And the son of Atreus, Menelaus, dear to Ares, failed not to mark that Patroclus had been slain in battle by the Trojans, but fared amid the foremost fighters, harnessed in flaming bronze, and bestrode the dead, as over a calf standeth lowing plaintively its mother, that hath brought forth
her first-born, ere then knowing naught of motherhood; even so over Patroclus strode fair-haired Menelaus, and before him he held his spear and his shield that was well-balanced upon every side, eager to slay the man who should come to seize the corpse.
Then was Panthous' son, of the good spear of ash, not unheedful
of the falling of peerless Patroclus, but he took his stand hard by him, and spake to Menelaus, dear to Ares: “Menelaus, son of Atreus, fostered of Zeus, thou leader of hosts, give back, and leave the corpse, and let be the bloody spoils; for before me no man of the Trojans and their famed allies smote
Patroclus with the spear in the fierce conflict; wherefore suffer thou me to win goodly renown among the Trojans, lest I cast and smite thee, and rob thee of honey-sweet life.”
Then, his heart mightily stirred, fair-haired Menelaus spake unto him: “O father Zeus, no good thing is it to boast overweeningly.
Verily neither is the spirit of pard so high, nor of lion, nor of wild boar, of baneful mind, in whose breast the greatest fury exulteth exceedingly in might, as is the spirit of Panthous' sons, of the good spear of ash. Nay, but in sooth even the mighty Hyperenor, tamer of horses,
had no profit of his youth, when he made light of me and abode my coming, and deemed that among the Danaans I was the meanest warrior; not on his own feet, I ween, did he fare home to make glad his dear wife and his worthy parents. Even so, meseems, shall I loose thy might as well,
if thou stand to face me; nay, of myself I bid thee get thee back into the throng, and stand not forth to face me, ere yet some evil befall thee; when it is wrought even a fool getteth understanding.”
So spake he, yet persuaded not the other, but he answered, saying: “Now in good sooth, Menelaus, nurtured of Zeus,
shalt thou verily pay the price for my brother whom thou slewest, and over whom thou speakest vauntingly; and thou madest his wife a widow in her new-built bridal chamber, and broughtest grief unspeakable and sorrow upon his parents. Verily for them in their misery should I prove an assuaging of grief, if I but bring thy head and thy armour
and lay them in the hands of Panthous and queenly Phrontis. Howbeit not for long shall the struggle be untried or unfought, be it for victory or for flight.”