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And as the many tribes of winged fowl, [460] wild geese or cranes or long-necked swans on the Asian mead by the streams of Caystrius, fly this way and that, glorying in their strength of wing, and with loud cries settle ever onwards,1 and the mead resoundeth; even so their many tribes poured forth from ships and huts [465] into the plain of Scamander, and the earth echoed wondrously beneath the tread of men and horses. So they took their stand in the flowery mead of Scamander, numberless, as are the leaves and the flowers in their season. Even as the many tribes of swarming flies [470] that buzz to and fro throughout the herdsman's farmstead in the season of spring, when the milk drenches the pails, even in such numbers stood the long-haired Achaeans upon the plain in the face of the men of Troy, eager to rend them asunder. And even as goatherds separate easily the wide-scattered flocks of goats, [475] when they mingle in the pasture, so did their leaders marshal them on this side and on that to enter into the battle, and among them lord Agamemnon, his eyes and head like unto Zeus that hurleth the thunderbolt, his waist like unto Ares, and his breast unto Poseidon. [480] Even as a bull among the herd stands forth far the chiefest over all, for that he is pre-eminent among the gathering kine, even such did Zeus make Agamemnon on that day, pre-eminent among many, and chiefest amid warriors. Tell me now, ye Muses that have dwellings on Olympus— [485] for ye are goddesses and are at hand and know all things, whereas we hear but a rumour and know not anything—who were the captains of the Danaans and their lords. But the common folk I could not tell nor name, nay, not though ten tongues were mine and ten mouths [490] and a voice unwearying, and though the heart within me were of bronze, did not the Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus that beareth the aegis, call to my mind all them that came beneath Ilios. Now will I tell the captains of the ships and the ships in their order.2 Of the Boeotians Peneleos and Leïtus were captains, [495] and Arcesilaus and Prothoënor and Clonius; these were they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky Aulis and Schoenus and Scolus and Eteonus with its many ridges, Thespeia, Graea, and spacious Mycalessus; and that dwelt about Harma and Eilesium and Erythrae; [500] and that held Eleon and Hyle and Peteon, Ocalea and Medeon, the well-built citadel, Copae, Eutresis, and Thisbe, the haunt of doves; that dwelt in Coroneia and grassy Haliartus, and that held Plataea and dwelt in Glisas; [505] that held lower Thebe, the well-built citadel, and holy Onchestus, the bright grove of Poseidon; and that held Arne, rich in vines, and Mideia and sacred Nisa and Anthedon on the seaboard. Of these there came fifty ships, and on board of each [510] went young men of the Boeotians an hundred and twenty.

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