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So spake he, and the other hearkened, and ran, and took his stand close beside him, bearing in his hand his bent-back bow and the quiver that held his arrows; and full swiftly did he let fly his shafts upon the Trojans. [445] And he smote Cleitus, the glorious son of Peisenor, comrade of Polydamas, the lordly son of Panthous, even as he was holding the reins in his hand, and was busied with his horses; for thither was he driving them, where the most battalions were being driven in rout, thus doing pleasure unto Hector and the Trojans. But full swiftly [450] upon himself came evil that not one of them could ward off, how fain soever they were. For upon the back of his neck lighted the arrow fraught with groanings, and he fell from the chariot, and thereat the horses swerved aside, rattling the empty car. And the prince Polydamas swiftly marked it, and was first to stride toward the horses. [455] These he gave to Astynous, son of Protiaon, and straitly enjoined him to hold them near at hand, watching him the while; and he himself went back and mingled with the foremost fighters. Then Teucer drew forth another arrow for Hector, harnessed in bronze, and would have made him cease from battle by the ships of the Achaeans, [460] had he but smitten him while he was showing his prowess and taken away his life. But he was not unmarked of the wise mind of Zeus, who guarded Hector, and took the glory from Teucer, son of Telamon. For Zeus brake the well-twisted string upon the goodly bow, even as he was drawing it against Hector, and his arrow [465] heavy with bronze was turned aside, and the bow fell from his hand. Then Teucer shuddered, and spake to his brother:“Now look you, in good sooth a god is utterly bringing to naught the counsels of our battle, in that he hath cast the bow from my hand, and hath broken the newly-twisted string that I bound fast [470] this morning that it might avail to bear the arrows that should leap thick and fast therefrom.” Then great Telamonian Aias answered him:“Aye, friend, but leave thou thy bow and thy many arrows to lie where they are, seeing that a god has confounded them, in malice toward the Danaans; but take thou in thy hand a long spear and a shield upon thy shoulder, [475] and do battle with the Trojans, and urge on the rest of the folk. Verily not without a struggle, for all they have overpowered us, shall they take our well-benched ships; nay, let us bethink us of battle.”

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