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Poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson

SPECIMEN OF A TRANSLATION OF THE ILIAD
IN BLANK VERSE.


So Hector said, and sea-like roar'd his host;
Then loosed their sweating horses from the yoke,
And each beside his chariot bound his own;
And oxen from the city, and goodly sheep
In haste they drove, and honey-hearted wine
And bread from out the houses brought, and heap'd
Their firewood, and the winds from off the plain
Roll'd the rich vapor far into the heaven.
And these all night upon the[1] bridge of war
Sat glorying; many a fire before them blazed:
As when in heaven the stars about the moon
Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid,
And every height comes out, and jutting peak
And valley, and the immeasurable heavens
Break open to their highest, and all the stars
Shine, and the Shepherd gladdens in his heart:
So many a fire between the ships and stream
Of Xanthus blazed before the towers of Troy,
A thousand on the plain; and close by each
Sat fifty in the blaze of burning fire;
And champing golden grain, the horses stood
Hard by their chariots, waiting for the dawn.[2]

Iliad VIII. 542-561.


[1] Or, ridge.

[2] Or more literally--

And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds
Stood by their cars, waiting the throned morn.