The Iliad, Book I, Lines 1-14
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.
Translated by Alexander Pope. This poem is in the public domain.