allowed us to achieve Ohio Magazine's distinction as one of. Ohio's Best Hometowns. us who met the hot night of July 28th Cultural Center, Around About Books, and the production of Hayner liquors, although the corporate existence. “WELL, DANA, YOU WERE right,” Detective Troy said the next morning to Dana. round the clock Christmas songs—but of course the holiday spirit had been to meet him at the Breakfast Place so that they could have a quiet conversation. “Oh, dear. I'm really sorry to hear that. But I knew there was something dodgy. The meeting of this Board brings together some of the orthodox clergy and First, to see the spirit in which they afe conducted \ and second, to contrast against indulging in too much «" latitudinarian charity," for the sects around The Council will meet at 8 o'clock oh Wednesday mornmz. Also, at West Troy, Sept.
Of my Celestial Patronesswho deignes Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires Easie my unpremeditated Verse: Mee of these Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise That name, unless an age too late, or cold Climator Years damp my intended wing [ 45 ] Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine, Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear. When Satan who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd In meditated fraud and malice, bent [ 55 ] On mans destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By Night he fled, and at Midnight return'd. From compassing the Earth, cautious of day, Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri'd [ 60 ] His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv'n, The space of seven continu'd Nights he rode With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line He circl'd, four times cross'd the Carr of Night [ 65 ] From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure ; On the eighth return'd, and on the Coast averse From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way.
Him after long debate, irresolute Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom To enter, and his dark suggestions hide [ 90 ] From sharpest sight: Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward griefe His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd: O Earth, how like to Heav'nif not preferr'd More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built [ ] With second thoughtsreforming what was old!
For what God after better worse would build? Terrestrial Heav'n, danc't round by other Heav'ns That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps, Light above Light, for thee aloneas seems, [ ] In thee concentring all thir precious beams Of sacred influence: With what delight could I have walkt thee round, If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange [ ] Of Hill, and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines, Now Land, now Sea, and Shores with Forrest crownd, Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these Find place or refuge; and the more I see Pleasures about me, so much more I feel [ ] Torment within me, as from the hateful siege Of contraries; all good to me becomes Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my state.
But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav'n To dwell, unless by maistring Heav'ns Supreame; [ ] Nor hope to be my self less miserable By what I seek, but others to make such As I, though thereby worse to me redound: For onely in destroying I find ease To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd, [ ] Or won to what may work his utter loss, For whom all this was made, all this will soon Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe, In wo then: To mee shall be the glorie sole among [ ] The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd What he Almightie styl'd, six Nights and Days Continu'd making, and who knows how long Before had bin contriving, though perhaps Not longer then since I in one Night freed [ ] From servitude inglorious welnigh half Th' Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng Of his adorers: Subjected to his service Angel wings, [ ] And flaming Ministers to watch and tend Thir earthy Charge: Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde [ ] The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
Revenge, at first though sweet, Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles; Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd, Since higher I fall short, on him who next Provokes my enviethis new Favorite [ ] Of Heav'n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite, Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd From dust: So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie, Like a black mist low creeping, he held on [ ] His midnight search, where soonest he might finde The Serpent: Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den, [ ] Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe Fearless unfeard he slept: Now when as sacred Light began to dawne In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd Thir morning incense, when all things that breath, From th' Earths great Altar send up silent praise [ ] To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill With grateful Smell, forth came the human pair And joind thir vocal Worship to the Quire Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires: And Eve first to her Husband thus began.
Adam, well may we labour still to dress [ ] This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour, Our pleasant task enjoyn'd, but till more hands Aid us, the work under our labour grows, Luxurious by restraint; what we by day Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, [ ] One night or two with wanton growth derides Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise Or hear what to my minde first thoughts present, Let us divide our labours, thou where choice Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind [ ] The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon: For while so near each other thus all day [ ] Our taske we choose, what wonder if so near Looks intervene and smiles, or object new Casual discourse draw on, which intermits Our dayes work brought to little, though begun Early, and th' hour of Supper comes unearn'd.
Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond Compare above all living Creatures deare, Well hast thou motion'dwell thy thoughts imployd How we might best fulfill the work which here [ ] God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass Unprais'd: Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd [ ] Labour, as to debarr us when we need Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow, To brute deni'd, and are of Love the food, [ ] Love not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksom toile, but to delight He made us, and delight to Reason joyn'd. But if much converse perhaps Thee satiateto short absence I could yield.
For solitude somtimes is best societieAnd short retirement urges sweet returne. The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks, Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies, Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve, [ ] As one who loves, and some unkindness meets, With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd, Ofspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earths Lord, That such an Enemie we have, who seeks Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne, [ ] And from the parting Angel over-heard As in a shadie nook I stood behind, Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours. But that thou shouldst my firmness therfore doubt To God or thee, because we have a foe [ ] May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fear'st not, being such, As wee, not capable of death or paine, Can either not receave, or can repell. His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs [ ] Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't; Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy brest Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear?
Paradise Lost: Book 9
To whom with healing words Adam replyd. Not diffident of thee do I dissuade Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid Th' attempt itself, intended by our Foe. I from the influence of thy looks receave Access in every Vertue, in thy sight [ ] More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on, Shame to be overcome or over-reacht Would utmost vigor raise, and rais'd unite.
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel [ ] When I am present, and thy trial choose With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri'd.
So spake domestick Adam in his care And Matrimonial Love; but Eve, who thought Less attributed to her Faith sincere, [ ] Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.
If this be our condition, thus to dwell In narrow circuit strait'nd by a Foe, Suttle or violent, we not endu'd Single with like defence, wherever met, [ ] How are we happie, still in fear of harm? But harm precedes not sin: And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid [ ] Alone, without exterior help sustaind?
Let us not then suspect our happie State Left so imperfet by the Maker wise, As not secure to single or combin'd. Fraile is our happiness, if this be so, [ ] And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd. To whom thus Adam fervently repli'd. O Woman, best are all things as the will Of God ordain'd them, his creating hand Nothing imperfet or deficient left [ ] Of all that he Created, much less Man, Or aught that might his happie State secure, Secure from outward force; within himself The danger lies, yet lies within his power: Against his will he can receave no harme.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve, Since Reason not impossibly may meet [ ] Some specious object by the Foe subornd, And fall into deception unaware, Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd. Seek not temptation then, which to avoide Were better, and most likelie if from mee [ ] Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.
Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve First thy obedience; th' other who can know, Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? But if thou think, trial unsought may finde [ ] Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst, Go ; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Go in thy native innocence, relie On what thou hast of vertue, summon all, For God towards thee hath done his partdo thine. With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought, [ ] May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar'd, The willinger I goe, nor much expect A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek, So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.
Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand [ ] Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light Betook her to the Groves, but Delia's self In gate surpass'd and Goddess-like deportThough not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd, [ ] But with such Gardning Tools as Art yet rude, Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought. Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu'd Oft he to her his charge of quick returne Repeated, shee to him as oft engag'd [ ] To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre, And all things in best order to invite Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.
O much deceav'd, much failing, hapless Eve, Of thy presum'd return! For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend, Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come, And on his Quest, where likeliest he might finde The onely two of Mankinde, but in them [ ] The whole included Race, his purposd prey.
In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay, Thir tendance or Plantation for delight, By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet [ ] He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find Eve separate, he wish'd, but not with hope Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish, Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies, Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood, [ ] Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round About her glowd, oft stooping to support Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold, Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies [ ] Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while, Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour, From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh.
Much hee the Place admir'd, the Person more. As one who long in populous City pent, [ ] Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire, Forth issuing on a Summers Morn to breathe Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight, The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine, [ ] Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound; If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass, What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more, She most, and in her look summs all Delight.
Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold [ ] This Flourie Platthe sweet recess of Eve Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav'nly forme Angelic, but more soft, and FeminineHer graceful Innocence, her every Aire Of gesture or lest action overawd [ ] His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought: That space the Evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remaind Stupidly goodof enmitie disarm'd, [ ] Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge; But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes, Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight, And tortures him now more, the more he sees Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: Thoughtswhither have ye led me, with what sweet Compulsion thus transported to forget What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor hope [ ] Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying, other joy To me is lost.
Then let me not let pass Occasion which now smiles, behold alone [ ] The Woman, opportune to all attempts, Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Whose higher intellectual more I shun, And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould, [ ] Foe not informidable, exempt from woundI not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and paine Infeebl'd me, to what I was in Heav'n.
Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods, Not terrible, though terrour be in Love [ ] And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign'd, The way which to her ruin now I tend. So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos'd In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve [ ] Address'd his way, not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare, Circular base of rising foulds, that tour'd Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes; [ ] With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect Amidst his circling Spiresthat on the grass Floted redundant: With tract oblique [ ] At first, as one who sought access, but feard To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile; [ ] So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us'd To such disport before her through the Field, [ ] From every Beast, more duteous at her call, Then at Circean call the Herd disguis'd.
Hee boulder now, uncall'd before her stood; But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd His turret Crest, and sleek enamel'd Neck, [ ] Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon she trod. His gentle dumb expression turnd at length The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue Organicor impulse of vocal Air, [ ] His fraudulent temptation thus began. Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm Thy looks, the Heav'n of mildness, with disdain, Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze [ ] Insatiate, I thus single, nor have feard Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd.
What a grief it will be to you through all the years to come. No remedy, no way to cure the damage once it's done. Come, while there's still time, think hard: Oh old friend, surely your father Peleus urged you, that day he sent you out of Phthia to Agamemnon, 'My son, victory is what Athena and Hera will give, if they so choose.
But you, you hold in check that proud, fiery spirit of yours inside your chest! Friendship is much better.
Vicious quarrels are deadly— put an end to them, at once. Your Achaean comrades, young and old, will exalt you all the more. It must have slipped your mind. But now at last, stop, Achilles-let your heart-devouring anger go! The king will hand you gifts to match his insults if only you'll relent and end your anger. So come then, listen, as I count out the gifts, the troves in his tents that Agamemnon vows to give you.
Seven tripods never touched by fire, ten bars of gold, twenty burnished cauldrons, a dozen massive stallions, racers who earned him trophies with their speed. He is no poor man who owns what they have won, not strapped for goods with all that lovely gold— what trophies those high-strung horses carried off for him!
Seven women he'll give you, flawless, skilled in crafts, women of Lesbos—the ones he chose, his privilege, that day you captured the Lesbos citadel yourself: These he will give, and along with them will go the one he took away at first, Brjseus' daughter, and he will swear a solemn, binding oath in the bargain: Now all these gifts will be handed you at once.
But if, later, the gods allow us to plunder the great city of Priam, you shall enter in when we share the spoils, load the holds of your ship with gold and bronze—as much as your heart desires— and choose for your pleasure twenty Trojan women second only to Argive Helen in their glory. And then, if we can journey home to Achaean Argos, pride of the breasting earth, you'll be his son-by-marriage.
He will even honor you on a par with his Orestes, full-grown by now, reared in the lap of luxury. Three daughters are his in his well-built halls, Chrysothemis and Laodice and Iphianassa— and you may lead away whichever one you like, with no bride-price asked, home to Peleus' house. And he will add a dowry, yes, a magnificent treasure the likes of which no man has ever offered with his daughter. Seven citadels he will give you, filled with people, Cardamyle, Enope, and the grassy slopes of Hire, Pherae the sacrosanct, Anthea deep in meadows, rolling Aepea and Pedasus green with vineyards.
All face the sea at the far edge of sandy Pylos and the men who live within them, rich in sheep-flocks, rich in shambling cattle, will honor you like a god with hoards of gifts and beneath your scepter's sway live out your laws in sleek and shining peace.
But if you hate the son of Atreus all the more, him and his troves of gifts, at least take pity on all our united forces mauled in battle here-- they will honor you, honor you like a god.
Think of the glory you will gather in their eyes! Now you can kill Hector—seized with murderous frenzy, certain there's not a single fighter his equal, no Achaean brought to Troy in the ships— now, for once, you can meet the man head-on! I must say what I have to say straight out, must tell you how I feel and how all this will end— so you won't crowd around me, one after another, coaxing like a murmuring clutch of doves.
I hate that man like the very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another in his heart. I will say it outright.
That seems best to me. Will Agamemnon win me over? Not for all the world, nor will all the rest of Achaea's armies. No, what lasting thanks in the long run for warring with our enemies, on and on, no end?
One and the same lot for the man who hangs back and the man who battles hard. The same honor waits for the coward and the brave. They both go down to Death, the fighter who shirks, the one who works to exhaustion. And what's laid up for me, what pittance? Nothing— and after suffering hardships, year in, year out, staking my life on the mortal risks of war.
Like a mother bird hurrying morsels back to her unfledged young-whatever she can catch— but it's all starvation wages for herself. Many a sleepless night I've bivouacked in harness, day after bloody day I've hacked my passage through, fighting other soldiers to win their wives as prizes.
Twelve cities of men I've stormed and sacked from shipboard, eleven I claim by land, on the fertile earth of Troy. And from all I dragged off piles of splendid plunder, hauled it away and always gave the lot to Agamemnon, that son of Atreus—always skulking behind the lines, safe in his fast ships—and he would take it all, he'd parcel out some scraps but keep the lion's share.
Some he'd hand to the lords and kings—prizes of honor— and they, they hold them still. From me alone, Achilles of all Achaeans, he seizes, he keeps the bride I love Well let him bed her now— enjoy her to the hilt! Why must we battle Trojans, men of Argos?
Why did he muster an army, lead us here, that son of Atreus? Why, why in the world if not for Helen with her loose and lustrous hair? Are they the only men alive who love their wives, those sons of Atreus? Any decent man, a man with sense, loves his own, cares for his own as deeply as I, I loved that woman with all my heart, though I won her like a trophy with my spear But now that he's tom my honor.
I know him too well—he'll never win me over! No, Odysseus, let him rack his brains with you and the other captains how to fight the raging fire off the ships.
Look-- what a mighty piece of work he's done without me! Why, he's erected a rampart, driven a trench around it, broad, enormous, and planted stakes to guard it. He still can't block the power of man-killing Hector! No, though as long as I fought on Achaea's lines Hector had little lust to charge beyond his walls, never ventured beyond the Scaean Gates and oak tree. There he stood up to me alone one day— and barely escaped my onslaught.
Ah but now, since I have no desire to battle glorious Hector, tomorrow at daybreak, once I have sacrificed to Zeus and all the gods and loaded up my holds and launched out on the breakers—watch, my friend, if you'll take the time and care to see me off, and you will see my squadrons sail at dawn, fanning out on the Hellespont that swarms with fish, my crews manning the oarlocks, rowing out with a will, and if the famed god of the earthquake grants us safe passage, the third day out we raise the dark rich soil of Phthia.
There lies my wealth, hoards of it, all I left behind when I sailed to Troy on this, this insane voyage-- and still more hoards from here: All but my prize of honor. That high and mighty King Agamemnon, that son of Atreus!
Go back and tell him all, all I say-out in the open too—so other Achaeans can wheel on him in anger if he still hopes— who knows? Shameless, inveterate—armored in shamelessness! Dog that he is, he'd never dare to look me straight in the eyes again.
No, I'll never set heads together with that man— no planning in common, no taking common action. He cheated me, did me damage, wrong! But never again, he'll never rob me blind with his twisting words again! Once is enough for him. Die and be damned for all I care! Zeus who rules the world has ripped his wits away. His gifts, I loathe his gifts. I wouldn't give you a splinter for that man! Not if he gave me ten times as much, twenty times over, all he possesses now, and all that could pour in from the world's end— not all the wealth that's freighted into Orchomenos, even into Thebes, Egyptian Thebes where the houses overflow with the greatest troves of treasure, Thebes with the hundred gates and through each gate battalions, two hundred fighters surge to war with teams and chariots— no, not if his gifts outnumbered all the grains of sand and dust in the earth—no, not even then could Agamemnon bring my fighting spirit round until he pays me back, pays full measure for all his heartbreaking outrage!
I will marry no daughter of Agamemnon. Not if she rivaled Aphrodite in all her golden glory, not if she matched the crafts of clear-eyed Athena, not even then would I make her my wife! No, let her father pitch on some other Argive— one who can please him, a greater king than I. If the gods pull me through and I reach home alive, Peleus needs no help to fetch a bride for me himself. Plenty of Argive women wait in Hellas and in Phthia, daughters of lords who rule their citadels in power.
Whomever I want I'll make my cherished wife—at home. Time and again my fiery spirit drove me to win a wife, a fine partner to please my heart, to enjoy with her the treasures my old father Peleus piled high.
I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claim was stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches, in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came— not all the gold held fast in the Archer's rocky vaults, in Phoebus Apollo's house on Pytho's sheer cliffs!
Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions. But a man's life breath cannot come back again— no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth.
Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies. To the rest I'd pass on this advice: You will never set your eyes on the day of doom that topples looming Troy.
Thundering Zeus has spread his hands above her— her armies have taken heart! So you go back to the great men of Achaea. You report my message— since this is the privilege of senior chiefs— let them work out a better plan of action, use their imaginations now to save the ships and Achaea's armies pressed to their hollow hulls. This maneuver will never work for them, this scheme they hatched for the moment as I raged on and on.
But Phoenix can stay and rest the night with us, so he can voyage home, home in the ships with me to the fatherland we love. But only if Phoenix wishes. I will never force the man to go. A stunned silence seized them all, struck dumb— Achilles' ringing denials overwhelmed them so. At last Phoenix the old charioteer spoke out, he burst into tears, terrified for Achaea's fleet: Is that what you're turning over in your mind, my glorious one, Achilles?
Have you no heart at all to fight the gutting fire from the fast trim ships? The spirit inside you overpowered by anger!
How could I be severed from you, dear boy, left behind on the beachhead here—alone? The old horseman Peleus had me escort you, that day he sent you out of Phthia to Agamemnon, a youngster still untrained for the great leveler, war, still green at debate where men can make their mark.
So he dispatched me, to teach you all these things, to make you a man of words and a man of action too. Cut off from you with a charge like that, dear boy? I have no heart to be left behind, not even if Zeus himself would swear to scrape away the scurf of age and make me young again. As fresh as I was that time I first set out from Hellas where the women are a wonder, fleeing a blood feud with my father, Amyntor, Ormenus' son. How furious father was with me, over his mistress with her dark, glistening hair.
How he would dote on her and spurn his wedded wife, my own mother! And time and again she begged me, hugging my knees, to bed my father's mistress down and kill the young girl's taste for an old man. Mother—I did your bidding, did my work. But father, suspecting at once, cursed me roundly, he screamed out to the cruel Furies—'Never, never let me bounce on my knees a son of his, sprung of his loins!
So I, I took it into my head to lay him low with sharp bronze! But a god checked my anger, he warned me of what the whole realm would say, the loose talk of the people, rough slurs of men— they must not call me a father-killer, our Achaeans! Then nothing could keep me there, my blood so fired up.
No more strolling about the halls with father raging. But there was a crowd of kin and cousins round me, holding me in the house, begging me to stay. Nine nights they passed the hours, hovering over me, keeping the watch by rounds. The fires never died, one ablaze in the colonnade of the walled court, one in the porch outside my bedroom doors.
But then, when the tenth night came on me, black as pitch, I burst the doors of the chamber bolted tight and out I rushed, I leapt the walls at a bound, giving the slip to guards and women servants. And away I fled through the whole expanse of Hellas and gaining the good dark soil of Phthia, mother of flocks, I reached the king, and Peleus gave me a royal welcome. Peleus loved me as a father loves a son, I tell you, his only child, the heir to his boundless wealth, he made me a rich man, he gave me throngs of subjects, I ruled the Dolopes, settling down on Phthia's west frontier.
And I made you what you are—strong as the gods, Achilles— I loved you from the heart. You'd never go with another to banquet on the town or feast in your own halls. Never, until I'd sat you down on my knees and cut you the first bits of meat, remember?
You'd eat your fill, I'd hold the cup to your lips and all too often you soaked the shirt on my chest, spitting up some wine, a baby's way. Oh I had my share of troubles for you, Achilles, did my share of labor. Brooding, never forgetting the gods would bring no son of mine to birth, not from my own loins. So you, Achilles— great godlike Achilles—I made you my son, I tried, so someday you might fight disaster off my back.
But now, Achilles, beat down your mounting fury! It's wrong to have such an iron, ruthless heart. Even the gods themselves can bend and change, and theirs is the greater power, honor, strength.
Even the gods, I say, with incense, soothing vows, with full cups poured and the deep smoky savor men can bring them round, begging for pardon when one oversteps the mark, does something wrong. We do have Prayers, you know, Prayers for forgiveness, daughters of mighty Zeus. But Ruin is strong and swift— She outstrips them all by far, stealing a march, leaping over the whole wide earth to bring mankind to grief.
And the Prayers trail after, trying to heal the wounds. And then, if a man reveres these daughters of Zeus as they draw near him, they will help him greatly and listen to his appeals. But if one denies them, turns them away, stiff-necked and harsh—off they go to the son of Cronus, Zeus, and pray that Ruin will strike the man down, crazed and blinded until he's paid the price.
See that honor attend these good daughters of Zeus, honor that sways the minds of others, even heroes. If Agamemnon were not holding out such gifts, with talk of more to come, that son of Atreus, if the warlord kept on blustering in his anger, why, I'd be the last to tell you, 'Cast your rage to the winds! But now, look, he gives you a trove of treasures right away, and vows there are more to follow. He sends the bravest captains to implore you, leaders picked from the whole Achaean army, comrades-in-arms that you love most yourself.
Don't dismiss their appeal, their expedition here— though no one could blame your anger, not before. So it was in the old days too. So we've heard in the famous deeds of fighting men, of heroes, when seething anger would overcome the great ones. Still you could bring them round with gifts and winning words.
There's an old tale I remember, an ancient exploit, nothing recent, but this is how it went.: We are all friends here—let me tell it now. The Curetes were fighting the combat-hard Aetolians, armies ringing Calydon, slaughtering each other, Aetolians defending their city's handsome walls and Curetes primed to lay them waste in battle. It all began when Artemis throned in gold loosed a disaster on them, incensed that Oeneus offered her no first fruits, his orchard's crowning glory.
The rest of the gods had feasted full on oxen, true, but the Huntress alone, almighty Zeus's daughter— Oeneus gave her nothing. It slipped his mind or he failed to care, but what a fatal error!
How she fumed, Zeus's child who showers arrows, she loosed a bristling wild boar, his tusks gleaming, crashing his savage, monstrous way through Oeneus' orchard, ripping up whole trunks from the earth to pitch them headlong, rows of them, roots and all, appleblossoms and all!
But the son of Oeneus, Meleager, cut him down— mustering hunters out of a dozen cities, packs of hounds as well. No slim band of men could ever finish him off, that rippling killer, he stacked so many men atop the tear-soaked pyre. But over his body the goddess raised a terrific din, a war for the prize, the huge beast's head and shaggy hide— Curetes locked to the death with brave Aetolians.
Now, so long as the battle-hungry Meleager fought, it was deadly going for the Curetes. No hope of holding their ground outside their own city walls, despite superior numbers. But then, when the wrath came sweeping over the man, the same anger that swells the chests of others, for all their care and self-control-- then, heart enraged at his own dear mother Althaea, Meleager kept to his bed beside his wedded wife, Cleopatra. The daughter of trim-heeled Marpessa, Euenus' child, and her husband Idas, strongest man of the men who once walked the earth—he even braved Apollo, he drew his bow at the Archer, all for Marpessa the girl with lovely ankles.
There in the halls her father and mother always called Cleopatra Halcyon, after the seabird's name. Meleager's Cleopatra— she was the one he lay beside those days, brooding over his heartbreaking anger. He was enraged by the curses of his mother, volleys of curses she called down from the gods. So racked with grief for her brother he had killed she kept pounding fists on the earth that feeds us all, kept crying out to the god of death and grim Persephone, flung herself on the ground, tears streaking her robes and she screamed out, 'Kill Meleager, kill my son!
And Aetolia's elders begged Meleager, sent high priests of the gods, pleading, 'Come out now! Wherever the richest land of green Calydon lay, there they urged him to choose a grand estate, full fifty acres, half of it turned to vineyards, half to open plowland, and carve it from the plain.
And over and over the old horseman Oeneus begged him, he took a stand at the vaulted chamber's threshold, shaking the bolted doors, begging his own son! Over and over his brothers and noble mother implored him—he refused them all the more— and troops of comrades, devoted, dearest friends. Not even they could bring his fighting spirit round until, at last, rocks were raining down on the chamber, Curetes about to mount the towers and torch the great city!
And then, finally, Meleager's bride, beautiful Cleopatra begged him, streaming tears, recounting all the griefs that fall to people whose city's seized and plundered— the men slaughtered, citadel burned to rubble, enemies dragging the children, raping the sashed and lovely women. How his spirit leapt when he heard those horrors— and buckling his gleaming armor round his body, out he rushed to war.
And so he saved them all from the fatal day, he gave way to his own feelings, but too late. No longer would they make good the gifts, those troves of gifts to warm his heart, and even so he beat off that disaster. But you, you wipe such thoughts from your mind. Don't let your spirit turn you down that path, dear boy. Harder to save the warships 'once they're up in flames. Now—while the gifts still wait—go out and fight!
Go—the Achaeans all will honor you like a god!