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[320] This day the Achaeans hold Troy. Within the town there sounds loud, I believe, a clamor of voices which will not blend. Pour vinegar and oil into the same vessel and you will say that, as foes, they keep apart; so the cries of vanquished and victors greet the ear, [325] distinct as their fortunes are diverse. Those, flung upon the corpses of their husbands and their brothers, children upon the bodies of their aged fathers who gave them life, bewail from lips no longer free the death of their dearest ones, while these— [330] a night of restless toil after battle sets them down famished to break their fast on such fare as the town affords; not faring according to rank, but as each man has drawn his lot by chance. [335] And even now they are quartered in the captured Trojan homes, delivered from the frosts and dew of the naked sky, and like happy men will sleep all the night without a guard.

Now if they keep clear of guilt towards the gods of the town—those of the conquered land—and towards their shrines, [340] the captors shall not be made captives in their turn. Only may no mad impulse first assail the army, overmastered by greed, to pillage what they should not! For to win safe passage home they need to travel back the other length of their double course. [345] But even if, without having offended the gods, our troops should reach home, the grievous suffering of the dead might still remain awake—if no fresh disaster transpires. These are my woman's words; but may the good prevail clearly for all to see! [350] For, choosing thus, I have chosen the enjoyment of many a blessing.

Lady, you speak as wisely as a prudent man. And, for my part, now that I have listened to your certain proofs, I prepare to address due prayers of thanksgiving to the gods; for a success has been achieved that well repays the toil.

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load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
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