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“ Twelve cities of men have I laid waste with my ships and by land eleven, I avow, throughout the fertile land of Troy; [330] from out all these I took much spoil and goodly, and all would I ever bring and give to Agamemnon, this son of Atreus; but he staying behind, even beside his swiftships, would take and apportion some small part, but keep the most. Some he gave as prizes to chieftains and kings, [335] and for them they abide untouched; but from me alone of the Achaeans hath he taken and keepeth my wife,1 the darling of my heart. Let him lie by her side and take his joy. But why must the Argives wage war against the Trojans? Why hath he gathered and led hither his host, this son of Atreus? Was it not for fair-haired Helen's sake? [340] Do they then alone of mortal men love their wives, these sons of Atreus? Nay, for whoso is a true man and sound of mind, loveth his own and cherisheth her, even as I too loved her with all my heart, though she was but the captive of my spear. But now, seeing he hath taken from my arms my prize, and hath deceived me, [345] let him not tempt me that know him well; he shall not persuade me. Nay, Odysseus, together with thee and the other princes let him take thought to ward from the ships consuming fire. Verily full much hath he wrought without mine aid; lo, he hath builded a wall and digged a ditch hard by, [350] wide and great, and therein hath he planted stakes; yet even so availeth he not to stay the might of man-slaying Hector. But so long as I was warring amid the Achaeans Hector had no mind to rouse battle far from the wall, but would come only so far as the Scaean gates and the oak-tree; [355] there once he awaited me in single combat and hardly did he escape my onset. But now, seeing I am not minded to battle with goodly Hector, tomorrow will I do sacrifice to Zeus and all the gods, and heap well my ships, when I have launched them on the sea; then shalt thou see, if so be thou wilt, and carest aught therefor, [360] my ships at early dawn sailing over the teeming Hellespont, and on board men right eager to ply the oar; and if so be the great Shaker of the Earth grants me fair voyaging, on the third day shall I reach deep-soiled Phthia. Possessions full many have I that I left on my ill-starred way hither, [365] and yet more shall I bring from hence, gold and ruddy bronze, and fair-girdled women and grey iron—all that fell to me by lot; howbeit my prize hath he that gave it me taken back in his arrogant pride, even lord Agamemnon, son of Atreus. To him do ye declare all, even as I bid, [370] openly, to the end that other Achaeans also may be wroth, if haply he hopeth to deceive yet some other of the Danaans, seeing he is ever clothed in shamelessness. Yet not in my face would he dare to look, though he have the front of a dog. ”

1 407.1

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