“ I would, O father Zeus and Athene and Apollo, that I were young as when beside swift-flowing Celadon the Pylians and Arcadians that rage with spears gathered together and fought
beneath the walls of Pheia about the streams of Iardanus. On their side stood forth Ereuthalion as champion, a godlike man, bearing upon his shoulders the armour of king Areithous, goodly Areithous that men and fair-girdled women were wont to call the mace-man,
for that he fought not with bow or long spear, but with a mace of iron brake the battalions. Him Lycurgus slew by guile and nowise by might, in a narrow way, where his mace of iron saved him not from destruction. For ere that might be Lycurgus came upon him at unawares
and pierced him through the middle with his spear, and backward was he hurled upon the earth; and Lycurgus despoiled him of the armour that brazen Ares had given him. This armour he thereafter wore himself amid the turmoil of Ares, but when Lycurgus grew old within his halls
he gave it to Ereuthalion, his dear squire, to wear. And wearing this armour did Ereuthalion challenge all the bravest; but they trembled sore and were afraid, nor had any man courage to abide him. But me did my enduring heart set on to battle with him in my hardihood, though in years I was youngest of all. So fought I with him, and Athene gave me glory.
The tallest was he and the strongest man that ever I slew: as a huge sprawling bulk he lay stretched this way and that. Would I were now as young and my strength as firm, then should Hector of the flashing helm soon find one to face him. Whereas ye that are chieftains of the whole host of the Achaeans,
even ye are not minded with a ready heart to meet Hector face to face.”
So the old man chid them, and there stood up nine in all. Upsprang far the first the king of men, Agamemnon, and after him Tydeus' son, mighty Diomedes, and after them the Aiantes, clothed in furious valour,
and after them Idomeneus and Idomeneus' comrade Meriones, the peer of Enyalius, slayer of men, and after them Eurypylus, the glorious son of Euaemon; and upsprang Thoas, son of Andraemon, and goodly Odysseus; all these were minded to do battle with goodly Hector.
Then among them spake again the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia:“Cast ye the lot now from the first unto the last for him whoso shall be chosen; for he shall verily profit the well-greaved Achaeans and himself in his own soul shall profit withal, if so be he escape from the fury of war and the dread conflict.”