But when the goddess, white-armed Hera, was ware of them as they made havoc of the Argives in the fierce conflict, forthwith she spake winged words to Athene:“Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one,
verily it was for naught that we pledged our word to Menelaus, that not until he had sacked well-walled Ilios should he get him home, if we are to suffer baneful Ares thus to rage. Nay, come, let us twain likewise bethink us of furious valour.”
So spake she, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken.
Then Hera, the queenly goddess, daughter of great Cronos, went to and fro harnessing the horses of golden frontlets. and Hebe quickly put to the car on either side the curved wheels of bronze, eight-spoked, about the iron axle-tree. Of these the felloe verily is of gold imperishable,
and thereover are tires of bronze fitted, a marvel to behold; and the naves are of silver, revolving on this side and on that; and the body is plaited tight with gold and silver thongs, and two rims there are that run about it. From the body stood forth the pole of silver, and on the end
thereof she bound the fair golden yoke, and cast thereon the fair golden breast-straps; and Hera led beneath the yoke the swift-footed horses, and was eager for strife and the war-cry.
But Athene, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis, let fall upon her father's floor her soft robe,
richly broidered, that herself had wrought and her hands had fashioned, and put on her the tunic of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and arrayed her in armour for tearful war. About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror, all about which Rout is set as a crown,
and therein is Strife, therein Valour, and therein Onset, that maketh the blood run cold, and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon, dread and awful, a portent of Zeus that beareth the aegis. And upon her head she set the helmet with two horns and with bosses four,1
wrought of gold, and fitted with the men-at-arms of an hundred cities.
Then she stepped upon the flaming car and grasped her spear, heavy and huge and strong, wherewith she vanquisheth the ranks of men—of warriors with whom she is wroth, she, the daughter of the mighty sire. And Hera swiftly touched the horses with the lash, and self-bidden groaned upon their hinges the gates of heaven which the Hours
had in their keeping,
to whom are entrusted great heaven and Olympus, whether to throw open the thick cloud or shut it to. There through the gate they drave their horses patient of the goad; and they found the son of Cronos as he sat apart from the other gods on the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus.
Then the goddess, white-armed Hera, stayed the horses, and made question of Zeus most high, the son of Cronos, and spake to him:“Father Zeus, hast thou no indignation with Ares for these violent deeds, that he hath destroyed so great and so goodly a host of the Achaeans recklessly and in no seemly wise to my sorrow;
while at their ease Cypris and Apollo of the silver bow take their joy, having set on this madman that regardeth not any law? Father Zeus, wilt thou in any wise be wroth with me if I smite Ares in sorry fashion and drive him out of the battle?”