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to be a king's boast, alike an adornment for his horse and a glory for
his charioteer; even in such wise, Menelaos, were thy shapely thighs
stained with blood and thy legs and thy fair ankles beneath.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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