Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 4 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

body, and with two spears in his hands. No man that met him could have
held him back when once he leaped within the gates: none but the gods,
and his eyes shone with fire. Turning towards the throng he cried to the
Trojans to overleap the wall, and they obeyed his summons, and speedily
some overleaped the wall, and some poured into the fair-wrought
gateways, and the Danaans fled in fear among the hollow ships, and a
ceaseless clamour arose.


Poseidon stirreth up the Achaians to defend the ships.
The valour of Idomeneus.

Now Zeus, after that he had brought the Trojans and Hector to the ships,
left them to their toil and endless labour there, but otherwhere again
he turned his shining eyes, and looked upon the land of the Thracian
horsebreeders, and the Mysians, fierce fighters hand to hand, and the
proud Hippemolgoi that drink mare's milk, and the Abioi, the most
righteous of men. To Troy no more at all he turned his shining eyes, for
he deemed in his heart that not one of the Immortals would draw near, to
help either Trojans or Danaans.

But the mighty Earth-shaker held no blind watch, who sat and marvelled on
the war and strife, high on the topmost crest of wooded Samothrace, for
thence all Ida was plain to see; and plain to see were the city of
Priam, and the ships of the Achaians. Thither did he go from the sea and
sate him down, and he had pity on the Achaians, that they were subdued
to the Trojans, and strong was his anger against Zeus.

Then forthwith he went down from the rugged hill, faring with swift
steps, and the high hills trembled, and the woodland, beneath the
immortal footsteps of Poseidon as he moved. Three strides he made, and
with the fourth he reached his goal, even Aigae, and there was his
famous palace in the deeps of the mere, his glistering golden mansions
builded, imperishable for ever. Thither went he, and let harness to the
car his bronze-hooved horses, swift of flight, clothed with their golden
manes. He girt his own golden array about his body, and seized the
well-wrought lash of gold, and mounted his chariot, and forth he drove
across the waves. And the sea beasts frolicked beneath him, on all
sides out of the deeps, for well they knew their lord, and with gladness
the sea stood asunder, and swiftly they sped, and the axle of bronze was
not wetted beneath, and the bounding steeds bare him on to the ships
of the Achaians.

Now there is a spacious cave in the depths of the deep mere, between
Tenedos and rugged Imbros; there did Poseidon, the Shaker of the earth,
stay his horses, and loosed them out of the chariot, and cast before
them ambrosial food to graze withal, and golden tethers he bound about
their hooves, tethers neither to be broken nor loosed, that there the
horses might continually await their lord's return. And he went to the
host of the Achaians.

Now the Trojans like flame or storm-wind were following in close array,
with fierce intent, after Hector, son of Priam. With shouts and cries
they came, and thought to take the ships of the Achaians, and to slay
thereby all the bravest of the host. But Poseidon, that girdleth the
world, the Shaker of the earth, was urging on the Argives, and forth he
came from the deep salt sea, in form and untiring voice like unto
Kalchas. First he spake to the two Aiantes, that themselves were eager
for battle: "Ye Aiantes twain, ye shall save the people of the Achaians,
if ye are mindful of your might, and reckless of chill fear. For verily
I do not otherwhere dread the invincible hands of the Trojans, that have
climbed the great wall in their multitude, nay, the well-greaved
Achaians will hold them all at bay; but hereby verily do I greatly dread
lest some evil befall us, even here where that furious one is leading
like a flame of fire, Hector, who boasts him to be son of mighty Zeus.
Nay, but here may some god put it into the hearts of you twain, to stand
sturdily yourselves, and urge others to do the like; thereby might ye
drive him from the fleet-faring ships, despite his eagerness, yea, even
if the Olympian himself is rousing him to war."

Therewith the Shaker of the world, the girdler of the earth, struck the
twain with his staff, and filled them with strong courage, and their
limbs he made light, and their feet, and their hands withal. Then, even
as a swift-winged hawk speeds forth to fly, poised high above a tall
sheer rock, and swoops to chase some other bird across the plain, even
so Poseidon sped from them, the Shaker of the world. And of the twain
Oileus' son, the swift-footed Aias, was the first to know the god, and
instantly he spake to Aias, son of Telamon: "Aias, since it is one of
the gods who hold Olympus, that in the semblance of a seer commands us
now to fight beside the ships-not Kalchas is he, the prophet and
sooth-sayer, for easily I knew the tokens of his feet and knees as he
turned away, and the gods are easy to discern--lo, then mine own heart
within my breast is more eagerly set on war and battle, and my feet
beneath and my hands above are lusting for the fight."

Then Aias, son of Telamon, answered him saying: "Even so, too, my hands
invincible now rage about the spear-shaft, and wrath has risen within
me, and both my feet are swift beneath me; yea, I am keen to meet, even
in single fight, the ceaseless rage of Hector son of Priam."

So they spake to each other, rejoicing in the delight of battle, which
the god put in their heart. Then the girdler of the earth stirred up the
Achaians that were in the rear and were renewing their strength beside
the swift ships. Their limbs were loosened by their grievous toil, yea,
and their souls filled with sorrow at the sight of the Trojans, that had
climbed over the great wall in their multitude. And they looked on them,
and shed tears beneath their brows, thinking that never would they
escape destruction. But the Shaker of the earth right easily came among
them, and urged on the strong battalions of warriors. Teukros first he
came and summoned, and Leitos, and the hero Peneleos, and Thoas, and
Deipyros, and Meriones, and Antilochos, lords of the war-cry, all these
he spurred on with winged words: "Shame on you, Argives, shame, ye
striplings, in your battle had I trusted for the salvation of our ships.
But if you are to withdraw from grievous war, now indeed the day doth
shine that shall see us conquered by the Trojans. Out on it, for verily
a great marvel is this that mine eyes behold, a terrible thing that
methought should never come to pass, the Trojans advancing against our
ships! Of yore they were like fleeting hinds, that in the wild wood are
the prey of jackals, and pards, and wolves, and wander helpless,
strengthless, empty of the joy of battle. Even so the Trojans of old
cared never to wait and face the wrath and the hands of the Achaians,
not for a moment. But now they are fighting far from the town, by the
hollow ships, all through the baseness of our leader and the remissness
of the people, who, being at strife with the chief, have no heart to
defend the swift-faring ships, nay, thereby they are slain. But if
indeed and in truth the hero Agamemnon, the wide-ruling son of Atreus,
is the very cause of all, for that he did dishonour the swift-footed son
of Peleus, not even so may we refrain in any wise from war. Nay, let us
right our fault with speed, for easily righted are the hearts of the
brave. No longer do ye well to refrain from impetuous might, all ye that
are the best men of the host. I myself would not quarrel with one that,
being a weakling, abstained from war, but with you I am heartily wroth.
Ah, friends, soon shall ye make the mischief more through this
remissness,--but let each man conceive shame in his heart, and
indignation, for verily great is the strife that hath arisen. Lo, the
mighty Hector of the loud war-cry is fighting at the ships, and the
gates and the long bar he hath burst in sunder."

On this wise did the Earth-enfolder call to and spur on the Achaians.
And straightway they made a stand around the two Aiantes, strong bands
that Ares himself could not enter and make light of, nor Athene that
marshals the host. Yea, they were the chosen best that abode the Trojans
and goodly Hector, and spear on spear made close-set fence, and shield
on serried shield, buckler pressed on buckler, and helm on helm, and man
on man. The horse-hair crests on the bright helmet-ridges touched each
other as they nodded, so close they stood each by other, and spears
brandished in bold hands were interlaced; and their hearts were
steadfast and lusted for battle.

Then the Trojans drave forward in close array, and Hector led them,
pressing straight onwards, like a rolling rock from a cliff, that the
winter-swollen water thrusteth from the crest of a hill, having broken
the foundations of the stubborn rock with its wondrous flood; leaping
aloft it flies, and the wood echoes under it, and unstayed it runs its
course, till it reaches the level plain, and then it rolls no more for
all its eagerness,--even so Hector for a while threatened lightly to
win to the sea through the huts and the ships of the Achaians, slaying
as he came, but when he encountered the serried battalions, he was
stayed when he drew near against them. But they of the other part, the
sons of the Achaians, thrust with their swords and double-pointed
spears, and drave him forth from them, that he gave ground and reeled
backward. Then he cried with a piercing voice, calling on the Trojans:
"Trojans, and Lykians, and close-fighting Dardanians, hold your ground,
for the Achaians will not long ward me off, nay, though they have
arrayed themselves in fashion like a tower. Rather, methinks, they will
flee back before the spear, if verily the chief of gods has set me on,
the loud-thundering lord of Hera."

Therewith he spurred on the heart and spirit of each man; and Deiphobos,
the son of Priam, strode among them with high thoughts, and held in
front of him the circle of his shield, and lightly he stepped with his
feet, advancing beneath the cover of his shield. Then Meriones aimed at
him with a shining spear, and struck, and missed not, but smote the
circle of the bulls-hide shield, yet no whit did he pierce it; nay,
well ere that might be, the long spear-shaft snapped in the socket. Now
Deiphobos was holding off from him the bulls-hide shield, and his heart
feared the lance of wise Meriones, but that hero shrunk back among the
throng of his comrades, greatly in wrath both for the loss of victory,
and of his spear, that he had shivered. So he set forth to go to the
huts and the ships of the Achaians, to bring a long spear, that he had
left in his hut.

Meanwhile the others were fighting on, and there arose an
inextinguishable cry. First Teukros, son of Telamon, slew a man, the
spearman Imbrios, the son of Mentor rich in horses. In Pedaion he dwelt,
before the coming of the sons of the Achaians, and he had for wife a
daughter of Priam, born out of wedlock, Medesikaste; but when the curved
ships of the Danaans came, he returned again to Ilios, and was
pre-eminent among the Trojans, and dwelt with Priam, who honoured him
like his own children. Him the son of Telemon pierced below the ear with
his long lance, and plucked back the spear. Then he fell like an ash
that on the crest of a far-seen hill is smitten with the axe of bronze,
and brings its delicate foliage to the ground; even so he fell, and
round him rang his armour bedight with bronze. Then Teukros rushed
forth, most eager to strip his armour, and Hector cast at him as he came
with his shining spear. But Teukros, steadily regarding him, avoided by
a little the spear of bronze; so Hector struck Amphimachos, son of
Kteatos, son of Aktor, in the breast with the spear, as he was returning
to the battle. With a crash he fell, and his armour rang upon him.

Then Hector sped forth to tear from the head of great-hearted
Amphimachos the helmet closely fitted to his temples, but Aias aimed at
Hector as he came, with a shining spear, yet in no wise touched his
body, for he was all clad in dread armour of bronze; but he smote the
boss of his shield, and drave him back by main force, and he gave place
from behind the two dead men, and the Achaians drew them out of the
battle. So Stichios and goodly Menestheus, leaders of the Athenians,
conveyed Amphimachos back among the host of the Achaians, but Imbrios
the two Aiantes carried, with hearts full of impetuous might. And as
when two lions have snatched away a goat from sharp-toothed hounds, and
carry it through the deep thicket, holding the body on high above the
ground in their jaws, so the two warrior Aiantes held Imbrios aloft and
spoiled his arms. Then the son of Oileus cut his head from his delicate
neck, in wrath for the sake of Amphimachos, and sent it rolling like a
ball through the throng, and it dropped in the dust before the feet of

Then verily was Poseidon wroth at heart, when his son's son fell in the
terrible fray. [Kteatos, father of Amphimachos, was Poseidon's son.] So
he set forth to go by the huts and the ships of the Achaians, to spur on
the Danaans, and sorrows he was contriving for the Trojans. Then
Idomeneus, spearman renowned, met him on his way from his comrade that
had but newly returned to him out of the battle, wounded on the knee
with the sharp bronze. Him his comrades carried forth, and Idomeneus
gave charge to the leeches, and so went on to his hut, for he still was
eager to face the war. Then the mighty Shaker of the earth addressed
him, in the voice of Thoas, son of Andraimon, that ruled over the
Aitolians in all Pleuron, and mountainous Kalydon, and was honoured like
a god by the people: "Idomeneus, thou counsellor of the Cretans, say,
whither have thy threats fared, wherewith the sons of the Achaians
threatened the Trojans?"

Then Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, answered him again: "O Thaos, now
is there no man to blame, that I wot of, for we all are skilled in war.
Neither is there any man that spiritless fear holds aloof, nor any that
gives place to cowardice, and shuns the cruel war, nay, but even thus,
methinks, must it have seemed good to almighty Kronion, even that the
Achaians should perish nameless here, far away from Argos. But Thoas,
seeing that of old thou wert staunch, and dost spur on some other man,
wheresoever thou mayst see any give ground, therefore slacken not now,
but call aloud to every warrior."

Then Poseidon, the Shaker of the earth, answered him again: "Idomeneus,
never may that man go forth out of Troy-land, but here may he be the
sport of dogs, who this day wilfully is slack in battle. Nay, come, take
thy weapons and away: herein we must play the man together, if any avail
there may be, though we are no more than two. Ay, and very cowards get
courage from company, but we twain know well how to battle even with the

Therewith the god went back again into the strife of men, but Idomeneus,
so soon as he came to his well-builded hut, did on his fair armour about
his body, and grasped two spears, and set forth like the lightning that
Kronion seizes in his hand and brandishes from radiant Olympus, showing
forth a sign to mortal men, and far seen are the flames thereof. Even so
shone the bronze about the breast of Idomeneus as he ran, and Meriones,
his good squire, met him, while he was still near his hut,--he was going
to bring his spear of bronze,--and mighty Idomeneus spake to him:
"Meriones son of Molos, fleet of foot, dearest of my company, wherefore
hast thou come hither and left the war and strife? Art thou wounded at
all, and vexed by a dart's point, or dost thou come with a message for
me concerning aught? Verily I myself have no desire to sit in the huts,
but to fight."

Then wise Meriones answered him again, saying: "I have come to fetch a
spear, if perchance thou hast one left in the huts, for that which
before I carried I have shivered in casting at the shield of proud

Then Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, answered him again: "Spears, if
thou wilt, thou shalt find, one, ay, and twenty, standing in the hut,
against the shining side walls, spears of the Trojans whereof I have
spoiled their slain. Yea, it is not my mood to stand and fight with
foemen from afar, wherefore I have spears, and bossy shields, and helms,
and corslets of splendid sheen."

Then wise Meriones answered him again: "Yea, and in mine own hut and my
black ship are many spoils of the Trojans, but not ready to my hand.
Nay, for methinks that neither am I forgetful of valour; but stand forth
among the foremost to face the glorious war, whensoever ariseth the
strife of battle. Any other, methinks, of the mail-clad Achaians should
sooner forget my prowess, but thou art he that knoweth it."

Then Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, answered him again: "I know what
a man of valour thou art, wherefore shouldst thou tell me thereof? Nay,
if now beside the ships all the best of us were being chosen for an
ambush--wherein the valour of men is best discerned; there the coward,
and the brave man most plainly declare themselves: for the colour of the
coward changes often, and his spirit cannot abide firm within him, but
now he kneels on one knee, now on the other, and rests on either foot,
and his heart beats noisily in his breast, as he thinks of doom, and his
teeth chatter loudly. But the colour of the brave man does not change,
nor is he greatly afraid, from the moment that he enters the ambush of
heroes, but his prayer is to mingle instantly in woeful war. Were we
being chosen for such an ambush, I say, not even then would any man
reckon lightly of thy courage and thy strength. Nay, and even if thou
wert stricken in battle from afar, or smitten in close fight, the dart
would not strike thee in the hinder part of the neck, nor in the back,
but would encounter thy breast or belly, as thou dost press on, towards
the gathering of the foremost fighters. But come, no more let us talk
thus, like children, loitering here, lest any man be vehemently wroth,
but go thou to the hut, and bring the strong spear."

Thus he spake, and Meriones, the peer of swift Ares, quickly bare the
spear of bronze from the hut, and went after Idomeneus, with high
thoughts of battle. And even as Ares, the bane of men, goes forth into
the war, and with him follows his dear son Panic, stark and fearless,
that terrifies even the hardy warrior; and these twain leave Thrace, and
harness them for fight with the Ephyri, or the great-hearted Phlegyans,
yet hearken not to both peoples, but give honour to one only; like these
gods did Meriones and Idomeneus, leaders of men, set forth into the
fight, harnessed in gleaming bronze. And Meriones spake first to
Idomeneus saying: "Child of Deukalion, whither art thou eager to enter
into the throng: on the right of all the host, or in the centre, or on
the left? Ay, and no other where, methinks, are the flowing-haired
Achaians so like to fail in fight."

Then Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, answered him again: "In the
centre of the ships there are others to bear the brunt, the two Aiantes,
and Teukros, the best bowman of the Achaians, ay, and a good man in
close fight; these will give Hector Priam's son toil enough, howsoever
keen he be for battle; yea, though he be exceeding stalwart. Hard will
he find it, with all his lust for war, to overcome their strength and
their hands invincible, and to fire the ships, unless Kronion himself
send down on the swift ships a burning brand. But not to a man would he
yield, the great Telamonian Aias, to a man that is mortal and eateth
Demeter's grain, and may be chosen with the sword of bronze, and with
hurling of great stones. Nay, not even to Achilles the breaker of the
ranks of men would he give way, not in close fight; but for speed of
foot none may in any wise strive with Achilles. But guide us twain, as
thou sayest, to the left hand of the host, that speedily we may learn
whether we are to win glory from others, or other men from us."

So he spake, and Meriones, the peer of swift Ares, led the way, till
they came to the host, in that place whither he bade him go.

And when the Trojans saw Idomeneus, strong as flame, and his squire with
him, and their glorious armour, they all shouted and made for him
through the press. Then their mellay began, by the sterns of the ships.
And as the gusts speed on, when shrill winds blow, on a day when dust
lies thickest on the roads, and the winds raise together a great cloud
of dust, even so their battle clashed together, and all were fain of
heart to slay each other in the press with the keen bronze. And the
battle, the bane of men, bristled with the long spears, the piercing
spears they grasped, and the glitter of bronze from gleaming helmets
dazzled the eyes, and the sheen of new-burnished corslets, and shining
shields, as the men thronged all together. Right hardy of heart would he
have been that joyed and sorrowed not at the sight of this labour of

Thus the two mighty sons of Kronos, with contending will, were
contriving sorrow and anguish for the heroes. Zeus desired victory for
the Trojans and Hector, giving glory to swift-footed Achilles; yet he
did not wish the Achaian host to perish utterly before Ilios, but only
to give renown to Thetis and her strong-hearted son. But Poseidon went
among the Argives and stirred them to war, stealing secretly forth from
the grey salt sea: for he was sore vexed that they were overcome by
the Trojans, and was greatly in wrath against Zeus. Verily both were of
the same lineage and the same place of birth, but Zeus was the elder and
the wiser. Therefore also Poseidon avoided to give open aid, but
secretly ever he spurred them on, throughout the host, in the likeness
of a man. These twain had strained the ends of the cords of strong
strife and equal war, and had stretched them over both Trojans and
Achaians, a knot that none might break nor undo, for the loosening of
the knees of many.

Even then Idomeneus, though his hair was flecked with grey, called on
the Danaans, and leaping among the Trojans, roused their terror. For he
slew Othryoneus of Kabesos, a sojourner there, who but lately had
followed after the rumour of war, and asked in marriage the fairest of
the daughters of Priam, Kassandra, without gifts of wooing, but with
promise of mighty deed, namely that he would drive perforce out of
Troy-land the sons of the Achaians. To him the old man Priam had
promised and appointed that he would give her, so he fought trusting in
his promises. And Idomeneus aimed at him with a bright spear, and cast
and smote him as he came proudly striding on, and the corslet of bronze
that he wore availed not, but the lance struck in the midst of his
belly. And he fell with a crash, and Idomeneus boasted over him, and
lifted up his voice, saying: "Othryoneus, verily I praise thee above all
mortal men, if indeed thou shalt accomplish all that thou hast promised
Priam, son of Dardanos, that promised thee again his own daughter. Yea,
and we likewise would promise as much to thee, and fulfil it, and would
give thee the fairest daughter of the son of Atreus, and bring her from
Argos, and wed her to thee, if only thou wilt aid us to take the
fair-set citadel of Ilios. Nay, follow us that we may make a covenant of
marriage by the seafaring ships, for we are no hard exacters of gifts of

Therewith the hero Idomeneus dragged him by the foot across the fierce
mellay. But Asios came to his aid, on foot before his horses that the
charioteer guided so that still their breath touched the shoulders of
Asios. And the desire of his heart was to cast at Idomeneus, who was
beforehand with him, and smote him with the spear in the throat, below
the chin, and drove the point straight through. And he fell as an oak
falls, or a poplar, or tall pine tree, that craftsmen have felled on the
hills with new whetted axes, to be a ship's timber; even so he lay
stretched out before the horses and the chariot, groaning, and clutching
the bloody dust. And the charioteer was amazed, and kept not his wits,
as of old, and dared not turn his horses and avoid out of the hands of
foemen; and Antilochos the steadfast in war smote him, and pierced the
middle of his body with a spear. Nothing availed the corslet of bronze
he was wont to wear, but he planted the spear fast in the midst of his
belly. Therewith he fell gasping from the well-wrought chariot, and
Antilochos, the son of great-hearted Nestor, drave the horses out from
the Trojans, among the well-greaved Achaians. Then Deiphobos, in sorrow
for Asios, drew very nigh Idomeneus, and cast at him with his shining
spear. But Idomeneus steadily watching him, avoided the spear of bronze,
being hidden beneath the circle of his shield, the shield covered about
with ox-hide and gleaming bronze, that he allows bore, fitted with two
arm-rods: under this he crouched together, and the spear of bronze flew
over. And his shield rang sharply, as the spear grazed thereon. Yet it
flew not vainly from the heavy hand of Deiphobos, but smote Hypsenor,
son of Hippasos, the shepherd of the hosts, in the liver, beneath the
midriff, and instantly unstrung his knees. And Deiphobos boasted over
him terribly, crying aloud: "Ah, verily, not unavenged lies Asios, nay,
methinks, that even on his road to Hades, strong Warden of the gate, he
will rejoice at heart, since, lo, I have sent him escort for the way!"

So spake he, but grief came on the Argives by reason of his boast, and
stirred above all the soul of the wise-hearted Antilochos, yet,
despite his sorrow, he was not heedless of his dear comrade, but ran and
stood over him, and covered him with his buckler. Then two trusty
companions, Mekisteus, son of Echios, and goodly Alastor, stooped down
and lifted him, and with heavy groaning bare him to the hollow ships.

And Idomeneus relaxed not his mighty force, but ever was striving,
either to cover some one of the Trojans with black night, or himself to
fall in warding off death from the Achaians. There the dear son of
Aisyetes, fosterling of Zeus, even the hero Alkathoos, was slain, who
was son-in-law of Anchises, and had married the eldest of his daughters,
Hippodameia, whom her father and her lady mother dearly loved in the
halls, for she excelled all the maidens of her age in beauty, and skill,
and in wisdom, wherefore the best man in wide Troy took her to wife.
This Alkathoos did Poseidon subdue to Idomeneus, throwing a spell over
his shining eyes, and snaring his glorious limbs; so that he might
neither flee backwards, nor avoid the stroke, but stood steady as a
pillar, or a tree with lofty crown of leaves, when the hero Idomeneus
smote him in the midst of the breast with the spear, and rent the coat
of bronze about him, that aforetime warded death from his body, but now
rang harsh as it was rent by the spear. And he fell with a crash, and
the lance fixed in his heart, that, still beating, shook the butt-end of
the spear. Then at length mighty Ares spent its fury there; but
Idomeneus boasted terribly, and cried aloud: "Deiphobos, are we to deem
it fair acquittal that we have slain three men for one, since thou
boastest thus? Nay, sir, but stand thou up also thyself against me, that
thou mayst know what manner of son of Zeus am I that have come hither!
For Zeus first begat Minos, the warden of Crete, and Minos got him a
son, the noble Deukalion, and Deukalion begat me, a prince over many men
in wide Crete, and now have the ships brought me hither, a bane to thee
and thy father, and all the Trojans."

Thus he spake, but the thoughts of Deiphobos were divided, whether be
should retreat, and call to his aid some one of the great-hearted
Trojans, or should try the adventure alone. And on this wise to his mind
it seemed the better, to go after Aineias, whom he found standing the
last in the press, for Aineias was ever wroth against goodly Priam, for
that Priam gave him no honour, despite his valour among men. So
Deiphobos stood by him, and spake winged words to him: "Aineias, thou
counsellor of the Trojans, now verily there is great need that thou
shouldst succour thy sister's husband, if any care for kin doth touch
thee. Nay follow, let us succour Alkathoos, thy sister's husband, who of
old did cherish thee in his hall, while thou wert but a little one, and
now, lo, spear-famed Idomeneus hath stripped him of his arms!"

So he spake, and roused the spirit in the breast of Aineias, who went to
seek Idomeneus, with high thoughts of war. But fear took not hold upon
Idomeneus, as though he had been some tender boy, but he stood at bay,
like a boar on the hills that trusteth to his strength, and abides the
great assailing throng of men in a lonely place, and he bristles up his
back, and his eyes shine with fire, while he whets his tusks, and is
right eager to keep at bay both men and hounds. Even so stood
spear-famed Idomeneus at bay against Aineias, that came to the rescue,
and gave ground no whit, but called on his comrades, glancing to
Askalaphos, and Aphareus, and Deipyros, and Meriones, and Antilochos,
all masters of the war-cry; them he spurred up to battle, and spake
winged words: "Hither, friends, and rescue me, all alone as I am, and
terribly I dread the onslaught of swift-footed Aineias, that is
assailing me; for he is right strong to destroy men in battle, and he
hath the flower of youth, the greatest avail that may be. Yea, if he and
I were of like age, and in this spirit whereof now we are, speedily
should he or I achieve high victory."

So he spake, and they all, being of one spirit in their hearts, stood
hard by each other, with buckler laid on shoulder. But Aineias, on the
other side, cried to his comrades, glancing to Deiphobos, and Paris, and
noble Agenor, that with him were leaders of the Trojans; and then the
hosts followed them, as sheep follow their leader to the water from the
pasture, and the shepherd is glad at heart; even so the heart of Aineias
was glad in his breast, when he saw the hosts of the people following to
aid him.

Then they rushed in close fight around Alkathoos with their long spears,
and round their breasts the bronze rang terribly, as they aimed at each
other in the press, while two men of war beyond the rest, Aineias and
Idomeneus, the peers of Ares, were each striving to hew the flesh of the
other with the pitiless bronze. Now Aineias first cast at Idomeneus, who
steadily watching him avoided the spear of bronze, and the point of
Aineias went quivering in the earth, since vainly it had flown from his
stalwart hand. But Idomeneus smote Oinomaos in the midst of the belly,
and brake the plate of his corslet, and the bronze let forth the bowels
through the corslet, and he fell in the dust and clutched the earth in
his palms. And Idomeneus drew forth the far-shadowing spear from the
dead, but could not avail to strip the rest of the fair armour from his
shoulders, for the darts pressed hard on him. Nay, and his feet no
longer served him firmly in a charge, nor could he rush after his own
spear, nor avoid the foe. Wherefore in close fight he still held off the
pitiless day of destiny, but in retreat: his feet no longer bore him
swiftly from the battle. And as he was slowly departing, Deiphobos aimed
at him with his shining spear, for verily he ever cherished a steadfast
hatred against Idomeneus. But this time, too, he missed him, and smote
Askalapbos, the son of Enyalios, with his dart, and the strong spear
passed through his shoulder, and he fell in the dust, and clutched the
earth in his outstretched hand. But loud-voiced awful Ares was not yet
aware at all that his son had fallen in strong battle, but he was
reclining on the peak of Olympus, beneath the golden clouds, being held
there by the design of Zeus, where also were the other deathless gods,
restrained from the war.

Now the people rushed in close fight around Askalaphos, and Deiphobos
tore from Askalaphos his shining helm, but Meriones, the peer of swift
Ares, leaped forward and smote the arm of Deiphobos with his spear, and
from his hand the vizored casque fell clanging to the ground. And
Meriones sprang forth instantly, like a vulture, and drew the strong
spear from the shoulder of Deiphobos, and fell back among the throng of
his comrades. But the own brother of Deiphobos, Polites, stretched his
hands round his waist, and led him forth from the evil din of war, even
till he came to the swift horses, that waited for him behind the battle
and the fight, with their charioteer, and well-dight chariot. These bore
him heavily groaning to the city, worn with his hurt, and the blood ran
down from his newly wounded arm.

But the rest still were fighting, and the war-cry rose unquenched. There
Aineias rushed on Aphareus, son of Kaletor, and struck his throat, that
chanced to be turned to him, with the keen spear, and his head dropped
down and his shield and helm fell with him, and death that slays the
spirit overwhelmed him. And Antilochos watched Thoon as he turned the
other way, and leaped on him, and wounded him, severing all the vein
that runs up the back till it reaches the neck; this he severed clean,
and Thoon fell on his back in the dust, stretching out both his hands to
his comrades dear. Then Antilochos rushed on, and stripped the armour
from his shoulders, glancing around while the Trojans gathered from here
and there, and smote his wide shining shield, yet did not avail to
graze, behind the shield, the delicate flesh of Antilochos with the
pitiless bronze. For verily Poseidon, the Shaker of the earth, did guard
on every side the son of Nestor, even in the midst of the javelins. And
never did Antilochos get free of the foe, but turned him about among
them, nor ever was his spear at rest, but always brandished and shaken,
and the aim of his heart was to smite a foeman from afar, or to set on
him at close quarters. But as he was aiming through the crowd, he
escaped not the ken of Adamas, son of Asios, who smote the midst of his
shield with the sharp bronze, setting on nigh at hand; but Poseidon of
the dark locks made his shaft of no avail, grudging him the life of
Antilochos. And part of the spear abode there, like a burned stake, in
the shield of Antilochos, and half lay on the earth, and back retreated
Adamas to the ranks of his comrades, avoiding Fate. But Meriones
following after him as he departed, smote him with a spear between the
privy parts and the navel, where a wound is most baneful to wretched
mortals. Even there he fixed the spear in him and he fell, and writhed
about the spear, even as a bull that herdsmen on the hills drag along
perforce when they have bound him with withes, so he when he was smitten
writhed for a moment, not for long, till the hero Meriones came near,
and drew the spear out of his body. And darkness covered his eyes.

And Helenos in close fight smote Deipyros on the temple, with a great
Thracian sword, and tore away the helm, and the helm, being dislodged,
fell on the ground, and one of the Achaians in the fight picked it up as
it rolled between his feet. But dark night covered the eyes of Deipyros.

Then grief took hold of the son of Atreus, Menelaos of the loud war-cry,
and he went with a threat against the warrior Helenos, the prince,
shaking his sharp spear, while the other drew the centre-piece of his
bow. And both at once were making ready to let fly, one with his sharp
spear, the other with the arrow from the string. Then the son of Priam
smote Menelaos on the breast with his arrow, on the plate of the
corslet, and off flew the bitter arrow. Even as from a broad shovel in a
great threshing floor, fly the black-skinned beans and pulse, before the
whistling wind, and the stress of the winnower's shovel, even so from
the corslet of the renowned Menelaos flew glancing far aside the bitter
arrow. But the son of Atreus, Menelaos of the loud war-cry, smote the
hand of Helenos wherein he held the polished bow, and into the bow,
clean through the hand, was driven the spear of bronze. Back he withdrew
to the ranks of his comrades, avoiding Fate, with his hand hanging down
at his side, for the ashen spear dragged after him. And the
great-hearted Agenor drew the spear from his hand, and himself bound up
the hand with a band of twisted sheep's-wool, a sling that a squire
carried for him, the shepherd of the host.

Then Peisandros made straight for renowned Menelaos, but an evil Fate
was leading him to the end of Death; by thee, Menelaos, to be overcome
in the dread strife of battle. Now when the twain had come nigh in onset
upon each other, the son of Atreus missed, and his spear was turned
aside, but Peisandros smote the shield of renowned Menelaos, yet availed
not to drive the bronze clean through, for the wide shield caught it,
and the spear brake in the socket, yet Peisandros rejoiced in his heart,
and hoped for the victory. But the son of Atreus drew his silver-studded
sword, and leaped upon Peisandros. And Peisandros, under his shield,
clutched his goodly axe of fine bronze, with long and polished haft of
olive-wood, and the twain set upon each other. Then Peisandros smote the
crest of the helmet shaded with horse hair, close below the very plume,
but Menelaos struck the other, as he came forward, on the brow, above
the base of the nose, and the bones cracked, and the eyes, all bloody,
fell at his feet in the dust. Then he bowed and fell, and Menelaos set
his foot on his breast, and stripped him of his arms, and triumphed,
saying: "Even thus then surely, ye will leave the ships of the Danaans
of the swift steeds, ye Trojans overweening, insatiate of the dread din
of war. Yea, and ye shall not lack all other reproof and shame,
wherewith ye made me ashamed, ye hounds of evil, having no fear in your
hearts of the strong wrath of loud-thundering Zeus, the god of guest and
host, who one day will destroy your steep citadel. O ye that wantonly
carried away my wedded wife and many of my possessions, when ye were
entertained by her, now again ye are fain to throw ruinous fire on the
seafaring ships, and to slay the Achaian heroes. Nay, but ye will yet
refrain you from battle, for as eager as ye be. O Zeus, verily they say
that thou dost excel in wisdom all others, both gods and men, and all
these things are from thee. How wondrously art thou favouring men of
violence, even the Trojans, whose might is ever iniquitous, nor can they
have their fill of the din of equal war. Of all things there is satiety,
yea, even of love and sleep, and of sweet song, and dance delectable,
whereof a man would sooner have his fill than of war, but the Trojans
are insatiable of battle."

Thus noble Menelaos spake, and stripped the bloody arms from the body,
and gave them to his comrades, and instantly himself went forth again,
and mingled in the forefront of the battle. Then Harpalion, the son of
king Pylaimenes, leaped out against him, Harpalion that followed his
dear father to Troy, to the war, nor ever came again to his own country.
He then smote the middle of the shield of Atreus' son with his spear, in
close fight, yet availed not to drive the bronze clean through, but fell
back into the host of his comrades, avoiding Fate, glancing round every
way, lest one should wound his flesh with the bronze. But Meriones shot
at him as he retreated with a bronze-shod arrow, and smote him in the
right buttock, and the arrow went right through the bladder and came out
under the bone. And sitting down, even there, in the arms of his dear
comrades, he breathed away his soul, lying stretched like a worm on the
earth, and out flowed the black blood, and wetted the ground. And the
Paphlagonians great of heart, tended him busily, and set him in a
chariot, and drove him to sacred Ilios sorrowing, and with them went his
father, shedding tears, and there was no atonement for his dead son.

Now Paris was very wroth at heart by reason of his slaying, for he had
been his host among the many Paphlagonions, wherefore, in wrath for his
sake, he let fly a bronze-shod arrow. Now there was a certain Euchenor,
the son of Polyidos the seer, a rich man and a good, whose dwelling was
in Corinth. And well he knew his own ruinous fate, when he went on
ship-board, for often would the old man, the good Polyidos, tell him,
that he must either perish of a sore disease in his halls, or go with
the ships of the Achaians, and be overcome by the Trojans. Wherefore he
avoided at once the heavy war-fine of the Achaians, and the hateful
disease, that so he might not know any anguish. This man did Paris smite
beneath the jaw and under the ear, and swiftly his spirit departed from
his limbs, and, lo, dread darkness overshadowed him.

So they fought like flaming fire, but Hector, beloved of Zeus had not
heard nor knew at all that, on the left of the ships, his host was being
subdued by the Argives, and soon would the Achaians have won renown, so
mighty was the Holder and Shaker of the earth that urged on the Argives;
yea, and himself mightily defended them. But Hector kept where at first
he had leaped within the walls and the gate, and broken the serried
ranks of shield-bearing Danaans, even where were the ships of Aias and
Protesilaos, drawn up on the beach of the hoary sea, while above the
wall was builded lowest, and thereby chiefly the heroes and their horses
were raging in battle.

There the Boiotians, and Ionians with trailing tunics, and Lokrians and
Phthians and illustrious Epeians scarcely availed to stay his onslaught
on the ships, nor yet could they drive back from them noble Hector, like
a flame of fire. And there were the picked men of the Athenians; among
them Menestheus son of Peteos was the leader; and there followed with
him Pheidas and Stichios, and brave Bias, while the Epeians were led by
Meges, son of Phyleus, and Amphion and Drakios, and in front of the
Phthians were Medon, and Podarkes resolute in war. Now the one, Medon,
was the bastard son of noble Oileus, and brother of Aias, and he dwelt
in Phylake, far from his own country, for that he had slain a man, the
brother of his stepmother Eriopis, wife of Oileus. But the other,
Podarkes, was the son of Iphiklos son of Phylakos, and they in their
armour, in the van of the great-hearted Phthians, were defending the
ships, and fighting among the Boiotians.

Now never at all did Aias, the swift son of Oileus, depart from the side
of Aias, son of Telamon, nay, not for an instant, but even as in fallow
land two wine-dark oxen with equal heart strain at the shapen plough,
and round the roots of their horns springeth up abundant sweat, and
nought sunders them but the polished yoke, as they labour through the
furrow, till the end of the furrow brings them up, so stood the two
Aiantes close by each other. Now verily did many and noble hosts of his
comrades follow with the son of Telamon, and bore his shield when labour
and sweat came upon his limbs. But the Lokrians followed not with the
high-hearted son of Oileus, for their hearts were not steadfast in close
brunt of battle, seeing that they had no helmets of bronze, shadowy with
horse-hair plumes, nor round shields, nor ashen spears, but trusting in
bows and well-twisted slings of sheep's wool, they followed with him to
Ilios. Therewith, in the war, they shot thick and fast, and brake the
ranks of the Trojans. So the one party in front contended with the
Trojans, and with Hector arrayed in bronze, while the others from behind
kept shooting from their ambush, and the Trojans lost all memory of the
joy of battle, for the arrows confounded them.

There then right ruefully from the ships and the huts would the Trojans
have withdrawn to windy Ilios, had not Polydamas come near valiant
Hector and said: "Hector, thou art hard to be persuaded by them that
would counsel thee; for that god has given thee excellence in the works
of war, therefore in council also thou art fain to excel other men in
knowledge. But in nowise wilt thou be able to take everything on
thyself. For to one man has god given for his portion the works of war,
[to another the dance, to another the lute and song,] but in the heart
of yet another hath far-seeing Zeus placed an excellent understanding,
whereof many men get gain, yea he saveth many an one, and himself best
knoweth it. But, lo, I will speak even as it seemeth best to me. Behold
all about thee the circle of war is blazing, but the great-hearted
Trojans, now that they have got down the wall, are some with their arms
standing aloof and some are fighting, few men against a host, being
scattered among the ships. Nay, withdraw thee, and call hither all the
best of the warriors. Thereafter shall we take all counsel carefully,
whether we should fall on the ships of many benches, if indeed god
willeth to give us victory, or after counsel held, should return
unharmed from the ships. For verily I fear lest the Achaians repay their
debt of yesterday, since by the ships there tarrieth a man insatiate of
war, and never, methinks, will he wholly stand aloof from battle."

So spake Polydamas, and his safe counsel pleased Hector well, who spake
to him winged words and said: "Polydamas, do thou stay here all the best
of the host, but I will go thither to face the war, and swiftly will
return again, when I have straitly laid on them my commands."

So he spake, and set forth, in semblance like a snowy mountain, and
shouting aloud he flew through the Trojans and allies. And they all sped
to Polydamas, the kindly son of Panthoos, when they heard the voice of
Hector. But he went seeking Deiphobos, and the strong prince Helenos,
and Adamas son of Asios, and Asios son of Hyrtakos, among the warriors
in the foremost line, if anywhere he might find them. But them he found
not at all unharmed, nor free of bane, but, lo, some among the sterns of
the ships of the Achaians lay lifeless, slain by the hands of the
Argives, and some were within the wall wounded by thrust or cast. But
one he readily found, on the left of the dolorous battle, goodly
Alexandros, the lord of fair-tressed Helen, heartening his comrades and
speeding them to war. And he drew near to him, and addressed him with
words of shame: "Thou evil Paris, fairest of face, thou that lustest for
women, thou seducer, where, prithee, are Deiphobos, and the strong
prince Helenos, and Adamas son of Asios, and Asios son of Hyrtakos, and
where is Othryoneus? Now hath all high Ilios perished utterly. Now, too,
thou seest, is sheer destruction sure."

Then godlike Alexandros answered him again saying: "Hector, since thy
mind is to blame one that is blameless, some other day might I rather
withdraw me from the war, since my mother bare not even me wholly a
coward. For from the time that thou didst gather the battle of thy
comrades about the ships, from that hour do we abide here, and war with
the Danaans ceaselessly; and our comrades concerning whom thou inquirest
are slain. Only Deiphobos and the strong prince Helenos have both
withdrawn, both of them being wounded in the hand with long spears, for
Kronion kept death away from them. But now lead on, wheresoever thy
heart and spirit bid thee, and we will follow with thee eagerly, nor
methinks shall we lack for valour, as far as we have strength; but beyond
his strength may no man fight, howsoever eager he be."

So spake the hero, and persuaded his brother's heart, and they went
forth where the war and din were thickest, round Kebriones, and noble
Polydamas, and Phalkes, and Orthaios, and godlike Polyphetes, and
Palmys, and Askanios, and Morys, son of Hippotion, who had come in their
turn, out of deep-soiled Askanie, on the morn before, and now Zeus
urged them to fight. And these set forth like the blast of violent
winds, that rushes earthward beneath the thunder of Zeus, and with
marvellous din doth mingle with the salt sea, and therein are many
swelling waves of the loud roaring sea, arched over and white with foam,
some vanward, others in the rear; even so the Trojans arrayed in van and
rear and shining with bronze, followed after their leaders.

And Hector son of Priam was leading them, the peer of Ares, the bane of
men. In front he held the circle of his shield, thick with hides, and
plates of beaten bronze, and on his temples swayed his shining helm. And
everywhere he went in advance and made trial of the ranks, if perchance
they would yield to him as he charged under cover of his shield. But he
could not confound the heart within the breast of the Achaians. And
Aias, stalking with long strides, challenged him first: "Sir, draw nigh,
wherefore dost thou vainly try to dismay the Argives? We are in no wise
ignorant of war, but by the cruel scourge of Zeus are we Achaians
vanquished. Surely now thy heart hopes utterly to spoil the ships, but
we too have hands presently to hold our own. Verily your peopled city
will long ere that beneath our hands be taken and sacked. But for thee, I
tell thee that the time is at hand, when thou shalt pray in thy flight
to Zeus, and the other immortal gods, that thy fair-maned steeds may be
fleeter than falcons: thy steeds that are to bear thee to the city, as
they storm in dust across the plain."

And even as he spake, a bird flew forth on the right hand, an eagle of
lofty flight, and the host of the Achaians shouted thereat, encouraged
by the omen, but renowned Hector answered: "Aias, thou blundering
boaster, what sayest thou! Would that indeed I were for ever as surely
the son of aegis-bearing Zeus, and that my mother were lady Hera, and
that I were held in such honour as Apollo and Athene, as verily this day
is to bring utter evil on all the Argives! And thou among them shalt be
slain, if thou hast the heart to await my long spear, which shall rend
thy lily skin, and thou shalt glut with thy fat and flesh the birds and
dogs of the Trojans, falling among the ships of the Achaians."

So he spake and led the way, and they followed with wondrous din, and
the whole host shouted behind. And the Argives on the other side
answered with a shout, and forgot not their valiance, but abode the
onslaught of the bravest of the Trojans. And the cry of the two hosts
went up through the higher air, to the splendour of Zeus.


How Sleep and Hera beguiled Zeus to slumber on the heights
of Ida, and Poseidon spurred on the Achaians to resist
Hector, and how Hector was wounded.

Yet the cry of battle escaped not Nestor, albeit at his wine, but he
spake winged words to the son of Asklepios: "Bethink thee, noble
Machaon, what had best be done; lo, louder waxes the cry of the strong
warriors by the ships. Nay, now sit where thou art, and drink the bright
wine, till Hekamede of the fair tresses shall heat warm water for the
bath, and wash away the clotted blood, but I will speedily go forth and
come to a place of outlook."

Therewith he took the well-wrought shield of his son, horse-taming
Thrasymedes, which was lying in the hut, all glistering with bronze, for
the son had the shield of his father. And he seized a strong spear, with
a point of keen bronze, and stood outside the hut, and straightway
beheld a deed of shame, the Achaians fleeing in rout, and the
high-hearted Trojans driving them, and the wall of the Achaians was
overthrown. And as when the great sea is troubled with a dumb wave, and
dimly bodes the sudden paths of the shrill winds, but is still unmoved
nor yet rolled forward or to either side, until some steady gale comes
down from Zeus, even so the old man pondered,--his mind divided this
way and that,--whether he should fare into the press of the Danaans of
the swift steeds, or go after Agamemnon, son of Atreus, shepherd of the
host. And thus as he pondered, it seemed to him the better counsel to go
to the son of Atreus. Meanwhile they were warring and slaying each
other, and the stout bronze rang about their bodies as they were thrust
with swords and double-pointed spears.

Now the kings, the fosterlings of Zeus, encountered Nestor, as they went
up from the ships, even they that were wounded with the bronze, Tydeus'
son, and Odysseus, and Agamemnon, son of Atreus. For far apart from the
battle were their ships drawn up, on the shore of the grey sea, for
these were the first they had drawn up to the plain, but had builded the
wall in front of the hindmost. For in no wise might the beach, wide as
it was, hold all the ships, and the host was straitened. Wherefore they
drew up the ships row within row, and filled up the wide mouth of all
the shore that the headlands held between them. Therefore the kings were
going together, leaning on their spears, to look on the war and fray,
and the heart of each was sore within his breast. And the old man met
them, even Nestor, and caused the spirit to fail within the breasts of
the Achaians.

And mighty Agamemnon spake and accosted him: "O Nestor, son of Neleus,
great glory of the Achaians, wherefore dost thou come hither and hast
deserted the war, the bane of men? Lo, I fear the accomplishment of the
word that dread Hector spake, and the threat wherewith he threatened us,
speaking in the assembly of the Trojans, namely, that never would he
return to Ilios from the ships, till he had burned the ships with fire,
and slain the men. Even so he spake, and, lo, now all these things are
being fulfilled. Alas, surely even the other well-greaved Achaians store
wrath against me in their hearts, like Achilles, and have no desire to
fight by the rearmost ships."

Then Nestor of Gerenia the knight answered him saying "Verily these
things are now at hand, and being accomplished, nor otherwise could Zeus
himself contrive them, he that thundereth on high. For, lo, the wall is
overthrown, wherein we trusted that it should be an unbroken bulwark of
the ships and of our own bodies. But let us take counsel, how these
things may best be done, if wit may do aught: but into the war I counsel
not that we should go down, for in no wise may a wounded man do battle."

Then Agamemnon king of men answered him again: "Nestor, for that they
are warring by the rearmost ships, and the well-builded wall hath
availed not, nor the trench, whereat the Achaians endured so much
labour, hoping in their hearts that it should be the unbroken bulwark of
the ships, and of their own bodies--such it seemeth must be the will
of Zeus supreme, [that the Achaians should perish here nameless far from
Argos]. For I knew it when he was forward to aid the Danaans, and now I
know that he is giving to the Trojans glory like that of the blessed
gods, and hath bound our hands and our strength. But come, as I declare,
let us all obey. Let us drag down the ships that are drawn up in the
first line near to the sea, and speed them all forth to the salt sea
divine, and moor them far out with stones, till the divine night comes,
if even at night the Trojans will refrain from war, and then might we
drag down all the ships. For there is no shame in fleeing from ruin,
yea, even in the night. Better doth he fare who flees from trouble, than
he that is overtaken."

Then, looking on him sternly, spake Odysseus of many counsels: "Atreus'
son, what word hath passed the door of thy lips? Man of mischief, sure
thou shouldst lead some other inglorious army, not be king among us, to
whom Zeus hath given it, from youth even unto age, to wind the skein of
grievous wars, till every man of us perish. Art thou indeed so eager
to leave the wide-wayed city of the Trojans, the city for which we
endure with sorrow so many evils? Be silent, lest some other of the
Achaians hear this word, that no man should so much as suffer to pass
through his mouth, none that understandeth in his heart how to speak
fit counsel, none that is a sceptred king, and hath hosts obeying him so
many as the Argives over whom thou reignest. And now I wholly scorn thy
thoughts, such a word as thou hast uttered, thou that, in the midst of
war and battle, dost bid us draw down the well-timbered ships to the
sea, that even more than ever the Trojans may possess their desire,
albeit they win the mastery even now, and sheer destruction fall upon
us. For the Achaians will not make good the war, when the ships are
drawn down to the salt sea, but will look round about to flee, and
withdraw from battle. There will thy counsel work a mischief, O marshal
of the host!"

Then the king of men, Agamemnon, answered him: "Odysseus, right sharply
hast thou touched my heart with thy stern reproof: nay, I do not bid the
sons of the Achaians to drag, against their will, the well-timbered
ships to the salt sea. Now perchance there may be one who will utter a
wiser counsel than this of mine,--a young man or an old,--welcome
would it be to me."

Then Diomedes of the loud war-cry spake also among them: "The man is
near,--not long shall we seek him, if ye be willing to be persuaded of
me, and each of you be not resentful at all, because in years I am the
youngest among you. Nay, but I too boast me to come by lineage of a
noble sire, Tydeus, whom in Thebes the piled-up earth doth cover. For
Portheus had three well-born children, and they dwelt in Pleuron, and
steep Kalydon, even Agrios and Melas, and the third was Oineus the
knight, the father of my father, and in valour he excelled the others.
And there he abode, but my father dwelt at Argos, whither he had
wandered, for so Zeus and the other gods willed that it should be. And
he wedded one of the daughters of Adrastos, and dwelt in a house full of
livelihood, and had wheat-bearing fields enow, and many orchards of
trees apart, and many sheep were his, and in skill with the spear he
excelled all the Achaians: these things ye must have heard, if I speak
sooth. Therefore ye could not say that I am weak and a coward by
lineage, and so dishonour my spoken counsel, that well I may speak. Let
us go down to the battle, wounded as we are, since we needs must; and
then might we hold ourselves aloof from the battle, beyond the range of
darts, lest any take wound upon wound; but the others will we spur on,
even them that aforetime gave place to their passion, and stand apart,
and fight not."

So he spake, and they all heard him readily, and obeyed him. And they
set forth, led by Agamemnon the king of men.

Now the renowned Earth-shaker held no vain watch, but went with them in
the guise of an ancient man, and he seized the right hand of Agamemnon,
Atreus' son, and uttering winged words he spake to him, saying:
"Atreides, now methinks the ruinous heart of Achilles rejoices in his
breast, as he beholds the slaughter and flight of the Achaians, since he
hath no wisdom, not a grain. Nay, even so may he perish likewise, and
god mar him. But with thee the blessed gods are not utterly wroth, nay,
even yet methinks the leaders and rulers of the Trojans will cover the
wide plain with dust, and thyself shalt see them fleeing to the city
from the ships and the huts."

So spake he, and shouted mightily, as he sped over the plain. And loud
as nine thousand men, or ten thousand cry in battle, when they join the
strife of war, so mighty was the cry that the strong Shaker of the earth
sent forth from his breast, and great strength he put into the heart of
each of the Achaians, to strive and war unceasingly.

Now Hera of the golden throne stood on the peak of Olympus, and saw with
her eyes, and anon knew him that was her brother and her lord's going to
and fro through the glorious fight, and she rejoiced in her heart. And
she beheld Zeus sitting on the topmost crest of many-fountained Ida, and
to her heart he was hateful. Then she took thought, the ox-eyed lady
Hera, how she might beguile the mind of aegis-bearing Zeus. And this
seemed to her in her heart to be the best counsel, namely to fare to
Ida, when she had well adorned herself, if perchance a sweet sleep and a
kindly she could pour on his eye lids and his crafty wits. And she set
forth to her bower, that her dear son Hephaistos had fashioned, and
therein had made fast strong doors on the pillars, with a secret bolt,
that no other god might open. There did she enter in and closed the
shining doors. With ambrosia first did she cleanse every stain from her
winsome body, and anointed her with olive oil, ambrosial, soft, and of a
sweet savour; if it were but shaken, in the bronze-floored mansion of
Zeus, the savour thereof went right forth to earth and heaven. Therewith
she anointed her fair body, and combed her hair, and with her hands
plaited her shining tresses, fair and ambrosial, flowing from her
immortal head. Then she clad her in her fragrant robe that Athene
wrought delicately for her, and therein set many things beautifully
made, and fastened it over her breast with clasps of gold. And she
girdled it with a girdle arrayed with a hundred tassels, and she set
earrings in her pierced ears, earrings of three drops, and glistering,
therefrom shone grace abundantly. And with a veil over all the peerless
goddess veiled herself, a fair new veil, bright as the sun, and beneath
her shining feet she bound goodly sandals. But when she had adorned her
body with all her array, she went forth from her bower, and called
Aphrodite apart from the other gods, and spake to her, saying: "Wilt
thou obey me, dear child, in that which I shall tell thee? or wilt thou
refuse, with a grudge in thy heart, because I succour the Danaans, and
thou the Trojans?"

Then Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered her: "Hera, goddess queen,
daughter of mighty Kronos, say the thing that is in thy mind, my heart
bids me fulfil it, if fulfil it I may, and if it may be accomplished."

Then with crafty purpose the lady Hera answered her: "Give me now Love
and Desire wherewith thou dost overcome all the Immortals, and mortal
men. For I am going to visit the limits of the bountiful Earth, and
Okeanos, father of the gods, and mother Tethys, who reared me well and
nourished me in their halls, having taken me from Rhea, when far-seeing
Zeus imprisoned Kronos beneath the earth and the unvintaged sea. Them am
I going to visit, and their endless strife will I loose, for already
this long time they hold apart from each other, since wrath hath settled
in their hearts. If with words I might persuade their hearts, and bring
them back to love, ever should I be called dear to them and worshipful."

Then laughter-loving Aphrodite answered her again: "It may not be, nor
seemly were it, to deny that thou askest, for thou steepest in the arms
of Zeus, the chief of gods."

Therewith from her breast she loosed the broidered girdle, fair-wrought,
wherein are all her enchantments; therein are love, and desire, and
loving converse, that steals the wits even of the wise. This girdle she
laid in her hands, and spake, and said: "Lo now, take this girdle and
lay it up in thy bosom, this fair-wrought girdle, wherein all things are
fashioned; methinks thou wilt not return with that unaccomplished, which
in thy heart thou desirest."

So spake she, and the ox-eyed lady Hera smiled, and smiling laid up the
zone within her breast.

Then the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, went to her house, and Hera,
rushing down, left the peak of Olympus, and sped' over the snowy hills
of the Thracian horsemen, even over the topmost crests, nor grazed the
ground with her feet, and from Athos she fared across the foaming sea,
and came to Lemnos, the city of godlike Thoas. There she met Sleep, the
brother of Death, and clasped her hand in his, and spake and called him
by name: "Sleep, lord of all gods and of all men, if ever thou didst
hear my word, obey me again even now, and I will be grateful to thee
always. Lull me, I pray thee, the shining eyes of Zeus beneath his
brows. And gifts I will give to thee, even a fair throne, imperishable
for ever, a golden throne, that Hephaistos the Lame, mine own child,
shall fashion skilfully, and will set beneath it a footstool for the
feet, for thee to set thy shining feet upon, when thou art at a
festival. Nay come, and I will give thee one of the younger of the
Graces, to wed and to be called thy wife."

So she spake, and Sleep was glad, and answered and said:--"Come now,
swear to me by the inviolable water of Styx, and with one of thy hands
grasp the bounteous earth, and with the other the shining sea, that all
may be witnesses to us, even all the gods below that are with Kronos,
that verily thou wilt give me one of the younger of the Graces, even
Pasithea, that myself do long for all my days."

So spake he, nor did she disobey, the white-armed goddess Hera; she
sware as he bade her, and called all the gods by name, even those below
Tartaros that are called Titans. But when she had sworn and ended that
oath, the twain left the citadel of Lemnos, and of Imbros, clothed on in
mist, and swiftly they accomplished the way. To many-fountained Ida they
came, the mother of wild beasts, to Lekton, where first they left the
sea, and they twain fared above the dry land, and the topmost forest
waved beneath their feet. There Sleep halted, ere the eyes of Zeus
beheld him, and alighted on a tall pine tree, the loftiest pine that
then in all Ida rose through the nether to the upper air. But Hera
swiftly drew nigh to topmost Gargaros, the highest crest of Ida, and
Zeus the cloud-gatherer beheld her. And as he saw her, so love came over
his deep heart, and he stood before her, and spoke, and said: "Hera,
with what desire comest thou thus hither from Olympus, and thy horses
and chariot are not here, whereon thou mightst ascend?"

Then with crafty purpose lady Hera answered him: "I am going to visit
the limits of the bountiful Earth, and Okeanos, father of the gods, and
mother Tethys, who reared me well and cherished me in their halls. Them
am I going to visit, and their endless strife will I loose, for already
this long time they hold apart from each other, since wrath hath settled
in their hearts. But my horses are standing at the foot of
many-fountained Ida, my horses that shall bear me over wet and dry. And
now it is because of thee that I am thus come hither, down from Olympus,
lest perchance thou mightest be wroth with me hereafter, if silently I
were gone to the mansion of deep-flowing Okeanos."

Then Zeus, the gatherer of the clouds, answered her and said: "Hera,
thither mayst thou go on a later day. For never once as thus did the
love of goddess or woman so mightily overflow and conquer the heart
within my breast."

Thus slept the Father in quiet on the crest of Gargaros, by Sleep and
love overcome. But sweet Sleep started and ran to the ships of the
Achaians, to tell his tidings to the god that holdeth and shaketh the
earth. And he stood near him, and spake winged words: "Eagerly now,
Poseidon, do thou aid the Danaans, and give them glory for a little
space, while yet Zeus sleepeth, for over him have I shed soft slumber,
and Hera hath beguiled him."

So he spake, and passed to the renowned tribes of men, and still the
more did he set on Poseidon to aid the Danaans, who straightway sprang
far afront of the foremost, and called to them: "Argives, are we again
to yield the victory to Hector, son of Priam, that he may take our ships
and win renown? Nay, even so he saith and declareth that he will do, for
that Achilles by the hollow ships abides angered at heart. But for him
there will be no such extreme regret, if we spur us on to aid each the
other. Nay come, as I command, let us all obey. Let us harness us in the
best shields that are in the host, and the greatest, and cover our heads
with shining helms, and take the longest spears in our hands, and so go
forth. Yea, and I will lead the way, and methinks that Hector, son of
Priam, will not long await us, for all his eagerness. And whatsoever man
is steadfast in battle, and hath a small buckler on his shoulder, let
him give it to a worse man, and harness him in a larger shield."

So spake he, and they heard him eagerly and obeyed him. And them the
kings themselves arrayed, wounded as they were, Tydeus' son, and
Odysseus, and Agamemnon, son of Atreus. They went through all the host,
and made exchange of weapons of war. The good arms did the good warrior
harness him in, the worse he gave to the worse. But when they had done
on the shining bronze about their bodies, they started on the march, and
Poseidon led them, the Shaker of the earth, with a dread sword of fine
edge in his strong hand, like unto lightning; wherewith it is not
permitted that any should mingle in woful war, but fear holds men afar
therefrom. But the Trojans on the other side was renowned Hector
arraying. Then did they now strain the fiercest strife of war, even
dark-haired Poseidon and glorious Hector, one succouring the Trojans,
the other with the Argives. And the sea washed up to the huts and ships
of the Argives, and they gathered together with a mighty cry. Not so
loudly bellows the wave of the sea against the land, stirred up from the
deep by the harsh breath of the north wind, nor so loud is the roar of
burning fire in the glades of a mountain, when it springs to burn up the
forest, nor calls the wind so loudly in the high leafy tresses of the
trees, when it rages and roars its loudest, as then was the cry of the
Trojans and Achaians, shouting dreadfully as they rushed upon each

First glorious Hector cast with his spear at Aias, who was facing him
full, and did not miss, striking him where two belts were stretched
across his breast, the belt of his shield, and of his silver-studded
sword; these guarded his tender flesh. And Hector was enraged because
his swift spear had flown vainly from his hand, and he retreated into
the throng of his fellows, avoiding Fate.

Then as he was departing the great Telamonian Aias smote him with a huge
stone; for many stones, the props of swift ships, were rolled among the
feet of the fighters; one of these he lifted, and smote Hector on the
breast, over the shield-rim, near the neck, and made him spin like a top
with the blow, that he reeled round and round. And even as when an oak
falls uprooted beneath the stroke of father Zeus, and a dread savour of
brimstone arises therefrom, and whoso stands near and beholds it has no
more courage, for dread is the bolt of great Zeus, even so fell mighty
Hector straightway in the dust. And the spear fell from his hand, but
his shield and helm were made fast to him, and round him rang his arms
adorned with bronze.

Then with a loud cry they ran up, the sons of the Achaians, hoping to
drag him away, and they cast showers of darts. But not one availed to
wound or smite the shepherd of the host, before that might be the
bravest gathered about him, Polydamas, and Aineias, and goodly Agenor,
and Sarpedon, leader of the Lykians, and noble Glaukos, and of the rest
not one was heedless of him, but they held their round shields in front
of him, and his comrades lifted him in their arms, and bare him out of
the battle, till he reached his swift horses that were standing waiting
for him, with the charioteer and the fair-dight chariot at the rear of
the combat and the war. These toward the city bore him heavily moaning.
Now when they came to the ford of the fair-flowing river, of eddying
Xanthos, that immortal Zeus begat, there they lifted him from the
chariot to the ground, and poured water over him, and he gat back his
breath, and looked up with his eyes, and sitting on his heels kneeling,
he vomited black blood. Then again he sank back on the ground, and black
night covered his eyes, the stroke still conquering his spirit.


Zeus awakening, biddeth Apollo revive Hector, and restore
the fortunes of the Trojans. Fire is thrown on the ship of

Now when they had sped in flight across the palisade and trench, and
many were overcome at the hands of the Danaans, the rest were stayed,
and abode beside the chariots in confusion, and pale with terror, and
Zeus awoke, on the peaks of Ida, beside Hera of the golden throne. Then
he leaped up, and stood, and beheld the Trojans and Achaians, those in
flight, and these driving them on from the rear, even the Argives, and
among them the prince Poseidon. And Hector he saw lying on the plain,
and around him sat his comrades, and he was gasping with difficult
breath, and his mind wandering, and was vomiting blood, for it was not
the weakest of the Achaians that had smitten him. Beholding him, the
father of men and gods had pity on him, and terribly he spoke to Hera,
with fierce look: "O thou ill to deal with, Hera, verily it is thy
crafty wile that has made noble Hector cease from the fight, and has
terrified the host. Nay, but yet I know not whether thou mayst not be
the first to reap the fruits of thy cruel treason, and I beat thee with
stripes. Dost thou not remember, when thou wert hung from on high, and
from thy feet I suspended two anvils, and round thy hands fastened a
golden bond that might not be broken? And thou didst hang in the clear
air and the clouds, and the gods were wroth in high Olympus, but they
could not come round and unloose thee."

So spake he, and the ox-eyed lady Hera shuddered, and spake unto him
winged words, saying: "Let earth now be witness hereto, and wide heaven
above, and that falling water of Styx, the greatest oath and the most
terrible to the blessed gods, and thine own sacred head, and our own
bridal bed, whereby never would I forswear myself, that not by my will
does earth-shaking Poseidon trouble the Trojans and Hector, and succour
them of the other part. Nay, it is his own soul that urgeth and
commandeth him, and he had pity on the Achaians, when he beheld them
hard pressed beside the ships. I would even counsel him also to go even
where thou, lord of the storm-cloud, mayst lead him."

So spake she, and the father of gods and men smiled, and answering her
he spake winged words: "If thou, of a truth, O ox-eyed lady Hera,
wouldst hereafter abide of one mind with me among the immortal gods,
thereon would Poseidon, howsoever much his wish be contrariwise, quickly
turn his mind otherwhere, after thy heart and mine. But if indeed thou
speakest the truth and soothly, go thou now among the tribes of the
gods, and call Iris to come hither, and Apollo, the renowned archer,
that Iris may go among the host of mail-clad Achaians and tell Poseidon
the prince to cease from the war, and get him unto his own house. But
let Phoebus Apollo spur Hector on to the war, and breathe strength into
him again, and make him forget his anguish, that now wears down his
heart, and drive the Achaians back again, when he hath stirred in them
craven fear. Let them flee and fall among the many-benched ships of
Achilles son of Peleus, and he shall rouse his own comrade, Patroklos;
and him shall renowned Hector slay with the spear, in front of Ilios,
after that he has slain many other youths, and among them my son, noble
Sarpedon. In wrath therefor shall goodly Achilles slay Hector. From that
hour verily will I cause a new pursuit from the ships, that shall endure
continually, even until the Achaians take steep Ilios, through the
counsels of Athene. But before that hour neither do I cease in my wrath,
nor will I suffer any other of the Immortals to help the Danaans there,
before I accomplish that desire of the son of Peleus, as I promised him
at the first, and confirmed the same with a nod of my head, on that day
when the goddess Thetis clasped my knees, imploring me to honour
Achilles, the sacker of cities."

So spake he, nor did the white-armed goddess Hera disobey him, and she
sped down from the hills of Ida to high Olympus, and went among the
gathering of the immortal gods. And she called Apollo without the hall
and Iris, that is the messenger of the immortal gods, and she spake
winged words, and addressed them, saying: "Zeus bids you go to Ida as
swiftly as may be, and when ye have gone, and looked on the face of
Zeus, do ye whatsoever he shall order and command."

And these twain came before the face of Zeus the cloud gatherer, and
stood there, and he was nowise displeased at heart when he beheld them,
for that speedily they had obeyed the words of his dear wife. And to
Iris first he spake winged words: "Go, get thee, swift Iris, to the
prince Poseidon, and tell him all these things, nor be a false
messenger. Command him to cease from war and battle, and to go among the
tribes of the gods, or into the bright sea. But if he will not obey my
words, but will hold me in no regard, then let him consider in his heart
and mind, lest he dare not for all his strength to abide me when I come
against him, since I deem me to be far mightier than he, and elder

So spake he, nor did the wind-footed fleet Iris disobey him, but went
down the hills of Ida to sacred Ilios. And as when snow or chill hail
fleets from the clouds beneath the stress of the North Wind born in the
clear air, so fleetly she fled in her eagerness, swift Iris, and drew
near the renowned Earth-shaker and spake to him the message of Zeus. And
he left the host of the Achaians, and passed to the sea, and sank, and
sorely they missed him, the heroes of the Achaians.

Then Zeus, the gatherer of the clouds, spake to Apollo, saying: "Go now,
dear Phoebus, to Hector of the helm of bronze. Let glorious Hector be
thy care, and rouse in him great wrath even till the Achaians come in
their flight to the ships, and the Hellespont. And from that moment will
I devise word and deed wherewithal the Achaians may take breath again
from their toil."

So spake he, nor was Apollo deaf to the word of the Father, but he went
down the hills of Ida like a fleet falcon, the bane of doves, that is
the swiftest of flying things. And he found the son of wise-hearted
Priam, noble Hector, sitting up, no longer lying, for he had but late
got back his life, and knew the comrades around him, and his gasping and
his sweat had ceased, from the moment when the will of aegis-bearing
Zeus began to revive him. Then far-darting Apollo stood near him, and
spake to him: "Hector, son of Priam, why dost thou sit fainting apart
from the others? Is it perchance that some trouble cometh upon thee?"

Then, with faint breath answered him Hector of the glancing helm: "Nay,
but who art thou, best of the gods, who enquirest of me face to face?
Dost thou not know that by the hindmost row of the ships of the
Achaians, Aias of the loud war-cry smote me on the breast with a stone,
as I was slaying his comrades, and made me cease from mine impetuous
might? And verily I deemed that this very day I should pass to the dead,
and the house of Hades, when I had gasped my life away."

Then prince Apollo the Far-darter answered him again: "Take courage now,
so great an ally hath the son of Kronos sent thee out of Ida, to stand
by thee and defend thee, even Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, me who
of old defend thee, thyself and the steep citadel. But come now, bid thy
many charioteers drive their swift steeds against the hollow ships, and
I will go before and make smooth all the way for the chariots, and will
put to flight the Achaian heroes."

So he spake, and breathed great might into the shepherd of the host, and
even as when a stalled horse, full fed at the manger, breaks his tether
and speedeth at the gallop over the plain exultingly, being wont to
bathe in the fair-flowing stream, and holds his head on high, and the
mane floweth about his shoulders, and he trusteth in his glory, and
nimbly his knees bear him to the haunts and pasture of the mares, even
so Hector lightly moved his feet and knees, urging on his horsemen, when
he heard the voice of the god. But as when hounds and country folk
pursue a horned stag, or a wild goat, that steep rock and shady wood
save from them, nor is it their lot to find him, but at their clamour a
bearded lion hath shown himself on the way, and lightly turned them all
despite their eagerness, even so the Danaans for a while followed on
always in their companies, smiting with swords and double-pointed
spears, but when they saw Hector going up and down the ranks of men,
then were they afraid, and the hearts of all fell to their feet.

Then to them spake Thoas, son of Andraimon, far the best of the
Aitolians, skilled in throwing the dart, and good in close fight, and in
council did few of the Achaians surpass him, when the young men were
striving in debate; he made harangue and spake among them: "Alas, and
verily a great marvel is this I behold with mine eyes, how he hath again
arisen, and hath avoided the Fates, even Hector. Surely each of us hoped
in his heart, that he had died beneath the hand of Aias, son of Telamon.
But some one of the gods again hath delivered and saved Hector, who
verily hath loosened the knees of many of the Danaans, as methinks will
befall even now, for not without the will of loud-thundering Zeus doth
he rise in the front ranks, thus eager for battle. But come, as I
declare let us all obey. Let us bid the throng turn back to the ships,
but let us as many as avow us to be the best in the host, take our
stand, if perchance first we may meet him, and hold him off with
outstretched spears, and he, methinks, for all his eagerness, will fear
at heart to enter into the press of the Danaans."

So spake he, and they heard him eagerly, and obeyed him. They that were
with Aias and the prince Idomeneus, and Teukros, and Neriones, and Meges
the peer of Ares, called to all the best of the warriors and sustained
the fight with Hector and the Trojans, but behind them the multitude
returned to the ships of the Achaians.

Now the Trojans drave forward in close ranks, and with long strides
Hector led them, while in front of him went Phoebus Apollo, his
shoulders wrapped in cloud, and still he held the fell aegis, dread,
circled with a shaggy fringe, and gleaming, that Hephaistos the smith
gave to Zeus, to bear for the terror of men; with this in his hands did
he lead the host.

Now the Argives abode them in close ranks, and shrill the cry arose on
both sides, and the arrows leaped from the bow-strings, and many spears
from stalwart hands, whereof some stood fast in the flesh of young men
swift in fight, but many halfway, ere ever they reached the white flesh,
stuck in the ground, longing to glut themselves with flesh. Now so long
as Phoebus Apollo held the aegis unmoved in his hands, so long the darts
smote either side amain, and the folk fell. But when he looked face to
face on the Danaans of the swift steeds, and shook the aegis, and
himself shouted mightily, he quelled their heart in their breast, and
they forgot their impetuous valour. And as when two wild beasts drive in
confusion a herd of kine, or a great flock of sheep, in the dark hour of
black night, coming swiftly on them when the herdsman is not by, even so
were the Achaians terror-stricken and strengthless, for Apollo sent a
panic among them, but still gave renown to the Trojans and Hector.

And Hector smote his horses on the shoulder with the lash, and called
aloud on the Trojans along the ranks. And they all cried out, and level
with his held the steeds that drew their chariots, with a marvellous
din, and in front of them Phoebus Apollo lightly dashed down with his
feet the banks of the deep ditch, and cast them into the midst thereof,
making a bridgeway long and wide as is a spear-cast, when a man throws
to make trial of his strength. Thereby the Trojans poured forward in
their battalions, while in their van Apollo held the splendid aegis. And
most easily did he cast down the wall of the Achaians, as when a boy
scatters the sand beside the sea, first making sand buildings for sport
in his childishness, and then again, in his sport, confounding them with
his feet and hands; even so didst thou, archer Apollo, confound the long
toil and labour of the Argives, and among them rouse a panic fear.

So they were halting, and abiding by the ships, calling each to other;
and lifting their hands to all the gods did each man pray vehemently,
and chiefly prayed Nestor, the Warden of the Achaians, stretching his
hand towards the starry heaven: "O father Zeus, if ever any one of us in
wheat-bearing Argos did burn to thee fat thighs of bull or sheep, and
prayed that he might return, and thou didst promise and assent thereto,
of these things be thou mindful, and avert, Olympian, the pitiless day,
nor suffer the Trojans thus to overcome the Achaians."

So spake he in his prayer, and Zeus, the Lord of counsel, thundered
loudly, hearing the prayers of the ancient son of Neleus.

But the Trojans when they heard the thunder of aegis-bearing Zeus,
rushed yet the more eagerly upon the Argives, and were mindful of the
joy of battle. And as when a great wave of the wide sea sweeps over the
bulwarks of a ship, the might of the wind constraining it, which chiefly
swells the waves, even so did the Trojans with a great cry bound over
the wall, and drave their horses on, and at the hindmost row of the
ships were fighting hand to hand with double-pointed spears, the Trojans
from the chariots, but the Achaians climbing up aloft, from the black
ships with long pikes that they had lying in the ships for battle at
sea, jointed pikes shod at the head with bronze.

Now the Trojans, like ravening lions, rushed upon the ships, fulfilling
the behests of Zeus, that ever was rousing their great wrath, but
softened the temper of the Argives, and took away their glory, while he
spurred on the others. For the heart of Zeus was set on giving glory to
Hector, the son of Priam, that withal he might cast fierce-blazing fire,
unwearied, upon the beaked ships, and so fulfil all the presumptuous
prayer of Thetis; wherefore wise-counselling Zeus awaited, till his eyes
should see the glare of a burning ship. For even from that hour was he
to ordain the backward chase of the Trojans from the ships, and to give
glory to the Danaans. With this design was he rousing Hector, Priam's
son, that himself was right eager, against the hollow ships. For short
of life was he to be, yea, and already Pallas Athene was urging against
him the day of destiny, at the hand of the son of Peleus. And fain he
was to break the ranks of men, trying them wheresoever he saw the
thickest press, and the goodliest harness. Yet not even so might he
break them for all his eagerness. Nay, they stood firm, and embattled
like a steep rock and a great, hard by the hoary sea, a rock that abides
the swift paths of the shrill winds, and the swelling waves that roar
against it. Even so the Danaans steadfastly abode the Trojans and fled
not away. But Hector shining with fire on all sides leaped on the
throng, and fell upon them, as when beneath the storm-clouds a fleet
wave reared of the winds falls on a swift ship, and she is all hidden
with foam, and the dread blast of the wind roars against the sail, and
the sailors fear, and tremble in their hearts, for by but a little way
are they borne forth from death, even so the spirit was torn in the
breasts of the Achaians.

So again keen battle was set by the ships. Thou wouldst deem that
unwearied and unworn they met each other in war, so eagerly they fought.
And in their striving they were minded thus; the Achaians verily deemed
that never would they flee from the danger, but perish there, but the
heart of each Trojan hoped in his breast, that they should fire the
ships, and slay the heroes of the Achaians. With these imaginations they
stood to each other, and Hector seized the stern of a seafaring ship, a
fair ship, swift on the brine, that had borne Protesilaos to Troia, but
brought him not back again to his own country. Now round his ship the
Achaians and Trojans warred on each other hand to hand, nor far apart
did they endure the flights of arrows, nor of darts, but standing hard
each by other, with one heart, with sharp axes and hatchets they fought,
and with great swords, and double-pointed spears. And many fair brands,
dark-scabbarded and hilted, fell to the ground, some from the hands,
some from off the shoulders of warring men, and the black earth ran with
blood. But Hector, after that once he had seized the ship's stern, left
not his hold, keeping the ensign in his hands, and he called to the
Trojans: "Bring fire, and all with one voice do ye raise the war-cry;
now hath Zeus given us the dearest day of all,--to take the ships that
came hither against the will of the gods, and brought many woes upon us,
by the cowardice of the elders, who withheld me when I was eager to
fight at the sterns of the ships, and kept back the host. But if even
then far-seeing Zeus did harm our wits, now he himself doth urge and
command us onwards." So spake he, and they set yet the fiercer on the
Argives. And Aias no longer abode their onset, for he was driven back by
the darts, but he withdrew a little,--thinking that now he should
die,--on to the oarsman's bench of seven feet long, and he left the
decks of the trim ship. There then he stood on the watch, and with his
spear he ever drave the Trojans from the ships, whosoever brought
unwearied fire, and ever he shouted terribly, calling to the Danaans: "O
friends, Danaan heroes, men of Ares' company, play the man, my friends,
and be mindful of impetuous valour. Do we deem that there be allies at
our backs, or some wall stronger than this to ward off death from men?
Verily there is not hard by any city arrayed with towers, whereby we
might defend ourselves, having a host that could turn the balance of
battle. Nay, but we are set down in the plain of the mailed men of Troy,
with our backs against the sea, and far off from our own land. Therefore
is safety in battle, and not in slackening from the fight." So spake he,
and rushed on ravening for battle, with his keen spear. And whosoever of
the Trojans was coming against the ship with blazing fire, to pleasure
Hector at his urging, him would Aias wound, awaiting him with his long
spear, and twelve men in front of the ships at close quarters did he


How Patroklos fought in the armour of Achilles, and drove
the Trojans from the ships, but was slain at last by Hector.

So they were warring round the well-timbered ship, but Patroklos drew
near Achilles, shepherd of the host, and he shed warm tears, even as a
fountain of dark water that down a steep cliff pours its cloudy stream.
And noble swift-footed Achilles when he beheld him was grieved for his
sake, and accosted him, and spake winged words, saying: "Wherefore
weepest thou, Patroklos, like a fond little maid, that runs by her
mother's side, and bids her mother take her up, snatching at her gown,
and hinders her in her going, and tearfully looks at her, till the
mother takes her up? like her, Patroklos, dost thou let fall soft tears.
Hast thou aught to tell to the Myrmidons, or to me myself, or is it some
tidings out of Phthia that thou alone hast beard? Or dost thou lament
for the sake of the Argives,--how they perish by the hollow ships
through their own transgression? Speak out, and hide it not within thy
spirit, that we may both know all."

But with a heavy groan didst thou speak unto him, O knight Patroklos: "O
Achilles, son of Peleus, far the bravest of the Achaians, be not wroth,
seeing that so great calamity has beset the Achaians. For verily all of
them that aforetime were the best are lying among the ships, smitten and
wounded. Smitten is the son of Tydeus, strong Diomedes, and wounded is
Odysseus, spearman renowned, and Agamemnon; and smitten is Eurypylos on
the thigh with an arrow. And about them the leeches skilled in medicines
are busy, healing their wounds, but thou art hard to reconcile,
Achilles. Never then may such wrath take hold of me as that thou
nursest; thou brave to the hurting of others. What other men later born
shall have profit of thee, if thou dost not ward off base ruin from the
Argives? Pitiless that thou art, the knight Peleus was not then thy
father, nor Thetis thy mother, but the grey sea bare thee, and the sheer
cliffs, so untoward is thy spirit. But if in thy heart thou art shunning
some oracle, and thy lady mother hath told thee somewhat from Zeus, yet
me do thou send forth quickly, and make the rest of the host of the
Myrmidons follow me, if yet any light may arise from me to the Danaans.
And give me thy harness to buckle about my shoulders, if perchance the
Trojans may take me for thee, and so abstain from battle, and the
warlike sons of the Achaians may take breath, wearied as they be, for
brief is the breathing in war. And lightly might we that are fresh drive
men wearied with the battle back to the citadel, away from the ships and
the huts."

So he spake and besought him, in his unwittingness, for truly it was to
be his own evil death and fate that he prayed for. Then to him in great
heaviness spake swift-footed Achilles: "Ah me, Patroklos of the seed of
Zeus, what word hast thou spoken? Neither take I heed of any oracle that
I wot of, nor yet has my lady mother told me somewhat from Zeus, but
this dread sorrow comes upon my heart and spirit, from the hour that a
man wishes to rob me who am his equal, and to take away my prize, for
that he excels me in power. A dread sorrow to me is this, after all the
toils that my heart hath endured. The maiden that the sons of the
Achaians chose out for me as my prize, and that I won with my spear when
I sacked a well-walled city, her has mighty Agamemnon the son of Atreus
taken back out of my hands, as though I were but some sojourner
dishonourable. But we will let bygones be bygones. No man may be angry
of heart for ever, yet verily I said that I would not cease from my
wrath, until that time when to mine own ships should come the war-cry
and the battle. But do thou on thy shoulders my famous harness, and lead
the war-loving Myrmidons to the fight, to ward off destruction from the
ships, lest they even burn the ships with blazing fire, and take away
our desired return. But when thou hast driven them from the ships,
return, and even if the loud-thundering lord of Hera grant thee to win
glory, yet long not thou apart from me to fight with the war-loving
Trojans; thereby wilt thou minish mine honour. Neither do thou, exulting
in war and strife, and slaying the Trojans, lead on toward Ilios, lest
one of the eternal gods from Olympus come against thee; right dearly
doth Apollo the Far-darter love them. Nay, return back when thou halt
brought safety to the ships, and suffer the rest to fight along the
plain. For would, O father Zeus, and Athene, and Apollo, would that not
one of all the Trojans might escape death, nor one of the Argives, but
that we twain might avoid destruction, that alone we might undo the
sacred coronal of Troy."

So spake they each to other, but Aias no longer abode the onset, for he
was overpowered by darts; the counsel of Zeus was subduing him, and the
shafts of the proud Trojans; and his bright helmet, being smitten, kept
ringing terribly about his temples: for always it was smitten upon the
fair-wrought cheek-pieces. Moreover his left shoulder was wearied, as
steadfastly he held up his glittering shield, nor yet could they make
him give ground, as they pressed on with their darts around him. And
ever he was worn out with difficult breath, and much sweat kept running
from all his limbs, nor had he a moment to draw breath, so on all sides
was evil heaped on evil.

Tell me now, ye Muses that have mansions in Olympus, how first fire fell
on the ships of the Achaians. Hector drew near, and the ashen spear of
Aias he smote with his great sword, hard by the socket, behind the
point, and shore it clean away, and the son of Telamon brandished in his
hand no more than a pointless spear, and far from him the head of bronze
fell ringing on the ground.

And Aias knew in his noble heart, and shuddered at the deeds of the
gods, even how Zeus that thundereth on high did utterly cut off from him
avail in war, and desired victory for the Trojans. Then Aias gave back
out of the darts. But the Trojans cast on the swift ship unwearying
fire, and instantly the inextinguishable flame streamed over her: so the
fire begirt the stern, whereon Achilles smote his thighs, and spake to
Patroklos: "Arise, Patroklos of the seed of Zeus, commander of the
horsemen, for truly I see by the ships the rush of the consuming fire.
Up then, lest they take the ships, and there be no more retreat; do on
thy harness speedily, and I will summon the host."

So spake he, while Patroklos was harnessing him in shining bronze. His
goodly greaves, fitted with silver clasps, he first girt round his legs,
and next did on around his breast the well-dight starry corslet of the
swift-footed son of Aiakos. And round his shoulders he cast a sword of
bronze, with studs of silver, and next took the great and mighty shield,
and on his proud head set a well-wrought helm with a horse-hair crest,
and terribly nodded the crest from above. Then seized he two strong
lances that fitted his grasp, only he took not the spear of the noble
son of Aiakos, heavy, and huge, and stalwart, that none other of the
Achaians could wield. And Patroklos bade Automedon to yoke the horses
speedily, even Automedon whom most he honoured after Achilles, the
breaker of the ranks of men, and whom he held trustiest in battle to
abide his call. And for him Automedon led beneath the yoke the swift
horses, Xanthos and Balios, that fly as swift as the winds, the horses
that the harpy Podarge bare to the West Wind, as she grazed on the
meadow by the stream of Okeanos. And in the side-traces he put the
goodly Pedasos, that Achilles carried away, when he took the city of
Eetion; and being but a mortal steed, he followed with the immortal

Meanwhile Achilles went and harnessed all the Myrmidons in the huts with
armour, and they gathered like ravening wolves with strength in their
hearts unspeakable. And among them all stood warlike Achilles urging on
the horses and the targeteers. And he aroused the heart and valour of
each of them, and the ranks were yet the closer serried when they heard
the prince. And as when a man builds the wall of a high house with
close-set stones, to avoid the might of the winds, even so close were
arrayed the helmets and bossy shields, and shield pressed on shield,
helm on helm, and man on man, and the horse-hair crests on the bright
helmet-ridges touched each other when they nodded, so close they stood
by each other.

And straightway they poured forth like wasps that have their dwelling by
the wayside, and that boys are ever wont to vex, always tormenting them
in their nests beside the way in childish sport, and a common evil they
make for many. With heart and spirit like theirs the Myrmidons poured
out now from the ships, and a cry arose unquenchable, and Patroklos
called on his comrades, shouting aloud: "Myrmidons, ye comrades of
Achilles son of Peleus, be men, my friends, and be mindful of your
impetuous valour, that so we may win honour for the son of Peleus, that
is far the bravest of the Argives by the ships, and whose close-fighting
squires are the best. And let wide-ruling Agamemnon the son of Atreus
learn his own blindness of heart, in that he nothing honoured the best
of the Achaians."

So spake he, and aroused each man's heart and courage, and all in a mass
they fell on the Trojans, and the ships around echoed wondrously to the
cry of the Achaians. But when the Trojans beheld the strong son of
Menoitios, himself and his squire, shining in their armour, the heart
was stirred in all of them, and the companies wavered, for they deemed
that by the ships the swift-footed son of Peleus had cast away his
wrath, and chosen reconcilement: then each man glanced round, to see
where he might flee sheer destruction.

But Patroklos first with a shining spear cast straight into the press,
where most men were thronging, even by the stern of the ship of
great-hearted Protesilaos, and he smote Pyraichmes, who led his Paionian
horsemen out of Amydon, from the wide water of Axios; him he smote on
the right shoulder, and he fell on his back in the dust with a groan,
and his comrades around him, the Paionians, were afraid, for Patroklos
sent fear among them all, when he slew their leader that was ever the
best in fight. Then he drove them out from the ships, and quenched the
burning fire. And the half-burnt ship was left there, and the Trojans
fled, with a marvellous din, and the Danaans poured in among the hollow
ships, and ceaseless was the shouting. And as when from the high crest
of a great hill Zeus, the gatherer of the lightning, hath stirred a
dense cloud, and forth shine all the peaks, and sharp promontories, and
glades, and from heaven the infinite air breaks open, even so the
Danaans, having driven the blazing fire from the ships, for a little
while took breath, but there was no pause in the battle. For not yet
were the Trojans driven in utter rout by the Achaians, dear to Ares,
from the black ships, but they still stood up against them, and only
perforce gave ground from the ships. But even as robber wolves fall on
the lambs or kids, choosing them out of the herds, when they are
scattered on hills by the witlessness of the shepherd, and the wolves
behold it, and speedily harry the younglings that have no heart of
courage,--even so the Danaans fell on the Trojans, and they were mindful
of ill-sounding flight, and forgot their impetuous valour.

But that great Aias ever was fain to cast his spear at Hector of the
helm of bronze, but he, in his cunning of war, covered his broad
shoulders with his shield of bulls' hide, and watched the hurtling of
the arrows, and the noise of spears. And verily well he knew the change
in the mastery of war, but even so he abode, and was striving to rescue
his trusty comrades.

And as when from Olympus a cloud fares into heaven, from the sacred air,
when Zeus spreadeth forth the tempest, even so from the ships came the
war-cry and the rout, nor in order due did they cross the ditch again.
But his swift-footed horses bare Hector forth with his arms, and he left
the host of Troy, whom the delved trench restrained against their will.
And in the trench did many swift steeds that draw the car break the
fore-part of the pole, and leave the chariots of their masters.

But Patroklos followed after, crying fiercely to the Danaans, and full
of evil will against the Trojans, while they with cries and flight
filled all the ways, for they were scattered, and on high the storm of
dust was scattered below the clouds, and the whole-hooved horses
strained back towards the city, away from the ships and the huts.

But even where Patroklos saw the folk thickest in the rout, thither did
he guide his horses with a cry, and under his axle-trees men fell prone
from their chariots, and the cars were overturned with a din of
shattering. But straight over the ditch, in forward flight, leaped the
swift horses. And the heart of Patroklos urged him against Hector, for
he was eager to smite him, but his swift steeds bore Hector forth and
away. And even as beneath a tempest the whole black earth is oppressed,
on an autumn day, when Zeus pours forth rain most vehemently, and all
the rivers run full, and many a scaur the torrents tear away, and down
to the dark sea they rush headlong from the hills, roaring mightily, and
minished are the works of men, even so mighty was the roar of the Trojan
horses as they ran.

Now Patroklos when he had cloven the nearest companies, drave them
backward again to the ships, nor suffered them to approach the city,
despite their desire, but between the ships, and the river, and the
lofty wall, he rushed on them, and slew them, and avenged many a comrade
slain. There first he smote Pronoos with a shining spear, where the
shield left bare the breast, and loosened his limbs, and he fell with a
crash. Then Thestor the son of Enops he next assailed, as he sat
crouching in the polished chariot, for he was struck distraught, and the
reins flew from his hands. Him he drew near, and smote with the lance on
the right jaw, and clean pierced through his teeth. And Patroklos caught
hold of the spear and dragged him over the rim of the car, as when a man
sits on a jutting rock, and drags a sacred fish forth from the sea, with
line and glittering hook of bronze; so on the bright spear dragged he
Thestor gaping from the chariot, and cast him down on his face and life
left him as he fell. Next, as Euryalos came on, he smote him on the
midst of the head with a stone, and all his head was shattered within
the strong helmet, and prone on the earth he fell, and death that
slayeth the spirit overwhelmed him. Next Erymas, and Amphoteros, and
Epaltes and Tlepolemos son of Damastor, and Echios and Pyris, and Ipheus
and Euippos, and Polymelos son of Argeas, all these in turn he brought
low to the bounteous earth. But when Sarpedon beheld his comrades with
ungirdled doublets, subdued beneath the hands of Patroklos son of
Menoitios, he cried aloud, upbraiding the godlike Lykians: "Shame, ye
Lykians, whither do ye flee? Now be ye strong, for I will encounter this
man that I may know who he is that conquers here, and verily many evils
hath he wrought the Trojans, in that he hath loosened the knees of many
men and noble."

So spake he, and leaped with his arms from the chariot to the ground.
But Patroklos, on the other side, when he beheld him leaped from his
chariot. And they, like vultures of crooked talons and curved beaks,
that war with loud yells on some high cliff, even so they rushed with
cries against each other. And beholding then the son of Kronos of the
crooked counsels took pity on them, and he spake to Hera, his sister and
wife: "Ah woe is me for that it is fated that Sarpedon, the best-beloved
of men to me, shall be subdued under Patroklos son of Menoitios. And in
two ways my heart within my breast is divided, as I ponder whether I
should catch him up alive out of the tearful war, and set him down in
the rich land of Lykia, or whether I should now subdue him beneath the
hands of the son of Menoitios."

Then the ox-eyed lady Hera made answer to him: "Most dread son of
Kronos, what word is this thou hast spoken? A mortal man long doomed to
fate dost thou desire to deliver again from death of evil name? Work thy
will, but all we other gods will in no wise praise thee. And another
thing I will tell thee, and do thou lay it up in thy heart; if thou dost
send Sarpedon living to his own house, consider lest thereon some other
god likewise desire to send his own dear son away out of the strong
battle. For round the great citadel of Priam war many sons of the
Immortals, and among the Immortals wilt thou send terrible wrath. But if
he be dear to thee, and thy heart mourns for him, truly then suffer him
to be subdued in the strong battle beneath the hands of Patroklos son of
Menoitios, but when his soul and life leave that warrior, send Death and
sweet Sleep to bear him, even till they come to the land of wide Lykia,
there will his kindred and friends bury him, with a barrow and a pillar,
for this is the due of the dead."

So spake she, nor did the father of gods and men disregard her. But he
shed bloody raindrops on the earth, honouring his dear son, that
Patroklos was about to slay in the deep-soiled land of Troia, far off
from his own country. Now when they were come near each other in onset,
there verily did Patroklos smite the renowned Thrasymelos, the good
squire of the prince Sarpedon, on the lower part of the belly, and
loosened his limbs. But Sarpedon missed him with his shining javelin, as
he in turn rushed on, but wounded the horse Pedasos on the right
shoulder with the spear, and he shrieked as he breathed his life away,
and fell crying in the dust, and his spirit fled from him. But the other
twain reared this way and that, and the yoke creaked, and the reins were
confused on them, when their trace-horse lay in the dust. But thereof
did Automedon, the spearman renowned, find a remedy, and drawing his
long-edged sword from his stout thigh, he leaped forth, and cut adrift
the horse, with no delay, and the pair righted themselves, and strained
in the reins, and they met again in life-devouring war.

Then again Sarpedon missed with his shining dart, and the point of the
spear flew over the left shoulder of Patroklos and smote him not, but he
in turn arose with the bronze, and his javelin flew not vainly from his
hand, but struck Sarpedon even where the midriff clasps the beating
heart. And he fell as falls an oak, or a silver poplar, or a slim pine
tree, that on the hills the shipwrights fell with whetted axes, to be
timber for ship-building; even so before the horses and chariot he lay
at length, moaning aloud, and clutching at the bloody dust. And as when
a lion hath fallen on a herd, and slain a bull, tawny and high of heart,
among the kine of trailing gait, and he perishes groaning beneath the
claws of the lion, even so under Patroklos did the leader of the Lykian
shieldmen rage, even in death, and he called to his dear comrade: "Dear
Glaukos, warrior among warlike men, now most doth it behove thee to be a
spearman, and a hardy fighter: now let baneful war be dear to thee, if
indeed thou art a man of might. First fare all about and urge on the
heroes that be leaders of the Lykians, to fight for Sarpedon, and
thereafter thyself do battle for me with the sword. For to thee even in
time to come shall I be shame and disgrace for ever, all thy days, if
the Achaians strip me of mine armour, fallen in the gathering of the
ships. Nay, hold out manfully, and spur on all the host."

Even as he spake thus, the end of death veiled over his eyes and his
nostrils, but Patroklos, setting foot on his breast drew the spear out
of his flesh, and the midriff followed with the spear, so that he drew
forth together the spear point, and the soul of Sarpedon; and the
Myrmidons held there his panting steeds, eager to fly afar, since the
chariot was reft of its lords.

Then dread sorrow came on Glaukos, when he heard the voice of Sarpedon,
and his heart was stirred, that he availed not to succour him. And with
his hand he caught and held his arm, for the wound galled him, the wound
of the arrow wherewith, as he pressed on towards the lofty wall, Teukros
had smitten him, warding off destruction from his fellows. Then in
prayer spake Glaukos to far-darting Apollo: "Hear, O Prince that art
somewhere in the rich land of Lykia, or in Troia, for thou canst listen
everywhere to the man that is in need, as even now need cometh upon me.
For I have this stark wound, and mine arm is thoroughly pierced with
sharp pains, nor can my blood be stanched, and by the wound is my
shoulder burdened, and I cannot hold my spear firm, nor go and fight
against the enemy. And the best of men has perished, Sarpedon, the son
of Zeus, and he succours not even his own child. But do thou, O Prince,
heal me this stark wound, and lull my pains, and give me strength, that
I may call on my Lykian kinsmen, and spur them to the war, and myself
may fight about the dead man fallen."

So spake he in his prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Straightway he
made his pains to cease, and in the grievous wound stanched the black
blood, and put courage into his heart. And Glaukos knew it within him,
and was glad, for that the great god speedily heard his prayer. First
went he all about and urged on them that were leaders of the Lykians to
fight around Sarpedon, and thereafter he went with long strides among
the Trojans, to Polydamas son of Panthoos and noble Agenor, and he went
after Aineias, and Hector of the helm of bronze, and standing by them
spake winged words: "Hector, now surely art thou utterly forgetful of
the allies, that for thy sake, far from their friends and their own
country, breathe their lives away! but thou carest not to aid them!
Sarpedon lies low, the leader of the Lykian shieldmen, he that defended
Lykia by his dooms and his might, yea him hath mailed Ares subdued
beneath the spear of Patroklos. But, friends, stand by him, and be angry
in your hearts lest the Myrmidons strip him of his harness, and
dishonour the dead, in wrath for the sake of the Danaans, even them that
perished, whom we slew with spears by the swift ships."

So spake he, and sorrow seized the Trojans utterly, ungovernable and not
to be borne; for Sarpedon was ever the stay of their city, all a
stranger as he was, for many people followed with him, and himself the
best warrior of them all. Then they made straight for the Danaans
eagerly, and Hector led them, being wroth for Sarpedon's sake. But the
fierce heart of Patrokloa son of Menoitios urged on the Achaians. And he
spake first to the twain Aiantes that themselves were right eager:
"Aiantes, now let defence be your desire, and be such as afore ye were
among men, or even braver yet. That man lies low who first leaped on to
the wall of the Achaians, even Sarpedon. Nay, let us strive to take him,
and work his body shame, and strip the harness from his shoulders, and
many a one of his comrades fighting for his sake let us subdue with the
pitiless bronze."

So spake he, and they themselves were eager in defence. So on both
sides they strengthened the companies, Trojans and Lykians, Myrmidons
and Achaians, and they joined battle to fight around the dead man
fallen; terribly they shouted, and loud rang the harness of men. And as
the din ariseth of woodcutters in the glades of a mountain, and the
sound thereof is heard far away, so rose the din of them from the
wide-wayed earth, the noise of bronze and of well-tanned bulls' hides
smitten with swords and double-pointed spears. And now not even a
clear-sighted man could any longer have known noble Sarpedon, for with
darts and blood and dust was he covered wholly from head to foot. And
ever men thronged about the dead, as in a steading flies buzz around the
full milk-pails, in the season of spring, when the milk drenches the
bowls, even so thronged they about the dead. Nor ever did Zeus turn from
the strong fight his shining eyes, but ever looked down on them, and
much in his heart he debated of the slaying of Patroklos, whether there
and then above divine Sarpedon glorious Hector should slay him likewise
in strong battle with the sword, and strip his harness from his
shoulders, or whether to more men yet he should deal sheer labour of
war. And thus to him as he pondered it seemed the better way, that the
gallant squire of Achilles, Peleus' son, should straightway drive the
Trojans and Hector of the helm of bronze towards the city, and should
rob many of their life. And in Hector first he put a weakling heart, and
leaping into his car Hector turned in flight, and cried on the rest of
the Trojans to flee, for he knew the turning of the sacred scales of
Zeus. Thereon neither did the strong Lykians abide, but fled all in
fear, when they beheld their king stricken to the heart, lying in the
company of the dead, for many had fallen above him, when Kronion made
fierce the fight. Then the others stripped from the shoulders of
Sarpedon his shining arms of bronze, and these the strong son of
Menoitios gave to his comrades to bear to the hollow ships. Then Zeus
that gathereth the clouds spake to Apollo: "Prithee, dear Phoebus, go
take Sarpedon out of range of darts, and cleanse the black blood from
him, and thereafter bear him far away, and bathe him in the streams of
the river, and anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe him in garments that
wax not old, and send him to be wafted by fleet convoy, by the twin
brethren Sleep and Death, that quickly will set him in the rich land of
wide Lykia. There will his kinsmen and clansmen give him burial, with
barrow and pillar, for such is the due of the dead."

So spake he, nor was Apollo disobedient to his father. He went down the
hills of Ida to the dread battle din, and straight way bore goodly
Sarpedon out of the darts, and carried him far away and bathed him in
the streams of the river, and anointed him with ambrosia, and clad him
in garments that wax not old, and sent him to be wafted by fleet convoy,
the twin brethren Sleep and Death, that swiftly set him down in the rich
land of wide Lykia. But Patroklos cried to his horses and Automedon, and
after the Trojans and Lykians went he, and so was blindly forgetful, in
his witlessness, for if he had kept the saying of the son of Peleus,
verily he should have escaped the evil fate of black death. But ever is
the wit of Zeus stronger than the wit of men, so now he roused the
spirit of Patroklos in his breast. There whom first, whom last didst
thou slay, Patroklos, when the gods called thee deathward? Adrestos
first, and Autonoos, and Echeklos, and Perimos, son of Megas, and
Epistor, and Melanippos, and thereafter Elasos, and Moulios, and
Pylartes; these he slew, but the others were each man of them fain of
flight. Then would the sons of the Achaians have taken high-gated Troy,
by the hands of Patroklos, for around and before him he raged with the
spear, but that Phoebus Apollo stood on the well-builded wall, with
baneful thoughts towards Patroklos, and succouring the Trojans. Thrice
clomb Patroklos on the corner of the lofty wall, and thrice did Apollo
force him back and smote the shining shield with his immortal hands. But
when for the fourth time he came on like a god, then cried far-darting
Apollo terribly, and spake winged words: "Give back, Patroklos of the
seed of Zeus! Not beneath thy spear is it fated that the city of the
valiant Trojans shall fall, nay nor beneath Achilles, a man far better
than thou."

So spake he, and Patroklos retreated far back, avoiding the wrath of
far-darting Apollo. But Hector within the Skaian gates was restraining
his whole-hooved horses, pondering whether he should drive again into
the din and fight, or should call unto the host to gather to the wall.
While thus he was thinking, Phoebus Apollo stood by him in the guise of
a young man and a strong, Asios, who was the mother's brother of
horse-taming Hector, being own brother of Hekabe, and son of Dymas, who
dwelt in Phrygia, on the streams of Sangarios. In his guise spake
Apollo, son of Zeus, to Hector: "Hector, wherefore dost thou cease from
fight? It doth not behove thee. Would that I were as much stronger than
thou as I am weaker, thereon quickly shouldst thou stand aloof from war
to thy hurt. But come, turn against Patroklos thy strong-hooved horses,
if perchance thou mayst slay him, and Apollo give thee glory."

So spake the god, and went back again into the moil of men. But renowned
Hector bade wise-hearted Kebriones to lash his horses into the war. Then
Apollo went and passed into the press, and sent a dread panic among the
Argives, but to the Trojans and Hector gave he renown. And Hector let
the other Argives be, and slew none of them, but against Patroklos he
turned his strong-hooved horses, and Patroklos on the other side leaped
from his chariot to the ground, with a spear in his left hand, and in
his other hand grasped a shining jagged stone, that his hand covered.
Firmly he planted himself and hurled it, nor long did he shrink from his
foe, nor was his cast in vain, but he struck Kebriones the charioteer of
Hector, the bastard son of renowned Priam, on the brow with the sharp
stone, as he held the reins of the horses. Both his brows the stone
drave together, and his bone held not, but his eyes fell to the ground
in the dust, there, in front of his feet. Then he, like a diver, fell
from the well-wrought car, and his spirit left his bones. Then taunting
him didst thou address him, knightly Patroklos: "Out on it, how nimble a
man, how lightly he diveth! Yea, if perchance he were on the teeming
deep, this man would satisfy many by seeking for oysters, leaping from
the ship, even if it were stormy weather, so lightly now he diveth from
the chariot into the plain. Verily among the Trojans too there be diving

So speaking he set on the hero Kebriones with the rush of a lion, that
while wasting the cattle-pens is smitten in the breast, and his own
valour is his bane, even so against Kebriones, Patroklos, didst thou
leap furiously. But Hector, on the other side, leaped from his chariot
to the ground. And these twain strove for Kebriones like lions, that on
the mountain peaks fight, both hungering, both high of heart, for a
slain hind. Even so for Kebriones' sake these two masters of the
war-cry, Patroklos son of Menoitios, and renowned Hector, were eager
each to hew the other's flesh with the ruthless bronze.

Hector then seized him by the head, and slackened not hold, while
Patroklos on the other side grasped him by the foot, and thereon the
others, Trojans and Danaans, joined strong battle. And as the East wind
and the South contend with one another in shaking a deep wood in the
dells of a mountain, shaking beech, and ash, and smooth-barked cornel
tree, that clash against each other their long boughs with marvellous
din, and a noise of branches broken, so the Trojans and Achaians were
leaping on each other and slaying, nor had either side any thought of
ruinous flight. And many sharp darts were fixed around Kebriones, and
winged arrows leaping from the bow-string, and many mighty stones smote
the shields of them that fought around him. But he in the whirl of dust
lay mighty and mightily fallen, forgetful of his chivalry.

Now while the sun was going about mid-heaven, so long the darts smote
either side, and the host fell, but when the sun turned to the time of
the loosing of oxen, lo, then beyond their doom the Achaians proved the
better. The hero Kebriones drew they forth from the darts, out of the
tumult of the Trojans, and stripped the harness from his shoulders, and
with ill design against the Trojans, Patroklos rushed upon them. Three
times then rushed he on, peer of swift Ares, shouting terribly, and
thrice he slew nine men. But when the fourth time he sped on like a god,
thereon to thee, Patroklos, did the end of life appear, for Phoebus met
thee in the strong battle, in dreadful wise. And Patroklos was not ware
of him coming through the press, for hidden in thick mist did he meet
him, and stood behind him, and smote his back and broad shoulders with a
down-stroke of his hand, and his eyes were dazed. And from his head
Phoebus Apollo smote the helmet that rolled rattling away with a din
beneath the hooves of the horses, the helm with upright socket, and the
crests were defiled with blood and dust. And all the long-shadowed spear
was shattered in the hands of Patroklos, the spear great and heavy and
strong, and sharp, while from his shoulders the tasselled shield with
the baldric fell to the ground.

And the prince Apollo, son of Zeus, loosed his corslet, and blindness
seized his heart and his shining limbs were unstrung, and he stood in
amaze, and at close quarters from behind a Dardanian smote him on the
back, between the shoulders, with a sharp spear, even Euphorbos, son of
Panthoos, who excelled them of his age in casting the spear, and in
horsemanship, and in speed of foot. Even thus, verily, had he cast down
twenty men from their chariots, though then first had he come with his
car to learn the lesson of war. He it was that first smote a dart into
thee, knightly Patroklos, nor overcame thee, but ran back again and
mingled with the throng, first drawing forth from the flesh his ashen
spear, nor did he abide the onset of Patroklos, unarmed as he was, in
the strife. But Patroklos, being overcome by the stroke of the god, and
by the spear, gave ground, and retreated to the host of his comrades,
avoiding Fate. But Hector, when he beheld great-hearted Patroklos give
ground, being smitten with the keen bronze, came nigh unto him through
the ranks, and wounded him with a spear, in the lowermost part of the
belly, and drave the bronze clean through. And he fell with a crash, and
sorely grieved the host of Achaians. And as when a lion hath overcome in
battle an untiring boar, they twain fighting with high heart on the
crests of a hill, about a little well, and both are desirous to drink,
and the lion hath by force overcome the boar that draweth difficult
breath; so after that he had slain many did Hector son of Priam take the
life away from the strong son of Menoitios, smiting him at close
quarters with the spear; and boasting over him he spake winged words:
"Patroklos, surely thou saidst that thou wouldst sack my town, and from
Trojan women take away the day of freedom, and bring them in ships to
thine own dear country: fool! nay, in front of these were the swift
horses of Hector straining their speed for the fight; and myself in
wielding the spear excel among the war-loving Trojans, even I who ward
from them the day of destiny: but thee shall vultures here devour. Ah,
wretch, surely Achilles for all his valour, availed thee not, who
straitly charged thee as thou camest, he abiding there, saying, 'Come
not to me, Patroklos lord of steeds, to the hollow ships, till thou hast
torn the gory doublet of man-slaying Hector about his breast;' so,
surely, he spake to thee, and persuaded the wits of thee in thy

Then faintly didst thou answer him, knightly Patroklos: "Boast greatly,
as now, Hector, for to thee have Zeus, son of Kronos, and Apollo given
the victory, who lightly have subdued me; for themselves stripped my
harness from my shoulders. But if twenty such as thou had encountered
me, here had they all perished, subdued beneath my spear. But me have
ruinous Fate and the son of Leto slain, and of men Euphorbos, but thou
art the third in my slaying. But another thing will I tell thee, and do

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest