5. Spears

Series Title
Archilochos Suite
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Plate : 11 3/4 x 10 in. (29.85 x 25.4 cm)
Sheet : 18 1/4 x 15 1/4 in. (46.36 x 38.74 cm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection, Gift of Jacob E. and Leona M. Nyenhuis
Object Number

The poetic verses by Archilochos translated by Michael Ayrton and selected by him to accompany this image:

Expect no slingshots, nor will bows be stretched

when Ares builds this battle on the plain.
There will be pain-filled work, close in, for swords
for that is what those men are expert at,
Lords of Euboea, famous for their spears…

We, a thousand, are the slaughterers of the seven who fell.
We overtook them with our running feet…

Hear, Lord Hephaistos, here I clasp your knees.
Favor me. Fight by my side.
Grant me what is yours to grant…

Athena, daughter of Zeus the thunderer, stood at their side in battle,
stirring the woeful army, gave them heart. But as she drove that day,
over the earth, her song sounded a wholly different tune,
so the fields lay thick with those released
…but by the will of the Olympian gods…

Object Type
Academic Themes
Literary Connections