Much the same applies to the expression 'What a word has escaped you by the fence of your teeth!' This is intelligible, but unidiomatic, English for 'What nonsense!' Must we flout English usage to preserve it, if we feel, covinced, as I do, that Homer took it over, as an idiom discounted by familiar use, from a long line of bardic ancestors, much as he inherited the epithet 'fast' for ships, and has, as a result, to talk of a 'swift fast ship' when he means a real clipper?
Context - The author is emphasising the need to preserve the meaning of a sentence or idiom while translating it from Greek to English. He is partial towards achieving the same effect in the translation as desired by the author in the original text, rather than preserving the idiom and syntax of the Greek.
Please note that I have noticed some ill placed commas in the text but I have chosen to preserve the original punctuations of the book I am reading from, lest I remove a comma that was really meant to be there.
P.S. - I think that 'clipper' means a slow ship but not sure.