No gods, but only Trojans and Akhaians,
were left now in the great fight on the plain.
It swayed this way and that between the rivers,
Betwixt the floods of Symois and Xanthus
Dark showers of javelins fly
leveled spears moving on one another.
First Telamonian Ajax, the bulwark of the Greeks, broke through the phalanx of the Trojans, and gave light to his companions, smiting the good and mighty hero Acamas, son of Eyssorus, who was the bravest among the Thracians.
Full on the shaggy crest he smote, and urged
The spear into his forehead; through his skull
The bright point pass'd, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
Tydides slew Teuthranides Axilus, that did dwell
In fair Arisba’s well-built tow’rs: he had of wealth a well,
And yet was kind and bountiful; he would a traveller pray
To be his guest; his friendly house stood on the broad highway,
In which he all sorts nobly us’d; yet none of them would stand
‘Twixt him and death, but both himself and he that had command
Of his fair horse, Calisius, fell lifeless on the ground.
Euryalus killed Dresus, killed Opheltius,
turned and went for Pedasus and Aesepus, twins
the nymph of the spring Abarbarea bore Bucolion...
Bucolion, son himself to the lofty King Laomedon,
first of the line, though his mother bore the prince
in secrecy and shadow. Tending his flocks one day
Bucolion took the nymph in a strong surge of love
he was mingled in love and nuptials with her among the sheep;
and beneath his force she bore him twin sons.
But now the son of Mecisteus hacked the force
from beneath them both and loosed their gleaming limbs
and tore the armor off the dead men’s shoulders.
Astyalus by Polypoetes fell;
Ulysses' spear Pidytes sent to hell;
By Teucer's shaft brave Aretaon bled,
And Nestor's son laid stern Ablerus dead;
Great Agamemnon, leader of the brave,
The mortal wound of rich Elatus gave,
Who held in Pedasus his proud abode,
And till'd the banks where silver Satnio flow'd.
Melanthius by Eurypylus was slain;
And Phylacus from Leitus flies in vain.
With martial ardor, Menelaus seized
And took alive Adrastus. As it chanced
A thicket his affrighted steeds detain'd
Their feet entangling; they with restive force
At its extremity snapp'd short the pole,
And to the city, whither others fled,
Fled also. From his chariot headlong hurl'd,
Adrastus press'd the plain fast by his wheel.
Flew Menelaus, and his quivering spear
Shook over him; he, life imploring, clasp'd
Importunate his knees, and thus exclaim'd.
Take me alive, he cried, son of Atreus, and you shall have a full ransom for me: my father is rich and has much treasure of gold, bronze, and wrought iron laid by in his house. From this store he will give you a large ransom should he hear of my being alive and at the ships of the Achaeans.
won his great captor to consent: he thought
of granting him safe conduct to the ships
by his own runner, when his brother
Agamemnon in grim haste came by
to bar his mercy and cried:
Now, brother, whence this milkiness of mind,
These scruples about blood? Thy Trojan friends
Have doubtless much obliged thee. Die the race!
May none escape us! neither he who flies,
Nor even the infant in his mother's womb
Unconscious. Perish universal Troy
Unpitied, till her place be found no more!
This just cause turn’d his brother’s mind, who violently thrust
The prisoner from him;
whereon King Agamemnon struck him in the flank, and he fell:
then the son of Atreus planted his foot upon his breast to draw his
spear from the body.
Old Nestor saw, and roused the warrior's rage;
O friends, Grecian heroes, servants of Mars, let no one now, desirous of spoil, linger behind, that he may return bringing abundance to the ships; but let us slay the men, and afterward at your leisure, shall ye spoil the dead bodies through the plain.
So he ordered, spurring each man's nerve –
and the next moment crowds of Trojans once again
would have clambered back inside their city walls,
terror-struck by the Argives primed for battle.
But Helenus son of Priam, best of the seers
who scan the flight of birds, came striding up
to Aeneas and Hector, calling out,
Hector and Aeneas, you two are the mainstays of the Trojans and
Lycians, for you are foremost at all times, alike in fight and counsel; hold your ground here, and go about among the host to rally them in front of the gates, or they will fling themselves into the arms of their wives, to the great joy of our foes. Then, when you have put heart into all our companies, we will stand firm here and fight the Danaans however hard they press us, for there is nothing else to be done. Meanwhile do you, Hector, go to the city and tell your mother what is happening. Tell her to bid the matrons gather at the temple of Minerva in the acropolis; let her then take her key and open the doors of the sacred building; there, upon the knees of Minerva, let her lay the largest, fairest robe she has in her house – the one she sets most store by; let her, moreover, promise to sacrifice twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the goad, in the temple of the goddess, if she will take pity on the town, with the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the son of Tydeus from falling on the goodly city of Ilius; for he fights with fury and fills men’s souls with panic. I hold him mightiest of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles, son of a goddess though he be, as we do this man: his rage is beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess.
Hector obedient heard: and, with a bound,
Leap'd from his trembling chariot to the ground;
Through all his host inspiring force he flies,
And bids the thunder of the battle rise.
With rage recruited the bold Trojans glow,
And turn the tide of conflict on the foe:
Fierce in the front he shakes two dazzling spears;
All Greece recedes, and 'midst her triumphs fears;
Some god, they thought, who ruled the fate of wars,
Shot down avenging from the vault of stars.
Then thus aloud:
So, so, now runs your blood
In his right current: forwards now Trojans, and far-call’d friends;
Awhile hold out, till for success to this your brave amends
I haste to Ilion, and procure our counsellors and wives
To pray, and offer hecatombs, for their states in our lives.
turned away, under his shimmering helm,
his long shield slung behind him; nape and ankle
both were brushed by the darkened oxhide rim.
Meanwhile, driving into an open space
between the armies, Hippolokhos' son, Glaukos,
and Diomedes advanced upon each other,
hot for combat. When the range was short,
Diomedes, face to face with him, spoke up:
Most noble Champion! who of human kind
Art thou, whom in the man-ennobling fight
I now encounter first? Past all thy peers
I must esteem thee valiant, who hast dared
To meet my coming, and my spear defy.
Ah! they are sons of miserable sires
Who dare my might; but if a God from heaven
Thou come, behold! I fight not with the Gods.
That war Lycurgus son of Dryas waged,
And saw not many years. The nurses he
Of brain-disturbing Bacchus down the steep
Pursued of sacred Nyssa; they their wands
Vine-wreathed cast all away, with an ox-goad
Chastised by fell Lycurgus. Bacchus plunged
Meantime dismay'd into the deep, where him
Trembling, and at the Hero's haughty threats
Confounded, Thetis in her bosom hid.
Thus by Lycurgus were the blessed powers
Of heaven offended, and Saturnian Jove
Of sight bereaved him, who not long that loss
Survived, for he was curst by all above.
I, therefore, wage no contest with the Gods;
But if thou be of men, and feed on bread
Of earthly growth, draw nigh, that with a stroke
Well-aim'd, I may at once cut short thy days.
Hippolokhos' distinguished son replied:
Magnanimous son of Tydeus, why dost thou inquire of my race? As is the race of leaves, even such is the race of men. Some leaves the wind sheds upon the ground, but the fructifying wood produces others, and these grow up in the season of spring. Such is the generation of men; one produces, another ceases [to do so]. But if thou wouldst learn even these things, that thou mayest well know my lineage (for many know it), there is a city, Ephyra, in a nook of horse-pasturing Argos; there dwelt Sisyphus, who was the most cunning of mortals, Sisyphus, son of Aeolus; and he begat a son, Glaucus. But Glaucus begat blameless Bellerophon; to whom the gods gave beauty and agreeable manliness. But against him Proetus devised evils in his soul: who accordingly banished him from the state (since he was far the best of the Greeks; for Jove had subjected them to his scepter). With him the wife of Proetus, noble Antea, passionately longed to be united in secret love; but by no means could she persuade just-minded, wise-reflecting Bellerophon. She, therefore, telling a falsehood, thus addressed king Proetus: ‘Mayest thou be dead, O Proetus! or do thou slay Bellerophon, who desired to be united in love with me against my will.’ Thus she said: but rage possessed the king at what he heard. He was unwilling, indeed, to slay him, for he scrupled this in his mind; but he sent him into Lycia, and gave to him fatal characters, writing many things of deadly purport on a sealed tablet; and ordered him to show it to his father-in-law, to the end that he might perish. He therefore went into Lycia, under the blameless escort of the gods; but when now he had arrived at Lycia and at the river Xanthus, the king of wide Lycia honored him with a willing mind. Nine days did he entertain him hospitably, and sacrificed nine oxen; but when the tenth rosy-fingered morn appeared, then indeed he interrogated him,
and desired to see the token, whatever it was, that he brought from his son-in-law Proetus. But after he had received the fatal token of his son-in-law, first he commanded him to slay the invincible Chimaera; but she was of divine race, not of men, in front a lion, behind a dragon, in the middle a goat, breathing forth the dreadful might of gleaming fire. And her indeed he slew, relying on the signs of the gods. Next he fought with the illustrious Solymi: and he said that he entered on this as the fiercest fight among men. Thirdly, he slew the man-opposing Amazons. But for him returning the king wove another wily plot. Selecting the bravest men from wide Lycia, he placed an ambuscade; but they never returned home again, for blameless Bellerophon slew them all. But when [Iobates] knew that he was the offspring of a god, he detained him there, and gave him his daughter: he also gave him half of all his regal honor. The Lycians also separated for him an inclosure of land, excelling all others, pleasant, vine-bearing, and arable, that he might cultivate it. But this woman brought forth three children to warlike Bellerophon, Isandrus, Hippolochus, and Laodamia. Provident Jove, indeed, had clandestine intercourse with Laodamia, and she brought forth godlike, brazen-helmed Sarpedon. But when now even he [Bellerophon] was become odious to all the gods, he, on his part, wandered alone through the Aleian plain, pining in his soul, and shunning the path of men. But Mars, insatiable of war, slew his son Isandrus, fighting against the illustrious Solymi. And golden-reined Diana, being enraged, slew his daughter. But Hippolochus begat me, and from him I say that I am born; me he sent to Troy, and gave me very many commands, always to fight bravely, and to be superior to others; and not to disgrace the race of my fathers, who were by far the bravest in Ephyra, and ample Lycia. From this race and blood do I boast to be.
joy came to Diomedes, loud in battle.
With one thrust in the field where herds had cropped
he fixed his long spear like a pole, and smiled
at the young captain, saying gently:
Splendid – you are my friend,
my guest from the days of our grandfathers long ago!
Noble Oeneus hosted your brave Bellerophon once,
he held him there in his halls, twenty whole days,
and they gave each other handsome gifts of friendship.
My kinsman offered a gleaming sword-belt, rich red,
Bellerophon gave a cup, two-handled, solid gold –
I left it at home when I set out for Troy.
My father, Tydeus, I really don't remember.
I was just a baby when father left me then,
that time an Achaean army went to die at Thebes.
So now I am your host and friend in the heart of Argos,
you are mine in Lycia when I visit in your country.
Come, let us keep clear of each other's spears,
even there in the thick of battle. Look,
plenty of Trojans there for me to kill,
your famous allies too, any soldier the god
will bring in range or I can run to ground.
And plenty of Argives too – kill them if you can.
But let's trade armor. The men must know our claim:
we are sworn friends from our fathers' days till now!
With these words they sprang from their chariots, grasped one
another’s hands, and plighted friendship. But the son of Saturn
made Glaucus take leave of his wits, for he exchanged golden
armour for bronze, the worth of a hundred head of cattle for the
worth of nine.
Meantime the guardian of the Trojan state,
Great Hector, enter'd at the Scaean gate.
Beneath the beech-tree's consecrated shades,
The Trojan matrons and the Trojan maids
Around him flock'd, all press'd with pious care
For husbands, brothers, sons, engaged in war.
He bids the train in long procession go,
And seek the gods, to avert the impending woe.
And now to Priam's stately courts he came,
Rais'd on arch'd columns of stupendous frame;
O'er these a range of marble structure runs,
The rich pavilions of his fifty sons,
In fifty chambers lodged: and rooms of state,
Opposed to those, where Priam's daughters sate.
Twelve domes for them and their loved spouses shone,
Of equal beauty, and of polish'd stone.
Hither great Hector pass'd, nor pass'd unseen
Of royal Hecuba, his mother-queen.
(With her Laodice, whose beauteous face
Surpass'd the nymphs of Troy's illustrious race.)
Long in a strict embrace she held her son,
And press'd his hand, and tender thus begun:
O worthiest son,
Why leav’st thou field? Is’t not because the cursed nation
Afflict our countrymen and friends? They are the moans that move
thy mind to come and lift thy hands – in his high tow’r – to Jove.
But stay a little, that myself may fetch our sweetest wine,
To offer first to Jupiter; then that these joints of thine
May be refresh’d: for (woe is me) how thou art toil’d and spent!
Thou for our city’s general state, thou for our friends far sent,
Must now the press of fight endure, now solitude to call
Upon the name of Jupiter, thou only for us all.
But wine will something comfort thee: for to a man dimay’d
With careful spirits, or too much with labour overlaid,
Wine brings much rescue, strength’ning much the body and the mind.
But her mighty crest-tossing Hector then answered:
My mother, whom I reverence! cheering wine
Bring none to me, lest I forget my might.
I fear, beside, with unwash'd hands to pour
Libation forth of sable wine to Jove,
And dare on none account, thus blood-defiled,
Approach the tempest-stirring God in prayer.
Thou, therefore, gathering all our matrons, seek
The fane of Pallas, huntress of the spoil,
Bearing sweet incense; but from the attire
Treasured within thy chamber, first select
The amplest robe, most exquisitely wrought,
And which thou prizest most – then spread the gift
On Athenaean Pallas' lap divine.
Twelve heifers also of the year, untouch'd
With puncture of the goad, promise to slay
In sacrifice, if she will pity Troy,
Our wives and little ones, and will avert
The son of Tydeus from these sacred towers,
That dreadful Chief, terror of all our host.
Go then, my mother, seek the hallowed fane
Of the spoil-huntress Deity. I, the while,
Seek Paris, and if Paris yet can hear,
Shall call him forth. But oh that earth would yawn
And swallow him, whom Jove hath made a curse
To Troy, to Priam, and to all his house;
Methinks, to see him plunged into the shades
For ever, were a cure for all my woes.
So Hektor spoke, and she walked slowly on
into the megaron. She called her maids,
who then assembled women from the city.
But Hekabe went down to the low chamber
fragrant with cedar, where her robes were kept,
embroidered work by women of Sidonia
Alexandros had brought, that time he sailed
and ravished Helen, princess, pearl of kings.
Hekabe lifted out her loveliest robe,
most ample, most luxurious in brocade,
and glittering like starlight under all.
This offering she carried to Athena
with a long line of women in her train.
On the Akropolis, Athena's shrine
was opened for them by Theano, stately
daughter of Kisseus, wife to Antenor,
and chosen priestess of Athena. Now
all crying loud stretched out their arms in prayer,
while Theano with grace took up the robe
to place it on fair-haired Athena's knees.
She made petition then to Zeus's daughter:
Oh awful goddess! ever-dreadful maid,
Troy's strong defense, unconquer'd Pallas, aid!
Break thou Tydides' spear, and let him fall
Prone on the dust before the Trojan wall!
So twelve young heifers, guiltless of the yoke,
Shall fill thy temple with a grateful smoke.
But thou, atoned by penitence and prayer,
Ourselves, our infants, and our city spare!
But Athena refused to hear Theano's prayers.
And while they prayed to the daughter of mighty Zeus
Hector approached the halls of Paris, sumptuous halls
he built himself with the finest masons of the day,
master builders famed in the fertile land of Troy.
They'd raised his sleeping chamber, house and court
adjoining Priam's and Hector's aloft the city heights.
Now Hector, dear to Zeus, strode through the gates,
clutching a thrusting-lance eleven forearms long;
the bronze tip of the weapon shone before him,
ringed with a golden hoop to grip the shaft.
And there in the bedroom Hector came on Paris
polishing, fondling his splendid battle-gear,
his shield and breastplate, turning over and over
his long curved bow. And there was Helen of Argos,
sitting with all the women of the house, directing
the rich embroidered work they had in hand.
Seeing Paris, Hector raked his brother with insults, stinging taunts:
Infatuate; not befittingly hast thou conceived this rage in thy mind: the people are perishing, fighting around the city and the lofty wall: and on thy account the battle and war are blazing around the city. Truly thou wouldst thyself reprove another, if ever thou sawest any person remiss in the hateful battle. But arise, lest perchance the city should quickly blaze with hostile fire.
Paris acknowledg’d (as before) all just that Hector spake,
Hector, your rebuke is just; listen therefore, and believe me when I tell you that I am not here so much through rancour or ill-will towards the Trojans, as from a desire to indulge my grief. My wife was even now gently urging me to battle, and I hold it better that I should go, for victory is ever fickle. Wait, then, while I put on my armour, or go first and I will follow. I shall be sure to overtake you.
He ceased, to whom brave Hector answer none
Return'd, when Helen him with lenient speech
Brother dear –
dear to a whore, a nightmare of a woman!
That day my mother gave me to the world
I wish a hurricane blast had torn me away
to wild mountains, or into tumbling sea
to be washed under by a breaking wave,
before these evil days could come! – or, granted
terrible years were in the gods' design,
I wish I had had a good man for a lover
who knew the sharp tongues and just rage of men.
This one – his heart's unsound, and always will be,
and he will win what he deserves. Come here
and rest upon this couch with me, dear brother.
You are the one afflicted most
by harlotry in me and by his madness,
our portion, all of misery, given by Zeus
that we may live in song for men to come.
To whom the warlike Hector huge replied.
This time forbids to rest;
The Trojan bands, by hostile fury press'd,
Demand their Hector, and his arm require;
The combat urges, and my soul's on fire.
Urge thou thy knight to march where glory calls,
And timely join me, ere I leave the walls.
Ere yet I mingle in the direful fray,
My wife, my infant, claim a moment's stay;
This day (perhaps the last that sees me here)
Demands a parting word, a tender tear:
This day, some god who hates our Trojan land
May vanquish Hector by a Grecian hand.
Thus having said, crest-tossing Hector departed; and immediately he then arrived at his well-situated palace, nor did he find white-armed Andromache in the halls; but she stood lamenting and weeping on the tower, with her son and her well-robed maid. But Hector, when he found not his blameless wife within, went and stood at the threshold, and said to the female servants:
Come, please, tell me the truth now, women.
Where's Andromache gone? To my sisters’ house?
To my brothers’ wives with their long flowing robes?
Or Athena's shrine where the noble Trojan women
gather to win the great grim goddess over?
Since, Hector, truth is thy demand, receive
True answer. Neither went she forth to see
Her female kindred of thy father's house,
Nor to Minerva's temple, where convened
The bright-haired matrons of the city seek
To soothe the awful Goddess; but she went
Hence to the tower of Troy: for she had heard
That the Achaians had prevail'd, and driven
The Trojans to the walls; she, therefore, wild
With grief, flew thither, and the nurse her steps
Attended, with thy infant in her arms.
At this word Hektor whirled and left his hall,
taking the same path he had come by,
along byways, walled lanes, all through the town
until he reached the Skaian Gates, whereby
before long he would issue on the field.
There his warmhearted lady
came to meet him, running;
She, with his sight, made breathless haste to meet him: she whose grace Brought him withal so great a dow’r, she of all the race
Of king Aetion, only liv’d: Aetion, whose house stood
Beneath the mountain Placius, environ’d with the wood
Of Theban Hippoplace, being court to the Cilician land.
She ran to Hector, and with her, tender of heart and hand,
Her son, borne in his nurse’s arms: when like a heavenly sign,
Compact of many golden stars, the princely child did shine
Whom Hector call’d Scamandrius, but whom the town did name
Astynax, because his sire did only prop the same.
Hector, though grief did bereft his speech, yet smil’d upon his joy.
Andromache cried out, mix’d hands, and to the strength of Troy
Thus wept forth her affection:
Strange man! this thy valor will destroy thee; nor dost thou pity thy infant child and unhappy me, who very soon will be bereft of thee, for presently the Greeks will slay thee, all attacking thee at once. For me much better it were to sink into the earth, when bereft of thee; for there will no longer be any other comfort for me when thou shalt draw on thy destruction; but sorrows only. Nor have I father or venerable mother. For divine Achilles slew my father, and laid waste the well-inhabited city of the Cylicians, lofty-gated Thebes. He slew Eetion, but spoiled him not, he scrupled in his mind [to do] that; but he burned him together with his well-wrought arms, and heaped a tomb over him, and around [him] the mountain nymphs, daughters of Aegis-bearing Jove, planted elms. Moreover, the seven brothers besides, whom I had at home, all these indeed departed to Hades in one day. For divine, swift-footed Achilles slew them all, amid their crooked hoofed oxen and their snowy sheep. And my mother, who ruled in woody Hypoplacus, after that he had led her hither with other treasures, he sent back at liberty, having received countless ransom-gifts. But her the shaft-rejoicing Diana slew in my father's hall.
But, O Hector, to me thou art both father and venerable mother and brother; thou art also my blooming consort. But come now, pity me, and abide here in the tower, nor make thy child an orphan and thy wife a widow. And place a company at the wild fig-tree where the city is chiefly easy of ascent, and the wall can be scaled. For going to this very quarter, the bravest [of the Greeks] have thrice assaulted, the two Ajaces, and most renowned Idomeneus, and the sons of Atreus, and the brave son of Tydeus. Certainly some person well skilled in prophecy mentioned it to them, or their own mind impels and orders them.
The chief replied:
Wife, I too have thought upon all this, but with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win renown alike for my father and myself. Well do I know that the day will surely come when mighty Ilius shall be destroyed with Priam and Priam’s people, but I grieve for none of these – not even for Hecuba, nor King Priam, nor for my brothers many and brave who may fall in the dust before their foes – for none of these do I grieve as for yourself when the day shall come on which some one of the Achaeans shall rob you for ever of your freedom, and bear you weeping away. It may be that you will have to ply the loom in
Argos at the bidding of a mistress, or to fetch water from the springs Messeis or Hypereia, treated brutally by some cruel taskmaster; then will one say who sees you weeping, ‘She was wife to Hector, the bravest warrior among the Trojans during the war before Ilius.’ On this your tears will break forth anew for him who would have put away the day of captivity from you. May I lie dead under the barrow that is heaped over my body ere I hear your cry as they carry you into bondage.
Thus having spoke, the illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child,
The glittering terrors from his brows unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground;
Then kiss'd the child, and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferr'd a father's prayer:
and all immortals, may this child, my son,
become like me a prince among the Trojans.
Let him be strong and brave and rule in power
at Ilion; then someday men will say
'This fellow is far better than his father!'
seeing him home from war, and in his arms
the bloodstained gear of some tall warrior slain –
making his mother proud.
So Hector prayed
and placed his son in the arms of his loving wife.
Andromache pressed the child to her scented breast,
smiling through her tears. Her husband noticed,
and filled with pity now, Hector stroked her gently,
trying to reassure her, repeating her name:
Mourn not, my loved Andromache, for me
Too much; no man shall send me to the shades
Of Tartarus, ere mine allotted hour,
Nor lives he who can overpass the date
By heaven assign'd him, be he base or brave.
Go then, and occupy content at home
The woman's province; ply the distaff, spin
And weave, and task thy maidens. War belongs
To man; to all men; and of all who first
Drew vital breath in Ilium, most to me.
Thus having spoken, illustrious Hector took up the horse-haired helmet, and his beloved wife departed home, looking back from time to time, and shedding copious tears. Then immediately she reached the very commodious palace of man-slaying Hector, and within she found many maids, and in all of them she excited grief. They, indeed, bewailed in his own palace Hector still alive, for they thought that he would never return back again from battle, escaping the might and the hands of the Greeks.
And now was Paris come
From his high tow’rs; who made no stay, when once he had put on
His richest armour, but flew forth:
As a horse, stabled and fed, breaks loose and gallops gloriously over the plain to the place where he is wont to bathe in the fair-flowing
he tosses to the skies
His mane dishevell'd o'er his shoulders flies;
He snuffs the females in the distant plain,
And springs, exulting, to his fields again.
With equal triumph, sprightly, bold, and gay,
even so went forth Paris from high Pergamus, gleaming like
sunlight in his armour, and he laughed aloud as he sped swiftly on
his way. Forthwith he came upon his brother Hector, who was then
turning away from the place where he had held converse with his
wife, and he was himself the first to speak.
he said, have I delayed you, kept you waiting?
Have I not come at the right time, as you asked?
To whom the warlike Hector thus replied.
Impossible man! How could anyone fair and just
underrate your work in battle? You're a good soldier.
But you hang back of your own accord, refuse to fight.
And that, that's why the heart inside me aches
when I hear our Trojans heap contempt on you,
the men who bear such struggles all for you.
Come, now for attack! We'll set all this to rights,
someday, if Zeus will ever let us raise
the winebowl of freedom high in our halls,
high to the gods of cloud and sky who live forever –
once we drive these Argives geared for battle out of Troy!