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So spake he threatening, but goodly Achilles raised on high the spear of Pelian ash; howbeit the warrior Asteropaeus hurled with both spears at once, for he was one that could use both hands alike. With the one spear he smote the shield, [165] but it brake not through, for the gold stayed it, the gift of the god and with the other he smote the right forearm of Achilles a grazing blow, and the black blood gushed forth; but the spear-point passed above him and fixed itself in the earth, fain to glut itself with flesh. Then Achilles in his turn hurled [170] at Asteropaeus his straight-flying spear of ash, eager to slay him but missed the man and struck the high bank and up to half its length he fixed in the bank the spear of ash. But the son of Peleus, drawing his sharp sword from beside his thigh, leapt upon him furiously, [175] and the other availed not to draw in his stout hand the ashen spear of Achilles forth from out the bank. Thrice he made it quiver in his eagerness to draw it, and thrice he gave up his effort; but the fourth time his heart was fain to bend and break the ashen spear of the son of Aeacus; howbeit ere that might be Achilles drew nigh and robbed him of life with his sword. [180] In the belly he smote him beside the navel, and forth upon the ground gushed all his bowels, and darkness enfolded his eyes as he lay gasping. And Achilles leapt upon his breast and despoiled him of his arms, and exulted saying: “Lie as thou art! Hard is it [185] to strive with the children of the mighty son of Cronos, albeit for one begotten of a River. Thou verily declarest that thy birth is from the wide-flowing River, whereas I avow me to be of the lineage of great Zeus. The father that begat me is one that is lord among the many Myrmidons, even Peleus, son of Aeacus; and Aeacus was begotten of Zeus. [190] Wherefore as Zeus is mightier than rivers that murmur seaward, so mightier too is the seed of Zeus than the seed of a river. For lo, hard beside thee is a great River, if so be he can avail thee aught; but it may not be that one should fight with Zeus the son of Cronos. With him doth not even king Achelous vie, [195] nor the great might of deep-flowing Ocean, from whom all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and deep wells; howbeit even he hath fear of the lightning of great Zeus, and his dread thunder, whenso it crasheth from heaven.”

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