18 AUGUST 1866, Page 22

The First Book of the Iliad of Homer. By Omega.

(Hatchard.)— This "attempt professes to be a somewhat literal rendering of the First Book of the Iliad into the heroic couplet." Its author's interest in Homer has been revived by the Earl of Derby's vivid and spirited trans- lation. One would have thought that the fact of one man having successfully accomplished a work would have been a reason for other- people leaving it alone, not doing again what had already been well done. But it seems our author does not think so, and has added in consequence one more to the many instances of misapplied labour. His version is neither literal nor poetical. We give two lines which fairly represent his average style. The angry Agamemnon can find nothing stronger than the following involved phrases wherewith to express his opinion of Achilles :-

" Of Heaven-nursed kings you most my bate employ, Since strifes and feuds inflate thy soul with joy."

'What can be more remote than this from the simplicity of the original. Greek? And it certainly is not poetry, unless,- as some people seem to think, poetry is only a weak way of writing prose, when you use more and feebler words to convey your meaning, which cannot be too indis- tinct.