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“Hector, my dear child, abide not, I pray thee, yon man, alone with none to aid thee, lest forthwith thou meet thy doom, [40] slain by the son of Peleus, since verily he is far the mightier— cruel that he is. I would that he were loved by the gods even as by me! Then would the dogs and vuhtures speedily devour him as he lay unburied; so would dread sorrow depart from my soul, seeing he hath made me bereft of sons many and valiant, [45] slaying them and selling them into isles that hie afar. For even now there be twain of my sons, Lycaon and Polydorus, that I cannot see amid the Trojans that are gathered into the city, even they that Laothoe bare me, a princess among women. But if they be yet alive in the camp of the foe, then verily [50] will we ransom them with bronze and gold, seeing there is store thereof in my house; for gifts full many did the old Altes, of glorious name, give to his daughter. But and if they be even now dead and in the house of Hades, then shall there be sorrow to my heart and to their mother, to us that gave them birth; but to the rest of the host a briefer sorrow, [55] if so be thou die not as well, slain by Achilles. Nay, enter within the walls, my child, that thou mayest save the Trojan men and Trojan women, and that thou give not great glory to the son of Peleus, and be thyself reft of thy dear life. Furthermore, have thou compassion on me that yet can feel — [60] on wretched me whom the father, son of Cronos, will shay by a grievous fate on the threshold of old age, when I have beheld ills full many, my sons perishing and my daughters haled away, and my treasure chambers laid waste, and little children hurled to the ground in the dread conflict, and my sons" wives [65] being haled away beneath the deadly hands of the Achaeans. Myself then last of all at the entering in of my door shall ravening dogs rend, when some man by thrust or cast of the sharp bronze hath reft my limbs of life—even the dogs that in my halls I reared at my table to guard my door, [70] which then having drunk my blood in the madness of their hearts, shall lie there in the gateway. A young man it beseemeth wholly, when he is slain in battle, that he lie mangled by the sharp bronze; dead though he be, all is honourable whatsoever be seen. But when dogs work shame upon the hoary head and hoary beard [75] and on the nakedness of an old man slain, lo, this is the most piteous thing that cometh upon wretched mortals.”

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