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“ Thereat the Archer-goddess, the child of Zeus, waxed wroth and sent against him a fierce wild boar, white of tusk, [540] that wrought much evil, wasting1 the orchard land of Oeneus; many a tall tree did he uproot and cast upon the ground, aye, root and apple blossom therewith. But the boar did Meleager, son of Oeneus, slay, when he had gathered out of many cities huntsmen [545] and hounds; for not of few men could the boar have been slain, so huge was he; and many a man set he upon the grievous pyre. But about his body the goddess brought to pass much clamour and shouting concerning his head and shaggy hide, between the Curetes and the great-souled Aetolians. [550] Now so long as Meleager, dear to Ares, warred, so long went it ill with the Curetes, nor might they abide without their wall, for all they were very many. But when wrath entered into Meleager, wrath that maketh the heart to swell in the breasts also of others, even though they be wise, [555] he then, wroth at heart against his dear mother2 Althaea, abode beside his wedded wife, the fair Cleopatra, daughter of Marpessa of the fair ankles, child of Evenus, and of Idas that was mightiest of men that were then upon the face of earth; who also took his bow to face the king [560] Phoebus Apollo for the sake of the fair-ankled maid.3 Her of old in their halls had her father and honoured mother called Halcyone by name, for that the mother herself in a plight even as that of the halcyon-bird of many sorrows,4 wept because Apollo that worketh afar had snatched her child away. [565] By her side lay Meleager nursing his bitter anger, wroth because of his mother's curses; for she prayed instantly to the gods, being grieved for her brother's slaying; and furthermore instantly beat with her hands upon the all-nurturing earth, calling upon Hades and dread Persephone, [570] the while she knelt and made the folds of her bosom wet with tears, that they should bring death upon her son; and the Erinys that walketh in darkness heard her from Erebus, even she of the ungentle heart. Now anon was the din of the foemen risen about their gates, and the noise of the battering of walls, and to Meleager the elders [575] of the Aetolians made prayer, sending to him the best of the priests of the gods, that he should come forth and succour them, and they promised him a mighty gift; they bade him, where the plain of lovely Calydon was fattest, there choose a fair tract of fifty acres, the half of it vineland, [580] and the half clear plough-land, to be cut from out the plain. ”

1 421.1

2 423.1

3 423.2

4 423.3

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 784
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