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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

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