He led the way and mighty Ajax went with him. The Trojans had gathered round Odysseus like ravenous mountain jackals round the carcass of some horned stag that has been hit with an arrow - the stag has fled at full speed so long as his blood was warm and his strength has lasted, but when the arrow has overcome him, the savage jackals devour him in the shady glades of the forest. Then some daimôn sends a fierce lion thither, whereon the jackals flee in terror and the lion robs them of their prey - even so did Trojans many and brave gather round crafty Odysseus, but the hero stood at bay and kept them off with his spear. Ajax then came up with his shield before him like a wall, and stood hard by, whereon the Trojans fled in all directions. Menelaos took Odysseus by the hand, and led him out of the press while his squire [therapôn] brought up his chariot, but Ajax rushed furiously on the Trojans and killed Doryklos, a bastard son of Priam; then he wounded Pandokos, Lysandros, Pyrasus, and Pylartes; as some swollen torrent comes rushing in full flood from the mountains on to the plain, big with the rain of heaven - many a dry oak and many a pine does it engulf, and much mud does it bring down and cast into the sea - even so did brave Ajax chase the foe furiously over the plain, slaying both men and horses.
Hektor did not yet know what Ajax was doing, for he was fighting on the extreme left of the battle by the banks of the river Skamandros, where the carnage was thickest and the war-cry loudest round Nestor and brave Idomeneus. Among these Hektor was making great slaughter with his spear and furious driving, and was destroying the ranks that were opposed to him; still the Achaeans would have given no ground, had not Alexander husband of lovely Helen stayed the prowess of Machaon shepherd of his people, by wounding him in the right shoulder with a triple-barbed arrow. The Achaeans were in great fear that as the fight had turned against them the Trojans might take him prisoner,
and Idomeneus said to Nestor, "Nestor son of Neleus, honor to the Achaean name, mount your chariot at once; take Machaon with you and drive your horses to the ships as fast as you can. A physician is worth more than several other men put together, for he can cut out arrows and spread healing herbs."
Nestor horseman of Gerene did as Idomeneus had counseled; he at once mounted his chariot, and Machaon son of the famed physician Asklepios went with him. He lashed his horses and they flew onward nothing loath towards the ships, as though of their own free will.
Then Kebriones seeing the Trojans in confusion said to Hektor from his place beside him, "Hektor, here are we two fighting on the extreme wing of the battle, while the other Trojans are in pell-mell rout, they and their horses. Ajax son of Telamon is driving them before him; I know him by the breadth of his shield: let us turn our chariot and horses thither, where horse and foot are fighting most desperately, and where the cry of battle is loudest."
With this he lashed his goodly steeds, and when they felt the whip they drew the chariot full speed among the Achaeans and Trojans, over the bodies and shields of those that had fallen: the axle was bespattered with blood, and the rail round the car was covered with splashes both from the horses' hoofs and from the tires of the wheels. Hektor tore his way through and flung himself into the thick of the fight, and his presence threw the Danaans into confusion, for his spear was not long idle; nevertheless though he went among the ranks with sword and spear, and throwing great stones, he avoided Ajax son of Telamon, for Zeus would have been angry with him if he had fought a better man than himself.
Then father Zeus from his high throne struck fear into the heart of Ajax, so that he stood there dazed and threw his shield behind him- looking fearfully at the throng of his foes as though he were some wild beast, and turning hither and thither but crouching slowly backwards.
As peasants with their hounds chase a lion from their stockyard, and watch by night to prevent his carrying off the pick of their herd - he makes his greedy spring, but in vain, for the darts from many a strong hand fall thick around him, with burning brands that scare him for all his fury, and when morning comes he slinks foiled and angry away - even so did Ajax, sorely against his will, retreat angrily before the Trojans, fearing for the ships of the Achaeans. Or as some lazy ass that has had many a cudgel broken about his back, when he into a field begins eating the grain - boys beat him but he is too many for them, and though they lay about with their sticks they cannot hurt him; still when he has had his fill they at last drive him from the field - even so did the Trojans and their allies pursue great Ajax, ever smiting the middle of his shield with their darts. Now and again he would turn and show fight, keeping back the battalions of the Trojans, and then he would again retreat; but he prevented any of them from making his way to the ships. Single-handed he stood midway between the Trojans and Achaeans: the spears that sped from their hands stuck some of them in his mighty shield, while many, though thirsting for his blood, fell to the ground ere they could reach him to the wounding of his fair flesh.