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Then would the sons of the Achaeans have taken high-gated Troy by the hands of Patroclus, for around and before him he raged with his spear, [700] had not Phoebus Apollo taken his stand upon the well-builded wall thinking thoughts of bane for him, but bearing aid to the Trojans. Thrice did Patroclus set foot upon a corner of the high wall, and thrice did Apollo fling him back, thrusting against the bright shield with his immortal hands. [705] But when for the fourth time he rushed on like a god, then with a terrible cry Apollo spake to him winged words: “Give back, Zeus-born Patroclus. It is not fated, I tell thee, that by thy spear the city of the lordly Trojans shall be laid waste, nay, nor by that of Achilles, who is better far than thou.” [710] So spake he, and Patroclus gave ground a great space backward, avoiding the wrath of Apollo that smiteth afar. But Hector at the Scaean gate was staying his single-hoofed horses, for he was divided in mind, whether he should drive again into the turmoil and do battle, or should call to the host to gather them within the wall. [715] And while he pondered thus there drew nigh to him Phoebus Apollo in the likeness of a young man and a strong, even of Asius, that was uncle to horse-taming Hector, and own brother to Hecabe, but son of Dymas, that dwelt in Phrygia by the streams of Sangarius. [720] In his likeness spake Apollo, the son of Zeus, unto Hector: “Hector, wherefore dost thou cease from battle? It beseemeth thee not. I would that I were as much stronger than thou as I am weaker;then straightway would it be to thine own hurt that thou drawest back from the war. Nay, come, drive against Patroclus thy strong-hoofed horses, [725] if so be thou mayest slay him, and Apollo give thee glory.”

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 21.544
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