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So spake he, and there arose the might of the prince Teucer, [860] and Meriones the valiant squire of Idomeneus. Then took they the lots and shook them in a helmet of bronze, and Teucer drew by lot the first place. Forthwith he let fly an arrow with might, howbeit he vowed not that he would sacrifice to the king a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs. [865] So he missed the bird, for Apollo grudged him that, but hit the cord beside its foot wherewith the bird was tied, and clean away the bitter arrow cut the cord. Then the dove darted skyward, and the cord hung loose toward earth; and the Achaeans shouted aloud. [870] But Meriones speedily snatched the bow from Teucer's hand—an arrow had he long been holding while Teucer aimed—and vowed forthwith that he would sacrifice to Apollo that smiteth afar a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs. High up beneath the cloud he spied the timorous dove; [875] there as she circled round he struck her in the midst beneath the wing, and clean through passed the shaft, and fell again and fixed itself in the ground before the foot of Meriones; but the dove, lighting on the mast of the dark-prowed ship, hung down her head, and her thick plumage drooped. [880] Swiftly the life fled from her limbs, and she fell far from the mast; and the people gazed thereon and were seized with wonder. And Meriones took up all ten double axes, and Teucer bare the single to the hollow ships. Then the son of Peleus brought and set in the place of gathering a far-shadowing spear [885] and a cauldron, that the fire had not yet touched, of an ox's worth, embossed with flowers; and men that were hurlers of javelins arose. Up rose the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon and Meriones, the valiant squire of Idomeneus. But among them spake swift-footed, goodly Achilles: [890] “Son of Atreus, we know how far thou excellest all, and how far thou art the best in might and in the casting of the spear; nay, take thou this prize and go thy way to the hollow ships; but the spear let us give to the warrior Meriones, if thy heart consenteth thereto: so at least would I have it:” [895] So spake he, and the king of men, Agamemnon, failed not to hearken. Then to Meriones he gave the spear of bronze, but the warrior handed to the herald Talthybius the beauteous prize.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 1.337
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