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He spake, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled it; [245] and he smote Aias' dread shield of sevenfold bull's-hide upon the outermost bronze, the eighth layer that was thereon. Through six folds shore the stubborn bronze, but in the seventh hide it was stayed. Then in turn Zeus-born Aias hurled his far-shadowing spear, [250] and smote upon the son of Priam's shield, that was well balanced upon every side. Through the bright shield went the mighty spear, and through the corselet, richly dight, did it force its way; and straight on beside his flank the spear shore through his tunic; but he bent aside, and escaped black fate. [255] Then the twain both at one moment drew forth with their hands their long spears, and fell to, in semblance like ravening lions or wild boars, whose is no weakling strength. Then the son of Priam smote full upon the shield of Aias with a thrust of his spear, howbeit the bronze brake not through, for its point was turned; [260] but Aias leapt upon him and pierced his buckler, and clean through went the spear and made him reel in his onset; even to his neck it made its way, and gashed it, and the dark blood welled up. Yet not even so did Hector of the flashing-helm cease from fight, but giving ground he seized with stout hand a stone [265] that lay upon the plain, black and jagged and great; therewith he smote Aias' dread shield of sevenfold bull's-hide full upon the boss; and the bronze rang about it. Then Aias in turn lifted on high a far greater stone, and swung and hurled it, putting into the cast measureless strength; [270] and he burst the buckler inwards with the cast of the rock that was like unto a mill-stone, and beat down Hector's knees; so he stretched upon his back, gathered together under his shield; howbeit Apollo straightway raised him up. And now had they been smiting with their swords in close fight, but that the heralds, messengers of Zeus and men, [275] came, one from the Trojans and one from the brazen-coated Achaeans, even Talthybius and Idaeus, men of prudence both. Between the two they held forth their staves, and the herald Idaeus, skilled in prudent counsel, spake, saying: “Fight ye no more, dear sons, neither do battle; [280] both ye twain are loved of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, and both are spearmen; that verily know we all. Moreover night is now upon us, and it is well to yield obedience to night's behest.”

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