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So they spake, and Aias arrayed him in gleaming bronze. But when he had clothed about his flesh all his armour, then sped he in such wise as huge Ares goeth forth when he enters into battle amid warriors whom the son of Cronos [210] hath brought together to contend in the fury of soul-devouring strife. Even in such wise sprang forth huge Aias, the bulwark of the Achaeans, with a smile on his grim face; and he went with long strides of his feet beneath him, brandishing his far-shadowing spear. Then were the Argives glad as they looked upon him, [215] but upon the Trojans crept dread trembling on the limbs of every man, and Hector's own heart beat fast within his breast. Howbeit in no wise could he any more flee or shrink back into the throng of the host, seeing he had made challenge to fight. So Aias drew near, bearing his shield that was like a city wall, [220] a shield of bronze with sevenfold bull's-hide, the which Tychius had wrought with toil, he that was far best of workers in hide, having his home in Hyle, who had made him his flashing shield of seven hides of sturdy bulls, and thereover had wrought an eighth layer of bronze. This Telamonian Aias bare before his breast, [225] and he came and stood close by Hector, and spake threatening: “Hector, now verily shalt thou know of a surety, man to man, what manner of chieftains there be likewise among the Danaans, even after Achilles, breaker of the ranks of men, the lion-hearted. Howbeit he abideth amid his beaked seafaring ships [230] in utter wrath against Agamemnon, Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; yet are we such as to face thee, yea, full many of us. But begin thou war and battle.” To him then made answer great Hector of the flashing helm:“Aias, sprung from Zeus, thou son of Telamon, captain of the host, [235] in no wise make thou trial of me as of some puny boy or a woman that knoweth not deeds of war. Nay, full well know I battles and slayings of men. I know well how to wield to right, and well how to wield to left my shield of seasoned hide, which I deem a sturdy thing to wield in fight; [240] and I know how to charge into the mellay of chariots drawn by swift mares; and I know how in close fight to tread the measure of furious Ares. Yet am I not minded to smite thee, being such a one as thou art, by spying thee at unawares; but rather openly, if so be I may hit thee.”

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