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And Nestor was met by the kings, fostered of Zeus, as they went up from the ships, even all they that had been smitten with the bronze, the son of Tydeus, and Odysseus, and Atreus' son, Agamemnon. [30] Far apart from the battle were their ships drawn up on the shore of the grey sea; for these had they drawn up to land in the foremost row, but had builded the wall close to the hindmost.1 For albeit the beach was wide, yet might it in no wise hold all the ships, and the host was straitened; [35] wherefore they had drawn up the ships row behind row, and had filled up the wide mouth of all the shore that the headlands shut in between them. The kings therefore were faring all in one body, leaning each on his spear, to look upon the war and the combat, and grieved were the hearts in their breasts. [40] And old Nestor met them, and made the spirit to quail in the breasts of the Achaeans. Then lord Agamemnon lifted up his voice and spake to him:“O Nestor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Achaeans, wherefore hast thou left the war, the bane of men, and come hither? I fear me lest in sooth mighty Hector make good his word and the threats wherewith on a time he threatened us, [45] as he spake amid the Trojans, even that he would not return to Ilios from the ships till he had burned the ships with fire and furthermore slain the men. On this wise spake he, and now all this is verily being brought to pass. Out upon it! surely the other well-greaved Achaeans [50] are laying up wrath against me in their hearts, even as doth Achilles, and have no mind to fight by the sterns of the ships.” Then made answer to him the horseman Nestor of Gerenia:“Yea, verily, these things have now been brought to pass and are here at hand, neither could Zeus himself, that thundereth on high, fashion them otherwise. [55] For, lo, the wall has been thrown down, wherein we put our trust that it should be an unbreakable bulwark for our ships and ourselves. And the foemen at the swift ships maintain a ceaseless fight, and make no end; nor couldst thou any more tell, wert thou to look never so closely, from what side the Achaeans are driven in rout, [60] so confusedly are they slain, and the cry of battle goeth up to heaven. But for us, let us take thought how these things are to be, if so be wit may aught avail. But into the war I bid not that we should enter; in no wise may a wounded man do battle.”

1 69.1

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO DEMETER
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