Such were the chiefs and princes of the Danaans. Who, then, O Muse, was the foremost, whether man or horse, among those that followed after the sons of Atreus? Of the horses, those of the son of Pheres were by far the finest. They were driven by Eumelos, and were as fleet as birds.
They were of the same age and color, and perfectly matched in height. Apollo, of the silver bow, had bred them in Perea - both of them mares, and terrible as Ares in battle. Of the men, Ajax, son of Telamon, was much the foremost so long as Achilles' anger lasted, for Achilles excelled him greatly
and he had also better horses; but Achilles was now holding aloof at his ships by reason of his quarrel with Agamemnon, and his people passed their time upon the sea shore, throwing discs or aiming with spears at a mark,
and in archery. Their horses stood each by his own chariot, champing lotus and wild celery. The chariots were housed under cover, but their owners, for lack of leadership, wandered hither and thither about the host and went not forth to fight.
Thus marched the host like a consuming fire, and the earth groaned beneath them when the lord of thunder is angry and lashes the land about Typhoeus among the Arimi, where they say Typhoeus lies. Even so did the earth groan beneath them
as they sped over the plain. And now Iris, fleet as the wind, was sent by Zeus to tell the bad news among the Trojans. They were gathered in assembly, old and young, at Priam's gates,
and Iris came close up to Priam, speaking with the voice of Priam's son Polites, who, being fleet of foot, was stationed as watchman for the Trojans on the tomb of old Aisyetes, to look out for any sally of the Achaeans.
In his likeness Iris spoke, saying, "Old man, you talk idly, as in time of peace, while war is at hand. I have been in many a battle, but never yet saw such a host as is now advancing. They are crossing the plain to attack the city as