O Goddess sing what woe the discontent
Of Thetis' son brought to the Greeks; what Souls
Of Heroes down to Erebus it sent,
Leaving their Bodies unto Dogs and Fowls,
Whilst the two Princes of the Army strove,
King Agamemnon and Achilles stout.
That so it should be was the will of Jove,
But who was he that made them first fall out?
Apollo, who incensed by the wrong
To his Priest Chryses by Atrides done.
Sent a great Pestilence the Greeks among;
Apace they di'd, and remedy was none.
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;
Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore.
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove,
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove!
Declare, O Muse! in what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended power
Latona's son a dire contagion spread,
And heap'd the camp with mountains of the dead;
The king of men his reverent priest defied,
And for the king's offence the people died.
Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of men and noble Achilles.
Who among the gods set the twain at strife and variance? Apollo, the son of Leto and of Zeus; for he in anger at the king sent a sore plague upon the host, so that the folk began to perish, because Atreides had done dishonour to Chryses the priest.