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So saying he urged on Athene, that was already eager: [350] and she like a falcon,1 wide of wing and shrill of voice, leapt down upon him from out of heaven through the air. Then while the Achaeans were arraying them speedily for battle throughout the camp, into the breast of Achilles she shed nectar and pleasant ambrosia that grievous hunger-pangs should not come upon his limbs; [355] and then herself was gone to the stout-builded house of her mighty sire, and the Achaeans poured forth from the swift ships. As when thick and fast the snowflakes flutter down from Zeus chill beneath the blast of the North Wind, born in the bright heaven; even so then thick and fast from the ships were borne the helms, bright-gleaming, [360] and the bossed shields, the corselets with massive plates, and the ashen spears. And the gleam thereof went up to heaven, and all the earth round about laughed by reason of the flashing of bronze; and there went up a din from beneath the feet of men; and in their midst goodly Achilles arrayed him for battle. [365] There was a gnashing of his teeth, and his two eyes blazed as it had been a flame of fire, and into his heart there entered grief that might not be borne. Thus in fierce wrath against the Trojans he clad him in the gifts of the god, that Hephaestus had wrought for him with toil. The greaves first he set about his legs: [370] beautiful they were, and fitted with silver ankle-pieces, and next he did on the corselet about his chest. And about his shoulders he cast the silver-studded sword of bronze, and thereafter grasped the shield great and sturdy, wherefrom went forth afar a gleam as of the moon. [375] And as when forth ower the sea there appeareth to seamen the gleam of blazing fire, and it burneth high up in the mountains in a lonely steading—but sore against their will the storm-winds bear them over the teeming deep afar from their friends; even so from the shield of Achilles went up a gleam to heaven, from that shield [380] fair and richly-dight. And he lifted the mighty helm and set it upon his head; and it shone as it were a star—the helm with crest of horse-hair, and around it waved the plumes of gold, that Hephaestus had set thick about the crest. And goodly Achilles made proof of himself in his armour, [385] whether it fitted him, and his glorious limbs moved free; and it became as it were wings to him, and lifted up the shepherd of the people.

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