But the distant deadly Archer volleyed back,
"God of the earthquake – you’d think me hardly sane
if I fought with you for the sake of wretched mortals…
like leaves, no sooner flourishing, full of the sun’s fire,
feeding on earth’s gifts, than they waste away and die.
Stop. Call off this skirmish of ours at once –
let these mortals fight themselves to death."

– Homer

The Iliad, Book 21, lines 526-532. Archer god Apollo declines to fight with the god Poseidon. Comparing mortals in an epic simile to leaves that quickly waste away and die, he says they should leave them to fight themselves to death.