“But when Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, devised that hateful journey which loosened the knees of many a warrior, then they bade me and glorious Idomeneus to lead the ships to Ilios
, nor was there any way to refuse, for the voice of the people pressed hard upon us.
There for nine years we sons of the Achaeans warred, and in the tenth we sacked the city of Priam, and set out for home in our ships, and a god scattered the Achaeans. But for me, wretched man that I was, Zeus, the counsellor, devised evil. For a month only I remained, taking joy in my children,
my wedded wife, and my wealth; and then to Egypt
did my spirit bid me voyage with my godlike comrades, when I had fitted out my ships with care. Nine ships I fitted out, and the host gathered speedily. Then for six days my trusty comrades
feasted, and I gave them many victims, that they might sacrifice to the gods, and prepare a feast for themselves; and on the seventh we embarked and set sail from broad Crete
, with the North Wind blowing fresh and fair, and ran on easily as if down stream. No
harm came to any of my ships, but free from scathe and from disease we sat, and the wind and the helmsman guided the ships.
“On the fifth day we came to fair-flowing Aegyptus
, and in the river Aegyptus
I moored my curved ships. Then verily I bade my trusty comrades
to remain there by the ships, and to guard the ships, and I sent out scouts to go to places of outlook. But my comrades, yielding to wantonness, and led on by their own might, straightway set about wasting the fair fields of the men of Egypt
; and they carried off the women and little children,
and slew the men; and the cry came quickly to the city. Then, hearing the shouting, the people came forth at break of day, and the whole plain was filled with footmen, and chariots and the flashing of bronze. But Zeus who hurls the thunderbolt cast an evil panic upon my comrades, and none had the courage
to hold his ground and face the foe; for evil surrounded us on every side. So then they slew many of us with the sharp bronze, and others they led up to their city alive, to work for them perforce. But in my heart Zeus himself put this thought—I would that I had rather died and met my fate
there in Egypt
, for still was sorrow to give me welcome. Straightway I put off from my head my well-wrought helmet, and the shield from off my shoulders, and let the spear fall from my hand, and went toward the chariot horses of the king. I clasped, and kissed his knees, and he delivered me, and took pity on me,
and, setting me in his chariot, took me weeping to his home. Verily full many rushed upon me with their ashen spears, eager to slay me, for they were exceeding angry. But he warded them off, and had regard for the wrath of Zeus, the stranger's god, who above all others hath indignation at evil deeds.