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that through them might be a way for chariot-driving. And without they
dug a deep foss beside it, broad and great, and planted a palisade

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And father Zeus drave from Ida his fair-wheeled chariot and horses unto
Olympus, and came unto the session of the gods. For him also the noble
Shaker of Earth unyoked the steeds, and set the car upon the stand, and
spread a cloth thereover; and far-seeing Zeus himself sate upon his
golden throne, and beneath his feet great Olympus quaked. Only Athene
and Hera sate apart from Zeus, and spake no word to him neither
questioned him. But he was ware thereof in his heart, and said, "Why are
ye thus vexed, Athene and Hera? Surely ye are not wearied of making
havoc in glorious battle of the Trojans, for whom ye cherish bitter
hate! Howsoever, seeing that my might is so great and my hands
invincible, all the gods that are in Olympus could not turn me: and for
you twain, trembling erst gat hold upon your bright limbs ere that ye
beheld war and war's fell deeds. For thus will I declare, and even so
had the fulfilment been - never had ye, once smitten with the
thunderbolt, fared on your chariots back unto Olympus where is the
habitation of the immortals."

So spake he, and Athene and Hera murmured, that were sitting by him and
devising ills for the Trojans. Now Athene held her peace, and said not
anything, for wrath at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold upon her;
but Hera's heart contained not her anger, and she spake: "Most dread son
of Kronos, what word is this thou hast said? Well know we, even we, that
thy might is no wise puny; yet still have we pity for the Danaan
spearmen, that now shall perish and fill up the measure of grievous

And Zeus the cloud-gatherer answered and said: "At morn shalt thou
behold most mighty Kronion, if thou wilt have it so, O Hera, ox-eyed
queen, making yet more havoc of the vast army of Argive spearmen; for
headlong Hector shall not refrain from battle till that Peleus' son
fleet of foot have arisen beside the ships, that day when these shall
fight amid the sterns in most grievous stress, around Patroklos fallen.
Such is the doom of heaven. And for thine anger reck I not, not even
though thou go to the nethermost bounds of earth and sea, where sit
Iapetos and Kronos and have no joy in the beams of Hyperion the Sun-god,
neither in any breeze, but deep Tartaros is round about them. Though
thou shouldest wander till thou come even thither, yet reck I not of thy
vexation, seeing there is no thing more unabashed than thou."

So said he, but white-armed Hera spake him no word. And the sun's bright
light dropped into Ocean, drawing black night across Earth the
grain-giver. Against the Trojans' will daylight departed, but welcome,
thrice prayed for, to the Achaians came down the murky night.

Now glorious Hector made an assembly of the Trojans, taking them apart
from the ships, beside the eddying river, in an open space where was
found a spot clear of dead. And they came down from their chariots to
the ground to hear the word that Hector, dear unto Zeus, proclaimed. He
in his hand held his spear eleven cubits long; before his face gleamed
the spearhead of bronze, and a ring of gold ran round about it. Thereon
he leaned and spake to the Trojans, saying: "Hearken to me, Trojans and
Dardanians and allies. I thought but now to make havoc of the ships and
all the Achaians and depart back again to windy Ilios; but dusk came too
soon, and that in chief hath now saved the Argives and the ships beside
the beach of the sea. So let us now yield to black night, and make our
supper ready; unyoke ye from the chariots your fair-maned horses, and
set fodder beside them. And from the city bring kine and goodly sheep
with speed; and provide you with honey-hearted wine, and corn from your
houses, and gather much wood withal, that all night long until
early-springing dawn we may burn many fires, and the gleam may reach to
heaven; lest perchance even by night the flowing-haired Achaians strive
to take flight over the broad back of the sea. Verily must they not
embark upon their ships unvexed, at ease: but see ye that many a one of
them have a wound to nurse even at home, being stricken with arrow or
keen-pointed spear as he leapeth upon his ship; that so many another man
may dread to wage dolorous war on the horse-taming men of Troy. And let
the heralds dear to Zeus proclaim throughout the city that young maidens
and old men of hoary heads camp round the city on the battlements
builded of the gods; and let the women folk burn a great fire each in
her hall; and let there be a sure watch set, lest an ambush enter the
city when the host is absent. Howbeit for the night will we guard our
own selves, and at morn by daybreak, arrayed in our armour, let us awake
keen battle at the hollow ships. I will know whether Tydeus' son
stalwart Diomedes shall thrust me from the ships back to the wall, or I
shall lay him low with my spear and bear away his gory spoils. To-morrow
shall he prove his valour, whether he can abide the onslaught of my
spear. Would that I were immortal and ageless all my days and honoured
like as Athene is honoured and Apollo, so surely as this day bringeth

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