The Iliad

by Homer

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BOOK 5 Diomed Battles Gods

[1] And now to Tydeus' son, Diomedes, Pallas Athene gave might and courage, that he should prove himself pre-eminent amid all the Argives, and win glorious renown. She kindled from his helm and shield flame unwearying, like to the star of harvesttime that shineth bright above all others when he hath bathed him in the stream of Ocean. Even such flame did she kindle from his head and shoulders; and she sent him into the midst where men thronged the thickest.

[9] Now there was amid the Trojans one Dares, a rich man and blameless, a priest of Hephaestus; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idaeus, both well skilled in all manner of fighting. These twain separated themselves from the host and went forth against Diomedes, they in their car, while he charged on foot upon the ground. And when they were come near, as they advanced against each other, first Phegeus let fly his far-shadowing spear; and over the left shoulder of the son of Tydeus passed the point of the spear, and smote him not. Then Tydeus' son rushed on with the bronze, and not in vain did the shaft speed from his hand, but he smote his foe on the breast between the nipples, and thrust him from the car. And Idaeus sprang back, and left the beauteous chariot, and had no heart to bestride his slain brother. Nay, nor would he himself have escaped black fate, had not Hephaestus guarded him, and saved him, enfolding him in darkness, that his aged priest might not be utterly fordone with grief. Howbeit the horses did the son of great souled Tydeus drive forth and give to his comrades to bring to the hollow ships. But when the great-souled Trojans beheld the two sons of Dares, the one in flight and the other slain beside the car, the hearts of all were dismayed.

[29] And flashing-eyed Athene took furious Ares by the hand and spake to him, saying: "Ares, Ares, thou bane of mortals, thou blood-stained stormer of walls, shall we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight, to whichsoever of the two it be that father Zeus shall vouchsafe glory? But for us twain, let us give place, and avoid the wrath of Zeus."

[35] So spake she, and led furious Ares forth from the battle. Then she made him to sit down on the sandy banks of Scamander, and the Trojans were turned in flight by the Danaans. Each one of the captains slew his man; first the king of men, Agamemnon, thrust from his car the leader of the Halizones, great Odius, for as he turned first of all to flee he fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders and drave it through his breast; and he fell with a thud, and upon him his armour clanged.

[43] And Idomeneus slew Phaestus, son of Borus the Maeonian, that had come from deep-soiled Tarne. Him even as he was mounting his chariot Idomeneus, famed for his spear, pierced with a thrust of his long spear through the right shoulder; and he fell from his car, and hateful darkness gat hold of him. Him then the squires of Idomeneus stripped of his armour; and Scamandrius, son of Strophius, cunning in the chase, did Atreus' son Menelaus slay with his sharp spear, even him the mighty hunter; for Artemis herself had taught him to smite all wild things that the mountain forest nurtureth. Yet in no wise did the archer Artemis avail him now, neither all that skill in archery wherein of old he excelled; but the son of Atreus, Menelaus famed for his spear, smote him as he fled before him with a thrust of his spear in the back between the shoulders, and drave it through his breast. So he fell face foremost, and upon him his armour clanged.

[59] And Meriones slew Phereclus, son of Tecton, Harmon's son, whose hands were skilled to fashion all manner of curious work; for Pallas Athene loved him above all men. He it was that had also built for Alexander the shapely ships, source of ills, that were made the bane of all the Trojans and of his own self, seeing he knew not in any wise the oracles of the gods. After him Meriones pursued, and when he had come up with him, smote him in the right buttock, and the spear-point passed clean through even to the bladder beneath the bone;, and he fell to his knees with a groan, and death enfolded him.

[69] And Pedaeus, Antenor's son, was slain of Meges; he was in truth a bastard, howbeit goodly Theano had reared him carefully even as her own children, to do pleasure to her husband. To him Phyleus' son, famed for his spear, drew nigh and smote him with a cast of his sharp spear on the sinew of the head; and straight through amid the teeth the bronze shore away the tongue at its base. So he fell in the dust, and bit the cold bronze with his teeth.

[76] And Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, slew goodly Hypsenor, son of Dolopion high of heart, that was made priest of Scamander, and was honoured of the folk even as a god—upon him did Eurypylus, Euaemon's glorious son, rush with his sword as he fled before him, and in mid-course smite him upon the shoulder and lop off his heavy arm. So the arm all bloody fell to the ground; and down over his eyes came dark death and mighty fate.

[84] Thus toiled they in the mighty conflict; but of Tydeus' son couldst thou not have told with which host of the twain he was joined, whether it was with the Trojans that he had fellowship or with the Achaeans. For he stormed across the plain like unto a winter torrent at the full, that with its swift flood sweeps away the embankments; this the close-fenced embankments hold not back, neither do the walls of the fruitful vineyards stay its sudden coming when the rain of Zeus driveth it on; and before it in multitudes the fair works of men fall in ruin. Even in such wise before Tydeus' son were the thick battalions of the Trojans driven in rout, nor might they abide him for all they were so many.

[95] But when the glorious son of Lycaon was ware of him as he raged across the plain and drove the battalions in rout before him, forthwith he bent against the son of Tydeus his curved bow, and with sure aim smote him as he rushed onwards upon the right shoulder on the plate of his corselet; through this sped the bitter arrow and held straight on its way, and the corselet was spattered with blood. Over him then shouted aloud the glorious son of Lycaon: "Rouse you, great-souled Trojans, ye goaders of horses. Smitten is the best man of the Achaeans, and I deem he will not for long endure the mighty shaft, if in very truth the king, the son of Zeus, sped me on my way when I set forth from Lycia."

[105] So spake he vauntingly; howbeit that other did the swift arrow not lay low, but he drew back, and took his stand before his horses and chariot, and spake to Sthenelus, son of Capaneus: "Rouse thee, good son of Capaneus; get thee down from the car, that thou mayest draw forth from my shoulder the bitter arrow."

[111] So spake he, and Sthenelus leapt from his chariot to the ground, and stood beside him, and drew forth the swift arrow clean through his shoulder; and the blood spurted up through the pliant tunic. And thereat Diomedes, good at the war-cry, made prayer: ["Hear me, child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one! If ever with kindly thought thou stoodest by my father's side amid the fury of battle, even so do thou now be likewise kind to me, Athene. Grant that I may slay this man, and that he come within the cast of my spear, that hath smitten me or ever I was ware of him, and boasteth over me, and declareth that not for long shall I behold the bright light of the sun."

[121] So spake he in prayer, and Pallas Athene heard him, and made his limbs light, his feet and his hands above; and she drew near to his side and spake to him winged words: "Be of good courage now, Diomedes, to fight against the Trojans, for in thy breast have I put the might of thy father, the dauntless might, such as the horseman Tydeus, wielder of the shield, was wont to have. And the mist moreover have I taken from thine eyes that afore was upon them, to the end that thou mayest well discern both god and man. Wherefore now if any god come hither to make trial of thee, do not thou in any wise fight face to face with any other immortal gods, save only if Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus, shall enter the battle, her do thou smite with a thrust of the sharp bronze."

[132] When she had thus spoken, the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, departed, and the son of Tydeus returned again and mingled with the foremost fighters; and though afore his heart had been eager to do battle with the Trojans, now verily did fury thrice so great lay hold upon him, even as upon a lion that a shepherd in the field, guarding his fleecy sheep, hath wounded as he leapt over the wall of the sheep-fold, but hath not vanquished; his might hath he roused, but thereafter maketh no more defence, but slinketh amid the farm buildings, and the flock all unprotected is driven in rout, and the sheep are strewn in heaps, each hard by each, but the lion in his fury leapeth forth from the high fold; even in such fury did mighty Diomedes mingle with the Trojans.

[144] Then slew he Astynous and Hypeiron, shepherd of the host; the one he smote above the nipple with a cast of his bronze-shod spear, and the other he struck with his great sword upon the collar-bone beside the shoulder, and shore off the shoulder from the neck and from the back. These then he let be, but went his way in pursuit of Abas and Polyidus, sons of the old man Eurydamas, the reader of dreams; howbeit they came not back for the old man to interpret dreams for them, but mighty Diomedes slew them. Then went he on after Xanthus and Thoön, sons twain of Phaenops, and both well beloved; and their father was fordone with grievous old age, and begat no other son to leave in charge of his possessions. There Diomedes slew them, and bereft them of dear life, both the twain; but for the father he left lamentation and grievous sorrow, seeing they lived not for him to welcome them on their return; and the next of kin divided his goods.

[159] Then took he two sons of Priam, Dardanus' son, Echemmon and Chromius, the twain being in one car. Even as a lion leapeth among the kine and breaketh the neck of a heifer or a cow as they graze in a woodland pasture, so did Tydeus' son thrust both these in evil wise from their car, sorely against their will, and thereafter despoiled them of their armour; and the horses he gave to his comrades to drive to the ships.

[166] But Aeneas was ware of him as he made havoc of the ranks of warriors, and went his way along the battle amid the hurtling of the spears in quest of godlike Pandarus, if so be he might anywhere find him. He found the son of Lycaon, goodly and valiant, and took his stand before his face, and spake to him, saying: "Pandarus, where now are thy bow and thy winged arrows, and thy fame? Therein may no man of this land vie with thee, nor any in Lycia declare himself to be better than thou. Come now, lift up thy hands in prayer to Zeus, and let fly a shaft at this man, whoe'er he be that prevaileth thus, and hath verily wrought the Trojans much mischief, seeing he hath loosed the knees of many men and goodly; if indeed he be not some god that is wroth with the Trojans, angered by reason of sacrifices; with grievous weight doth the wrath of god rest upon men."

[179] To him then spake the glorious son of Lycaon: "Aeneas, counsellor of the brazen-coated Trojans, to the wise-hearted son of Tydeus do I liken him in all things, knowing him by his shield and his crested helm, and when I look on his horses; yet I know not surely if he be not a god. But if he be the man I deem him, even the wise-hearted son of Tydeus, not without the aid of some god doth he thus rage, but one of the immortals standeth hard by him, his shoulders wrapped in cloud, and turned aside from him my swift shaft even as it lighted. For already have I let fly a shaft at him, and I smote him upon the right shoulder clean through the plate of his corselet; and I deemed that I should send him forth to Aïdoneus, yet I subdued him not; verily he is some wrathful god. And horses have I not at hand, neither car whereon I might mount—yet in Lycaon's halls, I ween, there be eleven fair chariots, new-wrought, new-furnished, with cloths spread over them; and by each standeth its yoke of horses feeding on white barley and spelt. Aye, and as I set out hither the old spearman Lycaon straitly charged me in our well-built house: he bade me be mounted on horse and car, and so lead the Trojans in mighty conflicts. Howbeit I hearkened not—verily it had been better far!—but spared the horses lest in the multitude of men they should lack fodder, they that were wont to eat their fill. So I left them, and am come on foot to Ilios, trusting in my bow; but this, meseems, was to avail me not. Already have I let fly a shaft at two chieftains, the son of Tydeus and Atreus' son, and smitten them fairly, and from them both of a surety I drew forth blood, yet did I but arouse them the more. Wherefore with ill hap was it that I took from the peg my curved bow on that day when I led my Trojans to lovely Ilios to do pleasure to Hector. But if so be I shall return and behold with mine eyes my native land and my wife and great, high-roofed palace, then may some alien forthwith cut my head from me, if I break not this bow with my hands and cast it into the blazing fire; for worthless as wind doth it attend me."

[217] To him then spake in answer Aeneas, leader of the Trojans: "Nay, speak not thus; things shall in no wise be any better before that we twain with horses and chariot go to face this man and make trial of him in arms. Nay, come, mount upon my car, that thou mayest see of what sort are the horses of Tros, well skilled to course fleetly hither and thither over the plain whether in pursuit or in flight. They twain will bring the two of us safely to the city, if again Zeus shall vouchsafe glory to Tydeus' son Diomedes. Come, therefore, take thou now the lash and the shining reins, and I will dismount to fight; or else do thou await his onset, and I will look to the horses."

[229] Then made answer to him the glorious son of Lycaon: "Aeneas, keep thou the reins thyself, and drive thine own horses; better will they draw the curved car under their wonted charioteer, if so be we must flee from the son of Tydeus. I would not that they take fright and run wild, and for want of thy voice be not minded to bear us forth from the battle, and so the son of great-souled Tydeus leap upon us and slay the two of us, and drive off the single-hooved horses. Nay, drive thou thyself thine own car and thine own horses, and I will abide this man's onset with my sharp spear."

[239] So saying they mounted upon the inlaid car and eagerly drave the swift horses against the son of Tydeus. And Sthenelus, the glorious son of Capaneus, saw them and straightway spake to Tydeus' son winged words: "Diomedes, son of Tydeus, dear to my heart, I behold two valiant warriors eager to fight against thee, endued with measureless strength. The one is well skilled with the bow, even Pandarus, and moreover avoweth him to be the son of Lycaon; while Aeneas avoweth himself to be born of peerless Anchises, and his mother is Aphrodite. Nay, come, let us give ground on the car, neither rage thou thus, I pray thee, amid the foremost fighters, lest thou haply lose thy life."

[251] Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows mighty Diomedes spake to him: "Talk not thou to me of flight, for I deem thou wilt not persuade me. Not in my blood is it to fight a skulking fight or to cower down; still is my strength steadfast. And I have no mind to mount upon a car, but even as I am will I go to face them; that I should quail Pallas Athene suffereth not. As for these twain, their swift horses shall not bear both back from us again, even if one or the other escape. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart. If so be Athene, rich in counsel, shall vouchsafe me this glory, to slay them both, then do thou hold here these swift horses, binding the reins taut to the chariot rim; but be mindful to rush upon the horses of Aeneas and drive them forth from the Trojans to the host of the well-greaved Achaeans. For they are of that stock wherefrom Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, gave to Tros recompense for his son Ganymedes, for that they were the best of all horses that are beneath the dawn and the sun. Of this stock the king of men Anchises stole a breed, putting his mares to them while Laomedon knew naught thereof. And from these a stock of six was born him in his palace; four he kept himself and reared at the stall, and the other two he gave to Aeneas, devisers of rout. Could we but take these twain, we should win us goodly renown."

[274] Thus they spake on this wise one to the other, and forthwith drew near those other twain, driving the swift horses. And Lycaon's glorious son spake first to him, saying: "Thou son of lordly Tydeus, stalwart and wise of heart, verily my swift shaft subdued thee not, the bitter arrow; now will I again make trial of thee with my spear, if so be I may hit thee."

[280] So saying, he poised and hurled his far-shadowing spear, and smote upon the shield of Tydeus' son; and straight therethrough sped the point of bronze and reached the corselet. Then over him shouted aloud the glorious son of Lycaon: "Thou art smitten clean through the belly, and not for long, methinks, shalt thou endure; but to me hast thou granted great glory."

[286] Then with no touch of fear spake to him mighty Diomedes: "Thou hast missed and not hit; but ye twain, I deem, shall not cease till one or the other of you shall have fallen and glutted with his blood Ares, the warrior with tough shield of hide."

[290] So spake he and hurled; and Athene guided the spear upon his nose beside the eye, and it pierced through his white teeth. So the stubborn bronze shore off his tongue at its root, and the spear-point came out by the base of the chin. Then he fell from out the car, and his armour all bright and flashing clanged upon him, and the swift-footed horses swerved aside; and there his spirit and his strength were undone.

[297] But Aeneas leapt down with shield and long spear, seized with fear lest perchance the Achaeans might drag from him the dead man. Over him he strode like a lion confident in his strength, and before him he held his spear and his shield that was well balanced on every side, eager to slay the man whosoever should come to seize the corpse, and crying a terrible cry. But the son of Tydeus grasped in his hand a stone—a mighty deed—one that not two men could bear, such as mortals now are; yet lightly did he wield it even alone. Therewith he smote Aeneas on the hip, where the thigh turns in the hip joint,—the cup, men call it—and crushed the cup-bone, and broke furthermore both sinews, and the jagged stone tore the skin away. Then the warrior fell upon his knees, and thus abode, and with his stout hand leaned he upon the earth; and dark night enfolded his eyes.

[311] And now would the king of men, Aeneas, have perished, had not the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, been quick to mark, even his mother, that conceived him to Anchises as he tended his kine. About her dear son she flung her white arms, and before him she spread a fold of her bright garment to be a shelter against missiles, lest any of the Danaans with swift horses might hurl a spear of bronze into his breast and take away his life.

[318] She then was bearing her dear son forth from out the battle; but the son of Capaneus forgat not the commands that Diomedes good at the war-cry laid upon him. He held his own single-hooved horses away from the turmoil, binding the reins taut to the chariot rim, but rushed upon the fair-maned horses of Aeneas, and drave them forth from the Trojans into the host of the well-greaved Achaeans, and gave them to Deïpylus his dear comrade, whom he honoured above all the companions of his youth, because he was like-minded with himself; him he bade drive them to the hollow ships. Then did the warrior mount his own car and take the bright reins, and straightway drive his stout-hooved horses in eager quest of Tydeus' son. He the while had gone in pursuit of Cypris with his pitiless bronze, discerning that she was a weakling goddess, and not one of those that lord it in the battle of warriors,—no Athene she, nor Enyo, sacker of cities.

[334] But when he had come upon her as he pursued her through the great throng, then the son of great-souled Tydeus thrust with his sharp spear and leapt upon her, and wounded the surface of her delicate hand, and forthwith through the ambrosial raiment that the Graces themselves had wrought for her the spear pierced the flesh upon the wrist above the palm and forth flowed the immortal blood of the goddess, the ichor, such as floweth in the blessed gods; for they eat not bread neither drink flaming wine, wherefore they are bloodless, and are called immortals. She then with a loud cry let fall her son, and Phoebus Apollo took him in his arms and saved him in a dark cloud, lest any of the Danaans with swift horses might hurl a spear of bronze into his breast and take away his life. But over her shouted aloud Diomedes good at the war-cry: "Keep thee away, daughter of Zeus, from war and fighting. Sufficeth it not that thou beguilest weakling women? But if into battle thou wilt enter, verily methinks thou shalt shudder at the name thereof, if thou hearest it even from afar."

[352] So spake he, and she departed frantic, and was sore distressed; and wind-footed Iris took her and led her forth from out the throng, racked with pain, and her fair flesh was darkened. Anon she found furious Ares abiding on the left of the battle, and upon a cloud was his spear leaning, and at hand were his swift horses twain. Then she fell upon her knees and with instant prayer begged for her dear brother's horses with frontlets of gold: "Dear brother, save me, and give me thy horses, that I may get me to Olympus, where is the abode of the immortals. For sorely am I pained with a wound which a mortal man dealt me, Tydeus' son, that would now fight even with father Zeus."

[363] So spake she, and Ares gave her his horses with frontlets of gold; and she mounted upon the car, her heart distraught, and beside her mounted Iris and took the reins in her hand. She touched the horses with the lash to start them, and nothing loath the pair sped onward. Straightway then they came to the abode of the gods, to steep Olympus and there wind-footed, swift Iris stayed the horses and loosed them from the car, and cast before them food ambrosial; but fair Aphrodite flung herself upon the knees of her mother Dione. She clasped her daughter in her arms, and stroked her with her hand and spake to her, saying: "Who now of the sons of heaven, dear child, hath entreated thee thus wantonly, as though thou wert working some evil before the face of all?"

[375] To her then made answer laughter-loving Aphrodite: "Tydeus' son, Diomedes high of heart, wounded me, for that I was bearing forth from out the war my dear son Aeneas, who is in my eyes far the dearest of all men. For no longer is the dread battle one between Trojans and Achaeans; nay, the Danaans now fight even with the immortals."

[381] To her then made answer Dione, the fair goddess: "Be of good heart, my child, and endure for all thy suffering; for full many of us that have dwellings on Olympus have suffered at the hands of men, in bringing grievous woes one upon the other. So suffered Ares, when Otus and mighty Ephialtes, the sons of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds, and in a brazen jar he lay bound for thirteen months; and then would Ares, insatiate of war, have perished, had not the stepmother of the sons of Aloeus, the beauteous Eëriboea, brought tidings unto Hermes; and he stole forth Ares, that was now sore distressed, for his grievous bonds were overpowering him. So suffered Hera, when the mighty son of Amphitryon smote her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow; then upon her too came pain that might in no wise be assuaged. And so suffered monstrous Hades even as the rest a bitter arrow, when this same man, the son of Zeus that beareth the aegis, smote him in Pylos amid the dead, and gave him over to pains. But he went to the house of Zeus and to high Olympus with grief at heart, pierced through with pains; for into his mighty shoulder had the shaft been driven, and distressed his soul. But Paeëon spread thereon simples that slay pain, and healed him; for verily he was in no wise of mortal mould. Rash man, worker of violence, that recked not of his evil deeds, seeing that with his arrows he vexed the gods that hold Olympus. And upon thee has the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, set this man—fool that he is; for the heart of Tydeus' son knoweth not this, that verily he endureth not for long who fighteth with the immortals, nor do his children prattle about his knees when he is come back from war and the dread conflict. Wherefore now let Tydeus' son, for all he is so mighty, beware lest one better than thou fight against him, lest in sooth Aegialeia, the daughter of Adrastus, passing wise, wake from sleep with her long lamentings all her household, as she wails for her wedded husband, the best man of the Achaeans, even she, the stately wife of horse-taming Diomedes."

[416] She spake, and with both her hands wiped the ichor from the arm; the arm was restored, and the grievous pains assuaged. But Athene and Hera, as they looked upon her, sought to anger Zeus, son of Cronos, with mocking words. And among them the goddess flashing-eyed Athene was first to speak: "Father Zeus, wilt thou anywise be wroth with me for the word that I shall say? Of a surety now Cypris has been urging some one of the women of Achaea to follow after the Trojans, whom now she so wondrously loveth; and while stroking such a one of the fair-robed women of Achaea, she hath scratched upon her golden brooch her delicate hand."

[426] So spake she, but the father of men and gods smiled, and calling to him golden Aphrodite, said: "Not unto thee, my child, are given works of war; nay, follow thou after the lovely works of marriage, and all these things shall be the business of swift Ares and Athene."

[431] On this wise spake they one to the other; but Diomedes, good at the war-cry, leapt upon Aeneas, though well he knew that Apollo himself held forth his arms above him; yet had he no awe even of the great god, but was still eager to slay Aeneas and strip from him his glorious armour. Thrice then he leapt upon him, furiously fain to slay him, and thrice did Apollo beat back his shining shield. But when for the fourth time he rushed upon him like a god, then with a terrible cry spake to him Apollo that worketh afar: "Bethink thee, son of Tydeus, and give place, neither be thou minded to be like of spirit with the gods; seeing in no wise of like sort is the race of immortal gods and that of men who walk upon the earth."

[443] So spake he, and the son of Tydeus gave ground a scant space backward, avoiding the wrath of Apollo that smiteth afar. Aeneas then did Apollo set apart from the throng in sacred Pergamus where was his temple builded. There Leto and the archer Artemis healed him in the great sanctuary, and glorified him; but Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a wraith in the likeness of Aeneas' self and in armour like to his; and over the wraith the Trojans and goodly Achaeans smote the bull's-hide bucklers about one another's breasts, the round shields and fluttering targets. Then unto furious Ares spake Phoebus Apollo: "Ares, Ares, thou bane of mortals, thou blood-stained stormer of walls, wilt thou not now enter into the battle and withdraw this man therefrom, this son of Tydeus, who now would fight even against father Zeus? Cypris first hath he wounded in close fight on the hand at the wrist, and thereafter rushed he upon mine own self like unto a god."

[460] So spake he, and himself sate him down upon the height of Pergamus, and baneful Ares entered amid the Trojans' ranks and urged them on, in the likeness of swft Acamas, leader of the Thracians. To Priam's sons, nurtured of Zeus, he called, saying: "Ye sons of Priam, the king nurtured of Zeus, how long will ye still suffer your host to be slain by the Achaeans? Shall it be until such time as they fight about our well-built gates? Low lieth a man whom we honoured even as goodly Hector, Aeneas, son of great-hearted Anchises. Nay, come, let us save from out the din of conflict our noble comrade."

[470] So saying he aroused the strength and spirit of every man. And Sarpedon moreover sternly chid goodly Hector, saying: "Hector, where now is the strength gone that aforetime thou hadst? Thou saidst forsooth that without hosts and allies thou wouldst hold the city alone with the aid of thy sisters' husbands and thy brothers; howbeit of these can I now neither behold nor mark anyone, but they cower as dogs about a lion; and it is we that fight, we that are but allies among you. For I that am but an ally am come from very far; afar is Lycia by eddying Xanthus, where I left my dear wife and infant son, and my great wealth the which every man that is in lack coveteth. Yet even so urge I on the Lycians, and am fain myself to fight my man, though here is naught of mine such as the Achaeans might bear away or drive; whereas thou standest and dost not even urge thy hosts to abide and defend their wives. Beware lest thou and they, as if caught in the meshes of all-ensnaring flax, become a prey and spoil unto your foemen; and they shall anon lay waste your well-peopled city. On thee should all these cares rest by night and day, and thou shouldest beseech the captains of thy far-famed allies to hold their ground unflinchingly, and so put away from thee strong rebukings."

[493] So spake Sarpedon, and his word stung Hector to the heart. Forthwith he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground, and brandishing his two sharp spears went everywhere throughout the host, urging men to fight, and roused the dread din of battle. So they rallied and took their stand with their faces towards the Achaeans; and the Argives in close throng abode their coming and fled not. And even as the wind carrieth chaff about the sacred threshing-floors of men that are winnowing, when fair-haired Demeter amid the driving blasts of wind separates the grain from the chaff, and the heaps of chaff grow white; even so now did the Achaeans grow white over head and shoulders beneath the cloud of dust that through the midst of the warriors the hooves of their horses beat up to the brazen heaven, as the fight was joined again; and the charioteers wheeled round. The might of their hands they bare straight forward, and about the battle furious Ares drew a veil of night to aid the Trojans, ranging everywhere; so fulfilled he the behest of Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who bade him rouse the spirit of the Trojans, whenso he saw that Pallas Athene was departed; for she it was that bare aid to the Danaans. And Apollo himself sent Aeneas forth from out the rich sanctuary, and put courage in the breast of the shepherd of the host. And Aeneas took his place in the midst of his comrades, and these waxed glad as they saw him come to join them alive and whole and possessed of valiant courage. Howbeit they questioned him not at all, for toil of other sort forbade them, even that which he of the silver bow was stirring, and Ares the bane of mortals, and Discord that rageth without ceasing.

[519] On the other side the Aiantes twain and Odysseus and Diomedes roused the Danaans to fight; yet these even of themselves quailed not before the Trojans' violence and their onsets, but stood their ground like mists that in still weather the son of Cronos setteth on the mountain-tops moveless, what time the might of the North Wind sleepeth and of the other furious winds that blow with shrill blasts and scatter this way and that the shadowy clouds; even so the Danaans withstood the Trojans steadfastly, and fled not. And the son of Atreus ranged throughout the throng with many a word of command: "My friends, be men, and take to you hearts of valour, and have shame each of the other in the fierce conflict. Of men that have shame more are saved than are slain, but from them that flee cometh neither glory nor any avail."

[533] He spake, and hurled his spear swiftly and smote a foremost warrior, a comrade of great-souled Aeneas, Deïcoön, son of Pergasus, whom the Trojans honoured even as the sons of Priam, for that he was swift to fight amid the foremost. Him did lord Agamemnon smite with his spear upon the shield, and this stayed not the spear, but clean through it passed the bronze, and into the lower belly he drave it through the belt; and he fell with a thud, and upon him his armour clanged.

[541] Then Aeneas slew two champions of the Danaans, the sons of Diocles, Crethon and Orsilochus, whose father dwelt in well-built Pheme, a man rich in substance, and in lineage was he sprung from the river Alpheius that flows in broad stream through the land of the Pylians, and that begat Orsilochus to be king over many men. And Orsilochus begat greatsouled Diocles, and of Diocles were born twin sons, Crethon and Orsilochus, well skilled in all manner of fighting. Now when the twain had reached manhood, they followed with the Argives on the black ships to Ilios famed for its horses, seeking to win recompense for the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus; but their own selves in that land did the doom of death enfold. Like them two lions upon the mountain tops are reared by their dam in the thickets of a deep wood; and the twain snatch cattle and goodly sheep and make havoc of the farmsteads of men, until themuselves are slain by the hands of men with the sharp bronze; even in such wise were these twain vanquished beneath the hands of Aeneas, and fell like tall fir-trees.

[560] But as they fell Menelaus dear to Ares had pity for them, and strode through the foremost fighters, harnessed in flaming bronze and brandishing his spear; and Ares roused his might with intent that he might be vanquished beneath the hands of Aeneas. But Antilochus, son of great-souled Nestor, beheld him, and strode through the foremost fighters; for greatly did he fear for the shepherd of the host, lest aught befall him, and he utterly thwart them of their toil. Now the twain were holding forth their hands and their sharp spears each against the other, fain to do battle, when Antilochus came close beside the shepheard of the host. Then Aeneas abode not, swift warrior though he was, when he beheld the two holding their ground side by side; and they, when they had dragged the dead to the host of the Achaeans, laid the hapless pair in the arms of their comrades, and themselves turned back and fought amid the foremost.

[576] Then the twain slew Pylaemenes, peer of Ares, the leader of the great-souled Paphlagonian shieldmen. Him as he stood still, the son of Atreus, spear-famed Menelaus, pierced with his spear, smiting him upon the collar-bone; and Antilochus made a cast at Mydon, his squire and charioteer, the goodly son of Atymnius, even as he was turning the single-hooved horses, and smote him with a stone full upon the elbow; and the reins, white with ivory, fell from his hands to the ground in the dust. Then Antilochus leapt upon him and drave his sword into his temple, and gasping he fell forth from out the well-built car headlong in the dust on his head and shoulders. Long time he stood there—for he lighted on deep sand—until his horses kicked him and cast him to the ground in the dust; and them Antilochus lashed, and drave into the host of the Achaeans.

[590] But Hector marked them across the ranks, and rushed upon them shouting aloud, and with him followed the strong battalions of the Trojans; and Ares led them and the queen Enyo, she bringing ruthless Din of War, while Ares wielded in his hands a monstrous spear, and ranged now in front of Hector and now behind him.

[596] At sight of him Diomedes, good at the war-cry shuddered; and even as a man in passing over a great plain halteth in dismay at a swift-streaming river that floweth on to the sea, and seeing it seething with foam starteth backward, even so now did the son of Tydeus give ground, and he spake to the host: "Friends, look you how we were ever wont to marvel at goodly Hector, deeming him a spearman and a dauntless warrior; whereas ever by his side is some god that wardeth from him ruin, even as now Ares is by his side in the likeness of a mortal man. But with faces turned toward the Trojans give ye ground ever backwards, neither rage ye to fight amain with gods."

[607] So spake he, and the Trojans came very close to them. Then Hector slew two warriors well skilled in fight, Menesthes and Anchialus, the twain being in one car. And as they fell great Telamonian Aias had pity of them, and came and stood close at hand, and with a cast of his shining spear smote Amphius, son of Selagus, that dwelt in Paesus, a man rich in substance, rich in corn-land; but fate led him to bear aid to Priam and his sons. Him Telamonian Aias smote upon the belt, and in the lower belly was the far-shadowing spear fixed, and he fell with a thud. Then glorious Aias rushed upon him to strip him of his armour, and the Trojans rained upon him their spears, all sharp and gleaming, and his shield caught many thereof. But he planted his heel upon the corpse and drew forth the spear of bronze, yet could he not prevail likewise to strip the rest of the fair armour from his shoulders, for he was sore pressed with missiles. Furthermore, he feared the strong defence of the lordly Trojans, that beset him both many and valiant with spears in their hands and, for all he was so tall and mighty and lordly, thrust him from them; and he gave ground and was made to reel.

[627] So these toiled in the mighty conflict, but Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, a valiant man and tall, was roused by resistless fate against godlike Sarpedon. And when they were come near as they advanced one against the other, the son and grandson of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, then Tlepolemus was first to speak, saying: "Sarpedon, counsellor of the Lycians, why must thou be skulking here, that art a man unskilled in battle? They speak but a lie that say thou art sprung from Zeus that beareth the aegis, seeing thou art inferior far to those warriors that were sprung from Zeus in the days of men of old. Of other sort, men say, was mighty Heracles, my father, staunch in fight, the lionhearted, who on a time came hither by reason of the mares of Laomedon with but six ships and a scantier host, yet sacked the city of Ilios and made waste her streets. But thine is a coward's heart, and thy people are minishing. In no wise methinks shall thy coming from Lycia prove a defence to the men of Troy, though thou be never so strong, but thou shalt be vanquished by my hand and pass the gates of Hades."

[647] And to him Sarpedon, captain of the Lycians, made answer: "Tlepolemus, thy sire verily destroyed sacred Ilios through the folly of the lordly man, Laomedon, who chid with harsh words him that had done him good service, and rendered him not the mares for the sake of which he had come from afar. But for thee, I deem that death and black fate shall here be wrought by my hands, and that vanquished beneath my spear thou shalt yield glory to me, and thy soul to Hades of the goodly steeds."

[655] So spake Sarpedon, and Tlepolemus lifted on high his ashen spear, and the long spears sped from the hands of both at one moment. Sarpedon smote him full upon the neck, and the grievous point passed clean through, and down upon his eyes came the darkness of night and enfolded him. And Tlepolemus smote Sarpedon upon the left thigh with his long spear, and the point sped through furiously and grazed the bone; howbeit his father as yet warded from him destruction.

[663] Then his goodly companions bare godlike Sarpedon forth from out the fight, and the long spear burdened him sore, as it trailed, but no man marked it or thought in their haste to draw forth from his thigh the spear of ash, that he might stand upon his feet; such toil had they in tending him.

[668] And on the other side the well-greaved Achaeans bare Tlepolemus from out the fight, and goodly Odysseus of the enduring soul was ware of it, and his spirit waxed furious within him; and he pondered then in heart and soul whether he should pursue further after the son of Zeus that thundereth aloud, or should rather take the lives of more Lycians. But not for great-hearted Odysseus was it ordained to slay with the sharp bronze the valiant son of Zeus; wherefore Athene turned his mind toward the host of the Lycians. Then slew he Coeranus and Alastor and Chromius and Alcandrus and Halius and Noëmon and Prytanis; and yet more of the Lycians would goodly Odysseus have slain, but that great Hector of the flashing helm was quick to see, and strode through the foremost fighters harnessed in flaming bronze, bringing terror to the Danaans. Then glad at his coming was Sarpedon, son of Zeus, and spake to him a piteous word: "Son of Priam, suffer me not to lie here a prey to the Danaans, but bear me aid; thereafter, if need be, let life depart from me in your city, seeing it might not be that I should return home to mine own native land to make glad my dear wife and infant son."

[689] So spake he, yet Hector of the flashing helm spake no word in answer, but hastened by, eager with all speed to thrust back the Argives and take the lives of many. Then his goodly comrades made godlike Sarpedon to sit beneath a beauteous oak of Zeus that beareth the aegis, and forth from his thigh valiant Pelagon, that was his dear comrade, thrust the spear of ash; and his spirit failed him, and down over his eyes a mist was shed. Howbeit he revived, and the breath of the North Wind as it blew upon him made him to live again after in grievous wise he had breathed forth his spirit.

[699] But the Argives before the onset of Ares and Hector harnessed in bronze neither turned them to make for the black ships, nor yet could they hold out in fight, but they ever gave ground backward, when they heard that Ares was amid the Trojans.

[703] Who then was first to be slain and who last by Hector, Priam's son, and brazen Ares? Godlike Teuthras, and thereafter Orestes, driver of horses, Trechus, spearman of Aetolia, and Oenomaus, and Helenus, son of Oenops, and Oresbius with flashing taslet, he that dwelt in Hyle on the border of the Cephisian mere, having great care of his wealth; and hard by him dwelt other Boeotians having a land exceeding rich.

[711] But when the goddess, white-armed Hera, was ware of them as they made havoc of the Argives in the fierce conflict, forthwith she spake winged words to Athene: "Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one, verily it was for naught that we pledged our word to Menelaus, that not until he had sacked well-walled Ilios should he get him home, if we are to suffer baneful Ares thus to rage. Nay, come, let us twain likewise bethink us of furious valour."

[719] So spake she, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken. Then Hera, the queenly goddess, daughter of great Cronos, went to and fro harnessing the horses of golden frontlets. and Hebe quickly put to the car on either side the curved wheels of bronze, eight-spoked, about the iron axle-tree. Of these the felloe verily is of gold imperishable, and thereover are tires of bronze fitted, a marvel to behold; and the naves are of silver, revolving on this side and on that; and the body is plaited tight with gold and silver thongs, and two rims there are that run about it. From the body stood forth the pole of silver, and on the end thereof she bound the fair golden yoke, and cast thereon the fair golden breast-straps; and Hera led beneath the yoke the swift-footed horses, and was eager for strife and the war-cry.

[733] But Athene, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis, let fall upon her father's floor her soft robe, richly broidered, that herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the tunic of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in armour for tearful war. About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror, all about which Rout is set as a crown, and therein is Strife, therein Valour, and therein Onset, that maketh the blood run cold, and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon, dread and awful, a portent of Zeus that beareth the aegis. And upon her head she set the helmet with two horns and with bosses four, wrought of gold, and fitted with the men-at-arms of an hundred cities. Then she stepped upon the flaming car and grasped her spear, heavy and huge and strong, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men—of warriors with whom she is wroth, she, the daughter of the mighty sire. And Hera swiftly touched the horses with the lash, and self-bidden groaned upon their hinges the gates of heaven which the Hours had in their keeping, to whom are entrusted great heaven and Olympus, whether to throw open the thick cloud or shut it to. There through the gate they drave their horses patient of the goad; and they found the son of Cronos as he sat apart from the other gods on the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus. Then the goddess, white-armed Hera, stayed the horses, and made question of Zeus most high, the son of Cronos, and spake to him: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation with Ares for these violent deeds, that he hath destroyed so great and so goodly a host of the Achaeans recklessly and in no seemly wise to my sorrow; while at their ease Cypris and Apollo of the silver bow take their joy, having set on this madman that regardeth not any law? Father Zeus, wilt thou in any wise be wroth with me if I smite Ares in sorry fashion and drive him out of the battle?"

[764] Then in answer spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: "Nay, come now, rouse against him Athene, driver of the spoil, who has ever been wont above others to bring sore pain upon him."

[767] So spake he, and the goddess, white-armed Hera, failed not to hearken, but touched her horses with the the lash; and nothing loath the pair flew on between earth and starry heaven. As far as a man seeth with his eyes into the haze of distance as he sitteth on a place of outlook and gazeth over the wine-dark deep, even so far do the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a bound. But when they were come to the land of Troy and the two flowing rivers, where the Simoïs and Scamander join their streams, there the goddess, white-armed Hera, stayed her horses, and loosed them from the car, and shed thick mist about them; and Simoïs made ambrosia to spring up for them to graze upon.

[778] Then the goddesses twain went their way with steps like those of timorous doves, eager to bring aid to the Argive warriors. And when they were come where the most and the bravest stood close thronging about mighty Diomedes, tamer of horses, in semblance like ravening lions or wild boars, whose is no weakling strength, there the goddess, white-armed Hera, stood and shouted in the likeness of great-hearted Stentor of the brazen voice, whose voice is as the voice of fifty other men: "Fie, ye Argives, base things of shame fair in semblance only! So long as goodly Achilles was wont to fare into battle, never would the Trojans come forth even before the Dardanian gate; for of his mighty spear had they dread; but now far from the city they are fighting at the hollow ships."

[792] So saying she roused the strength and spirit of every man. And to the side of Tydeus' son sprang the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene. She found that prince beside his horses and car, cooling the wound that Pandarus had dealt him with his arrow. For the sweat vexed him beneath the broad baldric of his round shield; therewith was he vexed and his arm grew weary, so he was lifting up the baldric and wiping away the dark blood. Then the goddess laid hold of the yoke of his horses, and said: "Verily little like himself was the son that Tydeus begat. Tydeus was small in stature, but a warrior. Even when I would not suffer him to fight or make a show of prowess, what time he came, and no Achaean with him, on an embassage to Thebes into the midst of the many Cadmeians—I bade him feast in their halls in peace—yet he having his valiant soul as of old challenged the youths of the Cadmeians and vanquished them in everything full easily; so present a helper was I to him. But as for thee, I verily stand by thy side and guard thee, and of a ready heart I bid thee fight with the Trojans, yet either hath weariness born of thy many onsets entered into thy limbs, or haply spiritless terror possesseth thee. Then art thou no offspring of Tydeus, the wise-hearted son of Oeneus."

[814] Then in answer to her spake mighty Diomedes: "I know thee, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis; therefore with a ready heart will I tell thee my thought and hide it not. In no wise doth spiritless terror possess me nor any slackness, but I am still mindful of thy behest which thou didst lay upon me. Thou wouldest not suffer me to fight face to face with the other blessed gods, but if Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus should enter the battle, her thou badest me smite with the sharp bronze. Therefore it is that I now give ground myself and have given command to all the rest of the Argives to be gathered here likewise; for I discern Ares lording it over the battle-field."

[825] And the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, answered him, saying: "Son of Tydeus, Diomedes, dear to my heart, fear thou not Ares for that, neither any other of the immortals; so present a helper am I to thee. Nay, come, at Ares first drive thou thy single-hooved horses, and smite him in close fight, neither have thou awe of furious Ares that raveth here a full-wrought bane, a renegade, that but now spake with me and Hera, and made as though he would fight against the Trojans but give aid to the Argives; yet now he consorteth with the Trojans and hath forgotten these."

[835] So saying, with her hand she drew back Sthenelus, and thrust him from the car to earth, and he speedily leapt down; and she stepped upon the car beside goodly Diomedes, a goddess eager for battle. Loudly did the oaken axle creak beneath its burden, for it bare a dread goddess and a peerless warrior. Then Pallas Athene grasped the lash and the reins, and against Ares first she speedily drave the single-hooved horses. He was stripping of his armour huge Periphas that was far the best of the Aetolians, the glorious son of Ochesius. Him was blood-stained Ares stripping; but Athene put on the cap of Hades, to the end that mighty Ares should not see her.

[846] Now when Ares, the bane of mortals, was ware of goodly Diomedes, he let be huge Periphas to lie where he was, even where at the first he had slain him and taken away his life but made straight for Diomedes, tamer of horses. And when they were now come near as they advanced one against the other, Ares first let drive over the yoke and the reins of the horses with his spear of bronze, eager to take away the other's life; but the spear the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, caught in her hand and thrust above the car to fly its way in vain. Next Diomedes, good at the war-cry, drave at Ares with his spear of bronze, and Pallas Athene sped it mightily against his nethermost belly, where he was girded with his taslets. There did he thrust and smite him, rending the fair flesh, and forth he drew the spear again. Then brazen Ares bellowed loud as nine thousand warriors or ten thousand cry in battle, when they join in the strife of the War-god; and thereat trembling came upon Achaeans alike and Trojans, and fear gat hold of them; so mightily bellowed Ares insatiate of war.

[864] Even as a black darkness appeareth from the clouds when after heat a blustering wind ariseth, even in such wise unto Diomedes, son of Tydeus, did brazen Ares appear, as he fared amid the clouds unto broad heaven. Speedily he came to the abode of the gods, to steep Olympus, and sate him down by the side of Zeus, son of Cronos, grieved at heart, and shewed the immortal blood flowing from the wound, and with wailing spake to him winged words: "Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation to behold these violent deeds? Ever do we gods continually suffer most cruelly by one another's devices, whenas we show favour to men. With thee are we all at strife, for thou art father to that mad and baneful maid, whose mind is ever set on deeds of lawlessness. For all the other gods that are in Olympus are obedient unto thee, and subject to thee, each one of us; but to her thou payest no heed whether in word or in deed, but rather settest her on, for that this pestilent maiden is thine own child. Now hath she set on the son of Tydeus, Diomedes high of heart, to vent his rage upon immortal gods. Cypris first he wounded with a thrust in close fight upon the hand at the wrist, and thereafter rushed upon mine own self as he had been a god. Howbeit my swift feet bare me away; otherwise had I long suffered woes there amid the gruesome heaps of the dead, or else had lived strengthless by reason of the smitings of the spear."

[888] Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows spake to him Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: "Sit thou not in any wise by me and whine, thou renegade. Most hateful to me art thou of all gods that hold Olympus, for ever is strife dear to thee and wars and fightings. Thou hast the unbearable, unyielding spirit of thy mother, even of Hera; her can I scarce control by my words. Wherefore it is by her promptings, meseems, that thou sufferest thus. Howbeit I will no longer endure that thou shouldest be in pain, for thou art mine offspring, and it was to me that thy mother bare thee; but wert thou born of any other god, thus pestilent as thou art, then long ere this hadst thou been lower than the sons of heaven."

[899] He spake, and bade Paeëon heal his hurt; and Paeëon spread thereon simples that slay pain, and healed him; for verily he was in no wise of mortal mould. Even as the juice of the fig speedily maketh to grow thick the white milk that is liquid, but is quickly curdled as a man stirreth it, even so swiftly healed he furious Ares. And Hebe bathed him, and clad him in beautiful raiment, and he sate him down by the side of Zeus, son of Cronos, exulting in his glory.

[907] Then back to the palace of great Zeus fared Argive Hera and Alalcomenean Athene, when they had made Ares, the bane of mortals, to cease from his man-slaying.


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