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The Iliad of Homer by Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

Part 2 out of 7

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Trojans and Achaians, and to essay that the Trojans may first take upon
them to do violence to the Achaians in their triumph, despite the
oaths."

So said she, and the father of men and gods disregarded not; forthwith
he spake to Athene winged words: "Betake thee with all speed to the
host, to the midst of Trojans and Achaians, and essay that the Trojans
may first take upon them to do violence to the Achaians in their
triumph, despite the oaths."

So spake he, and roused Athene that already was set thereon; and from
Olympus' heights she darted down. Even as the son of Kronos the crooked
counsellor sendeth a star, a portent for mariners or a wide host of
men, bright shining, and therefrom are scattered sparks in multitude;
even in such guise sped Pallas Athene to earth, and leapt into their
midst; and astonishment came on them that beheld, on horse-taming
Trojans and well-greaved Achaians. And thus would many an one say,
looking at his neighbor: "Of a surety either shall sore war and the
fierce battle din return again; or else Zeus doth stablish peace between
the foes, even he that is men's dispenser of battle."

Thus would many an one of Achaians and Trojans say. Then the goddess
entered the throng of Trojans in the likeness of a man, even Antenor's
son Laodokos, a stalwart warrior, and sought for godlike Pandaros, if
haply she might find him. Lykaon's son found she, the noble and
stalwart, standing, and about him the stalwart ranks of the
shield-bearing host that followed him from the streams of Aisepos. So
she came near and spake winged words: "Wilt thou now hearken to me, thou
wise son of Lykaon? Then wouldst thou take heart to shoot a swift arrow
at Menelaos, and wouldst win favour and glory before all the Trojans,
and before king Alexandros most of all. Surely from him first of any
wouldst thou receive glorious gifts, if perchance he see Menelaos,
Atreus' warrior son, vanquished by thy dart and brought to the grievous
pyre. Go to now, shoot at glorious Menelaos, and vow to Apollo, the son
of light [Or, perhaps, "the Wolf-born"], the lord of archery, to
sacrifice a goodly hecatomb of firstling lambs when thou art returned to
thy home, in the city of holy Zeleia."

So spake Athene, and persuaded his fool's heart. Forthwith he unsheathed
his polished bow of horn of a wild ibex that he himself had erst smitten
beneath the breast as it came forth from a rock, the while he awaited in
a lurking-place; and had pierced it in the chest, so that it fell
backward on the rock. Now from its head sprang there horns of sixteen
palms; these the artificer, even the worker in horn, joined cunningly
together, and polished them all well and set the top of gold thereon. So
he laid it down when he had well strung it, by resting it upon the
ground; and his staunch comrades held their shields before him, lest the
warrior sons of the Achaians should first set on them, ere Menelaos,
Atreus' son, were smitten. Then opened he the lid of his quiver and took
forth a feathered arrow, never yet shot, a source of grievous pangs; and
anon he laid the bitter dart upon the string and vowed to Apollo, the
son of light, the lord of archery, to sacrifice a goodly hecatomb of
firstling lambs when he should have returned to his home in the city of
holy Zeleia. Then he took the notch and string of oxes' sinew together,
and drew, bringing to his breast the string, and to the bow the iron
head. So when he had now bent the great bow into a round, the horn
twanged, and the string sang aloud, and the keen arrow leapt eager to
wing his way amid the throng.

But the blessed gods immortal forgat not thee, Menelaos; and before all
the daughter of Zeus, the driver of the spoil, who stood before thee and
warded off the piercing dart. She turned it just aside from the flesh,
even as a mother driveth a fly from her child that lieth in sweet
slumber; and with her own hand guided it where the golden buckles of the
belt were clasped and the doubled breastplate met them. So the bitter
arrow lighted upon the firm belt; through the inwrought belt it sped and
through the curiously wrought breastplate it pressed on and through the
taslet [and apron or belt set with metal, worn below the corslet] he
wore to shield his flesh, a barrier against darts; and this best
shielded him, yet it passed on even through this. Then did the arrow
graze the warrior's outermost flesh, and forthwith the dusky blood
flowed from the wound.

As when some woman of Maionia or Karia staineth ivory with purple, to
make a cheek-piece for horses, and it is laid up in the treasure
chamber, and many a horseman prayeth for it to wear; but it is laid up
to be a king's boast, alike an adornment for his horse and a glory for
his charioteer; even in such wise, Menelaos, were thy shapely thighs
stained with blood and thy legs and thy fair ankles beneath.

Thereat shuddered Agamemnon king of men when he saw the black blood
flowing from the wound. And Menelaos dear to Ares likewise shuddered;
but when he saw how thread [by which the iron head was attached to the
shaft] and bards were without, his spirit was gathered in his breast
again. Then lord Agamemnon moaned deep, and spake among them, holding
Menelaos by the hand; and his comrades made moan the while: "Dear
brother, to thy death, meseemeth, pledged I these oaths, setting thee
forth to fight the Trojans alone before the face of the Achaians; seeing
that the Trojans have so smitten thee, and trodden under floor the trusty
oaths. Yet in no wise is and oath of none effect, and the blood of lambs
and pure drink-offerings and the right hands of fellowship wherein we
trusted. For even if the Olympian bring not about the fulfilment
forthwith, yet doth he fulfil at last, and men make dear amends, even
with their own heads and their wives and little ones. Yea of a surety I
know this in heart and soul; the day shall come for holy Ilios to be
laid low, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen spear; and
Zeus the son of Kronos enthroned on high, that dwelleth in the heaven,
himself shall brandish over them all his lowring aegis, in indignation
at this deceit. Then shall all this not be void; yet shall I have sore
sorrow for thee, Menelaos, if thou die and fulfil the lot of life. Yea
in utter shame should I return to thirsty Argos, seeing that the
Achaians will forthwith bethink them of their native land, and so should
we leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos. And
the earth shall rot thy bones as thou liest in Troy with thy task
unfinished: and thus shall many an overweening Trojan say as he leapeth
upon the tomb of glorious Menelaos: 'Would to God Agamemnon might so
fulfil his wrath in every matter, even as now he led hither the host of
the Achaians for naught, and hath gone home again to his dear native
land with empty ships, and hath left noble Menelaos behind.' Thus shall
men say hereafter: in that day let the wide earth gape for me."

But golden-haired Menelaos encouraged him and said: "Be of good courage,
neither dismay at all the host of the Achaians. The keen dart lighted
not upon a deadly spot; my glistening belt in front stayed it, and the
kirtle of mail beneath, and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned."

Then lord Agamemnon answered him and said: "Would it may be so, dear
Menelaos. But the leech shall feel the wound, and lay thereon drugs that
shall assuage thy dire pangs."

So saying he spake to godlike Talthybios, his herald: "Talthybios, with
all speed call Machaon hither, the hero son of Asklepios the noble
leech, to see Menelaos, Atreus' warrior son, whom one well skilled in
archery, some Trojan or Lykian, hath wounded with a bow-shot, to his
glory and our grief."

So said he, and the herald heard him and disregarded not, and went his
way through the host of mail-clad Achaians to spy out the hero Machaon.
Him he found standing, and about him the stalwart ranks of the
shield-bearing host that followed him from Trike, pasture land of
horses. So he came near and spake his winged words: "Arise, thou son of
Asklepios. Lord Agamemnon calleth thee to see Menelaos, captain of the
Achaians, whom one well skilled in archery, some Trojan or Lykian, hath
wounded with a bow-shot, to his glory and our grief."

So saying he aroused his spirit in his breast, and they went their way
amid the throng, through the wide host of the Achaians. And when they
were now come where was golden-haired Menelaos wounded, and all as many
as were chieftains gathered around him in a circle, the godlike hero
came and stood in their midst, and anon drew forth the arrow from the
clasped belt; and as it was drawn forth the keen barbs were broken
backwards. Then he loosed the glistering belt and kirtle of mail beneath
and taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned; and when he saw the wound
where the bitter arrow had lighted, he sucked out the blood and
cunningly spread thereon soothing drugs, such as Cheiron of his good
will had imparted to his sire.

While these were tending Menelaos of the loud war-cry, the ranks of
shield-bearing Trojans came on; so the Achaians donned their arms again,
and bethought them of the fray. Now wouldest thou not see noble
Agamemnon slumbering, nor cowering, unready to fight, but very eager for
glorious battle. He left his horses and his chariot adorned with bronze;
and his squire, even Eurymedon son of Ptolemaios Peiraieus' son, kept
apart the snorting steeds; and he straitly charged him to have them at
hand whenever weariness should come upon his limbs with marshalling so
many; and thus on foot ranged he through the ranks of warriors. And
whomsoever of all the fleet-horsed Danaans he found eager, he stood by
them and by his words encouraged them: "Ye Argives, relax not in any
wise your impetuous valour; for father Zeus will be no helper of liars,
but as these were first to transgress against the oaths, so shall their
own tender flesh be eaten of the vultures, and we shall bear away their
dear wives and little children in our ships, when once we take the
stronghold."

But whomsoever he found shrinking from hateful battle, these he chode
sore with angry words: "Ye Argives, warriors of the bow, ye men of
dishonour, have ye no shame? Why stand ye thus dazed like fawns that are
weary with running over the long plain and so stand still, and no valour
is found in their hearts at all? Even thus stand ye dazed, and fight
not. Is it that ye wait for the Trojans to come near where your good
ships' sterns are drawn up on the shore of the grey sea, to see if
Kronion will stretch his arm over you indeed?"

So masterfully ranged he through the ranks of warriors. Then came he to
the Cretans as he went through the throng of warriors; and these were
taking arms around wise Idomeneus; Idomeneus amid the foremost, valiant
as a wild boar, and Meriones the while was hastening his hindermost
battalions. Then Agamemnon king of men rejoiced to see them, and anon
spake to Idomeneus with kindly words: "Idomeneus, more than all the
fleet-horsed Danaans do I honour thee, whether in war or in task of
other sort or in the feast, when the chieftains of the Argives mingle in
the bowl the gleaming wine of the counsellor. For even though all the
other flowing-haired Achaians drink one allotted portion, yet thy cup
standeth ever full even as mine, to drink as oft as they soul biddeth
thee. Now arouse thee to war like such an one as thou avowest thyself to
be of old."

And Idomeneus the captain of the Cretans made answer to him: "Atreides,
of very truth will I be to thee a trusty comrade even as at the first I
promised and gave my pledge; but do thou urge on all the flowing-haired
Achaians, that we may fight will all speed, seeing the Trojans have
disannulled the oaths. But for all that death and sorrow hereafter shall
be their lot, because they were the first to transgress against the
oaths."

So said he, and Agamemnon passed on glad at heart. Then came he to the
Aiantes as he went through the throng of warriors; and these twain were
arming, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when a
goatherd from a place of outlook seeth a cloud coming across the deep
before the blast of the west wind; and to him being afar it seemeth ever
blacker, even as pitch, as it goeth along the deep, and bringeth a great
whirlwind, and he shuddereth to see it and driveth his flock beneath a
cave; even in such wise moved the serried battalions of young men, the
fosterlings of Zeus, by the side of the Aiantes into furious war,
battalions dark of line, bristling with shields and spears. And lord
Agamemnon rejoiced to see them and spake to them winged words, and said:
"Aiantes, leaders of the mail-clad Argives, to you twain, seeing it is
not seemly to urge you, give I no charge; for of your own selves ye do
indeed bid your folk to fight amain. Ah, father Zeus and Athene and
Apollo, would that all had like spirit in their breasts; then would king
Priam's city soon bow captive and wasted beneath our hands."

So saying he left them there, and went to others. Then found he Nestor,
the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, arraying his comrades, and
urging them to fight, around great Pelegon and Alastor and Chromios and
lord Haimon and Bias shepherd of the host. And first he arrayed the
horsemen with horses and chariots, and behind them the footmen many and
brave, to be a bulwark of battle; but the cowards he drave into the
midst, that every man, even though he would not, yet of necessity must
fight. First he laid charge upon the horsemen; these he bade hold in
their horses nor be entangled in the throng. "Neither let any man,
trusting in his horsemanship and manhood, be eager to fight the Trojans
alone and before the rest, nor yet let him draw back, for so will ye be
enfeebled. But whomsoever a warrior from the place of his own car can
come at a chariot of the foe, let him thrust forth with his spear; even
so is the far better way. Thus moreover did men of old time lay low
cities and walls, because they had this mind and spirit in their
breasts."

So did the old man charge them, being well skilled of yore in battles.
And lord Agamemnon rejoiced to see hem, and spake to him winged words,
and said: "Old man, would to god that, even as thy spirit is in thine
own breast, thy limbs might obey and thy strength be unabated. But the
common lot of age is heavy upon thee; would that it had come upon some
other man, and thou wert amid the young."

Then knightly Nestor of Gerenia answered him: "Atreides, I verily, even
I too, would wish to be as on the day when I slew noble Ereuthalion. But
the gods in no wise grant men all things at once. As I was then a youth,
so doth old age now beset me. Yet even so will I abide among the
horsemen and urge them by counsel and words; for that is the right of
elders. But the young men shall wield the spear, they that are more
youthful than I and have confidence in their strength."

So spake he, and Atreides passed on glad at heart. He found Menestheus
the charioteer, the son of Peteos, standing still, and round him were
the Athenians, masters of the battle-cry. And hard by stood crafty
Odysseus, and round about him the ranks of Kephallenians, no feeble
folk, stood still; for their host had not yet heard the battle-cry,
seeing the battalions of horse-taming Trojans and Achaians had but just
bestirred them to move; so these stood still tarrying till some other
column of the Achaians should advance to set upon the Trojans and begin
the battle. But when Agamemnon king of men saw it, he upbraided them,
and spake to them winged words, saying: "O son of king Peteos fosterling
of Zeus, and thou skilled in evil wiles, thou cunning of mind, why stand
ye shrinking apart, and tarry for others? You beseemeth it to stand in
your place amid the foremost and to front the fiery battle; for ye are
the first to hear my bidding to the feast, as oft as we Achaians prepare
a feast for the counsellors. Then are ye glad to eat roast meat and
drink your cups of honey-sweet wine as long as ye will. But now would ye
gladly behold it, yea, if ten columns of Achaians in front of you were
fighting with the pitiless sword."

But Odysseus of many counsels looked fiercely at him and said:
"Atreides, what word is this that hath escaped the barrier of thy lips?
How sayest thou that we are slack in battle? When once our [Or, "that we
are slack in battle, when once we Achaians," putting the note of
interrogation after "tamers of horses."] Achaians launch furious war on
the Trojans, tamers of horses, then shalt thou, if thou wilt, and if
thou hast any care therefor, behold Telemachos' dear father mingling
with the champions of the Trojans, the tamers of horses. But that thou
sayest is empty as air."

Then lord Agamemnon spake to him smiling, seeing how he was wroth, and
took back his saying: "Heaven-sprung son of Laertes, Odysseus full of
devices, neither do I chide thee beyond measure nor urge thee; for I
know that thy heart within thy breast is kindly disposed; for thy
thoughts are as my thoughts. Go to, we will make amends hereafter, if
any ill word hath been spoken now; may the gods bring it all to none
effect."

So saying he left them there and went on to others. The son of Tydeus
found he, high-hearted Diomedes, standing still with horses and chariot
well compact; and by him stood Sthenelos son of Kapaneus. Him lord
Agamemnon saw and upbraided, and spake to him winged words, and said:
"Ah me, thou son of wise Tydeus tamer of horses, why shrinkest thou, why
gazest thou at the highways of the battle? Not thus was Tydeus wont to
shrink, but rather to fight his enemies far in front of his dear comrades,
as they say that beheld him at the task; for never did I meet him
nor behold him, but men say that he was preeminent amid all. Of a truth
he came to Mykene, not in enmity, but as a guest with godlike
Polyneikes, to raise him an army for the war that they were levying
against the holy walls of Thebes; and they besought earnestly that
valiant allies might be given them, and our folk were fain to grant them
and made assent to their entreaty, only Zeus showed omens of ill and
turned their minds. So when these were departed and were come on their
way, and had attained to Asopos deep in rushes, that maketh his bed in
grass, there did the Achaians appoint Tydeus to be their ambassador. So
he went and found the multitude of the sons of Kadmos feasting in the
palace of mighty Eteokles. Yet was knightly Tydeus, even though a
stranger, not afraid, being alone amid the multitude of the Kadmeians,
but challenged them all to feats of strength, and in every one
vanquished he them easily; so present a helper was Athene unto him. But
the Kadmeians, the urgers of horses, were wroth, and as he fared back
again they brought and set a strong ambush, even fifty young men, whose
leaders were twain, Maion son of Haimon, like to the immortals, and
Autophonos' son Polyphontes staunch in battle. Still even on the Tydeus
brought shameful death; he slew them all, save one that he sent home
alone; Maion to wit he sent away in obedience to the omens of heaven.
Such was Tydeus of Aitolia; but he begat a son that in battle is worse
than he; only in harangue is he the better."

So said he, and stalwart Diomedes made no answer, but had respect to the
chiding of the king revered. But the son of glorious Kapaneus answered
him: "Atreides, utter not falsehood, seeing thou knowest how to speak
truly. We avow ourselves to be better men by far than our fathers were:
we did take the seat of Thebes the seven gated, though we led a scantier
host against a stronger wall, because we followed the omens of the gods
and the salvation of Zeus; but they perished by their own iniquities. Do
not thou therefore in any wise have our fathers in like honour with us."

But stalwart Diomedes looked sternly at him, and said: "Brother, sit
silent and obey my saying. I grudge not that Agamemnon shepherd of the
host should urge on the well-greaved Achaians to fight; for him the
glory will attend if the Achaians lay the Trojans low and take holy
Ilios; and his will be the great sorrow if the Achaians be laid low. Go
to now, let us too bethink us of impetuous valour."

He spake and leapt in his armour from the chariot to earth, and terribly
rang the bronze upon the chieftain's breast as he moved; thereat might
fear have come even upon one stout-hearted.

As when on the echoing beach the sea-wave lifteth up itself in close
array before the driving of the west wind; out on the deep doth it first
raise its head, and then breaketh upon the land and belloweth aloud and
goeth with arching crest about the promontories, and speweth the foaming
brine afar; even so in close array moved the battalions of the Danaans
without pause to battle. Each captain gave his men the word, and the
rest went silently; thou wouldest not deem that all the great host
following them had any voice within their breasts; in silence feared
they their captains. On every man glittered the inwrought armour
wherewith they went clad. But for the Trojans, like sheep beyond number
that stand in the courtyard of a man of great substance, to be milked of
their white milk, and bleat without ceasing to hear their lambs' cry,
even so arose the clamour of the Trojans through the wide host. For they
had not all like speech nor one language, but their tongues were
mingled, and they were brought from many lands. These were urged on of
Ares, and those of bright-eyed Athene, and Terror and Rout, and Strife
whose fury wearieth not, sister and friend of murderous Ares; her crest
is but lowly at the first, but afterward she holdeth up her head in
heaven and her feet walk upon the earth. She now cast common discord in
their midst, as she fared through the throng and made the lamentation of
men to wax.

Now when they were met together and come unto one spot, then clashed
they targe and spear and fury of bronze-clad warrior; the bossed shields
pressed each on each and mighty din arose. Then were heard the voice of
groaning and the voice of triumph together of the slayers and the slain,
and the earth streamed with blood. As when two winter torrents flow down
the mountains to a watersmeet and join their furious flood within the
ravine from their great springs, and the shepherd heareth the roaring
far off among the hills: even so from the joining of battle came there
forth shouting and travail. Antilochos first slew a Trojan warrior in
full array, valiant amid the champions, Echepolos son of Thalysios; him
was he first to smite upon the ridge of his crested helmet, and he drave
the spear into his brow and the point of bronze passed within the bone;
darkness clouded his eyes, and he crashed like a tower amid the press of
fight. As he fell lord Elephenor caught him by the foot, Chalkodon's
son, captain of the great-hearted Abantes, and dragged him from beneath
the darts, eager with all speed to despoil him of his armour. Yet but
for a little endured his essay; great-hearted Agenor saw him haling away
the corpse, and where his side was left uncovered of his buckler as he
bowed him down, there smote he him with bronze-tipped spear-shaft and
unstrung his limbs. So his life departed from him, and over his corpse
the task of Trojans and Achaians grew hot; like wolves leapt they one at
another, and man lashed at man.

Next Telamonian Aias smote Anthemion's son, the lusty stripling
Simoeisios, whose erst is mother bare beside the banks of Simoeis on the
way down from Ida whither she had followed with her parents to see their
flocks. Therefore they called him Simoeisios, but he repaid not his dear
parents the recompense of his nurture; scanty was his span of life by
reason of the spear of great-hearted Aias that laid him low. For as he
went he first was smitten on his right breast beside the pap; straight
though his shoulder passed the spear of bronze, and he fell to the
ground in the dust like a poplar-tree, that hath grown up smooth in the
lowland of a great marsh, and its branches grow upon the top thereof;
this hath a wainwright felled with gleaming steel, to bend him a felloe
for a goodly chariot, and so it lies drying by a river's banks. In such
a fashion did heaven-sprung Aias slay Simoeisios son of Anthemion; then
at him Antiphos of the glancing corslet, Priam's son, made a cast with
his keen javelin across the throng. Him he missed, but smote Odysseus'
valiant comrade Leukos in the groin as he drew the corpse his way, so
that he fell upon it and the body dropped from his hands. Then Odysseus
was very wroth at heart for the slaying of him, and strode through the
forefront of the battle harnessed in flashing bronze, and went and stood
hard by and glanced around him, and cast his bright javelin; and the
Trojans shrank before the casting of the hero. He sped not the dart in
vain, but smote Demokoon, Priam's bastard son that had come to him from
tending his fleet mares in Abydos. Him Odysseus, being wroth for his
comrade's sake, smote with his javelin on one temple; and through both
temples passed the point of bronze, and darkness clouded his eyes, and
he fell with a crash and his armour clanged upon him. Then the
forefighters and glorious Hector yielded, and the Argives shouted aloud,
and drew the bodies unto them, and pressed yet further onward. But
Apollo looked down from Pergamos, and had indignation, and with a shout
called to the Trojans: "Arise, ye Trojans, tamers of horses; yield not
to the Argives in fight; not of stone nor iron is their flesh, that it
should resist the piercing bronze when they are smitten. Moreover
Achilles, son of Thetis of the fair tresses, fighteth not, but amid the
ships broodeth on his bitter anger."

So spake the dread god from the city; and the Achaians likewise were
urged on of Zeus' daughter the Triton-born, most glorious, as she passed
through the throng wheresoever she beheld them slackening.

Next was Diores son of Amrynkeus caught in the snare of fate; for he was
smitten by a jagged stone on the right leg hard by the ankle, and the
caster thereof was captain of the men of Thrace, Peirros son of Imbrasos
that had come from Ainos. The pitiless stone crushed utterly the two
sinews and the bones; back fell he in the dust, and stretched out both
his hands to his dear comrades, gasping out his soul. Then he that smote
him, even Peiroos, sprang at him and pierced him with a spear beside the
navel; so all his bowels gushed forth upon the ground, and darkness
clouded his eyes. But even as Peiroos departed from him Thoas of Aitolia
smote with a spear his chest above the pap, and the point fixed in his
lung. Then Thoas came close, and plucked out from his breast the
ponderous spear, and drew his sharp sword, wherewith he smote his belly
in the midst, and took his life. Yet he stripped not off his armour; for
his comrades, the men of Thrace that wear the top-knot, stood around,
their long spears in their hands, and albeit he was great and valiant
and proud they drave him off from them and he gave ground reeling. So
were the two captains stretched in the dust side by side, he of the
Thracians and he of the mail-clad Epeians; and around them were many
others likewise slain.

Now would none any more enter in and make light of the battle, could it
be that a man yet unwounded by dart or thrust of keen bronze might roam
in the midst, being led of Pallas Athene by the hand, and by her guarded
from the flying shafts. For many Trojans that day and many Achaians were
laid side by side upon their faces in the dust.

BOOK V.

How Diomedes by his great valour made havoc of the Trojans,
and wounded even Aphrodite and Ares by the help of Athene.

But now to Tydeus' son Diomedes Athene gave might and courage, for him
to be pre-eminent amid all the Argives and win glorious renown. She
kindled flame unwearied from his helmet and shield, like to the star of
summer that above all others glittereth bright after he hath bathed in
the ocean stream. In such wise kindled she flame from his head and
shoulders and sent him into the midst, where men thronged the thickest.

Now there was amid the Trojans one Dares, rich and noble, priest of
Hephaistos; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idaios, well skilled in all
the art of battle. These separated themselves and assailed him face to
face, they setting on him from their car and he on foot upon the ground.
And when they were now come near in onset on each other, first Phegeus
hurled his far-shadowing spear; and over Tydeides' left shoulder the
spear point passed, and smote not his body. Then next Tydeides made a
spear-cast, and the javelin sped not from his hand in vain, but smote
his breast between the nipples, and thrust him from the chariot. So
Idaios sprang away, leaving his beautiful car, and dared not to bestride
his slain brother; else had neither he himself escaped black fate: but
Hephaistos guarded him and saved him in a veil of darkness, that he
might not have his aged priest all broken with sorrow. And the son of
great-hearted Tydeus drave away the horses and gave them to his men to
take to the hollow ships. But when the great-hearted Trojans beheld the
sons of Dares, how one was fled, and one was slain beside his chariot,
the spirit of all was stirred. But bright-eyed Athene took impetuous
Ares by the hand and spake to him and said: "Ares, Ares, blood-stained
bane of mortals, thou stormer of walls, can we not now leave the Trojans
and Achaians to fight, on whichsoever it be that father Zeus bestoweth
glory? But let us twain give place, and escape the wrath of Zeus."

So saying she led impetuous Ares from the battle. Then she made him sit
down beside loud Skamandros, and the Danaans pushed the Trojans back.

So they laboured in the violent mellay; but of Tydeides man could not
tell with whom he were joined, whether he consorted with Trojans or with
Achaians. For he stormed across the plain like a winter torrent at the
full, that in swift course scattereth the causeys [Causeways.]; neither
can the long lines of causeys hold it in, nor the fences of fruitful
orchards stay its sudden coming when the rain of heaven driveth it; and
before it perish in multitudes the fair works of the sons of men. Thus
before Tydeides the serried battalions of the Trojans were overthrown,
and they abode him not for all they were so many.

But when Lykaon's glorious son marked him storming across the plain,
overthrowing battalions before him, anon he bent his crooked bow against
Tydeides, and smote him as he sped onwards, hitting hard by his right
shoulder the plate of his corslet; the bitter arrow flew through and
held straight upon its way, and the corslet was dabbled with blood. Over
him then loudly shouted Lykaon's glorious son: "Bestir you,
great-hearted Trojans, urgers of horses; the best man of the Achaians is
wounded, and I deem that he shall not for long endure the violent dart."

So spake he boasting; yet was the other not vanquished of the swift
dart, only he gave place and stood before his horses and his chariot and
spake to Sthenelos son of Kapaneus: "Haste thee, dear son of Kapaneus;
descend from thy chariot, to draw me from my shoulder the bitter arrow."

So said he, and Sthenelos leapt from his chariot to earth and stood
beside him and drew the swift shaft right through, out of his shoulder;
and the blood darted up through the pliant tunic. Then Diomedes of the
loud war-cry prayed thereat: "Hear me, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus,
unwearied maiden! If ever in kindly mood thou stoodest by my father in
the heat of battle, even so now be thou likewise kind to me, Athene.
Grant me to slay this man, and bring within my spear-cast him that took
advantage to shoot me, and boasteth over me, deeming that not for long
shall I see the bright light of the sun."

So spake he in prayer, and Pallas Athene heard him, and made his limbs
nimble, his feet and his hands withal, and came near and spake winged
words: "Be of good courage now, Diomedes, to fight the Trojans; for in
thy breast I have set thy father's courage undaunted, even as it was in
knightly Tydeus, wielder of the buckler. Moreover I have taken from
thine eyes the mist that erst was on them, that thou mayest well discern
both god and man. Therefore if any god come hither to make trial of
thee, fight not thou face to face with any of the immortal gods; save
only if Aphrodite daughter of Zeus enter into the battle, her smite thou
with the keen bronze."

So saying bright-eyed Athene went her way and Tydeides returned and
entered the forefront of the battle; even though erst his soul was eager
to do battle with the Trojans, yet now did threefold courage come upon
him, as upon a lion whom some shepherd in the field guarding his fleecy
sheep hath wounded, being sprung into the fold, yet hath not vanquished
him; he hath roused his might, and then cannot beat him back, but
lurketh amid the steading, and his forsaken flock is affrighted; so the
sheep are cast in heaps, one upon the other, and the lion in his fury
leapeth out of the high fold; even so in fury mingled mighty Diomedes
with the Trojans.

Him Aineias beheld making havoc of the ranks of warriors, and went his
way along the battle and amid the hurtling of spears, seeking godlike
Pandaros, if haply he might find him. Lykaon's son he found, the noble
and stalwart, and stood before his face, and spake a word unto him.
"Pandaros, where now are thy bow and thy winged arrows, and the fame
wherein no man of this land rivalleth thee, nor any in Lykia boasteth to
be thy better? Go to now, lift thy hands in prayer to Zeus and shoot thy
dart at this fellow, whoe'er he be that lordeth it here and hath already
wrought the Trojans much mischief, seeing he hath unstrung the knees of
many a brave man; if indeed it be not some god wroth with the Trojans,
in anger by reason of sacrifices; the wrath of god is a sore thing to
fall on men."

And Lykaon's glorious son made answer to him: "Aineias, counsellor of
the mail-clad Trojans, in everything liken I him to the wise son of
Tydeus; I discern him by his shield and crested helmet, and by the
aspect of his horses; yet know I not surely if it be not a god. But if
it be the man I deem, even the wise son of Tydeus, then not without help
of a god is he thus furious, but some immortal standeth beside him with
a cloud wrapped about his shoulders and turned aside from him my swift
dart even as it lighted. For already have I shot my dart at him and
smote his right shoulder right through the breastplate of his corslet,
yea and I thought to hurl him headlong to Aidoneus, yet I vanquished him
not; surely it is some wrathful god. Already have I aimed at two
princes, Tydeus' and Atreus' sons, and both I smote and surely drew
forth blood, yet only roused them the more. Therefore in an evil hour I
took from the peg my curved bow on that day when I led my Trojans to
lovely Ilios, to do noble Hector pleasure. But if I return and mine eyes
behold my native land and wife and great palace lofty-roofed, then may
an alien forthwith cut my head from me if I break not this bow with mine
hands and cast it upon the blazing fire; worthless is its service to me
as air."

Then Aineias captain of the Trojans answered him: "Nay, talk not thus;
naught shall be mended before that we with horses and chariot have gone
to face this man, and made trial of him in arms. Come then, mount upon
my car that thou mayest see of what sort are the steeds of Tros, well
skilled for following or for fleeing hither or thither very fleetly
across the plain; they will e'en bring us to the city safe and sound,
even though Zeus hereafter give victory to Diomedes son of Tydeus. Come
therefore, take thou the lash and shining reins, and I will stand upon
the car to fight; or else withstand thou him, and to the horses will I
look."

To him made answer Lykaon's glorious son: "Aineias, take thou thyself
the reins and thine own horses; better will they draw the curved car for
their wonted charioteer, if perchance it hap that we must flee from
Tydeus' son; lest they go wild for fear and will not take us from the
fight, for lack of thy voice, and so the son of great-hearted Tydeus
attack us and slay us both and drive away the whole-hooved horses. So
drive thou thyself thy chariot and thy horses, and I will await his
onset with my keen spear." So saying mounted they upon the well dight
chariot, and eagerly drave the fleet horses against Tydeides, And
Sthenelos, the glorious son of Kapaneus, saw them, and anon spake to
Tydeides winged words: "Diomedes son of Tydeus, dear to mine heart, I
behold two stalwart warriors eager to fight against thee, endued with
might beyond measure. The one is well skilled in the bow, even Pandaros,
and he moreover boasteth him to be Lykaon's son; and Aineias boasteth
himself to be born son of great-hearted Anchises, and his mother is
Aphrodite. Come now, let us give place upon the chariot, neither rage
thou thus, I pray thee, in the forefront of battle, lest perchance thou
lose thy life."

Then stalwart Diomedes looked sternly at him and said: "Speak to me no
word of flight, for I ween that thou shalt not at all persuade me; not
in my blood is it to fight a skulking fight or cower down; my force is
steadfast still. I have no mind to mount the chariot, nay, even as I am
will I go to face them; Pallas Athene biddeth me not be afraid. And as
for these, their fleet horses shall not take both back from us again,
even if one or other escape. And this moreover tell I thee, and lay thou
it to heart: if Athene rich in counsel grant me this glory, to slay them
both, then refrain thou here these my fleet horses, and bind the reins
tight to the chariot rim; and be mindful to leap upon Aineias' horses,
and drive them forth from the Trojans amid the well-greaved Achaians.
For they are of that breed whereof farseeing Zeus gave to Tros
recompense for Ganymede his child, because they were the best of all
horses beneath the daylight and the sun."

In such wise talked they one to the other, and anon those other twain
came near, driving their fleet horses. First to him spake Lykaon's
glorious son: "O thou strong-souled and cunning, son of proud Tydeus,
verily my swift dart vanquished thee not, the bitter arrow; so now will
I make trial with my spear if I can hit thee."

He spake and poised and hurled his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon
Tydeides' shield; right through it sped the point of bronze and reached
the breastplate. So over him shouted loudly Lykaon's glorious son: "Thou
art smitten on the belly right through, and I ween thou shalt not long
hold up thine head; so thou givest me great renown."

But mighty Diomedes unaffrighted answered him: "Thou hast missed, and
not hit; but ye twain I deem shall not cease till one or other shall
have fallen and glutted with blood Ares the stubborn god of war."

So spake he and hurled; and Athene guided the dart upon his nose beside
the eye, and it pierced through his white teeth. So the hard bronze cut
through his tongue at the root and the point issued forth by the base of
the chin. He fell from his chariot, and his splendid armour gleaming
clanged upon him, and the fleet-footed horses swerved aside; so there
his soul and strength were unstrung.

Then Aineias leapt down with shield and long spear, fearing lest
perchance the Achaians might take from him the corpse; and strode over
him like a lion confident in his strength, and held before him his spear
and the circle of his shield, eager to slay whoe'er should come to face
him, crying his terrible cry. Then Tydeides grasped in his hand a
stone--a mighty deed--such as two men, as men now are, would not avail
to lift; yet he with ease wielded it all alone. Therewith he smote
Aineias on the hip where the thigh turneth in the hip joint, and this
men call the "cup-bone." So he crushed his cup-bone, and brake both
sinews withal, and the jagged stone tore apart the skin. Then the hero
stayed fallen upon his knees and with stout hand leant upon the earth;
and the darkness of night veiled his eyes. And now might Aineias king of
men have perished, but that Aphrodite daughter of Zeus was swift to
mark. About her dear son wound she her white arms, and spread before his
face a fold of her radiant vesture, to be a covering from the darts,
lest any of the fleet-horsed Danaans might hurl the spear into his
breast and take away his life.

So was she bearing her dear son away from battle; but the son of
Kapaneus forgat not the behest that Diomedes of the loud war-cry had
laid upon him; he refrained his own whole-hooved horses away from the
tumult, binding the reins tight to the chariot-rim, and leapt on the
sleek-coated horses of Aineias, and drave them from the Trojans to the
well-greaved Achaians, and gave them to Deipylos his dear comrade whom
he esteemed above all that were his age-fellows, because he was
like-minded with himself; and bade him drive them to the hollow ships.
Then did the hero mount his own chariot and take the shining reins and
forthwith drive his strong-hooved horses in quest of Tydeides, eagerly.
Now Tydeides had made onslaught with pitiless weapon on Kypris
[Aphrodite], knowing how she was a coward goddess and none of those that
have mastery in battle of the warriors. Now when he had pursued her
through the dense throng and come on her, then great-hearted Tydeus' son
thrust with his keen spear, and leapt on her and wounded the skin of her
weak hand; straight through the ambrosial raiment that the Graces
themselves had woven her pierced the dart into the flesh, above the
springing of the palm. Then flowed the goddess's immortal blood, such
ichor as floweth in the blessed gods; for they eat no bread neither
drink they gleaming wine, wherefore they are bloodless and are named
immortals. And she with a great cry let fall her son: him Phoebus Apollo
took into his arms and saved him in a dusky cloud, lest any of the
fleet-horsed Danaans might hurl the spear into his breast and take away
his life. But over her Diomedes of the loud war-cry shouted afar:
"Refrain thee, thou daughter of Zeus, from war and fighting. Is it not
enough that thou beguilest feeble women? But if in battle thou wilt
mingle, verily I deem that thou shalt shudder at the name of battle, if
thou hear it even afar off"

So spake he, and she departed in amaze and was sore troubled: and
wind-footed Iris took her and led her from the throng tormented with her
pain, and her fair skin was stained. There found she impetuous Ares
sitting, on the battle's left; and his spear rested upon a cloud, and
his fleet steeds. Then she fell on her knees and with instant prayer
besought of her dear brother his golden-frontleted steeds: "Dear
brother, save me and give me thy steeds, that I may win to Olympus,
where is the habitation of the immortals. Sorely am I afflicted with a
wound wherewith a mortal smote me, even Tydeides, who now would fight
even with father Zeus."

So spake she, and Ares gave her his golden-frontleted steeds, and she
mounted on the chariot sore at heart. By her side mounted Iris, and in
her hands grasped the reins and lashed the horses to start them; and
they flew onward nothing loth. Thus soon they came to the habitation of
the gods, even steep Olympus. There wind-footed fleet Iris loosed the
horses from the chariot and stabled them, and set ambrosial forage
before them; but fair Aphrodite fell upon Dione's knees that was her
mother. She took her daughter in her arms and stroked her with her hand,
and spake and called upon her name: "Who now of the sons of heaven, dear
child, hath entreated thee thus wantonly, as though thou wert a
wrong-doer in the face of all?"

Then laughter-loving Aphrodite made answer to her: "Tydeus' son wounded
me, high-hearted Diomedes, because I was saving from the battle my dear
son Aineias, who to me is dearest far of all men. For no more is the
fierce battle-cry for Trojans and Achaians, but the Danaans now are
fighting even the immortals."

Then the fair goddess Dione answered her: "Be of good heart, my child,
and endure for all thy pain; for many of us that inhabit the mansions of
Olympus have suffered through men, in bringing grievous woes one upon
another."

So saying with both hands she wiped the ichor from the arm; her arm was
comforted, and the grievous pangs assuaged. But Athene and Hera beheld,
and with bitter words provoked Zeus the son, of Kronos. Of them was the
bright-eyed goddess Athene first to speak: "Father Zeus, wilt thou
indeed be wroth with me whate'er I say? Verily I ween that Kypris was
urging some woman of Achaia to join her unto the Trojans whom she so
marvellously loveth; and stroking such an one of the fair-robed women of
Achaia, she tore upon the golden brooch her delicate hand."

So spake she, and the father of gods and men smiled, and called unto him
golden Aphrodite and said: "Not unto thee, my child, are given the works
of war; but follow thou after the loving tasks of wedlock, and to all
these things shall fleet Ares and Athene look."

Now while they thus spake in converse one with the other, Diomedes of
the loud war-cry leapt upon Aineias, knowing full well that Apollo
himself had spread his arms over him; yet reverenced he not even the
great god, but still was eager to slay Aineias and strip from him his
glorious armour. So thrice he leapt on him, fain to slay him, and thrice
Apollo beat back his glittering shield. And when the fourth time he
sprang at him like a god, then Apollo the Far-darter spake to him with
terrible shout: "Think, Tydeides, and shrink, nor desire to match thy
spirit with gods; seeing there is no comparison of the race of immortal
gods and of men that walk upon the earth."

So said he, and Tydeides shrank a short space backwards, to avoid the
wrath of Apollo the Far-darter. Then Apollo set Aineias away from the
throng in holy Pergamos where his temple stood. There Leto and Archer
Artemis healed him in the mighty sanctuary, and gave him glory; but
Apollo of the silver bow made a wraith like unto Aineias' self, and in
such armour as his; and over the wraith Trojans and goodly Achaians each
hewed the others' bucklers on their breasts, their round shields and
fluttering targes.

Then to impetuous Ares said Phoebus Apollo: "Ares, Ares, blood-stained
bane of mortals, thou stormer of walls, wilt thou not follow after this
man and withdraw him from the battle, this Tydeides, who now would fight
even with father Zeus? First in close fight he wounded Kypris in her
hand hard by the wrist, and then sprang he upon myself like unto a god."

So saying he sate himself upon the height of Pergamos, and baleful Ares
entered among the Trojan ranks and aroused them in the likeness of fleet
Akamas, captain of the Thracians. On the heaven-nurtured sons of Priam
he called saying: "O ye sons of Priam, the heaven-nurtured king, how
long will ye yet suffer your host to be slain of the Achaians? Shall it
be even until they fight about our well-builded gates? Low lieth the
warrior whom we esteemed like unto goodly Hector, even Aineias son of
Anchises great of heart. Go to now, let us save from the tumult our
valiant comrade."

So saying he aroused the spirit and soul of every man. Thereat Sarpedon
sorely chode noble Hector: "Hector, where now is the spirit gone that
erst thou hadst? Thou saidst forsooth that without armies or allies thou
wouldest hold the city, alone with thy sisters' husbands and thy
brothers; but now can I not see any of these neither perceive them, but
they are cowering like hounds about a lion; and we are fighting that are
but allies among you."

So spake Sarpedon, and his word stung Hector to the heart, Forthwith he
leapt from his chariot in his armour to the earth, and brandishing two
keen spears went everywhere through the host, urging them to fight, and
roused the dread battle-cry. So they were rallied and stood to face the
Achaians: and the Argives withstood them in close array and fled not.
Even as a wind carrieth the chaff about the sacred threshing-floors when
men are winnowing, and the chaff-heaps grow white--so now grew the
Achaians white with falling dust which in their midst the horses' hooves
beat up into the brazen heaven, as fight was joined again, and the
charioteers wheeled round. Thus bare they forward the fury of their
hands: and impetuous Ares drew round them a veil of night to aid the
Trojans in the battle, ranging everywhere. And Apollo himself sent forth
Aineias from his rich sanctuary and put courage in the heart of him,
shepherd of the hosts. So Aineias took his place amid his comrades, and
they were glad to see him come among them alive and sound and full of
valiant spirit. Yet they questioned him not at all, for all the toil
forbade them that the god of the silver bow was stirring and Ares bane
of men and Strife raging insatiably.

And on the other side the two Aiantes and Odysseus and Diomedes stirred
the Danaans to fight; yet these of themselves feared neither the
Trojans' violence nor assaults, but stood like mists that Kronos' son
setteth in windless air on the mountain tops, at peace, while the might
of the north wind sleepeth and of all the violent winds that blow with
keen breath and scatter apart the shadowing clouds. Even so the Danaans
withstood the Trojans steadfastly and fled not. And Atreides ranged
through the throng exhorting instantly: "My friends, quit you like men
and take heart of courage, and shun dishonour in one another's eyes amid
the stress of battle. Of men that shun dishonour more are saved than
slain, but for them that flee is neither glory found nor any safety."

So saying he darted swiftly with his javelin and smote a foremost
warrior, even great-hearted Aineias' comrade Deikoon son of Pergasos,
whom the Trojans held in like honour with Priam's sons, because he was
swift to do battle amid the foremost. Him lord Agamemnon smote with his
dart upon the shield, and it stayed not the spear, but the point passed
through, so that he drave it through the belt into his nethermost belly:
and he fell with a crash and his armour clanged upon him.

Then did Aineias slay two champions of the Danaans, even the sons of
Diokles, Krethon and Orsilochos. Like them, two lions on the mountain
tops are nurtured by their dam in the deep forest thickets; and these
harry the kine and goodly sheep and make havoc of the farmsteads of men,
till in their turn they too are slain at men's hands with the keen
bronze; in such wise were these twain vanquished at Aineias' hands and
fell like tall pine-trees.

But Menelaos dear to Ares had pity of them in their fall, and strode
through the forefront, harnessed in flashing bronze, brandishing his
spear; and Ares stirred his courage, with intent that he might fall
beneath Aineias' hand. But Antilochos, great-hearted Nestor's son,
beheld him, and strode through the forefront; because he feared
exceedingly for the shepherd of the host, lest aught befall him and
disappoint them utterly of their labour. So those two were now holding
forth their hands and sharp spears each against the other, eager to do
battle; when Antilochos came and stood hard by the shepherd of the host.
But Aineias faced them not, keen warrior though he was, when he beheld
two men abiding side by side; so these haled away the corpses to the
Achaians' host, and laid the hapless twain in their comrades' arms, and
themselves turned back and fought on amid the foremost.

But Hector marked them across the ranks, and sprang on them with a
shout, and the battalions of the Trojans followed him in their might:
and Ares led them on and dread Enyo, she bringing ruthless turmoil of
war, the while Ares wielded in his hands his monstrous spear, and ranged
now before Hector's face, and now behind.

Then Diomedes of the loud war-cry shuddered to behold him; and even as a
shiftless man crossing a great plain cometh on a swift-streaming river
flowing on to the sea, and seeing it boil with foam springeth backwards,
even so now Tydeides shrank back and spake to the host: "Friends, how
marvel we that noble Hector is a spearman and bold man of war! Yet ever
is there beside him some god that wardeth off destruction; even as now
Ares is there by him in likeness of a mortal man. But with faces towards
the Trojans still give ground backwards, neither be desirous to fight
amain with gods."

Now the Argives before the face of Ares and mail-clad Hector neither
turned them round about toward their black ships, nor charged forward in
battle, but still fell backward, when they heard of Ares amid the
Trojans. But when the white-armed goddess Hera marked them making havoc
of the Argives in the press of battle, anon she spake winged words to
Athene: "Out on it, thou daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, unwearied
maiden! Was it for naught we pledged our word to Menelaos, that he
should not depart till he had laid waste well-walled Ilios,--if thus we
let baleful Ares rage? Go to now, let us twain also take thought of
impetuous valour."

So said she, and the bright-eyed goddess Athene disregarded not. So Hera
the goddess queen, daughter of Kronos, went her way to harness the
gold-frontleted steeds. And Athene, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, cast
down at her father's threshold her woven vesture many-coloured, that
herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the
tunic of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in her armour for
dolorous battle. About her shoulders cast she the tasselled aegis
terrible, whereon is Panic as a crown all round about, and Strife is
therein and Valour and horrible Onslaught withal, and therein is the
dreadful monster's Gorgon head, dreadful and grim, portent of
aegis-bearing Zeus. Upon her head set she the two-crested golden helm
with fourfold plate, bedecked with men-at-arms of a hundred cities. Upon
the flaming chariot set she her foot, and grasped her heavy spear, great
and stout, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men, even of heroes
with whom she of the awful sire is wroth. Then Hera swiftly smote the
horses with the lash; self-moving groaned upon their hinges the gates of
heaven whereof the Hours are warders, to whom is committed great heaven
and Olympus, whether to throw open the thick cloud or set it to. There
through the gates guided they their horses patient of the lash. And they
found the son of Kronos sitting apart from all the gods on the topmost
peak of many-ridged Olympus. Then the white-armed goddess Hera stayed
her horses and questioned the most high Zeus, the son of Kronos, and
said: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation with Ares for these violent
deeds? How great and goodly a company of Achaians hath he destroyed
recklessly and in unruly wise, unto my sorrow. But here in peace Kypris
and Apollo of the silver bow take their pleasure, having set on this mad
one that knoweth not any law. Father Zeus, wilt thou at all be wroth
with me if I smite Ares and chase him from the battle in sorry plight?"

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer answered and said to her: "Go to now, set
upon him Athene driver of the spoil, who most is wont to bring sore pain
upon him."

So spake he, and the white-armed goddess Hera disregarded not, and
lashed her horses; they nothing loth flew on between earth and starry
heaven. As far as a man seeth with his eyes into the haze of distance as
he sitteth on a place of outlook and gazeth over the wine-dark sea, so
far leap the loudly neighing horses of the gods. Now when they came to
Troy and the two flowing rivers, even to where Simoeis and Skamandros
join their streams, there the white-armed goddess Hera stayed her horses
and loosed them from the car and poured thick mist round about them, and
Simoeis made ambrosia spring up for them to graze. So the goddesses went
their way with step like unto turtle-doves, being fain to bring succour
to the men of Argos. And when they were now come where the most and most
valiant stood, thronging about mighty Diomedes tamer of horses, in the
semblance of ravening lions or wild boars whose strength is nowise
feeble, then stood the white-armed goddess Hera and shouted in the
likeness of great-hearted Stentor with voice of bronze, whose cry was
loud as the cry of fifty other men: "Fie upon you, Argives, base things
of shame, so brave in semblance! While yet noble Achilles entered
continually into battle, then issued not the Trojans even from the
Dardanian gate; for they had dread of his terrible spear. But now fight
they far from the city at the hollow ships."

So saying she aroused the spirit and soul of every man. And to Tydeides'
side sprang the bright-eyed goddess Athene. That lord she found beside
his horses and chariot, cooling the wound that Pandaros with his dart
had pierced, for his sweat vexed it by reason of the broad baldrick of
his round shield; therewith was he vexed and his arm grew weary, so he
was lifting up the baldrick and wiping away the dusky blood. Then the
goddess laid her hand on his horses' yoke, and said: "Of a truth Tydeus
begat a son little after his own likeness. Tydeus was short of stature,
but a man of war."

And stalwart Diomedes made answer to her and said: "I know thee, goddess
daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus: therefore with my whole heart will I
tell thee my thought and hide it not. Neither hath disheartening terror
taken hold upon me, nor any faintness, but I am still mindful of thy
behest that thou didst lay upon me. Thou forbadest me to fight face to
face with all the blessed gods, save only if Zeus' daughter Aphrodite
should enter into battle, then to wound her with the keen bronze.
Therefore do I now give ground myself and have bidden all the Argives
likewise to gather here together; for I discern Ares lording it in the
fray."

Then the bright-eyed goddess Athene answered him: "Diomedes son of
Tydeus, thou joy of mine heart, fear thou, for that, neither Ares nor
any other of the immortals; so great a helper am I to thee. Go to now,
at Ares first guide thou thy whole-hooved horses, and smite him hand to
hand, nor have any awe of impetuous Ares, raving here, a curse incarnate,
the renegade that of late in converse with me and Hera pledged him
to fight against the Trojans and give succour to the Argives, but now
consorteth with the Trojans and hath forgotten these."

So speaking, with her hand she drew back Sthenelos and thrust him from
the chariot to earth, and instantly leapt he down; so the goddess
mounted the car by noble Diomedes' side right eagerly. The oaken axle
creaked loud with its burden, bearing the dread goddess and the man of
might. Then Athene grasped the whip and reins; forthwith against Ares
first guided she the whole-hooved horses. Now he was stripping huge
Periphas, most valiant far of the Aitolians, Ochesios' glorious son. Him
was blood-stained Ares stripping; and Athene donned the helm of Hades,
that terrible Ares might not behold her. Now when Ares scourge of
mortals beheld noble Diomedes, he left huge Periphas lying there, where
at the first he had slain him and taken away his life, and made straight
at Diomedes tamer of horses. Now when they were come nigh in onset on
one another, first Ares thrust over the yoke and horse's reins with
spear of bronze, eager to take away his life. But the bright-eyed
goddess Athene with her hand seized the spear and thrust it up over the
car, to spend itself in vain. Next Diomedes of the loud war-cry attacked
with spear of bronze; and Athene drave it home against Ares' nethermost
belly, where his taslets were girt about him. There smote he him and
wounded him, rending through his fair skin, and plucked forth the spear
again. Then brazen Ares bellowed loud as nine thousand warriors or ten
thousand cry in battle as they join in strife and fray. Thereat
trembling gat hold of Achaians and Trojans for fear, so mightily
bellowed Ares insatiate of battle.

Even as gloomy mist appeareth from the clouds when after beat a stormy
wind ariseth, even so to Tydeus' son Diomedes brazen Ares appeared amid
clouds, faring to wide heaven. Swiftly came he to the gods' dwelling,
steep Olympus, and sat beside Zeus son of Kronos with grief at heart,
and shewed the immortal blood flowing from the wound, and piteously
spake to him winged words: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation to
behold these violent deeds? For ever cruelly suffer we gods by one
another's devices, in shewing men grace. With thee are we all at
variance, because thou didst beget that reckless maiden and baleful,
whose thought is ever of iniquitous deeds. For all the other gods that
are in Olympus hearken to thee, and we are subject every one; only her
thou chastenest not, neither in deed nor word, but settest her on,
because this pestilent one is thine own offspring. Now hath she urged on
Tydeus' son, even overweening Diomedes, to rage furiously against the
immortal gods. Kypris first he wounded in close fight, in the wrist of
her hand, and then assailed he me, even me, with the might of a god.
Howbeit my swift feet bare me away; else had I long endured anguish
there amid the grisly heaps of dead, or else had lived strengthless from
the smitings of the spear."

Then Zeus the cloud-gatherer looked sternly at him and said: "Nay, thou
renegade, sit not by me and whine. Most hateful to me art thou of all
gods that dwell in Olympus: thou ever lovest strife and wars and
battles. Truly thy mother's spirit is intolerable, unyielding, even
Hera's; her can I scarce rule with words. Therefore I deem that by her
prompting thou art in this plight. Yet will I no longer endure to see
thee in anguish; mine offspring art thou, and to me thy mother bare
thee."

So spake he and bade Paieon heal him. And Paieon laid assuaging drugs
upon the wound. Even as fig juice maketh haste to thicken white milk,
that is liquid but curdleth speedily as a man stirreth, even so swiftly
healed he impetuous Ares. And Hebe bathed him, and clothed him in
gracious raiment, and he sate him down by Zeus son of Kronos, glorying
in his might.

Then fared the twain back to the mansion of great Zeus, even Hera and
Athene, having stayed Ares scourge of mortals from his man-slaying.

BOOK VI.

How Diomedes and Glaukos, being about to fight, were known
to each other, and parted in friendliness. And how Hector
returning to the city bade farewell to Andromache his wife.

So was the dread fray of Trojans and Achaians left to itself, and the
battle swayed oft this way and that across the plain, as they aimed
against each other their bronze-shod javelins, between Simoeis and the
streams of Xanthos.

Now had the Trojans been chased again by the Achaians, dear to Ares, up
into Ilios, in their weakness overcome, but that Prism's son Helenos,
far best of augurs, stood by Aineias' side and Hector's, and spake to
them: "Aineias and Hector, seeing that on you lieth the task of war in
chief of Trojans and Lykians, because for every issue ye are foremost
both for fight and counsel, stand ye your ground, and range the host
everywhither to rally them before the gates, ere yet they fall fleeing
in their women's arms, and be made a rejoicing to the foe. Then when ye
have aroused all our battalions we will abide here and fight the
Danaans, though in sore weariness; for necessity presseth us hard: but
thou, Hector, go into the city, and speak there to thy mother and mine;
let her gather the aged wives to bright-eyed Athene's temple in the
upper city, and with her key open the doors of the holy house; and let
her lay the robe, that seemeth to her the most gracious and greatest in
her hall and far dearest unto herself, upon the knees of
beauteous-haired Athene; and vow to her to sacrifice in her temple
twelve sleek kine, that have not felt the goad, if she will have mercy
on the city and the Trojans' wives and little children. So may she
perchance hold back Tydeus' son from holy Ilios, the furious spearman,
the mighty deviser of rout, whom in good sooth I deem to have proved
himself mightiest of the Achaians. Never in this wise feared we
Achilles, prince of men, who they say is born of a goddess; nay, but he
that we see is beyond measure furious; none can match him for might."

So spake he, and Hector disregarded not his brother's word, but leapt
forthwith from his chariot in his armour to earth, and brandishing two
sharp spears passed everywhere through the host, rousing them to battle,
and stirred the dread war-cry. So they were rallied and stood to face
the Achaians, and the Argives gave ground and ceased from slaughter, and
deemed that some immortal had descended from starry heaven to bring the
Trojans succour, in such wise rallied they. Then Hector called to the
Trojans with far-reaching shout: "O high-souled Trojans and ye far-famed
allies, quit you like men, my friends, and take thought of impetuous
courage, while I depart to Ilios and bid the elders of the council and
our wives pray to the gods and vow them hecatombs."

So saying Hector of the glancing helm departed, and the black hide beat
on either side against his ankles and his neck, even the rim that ran
uttermost about his bossed shield.

Now Glaukos son of Hippolochos and Tydeus' son met in the mid-space of
the foes, eager to do battle. Thus when the twain were come nigh in
onset on each other, to him first spake Diomedes of the loud war-cry:
"Who art thou, noble sir, of mortal men? For never have I beheld thee in
glorious battle ere this, yet now hast thou far outstripped all men in
thy hardihood, seeing thou abidest my far-shadowing spear. Luckless are
the fathers whose children face my might. But if thou art some immortal
come down from heaven, then will not I fight with heavenly gods. But if
thou art of men that eat the fruit of the field, come nigh, that anon
thou mayest enter the toils of destruction."

Then Hippolochos' glorious son made answer to him: "Great-hearted
Tydeides, why enquirest thou of my generation? Even as are the
generations of leaves such are those likewise of men; the leaves that be
the wind scattereth on the earth, and the forest buddeth and putteth
forth more again, when the season of spring is at hand; so of the
generations of men one putteth forth and another ceaseth. Yet if thou
wilt, have thine answer, that thou mayest well know our lineage, whereof
many men have knowledge. Hippolochos, son of Bellerophon, begat me, and
of him do I declare me to be sprung; he sent me to Troy and bade me very
instantly to be ever the best and to excel all other men, nor put to
shame the lineage of my fathers that were of noblest blood in Ephyre and
in wide Lykia. This is the lineage and blood whereof I avow myself to
be."

So said he, and Diomedes of the loud war-cry was glad. He planted his
spear in the bounteous earth and with soft words spake to the shepherd
of the host: "Surely then thou art to me a guest-friend of old times
through my father: for goodly Oineus of yore entertained noble
Bellerophon in his halls and kept him twenty days. Moreover they gave
each the other goodly gifts of friendship; Oineus gave a belt bright
with purple, and Bellerophon a gold two-handled cup. Therefore now am I
to thee a dear guest-friend in midmost Argos, and thou in Lykia,
whene'er I fare to your land. So let us shun each other's spears, even
amid the throng; Trojans are there in multitudes and famous allies for
me to slay, whoe'er it be that God vouchsafeth me and my feet overtake;
and for thee are there Achaians in multitude, to slay whome'er thou
canst. But let us make exchange of arms between us, that these also may
know how we avow ourselves to be guest-friends by lineage."

So spake the twain, and leaping from their cars clasped each the other
by his hand, and pledged their faith. But now Zeus son of Kronos took
from Glaukos his wits, in that he made exchange with Diomedes Tydeus'
son of golden armour for bronze, the price of five score oxen for the
price of nine.

Now when Hector came to the Skaian gates and to the oak tree, there came
running round about him the Trojans' wives and daughters, enquiring of
sons and brethren and friends and husbands. But he bade them thereat all
in turn pray to the gods; but sorrow hung over many.

But when he came to Priam's beautiful palace, adorned with polished
colonnades--and in it were fifty chambers of polished stone, builded
hard by one another, wherein Priam's sons slept beside their wedded
wives; and for his daughters over against them on the other side within
the courtyard were twelve roofed chambers of polished stone builded hard
by one another, wherein slept Priam's sons-in-law beside their chaste
wives--then came there to meet him his bountiful mother, leading with
her Laodike, fairest of her daughters to look on; and she clasped her
hand in his, and spake, and called upon his name: "My son, why hast thou
left violent battle to come hither. Surely the sons of the
Achaians--name of evil!--press thee hard in fight about thy city, and so
thy spirit hath brought thee hither, to come and stretch forth thy hands
to Zeus from the citadel. But tarry till I bring thee honey-sweet wine,
that thou mayest pour libation to Zeus and all the immortals first, and
then shalt thou thyself also be refreshed if thou wilt drink. When a man
is awearied wine greatly maketh his strength to wax, even as thou art
awearied in fighting for thy fellows."

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Bring me no
honey-hearted wine, my lady mother, lest thou cripple me of my courage
and I be forgetful of my might. But go thou to the temple of Athene,
driver of the spoil, with offerings, and gather the aged wives together;
and the robe that seemeth to thee the most gracious and greatest in thy
palace, and dearest unto thyself, that lay thou upon the knees of
beauteous-haired Athene, and vow to her to sacrifice in her temple
twelve sleek kine, that have not felt the goad, if she will have mercy
on the city and the Trojans' wives and little children. So go thou to
the temple of Athene, driver of the spoil; and I will go after Paris, to
summon him, if perchance he will hearken to my voice. Would that the
earth forthwith might swallow him up! The Olympian fostered him to be a
sore bane to the Trojans and to great-hearted Priam, and to Priam's
sons. If I but saw him going down to the gates of death, then might I
deem that my heart had forgotten its sorrows."

So said he, and she went unto the hall, and called to her handmaidens,
and they gathered the aged wives throughout the city. Then she herself
went down to her fragrant chamber where were her embroidered robes, the
work of Sidonian women, whom godlike Alexandros himself brought from
Sidon, when he sailed over the wide sea, that journey wherein he brought
home high-born Helen. Of these Hekabe took one to bear for an offering
to Athene, the one that was fairest for adornment and greatest, and
shone like a star, and lay nethermost of all. Then went she her way and
the multitude of aged wives hasted after her. And Hector was come to
Alexandros' fair palace, that himself had builded with them that were
most excellent carpenters then in deep-soiled Troy-land; these made him
his chamber and hall and courtyard hard by to Priam and Hector, in the
upper city. There entered in Hector dear to Zeus, and his hand bare his
spear, eleven cubits long: before his face glittered the bronze
spear-point, and a ring of gold ran round about it. And he found Paris
in his chamber busied with his beauteous arms, his shield and
breastplate, and handling his curved bow; and Helen of Argos sate among
her serving-women and appointed brave handiwork for her handmaidens.
Then when Hector saw him he rebuked him with scornful words: "Good sir,
thou dost not well to cherish this rancour in thy heart. The folk are
perishing about the city and high wall in battle, and for thy sake the
battle-cry is kindled and war around this city; yes thyself wouldest
thou fall out with another, didst thou see him shrinking from hateful
war. Up then, lest the city soon be scorched with burning fire."

And godlike Alexandros answered him: "Hector, since in measure thou
chidest me and not beyond measure, therefore will I tell thee; lay thou
it to thine heart and hearken to me. Not by reason so much of the
Trojans, for wrath and indignation, sate I me in my chamber, but fain
would I yield me to my sorrow. Even now my wife hath persuaded me with
soft words, and urged me into battle; and I moreover, even I, deem that
it will be better so; for victory shifteth from man to man. Go to then,
tarry awhile, let me put on my armour of war; or else fare thou forth,
and I will follow; and I think to overtake thee."

So said he, but Hector of the glancing helm answered him not a word. But
Helen spake to him with gentle words: "My brother, even mine that am a
dog, mischievous and abominable, would that on the day when my mother
bare me at the first, an evil storm-wind had caught me away to a
mountain or a billow of the loud-sounding sea, where the billow might
have swept me away before all these things came to pass. Howbeit, seeing
the gods devised all these ills in this wise, would that then I had been
mated with a better man, that felt dishonour and the multitude of men's
reproachings. But as for him, neither hath he now sound heart, nor ever
will have; thereof deem I moreover that he will reap the fruit. But now
come, enter in and sit thee here upon this bench, my brother, since thy
heart chiefly trouble hath encompassed, for the sake of me, that am a
dog, and for Alexandros' sin; on whom Zeus bringeth evil doom, that even
in days to come we may be a song in the ears of men that shall be
hereafter."

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Bid me not sit,
Helen, of thy love; thou wilt not persuade me. Already my heart is set
to succour the men of Troy, that have great desire for me that am not
with them. But rouse thou this fellow, yea let himself make speed, to
overtake me yet within the city. For I shall go into mine house to
behold my housefolk and my dear wife, and infant boy; for I know not if
I shall return home to them again, or if the gods will now overthrow me
at the hands of the Achaians."

So spake Hector of the glancing helm and departed; and anon he came to
his well-stablished house. But he found not white-armed Andromache in
the halls; she with her boy and fair-robed handmaiden had taken her
stand upon the tower, weeping and wailing. And when Hector found not his
noble wife within, he came and stood upon the threshold and spake amid
the serving women: "Come tell me now true, my serving women. Whither
went white-armed Andromache forth from the hall? Hath she gone out to my
sisters or unto my brothers' fair-robed wives, or to Athene's temple,
where all the fair-tressed Trojan women propitiate the awful goddess?"

Then a busy housedame spake in answer to him: "Hector, seeing thou
straitly chargest us tell thee true, neither hath she gone out to any of
thy sisters or thy brothers' fair-robed wives, neither to Athene's
temple, where all the fair-tressed Trojan women are propitiating the
awful goddess; but she went to the great tower of Ilios, because she
heard the Trojans were hard pressed, and great victory was for the
Achaians. So hath she come in haste to the wall, like unto one frenzied;
and the nurse with her beareth the child."

So spake the housedame, and Hector hastened from his house back by the
same way down the well-builded streets. When he had passed through the
great city and was come to the Skaian gates, whereby he was minded to
issue upon the plain, then came his dear-won wife, running to meet him,
even Andromache daughter of great-hearted Eetion. So she met him now,
and with her went the handmaid bearing in her bosom the tender boy, the
little child, Hector's loved son, like unto a beautiful star. Him Hector
called Skamandrios, but all the folk Astyanax [Astyanax = "City King."];
for only Hector guarded Ilios. So now he smiled and gazed at his boy
silently, and Andromache stood by his side weeping, and clasped her hand
in his, and spake and called upon his name. "Dear my lord, this thy
hardihood will undo thee, neither hast thou any pity for thine infant
boy, nor for me forlorn that soon shall be thy widow; for soon will the
Achaians all set upon thee and slay thee. But it were better for me to
go down to the grave if I lose thee; for never more will any comfort be
mine, when once thou, even thou, hast met thy fate, but only sorrow.
Nay, Hector, thou art to me father and lady mother, yea and brother,
even as thou art my goodly husband. Come now, have pity and abide here
upon the tower, lest thou make thy child an orphan and thy wife a
widow."

Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Surely I take
thought for all these things, my wife; but I have very sore shame of the
Trojans and Trojan dames with trailing robes, if like a coward I shrink
away from battle. Moreover mine own soul forbiddeth me, seeing I have
learnt ever to be valiant and fight in the forefront of the Trojans,
winning my father's great glory and mine own. Yea of a surety I know
this in heart and soul; the day shall come for holy Ilios to be laid
low, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen spear. Yet doth
the anguish of the Trojans hereafter not so much trouble me, neither
Hekabe's own, neither king Priam's, neither my brethren's, the many and
brave that shall fall in the dust before their foemen, as doth thine
anguish in the day when some mail-clad Achaian shall lead thee weeping
and rob thee of the light of freedom. So shalt thou abide in Argos and
ply the loom at another woman's bidding, and bear water from fount
Messeis or Hypereia, being grievously entreated, and sore constraint
shall be laid upon thee. And then shall one say that beholdeth thee
weep: 'This is the wife of Hector, that was foremost in battle of the
horse-taming Trojans when men fought about Ilios.' Thus shall one say
hereafter, and fresh grief will be thine for lack of such an husband as
thou hadst to ward off the day of thraldom. But me in death may the
heaped-up earth be covering, ere I hear thy crying and thy carrying into
captivity."

So spake glorious Hector, and stretched out his arm to his boy. But the
child shrunk crying to the bosom of his fair-girdled nurse, dismayed at
his dear father's aspect, and in dread at the bronze and horse-hair
crest that he beheld nodding fiercely from the helmet's top. Then his
dear father laughed aloud, and his lady mother; forthwith glorious
Hector took the helmet from his head, and laid it, all gleaming, upon
the earth; then kissed he his dear son and dandled him in his arms, and
spake in prayer to Zeus and all the gods, "O Zeus and all ye gods,
vouchsafe ye that this my son may likewise prove even as I, pre-eminent
amid the Trojans, and as valiant in might, and be a great king of Ilios.
Then may men say of him, 'Far greater is he than his father' as he
returneth home from battle; and may he bring with him blood-stained
spoils from the foeman he hath slain, and may his mother's heart be
glad."

So spake he, and laid his son in his dear wife's arms; and she took him
to her fragrant bosom, smiling tearfully. And her husband had pity to
see her, and caressed her with his hand, and spake and called upon her
name: "Dear one, I pray thee be not of oversorrowful heart; no man
against my fate shall hurl me to Hades; only destiny, I ween, no man
hath escaped, be he coward or be he valiant, when once he hath been
born. But go thou to thine house and see to thine own tasks, the loom
and distaff, and bid thine handmaidens ply their work; but for war shall
men provide, and I in chief of all men that dwell in Ilios."

So spake glorious Hector, and took up his horse-hair crested helmet; and
his dear wife departed to her home, oft looking back, and letting fall
big tears. Anon she came to the well-stablished house of man-slaying
Hector, and found therein her many handmaidens, and stirred lamentation
in them all. So bewailed they Hector, while yet he lived, within his
house: for they deemed that he would no more come back to them from
battle, nor escape the fury of the hands of the Achaians.

Neither lingered Paris long in his lofty house, but clothed on him his
brave armour, bedight with bronze, and hasted through the city, trusting
to his nimble feet. Even as when a stalled horse, full-fed at the
manger, breaketh his tether and speedeth at the gallop across the plain,
being wont to bathe him in the fair-flowing stream, exultingly; and
holdeth his head on high, and his mane floateth about his shoulders, and
he trusteth in his glory, and nimbly his limbs bear him to the haunts
and pasturages of mares; even so Priam's son Paris, glittering in his
armour like the shining sun, strode down from high Pergamos laughingly,
and his swift feet bare him. Forthwith he overtook his brother noble
Hector, even as he was on the point to turn him away from the spot where
he had dallied with his wife. To him first spake godlike Alexandros:
"Sir, in good sooth I have delayed thee in thine haste by my tarrying,
and came not rightly as thou badest me."

And Hector of the glancing helm answered him and said: "Good brother, no
man that is rightminded could make light of thy doings in fight, seeing
thou art strong: but thou art wilfully remiss and hast no care; and for
this my heart is grieved within me, that I hear shameful words
concerning thee in the Trojans' mouths, who for thy sake endure much
toil. But let us be going; all this will we make good hereafter, if Zeus
ever vouchsafe us to set before the heavenly gods that are for
everlasting the cup of deliverance in our halls, when we have chased out
of Troy-land the well-greaved Achaians."

BOOK VII.

Of the single combat between Aias and Hector, and of the
burying of the dead, and the building of a wall about the
Achaian ships.

So spake glorious Hector and issued from the gates, and with him went
his brother Alexandros; and both were eager of soul for fight and
battle. Even as God giveth to longing seamen fair wind when they have
grown weary of beating the main with polished oars, and their limbs are
fordone with toil, even so appeared these to the longing Trojans.

Now when the goddess bright-eyed Athene marked them making havoc of the
Argives in the press of battle, she darted down from the crests of
Olympus to holy Ilios. But Apollo rose to meet her, for he beheld her
from Pergamos, and would have victory for the Trojans. So the twain met
each the other by the oak-tree. To her spake first king Apollo son of
Zeus: "Why now art thou come thus eagerly from Olympus, thou daughter of
great Zeus, and why hath thy high heart sent thee? Surely it is to give
the Danaans unequal victory in battle! seeing thou hast no mercy on the
Trojans, that perish. But if thou wouldest hearken to me--and it were
far better so--let us now stay battle and warring for the day; hereafter
shall they fight again, till they reach the goal of Ilios, since thus it
seemeth good to your hearts, goddesses immortal, to lay waste this
city."

And the goddess bright-eyed Athene made answer to him: "So be it,
Far-darter; in this mind I likewise came from Olympus to the midst of
Trojans and Achaians. But come, how thinkest thou to stay the battle of
the warriors?"

And king Apollo, son of Zeus, made answer to her: "Let us arouse the
stalwart spirit of horse-taming Hector, if so be he will challenge some
one of the Danaans in single fight man to man to meet him in deadly
combat. So shall the bronze-greaved Achaians be jealous and stir up one
to fight singly with goodly Hector." So spake he and the bright-eyed
goddess Athene disregarded not. Now Helenos Priam's dear son understood
in spirit their resolve that the gods in counsel had approved; and he
went to Hector and stood beside him, and spake a word to him: "Hector
son of Priam, peer of Zeus in counsel, wouldest thou now hearken at all
to me? for I am thy brother. Make the other Trojans sit, and all the
Achaians, and thyself challenge him that is best of the Achaians to meet
thee man to man in deadly combat. It is not yet thy destiny to die and
meet thy doom; for thus heard I the voice of the gods that are from
everlasting." So said he, and Hector rejoiced greatly to hear his
saying, and went into the midst and refrained the battalions of the
Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them
down: and Agamemnon made the well-greaved Achaians sit. And Athene
withal and Apollo of the silver bow, in the likeness of vulture birds,
sate them upon a tall oak holy to aegis-bearing father Zeus, rejoicing
in their warriors; and the ranks of all of them sate close together,
bristling with shields and plumes and spears. Even as there spreadeth
across the main the ripple of the west wind newly risen, and the sea
grows black beneath it, so sate the ranks of Achaians and Trojans upon
the plain. And Hector spake between both hosts: "Hearken to me, Trojans
and well-greaved Achaians, that I may speak what my mind within my
breast biddeth me. Our oaths of truce Kronos' son, enthroned on high,
accomplished not; but evil is his intent and ordinance for both our
hosts, until either ye take fair-towered Troy or yourselves be
vanquished beside your seafaring ships. But in the midst of you are the
chiefest of all the Achaians; therefore now let the man whose heart
biddeth him fight with me come hither from among you all to be your
champion against goodly Hector. And this declare I, and be Zeus our
witness thereto; if that man slay me with the long-edged sword, let him
spoil me of my armour and bear it to the hollow ships, but give back my
body to my home, that Trojans and Trojans' wives may give me my due of
burning in my death. But if I slay him and Apollo vouchsafe me glory, I
will spoil him of his armour and bear it to holy Ilios and hang it upon
the temple of far-darting Apollo, but his corpse will I render back to
the well-decked ships, that the flowing-haired Achaians may entomb him,
and build him a barrow beside wide Hellespont. So shall one say even of
men that be late born, as he saileth in his benched ship over the
wine-dark sea: 'This is the barrow of a man that died in days of old, a
champion whom glorious Hector slew.' So shall a man say hereafter, and
this my glory shall never die."

So spake he and they all were silent and held their peace; to deny him
they were ashamed, and feared to meet him. But at the last stood up
Menelaos and spake amid them and chiding upbraided them, and groaned
deep at heart: "Ah me, vain threateners, ye women of Achaia and no more
men, surely all this shall be a shame, evil of evil, if no one of the
Danaans now goeth to meet Hector. Nay, turn ye all to earth and water,
sitting there each man disheartened, helplessly inglorious; against him
will I myself array me; and from on high the threads of victory are
guided of the immortal gods."

So spake he and donned his fair armour. And now, O Menelaos, had the end
of life appeared for thee at Hector's hands, seeing he was stronger far,
but that the princes of the Achaians started up and caught thee. And
Atreus' son himself, wide-ruling Agamemnon, took him by his right hand
and spake a word and called upon his name: "Thou doest madly, Menelaos
fosterling of Zeus; yet is it no time for this thy madness. Draw back,
though it be with pain, nor think for contention's sake to fight with
one better than thou, with Hector Priam's son, whom others beside thee
abhor. Yea, this man even Achilles dreadeth to meet in battle, wherein
is the warrior's glory; and Achilles is better far than thou. Go
therefore now and sit amid the company of thy fellows; against him shall
the Achaians put forth another champion. Fearless though he be and
insatiate of turmoil, I ween that he shall be fain to rest his knees, if
he escape from the fury of war and terrible fray."

So spake the hero and persuaded his brother's heart with just counsel;
and he obeyed. So his squires thereat with gladness took his armour from
his shoulders; and Nestor stood up and spake amid the Argives: "Fie upon
it, verily sore lamentation cometh on the land of Achaia. Verily old
Peleus driver of chariots would groan sore, that goodly counsellor of
the Myrmidons and orator, who erst questioned me in his house, and
rejoiced greatly, inquiring of the lineage and birth of all the Argives.
If he heard now of those that all were cowering before Hector, then
would he lift his hands to the immortals, instantly praying that his
soul might depart from his limbs down to the house of Hades. Would to
God I were thus young and my strength were sound; then would Hector of
the glancing helm soon find his combat. But of those of you that be
chieftains of the host of the Achaians, yet desireth no man of good
heart to meet Hector face to face." So the old man upbraided them, and
there stood up nine in all. Far first arose Agamemnon king of men, and
after him rose Tydeus' son stalwart Diomedes, and after them the Aiantes
clothed with impetuous might, and after them Idomeneus and Idomeneus'
brother-in-arms Meriones, peer of Enyalios slayer of men, and after them
Eurypylos Euaimon's glorious son; and up rose Thoas Andraimon's son and
goodly Odysseus. So all these were fain to fight with goodly Hector. And
among them spake again knightly Nestor of Gerenia: "Now cast ye the lot
from the first unto the last, for him that shall be chosen: for he shall
in truth profit the well-greaved Achaians, yea and he shall have profit
of his own soul, if he escape from the fury of war and terrible fray."

So said he, and they marked each man his lot and cast them in the helmet
of Agamemnon Atreus' son; and the hosts prayed and lifted up their hands
to the gods. And thus would one say, looking up to wide heaven: "O
father Zeus, vouchsafe that the lot fall upon Aias or Tydeus' son, or
else on the king of Mykene rich in gold."

So spake they, and knightly Nestor of Gerenia shook the helmet, and
there leapt forth the lot that themselves desired, even the lot of Aias.
And Aias saw and knew the token upon the lot, and rejoiced in heart, and
spake: "My friends, verily the lot is mine, yea and myself am glad at
heart, because I deem that I shall vanquish goodly Hector. But come now,
while I clothe me in my armour of battle, pray ye the while to Kronos'
son king Zeus, in silence to yourselves, that the Trojans hear you
not--nay rather, openly if ye will, for we have no fear of any man
soever. For none by force shall chase me, he willing me unwilling,
neither by skill; seeing I hope that not so skill-less, either, was I
born in Salamis nor nurtured."

So said he, and they prayed to Kronos' son, king Zeus; and thus would
one speak, looking up to wide heaven: "O father Zeus that rulest from
Ida, most glorious, most great, vouchsafe to Aias victory and the
winning of great glory. But if thou so lovest Hector indeed, and carest
for him, grant unto either equal prowess and renown."

So said they, while Aias arrayed him in flashing bronze. And when he had
now clothed upon his flesh all his armour, then marched he as huge Ares
coming forth, when he goeth to battle amid heroes whom Kronos' son
setteth to fight in fury of heart-consuming strife. So rose up huge
Aias, bulwark of the Achaians, with a smile on his grim face: and went
with long strides of his feet beneath him, shaking his far-shadowing
spear. Then moreover the Argives rejoiced to look upon him, but sore
trembling came upon the Trojans, on the limbs of every man, and Hector's
own heart beat within his breast. But in no wise could he now flee nor
shrink back into the throng of the host, seeing he had challenged him to
battle. And Aias came near bearing his tower-like shield of bronze, with
sevenfold ox-hide, and stood near to Hector, and spake to him threatening:
"Hector, now verily shalt thou well know, man to man, what manner
of princes the Danaans likewise have among them, even after Achilles,
render of men, the lion-hearted. But he amid his beaked seafaring ships
lieth in sore wrath with Agamemnon shepherd of the host; yet are we such
as to face thee, yea and many of us. But make thou beginning of war and
battle."

And great Hector of the glancing helm answered him: "Aias of the seed of
Zeus, son of Telamon, chieftain of the host, tempt not thou me like some
puny boy or woman that knoweth not deeds of battle. But I well know wars
and slaughterings. To right know I, to left know I the wielding of my
tough targe; therein I deem is stalwart soldiership. And I know how to
charge into the mellay of fleet chariots, and how in close battle to
join in furious Ares' dance. Howbeit, I have no mind to smite thee,
being such an one as thou art, by spying thee unawares; but rather
openly, if perchance I may hit thee."

He spake, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled and smote Aias'
dread shield of sevenfold hide upon the uttermost bronze, the eighth
layer that was thereon. Through six folds went the stubborn bronze
cleaving, but in the seventh hide it stayed. Then heaven-sprung Aias
hurled next his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon the circle of the
shield of Priam's son. Through the bright shield passed the violent
spear, and through the curiously wrought corslet pressed it on; and
straight forth beside the flank the spear rent his doublet; but he
swerved aside and escaped black death. Then both together with their
hands plucked forth their long spears and fell to like ravening lions or
wild boars whose might is nowise feeble. Then Priam's son smote the
shield's midst with his dart, but the bronze brake not through, for the
point turned back; but Aias leapt on him and pierced his buckler, and
straight through went the spear and staggered him in his onset, and
cleft its way unto his neck, so that the dark blood gushed up. Yet even
then did not Hector of the glancing helm cease from fight, but yielded
ground and with stout hand seized a stone lying upon the plain, black
and rugged and great; therewith hurled he and smote Aias' dread shield
of sevenfold ox-hide in the midst upon the boss, and the bronze
resounded. Next Aias lifted a far greater stone, and swung and hurled
it, putting might immeasurable therein. So smote he the buckler and
burst it inwards with the rock like unto a millstone, and beat down his
knees; and he was stretched upon his back, pressed into his shield; but
Apollo straightway raised him up. And now had they been smiting hand to
hand with swords, but that the heralds, messengers of gods and men,
came, one from the Trojans, one from the mail-clad Achaians, even
Talthybios and Idaios, both men discreet. Between the two held they
their staves, and herald Idaios spake a word, being skilled in wise
counsel: "Fight ye no more, dear sons, neither do battle; seeing Zeus
the cloud-gatherer loveth you both, and both are men of war; that verily
know we all. But night already is upon us: it is well withal to obey the
hest [behest] of night."

Then Telamonian Aias answered and said to him: "Idaios, bid ye Hector
to speak those words; of his own self he challenged to combat all our
best. Let him be first, and I will surely follow as he saith."

Then great Hector of the glancing helm said to him: "Aias, seeing God
gave thee stature and might and wisdom, and with the spear thou art
excellent above all the Achaians, let us now cease from combat and
battle for the day; but hereafter will we fight until God judge between
as, giving to one of us the victory: But come, let us give each the
other famous gifts, that men may thus say, Achaians alike and Trojans:
'These, having fought for sake of heart-consuming strife, parted again
reconciled in friendship.'"

So said he, and gave him his silver-studded sword, with scabbard and
well-cut baldrick; and Aias gave his belt bright with purple. So they
parted, and one went to the Achaian host, and one betook him to the
throng of Trojans. And these rejoiced to behold him come to them alive
and sound, escaped from the fury of Aias and his hands unapproachable;
and they brought him to the city saved beyond their hope. And Aias on
their side the well-greaved Achaians brought to noble Agamemnon,
exulting in his victory.

So when these were come unto the huts of Atreides, then did Agamemnon
king of men slay them an ox, a male of five years old, for the most
mighty son of Kronos. This they flayed and made ready, and divided it
all, and minced it cunningly, and pierced it through with spits, and
roasted it carefully, and drew all off again. Then as soon as they had
rest from the task and had made ready the meal, they began the feast,
nor was their soul aught stinted of the equal banquet. And the hero son
of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, gave to Aias slices of the chine's
full length for his honour. And when they had put from them the desire
of meat and drink, then first the old man began to weave the web of
counsel, even Nestor whose rede [counsel] of old time was proved most
excellent. He made harangue among them and said: "Son of Atreus and ye
other princes of the Achaians, seeing that many flowing-haired Achaians
are dead, and keen Ares hath spilt their dusky blood about fair-flowing
Skamandros, and their souls have gone down to the house of Hades;
therefore it behoveth thee to make the battle of the Achaians cease with
daybreak; and we will assemble to wheel hither the corpses with oxen and
mules; so let us burn them; and let us heap one barrow about the pyre,
rearing it from the plain for all alike; and thereto build with speed
high towers, a bulwark for our ships and for ourselves. In the midst
thereof let us make gates well compact, that through them may be a way
for chariot-driving. And without let us dig a deep foss hard by, to be
about it and to hinder horses and footmen, lest the battle of the lordly
Trojans be heavy on us hereafter."

So spake he and all the chiefs gave assent. But meanwhile there was in
the high town of Ilios an assembly of the Trojans, fierce, confused,
beside Priam's gate. To them discreet Antenor began to make harangue:
"Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that I may tell you
that my soul within my breast commandeth me. Lo, go to now, let us give
Helen of Argos and the wealth with her for the sons of Atreus to take
away. Now fight we in guilt against the oaths of faith; therefore is
there no profit for us that I hope to see fulfilled, unless we do thus."

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up among them noble
Alexandros, lord of Helen beautiful-haired; he made him answer and spake
winged words: "Antenor, these words from thee are no longer to my
pleasure; yet thou hast it in thee to devise other sayings more
excellent than this. But if indeed thou sagest this in earnest, then
verily the gods themselves have destroyed thy wit. But I will speak
forth amid the horse-taming Trojans, and declare outright; my wife will
I not give back; but the wealth I brought from Argos to our home, all
that I have a mind to give, and add more of mine own substance."

So spake he and sate him down, and there stood up among them Priam of
the seed of Dardanos, the peer of gods in counsel; he made harangue to
them, and said: "Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that
I may tell you that my soul within my breast commandeth me. Now eat your
supper throughout the city as of old, and take thought to keep watch,
and be wakeful every man. And at dawn let Idaios fare to the hollow
ships to tell to Atreus' sons Agamemnon and Menelaos the saying of
Alexandros, for whose sake strife is come about: and likewise to ask
them this wise word, whether they are minded to refrain from noisy war
till we have burned our dead; afterwards will we fight again, till
heaven part us and give one or other victory."

So spake he, and they hearkened diligently to him and obeyed: and at
dawn Idaios fared to the hollow ships. He found the Danaans in assembly,
the men of Ares' company, beside the stern of Agamemnon's ship; and so
the loud-voiced herald stood in their midst and said unto them:
"Atreides and ye other princes of the Achaians, Priam and all the noble
Trojans bade me tell you-if perchance it might find favour and
acceptance with you-the saying of Alexandros, for whose sake strife hath
come about. The wealth that Alexandros brought in his hollow ships to
Troy-would he had perished first!-all that he hath a mind to give, and
to add more thereto of his substance. But the wedded wife of glorious
Menelaos he saith he will not give; yet verily the Trojans bid him do
it. Moreover they bade me ask this thing of you; whether ye are minded
to refrain from noisy war until we have burned our dead; afterwards will
we fight again, till heaven part us and give one or other victory."

So said he and they all kept silence and were still. But at the last
spake Diomedes of the loud war-cry in their midst: "Let no man now
accept Alexandros' substance, neither Helen's self; known is it, even to
him that hath no wit at all, how that the issues of destruction hang
already over the Trojans."

So spake he, and all the sons of the Achaians shouted, applauding the
saying of horse-taming Diomedes. And then lord Agamemnon spake to
Idaios: "Idaios, thyself thou hearest the saying of the Achaians, how
they answer thee; and the like seemeth good to me. But as concerning the
dead, I grudge you not to burn them; for dead corpses is there no
stinting; when they once are dead, of the swift propitiation of fire.
And for the oaths let Zeus be witness, the loud-thundering lord of
Hera."

So saying he lifted up his sceptre in the sight of all the gods, and
Idaios departed back to holy Ilios. Now Trojans and Dardanians sate in
assembly, gathered all together to wait till Idaios should come; and he
came and stood in their midst and declared his message. Then they made
them ready very swiftly for either task, some to bring the dead, and
some to seek for wood. And on their part the Argives hasted from their
well-decked ships, some to bring the dead and some to seek for wood.

Now the sun was newly beating on the fields as he climbed heaven from
the deep stream of gently-flowing Ocean, when both sides met together.
Then was it a hard matter to know each man again; but they washed them
with water clean of clotted gore, and with shedding of hot tears lifted
them upon the wains. But great Priam bade them not wail aloud; so in
silence heaped they the corpses on the pyre, stricken at heart; and when
they had burned them with fire departed to holy Ilios. And in like
manner on their side the well-greaved Achaians heaped the corpses on the
pyre, stricken at heart, and when they had burned them with fire
departed to the hollow ships.

And when day was not yet, but still twilight of night, then was the
chosen folk of the Achaians gathered together around the pyre, and made
one barrow about it, rearing it from the plain for all alike; and
thereto built they a wall and lofty towers, a bulwark for their ships
and for themselves. In the midst thereof made they gates well-compacted,
that through them might be a way for chariot-driving. And without they
dug a deep foss beside it, broad and great, and planted a palisade
therein.

Thus toiled the flowing-haired Achaians: and the gods sate by Zeus, the
lord of lightning, and marvelled at the great work of the mail-clad
Achaians. And Poseidon shaker of earth spake first to them: "O father
Zeus, is there any man throughout the boundless earth that will any more
declare to the immortals his mind and counsel? Seest thou not how the
flowing-haired Achaians have now again built them a wall before their
ships, and drawn a foss around it, but gave not excellent hecatombs to
the gods? Verily the fame thereof shall reach as far as the dawn
spreadeth, and men will forget the wall that I and Phoebus Apollo built
with travail for the hero Laomedon."

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer said to him, sore troubled: "Out on it,
far-swaying Shaker of earth, for this thing thou sayest. Well might some
other god fear this device, one that were far feebler than thou in the
might of his hands: but thine shall be the fame as far as the dawn
spreadeth. Go to now, hereafter when the flowing-haired Achaians be
departed upon their ships to their dear native land, then burst thou
this wall asunder and scatter it all into the sea, and cover the great
sea-beach over with sand again, that the great wall of the Achaians be
brought to naught."

BOOK VIII.

How Zeus bethought him of his promise to avenge Achilles'
wrong on Agamemnon; and therefore bade the gods refrain from
war, and gave victory to the Trojans.

Now Dawn the saffron-robed was spreading over all the earth, and Zeus
whose joy is in the thunder let call an assembly of the gods upon the
topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus, and himself made harangue to them
and all the gods gave ear: "Hearken to me, all gods and all ye
goddesses, that I may tell you what my heart within my breast commandeth
me. One thing let none essay, be it goddess or be it god, to wit, to
thwart my saying; approve ye it all together, that with all speed I may
accomplish these things. Whomsoever I shall perceive minded to go, apart
from the gods, to succour Trojans or Danaans, chastened in no seemly
wise shall he return to Olympus, or I will take and cast him into misty
Tartaros, right far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth;
there are the gate of iron and threshold of bronze, as far beneath Hades
as heaven is high above the earth: then shall he know how far I am
mightiest of all gods. Go to now, ye gods, make trial that ye all may
know. Fasten ye a rope of gold from heaven, and all ye gods lay hold
thereof and all goddesses; yet could ye not drag from heaven to earth
Zeus, counsellor supreme, not though ye toiled sore. But once I likewise
were minded to draw with all my heart, then should I draw you up with
very earth and sea withal. Thereafter would I bind the rope about a
pinnacle of Olympus, and so should all those things be hung in air. By
so much am I beyond gods and beyond men."

So saying he let harness to his chariot his bronze-shod horses, fleet of
foot, with flowing manes of gold; and himself clad him with gold upon
his flesh, and grasped the whip of gold, well wrought, and mounted upon
his car, and lashed the horses to start them; they nothing loth sped on
between earth and starry heaven. So fared he to many-fountained Ida,
mother of wild beasts, even unto Gargaros, where is his demesne and
fragrant altar. There did the father of men and gods stay his horses,
and unloose them from the car, and cast thick mist about them; and
himself sate on the mountain-tops rejoicing in his glory, to behold the
city of the Trojans and ships of the Achaians.

Now the flowing-haired Achaians took meat hastily among the huts and
thereafter arrayed themselves. Likewise the Trojans on their side armed
them throughout the town--a smaller host, yet for all that were they
eager to fight in battle, of forceful need, for their children's sake
and their wives'. And the gates were opened wide and the host issued
forth, footmen and horsemen; and mighty din arose.

So when they were met together and come unto one spot, then clashed they
targe and spear and fury of bronze-clad warrior; the bossed shields
pressed each on each, and mighty din arose. Then were heard the voice of
groaning and the voice of triumph together of the slayers and the slain,
and the earth streamed with blood.

Now while it yet was morn and the divine day waxed, so long from either
side lighted the darts amain and the people fell. But when the sun
bestrode mid-heaven, then did the Father balance his golden scales, and
put therein two fates of death that layeth men at their length, one for
horse-taming Trojans, one for mail-clad Achaians; and he took the
scale-yard by the midst and lifted it, and the Achaians' day of destiny
sank down. So lay the Achaians' fates on the bounteous earth, and the
Trojans' fates were lifted up towards wide heaven. And the god thundered
aloud from Ida, and sent his blazing flash amid the host of the
Achaians; and they saw and were astonished, and pale fear gat hold upon
all.

Then had Idomeneus no heart to stand, neither Agamemnon, neither stood
the twain Aiantes, men of Ares' company. Only Nestor of Gerenia stood
his ground, he the Warden of the Achaians; neither he of purpose, but
his horse was fordone, which noble Alexandros, beauteous-haired Helen's
lord, had smitten with an arrow upon the top of the crest where the
foremost hairs of horses grow upon the skull; and there is the most
deadly spot. So the horse leapt up in anguish and the arrow sank into
his brain, and he brought confusion on the steeds as he writhed upon the
dart. While the old man leapt forth and with his sword began to hew the
traces, came Hector's fleet horses through the tumult, bearing a bold
charioteer, even Hecktor. And now had the old man lost his life, but
that Diomedes of the loud war-cry was swift to mark. Terribly shouted
he, summoning Odysseus: "Heaven-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many
wiles, whither fleest thou with thy back turned, like a coward in the
throng? Beware lest as thou fleest one plant a spear between thy
shoulders. Nay, stand thy ground, till we thrust back from the old man
his furious foe."

So spake he, but much-enduring noble Odysseus heard him not, but
hastened by to the hollow ships of the Achaians. Yet Tydeides, though
but one, mingled amid the fighters in the forefront, and took his stand
before the steeds of the old man, Neleus' son, and spake to him winged
words, and said: "Old man, of a truth young warriors beset thee hard;
and thy force is abated, and old age is sore upon thee, and thy squire
is but a weakling, and thy steeds are slow. Come then, mount upon my
car, that thou mayest see of what sort are the steeds of Tros, well
skilled for following or fleeing hither or thither very fleetly across
the plain, even those that erst I took from Aineias inspirer of fear.
Thine let our squires tend, and these let us guide straight against the
horse-taming Trojans, that even Hector may know whether my spear also
rageth in my hands."

So said he, and knightly Nestor of Gerenia disregarded not. Then the two
squires tended Nestor's horses, even Sthenelos the valiant and kindly
Eurymedon: and the other twain both mounted upon Diomedes' car. And
Nestor took into his hands the shining reins, and lashed the horses; and
soon they drew nigh Hector. Then Tydeus' son hurled at him as he charged
straight upon them: him missed he, but his squire that drave his
chariot, Eniopeus, high-hearted Thebaios' son, even him as he held the
reins, he smote upon the breast beside the nipple. So he fell from out
the car, and his fleet-footed horses swerved aside; and there his soul
and spirit were unstrung. Then sore grief encompassed Hector's soul for
sake of his charioteer. Yet left he him there lying, though he sorrowed
for his comrade, and drave in quest of a bold charioteer; and his horses
lacked not long a master, for anon he found Iphitos' son, bold
Archeptolemos, and him he made mount behind his fleet horses, and gave
the reins into his hands.

Then had destruction come and deeds beyond remedy been wrought, and so
had they been penned in Ilios like lambs, had not the father of gods and
men been swift to mark. So he thundered terribly and darted his white
lightning and hurled it before Diomedes' steeds to earth; and there
arose a terrible flame of sulphur burning, and the two horses were
affrighted and cowered beneath the car. And the shining reins dropped
from Nestor's hands, and he was afraid at heart and spake to Diomedes:
"Come now Tydeides, turn back thy whole-hooved horses to flight: seest
thou not that victory from Zeus attendeth not on thee? Now doth Kronos'
son vouchsafe glory to this Hector, for the day; hereafter shall he
grant it us likewise, if he will. A man may not at all ward off the will
of Zeus, not though one be very valiant; he verily is mightier far."

Then Diomedes of the loud war-cry answered him: "Yea verily, old man,
all this thou sayest is according unto right. But this is the sore grief
that entereth my heart and soul: Hector some day shall say as he maketh
harangue amid the Trojans: 'Tydeides betook him to the ships in flight
before my face.' So shall he boast--in that day let the wide earth yawn
for me."

So spake he and turned the whole-hooved horses to flight, back through
the tumult; and the Trojans and Hector with wondrous uproar poured upon
them their dolorous darts. And over him shouted loudly great Hector of
the glancing helm: "Tydeides, the fleet-horsed Danaans were wont to
honour thee with the highest place, and meats, and cups brimful, but now
will they disdain thee; thou art after all no better than a woman.
Begone, poor puppet; not for my flinching shalt thou climb on our
towers, neither carry our wives away upon thy ships; ere that will I
deal thee thy fate."

So said he, and Tydeides was of divided mind, whether to wheel his
horses and fight him face to face. Thrice doubted he in heart and soul,
and thrice from Ida's mountains thundered Zeus the lord of counsel, and
gave to the Trojans a sign, the turning of the course of battle. And
Hector with loud shout called to the Trojans: "Trojans and Lykians and
Dardanians that love close fight, be men, my friends, and bethink you of
impetuous valour. I perceive that of good will Kronion vouchsafest me
victory and great glory, and to the Danaans destruction. Fools, that
devised these walls weak and of none account; they shall not withhold
our fury, and lightly shall our steeds overleap the delved foss. But
when I be once come amid the hollow ships, then be thought taken of
consuming fire, that with fire I may burn the ships and slay the men."

So spake he and shouted to his steeds, and said: "Xanthos, and thou
Podargos, and Aithon and goodly Lampos, now pay me back your tending,
even the abundance that Andromache, great-hearted Eetion's daughter, set
before you of honey-hearted wheat, and mingled wine to drink at the
heart's bidding. Pursue ye now and haste, that we may seize Nestor's
shield, the fame whereof now reacheth unto heaven, how that it is of
gold throughout, armrods and all; and may seize moreover from
horse-taming Diomedes' shoulders his richly dight breastplate that
Hephaistos wrought cunningly. Could we but take these, then might I hope
this very night to make the Achaians to embark on their fleet ships."

And now had he burned the trim ships with blazing fire, but that queen
Hera put it in Agamemnon's heart himself to bestir him and swiftly
arouse the Achaians. So he went his way along the huts and ships of the
Achaians, holding a great cloak of purple in his stalwart hand, and
stood by Odysseus' black ship of mighty burden, that was in the midst,
so that a voice could be heard to either end. Then shouted he in a
piercing voice, and called to the Danaans aloud: "Fie upon you, Argives,
ye sorry things of shame, so brave in semblance! Whither are gone our
boastings when we said that we were bravest, the boasts ye uttered
vaingloriously when in Lemnos, as ye ate your fill of flesh of
tall-horned oxen and drank goblets crowned with wine, and said that
every man should stand in war to face fivescore yea tenscore Trojans?
yet now can we not match one, even this Hector that anon will burn our
ships with flame of fire. O Father Zeus, didst ever thou blind with such
a blindness any mighty king, and rob him of great glory? Nay, Zeus, this
hope fulfil thou me; suffer that we ourselves at least flee and escape,
neither suffer that the Achaians be thus vanquished of the Trojans."

So spake he, and the Father had pity on him as he wept, and vouchsafed
him that his folk should be saved and perish not. Forthwith sent he an
eagle--surest sign among winged fowl--holding in his claws a fawn, the
young of a fleet hind; beside the beautiful altar of Zeus he let fall
the fawn, where the Achaians did sacrifice unto Zeus lord of all
oracles. So when they saw that the bird was come from Zeus, they sprang
the more upon the Trojans and bethought them of the joy of battle.

Now could no man of the Danaans, for all they were very many, boast that
he before Tydeus' son had guided his fleet horses forth, and driven them
across the trench and fought man to man; first by far was Tydeides to
slay a warrior of the Trojans in full array, even Agelaos son of
Phradmon. Now he had turned his steeds to flee; but as he wheeled the
other plunged the spear into his back between his shoulders, and drave
it through his breast. So fell he from his chariot, and his armour
clanged upon him.

And after him came Atreus' sons, even Agamemnon and Menelaos, and after
them the Aiantes clothed upon with impetuous valour, and after them
Idomeneus and Idomeneus' brother in arms Meriones, peer of Enyalios
slayer of men, and after them Eurypylos, Euaimon's glorious son. And
ninth came Teukros, stretching his back-bent bow, and took his stand
beneath the shield of Aias son of Telamon. And so Aias would stealthily
withdraw the shield, and Teukros would spy his chance; and when he had
shot and smitten one in the throng, then fell such an one and gave up
the ghost, and Teukros would return, and as a child beneath his mother,
so gat he him to Aias; who hid him with the shining shield.

And Agamemnon king of men rejoiced to behold him making havoc with his
stalwart bow of the battalions of the Trojans, and he came and stood by
his side and spake to him, saying: "Teukros, dear heart, thou son of
Telamon, prince of the host, shoot on in this wise, if perchance thou
mayest be found the salvation of the Danaans and glory of thy father
Telamon."

And noble Teukros made answer and said to him: "Most noble son of
Atreus, why urgest thou me that myself am eager? Verily with such
strength as is in me forbear I not, but ever since we drave them towards
Ilios I watch with my bow to slay the foemen. Eight long-barbed arrows
have I now sped, and all are buried in the flesh of young men swift in
battle; only this mad dog can I not smite."

He said, and shot another arrow from the string right against Hector;
and his heart was fain to smite him. Yet missed he once again, for
Apollo turned the dart away; but Archeptolemos, Hector's bold
charioteer, he smote on the breast beside the nipple as he hasted into
battle: so he fell from his car and his fleet-footed horses swerved
aside; and there his soul and spirit were unstrung. Then sore grief
encompassed Hector's soul for his charioteer's sake; yet left he him,
though he sorrowed for his comrade, and bade Kebriones his own brother,
being hard by, take the chariot reins; and he heard and disregarded not.
And himself he leapt to earth from the resplendent car, with a terrible
shout; and in his hand he caught a stone, and made right at Teukros, and
his heart bade him smite him. Now Teukros had plucked forth from his
quiver a keen arrow, and laid it on the string; but even as he drew it
back, Hector of the glancing helm smote him with the jagged stone, as he
aimed eagerly against him, even beside his shoulder, where the
collar-bone fenceth off neck and breast, and where is the most deadly
spot; and he brake the bowstring, and his hand from the wrist grew numb,
and he stayed fallen upon his knee, and his bow dropped from his hand.
But Aias disregarded not his brother's fall, but ran and strode across
him and hid him with his shield. Then two trusty comrades bent down to
him, even Mekisteus son of Echios and goodly Alastor, and bare him,
groaning sorely, to the hollow ships. And once again the Olympian
aroused the spirit of the Trojans. So they drove the Achaians straight
toward the deep foss, and amid the foremost went Hector exulting in his
strength. And even as when a hound behind wild boar or lion, with swift
feet pursuing snatcheth at him, at flank or buttock, and watcheth for
him as he wheeleth, so Hector pressed hard on the flowing-haired
Achaians, slaying ever the hindmost, and they fled on. But when they
were passed in flight through palisade and foss, and many were fallen
beneath the Trojans' hands, then halted they and tarried beside the
ships, calling one upon another, and lifting up their hands to all the
gods prayed each one instantly. But Hector wheeled round his
beauteous-maned steeds this way and that, and his eyes were as the eyes
of Gorgon or Ares bane of mortals.

Now at the sight of them the white-armed goddess Hera had compassion,
and anon spake winged words to Athene: "Out on it, thou child of
aegis-bearing Zeus, shall not we twain any more take thought for the
Danaans that perish, if only for this last time? Now will they fill up
the measure of evil destiny and perish by one man's onslaught; seeing
that he is furious now beyond endurance, this Hector son of Priam, and
verily hath wrought many a deed of ill."

And the bright-eyed goddess Athene made answer to her, "Yea in good
sooth, may this fellow yield up strength and life, and perish at the
Argives' hands in his native land; only mine own sire is furious, with
no good intent, headstrong, ever sinful, the foiler of my purposes. But
now make thou ready our whole-hooved horses, while I enter into the
palace of aegis-bearing Zeus and gird me in my armour for battle, that I
may see if Priam's son, Hector of the glancing helm, shall be glad at
the appearing of us twain amid the highways of the battle. Surely shall
many a Trojan likewise glut dogs and birds with fat and flesh, fallen
dead at the ships of the Achaians."

So said she, and the white-armed goddess Hera disregarded not. But when
father Zeus beheld from Ida, he was sore wroth, and sped Iris
golden-winged to bear a message: "Go thy way, fleet Iris, turn them
back, neither suffer them to face me; for in no happy wise shall we join
in combat. For thus will I declare, and even so shall the fulfilment be;
I will maim their fleet horses in the chariot, and them will I hurl out
from the car, and will break in pieces the chariot; neither within the
courses of ten years shall they heal them of the wounds the thunderbolt
shall tear; that the bright-eyed one may know the end when she striveth
against her father. But with Hera have I not so great indignation nor
wrath: seeing it ever is her wont to thwart me, whate'er I have
decreed."

So said he, and whirlwind-footed Iris arose to bear the message, and
departed from the mountains of Ida unto high Olympus. And even at the
entrance of the gates of Olympus many-folded she met them and stayed

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