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[85] So would many a one of Achaeans and Trojans speak. But Athene entered the throng of the Trojans in the guise of a man, even of Laodocus, son of Antenor, a valiant spearman, in quest of god-like Pandarus, if haply she might find him. And she found Lycaon's son, peerless and stalwart, [90] as he stood, and about him were the stalwart ranks of the shield-bearing hosts that followed him from the streams of Aesepus. Then she drew near, and spake to him winged words:“Wilt thou now hearken to me, thou wise-hearted son of Lycaon? Then wouldst thou dare to let fly a swift arrow upon Menelaus, [95] and wouldst win favour and renown in the eyes of all the Trojans, and of king Alexander most of all. From him of a surety wouldst thou before all others bear off glorious gifts, should he see Menelaus, the warlike son of Atreus, laid low by thy shaft, and set upon the grievous pyre. [100] Nay, come, shoot thine arrow at glorious Menelaus, and vow to Apollo, the wolf-born1 god, famed for his bow, that thou wilt sacrifice a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs, when thou shalt come to thy home, the city of sacred Zeleia.” So spake Athene, and persuaded his heart in his folly. [105] Straightway he uncovered his polished bow of the horn of a wild ibex, that himself on a time had smitten beneath the breast as it came forth from a rock, he lying in wait the while in a place of ambush, and had struck it in the chest, so that it fell backward in a cleft of the rock. From its head the horns grew to a length of sixteen palms; [110] these the worker in horn had wrought and fitted together, and smoothed all with care, and set thereon a tip of gold. This bow he bent, leaning it against the ground, and laid it carefully down; and his goodly comrades held their shields before him, lest the warrior sons of the Achaeans should leap to their feet [115] or ever Menelaus, the warlike son of Atreus, was smitten. Then opened he the lid of his quiver, and took forth an arrow, a feathered arrow that had never been shot, freighted2 with dark pains; and forthwith he fitted the bitter arrow to the string, and made a vow to Apollo, the wolf-born god, famed for his bow, [120] that he would sacrifice a glorious hecatomb of firstling lambs, when he should come to his home, the city of sacred Zeleia. And he drew the bow, clutching at once the notched arrow and the string of ox's sinew: the string he brought to his breast and to the bow the iron arrow-head. But when he had drawn the great bow into a round, [125] the bow twanged and the string sang aloud, and the keen arrow leapt, eager to wing its way amid the throng.

1 161.1

2 161.2

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 1.486
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