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“But as for valour, it is Zeus that increaseth it for men or minisheth it, even as himself willeth, seeing he is mightiest of all. But come, no longer let us talk thus like children, [245] as we twain stand in the midst of the strife of battle. Revilings are there for both of us to utter, revilings full many; a ship of an hundred benches would not bear the load thereof. Glib is the tongue of mortals, and words there be therein many and manifold, and of speech the range is wide on this side and on that. [250] Whatsoever word thou speakest, such shalt thou also hear. But what need have we twain to bandy strifes and wranglings one with the other like women, that when they have waxed wroth in soul-devouring strife go forth into the midst of the street [255] and wrangle one against the other with words true and false; for even these wrath biddeth them speak. But from battle, seeing I am eager therefor, shalt thou not by words turn me till we have fought with the bronze man to man; nay, come, let us forthwith make trial each of the other with bronze-tipped spears. He spake, and let drive his mighty spear against the other's dread and wondrous shield, and loud rang the shield about the spear-point. [260] And the son of Peleus held the shield from him with his stout hand, being seized with dread; for he deemed that the far-shadowing spear of great-hearted Aeneas would lightly pierce it through— [265] fool that he was, nor knew in his mind and heart that not easy are the glorious gifts of the gods for mortal men to master or that they give place withal. Nor did the mighty spear of wise-hearted Aeneas then break through the shield, for the gold stayed it, the gift of the god. Howbeit through two folds he drave it, yet were there still three, [270] for five layers had the crook-foot god welded, two of bronze, and two within of tin, and one of gold, in which the spear of ash was stayed.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO APOLLO
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