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So saying, he led the way, and the other followed with him, a godlike man. [560] And the Argives did great Telamonian Aias urge on, saying:“My friends, be men, and take ye shame in your hearts, 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 springeth neither glory nor any avail.” [565] So spake he, and they even of themselves were eager to ward off the foe, but they laid up his word in their hearts, and fenced in the ships with a hedge of bronze; and against them Zeus urged on the Trojans. Then Menelaus, good at the war-cry, exhorted Antilochus:“Antilochus, none other of the Achaeans is younger than thou, [570] nor swifter of foot, nor valiant as thou art in fight; I would thou mightest leap forth, and smite some man of the Trojans.” He spake, and hasted back again himself, but aroused the other, and Antilochus leapt forth from amid the foremost fighters and, glancing warily about him, hurled with his bright spear, and back did the Trojans shrink [575] from the warrior as he cast. Not in vain did he let fly his spear, but smote Hicetaon's son, Melanippus, high of heart, as he was coming to the battle, upon the breast beside the nipple; and he fell with a thud, and darkness enfolded his eyes. And Antilochus sprang upon him, as a hound that darteth upon a wounded fawn, [580] that a hunter with sure aim hath smitten as it leapt from its lair, and hath loosed its limbs; even in such wise upon thee, O Melanippus, leapt Antilochus staunch in fight, to strip from thee thine armour. Howbeit he was not unseen of goodly Hector, who came running to meet him amid the battle; [585] and Antilochus abode not, swift warrior though he was, but fled like a wild beast that hath wrought some mischief—one that hath slain a hound or a herdsman beside his kine, and fleeth before the throng of men be gathered together; even so fled the son of Nestor; and the Trojans and Hector [590] with wondrous shouting poured forth upon him their darts fraught with groanings; but he turned and stood, when he had reached the host of his comrades.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 569
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