And in the morning light did Thetis dart down from snowy Olympus, bearing in her arms the splendid gift of a god.
Glad was Achilles as he put on the armor, and terrible was his war-cry as he roused the Greek warriors. No man, however sore his wounds, held back when the voice of Achilles called him to the fight once again. Wounded was Agamemnon, overlord of the Greeks, but forth also came he. And there, while the sun rose on many a warrior who would fight no more, did Achilles and Agamemnon speak as friends once again, their long strife ended.
Hungry for war, with Achilles as their leader, did the Greeks then meet the Trojans on the plain. And as a fierce fire rages through the forest, its flames driven by the wind, so did Achilles in his wrath drive through the host of Troy.
Down to the Scamander he drove the fleeing Trojans, and the water reddened with blood, as he smote and spared not.
Merciless was Achilles; pitilessly did he exult as one brave man after another was sent by him to dye red the swift flood of the Scamander.
At length, at his lack of mercy, did even the river grow wrathful.
“Choked is my stream with dead men!” it cried, “and still thou slayest!”
But when Achilles heeded not, in fierce flood the river up-rose against him, sweeping the slain before it, and in furious spate seeking to destroy Achilles. But as its waves smote against his shield, Achilles grasped a tall elm, and uprooting it, cast it into the river to dam the torrent. For the moment only was the angry river stayed. In fear did Achilles flee across the plain, but with a mighty roar it pursued him, and caught him.
To the gods then cried Achilles, and to his aid came Athene, and close to the walls of Troy again did Achilles chase the Trojan men.
From the city walls old Priam saw the dreadful things Achilles wrought.
And when, his armor blazing like the brightest stars of the sky, he drew near, and Hector would have gone to meet him, in grief did Priam cry to his dearly loved son:
“Hector, beloved son, I pray thee go not alone to meet this man; mightier far than thou is he.”
But all eager for the fight was Hector. Of all the men of Troy he alone still stood unafraid. Then did the mother of Hector beseech him to hold back from what must surely mean death. Yet Hector held not back, but on his shining shield leaned against a tower, awaiting the coming of the great destroyer.
And at last they met, face to face, spear to spear. As a shooting-star in the darkness so flashed the spear of Achilles as he hurled it home to pierce the neck of Hector. Gods and men had deserted Hector, and alone before the walls of Troy he fell and died.
Thus ended the fight.
For twelve days did the Greek host rejoice, and all through the days Hector’s body lay unburied. For at the heels of swift horses had the Greeks dragged him to the ships, while from the battlements his mother and his wife Andromache watched, wailing in agony, with hearts that broke.