the men of Troy that stood upon the roof of the temple cast spears
against them, judging them to be enemies. The Greeks also, being wroth
that the virgin should be taken from them, fought the more fiercely,
and many who had before been put to flight in the city came against
them, and prevailed, being indeed many against few. Then first of all
fell Corœbus, being slain by Peneleus the Bœotian, and Rhipeus also,
the most righteous of all the sons of Troy. But the gods dealt not with
him after his righteousness. Hypanis also was slain and Dymas, and
Panthus escaped not for all that more than other men he feared the gods
and was also the priest of Apollo.

Then was Æneas severed from the rest, having with him two only, Iphitus
and Pelias, Iphitus being an old man and Pelias sorely wounded by
Ulysses. And these, hearing a great shouting, hastened to the palace
of King Priam, where the battle was fiercer than in any place beside.
For some of the Greeks were seeking to climb the walls, laying ladders
thereto, whereon they stood, holding forth their shields with their
left hands, and with their right grasping the roofs. And the men of
Troy, on the other hand, being in the last extremity, tore down the
battlements and the gilded beams wherewith the men of old had adorned
the palace. Then Æneas, knowing of a secret door whereby the unhappy
Andromaché in past days had been wont to enter, bringing her son
Astyanax to his grandfather, climbed on to the roof, and joined himself
to those that fought therefrom. Now upon this roof there was a tower,
whence all Troy could be seen and the camp of the Greeks and the ships.
This the men of Troy loosened from its foundations with bars of iron,
and thrust it over, so that it fell upon the enemy, slaying many of
them. But not the less did others press forward, casting the while
stones and javelins and all that came to their hands.

Meanwhile others sought to break down the gates of the palace, Pyrrhus,
son of Achilles, being foremost among them, clad in shining armor
of bronze. Like to a serpent was he, which sleeps indeed during the
winter, but in the spring comes forth into the light, full fed on evil
herbs, and, having cast his skin and renewed his youth, lifts his head
into the light of the sun and hisses with forked tongue. And with
Pyrrhus were tall Periphas, and Automedon, who had been armor-bearer to
his father Achilles, and following them the youth of Scyros, which was
the kingdom of his grandfather Lycomedes. With a great battle-axe he
hewed through the doors, breaking down also the door-posts, though they
were plated with bronze, making, as it were, a great window, through
which a man might see the palace within, the hall of King Priam and of
the kings who had reigned aforetime in Troy. But when they that were
within perceived it, there arose a great cry of women wailing aloud
and clinging to the doors and kissing them. But ever Pyrrhus pressed
on, fierce and strong as ever was his father Achilles, nor could aught
stand against him, either the doors or they that guarded them. Then, as
a river bursts its banks and overflows the plain, so did the sons of
Greece rush into the palace.

But old Priam, when he saw the enemy in his hall, girded on him his
armor, which now by reason of old age he had long laid aside, and
took a spear in his hand, and would have gone against the adversary,
only Queen Hecuba called to him from where she sat. For she and her
daughters had fled to the great altar of the household gods, and sat
crowded about it like unto doves that are driven by a storm. Now the
altar stood in an open court that was in the midst of the palace, with
a great bay-tree above it. So when she saw Priam, how he had girded
himself with armor as a youth, she cried to him and said, “What hath
bewitched thee, that thou girdest thyself with armor? It is not the
sword that shall help us this day; no, not though my own Hector were
here, but rather the gods and their altars. Come hither to us, for here
thou wilt be safe, or at the least wilt die with us.”

So she made the old man sit down in the midst. But lo! there came
flying through the palace, Polites, his son, wounded to death by the
spear of Pyrrhus, and Pyrrhus close behind him. And he, even as he came
into the sight of his father and his mother, fell dead upon the ground.
But when King Priam saw it he contained not himself, but cried aloud,
“Now may the gods, if there be any justice in heaven, recompense thee
for this wickedness, seeing that thou hast not spared to slay the son
before his father’s eyes. Great Achilles, whom thou falsely callest thy
sire, did not thus to Priam, though he was an enemy, but reverenced
right and truth, and gave the body of Hector for burial, and sent me
back to my city.”

And as he spake the old man cast a spear, but aimless and without
force, and that pierced not even the boss of the shield. Then said the
son of Achilles, “Go thou and tell my father of his unworthy son and
all these evil deeds. And that thou mayest tell him, die!” And as he
spake he caught in his left hand the old man’s white hair, and dragged
him, slipping the while in the blood of his own son, to the altar, and
then, lifting his sword high for a blow, drave it to the hilt in the
old man’s side. So King Priam, who had ruled mightily over many peoples
and countries in the land of Asia, was slain that night, having first
seen Troy burning about him, and his citadel laid even with the ground.
So was his carcase cast out upon the earth, headless, and without a



When the great city of Troy was taken, all the chiefs who had fought
against it set sail for their homes. But there was wrath in heaven
against them, for indeed they had borne themselves haughtily and
cruelly in the day of their victory. Therefore they did not all find
a safe and happy return. For one was shipwrecked, and another was
shamefully slain by his false wife in his palace, and others found
all things at home troubled and changed, and were driven to seek new
dwellings elsewhere. And some, whose wives and friends and people had
been still true to them through those ten long years of absence, were
driven far and wide about the world before they saw their native land
again. And of all, the wise Ulysses was he who wandered farthest and
suffered most.

He was well-nigh the last to sail, for he had tarried many days to do
pleasure to Agamemnon, lord of all the Greeks. Twelve ships he had
with him--twelve he had brought to Troy--and in each there were some
fifty men, being scarce half of those that had sailed in them in the
old days, so many valiant heroes slept the last sleep by Simoïs and
Scamander, and in the plain on the sea-shore, slain in battle or by the
shafts of Apollo.

First they sailed north-west to the Thracian coast, where the Ciconians
dwelt, who had helped the men of Troy. Their city they took, and in it
much plunder, slaves and oxen, and jars of fragrant wine, and might
have escaped unhurt, but that they stayed to hold revel on the shore.
For the Ciconians gathered their neighbors, being men of the same
blood, and did battle with the invaders, and drove them to their ship.
And when Ulysses numbered his men, he found that he had lost six out of
each ship.

Scarce had he set out again when the wind began to blow fiercely; so,
seeing a smooth sandy beach, they drave the ships ashore and dragged
them out of reach of the waves, and waited till the storm should abate.
And the third morning being fair, they sailed again, and journeyed
prosperously till they came to the very end of the great Peloponnesian
land, where Cape Malea looks out upon the southern sea. But contrary
currents baffled them, so that they could not round it, and the north
wind blew so strongly that they must fain drive before it. And on the
tenth day they came to the land where the lotus grows--a wondrous
fruit, of which whosoever eats cares not to see country or wife or
children again. Now the Lotus-eaters, for so they called the people
of the land, were a kindly folk, and gave of the fruit to some of the
sailors, not meaning them any harm, but thinking it to be the best that
they had to give. These, when they had eaten, said that they would not
sail any more over the sea; which, when the wise Ulysses heard, he bade
their comrades bind them and carry them, sadly complaining, to the

Then, the wind having abated, they took to their oars, and rowed for
many days till they came to the country where the Cyclopes dwell.
Now, a mile or so from the shore there was an island, very fair and
fertile, but no man dwells there or tills the soil, and in the island a
harbor where a ship may be safe from all winds, and at the head of the
harbor a stream falling from a rock, and whispering alders all about
it. Into this the ships passed safely, and were hauled up on the beach,
and the crews slept by them, waiting for the morning. And the next
day they hunted the wild goats, of which there was great store on the
island, and feasted right merrily on what they caught, with draughts of
red wine which they had carried off from the town of the Ciconians.

But on the morrow, Ulysses, for he was ever fond of adventure, and
would know of every land to which he came what manner of men they were
that dwelt there, took one of his twelve ships and bade row to the
land. There was a great hill sloping to the shore, and there rose up
here and there a smoke from the caves where the Cyclopes dwelt apart,
holding no converse with each other, for they were a rude and savage
folk, but ruled each his own household, not caring for others. Now very
close to the shore was one of these caves, very huge and deep, with
laurels round about the mouth, and in front a fold with walls built
of rough stone, and shaded by tall oaks and pines. So Ulysses chose
out of the crew the twelve bravest, and bade the rest guard the ship,
and went to see what manner of dwelling this was, and who abode there.
He had his sword by his side, and on his shoulder a mighty skin of
wine, sweet-smelling and strong, with which he might win the heart of
some fierce savage, should he chance to meet with such, as indeed his
prudent heart forecasted that he might.

So they entered the cave, and judged that it was the dwelling of some
rich and skilful shepherd. For within there were pens for the young
of the sheep and of the goats, divided all according to their age, and
there were baskets full of cheeses, and full milkpails ranged along
the wall. But the Cyclops himself was away in the pastures. Then the
companions of Ulysses besought him that he would depart, taking with
him, if he would, a store of cheeses and sundry of the lambs and of
the kids. But he would not, for he wished to see, after his wont, what
manner of host this strange shepherd might be. And truly he saw it to
his cost!

It was evening when the Cyclops came home, a mighty giant, twenty feet
in height, or more. On his shoulder he bore a vast bundle of pine logs
for his fire, and threw them down outside the cave with a great crash,
and drove the flocks within, and closed the entrance with a huge rock,
which twenty wagons and more could not bear. Then he milked the ewes
and all the she-goats, and half of the milk he curdled for cheese, and
half he set ready for himself, when he should sup. Next he kindled a
fire with the pine logs, and the flame lighted up all the cave, showing
him Ulysses and his comrades.

“Who are ye?” cried Polyphemus, for that was the giant’s name. “Are ye
traders, or, haply, pirates?”

For in those days it was not counted shame to be called a pirate.

Ulysses shuddered at the dreadful voice and shape, but bore him
bravely, and answered, “We are no pirates, mighty sir, but Greeks,
sailing back from Troy, and subjects of the great King Agamemnon, whose
fame is spread from one end of heaven to the other. And we are come to
beg hospitality of thee in the name of Zeus, who rewards or punishes
hosts and guests according as they be faithful the one to the other, or

“Nay,” said the giant, “it is but idle talk to tell me of Zeus and the
other gods. We Cyclopes take no account of gods, holding ourselves to
be much better and stronger than they. But come, tell me where have you
left your ship?”

But Ulysses saw his thought when he asked about the ship, how he was
minded to break it, and take from them all hope of flight. Therefore he
answered him craftily,--

“Ship have we none, for that which was ours King Poseidon brake,
driving it on a jutting rock on this coast, and we whom thou seest are
all that are escaped from the waves.”

Polyphemus answered nothing, but without more ado caught up two of
the men, as a man might catch up the whelps of a dog, and dashed them
on the ground, and tore them limb from limb, and devoured them, with
huge draughts of milk between, leaving not a morsel, not even the very
bones. But the others, when they saw the dreadful deed, could only weep
and pray to Zeus for help. And when the giant had ended his foul meal,
he lay down among his sheep and slept.

Then Ulysses questioned much in his heart whether he should slay the
monster as he slept, for he doubted not that his good sword would
pierce to the giant’s heart, mighty as he was. But, being very wise,
he remembered that, should he slay him, he and his comrades would yet
perish miserably. For who should move away the great rock that lay
against the door of the cave? So they waited till the morning. And the
monster woke, and milked his flocks, and afterwards, seizing two men,
devoured them for his meal. Then he went to the pastures, but put the
great rock on the mouth of the cave, just as a man puts down the lid
upon his quiver.

All that day the wise Ulysses was thinking what he might best do to
save himself and his companions, and the end of his thinking was this:
there was a mighty pole in the cave, green wood of an olive tree, big
as a ship’s mast, which Polyphemus purposed to use, when the smoke
should have dried it, as a walking staff. Of this he cut off a fathom’s
length, and his comrades sharpened it and hardened it in the fire, and
then hid it away. At evening the giant came back, and drove his sheep
into the cave, nor left the rams outside, as he had been wont to do
before, but shut them in. And having duly done his shepherd’s work,
he made his cruel feast as before. Then Ulysses came forward with the
wine-skin in his hand, and said,--

“Drink, Cyclops, now that thou hast feasted. Drink and see what
precious things we had in our ship. But no one hereafter will come to
thee with such like, if thou dealest with strangers as cruelly as thou
hast dealt with us.”

Then the Cyclops drank, and was mightily pleased, and said, “Give me
again to drink, and tell me thy name, stranger, and I will give thee a
gift such as a host should give. In good truth this is a rare liquor.
We, too, have vines, but they bear not wine like this, which indeed
must be such as the gods drink in heaven.”

Then Ulysses gave him the cup again, and he drank. Thrice he gave it
to him, and thrice he drank, not knowing what it was, and how it would
work within his brain.

Then Ulysses spake to him. “Thou didst ask my name, Cyclops. Lo! my
name is No Man. And now that thou knowest my name, thou shouldst give
me thy gift.”

And he said, “My gift shall be that I will eat thee last of all thy

And as he spoke he fell back in a drunken sleep. Then Ulysses bade his
comrades be of good courage, for the time was come when they should be
delivered. And they thrust the stake of olive wood into the fire till
it was ready, green as it was, to burst into flame, and they thrust it
into the monster’s eye; for he had but one eye, and that in the midst
of his forehead, with the eyebrow below it. And Ulysses leant with all
his force upon the stake, and thrust it in with might and main. And the
burning wood hissed in the eye, just as the red-hot iron hisses in the
water when a man seeks to temper steel for a sword.

Then the giant leapt up, and tore away the stake, and cried aloud, so
that all the Cyclopes who dwelt on the mountain side heard him and
came about his cave, asking him, “What aileth thee, Polyphemus, that
thou makest this uproar in the peaceful night, driving away sleep? Is
any one robbing thee of thy sheep, or seeking to slay thee by craft or

And the giant answered, “No Man slays me by craft.”

“Nay, but,” they said, “if no man does thee wrong, we cannot help thee.
The sickness which great Zeus may send, who can avoid? Pray to our
father, Poseidon, for help.”

Then they departed; and Ulysses was glad at heart for the good success
of his device, when he said that he was No Man.

But the Cyclops rolled away the great stone from the door of the
cave, and sat in the midst, stretching out his hands to feel whether
perchance the men within the cave would seek to go out among the sheep.

Long did Ulysses think how he and his comrades should best escape. At
last he lighted upon a good device, and much he thanked Zeus for that
this once the giant had driven the rams with the other sheep into the
cave. For, these being great and strong, he fastened his comrades under
the bellies of the beasts, tying them with osier twigs, of which the
giant made his bed. One ram he took, and fastened a man beneath it,
and two others he set, one on either side. So he did with the six, for
but six were left out of the twelve who had ventured with him from the
ship. And there was one mighty ram, far larger than all the others,
and to this Ulysses clung, grasping the fleece tight with both his
hands. So they waited for the morning. And when the morning came, the
rams rushed forth to the pasture; but the giant sat in the door and
felt the back of each as it went by, nor thought to try what might be
underneath. Last of all went the great ram. And the Cyclops knew him as
he passed, and said,--

“How is this, thou, who art the leader of the flock? Thou art not wont
thus to lag behind. Thou hast always been the first to run to the
pastures and streams in the morning, and the first to come back to the
fold when evening fell; and now thou art last of all. Perhaps thou art
troubled about thy master’s eye, which some wretch--No Man, they call
him--has destroyed, having first mastered me with wine. He has not
escaped, I ween. I would that thou couldst speak, and tell me where he
is lurking. Of a truth I would dash out his brains upon the ground, and
avenge me of this No Man.”

So speaking, he let him pass out of the cave. But when they were out
of reach of the giant, Ulysses loosed his hold of the ram, and then
unbound his comrades. And they hastened to their ship, not forgetting
to drive before them a good store of the Cyclops’ fat sheep. Right glad
were those that had abode by the ship to see them. Nor did they lament
for those that had died, though they were fain to do so, for Ulysses
forbade, fearing lest the noise of their weeping should betray them to
the giant, where they were. Then they all climbed into the ship, and
sitting well in order on the benches, smote the sea with their oars,
laying-to right lustily, that they might the sooner get away from the
accursed land. And when they had rowed a hundred yards or so, so that a
man’s voice could yet be heard by one who stood upon the shore, Ulysses
stood up in the ship and shouted,--

“He was no coward, O Cyclops, whose comrades thou didst so foully slay
in thy den. Justly art thou punished, monster, that devourest thy
guests in thy dwelling. May the gods make thee suffer yet worse things
than these!”

Then the Cyclops, in his wrath, broke off the top of a great hill, a
mighty rock, and hurled it where he had heard the voice. Right in front
of the ship’s bow it fell, and a great wave rose as it sank, and washed
the ship back to the shore. But Ulysses seized a long pole with both
hands and pushed the ship from the land, and bade his comrades ply
their oars, nodding with his head, for he was too wise to speak, lest
the Cyclops should know where they were. Then they rowed with all their
might and main.

And when they had gotten twice as far as before, Ulysses made as if he
would speak again; but his comrades sought to hinder him, saying, “Nay,
my lord, anger not the giant any more. Surely we thought before we were
lost, when he threw the great rock, and washed our ship back to the
shore. And if he hear thee now, he may crush our ship and us, for the
man throws a mighty bolt, and throws it far.”

But Ulysses would not be persuaded, but stood up and said, “Hear,
Cyclops! If any man ask who blinded thee, say that it was the warrior
Ulysses, son of Laertes, dwelling in Ithaca.”

And the Cyclops answered with a groan, “Of a truth, the old oracles are
fulfilled, for long ago there came to this land one Telemus, a prophet,
and dwelt among us even to old age. This man foretold to me that one
Ulysses would rob me of my sight. But I looked for a great man and a
strong, who should subdue me by force, and now a weakling has done the
deed, having cheated me with wine. But come thou hither, Ulysses, and
I will be a host indeed to thee. Or, at least, may Poseidon give thee
such a voyage to thy home as I would wish thee to have. For know that
Poseidon is my sire. May be that he may heal me of my grievous wound.”

And Ulysses said, “Would to God I could send thee down to the abode of
the dead, where thou wouldst be past all healing, even from Poseidon’s

Then Cyclops lifted up his hands to Poseidon and prayed,--

“Hear me, Poseidon, if I am indeed thy son and thou my father. May this
Ulysses never reach his home! or, if the Fates have ordered that he
should reach it, may he come alone, all his comrades lost, and come to
find sore trouble in his house!”

And as he ended he hurled another mighty rock, which almost lighted on
the rudder’s end, yet missed it as by a hair’s breadth. So Ulysses and
his comrades escaped, and came to the island of the wild goats, where
they found their comrades, who indeed had waited long for them, in sore
fear lest they had perished. Then Ulysses divided amongst his company
all the sheep which they had taken from the Cyclops. And all, with one
consent, gave him for his share the great ram which had carried him
out of the cave, and he sacrificed it to Zeus. And all that day they
feasted right merrily on the flesh of sheep and on sweet wine, and when
the night was come, they lay down upon the shore and slept.

After sailing awhile, they came to the island of Æolus, who is the king
of the winds, and who dwelt there with his children, six sons and six
daughters. Right well did Æolus entertain them, feasting them royally
for a whole month, while he heard from Ulysses the story of all that
had been done at Troy. And when Ulysses prayed him that he would help
him on his way homewards, Æolus hearkened to him, and gave him the skin
of an ox in which he had bound all contrary winds, so that they should
not hinder him. But he let a gentle west wind blow, that it might carry
him and his comrades to their home. For nine days it blew and now they
were near to Ithaca, their country, so that they saw lights burning
in it, it being night-time. But now, by an ill chance, Ulysses fell
asleep, being wholly wearied out, for he had held the helm for nine
days, nor trusted it to any of his comrades. And while he slept his
comrades, who had cast eyes of envy on the great ox-hide, said one to

“Strange it is how men love and honor this Ulysses whithersoever he
goes. And now he comes back from Troy with much spoil, but we with
empty hands. Let us see what it is that Æolus hath given, for doubtless
in this ox-hide is much silver and gold.”

So they loosed the great bag of ox-hide, and lo! all the winds rushed
out, and carried them far away from their country. But Ulysses, waking
with the tumult, doubted much whether he should not throw himself into
the sea and so die. But he endured, thinking it better to live. Only
he veiled his face and so sat, while the ships drave before the winds,
till they came once more to the island of Æolus. Then Ulysses went
to the palace of the king, and found him feasting with his wife and
children, and sat him down on the threshold. Much did they wonder to
see him, saying, “What evil power has hindered thee, that thou didst
not reach thy country and home?”

Then he answered, “Blame not me, but the evil counsels of my comrades,
and sleep, which mastered me to my hurt. But do ye help me again.”

But they said, “Begone; we may not help him whom the gods hate; and
hated of them thou surely art.”

So Æolus sent him away. Then again they launched their ships and set
forth, toiling wearily at the oars, and sad at heart.

Six days they rowed, nor rested at night, and on the seventh they came
to Lamos, which was a city of the Læstrygons, in whose land the night
is as the day, so that a man might earn double wage, if only he wanted
not sleep--shepherd by day and herdsman by night. There was a fair
haven with cliffs about it, and a narrow mouth with great rocks on
either side. And within are no waves, but always calm.

Now Ulysses made fast his ship to the rocks, but the others entered
the haven. Then he sent two men and a herald with them, and these
came upon a smooth road by which waggons brought down wood from the
mountain to the city. Here they met a maiden, the stalwart daughter of
Antiphates, king of the land, and asked of her who was lord of that
country. Whereupon she showed them her father’s lofty palace. And they,
entering this, saw the maiden’s mother, big as a mountain, horrible
to behold, who straightway called to Antiphates, her husband. The
messengers, indeed, fled to the ships; but he made a great shout, and
the Læstrygons came flocking about him, giants, not men. And these
broke off great stones from the cliffs, each stone as much as a man
could carry, and cast them at the ships, so that they were broken. And
the men they speared, as if they were fishes, and devoured them. So it
happened to all the ships in the haven. Ulysses only escaped, for he
cut the hawser with his sword, and bade his men ply their oars, which
indeed they did right willingly.

After a while they came to the island of Ææa, where Circé dwelt, who
was the daughter of the Sun. Two days and nights they lay upon the
shore in great trouble and sorrow. On the third, Ulysses took his spear
and sword and climbed a hill that there was, for he wished to see to
what manner of land they had come. And having climbed it, he saw the
smoke rising from the palace of Circé, where it stood in the midst of
a wood. Then he thought awhile: should he go straightway to the palace
that he saw, or first return to his comrades on the shore? And this
last seemed better; and it chanced that as he went he saw a great stag
which was going down to the river to drink, for indeed the sun was
now hot, and casting his spear at it he pierced it through. Then he
fastened together the feet with green withes and a fathom’s length of
rope, and slinging the beast round his neck, so carried it to the ship,
leaning on his spear; for indeed it was heavy to bear, nor could any
man have carried it on the shoulder with one hand. And when he was come
to the ship, he cast down his burden. Now the men were sitting with
their faces muffled, so sad were they. But when he bade them be of good
cheer, they looked up and marvelled at the great stag. And all that day
they feasted on deer’s flesh and sweet wine, and at night lay down to
sleep on the shore. But when morning was come, Ulysses called them all
together and spake,--

“I know not, friends, where we are. Only I know, having seen smoke
yesterday from the hill, that there is a dwelling in this island.”

It troubled the men much to hear this, for they thought of the Cyclops
and of the Læstrygons; and they wailed aloud, but there was no counsel
in them. Wherefore Ulysses divided them into two companies, setting
Eurylochus over the one and himself over the other, and shook lots
in a helmet who should go and search out the island, and the lot of
Eurylochus leapt out. So he went, and comrades twenty and two with him.
And in an open space in the wood they found the palace of Circé. All
about were wolves and lions; yet these harmed not the men, but stood up
on their hind legs, fawning upon them, as dogs fawn upon their master
when he comes from his meal. And the men were afraid. And they stood
in the porch and heard the voice of Circé as she sang with a lovely
voice and plied the loom. Then said Polites, who was dearest of all his
comrades to Ulysses,--

“Some one within plies a great loom, and sings with a loud voice. Some
goddess is she, or woman. Let us make haste and call.”

So they called to her, and she came out and beckoned to them that they
should follow. So they went, in their folly. And she bade them sit, and
mixed for them a mess, red wine, and in it barley-meal and cheese and
honey, and mighty drugs withal, of which, if a man drank, he forgot all
that he loved. And when they had drunk she smote them with her wand.
And lo! they had of a sudden the heads and the voices and the bristles
of swine, but the heart of a man was in them still. And Circé shut
them in sties, and gave them mast and acorns and cornel to eat.

But Eurylochus fled back to the ship. And for a while he could not
speak, so full was his heart of grief, but at the last he told the tale
of what had befallen. Then Ulysses took his silver-studded sword and
his bow, and bade Eurylochus guide him by the way that he had gone.

Nor would he hearken when Eurylochus would have hindered him, but said,
“Stay here by the ship, eating and drinking, if it be thy will, but I
must go, for necessity constrains me.”

And when he had come to the house, there met him Hermes of the golden
wand, in the shape of a fair youth, who said to him,--

“Art thou come to rescue thy comrades that are now swine in Circé’s
house? Nay, but thou shalt never go back thyself. Yet, stay; I will
give thee such a drug as shall give thee power to resist all her
charms. For when she shall have mixed thee a mess, and smitten thee
with her wand, then do thou rush upon her with thy sword, making as if
thou wouldst slay her. And when she shall pray for peace, do thou make
her swear by the great oath that binds the gods that she will not harm

Then Hermes showed Ulysses a certain herb, whose root was black, but
the flower white as milk. “Moly,” the gods call it, and very hard it
is for mortal man to find. Then Ulysses went into the house, and all
befell as Hermes had told him. For Circé would have changed him as she
had changed his comrades. Then he rushed at her with his sword, and
made her swear the great oath which binds the gods that she would not
harm him.

But afterwards, when they sat at meat together, the goddess perceived
that he was silent and ate not. Wherefore she said, “Why dost thou
sit, Ulysses, as though thou wert dumb? Fearest thou any craft of mine?
Nay, but that may not be, for have I not sworn the great oath that
binds the gods?”

And Ulysses said, “Nay, but who could think of meat and drink when such
things had befallen his companions?”

Then Circé led the way, holding her wand in her hand, and opened the
doors of the sties, and drove out the swine that had been men. Then she
rubbed on each another mighty drug, and the bristles fell from their
bodies and they became men, only younger and fairer than before. And
when they saw Ulysses they clung to him and wept for joy, and Circé
herself was moved with pity.

Then said she, “Go, Ulysses, to thy ship, and put away all the goods
and tackling in the caves that are on the shore, but come again hither
thyself, and bring thy comrades with thee.”

Then Ulysses went. Right glad were they who had stayed to see him,
glad as are the calves who have been penned in the fold-yard when
their mothers come back in the evening. And when he told them what had
been, and would have them follow him, they were all willing, save only
Eurylochus, who said,--

“O ye fools, whither are we going? To the dwelling of Circé, who will
change us all into swine, or wolves, or lions, and keep us in prison,
even as the Cyclops did! For was it not this same foolhardy Ulysses
that lost our comrades there?”

Then was Ulysses very wroth, and would have slain Eurylochus, though
near of kin to him. But his comrades hindered him, saying, “Let him
abide here and keep the ship, if he will. But we will go with thee to
the dwelling of Circé.”

Then Ulysses forbore. Nor did Eurylochus stay behind, but followed
with the rest. So they went to the dwelling of Circé, who feasted them
royally, so that they remained with her for a whole year, well content.

But when the year was out they said to Ulysses, “It were well to
remember thy country, if it is indeed the will of the gods that thou
shouldst return thither.”

Then Ulysses besought Circé that she would send him on his way
homewards, as indeed she had promised to do. And she answered,--

“I would not have you abide in my house unwillingly. Yet must thou
first go another journey, even to the dwellings of the dead, there to
speak with the seer Tiresias.”

But Ulysses was sore troubled to hear such things, and wept aloud,
saying, “Who shall guide us in this journey?--for never yet did ship
make such a voyage as this.”

Then said Circé, “Seek no guide; only raise the mast of thy ship and
spread the white sails, and sit in peace. So shall the north wind
bear thee to the place on the ocean shore where are the groves of
Persephoné, tall poplars and willows. There must thou beach thy ship.
And after that thou must go alone.”

Then she told him all that he must do if he would hold converse with
the dead seer Tiresias, and hear what should befall him. So the next
morning he roused his companions, telling them that they should now
return. But it chanced that one of them, Elpenor by name, was sleeping
on the roof, for the coolness, being heavy with wine. And when he heard
the stir of his comrades, he rose up, nor thought of the ladder, but
fell from the roof and brake his neck. And the rest being assembled,
Ulysses told them how they must take another journey first, even to the
dwellings of the dead. This they were much troubled to hear, yet they
made ready the ship and departed.

So they came to the place of which Circé had told them. And when all
things had been rightly done, Ulysses saw spirits of the dead. First of
all came Elpenor, and he marvelled much to see him, saying,--

“How camest thou hither?--on foot or in the ship?”

Then he answered, telling how he had died; and he said, “Now, as thou
wilt go back, I know, to the island of Circé, suffer me not to remain
unburied, but make above me a mound of earth, for men in aftertimes to
see, and put upon it my oar, with which I was wont to row while I yet

These things Ulysses promised that he would do. Afterwards came the
spirit of Tiresias, holding a sceptre of gold in his hand. And when
Ulysses asked him of his return, he said,--

“Thy return shall be difficult, because of the anger of Poseidon,
whose son thou madest blind. Yet, when thou comest to the island of
the Three Capes, where feed the oxen of the Sun, if thou leave these
unhurt, thou and thy comrades shall return to Ithaca. But otherwise
they shall perish, and thou shalt return, after long time, in a ship
not thine own, and shalt find in thy palace, devouring thy goods, men
of violence, suitors of thy wife. These shalt thou slay, openly or by
craft. Nor yet shalt thou rest, but shalt go to a land where men know
not the sea, nor eat their meat with salt; and thou shalt carry thy
oar on thy shoulder. And this shall be a sign to thee, when another
wayfarer, meeting thee, shall ask whether it be a winnowing fan that
thou bearest on thy shoulder; then shalt thou fix thy oar in the earth,
and make a sacrifice to Poseidon, and so return. So shalt thou die at
last in peace.”

Then Tiresias departed. After this he saw his mother, and asked how it
fared with his home in Ithaca, and she told him all. And many others
he saw, wives and daughters of the heroes of old time. Also there came
King Agamemnon, who told him how Ægisthus, with Clytemnestra, his
wicked wife, had slain him in his own palace, being newly returned from
Troy. Fain would the King have heard how it fared with Orestes, his
son, but of this Ulysses could tell him nothing. Then came the spirit
of Achilles, and him Ulysses comforted, telling him how bravely and
wisely his son Neoptolemus had borne himself in Troy.

Also he saw the spirit of Ajax, son of Telamon; but Ajax spake not to
him, having great wrath in his heart, because of the arms of Achilles.
For the two, Ajax and Ulysses, had contended for them, Achilles being
dead, before the assembly of the Greeks, and the Greeks had given them
to Ulysses, whereupon Ajax, being very wroth, had laid hands upon

And having seen many other things, Ulysses went back to his ship, and
returned with his companions to the island of Circé. And being arrived
there, first they buried Elpenor, making a mound over him, and setting
up on it his oar, and afterwards Circé made them a feast. But while the
others slept she told to Ulysses all that should befall him, saying,--

“First thou wilt come to the island of the Sirens, who sing so sweetly,
that whosoever hears them straightway forgets wife and child and home.
In a meadow they sit, singing sweetly, but about them are bones of men.
Do thou, then, close with wax the ears of thy companions, and make them
bind thee to the mast, so that thou mayest hear the song and yet take
no hurt. And do thou bid them, when thou shalt pray to be loosed, not
to hearken, but rather to bind thee the more. And this peril being
past, there lie others in thy path, of which thou must take thy choice.
For either thou must pass between the rocks which the gods call the
Wanderers--and these close upon all that passes between them, even the
very doves in their flight, nor has any ship escaped them, save only
the ship _Argo_, which Heré loved--or thou must go through the strait,
where there is a rock on either hand. In the one rock dwells Scylla,
in a cave so high above the sea that an archer could not reach it with
his arrow. A horrible monster is she. Twelve unshapely feet she hath,
and six long necks, and on each a head with three rows of teeth. In
the cave she lies, but her heads are without, fishing for sea-dogs and
dolphins, or even a great whale, if such should chance to go by. Think
not to escape her, Ulysses, for, of a truth, with each head will she
take one of thy companions. But the other rock is lower and more flat,
with a wild fig-tree on the top. There Charybdis thrice a day draws
in the dark water, and thrice a day sends it forth. Be not thou near
when she draws it in; not even Poseidon’s self could save thee. Choose
rather to pass near to Scylla, for it is better to lose six of thy
companions than that all should perish.”

Then said Ulysses, “Can I not fight with this Scylla, and so save my

But Circé answered, “Nay, for she is not of mortal race. And if thou
linger to arm thyself, thou wilt but lose six others of thy companions.
Pass them with all the speed that may be, and call on Crataïs, who is
the mother of Scylla, that she may keep her from coming the second
time. Then wilt thou come to the island of the Three Capes, where feed
the oxen of the Sun. Beware that thy companions harm them not.”

The next day they departed. Then Ulysses told his companions of the
Sirens, and how they should deal with him. And after a while, the
following wind that had blown ceased, and there was a great calm; so
they took down the sails and laid them in the ship, and put forth the
oars to row. Then Ulysses made great cakes of wax, kneading them (for
the sun was now hot), and put into the ears of his companions. And they
bound him to the mast and so rowed on. Then the Sirens sang,--

    “Hither, Ulysses, great Achaian name,
    Turn thy swift keel, and listen to our lay;
    Since never pilgrim near these regions came,
    In black ship on the azure fields astray,
    But heard our sweet voice ere he sailed away,
    And in his joy passed on with ampler mind.
    We know what labors were in ancient day
    Wrought in wide Troia, as the gods assigned;
    We know from land to land all toils of all mankind.”[1]

        [1] Worsley.

Then Ulysses prayed that they would loose him, nodding his head, for
their ears were stopped; but they plied their oars, and Eurylochus and
Perimedes put new bonds upon him.

After this they saw a smoke and surf, and heard a mighty roar, and
their oars dropped out of their hands for fear; but Ulysses bade them
be of good heart, for that by his counsel they had escaped other
dangers in past time. And the rowers he bade row as hard as they might.
But to the helmsman he said, “Steer the ship outside the smoke and the
surf, and steer close to the cliffs, lest the ship shoot off unawares
and lose us.” But of Scylla he said nothing, fearing lest they should
lose heart and cease rowing altogether. Then he armed himself, and
stood in the prow waiting till Scylla should appear.

But on the other side Charybdis was sucking in the water with a
horrible noise, and with eddies so deep that a man might see the sand
at the bottom. But while they looked trembling at this, Scylla caught
six of the men from the ship, and Ulysses heard them call him by his
name as the monster carried them away. And never, he said in after
days, did he see with his eyes so piteous a sight.

But after this they came to the land where fed the oxen of the Sun. And
Ulysses said, “Let us pass by this island, for there shall we find the
greatest evil that we have yet suffered.” But they would not hearken;
only they said that the next day they would sail again.

Then spake Ulysses, “Ye constrain me, being many to one. Yet promise
me this, that ye will not take any of the sheep or oxen, for if ye do
great trouble will come to us.”

So they promised. But for a whole month the south wind blew and ceased
not. And their store of meat and drink being spent, they caught fishes
and birds, as they could, being sore pinched with hunger. And at the
last it chanced that Ulysses, being weary, fell asleep. And while he
slept, his companions, Eurylochus persuading them, took of the oxen of
the Sun, and slew them, for they said that their need was great, and
that when they came to their own land they would build a temple to the
Sun to make amends. But the Sun was very wroth with them. And a great
and dreadful thing happened, for the hides crept, and the meat on the
spits bellowed.

Six days they feasted on the oxen, and on the seventh they set sail.
But when they were now out of sight of land, Zeus brought up a great
storm over the sea, and a mighty west wind blew, breaking both the
forestay and the backstay of the mast, so that it fell. And after this
a thunderbolt struck the ship, and all the men that were in it fell
overboard and died. But Ulysses lashed the keel to the mast with the
backstay, and on these he sat, borne by the winds across the sea.

All night was he borne along, and in the morning he came to Charybdis.
And it chanced that Charybdis was then sucking in the water; but
Ulysses, springing up, clung to a wild fig-tree that grew from the
rock, but could find no rest for his feet, nor yet could climb into the
tree. All day long he clung, waiting till the raft should come forth
again; and at evening, at the time when a judge rises from his seat
after judging many causes, the raft came forth. Then he loosed his
hands and fell, so that he sat astride upon the raft.

After this he was borne for nine days upon the sea, till he came to the
island Ogygia, where dwelt the goddess Calypso.


For seven years Ulysses tarried in the island of Calypso. And in the
eighth year Zeus sent Hermes to the goddess, to bid her let Ulysses go.
So Hermes donned his golden sandals, and took his wand in his hand,
and came to the island of Ogygia, and to the cave where Calypso dwelt.
A fair place it was. In the cave was burning a fire of sweet-smelling
wood, and Calypso sat at her loom and sang with a lovely voice. And
round about the cave was a grove of alders and poplars and cypresses,
wherein many birds, falcons and owls and sea-crows, were wont to
roost; and all about the mouth of the cave was a vine with purple
clusters of grapes; and there were four fountains which streamed four
ways through meadows of parsley and violet. But Ulysses was not there,
for he sat, as was his wont, on the sea-shore, weeping and groaning
because he might not see wife and home and country.

And Calypso spied Hermes, and bade him come within, and gave him meat
and drink, ambrosia and nectar, which are the food of the gods. And
when he had ended his meal, she asked him of his errand. So he told her
that he was come, at the bidding of Zeus, in the matter of Ulysses,
for that it was the pleasure of the gods that he should return to his
native country, and that she should not hinder him any more. It vexed
Calypso much to hear this, for she would fain have kept Ulysses with
her always, and she said,--

“Ye gods are always jealous when a goddess loves a mortal man. And as
for Ulysses, did not I save him when Zeus had smitten his ship with a
thunderbolt, and all his comrades had perished? And now let him go,--if
it pleases Zeus. Only I cannot send him, for I have neither ship nor
rowers. Yet will I willingly teach him how he may safely return.”

And Hermes said, “Do this thing speedily, lest Zeus be wroth with thee.”

So he departed. And Calypso went seeking Ulysses, and found him on the
shore of the sea, looking out over the waters, as was his wont, and
weeping, for he was weary of his life, so much did he desire to see
Ithaca again. She stood by him and said,--

“Weary not for thy native country, nor waste thyself with tears. If
thou wilt go, I will speed thee on thy way. Take therefore thine axe
and cut thee beams, and join them together, and make a deck upon them,
and I will give thee bread and water and wine, and clothe thee also, so
that thou mayest return safe to thy native country, for the gods will
have it so.”

“Nay,” said Ulysses, “what is this that thou sayest? Shall I pass in a
raft over the dreadful sea, over which even ships go not without harm?
I will not go against thy will; but thou must swear the great oath of
the gods that thou plannest no evil against me.”

Then Calypso smiled and said, “These are strange words. By the Styx I
swear that I plan no harm against thee, but only such good as I would
ask myself, did I need it; for indeed my heart is not of iron, but
rather full of compassion.”

Then they two went to the cave and sat down to meat, and she set before
him food, such as mortal men eat, but she herself ate ambrosia and
drank nectar, as the gods are wont. And afterwards she said,--

“Why art thou so eager for thy home? Surely if thou knewest all the
trouble that awaits thee, thou wouldst not go, but wouldst rather dwell
with me. And though thou desirest all the day long to see thy wife,
surely I am not less fair than she.”

“Be not angry,” Ulysses made reply. “The wise Penelopé cannot indeed be
compared to thee, for she is a mortal woman and thou art a goddess. Yet
is my home dear to me, and I would fain see it again.”

The next day Calypso gave him an axe with a handle of olive wood, and
an adze, and took him to the end of the island, where there were great
trees, long ago sapless and dry, alder and poplar and pine. Of these he
felled twenty, and lopped them, and worked them by the line. Then the
goddess brought him a gimlet, and he made holes in the logs and joined
them with pegs. And he made decks and side-planking also; also a mast
and a yard, and a rudder wherewith to turn the raft. And he fenced it
about with a bulwark of osier against the waves. The sails, indeed,
Calypso wove, and Ulysses fitted them with braces and halyards and
sheets. And afterwards, with ropes, he moored the raft to the shore.

On the fourth day all was finished, and on the fifth day he departed.
And Calypso gave him goodly garments, and a skin of wine, and a skin
of water, and a rich provender in a wallet of leather. She sent also
a fair wind blowing behind, and Ulysses set his sails and proceeded
joyfully on his way; nor did he sleep, but watched the sun and the
stars, still steering, as indeed Calypso had bidden, to the left. So he
sailed for seventeen days, and on the eighteenth he saw the hills of
Phæacia and the land, which had the shape of a shield.

But Poseidon spied him as he sailed, and was wroth to see him so near
to the end of his troubles. Wherefore he sent all the winds of heaven
down upon him. Sore troubled was Ulysses, and said to himself, “It was
truth that Calypso spake when she said how that I should suffer many
troubles returning to my home. Would that I had died that day when many
a spear was cast by the men of Troy over the dead Achilles. Then would
the Greeks have buried me; but now shall I perish miserably.”

And as he spake a great wave struck the raft and tossed him far away,
so that he dropped the rudder from his hand. Nor for a long time could
he rise, so deep was he sunk, and so heavy was the goodly clothing
which Calypso had given him. Yet at the last he rose, and spat the salt
water out of his mouth, and, so brave was he, sprang at the raft and
caught it and sat thereon, and was borne hither and thither by the
waves. But Ino saw him and pitied him--a woman she had been, and was
now a goddess of the sea--and came and sat upon the waves, saying,--

“Luckless mortal, why doth Poseidon hate thee so? He shall not slay
thee, though he fain would do it. Put off these garments and swim to
the land of Phæacia, putting this veil under thy breast. And when thou
art come to the land, loose it from thee, and cast it into the sea; but
when thou castest it, look away.”

But Ulysses doubted what this might be, and thought that he would yet
stay on the raft while the timbers held together, for that the land
was far away. But as he thought, yet another great wave struck it, and
scattered the timbers. And he sat upon one of them, as a man sits upon
a horse; and then he stripped off the garments which Calypso had given
him, and so, leaping into the sea, made to swim to the land.

And Poseidon saw him, and said, “Get to the shore if thou canst, but
even so thou art not come to the end of thy troubles.”

So for two days and two nights he swam, Athené helping him, for
otherwise he had perished. But on the third day there was a calm,
and he saw the land from the top of a great wave, for the waves were
yet high, close at hand. Dear as a father to his son, rising up from
grievous sickness, so dear was the land to Ulysses. But when he came
near he heard the waves breaking along the shore, for there was no
harbor there, but only cliffs and rugged rocks. And while he doubted
what he should do, a great wave bore him to the shore. Then would he
have perished, all his bones being broken; but Athené put it in his
heart to lay hold of a great rock till the wave had spent itself. And
even then had he died, for the ebb caught him and bore him far out to
sea; but he bethought him that he would swim along, if haply he might
see some landing-place. And at last he came to the mouth of a river,
where there were no rocks. Then at last he won his way to the land. His
knees were bent under him, and his hands dropped at his side, and the
salt water ran out of his mouth and nostrils. Breathless was he, and
speechless; but when he came to himself, he loosed the veil from under
his breast and cast it into the sea.

Then he lay down on the rushes by the bank of the river and kissed the
earth, thinking within himself, “What now shall I do? for if I sleep
here by the river, I fear that the dew and the frost may slay me; for
indeed, in the morning-time the wind from the river blows cold. And if
I go up to the wood, to lay me down to sleep in the thicket, I fear
that some evil beast may devour me.”

But it seemed better to go to the wood. So he went. Now this was close
to the river, and he found two bushes, of wild olive one, and of
fruitful olive the other. So thickly grown together were they, that
the winds blew not through them, nor did the sun pierce them, nor yet
the rain. Thereunder crept Ulysses, and found great store of leaves,
shelter enough for two or three, even in a great storm. Then, even as
a man who dwells apart from others cherishes his fire, hiding it under
the ashes, so Ulysses cherished his life under the leaves. And Athené
sent down upon his eyelids deep sleep, that might ease him of his toil.



Now the king of Phæacia was Alcinoüs, and he had five sons and one
daughter, Nausicaa. To her, where she slept with her two maidens by
her, Athené went, taking the shape of her friend, the daughter of
Dymas, and said,--

“Why hath thy mother so idle a daughter, Nausicaa? Lo! thy garments lie
unwashed, and thy wedding must be near, seeing that many nobles in the
land are suitors to thee. Ask then thy father that he give thee the
wagon with the mules, for the laundries are far from the city, and I
will go with thee.”

And when the morning was come, Nausicaa awoke, marvelling at the
dream, and went seeking her parents. Her mother she found busy with
her maidens at the loom, and her father she met as he was going to the
council with the chiefs of the land. Then she said, “Give me, father,
the wagon with the mules, that I may take the garments to the river
to wash them. Thou shouldest always have clean robes when thou goest
to the council; and there are my five brothers also, who love to have
newly-washed garments at the dance.”

But of her own marriage she said nothing. And her father, knowing her
thoughts, said, “It is well. The men shall harness the wagon for thee.”

So they put the clothing into the wagon. And her mother put also food
and wine, and olive oil also, wherewith she and her maidens might
anoint themselves after the bath. So they climbed into the wagon and
went to the river. And then they washed the clothing, and spread it
out to dry on the rocks by the sea. And after that they had bathed and
anointed themselves, they sat down to eat and drink by the river side;
and after the meal they played at ball, singing as they played, and
Nausicaa, fair as Artemis when she hunts on Taygetus or Erymanthus wild
goats and stags, led the song. But when they had nearly ended their
play, the princess, throwing the ball to one of her maidens, cast it
so wide that it fell into the river. Whereupon they all cried aloud,
and Ulysses awoke. And he said to himself, “What is this land to which
I have come? Are they that dwell therein fierce or kind to strangers?
Just now I seemed to hear the voice of nymphs, or am I near the
dwellings of men?”

Then he twisted leaves about his loins, and rose up and went towards
the maidens, who indeed were frighted to see him (for he was wild of
aspect), and fled hither and thither. But Nausicaa stood and fled not.
Then Ulysses thought within himself, should he go near and clasp her
knees, or, lest haply this should anger her, should he stand and speak?
And this he did, saying,--

“I am thy suppliant, O queen. Whether thou art a goddess, I know not.
But if thou art a mortal, happy thy father and mother, and happy thy
brothers, and happiest of all he who shall win thee in marriage. Never
have I seen man or woman so fair. Thou art like a young palm-tree that
but lately I saw in Delos, springing by the temple of the god. But as
for me, I have been cast on this shore, having come from the island
Ogygia. Pity me, then, and lead me to the city, and give me something,
a wrapper of this linen, maybe, to put about me. So may the gods give
thee all blessings!”

And Nausicaa made answer, “Thou seemest, stranger, to be neither evil
nor foolish; and as for thy plight, the gods give good fortune or bad,
as they will. Thou shalt not lack clothing or food, or anything that a
suppliant should have. And I will take thee to the city. Know also that
this land is Phæacia, and that I am daughter to Alcinoüs, who is king

Then she called to her maidens, “What mean ye, to flee when ye see a
man? No enemy comes hither to harm us, for we are dear to the gods, and
we also live in an island of the sea, so that men may not approach to
work us wrong; but if one cometh here overborne by trouble, it is well
to succor him. Give this man, therefore, food and drink, and wash him
in the river, where there is shelter from the wind.”

So they brought him down to the river, and gave him a tunic and a cloak
to clothe himself withal, and also oil-olive in a flask of gold. Then,
at his bidding, they departed a little space, and he washed the salt
from his skin and out of his hair, and anointed himself, and put on the
clothing. And Athené made him taller and fairer to see, and caused the
hair to be thick on his head, in color as a hyacinth. Then he sat down
on the sea-shore, right beautiful to behold, and the maiden said,--

“Not without some bidding of the gods comes this man to our land.
Before, indeed, I deemed him uncomely, but now he seems like to the
gods. I should be well content to have such a man for a husband, and
maybe he might will to abide in this land. But give him, ye maidens,
food and drink.”

So they gave him, and he ate ravenously, having fasted long. Then
Nausicaa bade yoke the mules, and said to Ulysses,--

“Follow thou with the maidens, and I will lead the way in the wagon.
For I would not that the people should speak lightly of me. And I doubt
not that were thou with me, some one of the baser sort would say,
‘Who is this stranger, tall and fair, that cometh with Nausicaa? Will
he be her husband? Perchance it is some god who has come down at her
prayer, or a man from far away; for of us men of Phæacia she thinks
scorn,’ It would be shame that such words should be spoken. And indeed
it is ill-done of a maiden who, father and mother unknowing, companies
with men. Do thou, then, follow behind, and when we are come to the
city, tarry in a poplar grove that thou shalt see (’tis the grove of
Athené) till I shall have come to my father’s house. Then follow; and
for the house, that any one, even a child can show thee, for the other
Phæacians dwell not in such. And when thou art come within the doors,
pass quickly through the hall to where my mother sits. Close to the
hearth is her seat, and my father’s hard by, where he sits with the
wine-cup in his hand, as a god. Pass him by, and lay hold of her knees,
and pray her that she give thee safe return to thy country.”

It was evening when they came to the city. And Nausicaa drove the
wagon to the palace. Then her brothers came out to her, and loosed the
mules and carried in the clothing. Then she went to her chamber, where
Eurymedusa, who was her nurse, lighted a fire and prepared a meal.
Meanwhile Ulysses came from the grove, and, lest any one should see
him, Athené spread a mist about him; and when he had now reached the
city, she took the shape of a young maiden carrying a pitcher, and met

Then Ulysses asked her, “My child, canst thou tell me where dwells
Alcinoüs? for I am a stranger in this place.”

And she answered, “I will show thee, for indeed he dwells nigh to my
own father. But be thou silent, for we Phæacians love not strangers
over much.” Then she led him to the palace. A wondrous place it was,
with walls of brass and doors of gold, hanging on posts of silver;
and on either side of the door were dogs of gold and silver, the work
of Hephæstus, and against the wall, all along from the threshold to
the inner chamber, were set seats, on which sat the chiefs of the
Phæacians, feasting; and youths wrought in gold stood holding torches
in their hands, to give light in the darkness. Fifty women were in the
house grinding corn and weaving robes, for the women of the land are no
less skilled to weave than are the men to sail the sea. And round about
the house were gardens beautiful exceedingly, with orchards of fig and
apple and pear and pomegranate and olive. Drought hurts them not, nor
frost, and harvest comes after harvest without ceasing. Also there was
a vineyard; and some of the grapes were parching in the sun, and some
were being gathered, and some again were but just turning red. And
there were beds of all manner of flowers; and in the midst of all were
two fountains which never failed.

These things Ulysses regarded for a space, and then passed into the
hall. And there the chiefs of Phæacia were drinking their last cup to
Hermes. Quickly he passed through them, and put his hands on the knees
of Areté, and said,--and as he spake the mist cleared from about him,
and all that were in the hall beheld him,--

“I am a suppliant to thee, and to thy husband, and to thy guests. The
gods bless thee and them, and grant you to live in peace, and that your
children should come peacefully after you. Only do you send me home to
my native country.”

And he sat down in the ashes of the hearth. Then for a space all were
silent; but at the last spake Echeneüs, who was the oldest man in the

“King Alcinoüs, this ill becomes you that this man should sit in the
ashes of the hearth. Raise him and bid him sit upon a seat, and let us
pour out to Father Zeus, who is the friend of suppliants, and let the
keeper of the house give him meat and drink.”

And Alcinoüs did so, bidding his eldest born, Laodamas, rise from his
seat. And an attendant poured water on his hands, and the keeper of
the house gave him meat and drink. Then, when all had poured out to
Father Zeus, King Alcinoüs said that they would take counsel on the
morrow about sending this stranger to his home. And they answered that
it should be so, and went each to his home. Only Ulysses was left in
the hall, and Alcinoüs and Areté with him. And Areté saw his cloak and
tunic, that she and her maidens had made them, and said,--

“Whence art thou, stranger? and who gave thee these garments?”

So Ulysses told her how he had come from the island of Calypso, and
what he had suffered, and how Nausicaa had found him on the shore, and
had guided him to the city.

But Alcinoüs blamed the maiden that she had not herself brought him to
the house. “For thou wast her suppliant,” he said.

“Nay,” said Ulysses; “she would have brought me, but I would not,
fearing thy wrath.” For he would not have the maiden blamed.

Then said Alcinoüs, “I am not one to be angered for such cause. Gladly
would I have such a one as thou art to be my son-in-law, and I would
give him house and wealth. But no one would I stay against his will.
And as for sending thee to thy home, that is easy; for thou shalt
sleep, and they shall take thee meanwhile.”

And after this they slept. And the next day the King called the chiefs
to an assembly, and told them of his purpose, that he would send this
stranger to his home, for that it was their wont to show such kindness
to such as needed it. And he bade fifty and two of the younger men make
ready a ship, and that the elders should come to his house, and bring
Demodocus, the minstrel, with them, for that he was minded to make a
great feast for this stranger before he departed. So the youths made
ready the ship. And afterwards there were gathered together a great
multitude, so that the palace was filled from the one end to the other.
And Alcinoüs slew for them twelve sheep and eight swine and two oxen.
And when they had feasted to the full, the minstrel sang to them of how
Achilles and Ulysses had striven together with fierce words at a feast,
and how King Agamemnon was glad, seeing that so the prophecy of Apollo
was fulfilled, saying that when valor and counsel should fall out, the
end of Troy should come. But when Ulysses heard the song, he wept,
holding his mantle before his face.

This Alcinoüs perceived, and said to the chiefs, “Now that we have
feasted and delighted ourselves with song, let us go forth, that this
stranger may see that we are skilful in boxing and wrestling and

So they went forth, a herald leading Demodocus by the hand, for the
minstrel was blind. Then stood up many Phæacian youths, and the fairest
and strongest of them all was Laodamas, eldest son to the King, and
after him Euryalus. And next they ran a race, and Clytoneus was the
swiftest. And among the wrestlers Euryalus was the best; and of the
boxers, Laodamas. And in throwing the quoit Elatrius excelled; and in
leaping at the bar, Amphialus.

Then Laodamas, Euryalus urging him, said to Ulysses, “Father, wilt
thou not try thy skill in some game, and put away the trouble from thy

But Ulysses answered, “Why askest thou this? I think of my troubles
rather than of sport, and sit among you, caring only that I may see
again my home.”

Then said Euryalus, “And in very truth, stranger, thou hast not the
look of a wrestler or boxer. Rather would one judge thee to be some
trader, who sails over the sea for gain.”

“Nay,” answered Ulysses, “this is ill said. So true is it that the
gods give not all gifts to all men, beauty to one and sweet speech to
another. Fair of form art thou, no god could better thee; but thou
speakest idle words. I am not unskilled in these things, but stood
among the first in the old days; but since have I suffered much in
battle and shipwreck. Yet will I make trial of my strength, for thy
words have angered me.”

Whereupon he took a quoit, heavier far than such as the Phæacians were
wont to throw, and sent it with a whirl. It hurtled through the air, so
that the brave Phæacians crouched to the ground in fear, and fell far
beyond all the rest.

Then said Ulysses, “Come now, I will contend in wrestling or boxing,
or even in the race, with any man in Phæacia, save Laodamas only, for
he is my friend. I can shoot with the bow, and only Philoctetes could
surpass me; and I can cast a spear as far as other men can shoot an
arrow. But as for the race, it may be that some one might outrun me,
for I have suffered much on the sea.”

But they all were silent, till the King stood up and said, “Thou hast
spoken well. But we men of Phæacia are not mighty to wrestle or to box;
only we are swift of foot, and skilful to sail upon the sea. And we
love feasts, and dances, and the harp, and gay clothing, and the bath.
In these things no man may surpass us.”

Then the King bade Demodocus the minstrel sing again. And when he had
done so, the King’s two sons, Alius and Laodamas, danced together; and
afterwards they played with the ball, throwing it into the air, cloud
high, and catching it right skilfully.

And afterwards the king said, “Let us each give this stranger a mantle
and a tunic and a talent of gold, and let Euryalus make his peace with
words and with a gift.”

And they all (now there were twelve princes, and Alcinoüs the
thirteenth) said that it should be so; also Euryalus gave Ulysses a
sword with a hilt of silver and a scabbard of ivory. And after this
Ulysses went to the bath, and then they all sat down to the feast. But
as he went to the hall, Nausicaa, fair as a goddess, met him and said,--

“Hail, stranger; thou wilt remember me in thy native country, for thou
owest me thanks for thy life.”

And he answered, “Every day in my native country will I remember thee,
for indeed, fair maiden, thou didst save my life.”

And when they were set down to the feast, Ulysses sent a portion of the
chine, which the King had caused to be set before him, to the minstrel
Demodocus, with a message that he should sing to them of the Horse of
wood which Epeius made, Athené helping him, and how Ulysses brought it
into Troy, full of men of war who should destroy the city.

Then the minstrel sang how that some of the Greeks sailed away, having
set fire to their tents, and some hid themselves in the horse with
Ulysses, and how the men of Troy sat around, taking counsel what they
should do with it, and some judged that they should rip it open, and
some that they should throw it from the hill-top, and others again that
they should leave it to be a peace-offering to the gods; and how the
Greeks issued forth from their lurking-place and spoiled the city, and
how Ulysses and Menelaüs went to the house of Deïphobus.

So he sang, and Ulysses wept to hear the tale. And when Alcinoüs
perceived that he wept, he bade Demodocus cease from his song, for
that some that were there liked it not. And to Ulysses he said that he
should tell them who was his father and his mother, and from what land
he came, and what was his name. All these things Ulysses told them, and
all that he had done and suffered, down to the time when the Princess
Nausicaa found him on the river shore. And when he had ended, King
Alcinoüs bade that the princes should give Ulysses yet other gifts; and
after that they went each man to his house to sleep.

The next day King Alcinoüs put all the gifts into the ship. And when
the evening was come, Ulysses bade farewell to the King and to the
Queen, and departed.



Now Ulysses slept while the ship was sailing to Ithaca. And when it
was come to the shore he yet slept. Wherefore the men lifted him out,
and put him on the shore with all his goods that the princes of the
Phæacians had given him, and so left him. After a while he awoke, and
knew not the land, for there was a great mist about him, Athené having
contrived that it should be so, for good ends, as will be seen. Very
wroth was he with the men of Phæacia, thinking that they had cheated
him; nor did it comfort him when he counted his goods to find that of
these he had lost nothing.

But as he walked by the sea, lamenting his fate, Athené met him, having
the shape of a young shepherd, fair to look upon, such as are the sons
of kings; and Ulysses, when he saw him, was glad, and asked him how men
called the country wherein he was.

And the false shepherd said, “Thou art foolish, or, may be, hast come
from very far, not to know this country. Many men know it, both in the
east and in the west. Rocky it is, not fit for horses, nor is it very
broad; but it is fertile land, and full of wine; nor does it want for
rain, and a good pasture it is for oxen and goats; and men call it
Ithaca. Even in Troy, which is very far, they say, from this land of
Greece, men have heard of Ithaca.”

This Ulysses was right glad to hear. Yet he was not minded to say who
he was, but rather to feign a tale.

So he said, “Yes, of a truth, I heard of this Ithaca in Crete, from
which I am newly come with all this wealth, leaving also as much behind
for my children. For I slew Orsilochus, son of Idomeneus the king,
because he would have taken from me my spoil. Wherefore I slew him,
lying in wait for him by the way. Then made I covenant with certain
Phœnicians that they should take me to Pylos or to Elis; which thing
indeed they were minded to do, only the wind drave them hither, and
while I slept they put me upon the shore, and my possessions with me,
and departed to Sidon.”

This pleased Athené much, and she changed her shape, becoming like a
woman, tall and fair, and said to Ulysses,--

“Right cunning would he be who could cheat thee. Even now in thy native
country ceasest thou not from cunning words and deceits! But let these
things be; for thou, I trow, art the wisest of mortal men, and I excel
among the gods in council. For I am Athené, daughter of Zeus, who am
ever wont to stand by thee and help thee. And now we will hide these
possessions of thine; and thou must be silent, nor tell to any one who
thou art, and endure many things, so that thou mayest come to thine own

But still Ulysses doubted, and would have the goddess tell him whether
of a truth he had come back to his native land. And she, commending his
prudence, scattered the mist that was about him.

Then Ulysses knew the land, and kissed the ground, and prayed to the
Nymphs that they would be favorable to him. And after this, Athené
guiding him, he hid away his possessions in a cave, and put a great
stone on the mouth. Then the two took counsel together.

And Athené said, “Think, man of many devices, how thou wilt lay hands
on these men, suitors of thy wife, who for three years have sat in thy
house devouring thy substance. And she hath answered them craftily,
making many promises, but still waiting for thy coming.”

Then Ulysses said, “Truly I had perished, even as Agamemnon perished,
but for thee. But do thou help me, as of old in Troy, for with thee at
my side I would fight with three hundred men.”

Then said Athené, “Lo! I will cause that no man shall know thee, for
I will wither the fair flesh on thy limbs, and take the bright hair
from thy head, and make thine eyes dull. And the suitors shall take no
account of thee, neither shall thy wife nor thy son know thee. But go
to the swineherd Eumæus, where he dwells by the fountain of Arethusa,
for he is faithful to thee and to thy house. And I will hasten to
Sparta, to the house of Menelaüs, to fetch Telemachus, for he went
thither, seeking news of thee.”

Then Athené changed him into the shape of a beggar man. She caused his
skin to wither, and his hair to fall off, and his eyes to grow dim, and
put on him filthy rags, with a great stag’s hide about his shoulders,
and in his hand a staff, and a wallet on his shoulder fastened by a

Then she departed, and Ulysses went to the house of Eumæus, the
swineherd. A great courtyard there was, and twelve sties for the sows,
and four watchdogs, big as wild beasts, for such did the swineherd
breed. He himself was shaping sandals, and of his men three were with
the swine in the fields, and one was driving a fat beast to the city,
to be meat for the suitors. But when Ulysses came near, the dogs ran
upon him, and he dropped his staff and sat down, and yet would have
suffered harm, even on his own threshold; but the swineherd ran forth
and drave away the dogs, and brought the old man in, and gave him a
seat of brushwood, with a great goat-skin over it.

And Ulysses said, “Zeus and the other gods requite thee for this

Then the two talked of matters in Ithaca, and Eumæus told how the
suitors of the Queen were devouring the substance of Ulysses. Then
the false beggar asked him of the King, saying that perchance, having
travelled far, he might know such an one.

But Eumæus said, “Nay, old man, thus do all wayfarers talk, yet we hear
no truth from them. Not a vagabond fellow comes to this land but our
Queen must see him, and ask him many things, weeping the while. And
thou, I doubt not, for a cloak or a tunic, would tell a wondrous tale.
But Ulysses, I know, is dead, and either the fowls of the air devour
him or the fishes of the sea.”

And when the false beggar would have comforted him, saying he knew of
a truth that Ulysses would yet return, he hearkened not. Moreover he
prophesied evil for Telemachus also, who had gone to seek news of his
father, but would surely be slain by the suitors, who were even now
lying in wait for him as he should return. And after this he asked the
stranger who he was and whence he had come. Then Ulysses answered him

“I am a Cretan, the son of one Castor, by a slave woman. Now my father,
while he lived, did by me as by his other sons. But when he died
they divided his goods, and gave me but a small portion, and took my
dwelling from me. Yet I won a rich wife for myself, for I was brave
and of good repute. No man would sooner go to battle or to ambush than
I, and I loved ships and spears and arrows, which some men hate, I
trow. Nine times did I lead my followers in ships against strangers,
and the tenth time I went with King Idomeneus to Troy. And when the
city of Priam had perished, I went back to my native country, and there
for the space of one month I tarried with my wife, and afterwards I
sailed with nine ships to Egypt. On the fifth day,--for the gods gave
us a prosperous voyage,--we came to the river of Egypt. There did my
comrades work much wrong to the people of the land, spoiling their
fields, and leading into captivity their wives and children; nor would
they hearken to me when I would have stayed them. Then the Egyptians
gathered an army, and came upon them, and slew some and took others.
And I, throwing down helmet and spear and shield, hasted to the king
of the land where he sat in his chariot, and prayed that he would have
mercy on me, which thing he did. And with him I dwelt for seven years,
gathering much wealth. But in the eighth year there came a trader of
Phœnicia, who beguiled me, that I went with him to his country. And
there I tarried for a year; and afterwards he carried me in his ship
to Libya, meaning to sell me as a slave; but Zeus brake the ship, so
that I only was left alive. Nine days did I float, keeping hold of the
mast, and on the tenth a wave cast me on the land of Thresprotia, where
King Pheidon kindly entreated me, giving me food and raiment. There did
I hear tell of Ulysses; yea, and saw the riches which he had gathered
together, which King Pheidon was keeping till he himself should come
back from Dodona, from the oracle of Zeus. Thence I sailed in a ship
for Dulichium, purposing to go to King Acastus, but the sailors
were minded to sell me for a slave. Therefore they left me bound in
the ship, but themselves took their supper on the shore. But in the
meanwhile I brake my bonds, the gods helping me, and leaping into the
sea, swam to the land, and hid myself in a wood that was near.”

All this tale did Ulysses tell; but Eumæus doubted whether these things
were so, thinking rather that the beggar-man said these things to
please him. After this they talked much; and when the swineherd’s men
were returned, they all feasted together. And the night being cold, and
there being much rain, Ulysses was minded to see whether one would lend
him a cloak; wherefore he told this tale:--

“Once upon a time there was laid an ambush near to the city of Troy.
And Menelaüs and Ulysses and I were the leaders of it. In the reeds we
sat, and the night was cold, and the snow lay upon our shields. Now all
the others had cloaks, but I had left mine behind at the ships. So when
the night was three parts spent I spake to Ulysses, ‘Here am I without
a cloak; soon, methinks, shall I perish with the cold.’ Soon did he
bethink him of a remedy, for he was ever ready with counsel. Therefore
to me he said, ‘Hush, lest some one hear thee,’ and to the others, ‘I
have been warned in a dream. We are very far from the ships and in
peril. Wherefore let some one run to the ships to King Agamemnon, that
he send more men to help.’ Then Thoas, son of Andræmon, rose up and
ran, casting off his cloak, and this I took, and slept warmly therein.
Were I this night such as then I was, I should not lack such kindness
even now.”

Then said Eumæus, “This is well spoken, old man. Thou shalt have a
cloak to cover thee. But in the morning thou must put on thy own rags
again. Yet perchance, when the son of Ulysses shall come, he will give
thee new garments.”

After this they slept, but Eumæus tarried without, keeping watch over
the swine.

It came to pass the next morning that Telemachus, that was son of King
Ulysses, came to the dwelling of Eumæus, for he was newly returned from
Sparta, whither he had gone if haply he might hear some tidings of his

And Ulysses heard the steps of a man, and, as the dogs barked not, said
to Eumæus, “Lo! there comes some comrade or friend, for the dogs bark

And as he spake, Telemachus stood in the doorway, and the swineherd let
fall from his hand the bowl in which he was mixing wine, and ran to him
and kissed his head and his eyes and his hands. As a father kisses his
only son coming back to him from a far country after ten years, so did
the swineherd kiss Telemachus. And when Telemachus came in, the false
beggar, though indeed he was his father, rose, and would have given
place to him; but Telemachus suffered him not. And when they had eaten
and drunk, Telemachus asked of the swineherd who this stranger might be.

Then the swineherd told him as he had heard, and afterwards said, “I
hand him to thee; he is thy suppliant; do as thou wilt.”

But Telemachus answered, “Nay, Eumæus. For am I master in my house? Do
not the suitors devour it? And does not my mother doubt whether she
will abide with me, remembering the great Ulysses, who was her husband,
or will follow some one of those who are suitors to her? I will give
this stranger, indeed, food and clothing and a sword, and will send
him whithersoever he will, but I would not that he should go among the
suitors, so haughty are they and violent.”

Then said Ulysses, “But why dost thou bear with these men? Do the
people hate thee, that thou canst not avenge thyself on them? and hast
thou not kinsmen to help thee? As for me, I would rather die than see
such shameful things done in house of mine.”

And Telemachus answered, “My people hate me not; but as for kinsmen,
I have none, for Acrisius had but one son, Laertes, and he again but
one, Ulysses, and Ulysses had none other but me. Therefore do these
men spoil my substance without let, and, it may be, will take my life
also. These things, however, the gods will order. But do thou, Eumæus,
go to Penelopé, and tell her that I am returned, but let no man know
thereof, for there are that counsel evil against me; but I will stay
here meanwhile.”

So Eumæus departed. But when he had gone Athené came, like a woman tall
and fair; but Telemachus saw her not, for it is not given to all to
see the immortal gods; but Ulysses saw her, and the dogs saw her, and
whimpered for fear. She signed to Ulysses, and he went forth, and she

“Hide not the matter from thy son, but plan with him how ye may slay
the suitors, and lo! I am with you.”

Then she made his garments white and fair, and his body lusty and
strong, and his face swarthy, and his cheeks full, and his beard black.
And when he was returned to the house, Telemachus marvelled to see him,
and said,--

“Thou art not what thou wast. Surely thou art some god from heaven.”

But Ulysses made reply, “No god am I, only thy father, whom thou hast
so desired to see.”

And when Telemachus yet doubted, Ulysses told him how that Athené had
so changed him. Then Telemachus threw his arms about him, weeping, and
both wept together for a while. And afterwards Telemachus asked him of
his coming back. And Ulysses, when he had told him of this, asked him
how many were the suitors, and whether they two could fight with them

Then said Telemachus, “Thou art, I know, a great warrior, my father,
and a wise, but this thing we cannot do; for these men are not ten, no,
nor twice ten, but from Dulichium come fifty and two, and from Samos
four and twenty, and from Zacynthus twenty, and from Ithaca twelve; and
they have Medon the herald, and a minstrel also, and attendants.”

Then said Ulysses, “Go thou home in the morning and mingle with the
suitors, and I will come as an old beggar; and if they entreat me
shamefully, endure to see it, yea, if they drag me to the door. Only,
if thou wilt, speak to them prudent words; but they will not heed
thee, for indeed their doom is near. Heed this also: when I give thee
the token, take all the arms from the dwelling and hide them in thy
chamber. And when they shall ask thee why thou doest thus, say that
thou takest them out of the smoke, for that they are not such as
Ulysses left behind him when he went to Troy, but that the smoke has
soiled them. Say, also, that haply they might stir up strife sitting at
their cups, and that it is not well that arms should be at hand, for
that the very steel draws on a man to fight. But keep two swords and
two spears and two shields,--these shall be for thee and me. Only let
no one know of my coming back--not Laertes, nor the swineherd, no, nor
Penelopé herself.”

But after a while the swineherd came back from the city, having carried
his tidings to the Queen. And this she also had heard from the sailors
of the ships. Also the ship of the suitors which they had sent to lie
in wait for the young man was returned. And the suitors were in great
wrath and fear, because their purpose had failed, and also because
Penelopé the queen knew what they had been minded to do, and hated them
because of it.



The next day Telemachus went to the city. But before he went he said
to Eumæus that he should bring the beggar-man to the city, for that it
was better to beg in the city than in the country. And the false beggar
also said that he wished this. And Telemachus, when he was arrived,
went to the palace and greeted the nurse Euryclea and his mother
Penelopé, who was right glad to see him, but to whom he told nought
of what had happened. And after this he went to Piræus, and bade him
keep the gifts which King Menelaüs had given him till he should be in
peace in his own house; and if things should fall out otherwise, that
he should keep them for himself. And then he went to fetch the seer
Theoclymenus, that he might bring him to the palace. And the seer, when
he was come thither, prophesied good concerning Ulysses, how that he
would certainly return and take vengeance for all the wrong that had
been done to him.

Now in the meanwhile Eumæus and the false beggar were coming to the
city. And when they were now near to it, by the fountain which Ithacus
and his brethren had made, where was also an altar of the Nymphs,
Melanthius the goatherd met them, and spake evil to Eumæus, rebuking
him that he brought this beggar to the city. And he came near and smote
Ulysses with his foot on the thigh, but moved him not from the path.
And Ulysses thought a while, should he smite him with his club and
slay him, or dash him on the ground. But it seemed to him better to

But Eumæus lifted up his hands and said, “Oh, now may the Nymphs of the
fountain fulfil this hope, that Ulysses may come back to his home, and
tear from thee this finery of thine, wherein thou comest to the city,
leaving thy flock for evil shepherds to devour!”

So they went on to the palace. And at the door of the court there lay
the dog Argus, whom in the old days Ulysses had reared with his own
hand. But ere the dog grew to his full, Ulysses had sailed to Troy.
And, while he was strong, men used him in the chase, hunting wild goats
and roe-deer and hares. But now he lay on a dunghill, and the lice
swarmed upon him. Well he knew his master, and, for that he could not
come near to him, wagged his tail and drooped his ears.

And Ulysses, when he saw him, wiped away a tear, and said, “Surely this
is strange, Eumæus, that such a dog, being of so fine a breed, should
lie here upon a dunghill.”

And Eumæus made reply, “He belongeth to a master who died far away. For
indeed, when Ulysses had him of old, he was the strongest and swiftest
of dogs; but now my dear lord has perished far away, and the careless
women tend him not. For when the master is away the slaves are careless
of their duty. Surely a man, when he is made a slave, loses half the
virtue of a man.”

And as he spake, the dog Argus died. Twenty years had he waited, and
saw his master at the last.

After this the two entered the hall. And Telemachus, when he saw them,
took from the basket bread and meat, as much as his hands could hold,
and bade carry them to the beggar, and also to tell him that he might
go round among the suitors, asking alms. So he went, stretching
out his hand, as though he were wont to beg; and some gave, having
compassion upon him and marvelling at him, and some asked who he was.
But, of all, Antinoüs was the most shameless. For when Ulysses came to
him and told him how he had had much riches and power in former days,
and how he had gone to Egypt, and had been sold a slave into Cyprus,
Antinoüs mocked him, saying,--

“Get thee from my table, or thou shalt find a worse Egypt and a harder
Cyprus than before.”

Then Ulysses said, “Surely thy soul is evil though thy body is fair;
for though thou sittest at another man’s feast, yet wilt thou give me

But Antinoüs, in great wrath, took the stool on which he sat and cast
it at him, smiting his right shoulder. But Ulysses stirred not, but
stood as a rock. But in his heart he thought on revenge. So he went and
sat down at the door. And being there, he said,--

“Hear me, suitors of the Queen! There is no wrath if a man be smitten
fighting for that which is his own, but Antinoüs has smitten me because
that I am poor. May the curse of the hungry light on him therefor, ere
he come to his marriage day.”

Also the other suitors blamed him that he had dealt so cruelly with
this stranger. Also the Queen was wroth when she heard it, as she sat
in the upper chamber with her maidens about her.

But as the day passed on there came a beggar from the city, huge of
bulk, mighty to eat and drink, but his strength was not according to
his size. Arnæus was his name, but the young men called him Irus,
because he was their messenger, after Iris, the messenger of Zeus. He
spake to Ulysses,--

“Give place, old man, lest I drag thee forth; the young men even now
would have it so, but I think it shame to strike such an one as thee.”

Then said Ulysses, “There is room for thee and for me; get what thou
canst, for I do not grudge thee aught, but beware lest thou anger me,
lest I harm thee, old though I am.”

But Irus would not hear words of peace, but still challenged him to

And when Antinoüs saw this he was glad, and said, “This is the
goodliest sport that I have seen in this house. These two beggars would
fight; let us haste and match them.”

And the saying pleased them; and Antinoüs spake again: “Hear me, ye
suitors of the Queen! We have put aside these paunches of the goats
for our supper. Let us agree then that whosoever of these two shall
prevail, shall have choice of these, that which pleaseth him best, and
shall hereafter eat with us, and that no one else shall sit in his

Then said Ulysses, “It is hard for an old man to fight with a young.
Yet will I do it. Only do ye swear to me that no one shall strike me a
foul blow while I fight with this man.”

Then Telemachus said that this should be so, and they all consented to
his words. And after this Ulysses girded himself for the fight. And all
that were there saw his thighs, how great and strong they were, and
his shoulders, how broad, and his arms, how mighty. And they said one
to another, “There will be little of Irus left, so stalwart seems this
beggar-man.” But as for Irus himself, he would have slunk out of sight,
but they that were set to gird him compelled him to come forth.

Then said the Prince Antinoüs, “How is this, thou braggart, that thou
fearest this old man, all woe-begone as he is? Harken thou to this.
If this man prevails against thee, thou shalt be cast into a ship and
taken to the land of King Echetus, who will cut off thy ears and thy
nose for his dogs to eat.”

So the two came together. And Ulysses thought whether he should strike
the fellow and slay him out of hand, or fell him to the ground. And
this last seemed the better of the two. So when Irus had dealt his
blow, he smote him on the jaw, and brake in the bone, so that he fell
howling on the ground, and the blood poured amain from his mouth.

Then all the suitors laughed aloud. But Ulysses dragged him out of the
hall, and propped him by the wall of the courtyard, putting a staff
in his hand, and saying, “Sit there, and keep dogs and swine from the
door, but dare not hereafter to lord it over men, lest some worse thing
befall thee.”

Then Antinoüs gave him a great paunch, and Amphinomus gave two
loaves, and pledged him in a cup, saying, “Good luck to thee, father,
hereafter, though now thou seemest to have evil fortune.”

And Ulysses made reply, “O Amphinomus, thou hast much wisdom, methinks,
and thy father, I know, is wise. Take heed, therefore. There is nought
feebler upon earth than man. For in the days of his prosperity he
thinketh nothing of trouble, but when the gods send evil to him, there
is no help in him. I also trusted once in myself and my kinsmen, and
now--behold me what I am! Let no man, therefore, do violence and wrong,
for Zeus shall requite such deeds at the last. And now these suitors
of the Queen are working evil to him who is absent. Yet will he return
some day and slay his enemies. Fly thou, therefore, while yet there is
time, nor meet him when he comes.”

So he spake, with kindly thought.

But his doom was on Amphinomus that he should die.

And that evening, the suitors having departed to their own dwellings,
Ulysses and Telemachus took the arms from the hall, as they had also
planned to do. And while they did so Telemachus said, “See, my father,
this marvellous brightness that is on the pillars and the ceiling.
Surely some god is with us.”

And Ulysses made reply, “I know it: be silent. And now go to thy
chamber and sleep, and leave me here, for I have somewhat to say to thy
mother and her maidens.”

And when the Queen and her maidens came into the hall (for it was their
work to cleanse it and make it ready for the morrow), Penelopé asked
him of his family and his country. And at first he made as though he
would not answer, fearing, he said, lest he should trouble her with
the story of that which he had suffered. But afterwards, for she urged
him, telling him what she herself had suffered, her husband being lost
and her suitors troubling her without ceasing, he feigned a tale that
should satisfy her. For he told her how that he was a man of Crete, a
brother of King Idomeneus, and how he had given hospitality to Ulysses,
what time he was sailing to Troy with the sons of Atreus.

And when the queen, seeking to know whether he spake the truth, asked
him of Ulysses what manner of man he was, and with what clothing he was
clothed, he answered her rightly, saying, “I remember me that he had a
mantle, twofold, woollen, of sea-purple, clasped with a brooch of gold,
whereon was a dog that held a fawn by the throat; marvellously wrought
they were, so hard held the one, so strove the other to be free. Also
he had a tunic, white and smooth, which the women much admired to see.
But whether some one had given him these things I know not, for indeed
many gave him gifts, and I also, even a sword and a tunic. Also he had
a herald with him, one Eurybates, older than him, dark-skinned, round
in the shoulders, with curly hair.”

And Penelopé knowing these things to be true, wept aloud, crying that
she should see her husband no more. But the false beggar comforted her,
saying that Ulysses was in the land of the Thresprotians, having much
wealth with him, only that he had lost his ships and his comrades, yet
nevertheless would speedily return.

Then Penelopé bade her servants make ready a bed for the stranger of
soft mats and blankets, and also that one of them should bathe him. But
the mats and blankets he would not have, saying that he would sleep as
before; and for the bathing, he would only that some old woman, wise
and prudent, should do this. Wherefore the queen bade Euryclea, the
keeper of the house, do this thing for him, for that he had been the
comrade of her lord, and indeed was marvellously like to him in feet
and hands.

And this the old woman was right willing to do, for love for her
master, “for never,” she said, “of all strangers that had come to the
land, had come one so like to him.” But when she had prepared the bath
for his feet, Ulysses sat by the fire, but as far in the shadow as he
might, lest the old woman should see a great scar that was upon his
leg, and know him thereby.

Now the scar had chanced in this wise. He had come to see his
grandfather Autolycus, who was the most cunning of men, claiming
certain gifts which he had promised to him in the old days when, being
then newly born, he was set on his grandfather’s knees in the halls of
Laertes, and his grandfather had given him this name. And on the day of
his coming there was a great feast, and on the day after a hunting on
Mount Parnassus. In this hunting, therefore, Ulysses came in the heart
of a wood upon a place where lay a great wild boar; and the beast,
being stirred by the noise, rose up, and Ulysses charged him with his
spear; but before he could slay the beast, it ripped a great wound just
above the knee. And afterwards Ulysses slew it, and the young men bound
up the wound, singing a charm to stanch the blood.

By this scar, then, the old nurse knew that it was Ulysses himself, and
said, “O Ulysses, O my child, to think that I knew thee not!”

And she looked towards the Queen, as meaning to tell the thing to her.
But Ulysses laid his hand on her throat, “Mother, wouldst thou kill me?
I am returned after twenty years; and none must know till I shall be
ready to take vengeance.”

And the old woman held her peace. And after this Penelopé talked with
him again, telling him her dreams, how she had seen a flock of geese in
her palace, and how that an eagle had slain them; and when she mourned
for the geese, lo! a voice that said, “These geese are thy suitors, and
the eagle thy husband.”

And Ulysses said that the dream was well. And then she said that on
the morrow she must make her choice, for that she had promised to
bring forth the great bow that was Ulysses’, and whosoever should draw
it most easily, and shoot an arrow best at a mark, he should be her

And Ulysses made answer to her, “It is well, lady. Put not off this
trial of the bow, for before one of them shall draw the string the
great Ulysses shall come and duly shoot at the mark that shall be set.”

After this Penelopé slept, but Ulysses watched.



The next day many things cheered Ulysses for that which he had to do;
for first Athené had told him that she would stand at his side, and
next he heard the thunder of Zeus in a clear sky, and last it chanced
that a woman who sat at the mill grinding corn, being sore weary of her
task, and hating the suitors, said, “Grant, Father Zeus, that this be
the last meal which these men shall eat in the house of Ulysses!”

And after a while the suitors came and sat down, as was their wont, to
the feast. And the servants bare to Ulysses, as Telemachus had bidden,
a full share with the others. And when Ctesippus, a prince of Samos,
saw this (he was a man heedless of right and of the gods), he said, “Is
it well that this fellow should fare even as we? Look now at the gift
that I shall give him.” Whereupon he took a bullock’s foot out of a
basket wherein it lay, and cast it at Ulysses.

But he moved his head to the left and shunned it, and it flew on,
marking the wall. And Telemachus cried in great wrath,--

“It is well for thee, Ctesippus, that thou didst not strike this
stranger. For surely, hadst thou done this thing, my spear had pierced
thee through, and thy father had made good cheer, not for thy marriage,
but for thy burial.”

Then said Agelaüs, “This is well said. Telemachus should not be
wronged, no, nor this stranger. But, on the other hand, he must bid
his mother choose out of the suitors whom she will, and marry him, nor
waste our time any more.”

And Telemachus said, “It is well. She shall marry whom she will. But
from my house I will never send her against her will.”

And the suitors laughed; but their laughter was not of mirth, and the
flesh which they ate dripped with blood, and their eyes were full
of tears. And the eyes of the seer Theoclymenus were opened, and he

“What ails you, miserable ones? For your heads and your faces and
your knees are covered with darkness, and the voice of groaning comes
from you, and your cheeks are wet with tears. Also the walls and the
pillars are sprinkled with blood, and the porch and the hall are full
of shadows that move towards hell, and the sun has perished from the
heaven, and an evil mist is over all.”

But they laughed to hear him; and Eurymachus said, “This stranger is
mad; let us send him out of doors into the market-place, for it seems
that here it is dark.”

Also they scoffed at Telemachus, but he heeded them not, but sat
waiting till his father should give the sign.

After this Penelopé went to fetch the great bow of Ulysses which
Iphitus had given to him. From the peg on which it hung she took it
with its sheath, and sitting down, she laid it on her knees and wept
over it, and after this rose up and went to where the suitors sat
feasting in the hall. The bow she brought, and also the quiver full of
arrows, and standing by the pillar of the dome, spake thus,--

“Ye suitors who devour this house, making pretence that ye wish to wed
me, lo! here is a proof of your skill. Here is the bow of the great
Ulysses. Whoso shall bend it easiest in his hands, and shoot an arrow
most easily through the helve-holes of the twelve axes that Telemachus
shall set up, him will I follow, leaving this house, which I shall
remember only in my dreams.”

Then she bade Eumæus bear the bow and the arrows to the suitors. And
the good swineherd wept to see his master’s bow, and Philætius, the
herdsman of the kine, wept also, for he was a good man, and loved the
house of Ulysses.

Then Telemachus planted in due order the axes wherein were the
helve-holes, and was minded himself to draw the bow; and indeed would
have done the thing, but Ulysses signed to him that he should not.
Wherefore he said, “Methinks I am too weak and young; ye that are elder
should try the first.”

Then first Leiodes, the priest, who alone among the suitors hated their
evil ways, made trial of the bow. But he moved it not, but wearied his
hands with it, for they were tender, and unwont to toil. And he said,
“I cannot bend this bow; let some other try; but it shall be grief and
pain to many this day, I trow.”

And Antinoüs was wroth to hear such words, and bade Melanthius bring
forth from the stores a roll of fat, that they might anoint the string
and soften it withal. So they softened the string with fat, but not
for that the more could they bend it, for they tried all of them in
vain, till only Antinoüs and Eurymachus were left, who indeed were the
bravest and the strongest of them all.

Now the swineherd and the herdsman of the kine had gone forth out of
the yard, and Ulysses came behind them and said, “What would ye do if
Ulysses were to come back to his home? Would ye fight for him, or for
the suitors?”

And both said they would fight for him.

And Ulysses said, “It is even I who am come back in the twentieth year,
and ye, I know, are glad at heart that I am come; nor know I of any
one besides. And if ye will help me as brave men to-day, wives shall
ye have, and possessions and houses near to mine own. And ye shall be
brothers and comrades to Telemachus. And for a sign, behold this scar,
which the wild boar made when I hunted with Autolycus.”

Then they wept for joy and kissed Ulysses, and he also kissed them.
And he said to Eumæus that he should bring the bow to him when the
suitors had tried their fortune therewith; also that he should bid the
women keep within doors, nor stir out if they should hear the noise of
battle. And Philætius he bade lock the doors of the hall, and fasten
them with a rope.

After this he came back to the hall, and Eurymachus had the bow in his
hands, and sought to warm it at the fire. Then he essayed to draw it,
but could not. And he groaned aloud, saying, “Woe is me! not for loss
of this marriage only, for there are other women to be wooed in Greece,
but that we are so much weaker than the great Ulysses. This is indeed
shame to tell.”

Then said Antinoüs, “Not so; to-day is a holy day of the God of
Archers; therefore we could not draw the bow. But to-morrow will we try
once more, after due sacrifice to Apollo.”

And this saying pleased them all; but Ulysses said, “Let me try this
bow, for I would fain know whether I have such strength as I had in
former days.”

At this all the suitors were wroth, and chiefly Antinoüs, but Penelopé
said that it should be so, and promised the man great gifts if he could
draw this bow.

But Telemachus spake thus, “Mother, the bow is mine to give or to
refuse. And no man shall say me nay, if I will that this stranger make
trial of it. But do thou go to thy chamber with thy maidens, and let
men take thought for these things.”

And this he said, for that he would have her depart from the hall
forthwith, knowing what should happen therein. But she marvelled to
hear him speak with such authority, and answered not, but departed. And
when Eumæus would have carried the bow to Ulysses, the suitors spake
roughly to him, but Telemachus constrained him to go. Therefore he
took the bow and gave it to his master. Then went he to Euryclea, and
bade her shut the door of the women’s chambers and keep them within,
whatsoever they might hear. Also Philætius shut the doors of the hall,
and fastened them with a rope.

Then Ulysses handled the great bow, trying it, whether it had taken
any hurt; but the suitors thought scorn of him. Then when he had found
it to be without flaw, just as a minstrel fastens a string upon his
harp, and strains it to the pitch, so he strung the bow without toil;
and holding the string in his right hand, he tried its tone, and the
tone was sweet as the voice of a swallow. Then he took an arrow from
the quiver, and laid the notch upon the string and drew it, sitting as
he was, and the arrow passed through every ring, and stood in the wall
beyond. Then he said to Telemachus,--

“There is yet a feast to be held before the sun go down.”

And he nodded the sign to Telemachus. And forthwith the young man stood
by him, armed with spear and helmet and shield.



Then spake he among the suitors, “This labor has been accomplished. Let
me try at yet another mark.”

And he aimed his arrow at Antinoüs. But the man was just raising a cup
to his lips, thinking not of death, for who had thought that any man,
though mightiest of mortals, would venture on such a deed, being one
among many? Right through the neck passed the arrow-head, and the blood
gushed from his nostrils, and he dropped the cup and spurned the table
from him.

And all the suitors, when they saw him fall, leapt from their seats;
but when they looked, there was neither spear nor shield upon the wall.
And they knew not whether it was by chance or of set purpose that
the stranger had smitten him. But Ulysses then declared who he was,

“Dogs, ye thought that I should never come back. Therefore have ye
devoured my house, and made suit to my wife while I yet lived, and
feared not the gods nor regarded men. Therefore a sudden destruction is
come upon you all.”

Then, when all the others trembled for fear, Eurymachus said, “If
thou be indeed Ulysses of Ithaca, thou hast said well. Foul wrong has
been done to thee in the house and in the field. But lo! he who was
the mover of it all lies here, even Antinoüs. Nor was it so much this
marriage that he sought, as to be king of this land, having destroyed
thy house. But we will pay thee back for all that we have devoured,
even twenty times as much.”

But Ulysses said, “Speak not of paying back. My hands shall not cease
from slaying till I have taken vengeance on you all.”

Then said Eurymachus to his comrades, “This man will not stay his
hands. He will smite us all with his arrows where he stands. But let us
win the door, and raise a cry in the city; soon then will this archer
have shot his last.”

And he rushed on, with his two-edged knife in his hand. But as he
rushed, Ulysses smote him on the breast with an arrow, and he fell
forwards. And when Amphinomus came on, Telemachus slew him with his
spear, but drew not the spear from the body, lest some one should smite
him unawares.

Then he ran to his father and said, “Shall I fetch arms for us and our

“Yea,” said he, “and tarry not, lest my arrows be spent.”

So he fetched from the armory four shields and four helmets and
eight spears. And he and the servants, Eumæus and Philætius, armed
themselves. Also Ulysses, when his arrows were spent, donned helmet
and shield, and took a mighty spear in each hand. But Melanthius, the
goatherd, crept up to the armory and brought down therefrom twelve
helmets and shields, and spears as many. And when Ulysses saw that the
suitors were arming themselves, he feared greatly, and said to his

“There is treachery here. It is one of the women, or, it may be,
Melanthius, the goatherd.”

And Telemachus said, “This fault is mine, my father, for I left the
door of the chamber unfastened.”

And soon Eumæus spied Melanthius stealing up to the chamber again, and
followed him, and Philætius with him. There they caught him, even as
he took a helmet in one hand and a shield in the other, and bound his
feet and hands, and fastened him aloft by a rope to the beams of the

Then these two went back to the hall, and there also came Athené having
the shape of Mentor. Still, for she would yet further try the courage
of Ulysses and his son, she helped them not as yet, but changing her
shape, sat on the roof-beam like unto a swallow.

And then cried Agelaüs, “Friends, Mentor is gone, and helps them not.
Let us not cast our spears at random, but let six come on together, if
perchance we may prevail against them.”

Then they cast their spears, but Athené turned them aside, one to the
pillar and another to the door and another to the wall. But Ulysses and
Telemachus and the two herdsmen slew each his man; and yet again they
did so, and again. Only Amphimedon wounded Telemachus, and Ctesippus
grazed the shoulder of Eumæus. But Telemachus struck down Amphimedon,
and the herdsman of the kine slew Ctesippus, saying, “Take this, for
the ox foot which thou gavest to our guest.” And all the while Athené
waved her flaming ægis-shield from above, and the suitors fell as birds
are scattered and torn by eagles.

Then Leiodes, the priest, made supplication to Ulysses, saying, “I
never wrought evil in this house, and would have kept others from
it, but they would not. Nought have I done save serve at the altar;
wherefore slay me not.”

And Ulysses made reply, “That thou hast served at the altar of these
men is enough, and also that thou wouldest wed my wife.”

So he slew him; but Phemius, the minstrel, he spared, for he had sung
among the suitors in the hall of compulsion, and not of good will; and
also Medon, the herald, bidding them go into the yard without. There
they sat, holding by the altar and looking fearfully every way, for yet
they feared that they should die.

So the slaughtering of the suitors was ended; and now Ulysses bade
cleanse the hall, and wash the benches and the tables with water, and
purify them with sulphur. And when this was done, that Euryclea, the
nurse, should go to Penelopé and tell her that her husband was indeed
returned. So Euryclea went to her chamber and found the Queen newly
woke from slumber, and told her that her husband was returned, and how
that he had slain the suitors, and how that she had known him by the
scar where the wild boar had wounded him.

And yet the Queen doubted, and said, “Let me go down and see my son,
and these men that are slain, and the man who slew them.”

So she went, and sat in the twilight by the other wall, and Ulysses
sat by a pillar, with his eyes cast down, waiting till his wife should
speak to him. But she was sore perplexed; for now she seemed to know
him, and now she knew him not, being in such evil case, for he had not
suffered that the women should put new robes upon him.

And Telemachus said, “Mother, evil mother, sittest thou apart from my
father, and speakest not to him? Surely thy heart is harder than a

But Ulysses said, “Let be Telemachus. Thy mother will know that which
is true in good time. But now let us hide this slaughter for a while,
lest the friends of these men seek vengeance against us. Wherefore let
there be music and dancing in the hall, so that men shall say, ‘This is
the wedding of the Queen, and there is joy in the palace,’ and know not
of the truth.”

So the minstrel played and the women danced. And meanwhile Ulysses went
to the bath, and clothed himself in bright apparel, and came back to
the hall, and Athené made him fair and young to see. Then he sat him
down as before, over against his wife, and said,--

“Surely, O lady, the gods have made thee harder of heart than all women
besides. Would other wife have kept away from her husband, coming back
now after twenty years?”

And when she doubted yet, he spake again, “Hear thou this, Penelopé,
and know that it is I myself, and not another. Dost thou remember how I
built up the bed in our chamber? In the court there grew an olive tree,
stout as a pillar, and round it I built a chamber of stone, and spanned
the chamber with a roof; and I hung also a door, and then I cut off the
leaves of the olive, and planed the trunk, to be smooth and round; and
the bed I inlaid with ivory and silver and gold, and stretched upon it
an ox-hide that was ornamented with silver.”

Then Penelopé knew him, that he was her husband indeed, and ran to him,
and threw her arms about him, and kissed him, saying, “Pardon me, my
lord, if I was slow to know thee; for ever I feared, so many wiles have
men, that some one should deceive me, saying that he was my husband.
But now I know this, that thou art he and not another.”

And they wept over each other and kissed each other. So did Ulysses
come back to his home after twenty years.




When the fair city of Troy was taken and destroyed there appeared to
Æneas, who alone was left of all the great chiefs that had fought
against the Greeks, his mother Venus. And she spake to him, saying,--

“See now, for I will take away the mist that covers thine eyes; see
how Neptune with his trident is over throwing the walls and rooting
up the city from its foundations; and how Juno stands with spear and
shield in the Scæan Gate, and calls fresh hosts from the ships; and how
Pallas sits on the height with the storm-cloud about her and her Gorgon
shield; and how Father Jupiter himself stirs up the enemy against Troy.
Fly, therefore, my son. I will not leave thee till thou shalt reach thy
father’s house.” And as she spake she vanished in the darkness.

Then did Æneas see dreadful forms and gods who were the enemies of
Troy, and before his eyes the whole city seemed to sink down into the
fire. Even as a mountain oak upon the hills on which the woodmen ply
their axes bows its head while all its boughs shake about it, till at
last, as blow comes after blow, with a mighty groan it falls crashing
down from the height, even so the city seemed to fall. Then did Æneas
pass on his way, the goddess leading him, and the flames gave place to
him, and the javelins harmed him not.

But when he was come to his house he bethought him first of the old man
his father; but when he would have carried him to the hills, Anchises
would not, being loath to live in some strange country when Troy had
perished. “Nay,” said he, “fly ye who are strong and in the flower of
your days. But as for me, if the gods had willed that I should live,
they had saved this dwelling for me. Enough is it, yea, and more than
enough, that once I have seen this city taken, and lived. Bid me, then,
farewell as though I were dead. Death will I find for myself. And truly
I have long lingered here a useless stock and hated of the gods since
Jupiter smote me with the blast of his thunder.”

Nor could the old man be moved from his purpose, though his son and
his son’s wife, and even the child Ascanius, besought him with many
tears that he should not make yet heavier the doom that was upon them.
Then was Æneas minded to go back to the battle and die. For what hope
was left? “Thoughtest thou, my father,” he cried, “that I should flee
and leave thee behind? What evil word is this that has fallen from
thy lips? If the gods will have it that nought of Troy should be
left, and thou be minded that thou and thine should perish with the
city, be it so. The way is easy; soon will Pyrrhus be here; Pyrrhus,
red with Priam’s blood; Pyrrhus, who slays the son before the face
of the father, and the father at the altar. Was it for this, kind
Mother Venus, that thou broughtest me safe through fire and sword, to
see the enemy in my home, and my father and my wife and my son lying
slaughtered together? Comrades, give me my arms, and take me back to
the battle. At the least I will die avenged.”

But as he girded on his arms and would have departed from the house,
his wife Creüsa caught his feet upon the threshold, staying him, and
held out the little Ascanius, saying, “If thou goest to thy death, take
wife and child with thee; but if thou hopest aught from arms, guard
first the house where thou hast father and wife and child.”

And lo! as she spake there befell a mighty marvel, for before the face
of father and mother there was seen to shine a light on the head of
the boy Ascanius, and to play upon his waving hair and glitter on his
temples. And when they feared to see this thing, and would have stifled
the flame or quenched it with water, the old man Anchises in great
joy raised his eyes to heaven, and cried aloud, “O Father Jupiter, if
prayer move thee at all, give thine aid and make this omen sure.” And
even as he spake the thunder rolled on his left hand, and a star shot
through the skies, leaving a long trail of light behind, and passed
over the house-tops till it was hidden in the woods of Ida. Then the
old man lifted himself up and did obeisance to the star, and said, “I
delay no more: whithersoever ye lead I will follow. Gods of my country,
save my house and my grandson. This omen is of you. And now, my son, I
refuse not to go.”

Then said Æneas, and as he spake the fire came nearer, and the light
was clearer to see, and the heat more fierce, “Climb, dear father, on
my shoulders; I will bear thee, nor grow weary with the weight. We
will be saved or perish together. The little Ascanius shall go with
me, and my wife follow behind, not over near. And ye, servants of my
house, harken to me; ye mind how that to one who passes out of the city
there is a tomb and a temple of Ceres in a lonely place, and an ancient
cypress-tree hard by. There will we gather by divers ways. And do thou,
my father, take the holy images in thy hands, for as for me, who have
but newly come from battle, I may not touch them till I have washed me
in the running stream.”

And as he spake he put a cloak of lion’s skin upon his shoulders, and
the old man sat thereon. Ascanius also laid hold of his hand, and
Creüsa followed behind. So he went in much dread and trembling. For
indeed before sword and spear of the enemy he had not feared, but now
he feared for them that were with him. But when he was come nigh unto
the gates, and the journey was well-nigh finished, there befell a
grievous mischance, for there was heard a sound as of many feet through
the darkness; and the old man cried to him, “Fly, my son, fly; they are
coming. I see the flashing of shields and swords.” But as Æneas hasted
to go, Creüsa his wife was severed from him. But whether she wandered
from the way or sat down in weariness, no man may say. Only he saw her
no more, nor knew her to be lost till, all his company being met at
the temple of Ceres, she only was found wanting. Very grievous did the
thing seem to him, nor did he cease to cry out in his wrath against
gods and men. Also he bade his comrades have a care of his father and
his son, and of the household gods, and girded him again with arms,
and so passed into the city. And first he went to the wall and to the
gate by which he had come forth, and then to his house, if haply she
had returned thither. But there indeed the men of Greece were come,
and the fire had well-nigh mastered it. And after that he went to the
citadel and to the palace of King Priam. And lo! in the porch of Juno’s
temple, Phœnix and Ulysses were keeping guard over the spoil, even the
treasure of the temples, tables of the gods, and solid cups of gold,
and raiment, and a long array of them that had been taken captive,
children and women. But not the less did he seek his wife through all
the streets of the city, yea, and called her aloud by name. But lo!
as he called, the image of her whom he sought seemed to stand before
him, only greater than she had been while she was yet alive. And the
spirit spake, saying, “Why art thou vainly troubled? These things have
not befallen us against the pleasure of the gods. The ruler of Olympus
willeth not that Creüsa should bear thee company in thy journey. For
thou hast a long journey to take, and many seas to cross, till thou
come to the Hesperian shore, where Lydian Tiber flows softly through a
good land and a fertile. There shalt thou have great prosperity, and
take to thyself a wife of royal race. Weep not then for Creüsa, whom
thou lovest, nor think that I shall be carried away to be a bond-slave
to some Grecian woman. Such fate befits not a daughter of Dardanus and
daughter-in-law of Venus. The mighty Mother of the gods keepeth me in
this land to serve her. And now, farewell, and love the young Ascanius,
even thy son and mine.”

So spake the spirit, and, when Æneas wept and would have spoken,
vanished out of his sight. Thrice he would have cast his arms about her
neck, and thrice the image mocked him, being thin as air and fleeting
as a dream. Then, the night being now spent, he sought his comrades,
and found with much joy and wonder that a great company of men and
women were gathered together, and were willing, all of them, to follow
him whithersoever he went. And now the morning star rose over Mount
Ida, and Æneas, seeing that the Greeks held the city, and that there
was no longer any hope of succor, went his way to the mountains, taking
with him his father.

Now for what remained of that year (for it was the time of summer when
Troy was taken), Æneas, and they that were gathered to him, builded
themselves ships for the voyage, dwelling the while under Mount Ida;
and when the summer was well-nigh come again the work was finished,
and the old man Anchises commanded that they should tarry no longer.
Whereupon they sailed, taking also their gods with them.

There was a certain land of Thrace, which the god Mars loved beyond
all other lands, whereof in time past the fierce Lycurgus, who would
have slain Bacchus, was king. Here, therefore, for the men of the land
were friendly, or, at the least, had been before evil days came upon
Troy, Æneas builded him a city, and called it after his own name. But,
after awhile, as he did sacrifice on a certain day to his mother, even
Venus, that he might have a blessing on his work, slaying also a white
bull to Jupiter, there befell a certain horrible thing. For hard by the
place where he did sacrifice there was a little hill, with much cornel
and myrtle upon it, whereto Æneas coming would have plucked wands
having leaves upon them, that he might cover therewith the altars. But
lo! when he plucked a wand there dropped drops of blood therefrom.
Whereupon great fear came on him, and wonder also. And when seeking to
know the cause of the thing he plucked other wands also, there dropped
blood even as before. Then, having prayed to the nymphs of the land and
to Father Mars that they would turn all evil from him, he essayed the
third time with all his might, setting his knee against the ground, to
pluck forth a wand. Whereupon there issued from the hill a lamentable
voice, saying, “Æneas, why doest thou me such cruel hurt, nor leavest
me in peace in my grave? For indeed I am no stranger to thee, nor
strange is this blood which thou seest. Fly, for the land is cruel, and
the shore greedy of gain. I am Polydorus. Here I was pierced through
with spears, which have grown into these wands that thou seest.”

But Æneas when he heard the voice was sore dismayed, and he remembered
him how King Priam, thinking that it might fare ill with him and the
great city of Troy, had sent his son, Polydorus, by stealth, and much
gold with him, to Polymestor, who was king of Thrace, and how the king,
when Troy had now perished, slew the boy, and took the gold to himself.
For of a truth the love of gold is the root of all evil. And Æneas told
the thing to his father and to the chiefs; and the sentence of all
was that they should depart from the evil land. But first they made a
great funeral for Polydorus, making a high mound of earth, and building
thereon an altar to the dead. This also they bound about with garlands
of sad-colored wool and cypress, and the women of Troy stood about
it with their hair loosened, as is the use of them that mourn. They
offered also bowls of warm milk and blood, and laid the spirit in the
tomb, bidding him farewell three times with a loud voice.

After this, when the time for voyaging was come, and the south wind
blew softly, they launched the ships and set sail. And first they came
to the island of Delos, which, having been used to wander over the sea,
the Lord of the Silver Bow made fast, binding it to Myconos and Gyaros,
and found there quiet anchorage. And when they landed to worship, there
met them Anius, who was priest and king of the place, having a crown
of bay-leaves about his head, who knew Anchises for a friend in time
past, and used to them much hospitality. Then did they pray to the god
saying, “Give us, we beseech thee, a home where we may dwell, and a
name upon the earth, and a city that shall abide, even a second Troy
for them that have escaped from the hands of Achilles and the Greeks.
And do thou answer us, and incline our hearts that we may know.”

But when Æneas had ended these words, straightway the place was shaken,
even the gates of the temple and the bay-trees that were hard by. And
when they were all fallen to the ground there came a voice, saying,
“Son of Dardanus, the land that first bare you shall receive you again.
Seek, then, your ancient mother. Then shall the children of Æneas
bear rule over all lands, yea, and their children’s children to many
generations.” Which when they had heard, they greatly rejoiced, and
would fain know what was the city whither Phœbus would have them go,
that they might cease from their wanderings. Then Anchises, pondering
in his heart the things which he had learnt from the men of old time,
spake thus: “There lieth in mid-ocean a certain island of Crete,
wherein is a mountain, Ida. There was the first beginning of our
nation. Thence came Teucer, our first father, to the land of Troy. Let
us go, then, whither the gods would send us, first doing sacrifice to
the Winds; and, indeed, if but Jupiter help us, ’tis but a three days’
journey for our ships.”

So they offered sacrifice, a bull to Neptune and a bull to the
beautiful Apollo, and a black sheep to the Storm and a white sheep
to the West Wind. There came also a rumor that Idomeneus the Cretan
had fled from his father’s kingdom, and that the land was ready for
him who should take it. Whereupon the men of Troy set sail with a
good heart, and passing among the islands that are called Cyclades,
the wind blowing favorably behind them, so came to Crete. There they
builded a city, and called its name Pergamea, after Pergama, which was
the citadel of Troy. And for a while they tilled the soil; also they
married and were given in marriage, as purposing to abide in the land.
But there came a wasting sickness on the men, and a blight also on the
trees and harvests, filling the year with death. The fields likewise
were parched with drought, and the staff of bread was broken. Then the
old Anchises bade them go yet again to the oracle at Delos, and inquire
of the god what end there should be of these troubles, whence they
should seek for help, and whither they should go.

But as Æneas slept there appeared to him the household gods, which he
had carried out of the burning of Troy, very clear to see in the light
of the moon, which shone through the window of his chamber. And they
spake unto him, saying, “Apollo bids us tell thee here that which he
will tell thee if thou goest to Delos. We who have followed thee over
many seas, even we will bring thy children’s children to great honor,
and make their city ruler over many nations. Faint not, therefore, at
thy long wandering. Thou must seek yet another home. For it was not in
Crete that Apollo bade thee dwell. There is a land which the Greeks
call Hesperia; an ancient land, whose inhabitants are mighty men of
valor; a land of vineyards and wheat. There is our proper home, and
thence came Dardanus our father. Do thou, therefore, tell these things
to the old man Anchises. Seek ye for the land of Hesperia, which men
also call Italy; but as for Crete, Jupiter willeth not that ye should
dwell there.”

And for a while Æneas lay in great fear, with a cold sweat upon him,
so clear was the vision of those whom he saw, nor in anywise like unto
a dream. Then he rose up from his bed, and after prayer and sacrifice
told the thing to Anchises. And the old man saw that he had been
deceived in this matter, and he said, “O my son, now do I remember how
Cassandra was wont to prophesy these things to me, and would speak of
Hesperia and of the land of Italy. But, indeed, no man thought in those
days that the men of Troy should voyage to Hesperia, nor did any take
account of the words of Cassandra. But now let us heed the oracle of
Apollo, and depart.”

So the men of Troy made their ships ready and departed. And after
a while, when they could no more see the land, there fell a great
storm upon them, with a strong wind and great rolling waves, and much
lightning also. Thus were they driven out of their course, and for
three days and nights saw neither the sun nor the stars. But on the
fourth day they came to a land where they saw hills, and smoke rising
therefrom. Then did the men ply their oars amain, and soon came to the
shore. Now this place they found to be one of certain islands which men
name the Strophades. And upon these islands dwell creatures which are
called Harpies, very evil indeed, having the countenances of women and
wings like unto the wings of birds, and long claws. Also their faces
are pale as with much hunger. Now when the men of Troy were come to
this land, they saw many herds of oxen and flocks of goats thereon,
nor any one to watch them. Of these they slew such as they needed,
and, not forgetting to give due share to the gods, made a great feast
upon the shore. But lo! even while they made merry, there came a great
rushing of wings, and the Harpies came upon them, making great havoc
of the meat and fouling all things most horribly. And when they had
departed, the men of Troy sought another place where they might do
sacrifice and eat their meat in peace. But when the Harpies had come
thither also and done in the same fashion, Æneas commanded that the
men should draw their swords and do battle with the beasts. Therefore,
the Harpies coming yet again, Misenus with his trumpet gave the sound
for battle. But lo! they fought as those that beat the air, seeing that
neither sword nor spear availed to wound the beasts. Then again these
departed, one only remaining, by name, Celæno, who, sitting on a rock,
spake after this fashion: “Do ye purpose, sons of Laomedon, to fight
for these cattle that ye have wrongfully taken, or to drive the Harpies
from their kingdom and inheritance? Hear, therefore, my words, which
indeed the almighty Father told to Phœbus, and Phœbus told to me. Ye
journey to Italy, and to Italy shall ye come. Only ye shall not build
a city, and wall it about with walls, till dreadful hunger shall cause
you to eat the very tables whereon ye sup.”

So saying, she departed. But when great fear was fallen upon all,
Anchises lifted up his hands to heaven and prayed to the gods that they
would keep that evil from them.

Then they set sail, and, the south wind blowing, passed by Zacynthus
and Dulichium, and also Ithaca, which they cursed as they passed,
because it was the land of the hateful Ulysses, and so came to Actium,
where they landed. There also they did sacrifice to the gods, and had
games of wrestling and others, rejoicing that they had passed safely
through so many cities of their enemies. And there they wintered, and
Æneas fixed on the doors of the temple of Apollo a shield of bronze
which he had won in battle from the valiant Abas, writing thereon these

But when the spring was come they set sail, and, leaving behind them
the land of Phæacia, came to Buthrotum that is in Epirus. There indeed
they heard a marvellous thing, even that Helenus, the son of Priam,
was king in these parts, in the room of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles,
having also to wife Andromaché, who was the widow of Hector. And when
Æneas, wishing to know whether these things were so, journeyed towards
the city, lo! in a grove hard by, by a river which also was called
Simoïs, there stood this same Andromaché, and made offerings to the
spirit of Hector not without many tears. And at the first when she saw
Æneas, and that he wore such arms as the men of Troy were used to wear,
she swooned with fear, but after a while spake thus: “Is this indeed a
real thing that I see? Art thou alive? or, if thou art dead, tell me,
where is my Hector?” So she cried and wept aloud. And Æneas answered
her: “Yes, lady, this is flesh and blood, and not a spirit, that thou
seest. But as for thee, what fortune has befallen thee? Art thou still
wedded to Pyrrhus?”

And she, casting down her eyes, made answer, “O daughter of Priam,
happy beyond thy sisters in that thou wast slain at the tomb of
Achilles, nor wast taken to be a prey of the conqueror! But as for me I
was borne across the sea, to be slave to the haughty son of Achilles.
And when he took to wife Hermione, who was the daughter of Helen, he
gave me to Helenus, as a slave is given to a slave. But Pyrrhus, after
awhile, Orestes slew, taking him unawares, even by the altar of his
father. And when he was dead, part of his kingdom came to Helenus,
who hath called the land Chaonia, after Chaon of Troy, and hath also
builded a citadel, a new Pergama, upon the hills. But tell me, was it
some storm that drave thee hither, or chance, or, lastly, some sending
of the gods? And is Ascanius yet alive--the boy whom I remember? Doth
he yet think of his mother that is dead? And is he stout and of a good
courage, as befits the son of Æneas and sister’s son to Hector?”

And while she spake there came Helenus from the city with a great
company, and bade welcome to his friends with much joy. And Æneas
saw how that all things were ordered and named even as they had been
at Troy, only the things at Troy had been great, and these were very
small. And afterwards King Helenus made a feast to them in his house,
and they drank together and were merry.

But after certain days were passed, Æneas, seeing that the wind favored
them, spake to Helenus, knowing him also to be a prophet of the gods:
“Tell me now, seeing that thou art wise in all manner of divination and
prophecy, how it will fare with us. For indeed all things have seemed
to favor us, and we go not on this journey against the will of the
gods, yet did the Harpy Celæno prophesy evil things, that we should
endure great extremity of hunger. Say, then, of what things I should
most beware, and how I shall best prosper.”

Then Helenus, after due sacrifice, led Æneas to the temple of Phœbus.
And when they were come thither, and the god had breathed into the
seer, even into Helenus, the spirit of prophecy, he spake, saying, “Son
of Venus, that thou takest thy journey across the sea with favor of the
gods is manifest. Hearken, therefore, and I will inform thee of certain
things, though indeed they be few out of many, by which thou mayest
more safely cross unknown seas and get thee to thy haven in Italy.
Much indeed the Fates suffer me not to know, and much Juno forbids me
to speak. Know then, first of all, that Italy, which thou ignorantly
thinkest to be close at hand, is yet far away across many seas. And let
this be a sign to thee that thou art indeed come to the place where
thou wouldst be. When thou shalt see a white sow and thirty pigs at
her teats, then hast thou found the place of thy city that shall be.
And as to the devouring of thy tables for famine, heed it not: Apollo
will help thee at need. But seek not to find a dwelling-place on this
shore of Italy which is near at hand, seeing that it is inhabited by
the accursed sons of Greece. And when thou hast passed it by, and art
come to the land of Sicily, and shalt see the strait of Pelorus open
before thee, do thou keep to thy left hand and avoid the way that is
on thy right. For here in days past was the land rent asunder, so that
the waters of the sea flow between cities and fields that of old time
were joined together. And on the right hand is Scylla, and on the left
Charybdis the whirlpool. But Scylla dwelleth in her cave, a monster
dreadful to behold; for to the middle she is a fair woman, but a beast
of the sea below, even the belly of a dolphin, with heads as of a wolf.
Wherefore it will be better for thee to fetch a compass round the whole
land of Sicily than to come nigh these things, or to see them with
thine eyes. Do thou also remember this, at all places and times, before
all other gods to worship Juno, that thou mayest persuade her, and so
make thy way safely to Italy. And when thou art come thither, seek
the Sibyl that dwelleth at Cumæ, the mad prophetess that writeth the
sayings of Fate upon the leaves of a tree. For these indeed at first
abide in their places, but, the gate being opened, the wind blows them
hither and thither. And when they are scattered she careth not to join
them again, so that they who would inquire of her depart without an
answer. Refuse not to tarry awhile, that thou mayest take counsel of
her, though all things seem to prosper thy journey, and thy comrades
chide thy delay. For she shall tell thee all that shall befall thee in
Italy,--what wars thou shalt wage, and what perils thou must endure,
and what avoid. So much, and no more, is it lawful for me to utter. Do
thou depart, and magnify our country of Troy even to the heaven.”

And when the seer had ended these sayings, he commanded his people that
they should carry to the ships gifts: gold, and carvings of ivory, and
much silver, and caldrons that had been wrought at Dodona; also a coat
of chain mail, and a helmet with a fair plume, which Pyrrhus had worn.
Also he gave gifts to the old man Anchises. Horses, too, he gave, and
guides for the journey, and tackling for the ships, and arms for the
whole company. Then did he bid farewell to the old Anchises. Andromaché
also came, bringing broidered robes, and for Ascanius a Phrygian cloak,
and many like things, which she gave him, saying, “Take these works
of my hands, that they may witness to thee of the abiding love of her
that was once Hector’s wife. For in truth thou art the very image of my
Astyanax, so like are thy eyes and face and hands. And indeed he would
now be of an age with thee.” Then Æneas also said farewell, weeping the
while. “Be ye happy, whose wanderings are over and rest already won; ye
have no seas to cross, nor fields of Italy, still flying as we advance,
to seek. Rather ye have the likeness of Troy before your eyes. And be
sure that if ever I come to this land of Italy which I seek, there
shall be friendship between you and me, and between your children and
my children, forever.”

Then they set sail, and at eventide drew their ships to the land and
slept on the beach. But at midnight Palinurus, the pilot, rising from
his bed, took note of the winds and of the stars, even of Arcturus, and
the Greater Bear and the Less, and Orion with his belt of gold. Seeing
therefore that all things boded fair weather to come, he blew loud the
signal that they should depart; which they did forthwith. And when the
morning was now growing red in the east, behold a land with hills dimly
seen and shores lying low in the sea. And, first of all, the old man
Anchises cried, “Lo! there is Italy,” and after him all the company.
Then took Anchises a mighty cup, and filled it with wine, and, standing
on the stern, said, “Gods of sea and land, and ye that have power of
the air, give us an easy journey, and send such winds as may favor
us.” And even as he spake the wind blew more strongly behind. Also the
harbor mouth grew wider to behold, and on the hills was seen a temple
of Minerva. And lo! upon the shore four horses white as snow, which
the old man seeing, said, “Thou speakest of war, land of the stranger;
for the horse signifieth war, yet doth he also use himself to run in
the chariot, and to bear the bit in company; therefore also will we
hope for peace.” Then did they sacrifice to Minerva, and to Juno also,
which rites the seer Helenus had chiefly commanded. And this being done
they trimmed their sails and departed from the shore, fearing lest
some enemy, the Greeks being in that place, should set upon them. So
did they pass by Tarentum, which Hercules builded, also the hills of
Caulon, and Scylacium, where many ships are broken. And from Scylacium
they beheld Ætna, and heard a great roaring of the sea, and saw also
the waves rising up to heaven. Then said Anchises, “Lo! this is that
Charybdis whereof the seer Helenus spake to us. Ply your oars, my
comrades, and let us fly therefrom.” So they strove amain in rowing,
and Palinurus also steered to the left, all the other ships following
him. And many times the waves lifted them to the heaven, and many
times caused them to go down to the deep. But at the last, at setting
of the sun, they came to the land of the Cyclops.

There, indeed, they lay in a harbor, well sheltered from all winds that
blow, but all the night Ætna thundered dreadfully, sending forth a
cloud with smoke of pitch, and ashes fiery hot, and also balls of fire,
and rocks withal that had been melted with heat. For indeed men say
that the giant Enceladus lieth under this mountain, being scorched with
the lightning of Jupiter, and that from him cometh forth this flame;
also that when, being weary, he turneth from one side to the other, the
whole land of the Three Capes is shaken. All that night they lay in
much fear, nor knew what the cause of this uproar might be, for indeed
the sky was cloudy, nor could the moon be seen.

And when it was morning, lo! there came forth from the woods a
stranger, very miserable to behold, in filthy garments fastened with
thorns, and with beard unshaven, who stretched out to them his hands
as one who prayed. And the men of Troy knew him to be a Greek. But he,
seeing them, and knowing of what country they were, stood awhile in
great fear, but afterwards ran very swiftly towards them, and used to
them many prayers, weeping also the while. “I pray you, men of Troy,
by the stars and by the gods, and by this air which we breathe, to
take me away from this land, whithersoever ye will. And indeed I ask
not whither. That I am a Greek, I confess, and also that I bare arms
against Troy. Wherefore drown me, if ye will, in the sea. Only let me
die, if die I must, by the hands of men.”

And he clung to their knees. Then Æneas bade him tell who he was,
and how he came to be in this plight And the man made answer, “I am
a man of Ithaca, and a comrade of the unhappy Ulysses. My name is
Achæmenides, and my father was Adamastus. And when my comrades fled
from this accursed shore, they left me in the Cyclops’ cave. Hideous is
he to see, and savage, and of exceeding great stature, and he feeds on
the flesh of men. I myself saw with these eyes how he lay and caught
two of my companions and brake them on the stone; aye, and I saw
their limbs quiver between his teeth. Yet did he not do such things
unpunished, for Ulysses endured not to behold these deeds, and when the
giant lay asleep, being overcome with wine, we, after prayer made to
the gods, and lots cast what each should do, bored out his eye, for one
eye he had, huge as a round shield of Argos, or as the circle of the
sun, and so did we avenge our comrades’ death. Do ye then fly with all
the speed ye may. For know that as this shepherd Polyphemus--a shepherd
he is by trade--so are a hundred other Cyclopés, huge and savage as he,
who dwell on these shores and wander over the hills. And now for three
months have I dwelt in these woods, eating berries and cornels and
herbs of the field. And when I saw your ships, I hastened to meet them.
Do ye with me, therefore, as ye will, so that I flee from this accursed

And even while he spake the men of Troy saw the shepherd Polyphemus
among his flocks, and that he made as if he would come to the shore.
Horrible to behold was he, huge and shapeless and blind. And when he
came to the sea, he washed the blood from the wound, grinding his teeth
the while; and though he went far into the sea, yet did not the waves
touch his middle. And the men of Troy, having taken the suppliant on
board, fled with all their might; and he hearing their rowing would
have reached to them, but could not. Therefore did he shout aloud, and
the Cyclopés hearing him, hasted to the shore. Then did the men of Troy
behold them, a horrid company, tall as a grove of oaks or cypresses.
Nor knew they in their fear what they should do, seeing that on the
one hand was the land of the Cyclopés, and on the other Scylla and
Charybdis, of which the seer Helenus had bidden them beware. But while
they doubted, there blew a north wind from Pelorus, wherewith they
sailed onwards, and Achæmenides with them. So they came to Ortygia,
whither, as men say, the river Alpheüs floweth under the sea from
the land of Pelops, and so mingleth with Arethusa; and afterwards
they passed the promontory of Pachynus, Camarina also, and Gela, and
other cities likewise, till they came to Lilybæum, and so at last to
Drepanum. There the old man Anchises died, and was buried.


Not many days after Æneas and his companions set sail. But scarce were
they out of sight of the land of Sicily when Juno espied them. Very
wroth was she that they should be now drawing near to the end of their
journey, and she said to herself, “Shall I be balked of my purpose
nor be able to keep these men of Troy from Italy? Minerva, indeed,
because one man sinned, even Ajax Oïleus, burned the fleet of the
Greeks, and drowned the men in the sea. For the ships she smote with
the thunderbolts of Jupiter; and as for Ajax, him she caught up with a
whirlwind, and dashed him upon the rocks, piercing him through. Only
I, though I be both sister and wife to Jupiter, avail nothing against
this people. And who that heareth this in after time shall pay me due
honor and sacrifice?”

Then she went, thinking these things in her heart, to the land of
Æolia, where King Æolus keepeth the winds under bolt and bar. Mightily
do they roar within the mountain, but their King restraineth them and
keepeth them in bounds, being indeed set to do this very thing, lest
they should carry both the heavens and the earth before them in their
great fury. To him said Juno, “O Æolus, whom Jupiter hath made king
of the winds, a nation which I hate is sailing over the Tuscan sea.
Loose now thy storms against them, and drown their ships in the sea.
And hearken what I will do for thee. Twelve maidens I have that wait
on me continually, who are passing fair, and the fairest of all, even
Deïopea, I will give thee to wife.”

To whom answered King Æolus, “It is for thee, O Queen, to order what
thou wilt, it being of thy gift that I hold this sovereignty and eat at
the table of the gods.”

So saying he drave in with his spear the folding-doors of the prison
of the winds, and these straightway in a great host rushed forth,
even all the winds together, and rolled great waves upon the shore.
And straightway there arose a great shouting of men and straining of
cables; nor could the sky nor the light of the day be seen any more,
but a darkness as of night came down upon the sea, and there were
thunders and lightnings over the whole heavens.

Then did Æneas grow cold with fear; and stretching out his hands to
heaven, he cried, “Happy they who fell under the walls of Troy, before
their fathers’ eyes! Would to the gods that thou hadst slain me,
Diomed, bravest of the Greeks, even as Hector fell by the spear of
Achilles, or tall Sarpedon, or all the brave warriors whose dead bodies
Simoïs rolled down to the sea!”

But as he spake a blast of wind struck his sails from before, and
his ship was turned broad-side to the waves. Three others also were
tossed upon the rocks which men call the “Altars,” and three into the
quicksands of the Syrtis. And another, in which sailed the men of
Lycia, with Orontes, their chief, was struck upon the stern by a great
sea and sunk. And when Æneas looked, lo! there were some swimming in
the waves, and broken planks also, and arms and treasures of Troy.
Others also were shattered by the waves, and those of Ilioneüs and
Achates, and of Abas and the old man Alethes.

But King Neptune was aware of the tumult where he sat at the bottom of
the sea, and raising his head above the waves, looked forth and saw how
the ships were scattered abroad and the men of Troy were in sore peril.
Also he knew his sister’s wrath and her craft. Then he called to him
the winds and said, “What is this, ye winds, that ye trouble heaven and
earth without leave of me? Now will I--but I must first bid the waves
be still, only be sure that ye shall not thus escape hereafter. Begone,
and tell your King that the dominion over the sea belongeth unto me,
and bid him keep him to his rocks.”

Then he bade the waves be still; also he scattered the clouds and
brought back the sun. And Cymothea and Triton, gods of the sea, drew
the ships from the rocks, Neptune also lifting them with his trident.
Likewise he opened the quicksands, and delivered the ships that were
therein. And this being done he crossed the sea in his chariot, and
the waves beholding him sank to rest, even as it befalls when there is
sedition in the city, and the people are wroth, and men throw stones
and firebrands, till lo! of a sudden there cometh forth a reverend
sire, a good man and true, and all men are silent and hearken to him,
and the uproar is stayed. So was the sea stilled, beholding its King.

Then Æneas and his companions, being sore wearied with the storm, made
for the nearest shore, even Africa, where they found a haven running
far into the land, into which the waves come not till their force be
spent. On either side thereof are cliffs very high, and shining woods
over them. Also at the harbor’s head is a cave and a spring of sweet
water within, a dwelling-place of the Nymphs. Hither came Æneas, with
seven ships. Right glad were the men of Troy to stand upon the dry land
again. Then Achates struck a spark out of flint, and they lighted a
fire with leaves and the like; also they took of the wheat which had
been in the ships, and made ready to parch and to bruise it, that they
might eat. Meanwhile Æneas had climbed the cliff, if haply he might see
some of his companions’ ships. These indeed he saw not, but he espied
three great stags upon the shore and a herd following them. Wherefore,
taking the arrows and the bow which Achates bare with him, he let fly,
slaying the leaders and others also, till he had gotten seven, one
for each ship. Then made he his way to the landing-place, and divided
the prey. Also he made distribution of the wine which Acestes, their
host in Sicily, had given them as they were about to depart, and spake
comfortable words to them, saying, “O my friends, be ye sure that there
will be an end to these troubles; and indeed ye have suffered worse
things before. Be ye of good cheer therefore. Haply ye shall one day
have pleasure in thinking of these things. For be sure that the gods
have prepared a dwelling-place for us in Italy, where we shall build a
new Troy, in great peace and happiness. Wherefore endure unto the day
of prosperity.”

Then they made ready the feast, and roasted of the meat upon spits, and
boiled other in water. Also they drank of the wine and were comforted.
And after supper they talked much of them that were absent, doubting
whether they were alive or dead.

All these things did Jupiter behold; and even as he beheld them there
came to him Venus, having a sad countenance and her shining eyes dim
with tears, and spake: “O great Father, that rulest all things, what
have Æneas and the men of Troy sinned against thee, that the whole
world is shut against them? Didst not thou promise that they should
rule over land and sea? Why, then, art thou turned back from thy
purpose? With this I was wont to comfort myself for the evil fate of
Troy, but lo! this same fate follows them still, nor is there any end
to their troubles. And yet it was granted to Antenor, himself also a
man of Troy, that he should escape from the Greeks, and coming to the
Liburnian land, where Timavus flows with much noise into the sea, build
a city and find rest for himself. But we, who are thy children, are
kept far from the land which thou hast sworn to give us.”

Then her father kissed her once and again, and answered smiling, “Fear
not, my daughter, the fate of thy children changeth not. Thou shalt
see this city for which thou lookest, and shalt receive thy son, the
great-hearted Æneas, into the heavens. Hearken, therefore, and I will
tell thee things to come. Æneas shall war with the nations of Italy,
and shall subdue them, and build a city, and rule therein for three
years. And after the space of thirty years shall the boy Ascanius, who
shall hereafter be called Iülus also, change the place of his throne
from Lavinium unto Alba; and for three hundred years shall there be
kings in Alba of the kindred of Hector. Then shall a priestess bear
to Mars twin sons, whom a she-wolf shall suckle; of whom the one, even
Romulus, shall build a city, dedicating it to Mars, and call it Rome,
after his own name. To which city have I given empire without bound or
end. And Juno also shall repent her of her wrath, and join counsel with
me, cherishing the men of Rome, so that they shall bear rule even over
Argos and Mycenæ.”

And when he had said this, he sent down his messenger, even Mercury, to
turn the heart of Dido and her people, where they dwelt in the city of
Carthage, which they had builded, so that they should deal kindly with
the strangers.

Now it came to pass on the next day that Æneas, having first hidden
his ships in a bay that was well covered with trees, went forth to spy
out the new land whither he was come, and Achates only went with him.
And Æneas had in each hand a broad-pointed spear. And as he went there
met him in the middle of the wood his mother, but habited as a Spartan
virgin, for she had hung a bow from her shoulders after the fashion of
a huntress, and her hair was loose, and her tunic short to the knees,
and her garments gathered in a knot upon her breast. Then first the
false huntress spake, “If perchance ye have seen one of my sisters
wandering hereabouts, make known to me the place. She is girded with a
quiver, and is clothed with the skin of a spotted lynx, or, may be, she
hunts a wild boar with horn and hound.”

To whom Æneas, “I have not seen nor heard sister of thine, O
virgin--for what shall I call thee? for, of a surety, neither is thy
look as of a mortal woman, nor yet thy voice. A goddess certainly thou
art, sister of Phœbus, or, haply, one of the nymphs. But whosoever
thou art, look favorably upon us and help us. Tell us in what land we
be, for the winds have driven us hither, and we know not aught of place
or people.”

And Venus said, “Nay, stranger, I am not such as ye think. We virgins
of Tyre are wont to carry a quiver and to wear a buskin of purple.
For indeed it is a Tyrian city that is hard by, though the land be
Lybia. And of this city Dido is Queen, having come hither from Tyre,
flying from the wrong-doing of her brother. And indeed the story of the
thing is long, but I will recount the chief matter thereof to thee.
The husband of this Dido was one Sichæus, richest among all the men
of Phœnicia, and greatly beloved of his wife, whom he married from a
virgin. Now the brother of this Sichæus was Pygmalion, the King of the
country, and he exceeded all men in wickedness. And when there arose a
quarrel between them, the King, being exceedingly mad after gold, took
him unaware, even as he did sacrifice at the altar, and slew him. And
the King hid the matter many days from Dido, and cheated her with false
hopes. But at the last there came to her in her dreams the likeness of
the dead man, baring his wounds and showing the wickedness which had
been done. Also he bade her make haste and fly from that land, and,
that she might do this the more easily, told her of great treasure,
gold and silver, that was hidden in the earth. And Dido, being much
moved by these things, made ready for flight; also she sought for
companions, and there came together to her all as many as hated the
King or feared him. Then did they seize ships that chanced to be ready,
and laded them with gold, even the treasure of King Pygmalion, and
so fled across the sea. And in all this was a woman the leader. Then
came they to this place, where thou seest the walls and citadel of
Carthage, and bought so much land as they could cover with a bull’s
hide. And now do ye answer me this, Whence come ye, and whither do ye

Then answered Æneas, “Should I tell the whole story of our wanderings,
and thou have leisure to hear, evening would come ere I could make an
end. We are men of Troy, who, having journeyed over many seas, have
now been driven by storms to this shore of Lybia. And as for me, men
call me the Prince Æneas. The land I seek is Italy, and my race is from
Jupiter himself. With twenty ships did I set sail, going in the way
whereon the gods sent me. And of these scarce seven are left. And now,
seeing that Europe and Asia endure me not, I wander over the desert
places of Africa.”

But Venus suffered him not to speak more, but said, “Whoever thou art,
stranger, that art come to this Tyrian city, thou art surely beloved by
the gods. And now go, show thyself to the Queen. And as for thy ships
and thy companions, I tell that they are safe in the haven, if I have
not learnt augury in vain. See those twenty swans, how joyously they
fly! And now there cometh an eagle swooping down from the sky, putting
them to confusion; but now again they move in due order, and some are
settling on the earth and some preparing to settle. Even so doth it
fare with thy ships, for either are they already in the haven or enter
thereinto with sails full set.”

And as she spake she turned away, and there shone a rosy light from her
neck; also there came from her hair a sweet savor as of ambrosia, and
her garments grew unto her feet; and Æneas perceived that she was his
mother, and cried aloud,--

“O my mother, why dost thou mock me so often with false shows, nor
sufferest me to join my hand unto thy hand, and to speak with thee face
to face?”

And he went towards the walls of the city. But Venus covered him and
his companions with a mist, that no man might see them, or hinder them,
or inquire of their business, and then departed to Paphos, where was
her temple and also many altars of incense. Then the men hastened on
their way, and mounting a hill which hung over the city, marvelled to
behold it, for indeed it was very great and noble, with mighty gates
and streets, and a multitude that walked therein. For some built the
walls and the citadel, rolling great stones with their hands, and
others marked out places for houses. Also they chose those that should
give judgment and bear rule in the city. Some, too, digged out harbors,
and others laid the foundations of a theatre, and cut out great pillars
of stone. Like to bees they were, when, the summer being newly come,
the young swarms go forth, or when they labor filling the cells with
honey, and some receive the burdens of those that return from the
fields, and others keep off the drones from the hive. Even so labored
the men of Tyre. And when Æneas beheld them he cried, “Happy ye, who
even now have a city to dwell in!” And being yet hidden by the mist, he
went in at the gate and mingled with the men, being seen of none.

Now in the midst of the city was a wood, very thick with trees, and
here the men of Carthage, first coming to the land from their voyage,
had digged out of the ground that which Juno had said should be a sign
to them, even a horse’s head! for that, finding this, their city would
be mighty in war, and full of riches. Here, then, Dido was building a
temple to Juno, very splendid, with threshold of bronze, and many steps
thereunto; of bronze also were the door-posts and the gates. And here
befell a thing which gave much comfort and courage to Æneas; for as he
stood and regarded the place, waiting also for the Queen, he saw set
forth in order upon the walls the battles that had been fought at Troy,
the sons of Atreus also, and King Priam, and fierce Achilles. Then
said he, not without tears, “Is there any land, O Achates, that is not
filled with our sorrows? Seest thou Priam? Yet withal there is a reward
for virtue here also, and tears and pity for the troubles of men. Fear
not, therefore. Surely the fame of these things shall profit us.”

Then he looked, satisfying his soul with the paintings on the walls.
For there was the city of Troy. In this part of the field the Greeks
fled and the youth of Troy pursued them, and in that the men of Troy
fled, and Achilles followed hard upon them in his chariot. Also he saw
the white tents of Rhesus, King of Thrace, whom the fierce Diomed slew
in his sleep, when he was newly come to Troy, and drave his horses to
the camp before they ate of the grass of the fields of Troy or drank
the waters of Xanthus. There also Troïlus was pictured, ill-matched in
battle with the great Achilles. His horses bare him along; but he lay
on his back in the chariot, yet holding the reins, and his neck and
head were dragged upon the earth, and the spear-point made a trail in
the dust. And in another place the women of Troy went suppliant-wise
to the temple of Minerva, bearing a great and beautiful robe, sad and
beating their breasts, and with hair unbound; but the goddess regarded
them not. Also Achilles dragged the body of Hector three times round
the walls of Troy, and was selling it for gold. And Æneas groaned
when he saw the man whom he loved, and the old man Priam reaching out
helpless hands. Also he knew himself, fighting in the midst of the
Grecian chiefs; black Memnon also he knew, and the hosts of the East;
and Penthesilea leading the army of the Amazons with shields shaped as
the moon. Fierce she was to see, with one breast bared for battle, and
a golden girdle beneath it, a damsel daring to fight with men.

But while Æneas marvelled to see these things, lo! there came, with a
great throng of youths behind her, Dido, most beautiful of women, fair
as Diana, when, on the banks of Eurotas or on the hills of Cynthus, she
leads the dance with a thousand nymphs of the mountains about her. On
her shoulder she bears a quiver, and overtops them all, and her mother,
even Latona, silently rejoices to behold her. So fair and seemly to see
was Dido as she bare herself right nobly in the midst, being busy in
the work of her kingdom. Then she sat herself down on a lofty throne
in the gate of the temple, with many armed men about her. And she did
justice between man and man; also she divided the work of the city,
sharing it equally or parting it by lot.

Then of a sudden Æneas heard a great clamor, and saw a company of men
come quickly to the place, among whom were Antheus and Sergestus and
Cloanthus, and others of the men of Troy that had been parted from him
in the storm. Right glad was he to behold them, yet was not without
fear; and though he would fain have come forth and caught them by the
hand, yet did he tarry, waiting to hear how the men had fared, where
they had left their ships, and wherefore they were come.

Then Ilioneus, leave being now given that he should speak, thus began:
“O Queen, whom Jupiter permits to build a new city in these lands, we
men of Troy, whom the winds have carried over many seas, pray thee
that thou save our ships from fire, and spare a people that serveth
the gods. For, indeed, we are not come to waste the dwellings of this
land, or to carry off the spoils to our ships. For, of a truth, they
who have suffered so much think not of such deeds. There is a land
which the Greeks call Hesperia, but the people themselves Italy, after
the name of their chief; an ancient land, mighty in arms and fertile
of corn. Hither were we journeying, when a storm arising scattered our
ships, and only these few that thou seest escaped to the land. And can
there be nation so savage that it receiveth not shipwrecked men on its
shore, but beareth arms against them, and forbiddeth them to land? Nay,
but if ye care not for men, yet regard the gods, who forget neither
them that do righteously nor them that transgress. We had a king,
Æneas, than whom there lived not a man more dutiful to gods and men and
greater in war. If indeed he be yet alive, then we fear not at all. For
of a truth it will not repent thee to have helped us. And if not, other
friends have we, as Acestes of Sicily. Grant us, therefore, to shelter
our ships from the wind: also to fit them with fresh timber from the
woods, and to make ready oars for rowing, so that, finding again our
King and our companions, we may gain the land of Italy. But if he be
dead, and Ascanius his son lost also, then there is a dwelling ready
for us in the land of Sicily, with Acestes, who is our friend.”

Then Dido, her eyes bent on the ground, thus spake, “Fear not, men of
Troy. If we have seemed to deal harshly with you, pardon us, seeing
that, being newly settled in this land, we must keep watch and ward
over our coasts. But as for the men of Troy, and their deeds in
arms, who knows them not? Think not that we in Carthage are so dull
of heart, or dwell so remote from man that we are ignorant of these
things. Whether, therefore, ye will journey to Italy, or rather return
to Sicily and King Acestes, know that I will give you all help, and
protect you; or, if ye will, settle in this land of ours. Yours is this
city which I am building. I will make no difference between man of Troy
and man of Tyre. Would that your King also were here! Surely I will
send those that shall seek him in all parts of Libya, lest haply he
should be gone astray in any forest or strange city of the land.”

And when Æneas and Achates heard these things, they were glad, and
would have come forth from the cloud, and Achates said, “What thinkest
thou? Lo, thy comrades are safe, saving him whom we saw with our own
eyes drowned in the waves; and all other things are according as thy
mother said.”

And even as he spake the cloud parted from about them, and Æneas stood
forth, very bright to behold, with face and breast as of a god, for
his mother had given to him hair beautiful to see, and cast about him
the purple light of youth, even as a workman sets ivory in some fair
ornament, or compasseth about silver or marble of Paros with gold. Then
spake he to the Queen, “Lo! I am he whom ye seek, even Æneas of Troy,
scarcely saved from the waters of the sea. And as for thee, O Queen,
seeing that thou only hast been found to pity the unspeakable sorrows
of Troy, and biddest us, though we be but poor exiles and lacking all
things, to share thy city and thy home, may the gods do so to thee as
thou deservest. And, of a truth, so long as the rivers run to the seas,
and the shadows fall on the hollows of the hills, so long will thy name
and thy glory survive, whatever be the land to which the gods shall
bring me.” Then gave he his right hand to Ilioneus, and his left hand
to Sergestus, and greeted him with great joy.

And Dido, hearing these things, was silent for a while, but at last
she spake: “What ill fortune brings thee into perils so great? what
power drave thee to these savage shores? Well do I mind me how in days
gone by there came to Sidon one Teucer, who, having been banished from
his country, sought help from Belus that he might find a kingdom for
himself. And it chanced that in those days Belus, my father, had newly
conquered the land of Cyprus. From that day did I know the tale of
Troy, and thy name also, and the chiefs of Greece. Also I remember that
Teucer spake honorably of the men of Troy, saying that he was himself
sprung of the old Teucrian stock. Come ye, therefore, to my palace. I
too have wandered far, even as you, and so have come to this land, and
having suffered much, have learnt to succor them that suffer.”

So saying she led Æneas into her palace; also she sent to his
companions in the ships great store of provisions, even twenty oxen,
and a hundred bristly swine, and a hundred ewe sheep with their lambs.
But in the palace a great feast was set forth, couches covered with
broidered purple, and silver vessels without end, and cups of gold,
whereon were embossed the mighty deeds of the men of old time.

And in the mean time Æneas sent Achates in haste to the ships, that he
might fetch Ascanius to the feast. Also he bade that the boy should
bring with him gifts of such things as they had saved from the ruins of
Troy, a mantle stiff with broidery of gold and a veil broidered with
yellow acanthus, which the fair Helen had taken with her, flying from
her home; but Leda, her mother, had given them to Helen; a sceptre
likewise which Ilione, first-born of the daughters of Priam, had
carried, and a necklace of pearls, and a double crown of jewels and

But Venus was troubled in heart, fearing evil to her son should the
men of Tyre be treacherous, after their wont, and Juno remembered her
wrath. Wherefore, taking counsel with herself, she called to the winged
boy, even Love, that was her son, and spake, “My son, who art all my
power and strength, who laughest at the thunders of Jupiter, thou
knowest how Juno, being exceedingly wroth against thy brother Æneas,
causeth him to wander out of the way over all lands. This day Dido
hath him in her palace, and speaketh him fair; but I fear me much how
these things may end. Wherefore hear thou that which I purpose. Thy
brother hath even now sent for the boy Ascanius, that he may come to
the palace, bringing with him gifts of such things as they saved from
the ruins of Troy. Him will I cause to fall into a deep sleep, and hide
in Cythera or Idalium, and do thou for one night take upon thee his
likeness. And when Queen Dido at the feast shall hold thee in her lap,
and kiss and embrace thee, do thou breathe by stealth thy fire into her

Then did Love as his mother bade him, and put off his wings, and took
upon him the shape of Ascanius, but on the boy Venus caused there to
fall a deep sleep, and carried him to the woods of Idalium, and lapped
him in sweet-smelling flowers. And in his stead Love carried the gifts
to the Queen. And when he was come they sat down to the feast, the
Queen being in the midst under a canopy. Æneas also and the men of
Troy lay on coverlets of purple, to whom serving-men brought water
and bread in baskets and napkins; and within fifty handmaids were
ready to replenish the store of victual and to fan the fire; and a
hundred others, with pages as many, loaded the tables with dishes and
drinking-cups. Many men of Tyre also were bidden to the feast. Much
they marvelled at the gifts of Æneas, and much at the false Ascanius.
Dido also could not satisfy herself with looking on him, nor knew what
trouble he was preparing for her in the time to come. And he, having
first embraced the father who was not his father, and clung about his
neck, addressed himself to Queen Dido, and she ever followed him with
her eyes, and sometimes would hold him on her lap. And still he worked
upon her that she should forget the dead Sichæus and conceive a new
love in her heart.

But when they first paused from the feast, lo! men set great bowls upon
the table and filled them to the brim with wine. Then did the Queen
call for a great vessel of gold, with many jewels upon it, from which
Belus, and all the kings from Belus, had drunk, and called for wine,
and having filled it, she cried, “O Jupiter, whom they call the god of
hosts and guests, cause that this be a day of joy for the men of Troy
and for them of Tyre, and that our children remember it forever. Also,
Bacchus, giver of joy, be present, and kindly Juno.” And when she had
touched the wine with her lips, she handed the great cup to Prince
Bitias, who drank thereout a mighty draught, and the other princes
after him. Then the minstrel Iopas, whom Atlas himself had taught,
sang to the harp, of the moon, how she goes on her way, and of the
sun, how his light is darkened. He sang also of men, and of the beasts
of the field, whence they come; and of the stars, Arcturus, and the
Greater Bear and the Less, and the Hyades; and of the winter sun, why
he hastens to dip himself in the ocean; and of the winter nights, why
they tarry so long. The Queen also talked much of the story of Troy, of
Priam, and of Hector, asking many things, as of the arms of Memnon, and
of the horses of Diomed, and of Achilles, how great he was. And at last
she said to Æneas, “Tell us now thy story, how Troy was taken, and thy
wanderings over land and sea.” And Æneas made answer, “Nay, O Queen,
but thou biddest me renew a sorrow unspeakable. Yet, if thou art minded
to hear these things, hearken.” And he told her all that had befallen
him, even to the day when his father Anchises died.

Much was Queen Dido moved by the story, and much did she marvel at him
that told it, and scarce could sleep for thinking of him. And the next
day she spake to Anna, her sister, “O my sister, I have been troubled
this night with ill dreams, and my heart is disquieted within me. What
a man is this stranger that hath come to our shores! How noble of
mien! How bold in war! Sure I am that he is of the sons of the gods.
What fortunes have been his! Of what wars he told us! Surely were I
not steadfastly purposed that I would not yoke me again in marriage,
this were the man to whom I might yield. Only he--for I will tell thee
the truth, my sister--only he, since the day when Sichæus died by his
brother’s hand, hath moved my heart. But may the earth swallow me up,
or the almighty Father strike me with lightning, ere I stoop to such
baseness. The husband of my youth hath carried with him my love, and he
shall keep it in his grave.”

So she spake, with many tears. And her sister made answer, “Why wilt
thou waste thy youth in sorrow, without child or husband? Thinkest
thou that there is care or remembrance of such things in the grave?
No suitors indeed have pleased thee here or in Tyre, but wilt thou
also contend with a love that is after thine own heart? Think too of
the nations among whom thou dwellest, how fierce they are, and of thy
brother at Tyre, what he threatens against thee. Surely it was by the
will of the gods, and of Juno chiefly, that the ships of Troy came
hither. And this city which thou buildest, to what greatness will
it grow if only thou wilt make for thyself such alliance! How great
will be the glory of Carthage if the strength of Troy be joined unto
her! Only do thou pray to the gods and offer sacrifices; and, for the
present, seeing that the time of sailing is now past, make excuse that
these strangers tarry with thee awhile.”

Thus did Anna comfort her sister and encourage her. And first the two
offered sacrifice to the gods, chiefly to Juno, who careth for the bond
of marriage. Also, examining the entrails of slain beasts, they sought
to learn the things that should happen thereafter. And ever Dido would
company with Æneas, leading him about the walls of the city which she
builded. And often she would begin to speak and stay in the midst of
her words. And when even was come, she would hear again and again at
the banquet the tale of Troy, and while others slept would watch, and
while he was far away would seem to see him and to hear him. Ascanius,
too, she would embrace for love of his father, if so she might cheat
her own heart. But the work of the city was stayed meanwhile; nor did
the towers rise in their places, nor the youth practise themselves in

Then Juno, seeing how it fared with the Queen, spake to Venus, “Are ye
satisfied with your victory, thou and thy son, that ye have vanquished
the two of you one woman? Well I knew that thou fearedst lest this
Carthage should harm thy favorite. But why should there be war between
us? Thou hast what thou seekedst. Let us make alliance. Let Dido obey a
Phrygian husband, and bring the men of Tyre as her dowry.”

But Venus knew that she spake with ill intent, to the end that the
men of Troy should not reign in the land of Italy. Nevertheless she
dissembled with her tongue, and spake, “Who would not rather have peace
with thee than war? Only I doubt whether this thing shall be to the
pleasure of Jupiter. This thou must learn, seeing that thou art his
wife, and where thou leadest I will follow.”

So the two, taking counsel together, ordered things in this wise. The
next day a great hunting was prepared. For as soon as ever the sun was
risen upon the earth, the youth of the city assembled, with nets and
hunting-spears, and dogs that ran by scent. And the princes of Carthage
waited for the Queen at the palace door, where her horse stood champing
the bit, with trappings of purple and gold. And after a while she came
forth with many following her. And she had upon her a Sidonian mantle,
with a border wrought with divers colors; of gold was her quiver, and
of gold the knot of her hair, and of gold the clasp to her mantle.
Æneas likewise came forth, beautiful as is Apollo when he leaveth Lydia
and the stream of Xanthus, coming to Delos, and hath about his hair a
wreath of bay-leaves and a circlet of gold. So fair was Æneas to see.
And when the hunters came to the hills, they found great store of goats
and stags, which they chased. And of all the company Ascanius was the
foremost, thinking scorn of such hunting, and wishing that a wild boar
or a lion out of the hills should come forth to be his prey.

And now befell a great storm, with much thunder and hail, from which
the hunters sought shelter. But Æneas and the Queen, being left of all
their company, came together to the same cave. And there they plighted
their troth one to another. Nor did the Queen after that make secret of
her love, but called Æneas her husband. Straightway went Rumor and told
these things through the cities of Libya. Now Rumor, men say, is the
youngest daughter of Earth, a marvellous creature, moving very swiftly
with feet and wings, and having many feathers upon her, and under every
feather an eye and a tongue and a mouth and an ear. In the night she
flieth between heaven and earth, and sleepeth not; and in the day she
sitteth on some housetop or lofty tower, or spreadeth fear over mighty
cities; and she loveth that which is false even as she loveth that
which is true. So now she went telling through Libya how Æneas of Troy
was come, and Dido was wedded to him, and how they lived careless and
at ease, and thinking not of the work to which they were called.

And first of all she went to Prince Iarbas, who himself had sought Dido
in marriage. And Iarbas was very wroth when he heard it, and, coming to
the temple of Jupiter, spread his grief before the god, how that he had
given a place on his coasts to this Dido, and would have taken her to
wife, but that she had married a stranger from Phrygia, another Paris,
whose dress and adornments were of a woman rather than of a man.

And Jupiter saw that this was so, and he said to Mercury, who was his
messenger, “Go, speak to Æneas these words: ‘Thus saith the King of
gods and men. Is this what thy mother promised of thee, twice saving
thee from the spear of the Greeks? Art thou he that shall rule Italy
and its mighty men of war, and spread thy dominion to the ends of the
world? If thou thyself forgettest these things, dost thou grudge to thy
son the citadels of Rome? What dost thou here? Why lookest thou not to
Italy? Depart and tarry not.’”

Then Mercury fitted the winged sandals to his feet, and took the wand
with which he driveth the spirits of the dead, and came right soon to
Mount Atlas, which standeth bearing the heaven on his head, and having
always clouds about his top, and snow upon his shoulders, and a beard
that is stiff with ice. There Mercury stood awhile; then, as a bird
which seeks its prey in the sea, shot headlong down, and came to Æneas
where he stood, with a yellow jasper in his sword-hilt, and a cloak of
purple shot with gold about his shoulders, and spake: “Buildest thou
Carthage, forgetting thine own work? The almighty Father saith to thee,
‘What meanest thou? Why tarriest thou here? If thou carest not for
thyself, yet think of thy son, and that the Fates have given to him
Italy and Rome.’”

And Æneas saw him no more. And he stood stricken with fear and doubt.
Fain would he obey the voice, and go as the gods commanded. But how
should he tell this purpose to the Queen? But at the last it seemed
good to him to call certain of the chiefs, as Mnestheus, and Sergestus,
and Antheus, and bid them make ready the ships in silence, and gather
together the people, but dissemble the cause, and he himself would
watch a fitting time to speak and unfold the matter to the Queen.

Yet was not Dido deceived, for love is keen of sight. Rumor also told
her that they made ready the ships for sailing. Then, flying through
the city, even as one on whom has come the frenzy of Bacchus flies by
night over Mount Cithæron, she came upon Æneas, and spake: “Thoughtest
thou to hide thy crime, and to depart in silence from this land? Carest
thou not for her whom thou leavest to die? And hast thou no fear of
winter storms that vex the sea? By all that I have done for thee and
given thee, if there be yet any place for repentance, repent thee
of this purpose. For thy sake I suffer the wrath of the princes of
Libya and of my own people; and if thou leavest me, for what should
I live?--till my brother overthrow my city, or Iarbas carry me away
captive? If I had but a little Æneas to play in my halls I should not
seem so altogether desolate.”

But Æneas, fearing the words of Jupiter, stood with eyes that relented
not. At the last he spake: “I deny not, O Queen, the benefits that
thou hast done unto me, nor ever, while I live, shall I forget Dido.
I sought not to fly by stealth; yet did I never promise that I would
abide in this place. Could I have chosen according to my will, I had
built again the city of Troy where it stood; but the gods command that
I should seek Italy. Thou hast thy Carthage: why dost thou grudge
Italy to us? Nor may I tarry. Night after night have I seen my father
Anchises warning me in dreams. Also even now the messenger of Jupiter
came to me--with these ears I heard him--and bade me depart.”

Then, in great wrath, with eyes askance, did Dido break forth upon him:
“Surely no goddess was thy mother, nor art thou come of the race of
Dardanus. The rocks of Caucasus brought thee forth, and an Hyrcanian
tigress gave thee suck. For why should I dissemble? Was he moved at
all my tears? Did he pity my love? Nay, the very gods are against me.
This man I took to myself when he was shipwrecked and ready to perish.
I brought back his ships, his companions from destruction. And now
forsooth comes the messenger of Jupiter with dreadful commands from the
gods. As for thee, I keep thee not. Go, seek thy Italy across the seas:
only, if there is any vengeance in heaven, thou wilt pay the penalty
for this wrong, being wrecked on some rock in their midst. Then wilt
thou call on Dido in vain. Aye, and wherever thou shalt go I will haunt
thee, and rejoice in the dwellings below to hear thy doom.”

Then she turned, and hasted to go into the house. But her spirit left
her, so that her maidens bear her to her chamber and laid her on her

Then Æneas, though he was much troubled in his heart, and would fain
have comforted the Queen, was obedient to the heavenly word, and
departed to his ships. And the men of Troy busied themselves in making
them ready for the voyage. Even as the ants spoil a great heap of corn
and store it in their dwellings against winter, moving in a black line
across the field, and some carry the great grains, and some chide those
that linger, even so did the Trojans swarm along the ways and labor at
the work.

But when Dido saw it, she called to Anna, her sister, and said, “Seest
thou how they hasten the work along the shore? Even now the sails are
ready for the winds, and the sailors have wreathed the ships with
garlands, as if for departure. Go thou--the deceiver always trusted
thee, and thou knowest how best to move him--go and entreat him. I
harmed not him nor his people; let him then grant me this only. Let
him wait for a fairer time for his journey. I ask not that he give up
his purpose; only that he grant me a short breathing space, till I may
learn how to bear this sorrow.”

And Anna hearkened to her sister, and took the message to Æneas, yet
profited nothing, for the gods shut his ears that he should not hear.
Even as an oak stands firm when the north wind would root it up from
the earth--its leaves are scattered all around, yet doth it remain
firm, for its roots go down to the regions below, even as far as its
branches reach to heaven--so stood Æneas firm, and, though he wept many
tears, changed not his purpose.

Then did Dido grow weary of her life. For when she did sacrifice,
the pure water would grow black and the wine be changed into blood.
Also from the shrine of her husband, which was in the midst of her
palace, was heard a voice calling her, and the owl cried aloud from
the house-top. And in her dreams the cruel Æneas seemed to drive her
before him; or she seemed to be going a long way with none to bear
her company, and be seeking her own people in a land that was desert.
Therefore, hiding the thing that was in her heart, she spake to her
sister, saying, “I have found a way, my sister, that shall bring him
back to me or set me free from him. Near the shore of the Great Sea,
where the Æthiopians dwell, is a priestess, who guards the temple of
the daughters of Hesperus, being wont to feed the dragons that kept the
apples of gold. She is able by her charms to loose the heart from care
or to bind it, and to stay rivers also, and to turn the courses of the
stars, and to call up the spirits of the dead. Do thou, therefore--for
this is what the priestess commands--build a pile in the open court,
and put thereon the sword which he left hanging in our chamber, and the
garments he wore, and the couch on which he lay, even all that was his,
so that they may perish together.”

And when these things were done--for Anna knew not of her purpose--and
also an image of Æneas was laid upon the pile, the priestess, with her
hair unbound, called upon all the gods that dwell below, sprinkling
thereon water that was drawn, she said, from the lake of Avernus, and
scattering evil herbs that had been cut at the full moon with a sickle
of bronze. Dido also, with one foot bare and her garments loosened,
threw meal upon the fire, and called upon the gods, if haply there be
any, that look upon those that love and suffer wrong.

In the meantime Æneas lay asleep in the hind part of his ship, when
there appeared to him in a dream the god Mercury, even as he had seen
him when he brought the commandment of Jupiter. And Mercury spake,
saying, “Son of Venus, canst thou sleep? seest thou not what perils
surround thee, nor hearest how the favorable west wind calls? The Queen
purposes evil against thee. If thou lingerest till the morning come
thou wilt see the shore covered with them that wish thee harm. Fly,
then, and tarry not; for a woman is ever of many minds.”

Then did Æneas in great fear start from his sleep, and call his
companions, saying, “Wake, and sit on the benches, and loose the sails.
’Tis a god thus bids us fly.” And even as he spake he cut the cable
with his sword. And all hasted to follow him, and sped over the sea.

And now it was morning, and Queen Dido, from her watch-tower, saw the
ships upon the sea. Then she smote upon her breast and tore her hair,
and cried, “Shall this stranger mock us thus? Hasten to follow him.
Bring down the ships from the docks, make ready sword and fire. And
this was the man who bare upon his shoulders his aged father! Why did
I not tear him to pieces, and slay his companions with the sword, and
serve up the young Ascanius at his meal? And if I had perished, what
then? for I die to-day. O Sun, that regardest all the earth, and Juno,
that carest for marriage bonds, and Hecate, Queen of the dead, and ye
Furies that take vengeance on evil-doers, hear me. If it be ordered
that he reach this land, yet grant that he suffer many things from his
enemies, and be driven from his city, and beg for help from strangers,
and see his people cruelly slain with the sword; and, when he shall
have made peace on ill conditions, that he enjoy not long his kingdom,
but die before his day, and lie unburied on the plain. And ye, men of
Tyre, hate his children and his people for ever. Let there be no love
or peace between you. And may some avenger arise from my grave who
shall persecute the race of Dardanus with fire and sword. So shall
there be war for ever between him and me.”

Then she spake to old Barcé, who had been nurse to her husband Sichæus.
“Bid my sister bathe herself in water, and bring with her beasts for
sacrifice. And do thou also put a garland about thy head, for I am
minded to finish this sacrifice which I have begun, and to burn the
image of the man of Troy.”

And when the old woman made haste to do her bidding, Queen Dido ran
to the court where the pile was made for the burning, and mounted on
the pile, and drew the sword of Æneas from the scabbard. Then did she
throw herself upon the bed, and cry, “Now do I yield up my life. I
have finished my course. I have built a mighty city. I have avenged my
husband on him that slew him. Happy had I been, yea too happy! had the
ships of Troy never come to this land.” Then she kissed the bed and
cried, “Shall I die unavenged? Nevertheless let me die. The man of Troy
shall see this fire from the sea whereon he journeys, and carry with
him an augury of death.”

And when her maidens looked, lo! she had fallen upon the sword, and the
blood was upon her hands. And a great cry went up through the palace,
exceeding loud and bitter, even as if the enemy had taken Carthage or
ancient Tyre, and the fire were mounting over the dwellings of men and
of gods. And Anna her sister heard it, and rushing through the midst
called her by her name, “O my sister, was this thy purpose? Were the
pile and the sword and the fire for this? Why wouldst thou not suffer
that I should die with thee? For surely, my sister, thou hast slain
thyself, and me, and thy people, and thy city. But give me water, ye
maidens, that I may wash her wounds, and if there be any breath left in
her, we may yet stay it.”

Then she climbed on to the pile, and caught her sister in her arms, and
sought to staunch the blood with her garments. Three times did Dido
strive to raise her eyes; three times did her spirit leave her. Three
times she would have raised herself upon her elbow; three times she
fell back upon the bed, looking with wandering eyes for the light, and
groaning that she yet beheld it.

Then Juno, looking down from heaven, saw that her pain was long, and
pitied her, and sent down Iris, her messenger, that she might loose
the soul that struggled to be free. For, seeing that she died not by
nature, nor yet by the hand of man, but before her time and of her own
madness, Queen Proserpine had not shred the ringlet from her head which
she shreds from them that die. Wherefore Iris, flying down with dewy
wings from heaven, with a thousand colors about her from the light of
the sun, stood above her head and said, “I will give thee to death,
even as I am bidden, and loose thee from thy body.” Then she shred the
lock, and Queen Dido gave up the ghost.


From Carthage Æneas journeyed to Sicily, for the wind hindered him from
coming to Italy as he would fain have done. And in Sicily he held great
games in honor of his father Anchises. And when these were finished
he departed to Italy, leaving behind him all that were weak and

The place whereunto he came was nigh unto Cumæ, which was the
dwelling-place of the Sibyl. And the men turned the forepart of the
ships to the sea, and made them fast with anchors. Then they leapt
forth upon the shore, and kindled a fire; and some cut wood in the
forest, or fetched water from the stream. But Æneas went up to the
great cave of the Sibyl, where, by the inspiration of Apollo, she
foretelleth things to come.

Now the temple was a marvellous place to look upon. For Dædalus,
when he fled from Minos, King of Crete, flying through the air upon
wings, came northwards to the land of Cumæ, and tarried there. Also he
dedicated his wings in the temple. On the doors thereof was set forth,
graven in stone, the death of Androgeos, and the men of Attica choosing
by lot seven of their children who should be given as a ransom yearly;
and, rising from the sea upon the other side, the land of Crete.
Likewise the Labyrinth was there and its winding ways; but Icarus they
saw not, for when his father would have wrought the manner of his death
in gold his hands failed him: twice he strove and twice they failed.
And when Æneas would have looked further, the priestess said, “Linger
not with these things, but slay forthwith seven bullocks from the herd,
and seven sheep duly chosen out of the flock.” And when they came to
the cave--now there are a hundred doors, and a voice cometh forth from
each--the Sibyl cried, “It is time. Lo! the god, the god!” And even
as she spake her look was changed and the color of her face; also her
hair was loosened, and her breast panted, and she waxed greater than is
the stature of a man. Then she cried, “Delayest thou to pray, Æneas of
Troy? delayest thou? for the doors open not but to prayer.” Nor said
she more. Then Æneas prayed, saying, “O Phœbus, who didst always pity
the sorrows of Troy, and didst guide the arrow of Paris that it slew
the great Achilles, I have followed thy bidding, journeying over many
lands, and now I lay hold on this shore of Italy, which ever seemed to
fly before me. Grant thou that our ill fortune follow us no more. And
all ye gods and goddesses who loved not Troy, be merciful to us. And
thou, O Prophetess, give, if it may be, such answer as I would hear.
So will I and my people honor thee for ever. And write it not, I pray
thee, upon leaves, lest the winds carry them away, but speak with thy

And for awhile the prophetess strove against the spirit; but at the
last it mastered her, and the doors flew open, and she spake, saying,
“The perils of the sea thou hast escaped, but there await thee yet
worse perils upon the land. The men of Troy shall come to the kingdom
of Lavinium. Fear not for that; yet will they fain not have come. I
see battles, and the Tiber foaming with blood, and a new Xanthus and
Simoïs, and another Achilles, himself also goddess-born. Juno also
shall be ever against thee. And thou shalt be a suppliant to many
cities. And the cause of all these woes shall be again a woman. Only
yield not thou, but go ever more boldly when occasion shall serve.
Little thinkest thou that thy first succor shall be from a city of the

And when she had ended these words, Æneas made answer: “O Lady, no toil
or peril shall take me unawares; for I have thought over all things
in my heart. But one thing I ask of thee. Here is the door of the
dwellings of the dead. Fain would I pass thereby, that I may visit my
father. I carried him on my shoulders out of the fires of Troy, and
with me he endured many things by land and sea, more than befitted his
old age. Likewise he bade me ask this boon of thee. Do thou therefore
pity both father and son, for thou hast the power, if only thou wilt.
Did not Orpheus bring back his wife from the dead, having his harp
only? Also Pollux goeth many times this same path, redeeming his
brother from death. And why should I tell of Theseus and Hercules? And
I also am of the lineage of Jupiter.”

Then the Sibyl spake, saying, “Son of Anchises, it is easy to go down
to hell. The door is open day and night. But to return, and struggle
to the upper air, that is the labor. Few only have done it, and these
of the lineage of the gods and dear to Jupiter. Yet if thou wilt
attempt it, hearken unto me. There lieth hid in the forest a bough of
gold which is sacred to the Queen of hell. Nor may any man go on this
journey till he have plucked it, for the Queen will have it as a gift
for herself. And when the bough is plucked, there ever groweth another;
and if it be the pleasure of the gods that thou go, it will yield to
thy hand. But know that one of thy companions lieth dead upon the
shore. First must thou bury him, and after offer due sacrifice, even
black sheep. So shalt thou approach the dwellings of the dead.”

Then Æneas departed from the cave, and Achates went with him, and much
they wondered who it might be that was dead. And when they came to the
shore, lo! Misenus lay there, than whom no man was more skilful to
call men to battle with the voice of the trumpet. Hector’s companion
he had been in old time, and then followed Æneas. And now, blowing his
trumpet on the shore, he had challenged the gods of the sea to compare
with him; wherefore a Triton caught him and plunged him into the sea,
so that he died. Then did Æneas and his companions prepare for the
burial, cutting ilex and oak and mountain-ash from the wood. But when
Æneas beheld the forest, how vast it was, he said, “Now may the gods
grant that in this great forest the bough of gold discover itself.”
And as he spake, lo! two doves flew before his face, and settled on
the grass, and he knew them to be the birds of his mother, and cried,
saying, “Guide me now to the bough of gold, and thou, my mother, help
me as before.” Then the birds flew so that he could still see them with
his eyes, and he followed after them. But when they came to the mouth
of Avernus, they sat both of them on a tree. And lo! the bough of gold
glittered among the branches and rustled in the wind. Right gladly did
Æneas break it off, and carry it to the dwelling of the Sibyl.

In the meantime the men of Troy made a great burial for Misenus on the
shore, building a pile of wood, and washing and anointing the body.
Also they laid the body on a bier, and on it the garments which he had
worn being yet alive. Then others, with faces turned away, held a torch
to the wood, whereon also were burned incense and offerings of oil.
And when the burning was ended they quenched the ashes with wine. And
Corynæus gathered the bones into an urn of bronze, and purified the
people, sprinkling them with water with a bough of an olive-tree. Then
Æneas made a great mound, and put thereon the trumpet of the man and
his bow; and the mountain is called Misenus, after him, to this day.

But when the burial was ended he did as the Sibyl had commanded. A
great cavern there is, from which cometh so evil a stench that no bird
may fly across. There they brought four black oxen, and the priestess
poured wine upon their heads and cut hairs from between the horns.
And when they had burned these they slew the oxen, holding dishes for
the blood. And Æneas offered a black lamb to the Furies and a barren
heifer to the Queen of hell, smiting them with his sword. Then they
burned the entrails with fire, pouring oil upon them. Then did the
ground give a hollow sound beneath them, and the dogs howled, for the
goddess was at hand. And the priestess cried, “Go ye who may not take
part in this matter. And thou, Æneas, draw thy sword from its sheath
and follow. Now hast thou need of all thy strength and courage.” Then
she plunged into the cave, and Æneas went with her.

So they went together through the land of shadows, like unto men who
walk through a wood in a doubtful light, when the moon indeed hath
risen, but there are clouds over the sky. And first they came to where,
in front of the gates of hell, dwell Sorrow and Remorse, and pale
Disease and Fear, and Hunger that tempteth men to sin, and Want, and
Death, and Toil, and Slumber, that is Death’s kinsman, and deadly War;
also they saw the chamber of the Furies, and Discord, whose hair is of
snakes that drip with blood. And in this region there is an ancient
elm, in the boughs whereof dwell all manner of dreams, and shapes of
evil monsters, as many as have been, such as were the Centaurs, half
man half horse, and Briareus with the hundred hands, and others also.
These Æneas, when he saw them, sought to slay, rushing upon them with
the sword, but his guide warned him that they were shadows only.

After this they came to the river of hell, whereon plies the Boatman
Charon. A long white beard hath he and unkempt; and his eyes are fixed
in a fiery stare, and a scarf is knotted upon his shoulder, as is a
pilot’s wont. An old man he seemeth to be, but hale and ruddy. Now
there was ever rushing to the bank a great crowd, wives and mothers,
and valiant men of war, boys, and girls dead before they were given in
marriage, and young men laid on the funeral pile before their parents’
eyes. Thick they were as the leaves that fall to the earth at the
first frost of autumn, or as the swallows, when they gather themselves
together, making ready to fly across the sea to the lands of the sun.
And of these Charon would take some into his boat; but others he would
forbid, and drive from the shore. This when Æneas saw, he marvelled,
and said, “O Lady, what meaneth this concourse at the river? What seek
these souls? Why be some driven from the bank and some ferried across?”

And the Sibyl made answer: “This river that thou seest is the Styx, by
which the gods in heaven swear, and fear to break their oath. Those
whom thou seest to be driven from the bank are such as have lacked
burial, but those who are ferried across have been buried duly; for
none pass this stream till their bodies have been laid in the grave,
otherwise they wander for a hundred years, and so at last may cross

Much did Æneas pity their ill fortune, and the more when he beheld
Orontes and his Lycians, whom the sea had swallowed up alive before his
eyes. Here likewise there met him his pilot Palinurus, to whom, when
he knew him, for indeed he scarce could see him in the darkness, he
said, “What god took thee from us and drowned thee in the sea? Surely,
in this one matter, Apollo hath deceived me, saying that thou shouldst
escape the sea and come to the land of Italy.”

Then answered Palinurus, “Not so, great Æneas. For indeed to the land
of Italy I came. Three nights the south wind carried me over the sea,
and on the fourth day I saw the land of Italy from the top of a wave.
And when I swam to the shore, and was now clinging to the rocks, my
garments being heavy with water, the savage people came upon me, and
took me for a prey, and slew me. And now the winds and waves bear me
about as they will. Wherefore I pray thee, by thy father, and Iülus,
the hope of thy house, that thou deliver me from these woes. Go,
therefore, I beseech thee, to the haven of Velia, and cast earth upon
me for burial; or give me now thy hand, and take me with thee across
this river.”

Then said the priestess, “O Palinurus, what madness is this? Wilt thou
without due burial cross the river, and look upon the awful faces of
the Furies? Think not that the Fates can be changed by prayers. Yet
hear this, and be comforted. They that slew thee, being sore troubled
by many plagues, shall make due expiation to thee, and build a tomb,
and make offerings thereon year by year; and the place where they slew
thee shall be called after thy name.”

Then he took comfort and departed. But when they came near to the
river, the Boatman beheld them, and cried, “Stay thou, whoever thou
art, that comest armed to this river, and tell me what thou seekest.
This is the land of Shadows, of Sleep, and of Night. The living may not
be ferried in this boat. An evil day it was when I carried Hercules,
and Theseus, and Pirithoüs, though they were children of the gods. For
Hercules chained the Watch-dog of hell, and dragged him trembling from
his master’s seat. And Theseus and his friend sought to carry away the
Queen even from the chamber of her husband.”

Then the Sibyl made answer: “Be not troubled. We come not hither with
evil thoughts. Let the Watch-dog of hell make the pale ghosts afraid;
let your Queen abide in her husband’s palace; we will not harm them.
Æneas of Troy cometh down to hell that he may speak with his father.
And if thou takest no account of such piety, yet thou wilt know this

And she showed him the bough of gold. And when he saw it he laid aside
his anger, rejoicing to behold, now after many years, the marvellous
gift. Then he brought near his boat to the bank, and drave out the
souls that were therein, and took on board Æneas and the priestess.
Much did it groan with the weight, and the water poured apace through
the seams thereof. Yet did they come safe across.

Then they saw Cerberus, the Watch-dog, in his cave. And to him the
Sibyl gave a cake of honey and poppy-seed, causing sleep. And this he
swallowed, opening wide his three ravenous mouths, and straightway
stretched himself out asleep across the cave.

After this they heard a great wailing of infants, even the voices of
such as are taken away before they have had lot or part in life. And
near to these were such as have died by false accusation; yet lack they
not justice, for Minos trieth their cause. And yet beyond, they that,
being guiltless, have laid hands upon themselves. Fain would they now
endure hardships, being yet alive, but may not, for the river keeps
them in with his unlovely stream as in a prison. Not far from these are
the Mourning Fields, where dwell the souls of those that have died of
love, as Procris, whom Cephalus slew in error, and Laodamia, who died
of grief for her husband. And among these was Dido, fresh from the
wound wherewith she slew herself. And when Æneas saw her darkly through
the shadows, even as one who sees, or thinketh that he sees, the new
moon lately risen, he wept, and said, “O Dido, it was truth, then, that
they told me, saying that thou hadst slain thyself with the sword.
Tell me, Was I the cause of thy death? Loath was I, O Queen--I swear it
by all that is most holy in heaven or hell--to leave thy land. But the
gods, at whose bidding I come hither this day, constrained me; nor did
I think that thou wouldst take such sorrow from my departure. But stay;
depart not; for never again may I speak to thee but this once only.”

So he spake, and would fain have appeased her wrath. But she cast her
eyes to the ground, and her heart was hard against him, even as a rock.
And she departed into a grove that was hard by, wherein was her first
husband, Sichæus, who loved her even as he was loved. After this they
came to the land where the heroes dwell. And there they saw Tydeus,
who died before Thebes; and Adrastus, and also many men of Troy, as
the three sons of Antenor, and Idæus who was the armor-bearer of King
Priam, and bare the arms and drave the chariot yet. All these gathered
about him, and would fain know wherefore he had come. But when the
hosts of Agamemnon saw his shining arms through the darkness, they
fled, as in old days they had fled to the ships; and some would have
cried aloud, but could not, so thin are the voices of the dead.

Among these he saw Deïphobus, son of Priam. Cruelly mangled was he, for
his hands had been cut off, and his ears and his nostrils likewise.
Scarce did Æneas know him, and he himself in shame would have hidden
his wounds; but the son of Anchises spake to him, saying, “Who hath
dealt so foully with thee, great Deïphobus? Men told me that on the
last night of Troy thou didst fall dead on a heap of Greeks whom thou
hadst slain. Wherefore I built thee a tomb by the sea, and thrice
called aloud thy name. But thee I found not, that I might lay thee

Then Deïphobus made answer: “Thou hast left nothing undone, but hast
paid me all due honor. But my ill fate and the accursed wickedness of
the Spartan woman have destroyed me. How we spent that last night in
idle rejoicings thou knowest. And she, while the women of Troy danced
before the gods, stood holding a torch on the citadel, as though she
were their leader, yet in truth she called therewith the Greeks from
Tenedos. But I lay overcome with weariness in my chamber. Then did
she, a noble wife, forsooth! take all the arms out of the house, and
my trusty sword also from under my head; and after brought thereunto
Menelaüs, so hoping to do away her sin against him; and Ulysses also,
always ready with evil counsels. What need of more? May the gods do so
and more also to them. But tell me why hast thou come hither?”

And it was now past noonday, and the two had spent in talk all the
allotted time. Therefore the Sibyl spake: “Night cometh, Æneas, and we
waste the day in tears. Lo! here are two roads. This on the right hand
leadeth to the palace of Pluto and to the Elysian plains; and that on
the left to Tartarus, the abode of the wicked.” And Deïphobus answered:
“Be not wroth, great priestess; I depart to my own place. Do thou, my
friend, go on and prosper.”

But as Æneas looked round he saw a great building, and a three-fold
wall about it, and round the wall a river of fire. Great gates there
were, and a tower of brass, and the fury Tisiphone sat as warder. Also
he heard the sound of those that smote upon an anvil, and the clanking
of chains. And he stood, and said, “What mean these things that I see
and hear?” Then the Sibyl made answer: “The foot of the righteous may
not pass that threshold. But when the Queen of hell gave me this
office she herself led me through the place and told me all. There
sitteth Rhadamanthus the Cretan, and judgeth the dead. And them that
be condemned Tisiphone taketh, and the gate which thou seest openeth
to receive them. And within is a great pit, and the depth thereof is
as the height of heaven. Herein lie the Titans, the sons of Earth,
whom Jupiter smote with the thunder; and herein the sons of Aloeus,
who strove to thrust the gods from heaven; and Salmoneus, who would
have mocked the thunder of Jupiter, riding in his chariot through the
cities of Elis, and shaking a torch, and giving himself out to be a
god. But the lightning smote him in his pride. Also I saw Tityos,
spread over nine acres of ground, and the vulture feeding on his heart.
And over some hangs a great stone ready to fall; and some sit at the
banquet, but when they would eat, the Fury at their side forbids, and
rises and shakes her torch and thunders in their ears. These are they
who while they were yet alive hated their brothers, or struck father
or mother, or deceived one that trusted to them, or kept their riches
for themselves, nor cared for those of their own household (a great
multitude are they), or stirred up civil strife. And of these some roll
a great stone and cease not, and some are bound to wheels, and some sit
forever crying, ‘Learn to do righteousness and to fear the gods.’”

And when the priestess had finished these words they hastened on their
way. And, after a while, she said, “Lo! here is the palace which the
Cyclopés built for Pluto and the Queen of hell. Here must we offer the
gift of the bough of gold.” And this being accomplished, they came to
the dwellings of the righteous. Here are green spaces, with woods about
them; and the light of their heaven is fuller and brighter than that
which men behold. Another sun they have and other stars. Some of them
contend together in wrestling and running; and some dance in measure,
singing the while a pleasant song; and Orpheus, clad in a long robe,
makes music, touching his harp, now with his fingers and now with an
ivory bow. Here did Æneas marvel to see the mighty men of old, such
as were Ilus, and Dardanus, builder of Troy. Their spears stood fixed
in the earth, and their horses fed about the plain; for they love
spear and chariot and horses, even as they loved them upon earth. And
others sat and feasted, sitting on the grass in a sweet-smelling grove
of bay, whence flows the river which men upon the earth call the Po.
Here were they who had died for their country, and holy priests, and
poets who had uttered nothing base, and such as had found out witty
inventions, or had done great good to men. All these had snow-white
garlands on their heads. Then spake the Sibyl to Musæus, who stood
in the midst, surpassing them all in stature: “Tell me, happy souls,
where shall we find Anchises.” And Musæus answered, “We have no certain
dwelling-place: but climb this hill, and ye can see the whole plain
below, and doubtless him whom ye seek.”

Then they beheld Anchises where he sat in a green valley, regarding the
spirits of those who should be born in after-time of his race. And when
he beheld Æneas coming, he stretched out his hands and cried, “Comest
thou, my son? Hast thou won thy way hither to me? Even so I thought
that it would be, and lo! my hope hath not failed me.”

And Æneas made answer, “Yea, I have come a long way to see thee, even
as thy spirit bade me. And now let me embrace thee with my arms.”

But when he would have embraced him it was as if he clasped the air.

Then Æneas looked and beheld a river, and a great company of souls
thereby, thick as the bees on a calm summer day in a garden of lilies.
And when he would know the meaning of the concourse, Anchises said,
“These are souls which have yet to live again in a mortal body, and
they are constrained to drink of the water of forgetfulness.” And Æneas
said, “Nay, my father, can any desire to take again upon them the body
of death?” Then Anchises made reply: “Listen, my son, and I will tell
thee all. There is one soul in heaven and earth and the stars and the
shining orb of the moon and the great sun himself; from which soul also
cometh the life of man and of beast, and of the birds of the air, and
of the fishes of the sea. And this soul is of a divine nature, but the
mortal body maketh it slow and dull. Hence come fear and desire, and
grief and joy, so that, being as it were shut in a prison, the spirit
beholdeth not any more the light that is without. And when the mortal
life is ended, yet are not men quit of all the evils of the body,
seeing these must needs be put away in many marvellous ways. For some
are hung up to the winds, and with some their wickedness is washed out
by water, or burnt out with fire. But a ghostly pain we all endure.
Then we that are found worthy are sent unto Elysium and the plains of
the blest. And when, after many days, the soul is wholly pure, it is
called to the river of forgetfulness, that it may drink thereof, and so
return to the world that is above.”

Then he led Æneas and the Sibyl to a hill whence they could see the
whole company, and regard their faces as they came; and he said, “Come,
and I will show thee them that shall come after thee. That youth who
leans upon a pointless spear is Silvius, thy youngest child, whom
Lavinia shall bear to thee in thy old age. He shall reign in Alba, and
shall be the father of kings. And many other kings are there who shall
build cities great and famous. Lo! there is Romulus, whom Ilia shall
bear to Mars. He shall build Rome, whose empire shall reach to the
ends of the earth and its glory to the heaven. Seest thou him with the
olive crown about his head and the white beard? That is he who shall
first give laws to Rome. And next to him is Tullus, the warrior. And
there are the Tarquins; and Brutus, who shall set the people free, aye,
and shall slay his own sons when they would be false to their country.
See also the Decii; and Torquatus, with the cruel axe; and Camillus
winning back the standards of Rome. There standeth one who shall subdue
Corinth; and there another who shall avenge the blood of Troy upon the
race of Achilles. There, too, thou mayest see the Scipios, thunderbolts
of war, whom the land of Africa shall fear; and there Regulus, busy in
the furrows; and there the Fabii, chiefly him, greatest of the name,
who shall save thy country by wise delay. Such, my son, shall be thy
children’s children. Others with softer touch shall carve the face of
man in marble or mould the bronze; some more skilfully shall plead,
or map the skies, or tell the rising of the stars. ’Tis thine, man of
Rome, to subdue the world. This is thy work, to set the rule of peace
over the vanquished, to spare the humble, and to subdue the proud.”

Then he spake again: “Regard him who is the first of all the company
of conquerors. He is Marcellus; he shall save the state in the day of
trouble, and put to flight Carthaginian and Gaul.”

Then said Æneas, for he chanced to see by his side a youth clad in
shining armor, and very fair to look upon, but sad, and with downcast
eyes, “Tell me, father, who is this? How noble is he! What a company is
about him! but there is a shadow of darkness round his head.”

And Anchises made answer, “O my son, seek not to know the greatest
sorrow that shall befall thy children after thee. This youth the Fates
shall only show for a brief space to man. Rome would seem too mighty
to the gods should he but live! What mourning shall there be for him!
What a funeral shalt thou see, O river of Tiber, as thou flowest by the
new-made tomb! No youth of the race of Troy shall promise so much as
he. Alas! for his righteousness, and truth, and valor unsurpassed! O
luckless boy, if thou canst haply break thy evil doom thou shalt be a
Marcellus. Give handfuls of lilies. I will scatter the bright flowers
and pay the idle honors to my grandson’s shade.”

Thus did Anchises show his son things to be, and kindled his soul with
desire of glory. Also he showed him what wars he must wage, and how he
should endure, or, if it might be, avoid the evils to come.

There are two gates of Sleep, of horn the one, by which true dreams go
forth; of ivory the other, by which the false. Then did Anchises send
forth his son and the Sibyl by the ivory gate. And Æneas returned to
the ships, and making sail came to the cape which was afterwards called


While they tarried at Cumæ, Caieta, who was the nurse of Æneas, died
and was buried; and they called the cape after her name. And afterwards
they set sail, and passed by the island wherein dwelt Circé, who is the
daughter of the Sun. Pleasantly doth she sing, sitting at the loom, and
burneth torches of sweet-smelling cedar to give her light by night. And
round about her dwelling you may hear the growling of lions and wild
boars and bears and wolves, which are men whom the goddess with her
enchantments hath changed into the shapes of beasts. But Neptune would
not that the men of Troy, being fearers of the gods, should suffer such
things. Therefore did he send them favorable winds, so that they passed
quickly by that land.

Now when it was dawn, the wind being now lulled, they came to a great
wood upon the shore, and in the midst of the wood the river Tiber,
yellow with much abundance of sand, flowing into the sea. And on the
shore and in the wood were many birds. Thither the men of Troy brought
their ships safe to land.

Of this country Latinus was king, who was the son of Faunus, who was
the son of Picus, who was the son of Saturn. And King Latinus had not a
son, but a daughter only, Lavinia by name, who was now of an age to be
married. Many chiefs of Latium, and of all Italy, desired to have her
to wife; of whom the first was Turnus, a very comely youth, and of a
royal house. Now the Queen, the mother of the virgin, loved him, and
would fain have married her daughter to him, but the gods hindered the
marriage with ill omens and marvels. In the midst of the palace was a
great bay-tree, which the King who had builded the house had dedicated
to Phœbus. On this there lighted a great swarm of bees, and hung like
unto a cluster of grapes from a bough thereof. And the seers, beholding
the thing, cried, “There cometh a stranger who shall be husband to
Lavinia, and a strange people who shall bear rule in this place.” Also
when Lavinia lighted the fire upon the altar, standing by her father,
a flame leapt therefrom upon her hair, and burned the ornament that
was upon her head and the crown of jewels and gold, and spread with
smoke and fire over the whole palace. Whereupon the prophets spake,
saying, “The virgin indeed shall be famous and great, but there cometh
a dreadful war upon her people.” And King Latinus, fearing what these
things might mean, inquired of the oracle of Faunus, his father, which
is by the grove of Albunea. Now the custom is that the priest offereth
sacrifice in the grove and lieth down to sleep on the skins of the
sheep that he hath slain; and it cometh to pass that he seeth visions
in the night and heareth the voice of the gods. So King Latinus, being
himself a priest, made a great sacrifice, even of a hundred sheep, and
lay down to sleep upon the skins thereof. And when he was laid down,
straightway there came a voice from the grove, saying, “Seek not, my
son, to marry thy daughter to a chief of this land. There shall come a
son-in-law from beyond the sea, who shall exalt our name from the one
end of heaven to the other.” Nor did the King hide these things, but
noised them abroad, and the fame thereof was great in these days when
Æneas and his company came to the land of Italy.

Now it so chanced that Æneas and Iülus his son, and others of the
princes, sat down to eat under a tree; and they had platters of dough
whereupon to eat their meat. And when they had ended, and were not
satisfied, they ate their platters also, not thinking what they did.
Then said Iülus, making sport, “What! do we eat even our tables?”
And Æneas was right glad to hear this thing, and embraced the boy,
and said, “Now know I that we are come to the land which the gods
have promised to me and to my people, that they would give us. For
my father, Anchises, spake to me, saying, ‘My son, when thou shalt
come to a land that thou knowest not, and hunger shall constrain thee
to eat thy tables, then know that thou hast found thee a home.’ Now,
therefore, seeing that these things have an accomplishment, let us
pour out libations to Jupiter, and make our prayers also to my father,
Anchises, and make merry. And in the morning we will search out the
country, and see who they be that dwell herein.”

Then he bound a garland of leaves about his head, and made his prayers
to Mother Earth, and to the gods of the land, of whom indeed he knew
not who they were, and to Father Jupiter, and to the other gods also.
And when he had ended his prayer, Jupiter thundered thrice from the
sky. Then was it noised abroad among the men of Troy that now indeed
were they come to the land where they should build them a city; and
they eat and drank and made merry.

The next day those who should search out the country went forth. And
when it was told Æneas, saying that this river was the Tiber, and that
the people who dwelt in the land were the Latins, valiant men of war,
he chose out a hundred men who should go, with crowns of olive upon
their heads, to the city of the King, having also gifts in their hands,
and should pray that there might be peace between the men of Troy and
his people. And the men made haste to depart; and in the meanwhile
Æneas marked out for himself a camp, and bade that they should make a
rampart and a ditch.

Now when they that were sent came nigh to the city, they saw the young
men in the plain that was before it, riding upon horses and driving
chariots. Others shot with the bow or cast javelins, and some contended
in running or boxing. And one rode on horseback and told the king,
saying that certain men in strange raiment were come. Then the King
commanded that they should be brought into the palace, and sat upon the
throne of his fathers, and gave audience to them.

Now the palace stood on the hill that was in the midst of the
city, where King Picus had builded it, having woods about it very
sacred. Here did the kings first receive the sceptre, that they
should bear rule over the people. A senate-house also it was, and a
banqueting-house, where the princes sat feasting. Very great was it
and magnificent, having a hundred pillars; and in the halls were the
statues of ancient kings, carven in cedar, even Italus, and Sabinus the
vine-dresser, and Father Saturn, and Janus with the two faces. Also on
the wall hung trophies of war, chariots, and battle-axes, and helmets,
and the beaks of ships. And sitting on the throne was the image of King
Picus, clad in royal apparel, and bearing a shield on his left arm. But
the King himself his wife Circé had changed into a bird.

And King Latinus spake, saying, “Tell me, men of Troy, for I know you
who you are, what seek ye? For what cause are ye come to the land of
Italy? Have ye gone astray in your journey? or have the storms driven
you out of the way, as ofttimes befalleth men that sail upon the
sea? Ye are welcome. And know that we be of the race of Saturn, who
do righteously, not by constraint, but of our own will. From hence
also, even from Corythus, which is a city of the Etrurians, went forth
Dardanus, and abode in the land of Troy.”

Then Ilioneüs made answer, saying, “Great King, we have not gone
astray in our journey, nor have storms driven us out of our way. Of
set purpose are we come to this land. For we were driven away by
ill-fortune from our country, of which things we doubt not, O King,
that thou knowest the certainty. For who is there under the whole
heaven who knoweth not what a storm of destruction came forth from the
land of Greece and overthrew the great city of Troy, Europe and Asia
setting themselves in arms against each other? And now are we come to
ask for a parcel of land whereon we may dwell; and for air and water,
which indeed are common to all men. Nor shall we do dishonor to this
realm, nor be unthankful for these benefits. And be sure, O King, that
it will not repent thee that thou hast received us. For indeed many
nations and lands would fain have joined us to themselves. But the gods
laid a command upon us that we should come to this country of Italy.
For indeed, as thou sayest, Dardanus came forth from hence, and thither
his children, Apollo bidding them, would return. And now, behold,
Æneas sends thee these gifts of the things which remain to us of the
riches which we had aforetime. This sceptre King Priam held when he did
justice among his people; here is a crown also, and garments which the
women of Troy have worked with their hands.”

Then for awhile King Latinus kept silence, fixing his eyes upon
the ground. Deeply did he ponder in his heart upon the marriage of
his daughter, and upon the oracles of Faunus his father, whether
indeed this stranger that was now come to his land might haply be the
son-in-law of whom the prophets had spoken. At the last he spake,
saying, “May the gods prosper this matter between you and me. We grant,
men of Troy, that which ye ask. Also we regard these your gifts. Know
ye that while we reign in this land ye shall not want for riches, even
unto the measure of the riches of Troy. And for your King, Æneas, if he
desire, as ye say, to join himself with us, let him come and look upon
us, face to face. And also take ye back this message to your King. I
have a daughter, whom the gods suffer me not to marry to a husband of
this land. For they say that there shall come a stranger who shall be
my son-in-law, and that from his loins shall come forth those who shall
raise our name even unto the stars.”

Then the King commanded that they should bring forth horses from the
stalls. Now there stood in the stalls three hundred horses, very fleet
of foot. And of these they brought forth one hundred, one for each man
of Troy; and they were decked with trappings of purple, and champed on
bits of gold. And for Æneas himself he sent a chariot, and two horses
breathing fire from their nostrils, which were of the breed of the
horses of the Sun. So the men of Troy went back riding on horses, and
took to Æneas the gifts and the message of peace.

Now Juno beheld how the men of Troy were come to the land of Italy,
and were now building them houses to dwell in; and great wrath came
into her heart, and she spake to herself, saying, “Of a truth this
accursed race hath vanquished me. For the flames of Troy burned them
not, neither hath the sea devoured them. And, lo! they are come to the
place where they would be, even to the river of Tiber. Yet could Mars
destroy the whole nation of the Lapithæ, when he was wroth with them;
and Jupiter suffered Diana to prevail against the land of Calydon. Yet
had not the Lapithæ or Calydon done so great wickedness as hath this
nation of Troy. And I, who am the wife of Jupiter, am vanquished by
Æneas! Yet have I means yet remaining to me, for if the gods of heaven
will not help me, then will I betake me to the powers of hell. From the
kingdom of Latium I may not keep him, and the gods decree that he shall
have Lavinia to wife. Yet may I hinder the matter. Surely at a great
price shall they buy this alliance; and thy dowry, O virgin, shall be
the blood of Italy and of Troy.”

Then Juno descended to the lower parts of the earth, and called to her
Alecto from the dwellings of her sisters the Furies--Alecto who loveth
war and anger and treachery, and all evil deeds. Even Pluto hateth
her, aye, and her sisters likewise, so dreadful is she to behold. And
Juno spake to her, saying, “Now would I have thee help me, Daughter of
Night, that I lose not my proper honor. I will not that Æneas should
have the daughter of Latinus to wife, or dwell in the land of Italy.
Seeing therefore that thou canst set brother against brother, and bring
enmity into houses and kingdoms, that they should fall, break this
peace that they have made, and bring to pass some occasion of war.”

Then straightway Alecto betook herself to the dwelling of King Latinus.
There found she Amata, the Queen, in great trouble and wrath, for she
loved not the men of Troy, and would have Turnus for her son-in-law.
And the Fury took a snake from her hair, and thrust it into the bosom
of the Queen. About her breast it glided unfelt, and breathed poisonous
breath into her heart. And now it became a collar of twisted gold
about her neck, and now a crown about her head, binding her hair. At
the first indeed, when the poison began to work, and her whole heart
was not as yet filled with the fever, she spake gently and after the
wont of a mother, weeping much the while over her daughter. “Art thou
then ready, my husband, to give thy daughter to this exile of Troy?
Hast thou no pity for thyself, or thy daughter, or me? Well know I that
with the first north wind he will fly and carry her away over the sea.
And what of thy word, and of the faith that thou hast pledged so many
times to Turnus thy kinsman? If thou must seek a son-in-law from the
land of the stranger, I hold that they all be strangers who obey not
thy rule, and that the gods mean not other than this. And Turnus, if
thou wilt inquire more deeply into his descent, is of the lineage of
Inachus, and cometh in the beginning from the land of Mycenæ.”

But when she perceived that her husband heeded not these words, and
when also the poison of the serpent had now altogether prevailed
over her, she ran through the city like to one that is mad. Nay, she
feigned that the frenzy of Bacchus was upon her, and fled into the
woods, taking her daughter with her, to the end that she might hinder
the marriage. Many other women also, when they heard this thing, went
forth, leaving their homes. With bare necks and hair unbound they went,
crying aloud the while; and in their hands they held staves of pine,
and were clad in the skins of wild beasts. And in the midst of them
stood the Queen, holding a great pine torch in her hand, and singing
the marriage song of her daughter and Turnus; and her eyes were red as

Next after this the Fury, deeming that she had overthrown the counsels
of Latinus, sped to the city of Turnus the Rutulian. Now the name of
the city was called Ardea, and Danaë builded it in old time; Ardea is
it called to this day, but its glory hath departed. Now Turnus was
asleep in his palace, and Alecto took upon her the shape of an old
woman, even of Chalybé, who was the priestess of Juno; and she spake,
saying, “Turnus, wilt thou suffer all thy toil to be in vain, and thy
kingdom to be given to another? King Latinus taketh from thee thy
betrothed wife, and chooseth a stranger that he should inherit his
kingdom. Juno commanded that I should tell thee this in thy sleep.
Rise, therefore, and arm thy people. Consume these strangers and their
ships with fire. And if King Latinus yet will not abide by his promise,
let him know for himself what Turnus can do in the day of battle.”

But Turnus laughed her to scorn. “That the ships of the stranger have
come to the Tiber, I know full well. But tell me not these tales.
Queen Juno forgetteth me not, therefore I am not afraid; but thou,
mother, art old, and wanderest from the truth, and troublest thyself
for nought, and art mocked with idle fear. Thy business it is to tend
the temples of the gods and their images, but as for war, leave that to
men, seeing that it is their care.”

Greatly wroth was Alecto to hear such words. And even while he spake
the young man shuddered and stared with his eyes, for the Fury hissed
before him with a thousand snakes. And when he would have spoken more,
she thrust him back, and caught two snakes from her hair, and lashed
him therewith, and cried aloud, “Old am I! and wander from the truth!
and am mocked with idle fears! Nay, but I come from the dwelling of the
Furies, and war and death are in my hand!”

And she cast a torch at the youth, and fixed it smoking with baleful
light in his heart. Then, in great fear, he woke, and a cold sweat
burst forth upon him, and he cried aloud for his arms, and was
exceedingly mad for battle. Also he bade the youth arm themselves,
saying that he would thrust the men of Troy out of Italy, aye, and
fight, if need were, with the Latins also. And the people hearkened
unto him, so fair was he, and of noble birth, and great renown in war.

Then Alecto hied her to the place where Iülus was hunting the beasts of
the forest. Now there was a stag, very stately, with exceeding great
horns, which Tyrrheus and his children had brought up from a fawn. And
Silvia, a fair virgin who was his daughter, was wont to adorn it with
garlands, and to comb it, and to wash it with water. By day it would
wander in the woods, and at nightfall come back to the house. This
stag, then, the dogs of Iülus having scented pursued, and indeed Alecto
brought it to pass that this mischief shall befall; and Iülus also,
following hard upon his dogs, shot an arrow at it, nor missed (for
the Fury would have it so), but pierced it through. Then the wounded
beast flew back to the house which it knew, being covered with blood,
and filled it with a lamentable voice, as one that crieth for help.
And Silvia heard it, and cried to the country folk for aid, who came
forthwith, Alecto urging them (for the accursed thing lay hid in the
woods). And one had a charred firebrand and another a knotted stick,
each such weapon as came to his hand. And Tyrrheus, who chanced to be
splitting a tall oak with wedges, led the way, having a great axe in
his hand.

Then did Alecto climb upon the roof, and, sounding with hellish voice
through a clarion, sent abroad the shepherds’ signal. And all the
forest trembled at the sound, and Trivia’s lake and Nar, with his white
sulphurous wave, and the fountains of Velia; and trembling mothers
pressed their children to their breasts.

Then ran together all the country folk, and the youth of Troy hasted
also to the help of Iülus. And now they fought not with clubs and
charred stakes, but with swords and spears in battle array. Then Almo
fell, the eldest of the sons of Tyrrheus, stricken in the throat, with
many others round him, and among them the old man Galæsus, even as he
offered himself to be a mediator between the two. Most righteous of men
was he, and richest likewise, for he had five flocks of sheep and five
herds of cattle, and tilled the earth with a hundred ploughs.

But Alecto, when she had accomplished these things, hasted to Juno, and
spake, saying, “I have done thy bidding; and now, if thou wilt, I will
to the neighboring cities, spreading among them rumors of wars.” But
Juno answered, “It is enough; there hath been the shedding of blood. It
were not well that the Father should see thee wandering in the upper
air, wherefore depart, and if aught remain to be done, I will see to

After this the shepherds hasted back to the city, and bare with them
the dead, even the youth Almo and the old man Galæsus, and cried for
vengeance to the gods and to the King. And fiercest of all was Turnus,
complaining that men of Troy were called to reign over them, and that
he himself was banished. And all the multitude was urgent with the King
that he should make war against the strangers; neither did any man
regard the commands of the gods. But the King stood firm, even as a
great rock in the sea is not moved though the waves roar about it and
the seaweed is dashed upon its sides. But when he saw that he could
not prevail against these evil counsels, he called the gods to witness,
crying, “The storm strikes upon me, and I may not stand against it.
O foolish Latins, ye shall pay for this madness with your blood, and
thou, Turnus, shalt suffer the worst punishment of all; and when thou
shalt turn to the gods they shall not hear thee. But as for me, my rest
is at hand; I lose but the honors of my funeral.”

It was a custom in Latium, which Alba kept in after time, and mighty
Rome yet keepeth to this day, that when she beginneth to make war, be
it on the men of Thrace or the men of the East, Arab, or Indian, or
Parthian, they open the great gates of the temple (double they are, and
made strong with bolts of brass and iron), on the threshold whereof
sitteth Janus, the guardian. For the Consul himself, with robe and
girdle, so soon as the fathers give their sentence for war, throweth
them wide, and the people follow the Consul, and the horns blow a great
blast together. Even so they bade King Latinus, after the custom of his
country, declare war against the the men of Troy, and open the gates
of slaughter; but he would not, flying and hiding himself in darkness.
Then did great Juno herself come down and burst asunder the iron-bound
gates of war.

Then through the land of Italy men prepared themselves for battle,
making bright shield and spear, and sharpening the axe upon the
whetstone. And in five cities did they set up anvils to make arms
thereon, head-pieces, and shields of wicker, and breast-plates of
bronze, and greaves of silver. Nor did men regard any more the
reaping-hook nor the plough, making new for battle the swords of their

Now the greatest of the chiefs were these:--

First, Prince Mezentius, the Tuscan, who regarded not the gods; and
with him Lausus his son, than whom was none fairer in the host but
Turnus only. A thousand men followed him from Agylla. Worthy was he of
a better father.

Next came, with horses that none might surpass, Aventinus, son of
Hercules; and on his shield was the emblem of his father, the Hydra
with its hundred snakes. Long swords had his men and Sabine spears; and
he himself had about his head and shoulders a great lion’s skin, with
terrible mane and great white teeth.

And from Tibur came two youths of Argos, twin brothers, Catillus and
Coras, swift and strong as two Centaurs from the hills. And Cæculus,
who builded Præneste, was there, son of Vulcan, and a great company
of country folk with him, whereof many bare not shield nor spear, but
slings with bullets of lead, and javelins in either hand, and helmets
of wolf’s skin upon their heads.

After him marched Messapus, tamer of horses, Neptune’s son, whom no
man might lay low with fire or sword; and the people followed, singing
a war-song of their king, like to a great flock of swans, which flies
with many cries across the Asian marsh. And next Clausus the Sabine,
from whom is sprung the great Claudian house; and Halesus, companion of
Agamemnon, and enemy of Troy from of old, with many nations behind him;
clubs had they, fastened with thongs of leather, and wicker shields on
their left arms, and their swords were shaped as reaping-hooks. After
these came Œbalus, son of Telon, with the men of Campania, wearing
helmets of cork, and having shields and swords of bronze; also Ufens,
of Neresæ, with his robber bands; and Umbro, the Marsian priest, a
mighty wizard and charmer of serpents, who could also heal their bite;
but the wound of the Trojan spears he could not heal, nor did all his
charms and mighty herbs avail him.

With them also came Virbius, son of Hippolytus, from Egeria. For men
say that Hippolytus, when the curse of his father had fallen upon him,
and he had perished by the madness of his horses, was made alive by the
skill of Æsculapius, and that Jupiter, being wroth that a mortal should
return from the dead, slew the healer, the son of Phœbus, with his
thunderbolt; but that Hippolytus Diana hid in the grove of Africa, that
he might spend the rest of his days obscure and without offence. And
therefore do they yet hinder horses from coming near to the temple of
Diana. Nevertheless the youth Virbius drave horses in his chariot.

But chief among them all was Turnus, who moved in the midst, clad in
armor, and overtopping them all by his head. And he had a helmet with
three crests, and the Chimæra thereon for a sign; and on his shield
was Io, with her horns lifted to heaven, and Argus the herdsman, and
Inachus pouring a river from his urn. A great multitude of footmen
followed him, Rutulians and Sicanians, and they that dwelt about the
Tiber, and about Anxur, and about the green woods of Feronia.

Last of all came Camilla the Volscian, with a great company on horses,
clad in armor of bronze. She loved neither distaff nor the basket of
Minerva, but rather to fight and to outstrip the winds in running. And
a mighty runner was she, for she would run over the harvest-field nor
harm the corn, and when she sped across the waves of the sea she wetted
not her foot therein. All the youth marvelled to behold her, and the
women stood gazing upon her as she went. For a robe of royal purple
was about her shoulders, and a snood of gold about her hair; and she
carried a Syrian quiver and a pike of myrtle-wood, as the shepherds are

So the chiefs were gathered together, and much people with them,
Mezentius, and Ufens, and Messapus being their leaders. They sent an
embassy likewise to Diomed (for Diomed had built him a city in Italy,
even Arpi), to tell him that Æneas and the men of Troy were setting up
a kingdom in these parts, and to bid him take counsel for himself.

But Æneas was much troubled at these things, and cast about in his
mind where he should look for help. And while he meditated thereon he
slept. And lo! in his dreams the god of the river, even Father Tiber,
appeared to him. An old man was he, and clad in a blue linen robe, and
having a crown of reeds upon his head. And he spake, saying, “Thou art
welcome to this land, to which thou hast brought the gods of Troy. Be
not dismayed at wars and rumors of wars, nor cease from thy enterprise.
And this shall be a sign unto thee. Thou shalt find upon the shore a
white sow with thirty young, white also, about her teats. And it shall
come to pass that after thirty years Iülus shall build him the White
City. And now I will tell thee how thou shalt have victory in this
war. Certain men of Arcadia, following their King, Evander, have built
a city in this land, and called its name Pallantium. These wage war
continually with the Latins. To them therefore thou must go, making thy
way up the stream of the river. Rise therefore, and offer sacrifice to
Juno, appeasing her wrath. And to me thou shalt perform thy vows when
thou shalt have prevailed. For know that I am Tiber the river, and that
of all the rivers on earth none is dearer to the gods.”

Then Æneas roused him from sleep, and made his supplications to the
Nymphs and the river god, that they would be favorable to him. And when
he looked, lo! upon the shore a white sow with thirty young, white
also, about her teats. Of these he made a sacrifice to Juno. And after
this he commanded that they should make ready two ships, and so went on
his way. And Tiber stayed his stream so that the men might not toil in
rowing. Quickly they sped, and many trees were above their heads, and
the image thereof in the water beneath. And at noonday they beheld a
city with walls, and a citadel, and a few houses round about.

Now it chanced that Evander and his people were holding a sacrifice
that day to Hercules before the city. But when they saw through the
trees the ships approaching, they were astonished, and rose all from
the feast. But Pallas, who was the son of the King, commanded that they
should not interrupt the sacrifice, and snatching a spear, he cried
from the mound whereon the altar stood: “Strangers, why come ye? what
seek ye? Do ye bring peace or war?”

Then Æneas cried from the stern of his ship, holding out the while an
olive branch: “We be men of Troy, enemies of the Latins, and we seek
King Evander. Say, therefore, to him that Æneas, prince of Troy, is
come, seeking alliance with him.”

Much did Pallas marvel to hear this name, and said, “Approach thou,
whoever thou art, and hold converse with my father;” and he caught him
by the hand.

And when Æneas was set before King Evander he spake, saying, “I come to
thee, O King, not unwilling or fearful, though indeed thou art a Greek
and akin to the sons of Atreus. For between thee and me also there is
kindred. For Dardanus, builder of Troy, was the son of Electra, who
was the daughter of Atlas. And ye come from Mercurius, who was the
son of Cyllene, who was also the daughter of Atlas. Wherefore, I sent
not ambassadors to thee, but came myself, fearing nothing. Know thou
that the Daunian race, which warreth against thee, pursueth us also;
against whom if they prevail, without doubt they shall rule over Italy,
from the one sea even to the other. I would, therefore, that we make
alliance together.”

And as he spake, Evander ceased not to regard him, and, when he
had ended, spake, saying, “Welcome, great son of Troy. Gladly do I
recognize the voice and face of Anchises. For I remember how Priam came
of old time to the kingdom of his sister Hesioné, who was the wife of
Telamon; and many princes were with him, but the mightiest of them was
Anchises. Much did I love the man, and took him with me to Pheneus. And
he gave me when he departed a quiver and arrows of Lycia, and a cloak
with threads of gold, and two bridles of gold, which my son Pallas hath
to this day. The alliance that thou seekest I grant. To-morrow shalt
thou depart, with such help as I can give. But now, since ye be come at
such good time, join us in our sacrifice and feast.”

So they feasted together on the flesh of oxen and drank wine, and
were merry. And when they had made an end of eating and drinking,
King Evander spake, saying, “This great feast, my friend, we hold not
without good reason, which thou shalt now hear from me. Seest thou this
great ruin of rocks? Here in old time was a cave, running very deep
into the cliff, wherein Cacus dwelt, a monster but half man, whose
father was Vulcan. The ground thereof reeked with blood, and at the
mouth were fixed the heads of dead men. Very great of stature was he,
and breathed out fire from his mouth. To this land came Hercules,
driving before him the oxen of Geryon, whom he had slain. And when
he had left these to feed in the valley by the river, Cacus, that he
might fill up the measure of his wickedness, stole four bulls and four
heifers, the very chiefest of the herd. And that he might conceal the
thing, he dragged them by the tails backwards, so that the tracks lead
not to the cave. But it chanced that the herd made a great bellowing
when Hercules would have driven them away in the morning. And one of
the heifers which Cacus had hidden in the cave bellowed also, making
answer. Then was Hercules very wroth, and caught up in his hand his
great knotted club, and climbed to the top of the hill. Then was Cacus
sore afraid, and fled to his cave swift as the wind, fear giving wings
to his feet. And when he was come thither, he shut himself therein,
letting fall a great stone which he had caused to hang over the mouth
thereof by cunning devices that he had learned from his father. And
when Hercules was come he sought to find entrance and could not; but
at the last he saw one of the rocks that it was very high and leaned
to the river. This he pushed from the other side, so that it fell with
a great crash into the water. Then did the whole cave of Cacus lie
open to view, horrible to behold, as though the earth were to open her
mouth and show the regions of the dead. And first Hercules shot at the
monster with arrows, and cast boughs and great stones at him; and Cacus
vomited forth from his mouth fire and smoke, filling the whole cave.
And Hercules endured not to be so baffled, but plunged into the cave,
even where the smoke was thickest, and caught him, twining his arms and
legs about him, and strangled him, that he died. Of which deed, O my
friends, we keep the remembrance year by year. Do ye, therefore, join
in our feast, putting first wreaths of poplar about your heads, for the
poplar is the tree of Hercules.”

So they feasted; and the priests, even the Salii, being in two
companies, young and old, sang the great deeds of Hercules: how, being
yet an infant, he strangled the snakes that Juno sent to slay him, and
overthrew mighty cities, and endured many grievous labors, slaying
the Centaurs and the lion of Nemea; and how he went down to hell, and
dragged the dog Cerberus therefrom, and many other things likewise.

And at even they went back to the city, and as they went Evander told
Æneas many things concerning the country: how of old a savage race
dwelt therein, living even as the beasts, whom Saturn, flying from his
son Jupiter, first taught, giving them customs and laws; and how other
kings also had borne rule over them, and how he himself had come to the
land at the bidding of Apollo. Also he showed him the city which he had
founded, and the places thereof: very famous were they in aftertime,
when mighty Rome was builded, even on the selfsame ground. And when
they came to his palace he said, “Hercules entered this dwelling,
though indeed it be small and lowly. Think not, then, overmuch of
riches, and so make thyself worthy to ascend to heaven, as he also

Then he led him within the palace, and bade him rest on a couch,
whereon was spread the skin of an African bear.

Very early the next morning the old man Evander rose up from his bed,
and donned his tunic, and bound his Tuscan sandals on his feet, and
girt his Tegean sword to his side, flinging a panther’s hide over his
left shoulder. Pallas, his son, also went with him. And two hounds,
which lay by his chamber, followed him. For he would fain have speech
with Æneas, whom, indeed, he found astir, and Achates with him. Then
spake Evander: “Great chief of Troy, good will have we, but scanty
means; for our folk are few and our bounds narrow. But I will tell
thee of a great people and a wealthy, with whom thou mayest make
alliance. Nigh to this place is the famous city Agylla, which the men
of Lydia, settling in this land of Etruria, builded aforetime. Now of
this Agylla Mezentius was King, who surpassed all men in wickedness.
For he would join a living man to a dead corpse, and so leave him
to perish miserably. But after awhile the citizens rebelled, saying
that he should not reign over them, and slew his guards and burnt his
palace. But on him they laid not hands, for he fled to Prince Turnus.
Therefore there is war between Turnus and Agylla. Now in this war thou
shalt be leader; for as yet, when they would have gone forth to battle,
the soothsayers have hindered them, saying, ‘Though your wrath against
Mezentius be just, yet must no man of Italy lead this people; but look
you for a stranger.’ And they would fain have had me for their leader,
but I am old and feeble. And my son Pallas also is akin to them, seeing
that he was born of a Sabine mother. But thou art in thy prime, and
altogether a stranger in race. Wherefore take this office upon thyself.
Pallas also shall go with thee, and learn from thee to bear himself as
a warrior. Also I will send with thee two hundred chosen horsemen, and
Pallas will give thee as many.”

And even before he had made an end of speaking, Venus gave them a sign,
even thunder in a clear sky; and there was heard a voice as of a Tuscan
trumpet, and when they looked to the heavens, lo! there was a flashing
of arms.

And Æneas knew the sign and the interpretation thereof, even that he
should prosper in that to which he set his hand. Therefore he bade
Evander be of good cheer. Then again they did sacrifice, and afterwards
Æneas returned to his companions, of whom he chose some, and them the
bravest, who should go with him to Agylla, and the rest he bade return
to Iülus, to the camp.

But when he was now ready to depart, Evander took him by the hand,
saying, “O that Jupiter would give me back the years that are gone,
when I slew, under Præneste, King Erulus, to whom at his birth his
mother, Feronia, gave three lives. Thrice must he needs be slain, and
thrice I slew him. Then had I not been parted from thee, my son, nor
had the wicked Mezentius slain so many of my people. And now, may the
gods hear my prayer: If it be their pleasure that Pallas should come
back, may I live to see it; but if not, may I die even now while I hold
thee in my arms, my son, my one and only joy.”

And his spirit left the old man, and they carried him into the palace.
Then the horsemen rode out from the gates, with Pallas in the midst,
adorned with mantle and blazoned arms, fair as the Morning Star, which
Venus loves beyond all others in the sky. The women stood watching them
from the walls, while they shouted aloud and galloped across the plain.
And after a while they came to a grove, near to which the Etruscans and
Tarchon, their leader, had pitched their camp.

Now in the meantime Venus had bestirred herself for her son, for
while he slept in the palace of Evander she spake to her husband,
even Vulcan, saying, “While the Greeks were fighting against Troy, I
sought not thy help, for I would not that thou shouldst labor in vain;
but now that Æneas is come to Italy by the command of the gods, I ask
thee that thou shouldst make arms and armor for my son. This Aurora
asked for Memnon; this Thetis for Achilles, and thou grantedst it to
them. And now thou seest how the nations join themselves to destroy
him. Wherefore I pray thee to help me.” And he hearkened to her voice.
Therefore when the morning was come, very early, even as a woman who
maketh her living by the distaff riseth and kindleth her fire, and
giveth tasks to her maidens, that she may provide for her husband and
her children, even so Vulcan rose betimes to his work. Now there is an
island, Liparé, nigh unto the shore of Sicily, and there the god had
set up his furnace and anvil, and the Cyclopés were at work, forging
thunderbolts for Jupiter, whereof one remained half wrought. Three
parts of hail had they used, and three of rain-cloud, and three of red
fire and the south wind; and now they were adding to it lightning, and
noise, and fear, and wrath, with avenging flames. And elsewhere they
wrought a chariot for Mars, and a shirt of mail for Minerva, even the
Ægis, with golden scales as of a serpent, and in the midst the Gorgon’s
head, lopped at the nape, with rolling eyes. But the god cried, “Cease
ye your toils. Ye must make arms for a hero.” Then they all bent them
to their toil. Then bronze, and gold, and iron flowed in streams; and
some plied the bellows, and others dipped the hissing mass in water,
and a third turned the ore in griping pincers.

A helmet they made with nodding crest, that blazed like fire, and a
sword, and a cuirass of ruddy bronze, and greaves of gold molten many
times, and a spear, and a shield whereon was wrought a marvellous story
of things to come. For the god had set forth all the story of Rome.
There lay the she-wolf in the cave of Mars, suckling the twin babes
that feared her not--and she, bending back her neck, licked them with
her tongue; and there the men of Rome carried off the Sabine virgins
to be their wives; and hard by the battle raged, and there again
the kings made peace together, with offerings and sacrifice. Also
there were wrought the chariots that tore asunder Mettus of Alba for
his treachery, and Porsenna bidding the Romans take back their King,
besieging the city, but the men of Rome stood in arms against him.
Angry and threatening stood the King to see how Cocles broke down the
bridge, and Clœlia burst her bonds to swim across the river. There
Manlius stood to guard the Capitol, and a goose of silver flapped his
wings in arcades of gold, and showed the Gauls at hand. And they, under
cover of the darkness, were climbing through the thickets even to
the ridge of the hill. Their hair was wrought in gold, in gold their
raiment; and their cloaks were of divers colors crossed; milk-white
their necks and clasped with gold; two spears had each and an oblong
shield. Likewise he wrought the dwellings of the dead, of the just
and of the unjust. Here Catiline hung from the rock while the Furies
threatened him; there Cato gave the people laws. And all about was the
sea wrought in gold; but the waves were blue, and white the foam, and
therein sported dolphins of silver. But in the midst was wrought a
great battle of ships at the cape of Actium. On the one side Augustus
led the men of Italy to battle, standing very high on the stern of the
ship. From either temple of his head blazed forth a fire. And Agrippa
also led on his array with a naval crown about his head. And on the
other side stood Antony, having with him barbarous soldiers arrayed in
divers fashions, and leading to battle Egypt and Persia and the armies
of the East; and lo! behind him--a shameful sight--his Egyptian wife.
But in another part the battle raged, and all the sea was in a foam
with oars and triple beaks. It seemed as though islands were torn
from their places, or mountain clashed against mountain, so great was
the shock of the ships. And all about flew javelins with burning tow,
and the sea was red with blood. In the midst stood Cleopatra, with a
timbrel in her hand, and called her armies to the battle: behind her
you might see the snakes by whose bite she should die. And on one side
the dog Anubis, with other monstrous shapes of gods, and over against
them Neptune, and Venus, and Minerva. And in the midst Mars was seen
to rage, embossed in steel; and the Furies hovered above, and Discord
stalked with garment rent, while high above Apollo stretched his bow,
and Egyptian and Indian and Arab fled before him. And in a third place
great Cæsar rode through Rome in triumph, and the city was full of joy,
and the matrons were gathered in the temples; and through the street
there passed a long array of nations that he had conquered, from the
east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south. Such
was the shield which Vulcan wrought.

And Venus, when she saw her son that none was with him,--for he had
wandered apart from his companions,--brought the arms and laid them
down before him, saying, “See the arms that I promised I would give
thee. These my husband, the Fire-god, hath wrought for thee. With these
thou needst shun no enemy; no, not Turnus himself.” Right glad was he
to see them, and fitted them upon him, and swung the shield upon his
shoulder, nor knew what mighty fates of his children he bare thereon.


After this Æneas made a covenant with the men of Etruria, of whom one
Tarchon was chief. And a great company of these went with him to the

But in the meanwhile Turnus had fought against the camp of the Trojans,
and had slain many of the people. And when they that remained were now
ready to despair, they looked up, and behold! Æneas was there, for he
stood upon the stern of his ship and lifted in his left hand a flashing
shield. Much did the men of Troy rejoice to see that sight, and shouted
amain. And Turnus and his companions marvelled, till they looked behind
them, and lo! the sea was covered with ships, and in the midst was
Æneas. And it was as if a flame poured forth from his helmet and his
shield, bright as is a comet when it shines in the night-time red as
blood, or as the Dog Star in the hot summer-tide with baleful light
bringing fevers to the race of men.

Yet did not Turnus lose heart, but would occupy the shore, and hinder
from landing those that came. Wherefore he cried, “Now have ye that
which ye wished for. Lo! the enemy hides not himself behind a wall, but
meets us face to face. Remember wife and child and home and the great
deeds of your fathers. Let us meet them on the shore ere yet their
footing is firm.” And he thought within himself who should watch the
walls, and who should meet the enemy when he would gain the shore.

But in the meanwhile Æneas landed his men on gangways from the ships.
And some leapt on shore, having watched for the ebb of the waves, and
some ran along the oars. Tarchon also, the Etrurian, having spied a
place where the sea broke not in waves, commanded his men that they
should beach the ships. Which indeed they did without harm. Only the
ship of Tarchon himself was caught upon a ridge and the men thrown
therefrom. Yet these also, after a while, got safe to the shore.

Then did Æneas do great deeds against the enemy. For first he slew
Theron, who surpassed all men in stature, smiting through his coat
of mail; and Cisseus and Gyas, who wielded clubs after the manner of
Hercules. Sons were they of Melampus, who had borne Hercules company
in all his labors. Then the sons of Phorcus came against him, seven in
number; and they cast at him seven spears, whereof some rebounded from
his shield and some grazed his body, but harmed him not. Then cried
Æneas to Achates, “Give me spears enough. Spears which have slain the
Greeks on the fields of Troy shall not be cast in vain against these
Latins.” Then of the seven he slew Mæon and Alcanor, for the spear
pierced the breast-plate and heart of Mæon, and when Alcanor would
have held him up, passed through his arm and yet kept on its way. And
many others fell on this side and on that, for they fought with equal
fortune. On the very threshold of Italy they fought, and neither would
the Italians give place nor yet the men of Troy, for foot was planted
close to foot, and man stood fast by man.

In another part of the battle Pallas fought with his Arcadians. And
when he saw that they fled, not being wont to fight on foot (for by
reason of the ground they had sent away their horses), he cried, “Now,
by the name of your King Evander, and by my hope that I may win praise
like unto his, I beseech you that ye trust not to your feet. Ye must
make your way through the enemy with your swords. Where the crowd is
the thickest follow me. Nor have ye now gods against you. These are but
mortal men that ye see.” And he rushed into the midst of the enemy.
First he smote Lagus with his spear, even as he was lifting a great
stone from the earth. In the back he smote him, and, having smitten
him, strove to draw forth the spear; and while he strove, Hisbo would
have slain him; but Pallas was aware of his coming, and pierced him
in the breast with his sword. Next he slew the twin brothers, Larides
and Thymber. Very like they were, and it pleased father and mother
that they knew not the one from the other; but Pallas made a cruel
difference between them, for from Thymber he struck off the head, and
from Larides the right hand. And after these he slew Rhœtus, as he
fled past him in his chariot. And now, even as a shepherd sets fire
to a wood, and the flames are borne along by the wind, so Pallas, and
his Arcadians following, raged through the battle. And when Halæsus,
the companion of Agamemnon, would have stayed them, Pallas, first
praying to Father Tiber, smote him through the breast with a spear,
that he died. Then came to the help of the Latins, Lausus, the son of
King Mezentius, and slew Abas of Populonia, and others also. Then the
battle was equal for a space, for Pallas supported it on the one side
and Lausus on the other. Fair were they both to behold and of equal
age, and for both it was ordained that they should not return to their
native country. Yet they met not in battle, seeing that the doom of
each was that he should fall by a greater hand.

And now the nymph Juturna, who was sister to Turnus, bade her brother
haste to the help of Lausus. And when he was come, he cried to the
Latins, “Give place: I only will deal with Pallas. I only would that
his father were here to see.” Much did Pallas marvel to behold him
and to see the men give place. But, being no whit afraid, he went
forth into the space between the hosts, and the blood of the Arcadians
ran cold when they saw him go. Then Turnus leapt from his chariot,
for he would meet him on foot. And first Pallas prayed, saying, “O
Hercules! if thou wast indeed my father’s guest, help me to-day!” And
Hercules heard him where he sat in heaven, and wept because he could
avail nothing. Then said Father Jupiter, “My son, the days of men are
numbered; yet may they live forever by noble deeds. This at least can
valor do. Did not many sons of the gods fall at Troy? yea, and my
own Sarpedon. And for Turnus, too, the day of doom is at hand.” And
he turned his eyes from the battle. Then Pallas cast his spear with
all his might. Through the shield of Turnus it passed, and through
the corselet, yea, and grazed the top of his shoulder. Then Turnus
balanced his spear awhile, and said, “This, methinks, shall better
make its way,” and he cast it. Through the shield, through the stout
bull’s hide, and through the folds of bronze it passed, and through
the corselet, and pierced the breast of Pallas from front to back. And
Pallas tore from the wound the reeking steel, and the blood gushed out,
and the life therewith. Then Turnus stood above the corpse, and said,
“Men of Arcadia, tell these my words to Evander: ‘Pallas I send him
back, even as he deserved that I should send him. I grudge him not due
honors of burial. Yet of a truth the friendship of Æneas hath cost him
dear.’” Then he put his foot upon the body and dragged therefrom the
belt. Great and heavy it was, and Clonius had wrought thereon in gold
the deed of the fifty daughters of Danaüs, how they slew their husbands
in one night. But even then the time was very near when Turnus would
wish that he had left that spoil untouched. And afterwards, with much
groaning and weeping, the companions of Pallas laid him upon a shield
and bare him back.

And now tidings came to Æneas that it fared ill with his men, and that
Pallas was slain. Across the field he sped, and all his heart was full
of wrath against Turnus and pity for the old man Evander; and first
he took alive eight youths, whom he should slay upon the tomb. Then
he cast his spear at Lagus; but Lagus avoided it by craft, and rushed
forward, and caught him by the knees, beseeching him by the spirit of
his father and the hopes of Iülus that he would spare him, and take a
ransom for his life. But Æneas made answer, “Talk not of sparing nor
of ransom; for to all courtesy of war there is an end now that Turnus
hath slain Pallas.” And he caught the man’s helmet with his left hand,
and, bending back his neck, thrust in the sword up to the hilt. And
many other valiant chiefs he slew, as Hæmonides, priest of Phœbus and
Diana, and Tarquitus, son of Faunus, and dark Camers, son of Volscens.
And now there met him two brethren on one chariot, Lucagus and Liger.
And Liger, who indeed drave the horses, cried aloud, “These are not the
horses of Diomed, nor this the chariot of Achilles, from which thou
mayest escape. Lo! the end of thy battles and thy life is come.” But
Æneas spake not, but cast his spear, and even as Lucagus made himself
ready for battle, it sped through his shield and pierced his thigh.
Then he fell dying on the plain. And Æneas cried, mocking him, “Thy
horses are not slow to flee, nor frightened by a shadow. Of thine own
will thou leavest thy chariot.” And he caught the horses by the head.
Then Liger stretched out his hands to him in supplication, saying,
“I beseech thee, by thy parents, have pity upon me.” But Æneas made
answer, “Nay, but thou speakest not thus before. Die! and desert not
thy brother.” And he thrust the sword into his breast. Thus did Æneas
deal death through the host, even as he had been the giant Typhœus with
the hundred hands. And when Iülus and the men of Troy beheld him they
brake forth from the camp.

And now Juno bethought her how she might save Turnus, whom she loved.
So she caused that there should pass before his eyes an image as of
Æneas, which seemed to defy him to battle. And when Turnus would have
fought, lo! the false Æneas fled, and Turnus followed him. Now there
chanced to be lying moored to a great rock a certain ship, on which
King Asinius had come from Clusium. Into this the false Æneas fled,
and Turnus followed hard upon him, but found not the man. And when he
looked, Juno had burst the moorings of the ship, and the sea was about
him on every side. Then he cried, “What have I done, great Jupiter,
that I should suffer such shame? What think the Latins of my flight?
Drown me, ye winds and waves, or drive me where no man may see me
more.” Thrice he would have cast himself into the sea; thrice would he
have slain himself with the sword; but Juno forbade, and brought him
safe to the city of Daunus, his father.

In the meanwhile King Mezentius joined the battle. Nor could the men
of Troy, nor yet the Tuscans, stay him. Many valiant men he slew, as
Mimas, whom his mother Theano bare the same night that Hecuba bare
Paris to King Priam; and Actor, a Greek, who had left his promised
wife, and carried her purple favor in his helmet; and tall Orodes.
Orodes, indeed, was flying, but the King deigned not to slay him in
his flight, but met him face to face and smote him. Also when Orodes
cried, “Whoever thou art, thou goest not long unpunished: a like doom
awaits thee; and in this land shalt thou find thy grave,” Mezentius
laughed, and made answer, “Die thou, but let the King of gods and men
see to me.”

But after awhile Æneas spied Mezentius as he fought, and made haste to
meet him. Nor did the King give place, but cried, “Now may this right
hand and the spear which I wield be my gods, and help me.” And he cast
his spear. It smote the shield of Æneas, but pierced it not. Yet did it
not fly in vain, for glancing off it smote Antores in the side--Antores
who once had been comrade to Hercules, and afterwards followed Evander.
Now he fell, and in his death remembered the city which he loved, even
Argos. Then in his turn Æneas cast his spear. Through the bull’s-hide
shield it passed, wounding the King in the groin, but not to death. And
Æneas was right glad to see the blood flow forth, and drew his sword
and pressed on; and Mezentius, much cumbered with the spear and the
wound, gave place. But when Lausus, his son, saw this, he groaned aloud
and leapt forward, and took the blow upon his sword; and his companions
followed him with a shout, and cast their spears at Æneas, staying him
till Mezentius had gotten himself safe away. And Æneas stood awhile
under the shower of spears, even as a traveller stands hiding himself
from a storm. Then he cried to Lausus, “What seekest thou, madman? Why
venturest thou that which thy strength may not endure?” But Lausus
heeded him not at all, but still pressed on. Then the heart of Æneas
was filled with wrath, and the day was come for Lausus that he should
die. For the King smote him with his sword: through shield it passed
and tunic woven with gold, and was hidden to the hilt in his body.
And Æneas pitied him as he lay dead, bethinking him how he, too, would
fain have died for his father, and spake, saying, “What shall Æneas
give thee, unhappy boy, for this thy nobleness? Keep thy arms, in which
thou hadst such delight, and let thy father care as he will for thy
body; and take this comfort in thy death, that thou fallest by the hand
of the great Æneas.” Then he lifted him from the earth, and bade his
companions carry him away.

In the meantime his father tended his wounds, leaning on the trunk of a
tree by the Tiber bank. His helmet hung from a branch, and his arms lay
upon the ground, while his followers stood around. And ever he asked
tidings of Lausus, and sent those who should bid him return. But when
they brought back his body on a shield, his father knew it from afar,
and threw dust upon his white hair, and fell upon the body, crying,
“Had I such desire to live, my son, that I suffered thee to meet in my
stead the sword of the enemy? Am I saved by these wounds? Do I live by
thy death? And indeed, my son, I did dishonor to thee by my misdeeds.
Would that I had given my guilty life for thine! But indeed I die;
nevertheless not yet, for I have first somewhat that I must do.”

Then he raised himself on his thigh, and commanded that they should
bring his horse. His pride it was and comfort, and had borne him
conqueror from many fights. Very sad was the beast, and he spake to it,
saying, “O Rhœbus, thou and I have lived long enough, if indeed aught
on earth be long. To-day thou shalt bring back the head and the arms of
Æneas, and so avenge my Lausus; or thou shalt die with me. For a Trojan
master thou wilt not, I know, endure.”

Then he mounted the horse, and took spears in both his hands, and so
hasted to meet Æneas. Thrice he called him by name, and Æneas rejoiced
to hear his voice, and cried, “Now may Jupiter and Apollo grant that
this be true. Begin the fight.” And Mezentius made answer: “Seek not
to make afraid. Thou canst do me no harm now that thou hast slain my
son. I am come to die, but take thou first this gift; and he cast his
spear, and then another, and yet another, as he rode in a great circle
about the enemy. But they brake not the boss of gold. And Æneas stood
firm, bearing the forest of spears in his shield. But at last issuing
forth in anger from behind his shield, he cast his spear and smote the
war-horse Rhœbus between his temples. Then the horse reared himself
and lashed the air with his feet, and fell with his rider beneath him.
And the men of Troy and the Latins sent up a great shout. Then Æneas
hasted and drew his sword, and stood above him, crying, “Where is the
fierce Mezentius now?” And the King said, when he breathed again, “Why
threatenest thou me with death? Slay me; thou wrongest me not. I made
no covenant with thee for life, nor did my Lausus when he died for me.
Yet grant me this one thing. Thou knowest how my people hateth me. Keep
my body, I pray thee, from them, that they do it no wrong. And let
my son be buried with me in my grave.” And he gave his throat to the
sword, and feared not.

So the battle had an end. And the next day, early in the morning, Æneas
paid his vows. For he took an oak-tree, and lopped the branches round
about, and set it on a mound. And thereon he hung, for a trophy to
Mars, the arms of King Mezentius, the crest dripping with blood, and
the headless spears, and the corselet pierced in twelve places. Also
he fastened on the left hand the shield, and hung about the neck the
ivory-hilted sword. And next, the chiefs being gathered about him, he
spake, saying, “We have wrought a great deed. Here ye see all that
remaineth of Mezentius. Now, therefore, let us make ready to carry the
war against the city of Latinus. This therefore will we do with the
first light to-morrow. And now let us bury the dead, doing such honor
to them as we may, for indeed they have purchased a country for us
with their own blood. But first will I send back Pallas to the city of

Then he went to the tent where the dead body was laid, and old Acœtes
kept watch thereby--Acœetes, who had been armor-bearer to Evander, and
now had followed his son, but with evil fortune; and the women of Troy,
with their hair unbound, mourned about him. But when they saw Æneas
they beat their breasts, and sent up a great cry even to heaven. And
when the King saw the pillowed head, and the great wound in the breast,
he wept, and said, “Ah! why did Fortune grudge me this, that thou
shouldst see my kingdom, and go back in triumph to thy father’s home?
This is not what I promised to Evander when he gave thee to my charge,
and warned me that the men of Italy were valiant and fierce. And now
haply, old man, thou makest offerings and prayers for him who oweth
not service any more to the gods of heaven. Yet, at least, thou wilt
see that he beareth an honorable wound. But what a son thou losest, O
Italy! and what a friend, thou, Iülus!”

Then he choose a thousand men who should go with the dead and share the
father’s grief. After this they made a bier of arbutus boughs and oak,
and put also over it a canopy of branches, and laid the dead thereon,
like unto a flower of violet or hyacinth which a girl hath plucked,
which still hath beauty and color, but the earth nourisheth it no more.
And Æneas took two robes of purple, which Dido had woven with thread of
gold, and with one he wrapped the body and with the other the head. And
behind were carried the arms which Pallas had won in fight; and they
led the old man Acœtes, smiting on his breast and tearing his cheeks,
and throwing himself upon the ground; and the war-horse Æthon walked
beside, with the great tears rolling down his cheeks. And also they
bare behind him his helmet and shield, for all else Turnus had taken:
and then followed the whole company, the men of Troy, the Arcadians,
and the Tuscans, with arms reversed. And Æneas said, “The same cares
and sorrows of war call me elsewhere. Farewell, my Pallas, for ever!”
And he departed to the camp.

And now there came ambassadors from the city, having olive branches
about their heads, praying for a truce, that they might bury their
dead. Then Æneas made answer, “Ye ask peace for the dead; fain would I
give it to the living. I had not come to this land but for the bidding
of the Fates. And if your King changeth from me and my friendship to
Turnus, I am blameless. Yet methinks Turnus should rather have taken
this danger upon himself. And even now, if he be willing to fight with
me, man to man, so be it. But now bury ye your dead.”

Then they made a truce for twelve days. And the men of Troy and the
Latins labored together, hewing wood upon the hills, pine and cedar and
mountain ash. And the men of Troy built great piles upon the shore, and
burned the dead bodies of their companions thereon, and their arms with
them. And the Latins did likewise. Also they that had been chosen to do
this thing carried the body of Pallas to his city. And King Evander and
the Arcadians made a great mourning for him.


After these things there was again battle between the Trojans and the
Latins; and many were slain on either side, but at the last the men of
Troy prevailed. Then Prince Turnus, seeing that the Latins had fled
in the battle, and that men looked to him that he should perform that
which he had promised, even to meet Æneas face to face, was filled with
rage. Even as a lion which a hunter hath wounded breaketh the arrow
wherewith he hath been stricken, and rouseth himself to battle, shaking
his mane and roaring, so Turnus arose. And first he spake to King
Latinus, saying, “Not for me, my father, shall these cowards of Troy go
back from that which they have covenanted. I will meet this man face
to face, and slay him while ye look on; or, if the gods will that he
vanquish me so, he shall rule over you, and have Lavinia to wife.”

But King Latinus made answer: “Yet think awhile, my son. Thou hast the
kingdom of thy father Daunus; and there are other noble virgins in
Latium whom thou mayest have to wife. Wilt thou not then be content?
For to give my daughter to any husband of this nation I was forbidden,
as thou knowest. Yet did I disobey, being moved by love of thee, my
wife also beseeching me with many tears. Thou seest what troubles I and
my people, and thou more than all, have suffered from that time. Twice
have we fled in the battle, and now the city only is left to us. If I
must yield me to these men, let me yield whilst thou art yet alive. For
what doth it profit me that thou shouldst die? Nay, but all men would
cry shame on me if I gave thee to death!”

Now for a space Turnus spake not for wrath. Then he said, “Be not
troubled for me, my father. For I, too, can smite with the spear; and
as for this Æneas, his mother will not be at hand to snatch him in a
cloud from my sight.”

Then Amata cried to him, saying, “Fight not, I beseech thee, with
these men of Troy, my son; for surely what thou sufferest I also shall
suffer. Nor will I live to see Æneas my son-in-law.”

And Lavinia heard the voice of her mother, and wept. As a man stains
ivory with crimson, or as roses are seen mixed with lilies, even so the
virgin’s face burned with crimson. And Turnus, regarding her, loved her
exceedingly, and made answer: “Trouble me not with tears or idle words,
my mother, for to this battle I must go. And do thou, Idmon the herald,
say to the Phrygian king, ‘To-morrow, when the sun shall rise, let the
people have peace, but we two will fight together. And let him that
prevaileth have Lavinia to wife.’”

Then first he went to the stalls of his horses. The wife of the North
Wind gave them to Pilumnus. Whiter than snow were they, and swifter
than the wind. Then he put the coat of mail about his shoulders, and
fitted a helmet on his head, and took the great sword which Vulcan had
made for Daunus his father, and had dipped it when it was white-hot
in the river of Styx. His spear also he took where it stood against
a pillar, saying, “Serve me well, my spear, that has never failed me
before, that I may lay low this womanish robber of Phrygia, and soil
with dust his curled and perfumed hair.”

The next day the men of Italy and the men of Troy measured out a space
for the battle. And in the midst they builded an altar of turf. And the
two armies sat on the one side and on the other, having fixed their
spears in the earth and laid down their shields. Also the women and the
old men stood on the towers and roofs of the city, that they might see
the fight.

But Queen Juno spake to Juturna, the sister of Turnus, saying, “Seest
thou how these two are now about to fight, face to face? And indeed
Turnus goeth to his death. As for me, I endure not to look upon this
covenant or this battle. But if thou canst do aught for thy brother,
lo! the time is at hand.” And when the Nymph wept and beat her breast,
Juno said, “This is no time for tears. Save thy brother, if thou canst,
from death; or cause that they break this covenant.”

After this came the kings, that they might make the covenant together.
And King Latinus rode in a chariot with four horses, and he had on
his head a crown with twelve rays of gold, for he was of the race of
the Sun; and Turnus came in a chariot with two white horses, having a
javelin in either hand; and Æneas had donned the arms which Vulcan had
made, and with him was the young Iülus. And after due offering Æneas
sware, calling on all the gods, “If the victory shall fall this day
to Turnus, the men of Troy shall depart to the city of Evander, nor
trouble this land any more. But if it fall to me, I will not that the
Latins should serve the men of Troy. Let the nations be equal one with
the other. The gods that I bring we will worship together, but King
Latinus shall reign as before. A new city shall the men of Troy build
for me, and Lavinia shall call it after her own name.”

Then King Latinus sware, calling on the gods that are above and the
gods that are below, saying, “This covenant shall stand for ever,
whatsoever may befall. As sure as this sceptre which I bear--once it
was a tree, but a cunning workman closed it in bronze, to be the glory
of Latium’s kings--shall never again bear twig or leaf, so surely shall
this covenant be kept.”

But the thing pleased not the Latins; for before, indeed, they judged
that the battle would not be equal between the two; and now were they
the more assured, seeing them when they came together, and that Turnus
walked with eyes cast to the ground, and was pale and wan. Wherefore
there arose a murmuring among the people, which when Juturna perceived,
she took upon herself the likeness of Camers, who was a prince and a
great warrior among them, and passed through the host, saying, “Are ye
not ashamed, men of Italy, that one man should do battle for you all?
For count these men: surely they are scarce one against two. And if he
be vanquished, what shame for you! As for him, indeed, though he die,
yet shall his glory reach to the heavens; but ye shall suffer disgrace,
serving these strangers for ever.”

And when she saw that the people were moved, she gave also a sign from
heaven. For lo! an eagle that drave a crowd of sea-fowl before him,
swooped down to the water, and caught a great swan; and even while the
Italians looked, the birds that before had fled turned and pursued the
eagle, and drave him before them, so that he dropped the swan and fled
away. Which thing when the Italians perceived, they shouted, and made
them ready for battle. And the augur Tolumnius cried, “This is the
token that I have looked for. For this eagle is the stranger and ye are
the birds, which before, indeed, have fled, but shall now make him to

And he ran forward and cast his spear, smiting a man of Arcadia below
the belt, upon the groin. One of nine brothers was he, sons of a Tuscan
mother, but their father was a Greek; and they, when they saw him
slain, caught swords and spears, and ran forward. And straightway the
battle was begun. First they brake down the altars, that they might
take firebrands therefrom; and King Latinus fled from the place. Then
did Messapus drive his horses against King Aulestes of Mantua, who,
being fain to fly, stumbled upon the altar and fell headlong on the
ground. And Messapus smote him with a spear that was like a weaver’s
beam, saying, “This, of a truth, is a worthier victim.” After this
Coryneüs the Arcadian, when Ebysus would have smitten him, snatched a
brand from the altar and set fire to the beard of the man, and, before
he came to himself, caught him by the hair, and thrusting him to the
ground, so slew him. And when Podalirius pursued Alsus the shepherd,
and now held his sword over him ready to strike, the other turned, and
with a battle-axe cleft the man’s head from forehead to chin.

But all the while the righteous Æneas, having his head bare, and
holding neither spear nor sword, cried to the people, “What seek ye?
what madness is this? The covenant is established, and I only have
the right to do battle.” But even while he spake an arrow smote him,
wounding him. But who let it fly no man knoweth; for who, of a truth,
would boast that he had wounded Æneas? And he departed from the battle.

Now when Turnus saw that Æneas had departed from the battle he called
for his chariot. And when he had mounted thereon he drave it through
the host of the enemy, slaying many valiant heroes, as Sthenelus and
Pholus, and the two sons of Imbrasus the Lycian, Glaucus and Lades.
Then he saw Eumedes, son of that Dolon who would have spied out the
camp of the Greeks, asking as his reward the horses of Achilles (but
Diomed slew him). Him Turnus smote with a javelin from afar, and, when
he fell, came near and put his foot upon him, and taking his sword
drave it into his neck, saying, “Lo! now thou hast the land which thou
soughtest. Lie there, and measure out Italy for thyself.” Many others
he slew, for the army fled before him. Yet did one man, Phegeus by
name, stand against him, and would have stayed the chariot, catching
the bridles of the horses in his hand. But as he clung to the yoke and
was dragged along, Turnus broke his cuirass with his spear, and wounded
him. And when the man set his shield before him, and made at Turnus
with his sword, the wheels dashed him to the ground and Turnus struck
him between the helmet and the breast-plate, and smote off his head.

But in the meanwhile Mnestheus and Achates and Iülus led Æneas to the
camp, leaning on his spear. Very wrath was he and strove to draw forth
the arrow. And when he could not, he commanded that they should open
the wound with the knife, and so send him back to the battle. Iapis
also, the physician, ministered to him. Now this Iapis was dearer than
all other men to Apollo, and when the god would have given him all his
arts, even prophecy and music and archery, he chose rather to know the
virtues of herbs and the art of healing, that so he might prolong the
life of his father, who was even ready to die. This Iapis, then, having
his garments girt about him in healer’s fashion, would have drawn
forth the arrow with the pincers but could not. And while he strove,
the battle came nearer, and the sky was hidden by clouds of dust, and
javelins fell thick into the camp. But when Venus saw how grievously
her son was troubled, she brought from Ida, which is a mountain of
Crete, the herb dittany. A hairy stalk it hath and a purple flower. The
wild goats know it well if so be that they have been wounded by arrows.
This, then, Venus, having hidden her face, brought and dipped into the
water, and sprinkled there with ambrosia and sweet-smelling panacea.

And Iapis, unawares, applied the water that had been healed; and lo!
the pain was stayed and the blood was staunched, and the arrow came
forth, though no man drew it, and Æneas’s strength came back to him as
before. Then said Iapis, “Art of mine hath not healed thee, my son.
The gods call thee to thy work.” Then did Æneas arm himself again, and
when he had kissed Iülus and bidden him farewell, he went forth to the
battle. And all the chiefs went with him, and the men of Troy took
courage and drave back to the Latins. Then befell a great slaughter,
for Gyas slew Ufens who was the leader of the Æquians; also Tolumnius,
the great augur, was slain, who had first broken the covenant, slaying
a man with his spear. But Æneas deigned not to turn his hand against
any man, seeking only for Turnus, that he might fight with him. But
when the nymph Juturna perceived this she was sore afraid. Therefore
she came near to the chariot of her brother, and thrust out Metiscus,
his charioteer, where he held the reins, and herself stood in his room,
having made herself like to him in shape and voice. Then as a swallow
flies through the halls and arcades of some rich man’s house, seeking
food for its young, so Juturna drave the chariot of her brother hither
and thither. And ever Æneas followed behind, and called to him that he
should stay; but whenever he espied the man, and would have overtaken
him by running, then again did Juturna turn the horses about and flee.
And as he sped Messapus cast a spear at him. But Æneas saw it coming,
and put his shield over him, resting on his knee. Yet did the spear
smite him on the helmet-top and shear off the crest. Then indeed was
his wrath kindled, and he rushed into the army of the enemy, slaying
many as he went.

Then there was a great slaughter made on this side and on that. But
after a while Venus put it into the heart of Æneas that he should lead
his army against the city. Therefore he called together the chiefs,
and, standing in the midst of them on a mound, spake, saying, “Hearken
now to my words, and delay not to fulfil them, for of a truth Jupiter
is on our side. I am purposed this day to lay this city of Latinus even
with the ground, if they still refuse to obey. For why should I wait
for Turnus till it please him to meet me in battle?”

Then did the whole array make for the walls of the city. And some
carried firebrands, and some scaling-ladders, and some slew the warders
at the gates, and cast javelins at them who stood on the walls. And
then there arose a great strife in the city, for some would have opened
the gates that the men of Troy might enter, and others made haste to
defend the walls. Hither and thither did they run with much tumult,
even as bees in a hive in a rock which a shepherd hath filled with
smoke, having first shut all the doors thereof.

Then also did other ill fortune befall the Latins, for when Queen
Amata saw from the roof of the palace that the enemy were come near to
the walls, and saw not anywhere the army of the Latins, she supposed
Turnus to have fallen in the battle. Whereupon, crying out that she was
the cause of all these woes, she made a noose of the purple garment
wherewith she was clad, and hanged her self from a beam of the roof.
Then did lamentation go through the city, for the women wailed and
tore their hair, and King Latinus rent his clothes and threw dust upon
his head.

But the cry that went up from the city came to the ears of Turnus where
he fought in the furthest part of the plain. And he caught the reins
and said, “What meaneth this sound of trouble and wailing that I hear?”
And the false Metiscus, who was in truth his sister, made answer, “Let
us fight, O Turnus, here where the gods give us victory. There are
enough to defend the city.” But Turnus spake, saying, “Nay, my sister,
for who thou art I have known even from the beginning, it must not be
so. Why camest thou down from heaven? Was it to see thy brother die?
And now what shall I do? Have I not seen Murranus die and Ufens the
Æquian? And shall I suffer this city to be destroyed? Shall this land
see Turnus flee before his enemies? Be ye kind to me, O gods of the
dead, seeing that the gods of heaven hate me. I come down to you a
righteous spirit, and not unworthy of my fathers.”

And even as he spake came Saces, riding on a horse that was covered
with foam, and on his face was the wound of an arrow. And he cried, “O
Turnus, our last hopes are in thee. For Æneas is about to destroy the
city, and the firebrands are cast upon the roofs. And King Latinus is
sore tried with doubt, and the Queen hath laid hands upon herself and
is dead. And now only Messapus and Atinas maintain the battle, and the
fight grows fierce around them, while thou drivest thy chariot about
these empty fields.”

Then for a while Turnus stood speechless, and shame and grief and
madness were in his soul; and he looked to the city, and lo! the fire
went up even to the top of the tower which he himself had builded upon
the walls to be a defence against the enemy. And when he saw it, he
cried, “It is enough, my sister; I go whither the gods call me. I will
meet with Æneas face to face, and endure my doom.”

And as he spake he leapt down from his chariot, and ran across the
plain till he came near to the city, even where the blood was deepest
upon the earth and the arrows were thickest in the air. And he beckoned
with the hand and called to the Italians, saying, “Stay now your
arrows. I am come to fight this battle for you all.” And when they
heard it they left a space in the midst. Æneas also, when he heard the
name of Turnus, left attacking the city, and came to meet him, mighty
as Athos, or Eryx, or Father Apenninus, that raiseth his snowy head
to the heavens. And the men of Troy and the Latins and King Latinus
marvelled to see them meet, so mighty they were.

First they cast their spears at each other, and then ran together, and
their shields struck one against the other with a crash that went up to
the sky. And Jupiter held the balance in heaven, weighing their doom.
Then Turnus, rising to the stroke, smote fiercely with his sword. And
the men of Troy and the Latins cried out when they saw him strike. But
the treacherous sword brake in the blow. And when he saw the empty
hilt in his hand he turned to flee. They say that when he mounted his
chariot that day to enter the battle, not heeding the matter in his
haste, he left his father’s sword behind him, and took the sword of
Metiscus, which, indeed, served him well while the men of Troy fled
before him, but brake, even as ice breaks, when it came to the shield
which Vulcan had made. Thereupon Turnus fled, and Æneas, though the
wound which the arrow had made hindered him, pursued. Even as a hound
follows a stag that is penned within some narrow space, for the beast
flees hither and thither, and the staunch Umbrian hound follows close
upon him, and almost holds him, and snaps his teeth, yet bites him not,
so did Æneas follow hard on Turnus. And still Turnus cried out that
some one should give him his sword, and Æneas threatened that he would
destroy the city if any should help him. Five times about the space
they ran; not for some prize they strove, but for the life of Turnus.
Now there stood in the plain the stump of a wild olive-tree. The tree
was sacred to Faunus, but the men of Troy had cut it, and the stump
only was left. Herein the spear of Æneas was fixed, and now he would
have drawn it forth that he might slay Turnus therewith, seeing that
he could not overtake him by running. Which when Turnus perceived, he
cried to Faunus, saying, “O Faunus, if I have kept holy for thee that
which the men of Troy have profaned, hold fast this spear.” And the god
heard him; nor could Æneas draw it forth. But while he strove, Juturna,
taking again the form of Metiscus, ran and gave to Turnus his sword.
And Venus, perceiving it, wrenched forth the spear from the stump. So
the two stood again face to face.

Then spake Jupiter to Juno, where she sat in a cloud watching the
battle, “How long wilt thou fight against fate? What purpose hast thou
now in thy heart? Was it well that Juturna--for what could she avail
without thy help?--should give back to Turnus his sword? Thou hast
driven the men of Troy over land and sea, and kindled a dreadful war,
and mingled the song of marriage with mourning. Further thou mayest not

And Juno humbly made answer, “This is thy will, great Father; else had
I not sat here, but stood in the battle smiting the men of Troy. And
indeed I spake to Juturna that she should help her brother; but aught
else I know not. And now I yield. Yet grant me this. Suffer not that
the Latins should be called after the name of Troy, nor change their
speech nor their garb. Let Rome rule the world, but let Troy perish

Then spake with a smile the Maker of all things, “Truly thou art a
daughter of Saturn, so fierce is the wrath of thy soul! And now what
thou prayest I give. The Italians shall not change name, nor speech,
nor garb. The men of Troy shall mingle with them, and I will give them
a new worship, and call them all Latins. Nor shall any race pay thee
more honor than they.”

Then Jupiter sent a Fury from the pit. And she took the form of a
bird, even of an owl that sitteth by night on the roof of a desolate
house, and flew before the face of Turnus and flapped her wings against
his shield. Then was Turnus stricken with great fear, so that his
hair stood up and his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth. And when
Juturna knew the sound of the false bird what it was, she cried aloud
for fear, and left her brother and fled, hiding herself in the river of

But Æneas came on, shaking his spear that was like unto a tree, and
said, “Why delayest thou, O Turnus? Why drawest thou back? Fly now if
thou canst through the air, or hide thyself in the earth.” And Turnus
made answer, “I fear not thy threats, but the gods and Jupiter, that
are against me this day.” And as he spake he saw a great stone which
lay hard by, the landmark of a field. Scarce could twelve chosen men,
such as men are now, lift it on their shoulders. This he caught from
the earth and cast it at his enemy, running forward as he cast. But he
knew not, so troubled was he in his soul, that he ran or that he cast,
for his knees tottered beneath him and his blood grew cold with fear.
And the stone fell short, nor reached the mark. Even as in a dream,
when dull sleep is on the eyes of a man, he would fain run but cannot,
for his strength faileth him, neither cometh there any voice when he
would speak; so it fared with Turnus. For he looked to the Latins and
to the city, and saw the dreadful spear approach, nor knew how he might
fly, neither how he might fight, and could not spy anywhere his chariot
or his sister. And all the while Æneas shook his spear and waited that
his aim should be sure. And at last he threw it with all his might.
Even as a whirlwind it flew, and brake through the seven folds of the
shield and pierced the thigh. And Turnus dropped with his knee bent to
the ground. And all the Latins groaned aloud to see him fall. Then he
entreated Æneas, saying, “I have deserved my fate. Take thou that which
thou hast won. Yet perchance thou mayest have pity on the old man, my
father, even Daunus, for such an one was thy father Anchises, and give
me back to my own people, if it be but my body that thou givest. Yet
hast thou conquered, and the Latins have seen me beg my life of thee,
and Lavinia is thine. Therefore, I pray thee, stay now thy wrath.”

Then for awhile Æneas stood doubting; aye, and might have spared the
man, when lo! he spied upon his shoulders the belt of Pallas, whom
he had slain. And his wrath was greatly kindled, and he cried with
a dreadful voice, “Shalt thou who art clothed with the spoils of my
friends escape me? ’Tis Pallas slays thee with this wound, and takes
vengeance on thy accursed blood.” And as he spake he drave the steel
into his breast. And with a groan the wrathful spirit passed into

Transcriber’s Notes:

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained. Missing hyphens
assumed to be implied when there was space for them.

Illustrations have been moved closer to the relevant text.

Text uses both “Lybia” and “Libya”; both retained here.

Page 30: “when he first took” was printed as “when the first took”.

Page 50: “Golden Helmet” was printed as “Golden Hemlet”.

Page 100: “let these things be my care.” ended with a gap where the
punctuation belonged. Period added by Transcriber, but a semi-colon
might be more appropriate.

Page 117: “Mestor” is correct: he was a Trojan; Nestor was a Greek.

Page 123: Closing quote mark added at end of “would slay us altogether.”

Page 128: “let me put thy armor on me” was printed as “or me”.

Page 339: Missing closing quote mark in paragraph that begins, “Then he
mounted the horse”. It probably belongs at the end of “take thou first
this gift;”, but has not been added.

Page 348: “healed; and lo!” was printed as “healed; and low!”.

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