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Her then were her feet bearing to Olympus, but the Achaeans fled with wondrous shouting from before man-slaying Hector, [150] and came to the ships and the Hellespont. Howbeit Patroclus, the squire of Achilles, might the well-greaved Achaeans not draw forth from amid the darts; for now again there overtook him the host and the chariots of Troy, and Hector, son of Priam, in might as it were a flame. [155] Thrice from behind did glorious Hector seize him by the feet, fain to drag him away, and called mightily upon the Trojans, and thrice did the two Aiantes, clothed in furious valour, hurl him back from the corpse. But he, ever trusting in his might, would now charge upon them in the fray, and would now stand [160] and shout aloud; but backward would he give never a whit. And as shepherds of the steading avail not in any wise to drive from a carcase a tawny lion when he hungereth sore, even so the twain warrior Aiantes availed not to affright Hector, Priam's son, away from the corpse. [165] And now would he have dragged away the body, and have won glory unspeakable, had not wind-footed, swift Iris speeding from Olympus with a message that he array him for battle, come to the son of Peleus, all unknown of Zeus and the other gods, for Hera sent her forth. And she drew nigh, and spake to him winged words: [170] “Rouse thee, son of Peleus, of all men most dread. Bear thou aid to Patroclus, for whose sake is a dread strife afoot before the ships. And men are slaying one another, these seeking to defend the corpse of the dead, while the Trojans charge on to drag him to windy Ilios; and above all glorious Hector [175] is fain to drag him away; and his heart biddeth him shear the head from the tender neck, and fix it on the stakes of the wall. Nay, up then, lie here no more! Let awe come upon thy soul that Patroclus should become the sport of the dogs of Troy. [180] Thine were the shame, if anywise he come, a corpse despitefully entreated.”1

1 301.1

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 18.121
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 9.556
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