The Iliad of Homer
Page: 135Gifts worthy thee his royal hand prepares;
If not—but hear me, while I number o'er
The proffer'd presents, an exhaustless store.
Ten weighty talents of the purest gold,
And twice ten vases of refulgent mould;
Seven sacred tripods, whose unsullied frame
Yet knows no office, nor has felt the flame;
Twelve steeds unmatched in fleetness and in force,[pg 168]
And still victorious in the dusty course;
(Rich were the man, whose ample stores exceed
The prizes purchased by their winged speed;)
Seven lovely captives of the Lesbian line,
Skill'd in each art, unmatch'd in form divine,
The same he chose for more than vulgar charms,
When Lesbos sank beneath thy conquering arms.
All these, to buy thy friendship shall be paid,
And, join'd with these, the long-contested maid;
With all her charms, Briseis he'll resign,
And solemn swear those charms were only thine;
Untouch'd she stay'd, uninjured she removes,
Pure from his arms, and guiltless of his loves.
These instant shall be thine; and if the powers
Give to our arms proud Ilion's hostile towers,
Then shalt thou store (when Greece the spoil divides)
With gold and brass thy loaded navy's sides.
Besides, full twenty nymphs of Trojan race
With copious love shall crown thy warm embrace;
Such as thyself shall chose; who yield to none,
Or yield to Helen's heavenly charms alone.
Yet hear me further: when our wars are o'er,
If safe we land on Argos' fruitful shore,
There shalt thou live his son, his honour share,
And with Orestes' self divide his care.
Yet more—three daughters in his court are bred,
And each well worthy of a royal bed:
Laodice and Iphigenia fair,
And bright Chrysothemis with golden hair:
Her shalt thou wed whom most thy eyes approve;
He asks no presents, no reward for love:
Himself will give the dower; so vast a store
As never father gave a child before.
Seven ample cities shall confess thy sway,
The Enope and Pherae thee obey,
Cardamyle with ample turrets crown'd,
And sacred Pedasus, for vines renown'd:
Æpea fair, the pastures Hira yields,
And rich Antheia with her flowery fields;
The whole extent to Pylos' sandy plain,
Along the verdant margin of the main.
There heifers graze, and labouring oxen toil;
Bold are the men, and generous is the soil.
There shalt thou reign, with power and justice crown'd,
And rule the tributary realms around.
Such are the proffers which this day we bring,
Such the repentance of a suppliant king.
But if all this, relentless, thou disdain,
If honour and if interest plead in vain,
Yet some redress to suppliant Greece afford,[pg 169]
And be, amongst her guardian gods, adored.
If no regard thy suffering country claim,
Hear thy own glory, and the voice of fame:
For now that chief, whose unresisted ire
Made nations tremble, and whole hosts retire,
Proud Hector, now, the unequal fight demands,
And only triumphs to deserve thy hands."
Then thus the goddess-born: "Ulysses, hear
A faithful speech, that knows nor art nor fear;