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So spake he, and went back again, a god into the toil of men. But the soul of Hector was darkly clouded with dread sorrow, and he glanced then along the lines, and forthwith was ware of the one [85] stripping off the glorious arms, and of the other lying on the ground; and the blood was flowing down from the stricken wound. Then strode he forth amid the foremost fighters, harnessed in flaming bronze, crying a shrill cry, in fashion like unto the flame of Hephaestus that none may quench. Nor was his shrill cry unheard of the son of Atreus, [90] but sore troubled he spake to his own great-hearted spirit: “Ah, woe is me! If I leave behind the goodly arms, and Patroclus, that here lieth low for that he would get me recompense, I fear lest many a Danaan wax wroth against me, whosoever beholdeth it. But if for very shame I, that am alone, do battle with Hector and the Trojans, [95] I fear lest haply they beset me round about, many against one; for all the Trojans is Hector of the flashing helm leading hitherward. But why doth my heart thus hold converse with me? Whenso a warrior is minded against the will of heaven to fight with another whom a god honoureth, forthwith then upon him rolleth mighty woe. [100] Therefore shall no man of the Danaans wax wroth against me, whoso shall mark me giving ground before Hector, seeing he fighteth with the help of heaven. But if I might anywhere find Aias, good at the war-cry, then might we twain turn back and bethink us of fight, even were it against the will of heaven, in hope to save the dead [105] for Achilles, Peleus' son: of ills that were the best.”

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