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So spake he, and Meriones, the peer of swift Ares, led the way until they came to the host, at the point whither Idomeneus bade him go. [330] Now when the Trojans had sight of Idomeneus, in might as it were a flame, himself and his squire clad in armour richly dight, they called one to another through the throng, and all made at him; and by the sterns of the ships arose a strife of men clashing together. And as gusts come thick and fast when shrill winds are blowing, [335] on a day when dust lies thickest on the roads, and the winds raise up confusedly a great cloud of dust; even so their battle clashed together, and they were eager in the throng to slay one another with the sharp bronze. And the battle, that brings death to mortals, bristled with long spears [340] which they held for the rending of flesh, and eyes were blinded by the blaze of bronze from gleaming helmets, and corselets newly burnished, and shining shields, as men came on confusedly. Sturdy in sooth would he have been of heart that took joy at sight of such toil of war, and grieved not. [345] Thus were the two mighty sons of Cronos, divided in purpose, fashioning grievous woes for mortal warriors. Zeus would have victory for the Trojans and Hector, so giving glory to Achilles, swift of foot; yet was he in no wise minded that the Achaean host should perish utterly before the face of Ilios, [350] but was fain only to give glory to Thetis and to her son, strong of heart. But Poseidon went among the Argives and urged them on, stealing forth secretly from the grey sea; for it vexed him that they were being overcome by the Trojans, and against Zeus was he exceeding wroth. Both the twain verily were of one stock and of one parentage, [355] but Zeus was the elder born and the wiser. Therefore it was that Poseidon avoided to give open aid, but secretly sought ever to rouse the Argives throughout the host, in the likeness of a man. So these twain knotted the ends of the cords1 of mighty strife and evil war, and drew them taut over both armies, [360] a knot none might break nor undo, that loosed the knees of many men.

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