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Then, mightily moved, swift-footed Achilles spake to her: “Straightway may I die, seeing I was not to bear aid to my comrade at his slaying. Far, far from his own land [100] hath he fallen, and had need of me to be a warder off of ruin. Now therefore, seeing I return not to my dear native land, neither proved anywise a light of deliverance to Patroclus nor to my other comrades, those many that have been slain by goodly Hector, but abide here by the ships. Profitless burden upon the earth— [105] I that in war am such as is none other of the brazen-coated Achaeans, albeit in council there be others better— so may strife perish from among gods and men, and anger that setteth a man on to grow wroth, how wise soever he be, and that sweeter far than trickling honey [110] waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men; even as but now the king of men, Agamemnon, moved me to wrath. Howbeit these things will we let be as past and done, for all our pain, curbing the heart in our breasts, because we must. But now will I go forth that I may light on the slayer of the man I loved, [115] even on Hector; for my fate, I will accept it whenso Zeus willeth to bring it to pass, and the other immortal gods. For not even the mighty Heracles escaped death, albeit he was most dear to Zeus, son of Cronos, the king, but fate overcame him, and the dread wrath of Hera. [120] So also shall I, if a like fate hath been fashioned for me, lie low when I am dead. But now let me win glorious renown, and set many a one among the deep-bosomed Trojan or Dardanian dames to wipe with both hands the tears from her tender cheeks, and ceaseless moaning; [125] and let them know that long in good sooth have I kept apart from the war. Seek not then to hold me back from battle, for all thou lovest me; thou shalt not persuade me.”

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