But Father Zeus, watching [Hera and Athena] from Ida, enraged, sent Iris the golden-winged to take them a message: ‘Away, and swiftly, Iris; turn them back, and keep them far from me, a confrontation will do them no good. Tell them what I say, and would surely do. I’d hamstring the horses that pull their chariot, hurl them from it, and shatter it to pieces. Not in ten years’ circuit would they be healed of the wounds my thunderbolt deals. That would show the bright-eyed goddess what a fight with her father means! I’ve less words of wrath or indignation to waste on Hera: she habitually defies my decrees.’
At this, Iris, swift as the storm, sped on her way, from the peak of Ida to high Olympus, where she met them at the very gates of that many-ridged mountain, and gave them Zeus’ message: ‘Where are you rushing to, your hearts pounding in your breasts? Zeus forbids you to help the Argives. He threatens you, and he fulfils his threats. He’d hamstring the horses that pull your chariot, hurl you from it, and shatter it to pieces. Not in ten years’ circuit would you be healed of the wounds his thunderbolt deals. That would show you, bright-eyed goddess, what a fight with your father means! He has less words of wrath or indignation to waste on Hera: who habitually defies his decrees. But you’d be dreadful in your brazen impudence, if you truly dared to raise your great spear against Zeus.’
With these words, fleet-footed Iris took her divine way, while Hera turned to Athene in alarm: ‘Well now, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, I cannot sanction us waging war on Zeus for these mortals. Let events decide who lives and who dies. Zeus must decide between the Greeks and Trojans, as is only right.’
So saying, she wheeled her team and returned. Then the Hours unyoked the long-maned horses, and tethered them by their ambrosial mangers, and leaned the chariot against the bright entrance-wall, while the two anxious goddesses sat down, with the other gods, on golden chairs.