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[735] Thus the twain were hasting to bear the corpse forth from out the battle to the hollow ships, and against them was strained a conflict fierce as fire that, rushing upon a city of men with sudden onset, setteth it aflame, and houses fall amid the mighty glare, and the might of the wind driveth it roaring on. [740] Even so against them as they went came ever the ceaseless din of chariots and of spearmen. But as mules that, putting forth on either side their great strength, drag forth from the mountain down a rugged path a beam haply, or a great ship-timber, and within them their hearts [745] as they strive are distressed with toil alike and sweat; even so these hasted to bear forth the corpse. And behind them the twain Aiantes held back the foe, as a ridge holdeth back a flood [750] —some wooded ridge that chanceth to lie all athwart a plain and that holdeth back even the dread streams of mighty rivers, and forthwith turneth the current of them all to wander over the plain, neither doth the might of their flood avail to break through it; even so the twain Aiantes ever kept back the battle of the Trojans, but these ever followed after and two among them above all others, even Aeneas, Anchises' son, and glorious Hector. [755] And as flieth a cloud of starlings or of daws, shrieking cries of doom, when they see coming upon them a falcon that beareth death unto small birds; so before Aeneas and Hector fled the youths of the Achaeans, shrieking cries of doom, and forgat all fighting. [760] And fair arms full many fell around and about the trench as the Danaans fled; but there was no ceasing from war.

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