But Achilles went to and fro throughout the huts and let harness in their armour all the Myrmidons, and they rushed forth like ravening wolves in whose hearts is fury unspeakable—wolves that have slain in the hills a great horned stag, and rend him, and the jaws of all are red with gore;
and in a pack they go to lap with their slender tongues the surface of the black water from a dusky spring, belching forth the while blood and gore, the heart in their breasts unflinching, and their bellies gorged full; even in such wise the leaders and rulers of the Myrmidons sped forth
round about the valiant squire of the swift-footed son of Aeacus. And among them all stood warlike Achilles, urging on both horses and men that bear the shield.
Fifty were the swift ships which Achilles, dear to Zeus, led to Troy,
and in each ship at the thole-pins were fifty men, his comrades; and five leaders had he appointed in whom he trusted to give command, and himself in his great might was king over all. The one rank was led by Menesthius of the flashing corselet, son of Spercheius, the heaven-fed river.
Him did fair Polydora, daughter of Peleus, bear to tireless Spercheius, a woman couched with a god, but in name she bare him to Borus, son of Perieres, who openly wedded her, when he had given gifts of wooing past counting. And of the next company warlike Eudorus was captain,
the son of a girl unwed, and him did Polymele, fair in the dance, daughter of Phylas, bear. Of her the strong Argeiphontes became enamoured, when his eyes had sight of her amid the singing maidens, in the dancing-floor of Artemis, huntress of the golden arrows and the echoing chase. Forthwith then he went up into her upper chamber, and lay with her secretly,
even Hermes the helper,1
and she gave him a goodly son, Eudorus, pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior. But when at length Eileithyia, goddess of child-birth, had brought him to the light, and he saw the rays of the sun, then her did the stalwart and mighty Echecles, son of Actor,
lead to his home, when he had given countless gifts of wooing, and Eudorus did old Phylas nurse and cherish tenderly, loving him dearly, as he had been his own son. And of the third company warlike Peisander was captain, son of Maemalus, a man pre-eminent among all the Myrmidons
in fighting with the spear, after the comrade of the son of Peleus. And the fourth company did the old knight Phoenix lead, and the fifth Alcimedon, the peerless son of Laerces. But when at length Achilles had set them all in array with their leaders, duly parting company from company, he laid upon them a stern command: