So spake to him the glorious son of Priam with words of entreaty, but all ungentle was the voice he heard: “Fool, tender not ransom to me, neither make harangue.
Until Patroclus met his day of fate, even till then was it more pleasing to me to spare the Trojans, and full many I took alive and sold oversea; but now is there not one that shall escape death, whomsoever before the walls of Ilios God shall deliver into my hands—
aye, not one among all the Trojans, and least of all among the sons of Priam. Nay, friend, do thou too die; why lamentest thou thus? Patroclus also died, who was better far than thou. And seest thou not what manner of man am I, how comely and how tall? A good man was my father, and a goddess the mother that bare me; yet over me too hang death and mighty fate.
There shall come a dawn or eve or mid-day, when my life too shall some man take in battle, whether he smite me with cast of the spear, or with an arrow from the string.”
So spake he, and the other's knees were loosened where he was and his heart was melted.
The spear he let go, but crouched with both hands outstretched. But Achilles drew his sharp sword and smote him upon the collar-bone beside the neck, and all the two-edged sword sank in; and prone upon the earth he lay outstretched, and the dark blood flowed forth and wetted the ground.
Him then Achilles seized by the foot and flung into the river to go his way, and vaunting over him he spake winged words:
“Lie there now among the fishes that shall lick the blood from thy wound, nor reck aught of thee,1
neither shall thy mother lay thee on a bier and make lament;
nay, eddying Scamander shall bear thee into the broad gulf of the sea. Many a fish as he leapeth amid the waves, shall dart up beneath the black ripple to eat the white fat of Lycaon. So perish ye, till we be come to the city of sacred Ilios, ye in flight, and I making havoc in your rear.
Not even the fair-flowing river with his silver eddies shall aught avail you, albeit to him, I ween, ye have long time been wont to sacrifice bulls full many, and to cast single-hooved horses while yet they lived.2
into his eddies. Howbeit even so shall ye perish by an evil fate till ye have all paid the price for the slaying of Patroclus and for the woe of the Achaeans,
whom by the swift ships ye slew while I tarried afar.”