All counseling Zeus thundered loudly in answer to die prayer of the aged son of Neleus. When the heard Zeus thunder they flung themselves yet more fiercely on the Achaeans. As a wave breaking over the bulwarks of a ship when the sea runs high before a gale- for it is the force of the wind that makes the waves so great - even so did the Trojans spring over the wall with a shout, and drive their chariots onwards. The two sides fought with their double-pointed spears in hand-to-hand encounter-the Trojans from their chariots, and the Achaeans climbing up into their ships and wielding the long pikes that were lying on the decks ready for use in a sea-fight, jointed and shod with bronze.
Now Patroklos, so long as the Achaeans and Trojans were fighting about the wall, but were not yet within it and at the ships, remained sitting in the tent of good Eurypylos, entertaining him with his conversation and spreading herbs over his wound to ease his pain. When, however, he saw the Trojans swarming through the breach in the wall, while the Achaeans were clamoring and struck with panic, he cried aloud, and smote his two thighs with the flat of his hands. "Eurypylos," said he in his dismay, "I know you want me badly, but I cannot stay with you any longer, for there is hard fighting going on; a squire [therapôn] shall take care of you now, for I must make all speed to Achilles, and induce him to fight if I can; who knows but with the help of a daimôn I may persuade him. A man does well to listen to the advice of a friend."
When he had thus spoken he went his way. The Achaeans stood firm and resisted the attack of the Trojans, yet though these were fewer in number, they could not drive them back from the ships, neither could the Trojans break the Achaean ranks and make their way in among the tents and ships. As a carpenter's line gives a true edge to a piece of ship's timber, in the hand of some skilled workman whom Athena has instructed in all kinds of useful arts - even so level was the issue of the fight between the two sides, as they fought some round one and some round another.
Hektor made straight for Ajax, and the put up fierce struggle [ponos] over the same ship. Hektor could not force Ajax back and fire the ship, nor yet could Ajax drive Hektor from the spot to which a daimôn had brought him.
Then Ajax struck Kaletor son of Klytios in the chest with a spear as he was bringing fire towards the ship. He fell heavily to the ground and the torch dropped from his hand. When Hektor saw his cousin fallen in front of the ship he shouted to the Trojans and Lycians saying, "Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians good in close fight, bate not a jot, but rescue the son of Klytios lest the Achaeans strip him of his armor now that he has fallen in the struggle [agôn]."
He then aimed a spear at Ajax, and missed him, but he hit Lykophron a follower [therapôn] of Ajax, who came from Cythera
, but was living with Ajax inasmuch as he had killed a man among the Cythereans. Hektor's spear struck him on the head below the ear, and he fell headlong from the ship's prow on to the ground with no life left in him. Ajax shook with rage and said to his brother, "Teucer, my good man, our trusty comrade the son of Mastor has fallen, he came to live with us from Cythera
and whom we honored as much as our own parents. Hektor has just killed him; fetch your deadly arrows at once and the bow which Phoebus Apollo gave you."
Teucer heard him and hastened towards him with his bow and quiver in his hands. Forthwith he showered his arrows on the Trojans, and hit Kleitos the son of Pisenor, comrade of Polydamas the noble son of Panthoos, with the reins in his hands as he was attending to his horses; he was in the middle of the very thickest part of the fight, doing good service to Hektor and the Trojans, but evil had now come upon him, and not one of those who were fain to do so could avert it, for the arrow struck him on the back of the neck. He fell from his chariot and his horses shook the empty car as they swerved aside. King Polydamas saw what had happened, and was the first to come up to the horses; he gave them in charge to Astynoos son of Protiaon, and ordered him to look on, and to keep the horses near at hand. He then went back and took his place in the front ranks.
Teucer then aimed another arrow at Hektor, and there would have been no more fighting at the ships if he had hit him and killed him then and there: but Teucer did not escape the notice [noos] of Zeus, who kept watch over Hektor and deprived him of his triumph, by breaking his bowstring for him just as he was drawing it and about to take his aim; on this the arrow went astray and the bow fell from his hands. Teucer shook with anger and said to his brother, "Alas, see how a daimôn thwarts us in all we do; he has broken my bowstring and snatched the bow from my hand, though I strung it this selfsame morning that it might serve me for many an arrow."