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So saying she roused the strength and spirit of every man. And to the side of Tydeus' son sprang the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene. She found that prince beside his horses and car, [795] cooling the wound that Pandarus had dealt him with his arrow. For the sweat vexed him beneath the broad baldric of his round shield; therewith was he vexed and his arm grew weary, so he was lifting up the baldric and wiping away the dark blood. Then the goddess laid hold of the yoke of his horses, and said: [800] “Verily little like himself was the son that Tydeus begat. Tydeus was small in stature, but a warrior. Even when I would not suffer him to fight or make a show of prowess, what time he came, and no Achaean with him, on an embassage to Thebes into the midst of the many Cadmeians— [805] I bade him feast in their halls in peace—yet he having his valiant soul as of old challenged the youths of the Cadmeians and vanquished them in everything full easily; so ' present a helper was I to him. But as for thee, I verily stand by thy side and guard thee, [810] and of a ready heart I bid thee fight with the Trojans, yet either hath weariness born of thy many onsets entered into thy limbs, or haply spiritless terror possesseth thee. Then art thou no offspring of Tydeus, the wise-hearted son of Oeneus.” Then in answer to her spake mighty Diomedes: [815] “I know thee, daughter of Zeus that beareth the aegis; therefore with a ready heart will I tell thee my thought and hide it not. In no wise doth spiritless terror possess me nor any slackness, but I am still mindful of thy behest which thou didst lay upon me. Thou wouldest not suffer me to fight face to face with the other blessed gods, [820] but if Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus should enter the battle, her thou badest me smite with the sharp bronze. Therefore it is that I now give ground myself and have given command to all the rest of the Argives to be gathered here likewise; for I discern Ares lording it over the battle-field.” [825] And the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, answered him, saying:“Son of Tydeus, Diomedes, dear to my heart, fear thou not Ares for that, neither any other of the immortals; so present a helper am I to thee. Nay, come, at Ares first drive thou thy single-hooved horses, [830] and smite him in close fight, neither have thou awe of furious Ares that raveth here a full-wrought bane, a renegade, that but now spake with me and Hera, and made as though he would fight against the Trojans but give aid to the Argives; yet now he consorteth with the Trojans and hath forgotten these.”

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