Iris fleet as the wind then answered, "Am I really, Poseidon, to take this daring and unyielding message to Zeus, or will you reconsider your answer? Sensible people are open to argument, and you know that the Erinyes always range themselves on the side of the older person."
Poseidon answered, "Goddess Iris, your words have been spoken in season. It is well when a messenger shows so much discretion. Nevertheless it cuts me to the very heart with grief [akhos] that any one should rebuke so angrily another who is his own peer, and of like empire with himself. Now, however, I will give way in spite of my displeasure; furthermore let me tell you, and I mean what I say - if contrary to the desire of myself, Athena driver of the spoil, Hera, Hermes, and King Hephaistos, Zeus spares steep Ilion
, and will not let the Achaeans have the great triumph of sacking it, let him understand that he will incur our implacable resentment."
Poseidon now left the field to go down under the sea [pontos], and sorely did the Achaeans miss him. Then Zeus said to Apollo, "Go, dear Phoebus, to Hektor, for Poseidon who holds the earth in his embrace has now gone down under the sea to avoid the severity of my displeasure. Had he not done so those gods who are below with Kronos would have come to hear of the fight between us. It is better for both of us that he should have curbed his anger and kept out of my reach, for I should have had much trouble with him. Take, then, your tasseled aegis, and shake it furiously, so as to set the Achaean heroes in a panic; take, moreover, brave Hektor, O Far-Darter, into your own care, and rouse him to deeds of daring, till the Achaeans are sent fleeing back to their ships and to the Hellespont
. From that point I will think it well over, how the Achaeans may have a respite from their troubles [ponos]."
Apollo obeyed his father's saying, and left the crests of Ida, flying like a falcon, bane of doves and swiftest of all birds. He found Hektor no longer lying upon the ground, but sitting up, for he had just come to himself again. He knew those who were about him, and the sweat and hard breathing had left him from the moment when the will [noos] of aegis-bearing Zeus had revived him. Apollo stood beside him and said, "Hektor, son of Priam, why are you so faint, and why are you here away from the others? Has any mishap befallen you?"
Hektor in a weak voice answered, "And which, kind sir, of the gods are you, who now ask me thus? Do you not know that Ajax struck me on the chest with a stone as I was killing his comrades at the ships of the Achaeans, and compelled me to leave off fighting? I made sure that this very day I should breathe my last and go down into the house of Hades."
Then King Apollo said to him, "Take heart; the son of Kronos has sent you a mighty helper from Ida to stand by you and defend you, even me, Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who have been guardian hitherto not only of yourself but of your city. Now, therefore, order your horsemen to drive their chariots to the ships in great multitudes. I will go before your horses to smooth the way for them, and will turn the Achaeans in flight."
As he spoke he infused great strength into the shepherd of his people. And as a horse, stabled and full-fed, breaks loose and gallops gloriously over the plain to the place where he is wont to take his bath in the river - he tosses his head, and his mane streams over his shoulders as in all the pride of his strength he flies full speed to the pastures where the mares are feeding - even so Hektor, when he heard what the god said, urged his horsemen on, and sped forward as fast as his limbs could take him.
As country peasants set their hounds on to a horned stag or wild goat - he has taken shelter under rock or thicket, and they cannot find him, but, lo, a bearded lion whom their shouts have roused stands in their path, and they are in no further humor for the chase - even so the Achaeans were still charging on in a body, using their swords and spears pointed at both ends, but when they saw Hektor going about among his men they were afraid, and their hearts fell down into their feet.