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Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. The son of Tydeus, Odysseus, and Agamemnon, wounded though they were, set the others in array, and went about everywhere effecting the exchanges of armor; the most valiant took the best armor, and gave the worse to the worse man. When they had donned their bronze armor they marched on with Poseidon at their head. In his strong hand he grasped his terrible sword, keen of edge and flashing like lightning; it is not the right thing [themis] to do, to come across it in the day of battle; all men quake for fear and keep away from it. Hektor on the other side set the Trojans in array. Thereon Poseidon and Hektor waged fierce war on one another - Hektor on the Trojan and Poseidon on the Argive side. Mighty was the uproar as the two forces met; the sea came rolling in towards the ships and tents of the Achaeans, but waves do not thunder on the shore more loudly when driven before the blast of Boreas, nor do the flames of a forest fire roar more fiercely when it is well alight upon the mountains, nor does the wind bellow with ruder music as it tears on through the tops of when it is blowing its hardest, than the terrible shout which the Trojans and Achaeans raised as they sprang upon one another. Hektor first aimed his spear at Ajax, who was turned full towards him, nor did he miss his aim. The spear struck him where two bands passed over his chest - the band of his shield and that of his silver-studded sword - and these protected his body. Hektor was angry that his spear should have been hurled in vain, and withdrew under cover of his men. As he was thus retreating, Ajax son of Telamon struck him with a stone, of which there were many lying about under the men's feet as they fought - brought there to give support to the ships' sides as they lay on the shore. Ajax caught up one of them and struck Hektor above the rim of his shield close to his neck; the blow made him spin round like a top and reel in all directions. As an oak falls headlong when uprooted by the lightning flash of father Zeus, and there is a terrible smell of brimstone - no man can help being dismayed if he is standing near it, for a thunderbolt is a very awful thing - even so did Hektor fall to earth and bite the dust. His spear fell from his hand, but his shield and helmet were made fast about his body, and his bronze armor rang about him. The sons of the Achaeans came running with a loud cry towards him, hoping to drag him away, and they showered their darts on the Trojans, but none of them could wound him before he was surrounded and covered by the princes Polydamas, Aeneas, Agenor, Sarpedon leader of the Lycians, and noble Glaukos: of the others, too, there was not one who was unmindful of him, and they held their round shields over him to cover him. His comrades then lifted him off the ground and bore him away from the battle [ponos] to the place where his horses stood waiting for him at the rear of the fight with their driver and the chariot; these then took him towards the city groaning and in great pain. When they reached the ford of the air stream of Xanthos, begotten of Immortal Zeus, they took him from off his chariot and laid him down on the ground; they poured water over him, and as they did so he breathed again and opened his eyes. Then kneeling on his knees he vomited blood, but soon fell back on to the ground, and his eyes were again closed in darkness for he was still stunned by the blow. When the Argives saw Hektor leaving the field, they took heart and set upon the Trojans yet more furiously. Ajax fleet son of Oileus began by springing on Satnios son of Enops and wounding him with his spear: a fair naiad nymph had borne him to Enops as he was herding cattle by the banks of the river Satnioeis. The son of Oileus came up to him and struck him in the flank so that he fell, and a fierce fight between Trojans and Danaans raged round his body. Polydamas son of Panthoos drew near to avenge him, and wounded Prothoenor son of Areilykos on the right shoulder; the terrible spear went right through his shoulder, and he clutched the earth as he fell in the dust. Polydamas vaunted loudly over him saying, "Again I take it that the spear has not sped in vain from the strong hand of the son of Panthoos; an Argive has caught it in his body, and it will serve him for a staff as he goes down into the house of Hades." The Argives were stung by grief [akhos] on account of this boasting. Ajax son of Telamon was more angry than any, for the man had fallen close be, him; so he aimed at Polydamas as he was retreating, but Polydamas saved himself by swerving aside and the spear struck Arkhelokhos son of Antenor, for heaven counseled his destruction; it struck him where the head springs from the neck at the top joint of the spine, and severed both the tendons at the back of the head. His head, mouth, and nostrils reached the ground long before his legs and knees could do so, and Ajax shouted to Polydamas saying, "Think, Polydamas, and tell me truly whether this man is not as well worth killing as Prothoenor was: he seems rich, and of rich family, a brother, it may be, or son of the horseman Antenor, for he is very like him."
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