This is a chapter of The Trojan War, by C. Witt & F. Younghusband.
Among the Greeks, there was a brave young hero named Diomedes, who was dear to Athene. On this day he distinguished himself above all others and had already slain many a Trojan, when he was espied by Pandarus, who immediately took aim and wounded him in the right shoulder, the arrow going right through his armor and coming out on the further side.
Then Pandarus cried aloud for joy, “Now, may you press on with fresh courage, oh, Trojans, for the bravest of the Greeks is wounded and has but a short time longer to live.”
The wound was not so grievous as Pandarus supposed, but Diomedes was unable to fight any longer. Faint and discouraged, he left the battle and begged one of his friends to draw the arrow from his wound.
Then he lifted up his prayer to Athene, and said, “Gracious goddess, grant me this favor at thy hands, even that I may again at no distant time meet in battle the man who has wounded me, and boasted that he had smitten me to death.”
Immediately he felt new strength and vigor steal through his limbs and was as sound as if no injury had befallen him.
And the goddess herself appeared to him and said, “Now mayest thou return to the battle, but this day not only the Trojans, but the gods themselves are fighting against you. Therefore will I take away from before thine eyes the cloud which veils the gods from the sight of mortals, so that thou mayest know them and fear them. Dare not to fight with any of the other gods, but, if Aphrodite enters into the battle, spare her not.”
Diomedes hastened to place himself again in the foremost rank, and if before he had been dreadful to the enemy, he was now far more terrible and seemed like a raging lion let loose among them. One of the Trojan princes, Aeneas, who was a son of Aphrodite, saw that the people fled in terror before him, and he sought out Pandarus, the unerring archer, and begged him to seize his bow and put a stop to the destruction that was being wrought by Diomedes.
But Pandarus answered him bitterly, “This appears to be Diomedes that I again see, although it is but a short time since my arrow pierced his body. If it is my fate ever again to return home, let he who will sever my head from my body if it is not my first action to break my bow in pieces and cast it into the fire. Twice today have I aimed with it, and each time have I hit my enemy, but without doing him any injury. Far better had it been for me had I rather brought horses and a war chariot and fought with spear and sword.”
Then Aeneas begged Pandarus to get into his chariot, to which he willingly consented, and it was agreed that Aeneas should guide the chariot and that Pandarus should fight.
So they hastened towards Diomedes, who, when he saw them coming, said joyfully to those who were near him, “Never again, I trust, will these return alive — at any rate not both of them. Let but Athene now give me her aid, and I shall kill them and carry off as my booty this noble pair of horses, the offspring of those which Zeus once gave to King Laomedon, in exchange for his son Ganymede.”
Note: Zeus had once sent his sacred eagle to steal away the beautiful boy Ganymede, and carry him off to Mount Olympus to be his cupbearer.
To which Pandarus made answer from the chariot, “My arrow has failed to kill thee, Diomedes, yet will I seek to give thee the death wound with my spear.” He threw and, seeing that he had pierced the shield of his adversary, he cried out, “Now art thou smitten, and death is near thee.”
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But the spear had not gone through the flesh, and Diomedes in return hurled his weapon and hit Pandarus between the nose and eyes, so that he sank down and died instantly.
Aeneas sprang from his chariot and placed himself in front of the dead body of his friend in order to protect it. But Diomedes seized a great stone that had been set up in the plain as a landmark and, hurling it with all his might at Aeneas, he hit him on the thigh and crushed the bone. Aeneas reeled and fell to the ground, stunned by the blow, but his mother Aphrodite came quickly to his rescue and covered him with her veil, embracing him.
Diomedes perceived her and, remembering the instructions of Athene, he cried aloud, “Is it not enough for thee, oh, Aphrodite, to beguile weak women? Dost thou desire also to meddle with strife and war?”
And saying this, he thrust at her with his spear and wounded her beautiful hand. No blood flowed from the wound, for the gods who neither eat bread nor drink wine have no blood in their veins, but have instead the red juice ichor, which now streamed over the fair skin of Aphrodite. She was terrified and fled away with a cry of horror, leaving the body of her son upon the ground. Yet was it not forsaken, for the god Apollo, who was also a friend to the Trojans, covered it with a cloud so that it could not be seen by the enemy. Diomedes alone discerned the god and knew that Aeneas was still lying in the self-same place. Undaunted, he pressed towards him and three times he essayed to give him the death wound, but each time he was driven back by a mighty blow on his shield from the hand of Apollo.
For the fourth time he drew near, but in a voice that chilled the blood even of Diomedes, Apollo said to him, “Stand back, Diomedes, and dare not to fight against the immortal gods.”
Then the hero turned unwillingly away. His companions had meanwhile possessed themselves of the divinely descended horses of Aeneas and had driven them away to the tents of the Greeks. With groans and tears came Aphrodite back to the abode of the gods, although her wound was already healed.
But Athene mocked her and said to Zeus, so that she could hear it, “Aphrodite has no doubt been again persuading some Greek woman to leave her home with one of the Trojans to whom she is now so devoted, and the fondling and caressing have caused her to scratch her hand with a brooch.”