Then made answer the horseman Nestor of Gerenia:“Wherefore now doth Achilles thus have pity for the sons of the Achaeans, as many as have been smitten with missiles? Nor knoweth he at all what grief hath arisen throughout the camp; for the best men lie among the ships smitten by darts or wounded with spear-thrusts.
Smitten is the son of Tydeus, mighty Diomedes, wounded with spearthrust is Odysseus, famed for his spear, and Agamemnon, and smitten is Eurypylus too with an arrow in the thigh, and this man beside have I but now borne forth from the war smitten with an arrow from the string. Yet Achilles,
valiant though he be, careth not for the Danaans, neither hath pity. Doth he wait until the swift ships hard by the sea, in despite of the Argives, shall blaze with consuming fire, and ourselves be slain man after man? For my strength is not such as of old it was in my supple limbs.
Would that I were young and my strength were as when strife was set afoot between the Eleans and our folk about the lifting of kine, what time I slew Itymoneus, the valiant son of Hypeirochus, a man that dwelt in Elis, when I was driving off what we had seized in reprisal; and he while fighting for the kine
was smitten amid the foremost by a spear from my hand; and he fell, and the country folk about him fled in terror. And booty exceeding great did we drive together from out the plain, fifty herds of kine, as many flocks of sheep, as many droves of swine, as many roving herds of goats,
and chestnut horses an hundred and fifty, all mares, and many of them had foals at the teat. These then we drave into Neleian Pylos by night into the citadel, and Neleus was glad at heart for that much spoil had fallen to me when going as a stripling into war.
And heralds made loud proclamation at break of dawn that all men should come to whomsoever a debt was owing in goodly Elis; and they that were leaders of the Pylians gathered together and made division, for to many did the Epeians owe a debt, seeing that we in Pylos were few and oppressed.
For mighty Heracles had come and oppressed us in the years that were before, and all that were our bravest had been slain. Twelve were we that were sons of peerless Neleus, and of these I alone was left, and all the rest had perished; wherefore the brazen-coated Epeans, proud of heart thereat,
in wantonness devised mischief against us.