Samuel Butler - Scroll 5

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Song lyrics:

[1] Then Pallas Athena put valor into the heart of Diomedes, son of Tydeus, that he might excel all the other Argives, and cover himself with glory [kleos]. She made a stream of fire flare from his shield and helmet

[5] like the star that shines most radiantly in summer after its bath in the waters of Okeanos even such a fire did she kindle upon his head and shoulders as she bade him speed into the thickest hurly-burly of the fight. Now there was a certain rich and honorable man among the Trojans,

[10] priest of Hephaistos, and his name was Dares. He had two sons, Phegeus and Idaios, both of them sk**ed in all the arts of war. These two came forward from the main body of Trojans, and set upon Diomedes, he being on foot, while they fought from their chariot. When they were close up to one another,

[15] Phegeus took aim first, but his spear went over Diomedes left shoulder without hitting him. Diomedes then threw, and his spear sped not in vain, for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the nipple, and he fell from

[20] his chariot. Idaios did not dare to bestride his brothers body, but sprang from the chariot and took to flight, or he would have shared his brothers fate; whereon Hephaistos saved him by wrapping him in a cloud of darkness, that his old father might not be utterly overwhelmed with grief;

[25] but the son of high-hearted Tydeus drove off with the horses, and bade his followers take them to the ships. The high-hearted Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of Dares, one of them in fright and the other lying dead by his chariot. Owl-vision Athena, therefore,

[30] took Ares by the hand and said, “Ares, Ares, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see to which of the two Zeus will grant the victory? Let us go away, and thus avoid his anger [mēnis].”

[35] So saying, she drew violent Ares out of the battle, and set him down upon the steep banks of the Skamandros. Upon this the Danaans drove the Trojans back, and each one of their chieftains k**ed his man. First King Agamemnon flung mighty Odios, chief of the Halizonoi, from his chariot.

[40] The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad of his back, just as he was turning in flight; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. Then Idomeneus k**ed Phaistos, son of Boros the Maeonian, who had come from Tarne. Mighty spear-renowned Idomeneus

[45] speared him on the right shoulder as he was mounting his chariot, and the darkness of d**h enshrouded him as he fell heavily from the car. The attendants [therapontes] of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armor, while Menelaos, son of Atreus, k**ed

[50] Skamandrios the son of Strophios, a mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Artemis herself had taught him how to k** every kind of wild creature that is bred in mountain forests, but neither she nor his famed sk** in archery could now save him,

[55] for the spear of Menelaos the spear-famed struck him in the back as he was fleeing; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, so that he fell headlong and his armor rang rattling round him. Meriones then k**ed Phereklos the son of Tekton, who was the son of Harmon,

[60] a man whose hand was sk**ed in all manner of cunning workmanship, for Pallas Athena had dearly loved him. He it was that made the ships for Alexandros, which were the beginning of all mischief, and brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on Alexandros himself; for he heeded not the decrees of the gods.

[65] Meriones overtook him as he was fleeing, and struck him on the right buttock. The point of the spear went through the bone into the bladder, and d**h came upon him as he cried aloud and fell forward on his knees. Meges, moreover, slew Pedaios, son of Antenor,

[70] who, though he was a bastard, had been brought up by lovely Theano as one of her own children, for the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus the spear-famed got close up to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck: it went under his tongue all among his teeth,

[75] so he bit the cold bronze, and fell dead in the dust. And Eurypylos, son of Euaimon, k**ed radiant Hypsenor, the son of high-hearted Dolopion, who had been made priest of the river Skamandros, and was honored in the locale [dēmos] as though he were a god. Eurypylos , the shining son of Euaimon, gave him chase

[80] as he was fleeing before him, smote him with his sword upon the arm, and lopped his strong hand from off it. The bloody hand fell to the ground, and the shades of d**h, with fate that no man can withstand, came over his eyes.

[85] Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son of Tydeus, you could not say whether he was more among the Achaeans or the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes,

[90] no walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from the sky, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste that many a strong man hand has reclaimed even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.

[95] Now when the shining son of Lykaon saw him scouring the plain and driving the Trojans pell-mell before him, he aimed an arrow and hit the front part of his cuira** near the shoulder: the arrow went right through the metal

[100] and pierced the flesh, so that the cuira** was covered with blood. Then the son of Lykaon shouted in triumph, “High-hearted Horsemen Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is wounded, and he will not hold out much longer if King

[105] Apollo was indeed with me when I sped here from Lycia.” Thus did he boast; but his arrow had not k**ed Diomedes, who withdrew and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelos, the son of Kapaneus. “Dear son of Kapaneus,” said he, “come down from your chariot,

[110] and draw the arrow out of my shoulder.” Sthenelos sprang from his chariot, and drew the arrow from the wound, whereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that had been made in his khiton. Then Diomedes of the great war cry prayed, saying,

[115] “Hear me, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, the one who cannot be worn down, if ever you loved my father well and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like now by me; grant me to come within a spears throw of that man and k** him. He has been too quick for me and has wounded me; and now he is boasting that

[120] I shall not see the light of the sun much longer.” Thus he prayed, and Pallas Athena heard him; she made his limbs supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up close to him and said, “Fear not, Diomedes, to do battle with the Trojans,

[125] for I have set in your heart the spirit of your father, the charioteer Tydeus. Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your eyes, that you know gods and men apart. If, then, any other god comes here and offers you battle,

[130] do not fight him; but should Zeus daughter Aphrodite come, strike her with your spear and wound her.” When she had said this owl-vision Athena went away, and the son of Tydeus again took his place among the foremost fighters,

[135] three times more fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that some mountain shepherd has wounded, but not k**ed, as he is springing over the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep. The shepherd has roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his flock,

[140] so he takes shelter under cover of the buildings, while the sheep, panic-stricken on being deserted, are smothered in heaps one on top of the other, and the angry lion leaps out over the sheep-yard wall. Even thus did strong Diomedes go furiously about among the Trojans. He k**ed Astynoos, and Hyperion, shepherd of his people,

[145] the one with a thrust of his spear, which struck him above the nipple, the other with a sword cut on the collarbone, that severed his shoulder from his neck and back. He let both of them lie, and went in pursuit of Abas and Polyidos, sons of the old man who read [krinein] dreams, Eurydamas:

[150] they never came back for him to read them any more dreams, for mighty Diomedes made an end of them. He then gave chase to Xanthos and Thoön, the two sons of Phainops, both of them very dear to him, for he was now worn out with age, and begat no more sons to inherit his possessions.

[155] But Diomedes took both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterly, for he nevermore saw them come home from battle alive, and his kinsmen divided his wealth among themselves. Then he came upon two sons of Priam,

[160] Ekhemmon and Khromios, as they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion fastens on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is feeding in a coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them both from their chariot and stripped the armor from their bodies.

[165] Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them back to the ships. When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find Pandaros the godlike. When he had found the brave son of Lykaon he said,

[170] “Pandaros, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your fame [kleos] as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your hands to Zeus and send an arrow at this man who is going so masterfully about,

[175] and has done such deadly work among the Trojans. He has k**ed many a brave man unless indeed he is some god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and has set his hand against them in his anger [mēnis].” And the son of Lykaon answered,

[180] “Aeneas, I take him for none other than the valiant son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor of his helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a god, but if he is the man I say he is,

[185] he is not making all this havoc without divine help, but has some god by his side who is shrouded in a cloud of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside when it had hit him. I have taken aim at him already and hit him on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastplate of his cuira**;

[190] and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the world below, but it seems that I have not k**ed him. There must be a god who is angry with me. Moreover I have neither horse nor chariot. In my fathers stables there are eleven excellent chariots, fresh from the builder, quite new, with cloths

[195] spread over them; and by each of them there stand a pair of horses, champing barley and rye; my old father Lykaon urged me again and again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to take chariots and horses with me

[200] that I might lead the Trojans in battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses, which had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in such a great gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left them at home and came on foot to Ilion

[205] armed only with my bow and arrows. These it seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two chieftains, the sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew blood surely enough, I have only made them still more furious. I did ill to take my bow down from its peg

[210] on the day I led my band of Trojans to lovely Ilion in Hectors service [kharis], and if ever I get home again to set eyes on my native place, my wife, and the greatness of my house, may some one cut my head off then and there

[215] if I do not break the bow and set it on a hot fire such pranks as it plays me.” Aeneas answered, “Say no more. Things will not mend till we two go against this man with chariot and horses

[220] and bring him to a trial of arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses of Tros can speed here and there over the plain in pursuit or flight.

[225] If Zeus again grants glory to the son of Tydeus they will carry us safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the whip and reins while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do you wait this mans onset while I look after the horses.”

[230] “Aeneas,” replied the shining son of Lykaon, “take the reins and drive; if we have to flee before the son of Tydeus the horses will go better for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice when they expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us out of the fight.

[235] The son of high-hearted Tydeus will then k** both of us and take the horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be ready for him with my spear.” They then mounted the chariot and drove full-speed

[240] towards the son of Tydeus. Sthenelos, shining son of Kapaneus, saw them coming and said to Diomedes, “Diomedes, son of Tydeus, man after my own heart, I see two heroes speeding towards you,

[245] both of them men of might the one a skilful archer, Pandaros son of Lykaon, the other, Aeneas, whose father is Anchises the blameless, while his mother is Aphrodite. Mount the chariot and let us retreat. Do not,

[250] I pray you, press so furiously forward, or you may get k**ed.” Darkly strong Diomedes looked angrily at him and answered: “Talk not of flight, for I shall not listen to you: I am of a lineage that knows neither flight nor fear, and my limbs are as yet unwearied.

[255] I am in no mind to mount, but will go against them even as I am; Pallas Athena bids me be afraid of no man, and even though one of them escape, their steeds shall not take both back again. I say further,

[260] and lay my saying to your heart if Athena sees fit to grant me the glory of k**ing both, stay your horses here and make the reins fast to the rim of the chariot; then be sure you spring Aeneas horses and drive them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks.

[265] They are of the stock that great Zeus of the wide brows gave to Tros in payment for his son Ganymede, and are the finest that live and move under the sun. King Anchises stole the blood by putting his mares to them without Laomedons knowledge,

[270] and they bore him six foals. Four are still in his stables, but he gave the other two to Aeneas. We shall win great glory [kleos] if we can take them.” Thus did they converse,

[275] but the other two had now driven close up to them, and the shining son of Lykaon spoke first. “Great and mighty son,” said he, “of noble Tydeus, my arrow failed to lay you low, so I will now try with my spear.”

[280] He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it from him. It struck the shield of the son of Tydeus; the bronze point pierced it and pa**ed on till it reached the breastplate. Then the shining son of Lykaon shouted out and said, “You are hit clean through the belly;

[285] you will not stand out for long, and the glory of the fight is mine.” But strong Diomedes all undismayed made answer, “You have missed, not hit, and before you two see the end of this matter one or other of you shall glut tough-shielded Ares with his blood.”

[290] With this he hurled his spear, and Athena guided it on to Pandaros nose near the eye. It went crashing in among his white teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his to tongue, coming out under his chin, and his glistening armor rang rattling round him

[295] as he fell heavily to the ground. The horses started aside for fear, and he was robbed of life [psukhē] and strength. Aeneas sprang from his chariot armed with shield and spear, fearing lest the Achaeans should carry off the body. He bestrode it as a lion in the pride of strength,

[300] with shield and on spear before him and a cry of battle on his lips resolute to k** the first that should dare face him. But the son of Tydeus caught up a mighty stone, so huge and great that as men now are it would take two to lift it; nevertheless he bore it aloft with ease unaided,

[305] and with this he struck Aeneas on the groin where the hip turns in the joint that is called the “cup-bone.” The stone crushed this joint, and broke both the sinews, while its jagged edges tore away all the flesh. The hero fell on his knees, and propped himself with his hand resting on the ground

[310] till the darkness of night fell upon his eyes. And now Aeneas, king of men, would have perished then and there, had not his mother, Zeus daughter Aphrodite, who had conceived him by Anchises when he was herding cattle, been quick to mark, and thrown her two white arms about the body of her dear son.

[315] She protected him by covering him with a fold of her own fair garment, lest some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and k** him. Thus, then, did she bear her dear son out of the fight. But Sthenelos the son of Kapaneus was not unmindful of the orders

[320] that Diomedes of the great war cry had given him. He made his own horses fast, away from the hurly-burly, by binding the reins to the rim of the chariot. Then he sprang upon Aeneas fluttering-maned horses and drove them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks.

[325] When he had so done he gave them over to his chosen comrade Deipylos, whom he valued above all others as the one who was most like-minded with himself, to take them on to the ships. He then remounted his own chariot, seized the reins, and drove with all speed in search of the son of Tydeus.

[330] Now the son of Tydeus was in pursuit of the Cyprian goddess, spear in hand, for he knew her to be feeble and not one of those goddesses that can lord it among men in battle like Athena or Enyo the waster of cities, and when at last after a long chase he caught her up,

[335] he flew at her and thrust his spear into the flesh of her delicate hand. The point tore through the ambrosial robe which the Graces had woven for her, and pierced the skin between her wrist and the palm of her hand, so that the immortal blood,

[340] or ikhōr, that flows in the veins of the blessed gods, came pouring from the wound; for the gods do not eat bread nor drink wine, hence they have no blood such as ours, and are immortal. Aphrodite wailed aloud, and let her son fall, but Phoebus Apollo caught him in his arms,

[345] and hid him in a cloud of darkness, lest some fast-mounted Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and k** him; and Diomedes of the great war cry shouted out as he left her, “Daughter of Zeus, leave war and battle alone, can you not be contented with beguiling silly women?

[350] If you meddle with fighting you will get what will make you shudder at the very name of war.” The goddess went dazed and discomfited away, and Iris, fleet as the wind, drew her from the throng, in pain and with her fair skin all besmirched.

[355] She found fierce Ares waiting on the left of the battle, with his spear and his two fleet steeds resting on a cloud; whereon she fell on her knees before her brother and implored him to let her have his horses. “Dear brother,” she cried, “save me, and give me your horses

[360] to take me to Olympus where the gods dwell. I am badly wounded by a mortal, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with father Zeus.” Thus she spoke, and Ares gave her his gold-bedizened steeds. She mounted the chariot sick and sorry at heart,

[365] while Iris sat beside her and took the reins in her hand. She lashed her horses on and they flew forward nothing loath, till in a trice they were at high Olympus, where the gods have their dwelling. There she stayed them, unloosed them from the chariot, and gave them their ambrosial forage;

[370] but bright Aphrodite flung herself on to the lap of her mother Dione, who threw her arms about her and caressed her, saying, “Which of the celestial beings has been treating you in this way, as though you had been doing something wrong in the face of day?”

[375] And laughter-loving Aphrodite answered, “Proud Diomedes, the son of high-hearted Tydeus, wounded me because I was bearing my dear son Aeneas, whom I love best of all humankind, out of the fight. The war is no longer one between Trojans and Achaeans,

[380] for the Danaans have now taken to fighting with the immortals.” “Bear it, my child,” replied Dione, shining among divinities, “and make the best of it. We dwellers in Olympus have to put up with much at the hands of men, and we lay much suffering on one another.

[385] Ares had to suffer when Otos and strong Ephialtes, children of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds, so that he lay thirteen months imprisoned in a vessel of bronze. Ares would have then perished had not fair Eeriboia, surpa**ingly lovely stepmother to the sons of Aloeus,

[390] told Hermes, who stole him away when he was already well-nigh worn out by the severity of his bondage. Hera, again, suffered when the mighty son of Amphitryon wounded her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow, and nothing could a**uage her pain. So, also, did huge Hadēs,

[395] when this same man, the son of aegis-bearing Zeus, hit him with an arrow even at the gates of Hadēs, and hurt him badly. Then Hadēs went to the house of Zeus on great Olympus, angry and full of grief [akhos]; and the arrow

[400] in his brawny shoulder caused him great anguish till Paieon healed him by spreading soothing herbs on the wound, for Hadēs was not of mortal mold. Daring, headstrong, evildoer who thought not of his sin in shooting the gods that dwell in Olympus.

[405] And now owl-vision Athena has egged this son of Tydeus on against yourself, fool that he is for not reflecting that no man who fights with gods will live long or hear his children prattling about his knees when he returns from battle.

[410] Let, then, the son of Tydeus, breaker of horses, see that he does not have to fight with one who is stronger than you are. Then shall his brave wife Aigialeia, high-spirited daughter of Adrastos, rouse her whole house from sleep, wailing for the loss of her wedded lord,

[415] Diomedes the bravest of the Achaeans.” So saying, she wiped the ikhōr from the wrist of her daughter with both hands, whereon the pain left her, and her hand was healed. But Athena and Hera, who were looking on, began to taunt Zeus son of Kronos with their mocking talk,

[420] and Athena was first to speak. “Father Zeus,” said she, “do not be angry with me, but I think the Cyprian must have been persuading some one of the Achaean women to go with the Trojans of whom she is so very fond, and while caressing one or other of them

[425] she must have torn her delicate hand with the gold pin of the womans brooch.” The father of gods and men smiled, and called golden Aphrodite to his side. “My child,” said he, “it has not been given you to be a warrior. Attend, henceforth, to your own delightful matrimonial duties,

[430] and leave all this fighting to sudden Ares and to Athena.” Thus did they converse. But Diomedes of the great war cry sprang upon Aeneas, though he knew him to be in the very arms of Apollo. Not one whit did he fear the mighty god,

[435] so set was he on k**ing Aeneas and stripping him of his armor. Thrice did he spring forward with might and main to slay him, and three times did Apollo beat back his gleaming shield. When he was coming on for the fourth time, equal [isos] to a superhuman force [daimōn], Apollo shouted to him with a terrifying voice and said,

[440] “Take heed, son of Tydeus, and draw off; think not to match yourself against gods, for men that walk the earth cannot hold their own with the immortals.” The son of Tydeus then gave way for a little space, to avoid the anger [mēnis] of the god, while Apollo

[445] took Aeneas out of the crowd and set him in sacred Pergamon, where his temple stood. There, within the mighty sanctuary, Leto and Artemis of the showering arrows healed him and made him glorious to behold, while Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a wraith

[450] in the likeness of Aeneas, and armed as he was. Round this the Trojans and radiant Achaeans hacked at the bucklers about one anothers breasts, hewing each others round shields and light hide-covered targets. Then Phoebus Apollo said to violent Ares,



[445] “Ares, Ares, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, can you not go to this man, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with father Zeus, and draw him out of the battle? He first went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and afterwards sprang upon me too, equal [isos] to a superhuman force [daimōn].”

[460] He then took his seat on the top of Pergamon, while manslaughtering Ares went about among the ranks of the Trojans, cheering them on, in the likeness of fleet Akamas chief of the Thracians. “Sons of Priam, the king whom the gods love, “ said he,

[465] “how long will you let your people be thus slaughtered by the Achaeans? Would you wait till they are at the walls of Troy? Aeneas the son of great-hearted Anchises has fallen, he whom we held in as high honor as radiant Hector himself. Help me, then, to rescue our brave comrade from the stress of the fight.”

[470] With these words he put heart and spirit into them all. Then Sarpedon rebuked Hector very sternly. “Hector,” said he, “where is your prowess now? You used to say that though you had neither people nor allies you could hold the town alone with your brothers and brothers-in-law.

[475] I see not one of them here; they cower as hounds before a lion; it is we, your allies, who bear the brunt of the battle. I have come from afar, even from Lycia and the banks of the whirling river Xanthos,

[480] where I have left my wife, my infant son, and much wealth to tempt whoever is needy; nevertheless, I head my Lycian warriors and stand my ground against any who would fight me though I have nothing here for the Achaeans to plunder,

[485] while you look on, without even bidding your men stand firm in defense of their wives. See that you fall not into the hands of your foes as men caught in the meshes of a net, and they destroy your fair city right then and there.

[490] Keep this before your mind night and day, and beseech the chiefs of your allies to hold on without flinching, and thus put away their reproaches from you.” So spoke Sarpedon, and Hector smarted under his words. 494 Straightaway he [= Hector] leapt out of his chariot, armor and all, hitting the ground,

[495] and went about among the army of warriors brandishing his two spears, exhorting the men to fight and raising the terrifying cry of battle. Then they rallied and again faced the Achaeans, but the Argives stood compact and firm, and were not driven back. As the breezes sport with the chaff upon some goodly threshing-floor,

[500] when men are winnowing while golden-haired Demeter blows with the wind to sort [krinein] the chaff from the grain, and the chaff-heaps grow whiter and whiter even so did the Achaeans whiten in the dust which the horses hoofs raised to the firmament of the sky,

[505] as their drivers turned them back to battle, and they bore down with might upon the foe. Fierce Ares, to help the Trojans, covered them in a veil of darkness, and went about everywhere among them, inasmuch as Phoebus Apollo of the glowing sword had told him

[510] that when he saw Pallas Athena leave the fray he was to put courage into the hearts of the Trojans for it was she who was helping the Danaans. Then Apollo sent Aeneas forth from his rich sanctuary, and filled his heart with valor, whereon he took his place among his comrades, who were overjoyed

[515] at seeing him alive, sound, and of a good courage; but they could not ask him how it had all happened, for they were too busy [ponos] with the turmoil raised by manslaughtering Ares and by Strife, who raged insatiably in their midst. The two Ajaxes, Odysseus and Diomedes,

[520] cheered the Danaans on, fearless of the fury and onset of the Trojans. They stood as still as clouds which the son of Kronos has spread upon the mountain tops when there is no air and fierce Boreas sleeps with the other

[525] boisterous winds whose shrill blasts scatter the clouds in all directions even so did the Danaans stand firm and unflinching against the Trojans. The son of Atreus went about among them and exhorted them. “My friends,” said he, “acquit yourselves like brave men,

[530] and shun dishonor in one anothers eyes amid the stress of battle. They that shun dishonor more often live than get k**ed, but they that flee save neither life nor fame [kleos].” As he spoke he hurled his spear and hit one of those who were in the front rank, the comrade of high-hearted Aeneas,

[535] Deikoön son of Pergasos, whom the Trojans held in no less honor than the sons of Priam, for he was ever quick to place himself among the foremost. The spear of powerful King Agamemnon struck his shield and went right through it, for the shield stayed it not. It drove through his belt into the lower part of his belly,

[540] and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. Then Aeneas k**ed two champions of the Danaans, Krethon and Orsilokhos. Their father was a rich man who lived in the strong city of Phere and was descended from the river

[545] Alpheus, whose broad stream flows through the land of the Pylians. The river begat Orsilokhos, who ruled over much people and was father to high-hearted Diokles, who in his turn begat twin sons, Krethon and Orsilokhos, well sk**ed in all the arts of war.

[550] These, when they grew up, went to Ilion with the Argive fleet for the honor [timē] of Menelaos and Agamemnon sons of Atreus, and there they both of them met their end [telos]. As two lions

[555] whom their dam has reared in the depths of some mountain forest to plunder homesteads and carry off sheep and cattle till they get k**ed by the hand of man, so were these two vanquished by Aeneas,

[560] and fell like high pine-trees to the ground. Brave Menelaos pitied them in their fall, and made his way to the front, clad in gleaming bronze and brandishing his spear, for Ares egged him on to do so with intent that he should be k**ed by Aeneas;

[565] but Antilokhos the son of high-hearted Nestor saw him and sprang forward, fearing that the king might come to harm and thus bring all their labor [ponos] to nothing; when, therefore Aeneas and Menelaos were setting their hands and spears against one another eager to do battle,

[570] Antilokhos placed himself by the side of Menelaos. Aeneas, bold though he was, drew back on seeing the two heroes side-by-side in front of him, so they drew the bodies of Krethon and Orsilokhos to the ranks of the Achaeans and committed the two poor men into the hands of their comrades.

[575] They then turned back and fought in the front ranks. They k**ed high-hearted Pylaimenes peer of Ares, leader of the Paphlagonian warriors. Menelaos the spear-famed son of Atreus struck him on the collar-bone as he was standing on his chariot,

[580] while Antilokhos hit his charioteer and attendant [therapōn] Mydon, the brave son of Atymnios, who was turning his horses in flight. He hit him with a stone upon the elbow, and the reins, enriched with white ivory, fell from his hands into the dust. Antilokhos rushed towards him and struck him on the temples with his sword,

[585] whereon he fell head-first from the chariot to the ground. There he stood for a while with his head and shoulders buried deep in the dust for he had fallen on sandy soil till his horses kicked him and laid him flat on the ground, as Antilokhos lashed them and drove them off to the army of the Achaeans.

[590] But Hector marked them from across the ranks, and with a loud cry rushed towards them, followed by the strong battalions of the Trojans. Ares and dread goddess Enyo led them on, she fraught with ruthless turmoil of battle, while Ares wielded a monstrous spear, and went about,

[595] now in front of Hector and now behind him. Diomedes of the great war cry shook with pa**ion as he saw them. As a man crossing a wide plain is dismayed to find himself on the brink of some great river rolling swiftly to the sea he sees its boiling waters and starts back in fear

[600] even so did the son of Tydeus give ground. Then he said to his men, “My friends, how can we wonder that glorious Hector wields the spear so well? Some god is ever by his side to protect him, and now Ares is with him in the likeness of mortal man.

[605] Keep your faces therefore towards the Trojans, but give ground backwards, for we dare not fight with gods.” As he spoke the Trojans drew close up, and Hector k**ed two men, both in one chariot, Menesthes and Ankhialos, heroes well versed in war.

[610] Great Ajax son of Telamon pitied them in their fall; he came close up and hurled his spear, hitting Amphios the son of Selagos, a man of great wealth who lived in Paesus and owned much wheat-growing land, but his lot had led him to come to the aid of Priam and his sons.

[615] Telemonian Ajax struck him in the belt; the spear pierced the lower part of his belly, and he fell heavily to the ground. Then shining Ajax ran towards him to strip him of his armor, but the Trojans rained spears upon him, many of which fell upon his shield.

[620] He planted his heel upon the body and drew out his spear, but the darts pressed so heavily upon him that he could not strip the goodly armor from his shoulders. The Trojan chieftains, moreover, many and valiant, came about him with their spears, so that he dared not stay;

[625] great, brave and valiant though he was, they drove him from them and he was beaten back. Thus, then, did the battle rage between them. Presently the strong hand of fate impelled Tlepolemos, the son of Herakles, a man both brave and of great stature, to fight godlike Sarpedon;

[630] so the two, son and grandson of great Zeus, drew near to one another, and Tlepolemos spoke first. “Sarpedon,” said he, “councilor of the Lycians, why should you come skulking here you who are a man of peace?

[635] They lie who call you son of aegis-bearing Zeus, for you are little like those who were of old his children. Far other was Herakles, my own brave and lion-hearted father,

[640] who came here for the horses of Laomedon, and though he had six ships only, and few men to follow him, destroyed the city of Ilion and made a wilderness of her highways. You are a coward, and your people are falling from you. For all your strength, and all your coming from Lycia,

[645] you will be no help to the Trojans but will pa** the gates of Hadēs vanquished by my hand.” And Sarpedon, chief of the Lycians, answered, “Tlepolemos, your father overthrew Ilion by reason of haughty Laomedons folly

[650] in refusing payment to one who had served him well. He would not give your father the horses which he had come so far to fetch. As for yourself, you shall meet d**h by my spear. You shall yield glory to myself, and your spirit [psukhē] to Hadēs of the noble steeds.”

[655] Thus spoke Sarpedon, and Tlepolemos upraised his spear. They threw at the same moment, and Sarpedon struck his foe in the middle of his throat; the spear went right through, and the darkness of d**h fell upon his eyes.

[660] Tlepolemos spear struck Sarpedon on the left thigh with such force that it tore through the flesh and grazed the bone, but his father as yet warded off destruction from him. His comrades bore godlike Sarpedon out of the fight, in great pain by the weight of the spear

[665] that was dragging from his wound. They were in such haste and stress [ponos] as they bore him that no one thought of drawing the spear from his thigh so as to let him walk uprightly. Meanwhile the strong-greaved Achaeans carried off the body of Tlepolemos, whereon radiant Odysseus

[670] was moved to pity, and panted for the fray as he beheld them. He doubted whether to pursue the son of Zeus the loud-thundering, or to make slaughter of the Lycian rank and file; it was not decreed, however,

[675] that he should slay the son of Zeus; Athena, therefore, turned him against the main body of the Lycians. He k**ed Koiranos, Alastor, Khromios, Alkandros, Halios, Noemon, and Prytanis, and would have slain yet more,

[680] had not great Hector marked him, and sped to the front of the fight clad in his suit of mail, filling the Danaans with terror. Sarpedon was glad when he saw him coming, and besought him, saying, “Son of Priam, let me not be here to fall into the hands of the Danaans.

[685] Help me, and since I may not return home to gladden the hearts of my wife and of my infant son, let me die within the walls of your city.” Hector of the shining helmet made him no answer,

[690] but rushed onward to fall at once upon the Achaeans and k** many among them. His radiant comrades then bore godlike Sarpedon away and laid him beneath Zeus spreading oak tree. Pelagon, his friend and comrade,

[695] drew the spear out of his thigh, but Sarpedon lost control of his life-breath [psukhē], and a mist came over his eyes. Presently he came to again, for the breath of the north wind as it played upon him gave him new life, and brought him out of the deep swoon into which he had fallen. Meanwhile the Argives were neither driven towards their ships by Ares and bronze-armored Hector,

[700] nor yet did they attack them; when they knew that Ares was with the Trojans they retreated, but kept their faces still turned towards the foe. Who, then, was first and who last to be slain by Ares the brazen and Priams son Hector?

[705] They were valiant Teuthras, and Orestes the renowned charioteer, Trēkhos the Aetolian warrior, Oinomaos, Helenos the son of Oinops, and Oresbios of the gleaming belt, who was possessed of great wealth, and dwelt by the Cephisian lake

[710] with the other Boeotians who lived near him, owners of a fertile locale [dēmos]. Now when the goddess Hera saw the Argives thus falling, she said to Athena, “Alas, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, the one who cannot be worn down,

[715] the promise we made Menelaos that he should not return till he had destroyed the strong-walled city of Ilion will be of none effect if we let Ares rage thus furiously. Let us go into the fray at once.” Athena did not

[720] gainsay her. Then Hera, the august goddess, daughter of great Kronos, began to harness her gold-bedizened steeds. Hebe with all speed fitted on the eight-spoked wheels of bronze that were on either side of the iron axle-tree. The spikes of the wheels were of gold, imperishable,

[725] and over these there was a tire of bronze, wondrous to behold. The naves of the wheels were silver, turning round the axle upon either side. The car itself was made with plaited bands of gold and silver, and it had a double top-rail running all round it. From the body of the car there went a pole of silver,

[730] on to the end of which she bound the golden yoke, with the bands of gold that were to go under the necks of the horses. Then Hera put her steeds under the yoke, eager for battle and the war-cry. Meanwhile Athena, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, flung her pattern-woven peplos,

[735] made with her own hands, on to her fathers threshold, and donned the khiton of Zeus, arming herself for battle. She threw her ta**eled aegis about her shoulders, wreathed round with Rout as with a fringe,

[740] and on it were Strife, and Strength, and Panic whose blood runs cold; moreover there was the head of the dread monster Gorgon, grim and terrifying to behold, portent of aegis-bearing Zeus. On her head she set her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to a peak both in front and behind decked with the emblems of a hundred cities;

[745] then she stepped into her flaming chariot and grasped the spear, so stout and sturdy and strong, with which she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her. Hera lashed the horses on, and the gates of the sky bellowed as they flew open of their own accord gates over which the Seasons [hōrai] preside,

[750] in whose hands are Heaven and Olympus, either to open the dense cloud that hides them, or to close it. Through these the goddesses drove their obedient steeds, and found the son of Kronos sitting all alone on the topmost ridges of Olympus.

[755] There Hera of the white arms stayed her horses, and spoke to Zeus the son of Kronos, lord of all. “Father Zeus,” said she, “are you not angry with Ares for these high doings? How great and goodly an army of the Achaeans he has destroyed to my great grief [akhos], and without either right or reason [kosmos],

[760] while the Cyprian and Apollo are enjoying it all at their ease and setting this unrighteous madman on to keep on doing things that are not right [themis]. I hope, Father Zeus, that you will not be angry if I hit Ares hard, and chase him out of the battle.” And Zeus answered,

[765] “Set Athena on to him, for she punishes him more often than any one else does.” Hera of the white arms did as he had said. She lashed her horses, and they flew forward nothing loath midway betwixt earth and sky.

[770] As far as a man can see when he looks out upon the sea [pontos] from some high beacon, so far can the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a single bound. When they reached Troy and the place where its two flowing streams Simoeis and Skamandros meet,

[775] there Hera of the white arms stayed them and took them from the chariot. She hid them in a thick cloud, and Simoeis made ambrosia spring up for them to eat; the two goddesses then went on, flying like turtledoves in their eagerness to help the Argives.

[780] When they came to the part where the bravest and most in number were gathered about mighty Diomedes, breaker of horses, fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and endurance, there Hera stood still and raised a shout

[785] like that of high-hearted brazen-voiced Stentor, whose cry was as loud as that of fifty men together. “Argives,” she cried; “shame [aidōs] on cowardly creatures, brave in semblance only; as long as Achilles was fighting, his spear was so deadly

[790] that the Trojans dared not show themselves outside the Dardanian gates, but now they come out far from the city and fight even at your ships.” With these words she put heart and spirit into them all, while owl-vision Athena sprang to the side of the son of Tydeus, whom she found near his chariot and horses,

[795] cooling the wound that Pandaros had given him. For the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight of his shield irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain, and he was lifting up the strap to wipe away the blood. The goddess laid her hand on the yoke of his horses and said,

[800] “The son of Tydeus is not such another as his father. Tydeus was a little man, but he could fight, and rushed madly into the fray even when I told him not to do so. When he went all unattended as envoy to the city of Thebes among the Kadmeians,

[805] I bade him feast in their houses and be at peace; but with that high spirit which was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the Kadmeians, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you,

[810] and I bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are tired out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I say that you are no true son of Tydeus the son of high-spirited Oineus.” Powerful Diomedes answered,

[815] “I know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed gods;

[820] but if Zeus daughter Aphrodite came into battle I was to wound her with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding the other Argives gather in this place, for I know that Ares is now lording it in the field.”

[825] “Diomedes, son of Tydeus,” replied owl-vision goddess Athena, “man after my own heart, fear neither Ares nor any other of the immortals, for I will befriend you. No, drive straight at violent Ares,

[830] and smite him in close combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate, first on one side and then on the other. But now he was holding talk with Hera and myself, saying he would help the Argives and attack the Trojans; nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has forgotten the Argives.”

[835] With this she caught hold of Sthenelos and lifted him off the chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground, whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the side of radiant Diomedes. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of the terrifying goddess and the hero;

[840] Pallas Athena took the whip and reins, and drove straight at Ares. He was in the act of stripping huge Periphas, shining son of Okhesios and bravest of the Aetolians. Bloody Ares was stripping him of his armor, and Athena

[845] donned the helmet of Hadēs, that he might not see her; when, therefore, he saw Diomedes, breaker of horses, he made straight for him and let Periphas lie where he had fallen.

[850] As soon as they were at close quarters he let fly with his bronze spear over the reins and yoke, thinking to take Diomedes life, but owl-vision Athena caught the spear in her hand and made it fly harmlessly over the chariot.

[855] Diomedes of the great war cry then threw, and Pallas Athena drove the spear into the pit of the stomach of brazen Ares, where his under-belt went round him. There Diomedes wounded him, tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his spear out again. Ares roared

[860] as loudly as nine or ten thousand men in the thick of a fight, and the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with panic, so terrifying was the cry he raised. As a dark cloud in the sky

[865] when it comes on to blow after heat, even so did Diomedes son of Tydeus see Ares the brazen ascend into the broad sky. With all speed he reached high Olympus, home of the gods, and in great pain sat down beside Zeus the son of Kronos, grieving in his spirit.

[870] He showed Zeus the immortal blood that was flowing from his wound, and spoke piteously, saying, “Father Zeus, are you not angered by such doings? We gods are continually suffering in the most cruel manner at one anothers hands while performing service [kharis] to mortals;

[875] and we all owe you a grudge for having begotten that mad termagant of a daughter, who is always committing outrage of some kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her you neither scold nor punish;

[880] you encourage her because the pestilent creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting proud Diomedes son of Tydeus to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then he sprang upon me too, equal [isos] to a superhuman force [daimōn].

[885] Had I not run for it I must either have lain there for long enough in torments among the ghastly corpses, or have been eaten alive with spears till I had no more strength left in me.” Zeus looked angrily at him and said, “Do not come whining here, you who face both ways.

[890] I hate you worst of all the gods in Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Hera: it is all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now in this plight:

[895] still, I cannot let you remain longer in such great pain; you are my own off-spring, and it was by me that your mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should have been lying lower than the Titans.” He then bade Paieon heal him,

[900] whereon Paieon spread pain-k**ing herbs upon his wound and cured him, for he was not of mortal mold. As the juice of the fig-tree curdles milk, and thickens it in a moment though it is liquid, even so instantly did Paieon cure fierce Ares.

[905] Then Hebe washed him, and clothed him in goodly raiment, and he took his seat by his father great Zeus all glorious to behold. But Hera of Argos and Athena of Alalkomene, now that they had put a stop to the murderous doings of Ares, went back again to the house of Zeus.

Date of text publication: 16.01.2021 at 22:26