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To him then made answer, Agamemnon, king of men:“Odysseus, in good sooth thou hast stung my heart with harsh reproof; [105] yet I urge not that against their will the sons of the Achaeans should drag the well-benched ships down to the sea. But now I would there were one who might utter counsel better than this of mine, be he young man or old; right welcome were it unto me.” Then among them spake also Diomedes, good at the war-cry: [110] “Near by is that man; not long shall we seek him, if so be ye are minded to give ear, and be no wise vexed and wroth, each one of you, for that in years I am the youngest among you. Nay, but of a goodly father do I too declare that I am come by lineage, even of Tydeus, whom in Thebe the heaped-up earth covereth. [115] For to Portheus were born three peerless sons, and they dwelt in Pleuron and steep Calydon, even Agrius and Melas, and the third was the horseman Oeneus, that was father to my father, and in valour was pre-eminent among them. He verily abode there, but my father went wandering to Argos, and there was settled, [120] for so I ween was the will of Zeus and the other gods. And he wedded one of the daughters of Adrastus, and dwelt in a house rich in substance, and abundance was his of wheat-bearing fields, and many orchards of trees round about, and withal many sheep; and with his spear he excelled all the Argives. [125] Of these things it must be that ye have heard, whether I speak sooth. Wherefore ye shall not say that by lineage I am a coward and a weakling, and so despise my spoken counsel, whatsoever I may speak aright. Come, let us go down to the battle, wounded though we be, since needs we must. Thereafter will we hold ourselves aloof from the fight, [130] beyond the range of missiles, lest haply any take wound on wound; but the others will we spur on and send into battle, even them that hitherto have done pleasure to their resentment, and that stand aloof and fight not.” So spake he, and they readily hearkened to him and obeyed. So they set out to go, and the king of men, Agamemnon, led them. [135] And no blind watch did the famed Shaker of Earth keep, but went with them in likeness of an old man, and he laid hold of the right hand of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and spake, and addressed him with winged words:“Son of Atreus, now in sooth, methinks, doth the baneful heart of Achilles [140] rejoice within his breast, as he beholdeth the slaughter and rout of the Achaeans, seeing he hath no understanding, no, not a whit. Nay, even so may he perish, and a god bring him low. But with thee are the blessed gods in no wise utterly wroth; nay, even yet, I ween, shall the leaders and rulers of the Trojans [145] raise the dust of the wide plain, and thyself behold them fleeing to the city from the ships and huts.” So saying, he shouted mightily, as he sped over the plain. Loud as nine thousand warriors, or ten thousand, cry in battle when they join in the strife of the War-god, [150] even so mighty a shout did the lord, the Shaker of Earth, send forth from his breast. and in the heart of each man of the Achaeans he put great strength, to war and fight unceasingly.

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