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So spake he, and the valiant son of Anchises failed not to hearken. And the twain went straight forward, their shoulders clad with shields of bull's-hide, dry and tough, and abundant bronze had been welded thereupon. [495] And with them went Chromius, and godlike Aretus both,and their hearts within them were full of hope to slay the men and drive off the horses with high-arched necks—fools that they were! for not without shedding of blood were they to get them back from Automedon. He made prayer to father Zeus, and his dark heart within him was filled with valour and strength; [500] and forthwith he spake to Alcimedon, his trusty comrade: “Alcimedon, not afar from me do thou hold the horses, but let their breath smite upon my very back; for I verily deem not that Hector, son of Priam, will be stayed from his fury until he mount behind the fair-maned horses of Achilles, [505] and have slain the two of us, and driven in rout the ranks of the Argive warriors, or haply himself be slain amid the foremost.” So spake he, and called to the two Aiantes and to Menelaus: “Ye Aiantes twain, leaders of the Argives, and thou Menelaus, lo now, leave ye the corpse in charge of them that are bravest [510] to stand firm about it and to ward off the ranks of men; but from us twain that yet live ward ye off the pitiless day of doom, for here are pressing hard in tearful war Hector and Aeneas, the best men of the Trojans. Yet these things verily lie on the knees of the gods: [515] I too will cast, and the issue shall rest with Zeus.”

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