Thereon he leaned, and spake his word among the Argives:
“My friends, Danaan warriors, squires of Ares, great Zeus, son of Cronos, hath ensnared me in grievous blindness of heart, cruel god! seeing that of old he promised me, and bowed his head thereto, that not until I had sacked well-walled Ilios
should I get me home; but now hath he planned cruel deceit, and bids me return inglorious to Argos
when I have lost much people. So, I ween, must be the good pleasure of Zeus, supreme in might, who hath laid low the heads of many cities, yea, and shall yet lay low, for his power is above all. A shameful thing is this even for the hearing of men that are yet to be,
how that thus vainly so goodly and so great a host of the Achaeans warred a bootless war, and fought with men fewer than they, and no end thereof hath as yet been seen. For should we be minded, both Achaeans and Trojans, to swear a solemn oath with sacrifice, and to number ourselves,
and should the Trojans be gathered together, even all they that have dwellings in the city, and we Achaeans be marshalled by tens, and choose, each company of us, a man of the Trojans to pour our wine, then would many tens lack a cup-bearer; so far, I deem, do the sons of the Achaeans outnumber the Trojans that dwell in the city.
But allies there be out of many cities, men that wield the spear, who hinder me mightily, and for all that I am fain, suffer me not to sack the well-peopled citadel of Ilios
. Already have nine years of great Zeus gone by,
and lo, our ships' timbers are rotted, and the tackling loosed; and our wives, I ween, and little children sit in our halls awaiting us; yet is our task wholly unaccomplished in furtherance whereof we came hither. Nay, come, even as I shall bid, let us all obey:
let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for no more is there hope that we shall take broad-wayed Troy
So spake he, and roused the hearts in the breasts of all throughout the multitude, as many as had not heard the council. And the gathering was stirred like the long sea-waves of the Icarian main,
which the East Wind or the South Wind has raised, rushing upon them from the clouds of father Zeus. And even as when the West Wind at its coming stirreth a deep cornfield with its violent blast, and the ears bow thereunder, even so was all their gathering stirred, and they with loud shouting rushed towards the ships;
and from beneath their feet the dust arose on high. And they called each one to his fellow to lay hold of the ships and draw them into the bright sea, and they set themselves to clear the launching-ways, and their shouting went up to heaven, so fain were they of their return home; and they began to take the props from beneath the ships.