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[1] Now Dawn the saffron-robed arose from the streams of Oceanus to bring light to immortals and to mortal men, and Thetis came to the ships bearing gifts from the god. And she found her dear son as he lay, clasping Patroclus, [5] and wailing aloud; and in throngs round about him his comrades were weeping. Then in the midst of them the bright goddess came to his side, and she clasped his hand, and spake and addressed him:“My child, this man must we let be, for all our sorrow, to lie as he is, seeing he hath been slain once for all by the will of the gods. [10] But receive thou from Hephaestus glorious armour, exceeding fair, such as never yet a man bare upon his shoulders.” So saying the goddess set down the arms in front of Achilles, and they all rang aloud in their splendour. Then trembling seized all the Myrmidons, [15] neither dared any man to look thereon, but they shrank in fear. Howbeit, when Achilles saw the arms, then came wrath upon him yet the more, and his eyes blazed forth in terrible wise from beneath their lids, as it had been flame; and he was glad as he held in his arms the glorious gifts of the god. But when in his soul he had taken delight in gazing on the glory of them, [20] forthwith to his mother he spake winged words:“My mother, the arms that the god hath given are such as the works of immortals should fitly be, such as no mortal man could fashion. Now therefore will I array me for battle; [25] yet am I sore afraid lest meantime flies enter the wounds that the bronze hath dealt on the corpse of the valiant son of Menoetius, and breed worms therein, and work shame upon his corpse—for the life is slain out of him—and so all his flesh shall rot.” Then the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, answered him:“My child, let not these things distress thy heart. [30] From him will I essay to ward off the savage tribes, the flies that feed upon men slain in battle. For even though he lie for the full course of a year, yet shall his flesh be sound continually, or better even than now it is. But do thou call to the place of gathering the Achaean warriors, [35] and renounce thy wrath against Agamemnon, shepherd of the host, and then array thee with all speed for battle and clothe thee in thy might.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 402
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