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[295] So spake he, and Meriones, the peer of swift Ares, speedily took from the hut a spear of bronze, and followed Idomeneus with high thought of battle. And even as Ares, the bane of mortals, goeth forth to war, and with him followeth Rout, his son, valiant alike and fearless, [300] that turneth to flight a warrior, were he never so staunch of heart—these twain arm themselves and go forth from Thrace to join the Ephyri or the great-hearted Phlegyes, yet they hearken not to both sides, but give glory to one or the other; even in such wise did Meriones and Idomeneus, leaders of men, [305] go forth into the fight, harnessed in flaming bronze. And Meriones spake first to Idomeneus, saying:“Son of Deucalion, at what point art thou eager to enter the throng? On the right of all the host, or in the centre, or shall it be on the left? For verily, methinks, in no other place [310] do the long-haired Achaeans so fail in the fight.” And to him again Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, made answer:“Among the midmost ships there be others for defence, the two Aiantes, and Teucer, best of all the Achaeans in bowmanship, [315] and a good man too in close fight; these shall drive Hector, Priam's son, to surfeit of war, despite his eagerness, be he never so stalwart. Hard shall it be for him, how furious soever for war, to overcome their might and their invincible hands, and to fire the ships, unless the son of Cronos should himself [320] cast a blazing brand upon the swift ships. But to no man would great Telamonian Aias yield, to any man that is mortal, and eateth the grain of Demeter, and may be cloven with the bronze or crushed with great stones. Nay, not even to Achilles, breaker of the ranks of men, [325] would he give way, in close fight at least; but in fleetness of foot may no man vie with Achilles. But for us twain, do thou, even as thou sayest,make for the left of the host, that we may know forthwith whether we shall give glory to another or another to us.”

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