The son of Tydeus was in two minds whether or no to turn his horses round again and fight him. Thrice did he doubt, and thrice did Zeus thunder from the heights of Ida in token [sêma] to the Trojans that he would turn the battle in their favor. Hektor then shouted to them and said, "Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians, lovers of close fighting, be men, my friends, and fight with might and with main; I see that Zeus is minded to grant victory and great glory to myself, while he will deal destruction upon the Danaans. Fools, for having thought of building this weak and worthless wall. It shall not stay my fury; my horses will spring lightly over their trench, and when I am at their ships forget not to bring me fire that I may burn them, while I slaughter the Argives who will be all dazed and bewildered by the smoke."
Then he cried to his horses, "Xanthos
and Podagros, and you Aithon and goodly Lampos, pay me for your keep now and for all the honey-sweet grain with which Andromache daughter of great Eetion has fed you, and for she has mixed wine and water for you to drink whenever you would, before doing so even for me who am her own husband. Haste in pursuit, that we may take the shield of Nestor, the fame [kleos] of which ascends to heaven, for it is of solid gold, arm-rods and all, and that we may strip from the shoulders of Diomedes. the cuirass which Hephaistos made him. Could we take these two things, the Achaeans would set sail in their ships this self-same night."
Thus did he vaunt, but Queen Hera made high Olympus
quake as she shook with rage upon her throne. Then said she to the mighty god of Poseidon, "What now, wide ruling lord of the earthquake? Can you find no compassion in your heart for the dying Danaans, who bring you many a welcome offering to Helike
and to Aigai
? Wish them well then. If all of us who are with the Danaans were to drive the Trojans back and keep Zeus from helping them, he would have to sit there sulking alone on Ida."
King Poseidon was greatly troubled and answered, "Hera, rash of tongue, what are you talking about? We other gods must not set ourselves against Zeus, for he is far stronger than we are."
Thus did they converse; but the whole space enclosed by the ditch, from the ships even to the wall, was filled with horses and warriors, who were pent up there by Hektor son of Priam, now that the hand of Zeus was with him. He would even have set fire to the ships and burned them, had not Queen Hera put it into the mind of Agamemnon, to bestir himself and to encourage the Achaeans. To this end he went round the ships and tents carrying a great purple cloak, and took his stand by the huge black hull of Odysseus' ship, which was middlemost of all; it was from this place that his voice would carry farthest, on the one hand towards the tents of Ajax son of Telamon, and on the other towards those of Achilles-
for these two heroes, well assured of their own strength, had valorously drawn up their ships at the two ends of the line. From this spot then, with a voice that could be heard afar, he shouted to the Danaans, saying, "Argives, shame
on you cowardly creatures, brave in semblance only; where are now our vaunts that we should prove victorious - the vaunts we made so vaingloriously in Lemnos
, when we ate the flesh of horned cattle and filled our mixing-bowls to the brim? You vowed that you would each of you stand against a hundred or two hundred men, and now you prove no match even for one- for Hektor, who will be ere long setting our ships in a blaze. Father Zeus, did you ever before cause the ruin [atê] of a great king to such an extent and rob him so utterly of his greatness? yet, when to my sorrow I was coming hither, I never let my ship pass your altars without offering the fat and thigh-bones of heifers upon every one of them, so eager was I to sack the city of Troy
. Vouchsafe me then this prayer- suffer us to escape at any rate with our lives, and let not the Achaeans be so utterly vanquished by the Trojans."
Thus did he pray, and father Zeus pitying his tears granted him that his people should live, not die; forthwith he sent them an eagle, most unfailingly portentous of all birds, with a young fawn in its talons; the eagle dropped the fawn by the altar on which the Achaeans sacrificed to Zeus the lord of omens; When, therefore, the people saw that the bird had come from Zeus, they sprang more fiercely upon the Trojans and fought more boldly.