Site icon Alexander Hammil

Atalanta at Calydonia

They did not want me there, those haughty Arcadians, though I was of their land, and so hid at first in high dudgeon. With soft words Meleager, boastful, besotted Meleager persuaded them, and they, those stiff-necked boors, unbent enough to ‘allow’ my participation. After nine days of feasting his words had more weight, perhaps; certainly it was not for my virtues that they accepted me. How galling it must have been, to die even as my arrow struck the boar, to lose both life and contest in one wild boar-rush!

Even then they cheated me, robbed me of rightful hide-prize on scorn of my femaleness, as though the vengeful creature had not come from my lady goddess, that proudful huntress, as though it were by some trickery that my arrows flew true. To adoring Meleager they awarded it, to win favour and inlaid drinking vessels from his father, and spoke of glory to him, and high renown, and fame, but, ah! he was at least honest. They made it his love-gift to me, but he knew the truth, and I knew the truth, and the boar knew the truth and bore the report in its skin.

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