“ And from out the spoil old Neleus chose him a herd of kine and a great flock of sheep, choosing three hundred and their herdsman with them. For to him a great debt was owing in goodly Elis, even our horses, winners of prizes, with their car,
that had gone to the games, for they were to race for a tripod; but Augeias, king of men, kept them there, and sent back their driver, sorrowing for his horses. By reason of these things, both deeds and words, was the old man wroth and chose him recompense past telling; and the rest he gave to the people
to divide, that so far as in him lay no man might go defrauded of an equal share. So we were disposing of all that there was, and round about the city were offering sacrifice to the gods; and on the third day the Epeians came all together, many men and single-hooved horses, with all speed, and among them the two Moliones did on their battle-gear,
though they were as yet but stripligs unskilled in furious valour. Now there is a city Thryoessa, a steep hill, far off on the Alpheius, the nethermost of sandy Pylos; about this they set their camp, fain to raze it utterly. But when they had coursed over the whole plain to us came Athene,
speeding down from Olympus by night with the message that we should array us for battle, and nowise loath were the folk she gathered in Pylos, but right eager for war. Now Neleus would not suffer me to arm myself, but hid away my horses, for he deemed that as yet I knew naught of deeds of war.
Howbeit even so I was pre-eminent among our horsemen, on foot though I was, for so did Athene order the fight.
There is a river Minyeïus that empties into the sea hard by Arene, where we waited for bright Dawn, we the horsemen of the Pylians, and the throngs of footmen flowed ever after.
Thence with all speed, arrayed in our armour, we came at midday to the sacred stream of Alpheius. There we sacrificed goodly victims to Zeus, supreme in might, and a bull to Alpheius, and a bull to Poseidon, but to flashing-eyed Athene a heifer of the herd;
and thereafter we took supper throughout the host by companies, and laid us down to sleep, each man in his battlegear, about the streams of the river. But the great-souled Epeians were marshalled about the city, fain to raze it utterly; but ere that might be there appeared unto them a mighty deed of war;
for when the bright sun stood above the earth we made prayer to Zeus and Athene, and joined battle.