Here I am at your mercy, princess—
are you a goddess or a mortal? If one of the gods
who rule the skies up there, you’re Artemis to the life,
the daughter of mighty Zeus—I see her now—just look
at your build, your bearing, your lithe flowing grace . . .
But if you’re one of the mortals living here on earth,
three times blest are your father, your queenly mother,
three times over your brothers too. How often their hearts
must warm with joy to see you striding into the dances—
such a bloom of beauty. True, but he is the one
more blest than all other men alive, that man
who sways you with gifts and leads you home, his bride!
Queen, Arete, daughter of godlike King Rhexenor!
Here after many trials I come to beg for mercy,
your husband’s, yours, and all these feasters’ here.
May the gods endow them with fortune all their lives,
may each hand down to his sons the riches in his house
and the pride of place the realm has granted him.
But as for myself grant me a rapid convoy home
to my own native land. How far away I’ve been
from all my loved ones—how long I have suffered!
. . . and when they’d put aside desire for food and drink,
the Muse inspired the bard
to sing the famous deeds of fighting heroes—
the song whose fame had reached the skies those days:
The Strife Between Odysseus and Achilles, Peleus’ Son…