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So spake he, and the ox-eyed, queenly Hera shuddered; [35] and she spake and addressed him with winged words:“Hereto now be Earth my witness and the broad Heaven above, and the down-flowing water of Styx, which is the greatest and most dread oath for the blessed gods, and thine own sacred head, and the couch of us twain, couch of our wedded love, [40] whereby I verily would never forswear myself —not by my will doth Poseidon, the Shaker of Earth, work harm to the Trojans and Hector, and give succour to their foes. Nay, I ween, it is his own soul that urgeth and biddeth him on, and he hath seen the Achaeans sore-bested by their ships and taken pity upon them. [45] But I tell thee, I would counsel even him to walk in that way, wherein thou, O lord of the dark cloud, mayest lead him.” So spake she, and the father of men and gods smiled, and made answer, and spake to her with winged words: “If in good sooth, O ox-eyed, queenly Hera, [50] thy thought hereafter were to be one with my thought as thou sittest among the immortals, then would Poseidon, how contrary soever his wish might be, forthwith bend his mind to follow thy heart and mine. But if verily thou speakest in frankness and in truth, go thou now among the tribes of gods and call [55] Iris to come hither, and Apollo, famed for his bow, that she may go amid the host of the brazen-coated Achaeans, and bid the lord Poseidon that he cease from war, and get him to his own house; but let Phoebus Apollo rouse Hector to the fight, [60] and breathe strength into him again, and make him forget the pains that now distress his heart; and let him drive the Achaeans back once more, when he has roused in them craven panic; so shall they flee and fall among the many-benched ships of Achilles, son of Peleus, and he shall send forth his comrade [65] Patroclus, howbeit him shall glorious Hector slay with the spear before the face of Ilios, after himself hath slain many other youths, and among them withal my son, goodly Sarpedon. And in wrath for Patroclus shall goodly Achilles slay Hector. Then from that time forth shall I cause a driving back of the Trojans from the ships [70] evermore continually, until the Achaeans shall take steep Ilios through the counsels of Athene. But until that hour neither do I refrain my wrath, nor will I suffer any other of the immortals to bear aid to the Danaans here, until the desire of the son of Peleus be fulfilled, [75] even as I promised at the first and bowed my head thereto, on the day when the goddess Thetis clasped my knees, beseeching me to do honour to Achilles, sacker of cities.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, comm.1439
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