Ichōr

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Vénus blessée par Diomède, 1800
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Vénus blessée par Diomède (1800)

αὐτὰρ ὅ γ’ ἥρως
ὧν ἵππων ἐπιβὰς ἔλαβ’ ἡνία σιγαλόεντα,
αἶψα δὲ Τυδεί̈δην μέθεπε κρατερώνυχας ἵππους
ἐμμεμαώς· ὃ δὲ Κύπριν ἐπῴχετο νηλέϊ χαλκῷ
γιγνώσκων ὅ τ’ ἄναλκις ἔην θεός, οὐδὲ θεάων
τάων αἵ τ’ ἀνδρῶν πόλεμον κάτα κοιρανέουσιν,
οὔτ’ ἄρ’ Ἀθηναίη οὔτε πτολίπορθος Ἐνυώ.
ἀλλ’ ὅτε δή ῥ’ ἐκίχανε πολὺν καθ’ ὅμιλον ὀπάζων,
ἔνθ’ ἐπορεξάμενος μεγαθύμου Τυδέος υἱὸς
ἄκρην οὔτασε χεῖρα μετάλμενος ὀξέϊ δουρὶ
ἀβληχρήν· εἶθαρ δὲ δόρυ χροὸς ἀντετόρησεν
ἀμβροσίου διὰ πέπλου, ὅν οἱ Χάριτες κάμον αὐταί,
πρυμνὸν ὕπερ θέναρος· ῥέε δ’ ἄμβροτον αἷμα θεοῖο
ἰχώρ, οἷός πέρ τε ῥέει μακάρεσσι θεοῖσιν·
οὐ γὰρ σῖτον ἔδουσ’, οὐ πίνουσ’ αἴθοπα οἶνον,
τοὔνεκ’ ἀναίμονές εἰσι καὶ ἀθάνατοι καλέονται.
ἣ δὲ μέγα ἰάχουσα ἀπὸ ἕο κάββαλεν υἱόν·
καὶ τὸν μὲν μετὰ χερσὶν ἐρύσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
κυανέῃ νεφέλῃ, μή τις Δαναῶν ταχυπώλων
χαλκὸν ἐνὶ στήθεσσι βαλὼν ἐκ θυμὸν ἕλοιτο·
τῇ δ’ ἐπὶ μακρὸν ἄϋσε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Διομήδης·
εἶκε Διὸς θύγατερ πολέμου καὶ δηϊοτῆτος·
ἦ οὐχ ἅλις ὅττι γυναῖκας ἀνάλκιδας ἠπεροπεύεις;
εἰ δὲ σύ γ’ ἐς πόλεμον πωλήσεαι, ἦ τέ σ’ ὀΐω
ῥιγήσειν πόλεμόν γε καὶ εἴ χ’ ἑτέρωθι πύθηαι.
ὣς ἔφαθ’, ἣ δ’ ἀλύουσ’ ἀπεβήσετο, τείρετο δ’ αἰνῶς·
τὴν μὲν ἄρ’ Ἶρις ἑλοῦσα ποδήνεμος ἔξαγ’ ὁμίλου
ἀχθομένην ὀδύνῃσι, μελαίνετο δὲ χρόα καλόν.
εὗρεν ἔπειτα μάχης ἐπ’ ἀριστερὰ θοῦρον Ἄρηα
ἥμενον· ἠέρι δ’ ἔγχος ἐκέκλιτο καὶ ταχέ’ ἵππω·
ἣ δὲ γνὺξ ἐριποῦσα κασιγνήτοιο φίλοιο
πολλὰ λισσομένη χρυσάμπυκας ᾔτεεν ἵππους·
φίλε κασίγνητε κόμισαί τέ με δός τέ μοι ἵππους,
ὄφρ’ ἐς Ὄλυμπον ἵκωμαι ἵν’ ἀθανάτων ἕδος ἐστί.
λίην ἄχθομαι ἕλκος ὅ με βροτὸς οὔτασεν ἀνὴρ
Τυδεΐδης, ὃς νῦν γε καὶ ἂν Διὶ πατρὶ μάχοιτο.
ὣς φάτο, τῇ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἄρης δῶκε χρυσάμπυκας ἵππους·
ἣ δ’ ἐς δίφρον ἔβαινεν ἀκηχεμένη φίλον ἦτορ,
πὰρ δέ οἱ Ἶρις ἔβαινε καὶ ἡνία λάζετο χερσί,
μάστιξεν δ’ ἐλάαν, τὼ δ’ οὐκ ἀέκοντε πετέσθην.
(Homer, Iliad 5.327-366)

Then the warrior himself
mounting behind his own horses took up the glossy reins,
and at once drove the strong-footed horses after the son of Tydeus
in fierce haste; but the son of Tydeus was ranging after Cyprian Aphrodite
with his pitiless bronze spear, knowing that she was not a fighting god,
nor of those goddesses who hold sway throughout the war of men,
not Athena, nor city-sacking Enyo.
And when, pressing hard through the great throng, he caught her,
there the son of great-hearted Tydeus reaching out,
charging with his sharp spear, wounded the tip of her
soft hand; the spear pierced her skin straight
through her immortal robe, which the Graces themselves toiled to make for her,
above the base of her palm; the immortal blood flowed from the divinity—
ichor, which alone flows in the blessed gods.
For they do not eat grain, nor drink shining wine;
and for this reason they are bloodless and are called immortals.
Shrieking loudly, she flung her son from her;
but Phoebus Apollo kept him safe in his arms
within a blue-black cloud, lest some one of the Danaans of swift horses
hurling bronze into his breast should rob him of his life.
And at her, Diomedes of the war cry shouted loud:
“Give over, daughter of Zeus, from war and battle.
Is it not enough that you beguile defenseless women?
If you make a habit of coming to war, then I think you
will shudder at war all right, even if you should only hear of it from someplace else.”
So he spoke; and she, beside herself with pain, departed in dreadful distress.
And Iris with feet like the wind, taking her up, led her out of the throng
weighed down with pain, her beautiful skin blood-dark.
Then Aphrodite found furious Ares toward the left of the fighting,
sitting, his spear propped against the mist, with his two swift horses;
and falling to her knees before her dear brother,
beseeching again and again, she asked for his gold-bridled horses:
“Dear brother, rescue me and give me your horses,
that I may go to Olympus, where stands the seat of the immortals.
I am crushed with pain in this wound, which a mortal man struck me,
the son of Tydeus, who now would fight with even Father Zeus.”
So she spoke. And Ares gave her the gold-bridled horses. She got in the chariot grieving in her dear heart,
and beside her Iris mounted and took hold of the reins in her hands,
and lashed the whip to start the horses; and they two not unwilling flew on.
(tr. Caroline Alexander)

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