Ajax son of Telamon answered, "My good man, let your bow and your arrows be, for Zeus has made them useless in order to spite the Danaans. Take your spear, lay your shield upon your shoulder, and both fight the Trojans yourself and urge others to do so. They may be successful for the moment but if we fight as we ought they will find it a hard matter to take the ships." Teucer then took his bow and put it by in his tent. He hung a shield four hides thick about his shoulders, and on his comely head he set his helmet well wrought with a crest of horse-hair that nodded menacingly above it; he grasped his redoubtable bronze-shod spear, and forthwith he was by the side of Ajax.
When Hektor saw that Teucer's bow was of no more use to him, he shouted out to the Trojans and Lycians, "Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians good in close fight, be men, my friends, and show your mettle here at the ships, for I see the weapon of one of their chieftains made useless by the hand of Zeus. It is easy to see when Zeus is helping people and means to help them still further, or again when he is bringing them down and will do nothing for them; he is now on our side, and is going against the Argives. Therefore swarm round the ships and fight. If any of you is struck by spear or sword and loses his life, let him die; he dies with honor who dies fighting for his country; and he will leave his wife and children safe behind him, with his house and allotment unplundered if only the Achaeans can be driven back to their own land, they and their ships."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Ajax on the other side exhorted his comrades saying, "Shame [aidôs] on you Argives, we are now utterly undone, unless we can save ourselves by driving the enemy from our ships. Do you think, if Hektor takes them, that you will be able to get home by land? Can you not hear him cheering on his whole host to fire our fleet, and bidding them remember that they are not at a dance [khoros] but in battle? Our only thought [noos] and plan [mêtis] is to fight them with might and main; we had better chance it, life or death, once for all, than fight long and without issue hemmed in at our ships by worse men than ourselves."
With these words he put life [menos] and spirit [thumos] into them all. Hektor then killed Schedios son of Perimedes, leader of the Phoceans, and Ajax killed Laodamas leader of foot soldiers and son to Antenor. Polydamas killed Otos of Cyllene a comrade of the son of Phyleus and chief of the proud Epeans. When Meges saw this he sprang upon him, but Polydamas crouched down, and he missed him, for Apollo would not suffer the son of Panthoos to fall in battle; but the spear hit Croesmus in the middle of his chest, whereon he fell heavily to the ground, and Meges stripped him of his armor. At that moment the valiant warrior Dolops son of Lampos sprang upon Lampos was son of Laomedon and for his valor, while his son Dolops was versed in all the ways of war. He then struck the middle of the son of Phyleus' shield with his spear, setting on him at close quarters, but his good corselet made with plates of metal saved him; Phyleus had brought it from Ephyra
and the river Selleis, where his host, King Euphetes, had given it him to wear in battle and protect him. It now served to save the life of his son. Then Meges struck the topmost crest of Dolops' bronze helmet with his spear
and tore away its plume of horse-hair, so that all newly dyed with scarlet as it was it tumbled down into the dust. While he was still fighting and confident of victory, Menelaos came up to help Meges, and got by the side of Dolops unperceived; he then speared him in the shoulder, from behind, and the point, driven so furiously, went through into his chest, whereon he fell headlong. The two then made towards him to strip him of his armor, but Hektor called on all his brothers for help, and he especially upbraided brave Melanippos son of Hiketaon, who erewhile used to pasture his herds of cattle in Perkote before the war broke out; but when the ships of the Danaans came, he went back to Ilion
, where he was eminent among the Trojans, and lived near Priam who treated him as one of his own sons. Hektor now rebuked him and said, "Why, Melanippos, are we thus remiss? do you take no note of the death of your kinsman, and do you not see how they are trying to take Dolops' armor? Follow me; there must be no fighting the Argives from a distance now, but we must do so in close combat till either we kill them or they take the high wall of Ilion
and slay her people."
He led on as he spoke, and the hero Melanippos followed after. Meanwhile Ajax son of Telamon was cheering on the Argives. "My friends," he cried, "be men, and fear the loss of respect [aidôs]; quit yourselves in battle so as to win respect from one another. Men who respect each other's good opinion are less likely to be killed than those who do not, but in flight there is neither gain nor glory [kleos]."
Thus did he exhort men who were already bent upon driving back the Trojans. They laid his words to heart and hedged the ships as with a wall of bronze, while Zeus urged on the Trojans. Menelaos of the loud battle-cry urged Antilokhos on. "Antilokhos," said he, "you are young and there is none of the Achaeans more fleet of foot or more valiant than you are. See if you cannot spring upon some Trojan and kill him."
He hurried away when he had thus spurred Antilokhos, who at once darted out from the front ranks and aimed a spear, after looking carefully round him. The Trojans fell back as he threw, and the dart did not speed from his hand without effect, for it struck Melanippos the proud son of Hiketaon in the breast by the nipple as he was coming forward, and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. Antilokhos sprang upon him as a dog springs on a fawn which a hunter has hit as it was breaking away from its covert, and killed it. Even so, O Melanippos, did stalwart Antilokhos spring upon you to strip you of your armor; but noble Hektor marked him, and came running up to him through the thick of the battle. Antilokhos, brave warrior though he was, would not stay to face him, but fled like some savage creature which knows it has done wrong, and flies, when it has killed a dog or a man who is herding his cattle, before a body of men can be gathered to attack it. Even so did the son of Nestor flee, and the Trojans and Hektor with a cry that rent the air showered their weapons after him; nor did he turn round and stay his flight till he had reached his comrades.