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The long delayed end of the laborious war and the ambush, even the horsea fashioned of Argive Athena, straightway to me in my haste do thou tell, O Calliopeia, remitting copious speech; and the ancient strife of men, in that war now decided, do thou resolve with speedy song.

Already the tenth year was rolling on and old had grown the strain of war, insatiate of blood, for Trojans and Danaans. With slaying of men the spears were weary, the menace of the swords died, quenched was the din of breastplate, rent and perishing the coiled fabric of shield-carrying baldricks; the shield endured no more to abide the hurtling of javelins, unstrung was the bent bow, the swift arrows decayed. And the horse — some apart at the idle manger, with heads bowed piteously, bewailed their fellow horses, some mourned to miss their perished charioteers.

Low lay the son of Peleus and with him his comradeb dead: over his young son Antilochus old Nestor mourned: Aias with self-dealt wound had unstrung his mighty form, and bathed his foeman‚s swordc in the rain of frenzied blood. The Trojans,


a The wooden horse built by Epeius with help of Athena; Eur. Tr. 534 calls it the „polished ambush of the Argives,š (Susan note Grk).

b Patroclus.

c In Iliad vii. Aias and Hector fight an indecisive duel and on parting exchange gifts, Aias giving his belt and receiving Hector‚s sword (l. c. 303), with which afterwards slew himself: Pind. I. iii. (iv.), Soph. Aj. 815 f.

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