Achaean host, at once so great and valiant, battled in vain against men fewer in number than themselves; but as yet the end is not in sight. Think that the Achaeans and Trojans have sworn to a solemn covenant, and that they have each been numbered -
the Trojans by the roll of their householders, and we by companies of ten; think further that each of our companies desired to have a Trojan householder to pour out their wine; we are so greatly more in number that full many a company would have to go without its cup-bearer.
But they have in the town allies from other places, and it is these that hinder me from being able to sack the rich city of Ilion
. Nine of Zeus years are gone;
the timbers of our ships have rotted; their tackling is sound no longer. Our wives and little ones at home look anxiously for our coming, but the work that we came hither to do has not been done. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say:
let us sail back to our own land, for we shall not take Troy
." With these words he moved the hearts of the multitude, so many of them as knew not the cunning counsel of Agamemnon. They surged to and fro like the waves
of the Ikarian Sea [pontos], when the east and south winds break from heaven's clouds to lash them; or as when the west wind sweeps over a field of grain and the ears bow beneath the blast, even so were they swayed as they flew with loud cries
towards the ships, and the dust from under their feet rose heavenward. They cheered each other on to draw the ships into the sea; they cleared the channels in front of them; they began taking away the stays from underneath them, and the welkin rang with their glad cries, so eager were they to return.
Then surely the Argives would have had a return [nostos] after a fashion that was not fated. But Hera said to Athena, "Alas, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, unweariable, shall the Argives flee home to their own land over the broad sea,