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Then again over Patroclus was strained taut the mighty conflict, dread and fraught with tears, and Athene roused the strife, [545] being come down from heaven; for Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, had sent her to urge on the Danaans, for lo, his mind was turned. As Zeus stretcheth forth for mortals a lurid1 rainbow from out of heaven to be a portent whether of war or of chill storm that [550] maketh men to cease from their work upon the face of the earth, and vexeth the flocks; even so Athene, enwrapping herself in a lurid cloud, entered the throng of the Danaans, and urged on each man. First to hearten him she spake to Atreus' son, valiant Menelaus, for he was nigh to her, [555] likening herself to Phoenix, in form and untiring voice: “To thee, verily, Menelaus, shall there be shame and a hanging of the head, if the trusty comrade of lordly Achilles he torn by swift dogs beneath the wall of the Trojans. Nay, hold thy ground valiantly, and urge on all the host.” [560] Then Menelaus, good at the war-cry, answered her: “Phoenix, old sire, my father of ancient days, would that Athene may give me strength and keep from me the onrush of darts. So should I be full fain to stand by Patroclus' side and succour him; for in sooth his death hath touched me to the heart. [565] Howbeit, Hector hath the dread fury of fire, and ceaseth not to make havoc with the bronze; for it is to him that Zeus vouchsafeth glory.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 4.335
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 4.75
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