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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

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