Opening lines from Homer’s Odyssey

by Chapman

The opening lines of the Odyssey, translated into English by George Chapman. Compare and contrast with the Greek original and the translation of the opening of the Iliad by Alexander Pope.

The man, O Muse, inform, that many a way
Wound with his wisdom to his wished stay;
That wandered wondrous far, when he the town
Of sacred Troy had sack’d and shivered down;
The cities of a world of nations,
With all their manners, minds, and fashions,
He saw and knew; at sea felt many woes,
Much care sustained, to save from overthrows
Himself and friends in their retreat for home;
But so their fates he could not overcome,
Though much he thirsted it. O men unwise,
They perish’d by their own impieties,
That in their hunger’s rapine would not shun
The oxen of the lofty-going Sun.