Examples of Variations in
of Homer's Odyssey
Muse, tell me of the man of many wiles,
the man who wandered many paths of exile
after he sacked Troy's sacred citadel.
He saw the cities--mapped the minds--of many;
and on the sea, his spirit suffered every
adversity--to keep his life intact,
to bring his comrades back.
Albert Cook (1967)
Tell me, Muse, about the man of many turns, who many
Ways wandered when he had sacked Troy's holy citadel;
He saw the cities of many men, and he knew their thought;
On the ocean he suffered many pains within his heart,
Striving for his life and his companions' return.
Robert Fitzgerald (1961)
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy.
and learned the minds of many distant men,
and weathered many bitter nights and days
in his deep heart at sea, while he fought only
to save his life, to bring his shipmates home.
Walter James Miller (1970)
Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover, he suffered much by the sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home.
William Cowper (1791)
Muse make the man thy theme, for shrewdness famed
And genius versatile, who far and wide
A Wand'rer, after Ilium overthrown,
Discover'd various cities, and the mind
And manners learn'd of men, in lands remote.
He num'rous woes on Ocean toss'd, endured,
Anxious to save himself, and to conduct
His followers to their home.
George Chapman (1616)
The Man, O Muse, informe that many a way
Wound with his wisedome to his wished stay;
That wanderd wondrous farre when He the towne
Of sacred Troy had sackt and shiverd downe.
The cities of a world of nations,
With all their manners, mindes and fashions,
He saw and knew; at Sea felt many woes,
Much care sustaind, to save from overthrowes
Himselfe and friends in their retreate for home.
Robert Fitzgerald's Translation:
Now Zeus who views the wide world sent a sign to him,
launching a pair of eagles from a mountain crest
in gliding flight down the soft blowing wind,
wing-tip to wing-tip quivering taut, companions,
till high above the assembly of many voices
they wheeled, their dense wings beating, and in havoc
dropped on the heads of the crowd--a deathly omen--
wielding their talons, tearing cheeks and throats;
then veered away on the right hand through the city.
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