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These, then, leaders of the Damans, slew each his man. And as murderous wolves fall upon lambs or kids, choosing them from out the flocks, when through the witlessness of the shepherd they are scattered among the mountains, and the wolves seeing it, [355] forthwith harry the young whose hearts know naught of valour; even so the Damans fell upon the Trojans, and they bethougnt them of ill-sounding flight, and forgat their furious valour. And the great Aias was ever fain to cast his spear at Hector, harnessed in bronze, but he in his cunning of war, his broad shoulders [360] covered with shield of bull's-hide, ever watched the whirring of arrows and the hurtling of spears. In sooth he knew the tide of victory was turning, but even so he abode, and sought to save his trustv comrades. And as when from Olympus a cloud fareth toward heaven [365] out of the bright air, when Zeus spreadeth forth the tempest, even so from the ships came the shouting and the rout of these; nor was it in good order that they crossed the trench again. Hector verily did his swift-footed horses bear forth with his battle-gear, and he left tbe hosts of Troy, whom the digged trench held back against their will. [370] And in the trench many pairs of swift horses, drawers of chariots, brake the pole at the end, and left the chariots of their lords. But Patroclus followed after, calling fiercely to the Danaans, with purpose of evil toward the Trojans, while they with shouting and in flight filled all the ways, now that their ranks were broken; [375] and on high a cloud of dust was spread up beneath the clouds, and the single-hoofed horses strained back toward the city from the ships and the huts. And Patroclus, wheresoever he saw the greatest throng huddled in rout, thither would with shouting; and beneath his axle-trees men kept falling headlong from their cars, and the chariots were overturned. [380] And straight over the trench leapt the swift horses—the immortal horses that the gods gave as glorious gifts to Peleus—in their onward flight, and against Hector did the heart of Patroclus urge him on, for he was fain to smite him; but his swift horses ever bare Hector forth. And even as beneath a tempest the whole black earth is oppressed, [385] on a day in harvest-time, when Zeus poureth forth rain most violently, whenso in anger he waxeth wroth against men that by violence give crooked judgments in the place of gathering, and drive justice out, recking not of the vengeance of the gods; and all their rivers flow in flood, [390] and many a hillside do the torrents furrow deeply, and down to the dark sea they rush headlong from the mountains with a mighty roar, and the tilled fields of men are wasted; even so1 mighty was the roar of the mares of Troy as they sped on.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 13.326
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