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  • louise
    Feb 28, 2004
      "Ye gods! Have you no sense of shame?
      With your thick skin, and your crafty mind!
      How shall any Greek obey your orders
      Willingly - to go on expeditions,
      Or to fight with courage in the war?
      After all, it wasn't enmity with
      Trojan spearmen brought me to this place;
      They're innocent, as far as I'm concerned.
      They never stole my cattle or my horses,
      Nor spoilt the corn, at any time, in Phthia -
      That home of horses, where the soil is rich.
      Bear in mind the things that divide us:
      The shadowy mountains and the roaring sea.
      No, it was you - the man without a conscience -
      Whom we came with to this place: this was
      To satisfy you, and exact a penalty
      For Menelaus, and for you, dog-face,
      From the Trojans. You never stop to think
      About these things: you simply don't care.
      To cap it all, you threaten me - that you
      Yourself will take away the prize my sheer
      Hard graft deserved. It was a present from the men.
      I never get a prize as good as yours,
      When the Greeks invade a Trojan town
      And take its wealth..."

      Iliad, book one, lines 149-171

      Commentary by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) - friend of Dean Swift.
      Extract from his Preface to the translation of 1714-1720:
      'Our author's work is a wild paradise, where if we cannot see all
      the beauties so distinctly as in an order'd Garden, it is only
      because the number of them is infinitely greater. 'Tis like a
      copious nursery which contains the seeds and first productions of
      every kind, out of which those who follow'd him have but selected
      some particular plants, each according to his fancy, to cultivate
      and beautify. If some things are too luxuriant, it is owing to the
      richness of the soil; and if others are not arriv'd to perfection or
      maturity, it is only because they are over-run and opprest by those
      of a stronger nature.
      It is to the strength of this amazing invention we are to attribute
      that unequal'd fire and rapture, which is so forcible in Homer, that
      no man of a true poetical spirit is master of himself while he reads

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