Page:The Iliad of Homer (Butler).djvu/223

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
BK. XIII.
203
AND ROUSES THE ACHÆANS

59As he spoke the earth-encircling lord of the earthquake struck both of them with his sceptre and filled their hearts with daring. He made their legs light and active, as also their hands and their feet. Then, as the soaring falcon poises on the wing high above some sheer rock, and presently swoops down to chase some bird over the plain, even so did Neptune lord of the earthquake wing his flight into the air and leave them. Of the two, swift Ajax son of Oïleus was the first to know who it was that had been speaking with them, and said to Ajax son of Telamon, "Ajax, this is one of the gods that dwell on Olympus, who in the likeness of the prophet is bidding us fight hard by our ships. It was not Calchas the seer and diviner of omens; I knew him at once by his feet and knees as he turned away, for the gods are soon recognised. Moreover I feel the lust of battle burn more fiercely within me, while my hands and my feet under me are more eager for the fray."

76And Ajax son of Telamon answered, "I too feel my hands grasp my spear more firmly; my strength is greater, and my feet more nimble; I long, moreover, to meet furious Hector son of Priam, even in single combat."

81Thus did they converse, exulting in the hunger after battle with which the god had filled them. Meanwhile the earth-encircler roused the Achæans, who were resting in the rear by the ships overcome at once by hard fighting and by grief at seeing that the Trojans had got over the wall in force. Tears began falling from their eyes as they beheld them, for they made sure that they should not escape destruction; but the lord of the earthquake passed lightly about among them and urged their battalions to the front.

91First he went up to Teucer and Leïtus, the hero Peneleos, and Thoas and Deïpyrus; Meriones also and Antilochus, valiant warriors; all these did he exhort. "Shame on you young Argives," he cried, "it was on your prowess I relied for the saving of our ships; if you