and I will say so plainly, even at the risk of offending you - for sleeping and leaving all this trouble to yourself. He ought to be going about imploring aid from all the princes of the Achaeans, for we are in extreme danger."
And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, you may sometimes blame him justly, for he is often remiss and unwilling to exert himself - not indeed from sloth, nor yet lack of thought [noos], but because he looks to me and expects me to take the lead. On this occasion, however, he was awake before I was, and came to me of his own accord. I have already sent him to call the very men whom you have named. And now let us be going. We shall find them with the watch outside the gates, for it was there I said that we would meet them."
"In that case," answered Nestor, "the Argives will not blame him nor disobey his orders when he urges them to fight or gives them instructions."
With this he put on his shirt, and bound his sandals about his comely feet. He buckled on his purple coat, of two thicknesses, large, and of a rough shaggy texture, grasped his redoubtable bronze-shod spear, and wended his way along the line of the Achaean ships. First he called loudly to Odysseus peer of gods in counsel and woke him, for he was soon roused by the sound of the battle-cry. He came outside his tent and said, "Why do you go thus alone about the host, and along the line of the ships in the stillness of the night? What is it that you find so urgent?" And Nestor horseman of Gerene answered, "Odysseus, noble son of Laertes
, take it not amiss, for the Achaeans are in great sorrow [akhos]. Come with me and let us wake some other, who may advise well with us whether we shall fight or flee."
On this Odysseus went at once into his tent, put his shield about his shoulders and came out with them. First they went to Diomedes son of Tydeus, and found him outside his tent clad in his armor with his comrades sleeping round him and using their shields as pillows; as for their spears,
they stood upright on the spikes of their butts that were driven into the ground, and the burnished bronze flashed afar like the lightning of father Zeus. The hero was sleeping upon the skin of an ox, with a piece of fine carpet under his head; Nestor went up to him and stirred him with his heel to rouse him, upbraiding him and urging him to bestir himself. "Wake up," he exclaimed, "son of Tydeus. How can you sleep on in this way? Can you not see that the Trojans are encamped on the brow of the plain hard by our ships, with but a little space between us and them?"
On these words Diomedes leaped up instantly and said, "Old man, your heart is of iron; you rest not one moment from your labors [ponos]. Are there no younger men among the Achaeans who could go about to rouse the princes? There is no tiring you."
And Nestor horseman of Gerene made answer, "My son, all that you have said is true. I have good sons, and also many people who might call the chieftains, but the Achaeans are in the gravest danger; life and death are balanced as it were on the edge of a razor. Go then, for you are younger than I, and of your courtesy rouse Ajax and the fleet son of Phyleus."