Meanwhile the Cicones went and called to other Cicones who were their neighbors, at once more numerous and braver than they—men that dwelt inland and were skilled
at fighting with their foes from chariots, and, if need were, on foot. So they came in the morning, as thick as leaves or flowers spring up in their season; and then it was that an evil fate from Zeus beset us luckless men, that we might suffer woes full many. They set their battle in array and fought by the swift ships,
and each side hurled at the other with bronze-tipped spears. Now as long as it was morn and the sacred day was waxing, so long we held our ground and beat them off, though they were more than we. But when the sun turned to the time for the unyoking of oxen, then the Cicones prevailed and routed the Achaeans,
and six of my well-greaved comrades perished from each ship; but the rest of us escaped death and fate.
“Thence we sailed on, grieved at heart, glad to have escaped from death, though we had lost our dear comrades; nor did I let my curved ships pass on
till we had called thrice on each of those hapless comrades of ours who died on the plain, cut down by the Cicones. But against our ships Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, roused the North Wind with a wondrous tempest, and hid with clouds the land and the sea alike, and night rushed down from heaven.
Then the ships were driven headlong, and their sails were torn to shreds by the violence of the wind. So we lowered the sails and stowed them aboard, in fear of death, and rowed the ships hurriedly toward the land. There for two nights and two days continuously
we lay, eating our hearts for weariness and sorrow. But when now fair-tressed Dawn brought to its birth the third day, we set up the masts and hoisted the white sails, and took our seats, and the wind and the helmsmen steered the ships. And now all unscathed should I have reached my native land,
but the wave and the current and the North Wind beat me back as I was rounding Malea, and drove me from my course past Cythera