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ILIAD OF HOMER
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BLANK VERSE
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
FIELDS, OSGOOD, & CO., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
UNIVERSITY PRESS: Welch, BIGELOW, & Co.,
AVING now nearly completed my translation of the
Iliad of Homer, I sit down to write the Preface, that it may be prefixed to the first volume. To this task of translation, which I began in 1865, I afterwards gave myself the more willingly because it helped in some measure to divert my mind from a great domestic sorrow. I am not sure that, when it shall be concluded, it may not cost me some regret to part with so interesting a companion as the old Greek poet, whose thoughts I have, for four years past, been occupied, though with interruptions, in the endeavor to transfer from his own grand and musical Greek to our less sonorous but still manly and flexible tongue.
In what I shall say of my own translation I do not mean to speak in disparagement of any of the previous English versions of the Iliad, nor to extenuate my obligations to some of them. I acknowledge that although Homer is, as Cowper has well observed, the most perspicuous of poets, I have been sometimes, perhaps often, guided by the labors of
my predecessors to a better mode of dealing with certain refractory passages of my author than I should otherwise have found. Let me, without detracting from their merits,