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So spake he, and hastily brake up the gathering. Then the others scattered, each to his own ship, but the great-hearted Myrmidons busied themselves about the gifts, and bare them forth to the ship of godlike Achilles. [280] And they bestowed them in the huts, and set the women there, and the horses proud squires drave off to the herd. But Briseis, that was like unto golden Aphrodite, when she had sight of Patroclus mangled with the sharp bronze, flung herself about him and shrieked aloud, [285] and with her hands she tore her breast and tender neck and beautiful face. And amid her wailing spake the woman like unto the goddesses: “Patroclus, dearest to my hapless heart, alive I left thee when I went from the hut, and now I find thee dead, thou leader of hosts, [290] as I return thereto: thus for me doth evil ever follow hard on evil. My husband, unto whom my father and queenly mother gave me, I beheld mangled with the sharp bronze before our city, and my three brethren whom mine own mother bare, brethren beloved, all these met their day of doom. [295] But thou, when swift Achilles slew my husband, and laid waste the city of godlike Mynes, wouldst not even suffer me to weep, but saidest that thou wouldst make me the wedded wife of Achilles,1 and that he would bear me in his ships to Phthia, and make me a marriage-feast among the Myrmidons. [300] Wherefore I wail for thee in thy death and know no ceasing, for thou wast ever kind.” So spake she wailing, and thereto the women added their laments; Patroclus indeed they mourned,2 but therewithal each one her own sorrows. But around Achilles gathered the elders of the Achaeans, beseeching him that he would eat; but he refused them, moaning the while: [305] “I beseech you, if any of my dear comrades will hearken unto me, bid me not before the time sate my heart with food or drink, seeing dread grief is come upon me. Till set of sun will I abide, and endure even as I am.”

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