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So he spake, and the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, failed not to hearken. And Helenus, the dear son of Priam, understood in spirit [45] this plan that had found pleasure with the gods in council; and he came and stood by Hector's side, and spake to him, saying: “Hector, son of Priam, peer of Zeus in counsel, wouldst thou now in anywise hearken unto me? for I am thy brother. Make the Trojans to sit down, and all the Achaeans, [50] and do thou challenge whoso is best of the Achaeans to do battle with thee man to man in dread combat. Not yet is it thy fate to die and meet thy doom; for thus have I heard the voice of the gods that are for ever.” So spake he and Hector rejoiced greatly when he heard his words; [55] and he went into the midst and kept back the battalions of the Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down, and Agamemnon made the well-greaved Achaeans to sit. And Athene and Apollo of the silver bow in the likeness of vultures sate them [60] upon the lofty oak of father Zeus that beareth the aegis, rejoicing in the warriors; and the ranks of these sat close, bristling with shields and helms and spears. Even as there is spread over the face of the deep the ripple of the West Wind, that is newly risen, and the deep groweth black beneath it, [65] so sat the ranks of the Achaeans and Trojans in the plain. And Hector spake between the two hosts:“Hear me, ye Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me. Our oaths the son of Cronos, throned on high, brought not to fulfillment, [70] but with ill intent ordaineth a time for both hosts, until either ye take well-walled Troy or yourselves be vanquished beside your sea-faring ships. With you are the chieftains of the whole host of the Achaeans; of these let now that man whose heart soever biddeth him fight with me, [75] come hither from among you all to be your champion against goodly Hector. And thus do I declare my word, and be Zeus our witness thereto: if so be he shall slay me with the long-edged bronze, let him spoil me of my armour and bear it to the hollow ships, but my body let him give back to my home, [80] that the Trojans and the Trojan wives may give me my due meed of fire in my death. But if so be I slay him, and Apollo give me glory, I will spoil him of his armour and bear it to sacred Ilios and hang it upon the temple of Apollo, the god that smiteth afar, but his corpse will I render back to the well-benched ships, [85] that the long-haired Achaeans may give him burial, and heap up for him a barrow by the wide Hellespont. And some one shall some day say even of men that are yet to be, as he saileth in his many-benched ship over the wine-dark sea: ‘This is a barrow of a man that died in olden days, [90] whom on a time in the midst of his prowess glorious Hector slew.’ So shall some man say, and my glory shall never die.”

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