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So spake he, and sent from him the other chieftains, [310] but the two sons of Atreus abode, and goodly Odysseus, and Nestor and Idomeneus and the old man Phoenix, driver of chariots, seeking to comfort him in his exceeding sorrow; but no whit would his heart be comforted until he entered the mouth of bloody war. And as he thought thereon he heaved a heavy sigh and spake, saying: [315] “Ah verily of old, thou too, O hapless one, dearest of my comrades, thyself wast wont to set forth in our hut with nimble haste a savoury meal, whenso the Achaeans made haste to bring tearful war against the horse-taming Trojans. But now thou liest here mangled, and my heart [320] will have naught of meat and drink, though they be here at hand, through yearning for thee. Naught more grievous than this could I suffer, not though I should hear of the death of mine own father, who now haply in Phthia is shedding round tears for lack of a son like me, while I in a land of alien folk [325] for the sake of abhorred Helen am warring with the men of Troy; nay, nor though it were he that in Scyrus is reared for me, my son1 well-beloved —if so be godlike Neoptolemus still liveth. For until now the heart in my breast had hope that I alone should perish far from horse-pasturing Argos, [330] here in the land of Troy, but that thou shouldest return to Phthia, that so thou mightest take my child in thy swift, black ship from Scyrus, and show him all things—my possessions, my slaves, and my great high-roofed house. For by now I ween is Peleus either [335] dead and gone, or else, though haply he still liveth feebly, is sore distressed with hateful old age, and with waiting ever for woeful tidings of me, when he shall hear that I am dead.” So spake he weeping, and thereto the elders added their laments, bethinking them each one of what he had left at home. [340] And as they mourned the son of Cronos had sight of them, and was touched with pity; and forthwith he spake winged words unto Athene: “My child, lo thou forsakest utterly thine own warrior. Is there then no place in thy thought any more for Achilles? Yonder [345] he sitteth in front of his ships with upright horns, mourning for his dear comrade; the others verily are gone to their meal but he fasteth and will have naught of food. Nay go, shed thou into his breast nectar and pleasant ambrosia, that hunger-pangs come not upon him.”

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