SPEAK, MEMORY— Of the cunning hero, The wanderer, blown off course time and again After he plundered Troy's sacred heights. Speak Of all the cities he saw, the minds he grasped, The suffering deep in his heart at sea As he struggled to survive and bring his men home But could not save them, hard as he tried— The fools—destroyed by their own recklessness When they ate the oxen of Hyperion the Sun, And that god snuffed out their day of return. Of these things, Speak, Immortal One, And tell the tale once more in our time. By now, all the others who had fought at Troy— At least those who had survived the war and the sea— Were safely back home. Only Odysseus Still longed to return to his home and his wife. The nymph Calypso, a powerful goddess— And beautiful—was clinging to him In her caverns and yearned to possess him.
The Iliad, Book I, Lines 1-16
Anger be now your song, immortal one, Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous, that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom, leaving so many dead men--carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done. Begin it when the two men first contending broke with one another-- the Lord Marshal Agamémnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus. Among the gods, who brought this quarrel on? The son of Zeus by Lêto. Agamémnon angered him, so he made a burning wind of plague rise in the army: rank and file sickened and died for the ill their chief had done in despising a man of prayer.