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Thus would one speak and arouse the might of each. So they fought on, [425] and the iron din went up through the unresting air to the brazen heaven. But the horses of the son of Aeacus being apart from the battle were weeping, since first they learned that their charioteer had fallen in the dust beneath the hands of man-slaying Hector. In sooth Automedon, valiant son of Diores, [430] full often plied them with blows of the swift lash, and full often with gentle words bespake them, and oft with threatenings; yet neither back to the ships to the broad Hellespont were the twain minded to go, not yet into the battle amid the Achaeans. Nay, as a pillar abideth firm that standeth on the tomb [435] of a dead man or woman, even so abode they immovably with the beauteous car, bowing their heads down to the earth. And hot tears ever flowed from their eyes to the ground, as they wept in longing for their charioteer, and their rich manes were befouled, [440] streaming from beneath the yoke-pad beside the yoke on this aide and on that. And as they mourned, the son of Cronos had sight of them and was touched with pity, and he shook his head, and thus spake unto his own heart: “Ah unhappy pair, wherefore gave we you to king Peleus, to a mortal, while ye are ageless and immortal? [445] Was it that among wretched men ye too should have sorrows? For in sooth there is naught, I ween, more miserable than man among all things that breathe and move upon earth. Yet verily not upon you and your car, richly-dight, [450] shall Hector, Priam's son, mount; that will I not suffer. Sufficeth it not that he hath the armour and therewithal vaunteth him vainly? Nay, in your knees and in your heart will I put strength, to the end that ye may also bear Automedon safe out of the war to the hollow ships; for still shall I vouchsafe glory to the Trojans, to slay and slay, until they come to the well-benched ships, [455] and the sun sets and sacred darkness cometh on.”

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