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Then Patroclus was first to cast with his bright spear [285] straight into the midst where men thronged the thickest, even by the stern of the ship of great-souled Protesilaus, and smote Pyraechmes, that had led the Paeonians, lords of chariots, out of Amydon, from the wide-flowing Axius. Him he smote on the right shoulder, [290] and backward in the dust he fell with a groan, and about him his comrades were driven in rout, even the Paeonians, for upon them all had Patroclus sent panic, when he slew their leader that was pre-eminent in fight. From out the ships then he drave them, and quenched the blazing fire. And half-burnt the ship was left there, [295] but the Trojans were driven in rout with a wondrous din, and the Danaans poured in among the hollow ships, and a ceaseless din arose. And as when from the high crest of a great mountain Zeus, that gathereth the lightnings, moveth a dense cloud away, and forth to view appear all mountain peaks, and high headlands, [300] and glades, and from heaven breaketh open the infinite air; even so the Danaans, when they had thrust back from the ships consuming fire, had respite for a little time; howbeit there was no ceasing from war. For not yet were the Trojans driven in headlong rout by the Achaeans, dear to Ares, from the black ships, [305] but still they sought to withstand them, and gave ground from the ships perforce.

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