or burned for you thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danaans." Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down furious from the summits of Olympus
with his bow and his quiver upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow in the midst of them.
First he smote their mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning. For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly -
moved thereto by Hera, who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them. "Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now
turn roving home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or seer [mantis], or some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Zeus) who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say
whether it is for some vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will accept the savor of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take away the plague from us." With these words he sat down, and Kalkhas son of Thestor, wisest of augurs,
who knew things past present and to come, rose to speak. He it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilion
, through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus: - "Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the
anger [mênis] of King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the Achaeans are in subjection.