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So saying he turned him back, for he had shame to deal in blows with his father's brother. [470] But his sister railed at him hotly, even the queen of the wild beasts, Artemis of the wild wood, and spake a word of reviling:“Lo, thou fleest, thou god that workest afar, and to Poseidon hast thou utterly yielded the victory, and given him glory for naught! Fool, why bearest thou a bow thus worthless as wind? [475] Let me no more hear thee in the halls of our father boasting as of old among the immortal gods that thou wouldest do battle in open combat with Poseidon.” So spake she, but Apollo, that worketh afar, answered her not. Howbeit the revered wife of Zeus waxed wroth, and chid the archer queen with words of reviling: [480] “How now art thou fain, thou bold and shameless thing, to stand forth against me? No easy foe I tell thee, am I, that thou shouldst vie with me in might, albeit thou bearest the bow, since it was against women that Zeus made thee a lion, and granted thee to slay whomsoever of them thou wilt. [485] In good sooth it is better on the mountains to be slaying beasts and wild deer than to fight amain with those mightier than thou. Howbeit if thou wilt, learn thou of war, that thou mayest know full well how much mightier am I, seeing thou matchest thy strength with mine.” Therewith she caught both the other's hands by the wrist [490] with her left hand, and with her right took the bow and its gear from her shoulders, and with these self-same weapons, smiling the while, she beat her about the ears, as she turned this way and that; and the swift arrows fell from out the quiver. Then weeping the goddess fled from before her even as a dove that from before a falcon flieth into a hollow rock, [495] a cleft—nor is it her lot to be taken; even so fled Artemis weeping, and left her bow and arrows where they lay. But unto Leto spake the messenger Argeiphontes: “Leto, it is not I that will anywise fight with thee; a hard thing were it to bandy blows with the wives of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer; [500] nay, with a right ready heart boast thou among the immortal gods that thou didst vanquish me with thy great might.”

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