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Then in answer spake to him Achilles, swift of foot:“Wherefore, O head beloved, art thou come hither, [95] and thus givest me charge about each thing? Nay, verily I will fulfill thee all, and will hearken even as thou biddest. But, I pray thee, draw thou nigher; though it be but for a little space let us clasp our arms one about the other, and take our fill of dire lamenting.” So saying he reached forth with his hands, [100] yet clasped him not; but the spirit like a vapour was gone beneath the earth, gibbering faintly. And seized with amazement Achilles sprang up, and smote his hands together, and spake a word of wailing:“Look you now, even in the house of Hades is the spirit and phantom somewhat, albeit the mind be not anywise therein; [105] for the whole night long hath the spirit of hapless Patroclus stood over me, weeping and wailing, and gave me charge concerning each thing, and was wondrously like his very self.” So spake he, and in them all aroused the desire of lament, and rosy-fingered Dawn shone forth upon them [110] while yet they wailed around the piteous corpse. But the lord Agamemnon sent forth mules an men from all sides from out the huts to fetch wood and a man of valour watched thereover, even Meriones, squire of kindly Idomeneus. And they went forth bearing in their hands axes for the cutting of wood [115] and well-woven ropes, and before them went the mules: and ever upward, downward, sideward, and aslant they fared. But when they were come to the spurs of many-fountained Ida, forthwith they set them to fill high-crested oaks with the long-edged bronze in busy haste and with a mighty crash the trees kept falling. [120] Then the Achaeans split the trunks asunder and bound them behind the mules, and these tore up the earth with their feet as they hasted toward the plain through the thick underbrush. And all the woodcutters bare logs; for so were they bidden of Meriones, squire of kindly Idomeneus. [125] Then down upon the shore they cast these, man after man, where Achilles planned a great barrow for Patroclus and for himself. But when on all sides they had cast down the measureless wood, they sate them down there and abode, all in one throng. And Achilles straightway bade the war-loving Myrmidons [130] gird them about with bronze, and yoke each man his horses to his car. And they arose and did on their armour and mounted their chariots,warriors and charioteers alike. In front fared the men in chariots, and thereafter followed a cloud of footmen, a host past counting and in the midst his comrades bare Patroclus. [135] And as with a garment they wholly covered the corpse with their hair that they shore off and cast thereon; and behind them goodly Achilles clasped the head, sorrowing the while; for peerless was the comrade whom he was speeding to the house of Hades.

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