Iliad

Homer

Homer, creator; Murray, A. T. (Augustus Taber), 1866-1940, translator

Then the valiant Lycians likewise abode not, but were driven in routone and all, when they saw their king smitten to the heart, lying in the gathering of the dead; for many had fallen above him, when the son of Cronos strained taut the cords of the fierce conflict. But from the shoulders of Sarpedon they stripped his shining harness of bronze,and this the valiant son of Menoetius gave to his comrades to bear to the hollow ships. And then unto Apollo spake Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:

Up now, dear Phoebus, go cleanse from Sarpedon the dark blood, when thou hast taken him forth from out the range of darts, and thereafter bear thou him far away, and bathe him in the streams of the river,and anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe him about with immortal raiment, and give him to swift conveyers to bear with them, even to the twin brethren, Sleep and Death, who shall set him speedily in the rich land of wide Lycia. There shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burialwith mound and pillar; for this is the due of tne dead.
So spake he, nor was Apollo disobedient to his father's bidding, but went down from the hills of Ida into the dread din of battle. Forthwith then he lifted up goodly Sarpedon forth from out the range of darts, and when he had borne him far away, bathed him in the streams of the river,and anointed him with ambrosia, and clothed him about with immortal raiment, and gave him to swift conveyers to bear with them, even to the twin brethren, Sleep and Death, who set him speedily in the rich land of wide Lycia. But Patroclus with a call to his horses and to Automedon,pressed after the Trojans and Lycians, and was greatly blinded in heart, fool that he was! for had he observed the word of the son of Peleus, he would verily have escaped the evil fate of black death. But ever is the intent of Zeus stronger than that of men, for he driveth even a valiant man in rout, and robbeth him of victoryfull easily, and again of himself he rouseth men to fight; and he it was that now put fury in the breast of Patroclus. Then whom first, whom last didst thou slay, Patroclus, when the gods called thee deathward? Adrastus first, and Autonous, and Echeclus,and Perimus, son of Megas, and Epistor, and Melanippus, and thereafter Elasus, and Mulius, and Pylartes: these he slew, and the others bethought them each man of flight.

Then would the sons of the Achaeans have taken high-gated Troy by the hands of Patroclus, for around and before him he raged with his spear,had not Phoebus Apollo taken his stand upon the well-builded wall thinking thoughts of bane for him, but bearing aid to the Trojans. Thrice did Patroclus set foot upon a corner of the high wall, and thrice did Apollo fling him back, thrusting against the bright shield with his immortal hands.But when for the fourth time he rushed on like a god, then with a terrible cry Apollo spake to him winged words:

Give back, Zeus-born Patroclus. It is not fated, I tell thee, that by thy spear the city of the lordly Trojans shall be laid waste, nay, nor by that of Achilles, who is better far than thou.
So spake he, and Patroclus gave ground a great space backward, avoiding the wrath of Apollo that smiteth afar. But Hector at the Scaean gate was staying his single-hoofed horses, for he was divided in mind, whether he should drive again into the turmoil and do battle, or should call to the host to gather them within the wall.And while he pondered thus there drew nigh to him Phoebus Apollo in the likeness of a young man and a strong, even of Asius, that was uncle to horse-taming Hector, and own brother to Hecabe, but son of Dymas, that dwelt in Phrygia by the streams of Sangarius.In his likeness spake Apollo, the son of Zeus, unto Hector:
Hector, wherefore dost thou cease from battle? It beseemeth thee not. I would that I were as much stronger than thou as I am weaker;then straightway would it be to thine own hurt that thou drawest back from the war. Nay, come, drive against Patroclus thy strong-hoofed horses,if so be thou mayest slay him, and Apollo give thee glory.

So spake he, and went back again, a god into the toil of men. Then unto wise-hearted Cebriones glorious Hector gave command to lash his horses into the battle. But Apollo went his way, and entered into the throng, and sent an evil panic upon the Argives,and vouchsafed glory to the Trojans and to Hector. But Hector let be the other Danaans, neither sought to stay them, but drave his strong-hoofed horses against Patroclus; and Patroclus over against him leapt from his chariot to the ground with a spear in his left hand,while with the other he grasped a stone, shining and jagged, that his hand compassed about. Firmly he planted himself, and hurled it, neither had he long awe of his foe, nor sped he his missile in vain, but smote the charioteer of Hector, even Cebriones, a bastard son of glorious Priam, upon the forehead with the sharp stone, as he was holding the reins of the horses.And both his brows did the stone dash together, and the bone held not, but the eyes fell to the ground in the dust even there, before his feet. And like a diver he fell from the well-wrought car, and his spirit left his bones. Then with mocking words didst thou speak to him, knight Patroclus:

Hah, look you, verily nimble is the man; how lightly he diveth! In sooth if he were on the teeming deep, this man would satisfy many by seeking for oysters, leaping from his ship were the sea never so stormy, seeing that now on the plain he diveth lightly from his car. Verily among the Trojans too there be men that dive.