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“For not in the hands of Diomedes, son of Tydeus, [75] doth the spear rage, to ward off ruin from the Danaans, neither as yet have I heard the voice of the son of Atreus, shouting from his hated head; nay, it is the voice of man-slaying Hector that breaketh about me, as he calleth to the Trojans, and they with their din possess all the plain, and vanquish the Achaeans in battle. [80] Yet even so, Patroclus, in warding destruction from the ships fall thou upon them mightily, lest verily they burn the ships with blazing fire and rob the Greeks of their desired return. Howbeit do thou hearken, that I may put in thy mind the sum of my counsel, to the end that thou mayest win me great recompense and glory [85] at the hands of all the Danaans, and that they send back that beauteous girl, and therewithal give glorious gifts. When thou hast driven them from the ships, come back, and if the loud-thundering lord of Hera grant thee to win glory, be not thou fain apart from me to war [90] against the war-loving Trojans: thou wilt lessen mine honour. Nor yet do thou, as thou exultest in war and conflict, and slayest the Trojans, lead on unto Ilios, lest one of the gods that are for ever shall come down from Olympus and enter the fray; right dearly doth Apollo, that worketh afar, love them. [95] Nay, return thou back, when once thou hast set a light of deliverance amid the ships, and suffer the rest to battle over the plain. For I would, O father Zeus, and Athene, and Apollo, that no man of the Trojans might escape death, of all that there are, neither any of the Argives, but that we twain might escape destruction, [100] that alone we might loose the sacred diadem of Troy.” On this wise spake they one to the other, but Aias no longer abode, for he was sore beset with darts; the will of Zeus was overmastering him, and the lordly Trojans with their missiles; and terribly did the bright helm about his temples [105] ring continually, as it was smitten, for smitten it ever was upon the well-wrought cheek-pieces, and his left shoulder grew weary as he ever firmly held his flashing shield; nor might they beat it back about him, for all they pressed him hard with darts. And evermore was he distressed by laboured breathing, [110] and down from his limbs on every side abundant sweat kept streaming, nor had he any wise respite to get his breath withal, but every way evil was heaped upon evil.

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 8.111
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