On this wise spake they one to the other, rejoicing in the fury of fight which the god put in their hearts; and meanwhile the Enfolder of Earth roused the Achaeans that were in the rear beside the swift ships, and were refreshing their hearts.
Their limbs were loosed by their grievous toil and therewithal sorrow waxed in their hearts, as they beheld the Trojans that had climbed over the great wall in their multitude. Aye, as they looked upon these they let tears fall from beneath their brows, for they deemed not that they should escape from ruin. But the Shaker of Earth,
lightly passing among them, aroused their strong battalions. To Teucer first he came and to Leïtus, to bid them on, and to the warrior Peneleos, and Thoas and Deïpyrus, and Meriones and Antilochus, masters of the war-cry; to these he spake, spurring them on with winged words:
“Shame, ye Argives, mere striplings! It was in your fighting that I trusted for the saving of our ships; but if ye are to flinch from grievous war, then of a surety hath the day now dawned for us to be vanquished beneath the Trojans. Out upon it! Verily a great marvel is this that mine eyes behold,
a dread thing that I deemed should never be brought to pass: the Trojans are making way against our ships, they that heretofore were like panic-stricken hinds that in the woodland become the prey of jackals and pards and wolves, as they wander vainly in their cowardice, nor is there any fight in them.
Even so the Trojans aforetime had never the heart to abide and face the might and the hands of the Achaeans, no not for a moment. But lo, now far from the city they are fighting at the hollow ships because of the baseness of our leader and the slackness of the folk, that, being at strife with him, have no heart to defend
the swift-faring ships, but are slain in the midst of them. But if in very truth the warrior son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, is the cause of all, for that he wrought dishonour on the swift-footed son of Peleus, yet may we in no wise prove slack in war.
Nay, let us atone for the fault with speed: the hearts of good men admit of atonement.1
But it is no longer well that ye are slack in furious valour, all ye that are the best men in the host. Myself I would not quarrel with one that was slack in war, so he were but a sorry wight, but with you I am exceeding wroth at heart.
Ye weaklings, soon ye shall cause yet greater evil by this slackness. Nay, take in your hearts, each man of you, shame and indignation; for in good sooth mighty is the conflict that has arisen. Hector, good at the war-cry, is fighting at the ships, strong in his might, and hath broken the gates and the long bar.”