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Thus were Poseidon and Apollo to do in the aftertime; [35] but then war and the din of war blazed about the well-builded wall, and the beams of the towers rang, as they were smitten; and the Argives, conquered by the scourge of Zeus, were penned by their hollow ships, and held in check in terror of Hector, the mighty deviser of rout, [40] while he as aforetime fought like unto a whirlwind. And as when, among hounds and huntsmen, a wild boar or a lion wheeleth about, exulting in his strength, and these array them in ranks in fashion like a wall, and stand against him, and hurl from their hands javelins thick and fast; [45] yet his valiant heart feareth not nor anywise quaileth, though his valour is his bane; and often he wheeleth him about and maketh trial of the ranks of men, and wheresoever he chargeth, there the ranks of men give way: even on this wise Hector went ever through the throng and besought his comrades, [50] urging them to cross the trench. Howbeit his swift-footed horses dared not, but loudly they neighed, standing on the sheer brink, for the trench affrighted them, so wide was it, easy neither to o'erleap at a bound nor to drive across; for over-hanging banks stood all about its circuit on this side and on that, [55] and at the top it was set with sharp stakes that the sons of the Achaeans had planted, close together and great, a defence against foemen. Not lightly might a horse, tugging at the wheeled car, get within that circuit; but the footmen were eager, if thy might achieve it. [60] Then verily Polydamas drew nigh to Hector, and spake, saying: “Hector, and ye other leaders of the Trojans and allies, it is but folly that we seek to drive across the trench our swift horses; hard in sooth is it to cross, for sharp stakes are set in it, and close anigh them is the wall of the Achaeans. [65] There is it no wise possible for charioteers to descend and fight; for the space is narrow, and then methinks shall we suffer hurt. For if Zeus, that thundereth on high, is utterly to crush our foes in his wrath, and is minded to give aid unto the Trojans, there verily were I too fain that this might forthwith come to pass, that the Achaeans should perish here far from Argos, and have no name; [70] but if they turn upon us and we be driven back from the ships and become entangled in the digged ditch, then methinks shall not one man of us return back to the city from before the Achaeans when they rally, even to bear the tidings. [75] But come, even as I shall bid, let us all obey. As for the horses, let the squires hold them back by the trench, but let us on foot, arrayed in our armour, follow all in one throng after Hector; and the Achaeans will not withstand us, if so be the bonds of destruction are made fast upon them.”

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