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Thus Achilles in his fury did foul despite unto goodly Hector; but the blessed gods had pity on him as they beheld him, and bestirred the keen-sighted Argeiphontes to steal away the corpse. [25] And the thing was pleasing unto all the rest, yet not unto Hera or Poseidon or the flashing-eyed maiden, but they continued even as when at the first sacred Ilios became hateful in their eyes and Priam and his folk, by reason of the sin of Alexander, for that he put reproach upon those goddesses when they came to his steading, [30] and gave precedence to her who furthered his fatal lustfulness. But when at length the twelfth morn thereafter was come, then among the immortals spake Phoebus Apollo:“Cruel are ye, O ye gods, and workers of bane. Hath Hector then never burned for you thighs of bulls and goats without blemish? [35] Him now have ye not the heart to save, a corpse though he be, for his wife to look upon and his mother and his child, and his father Priam and his people, who would forthwith burn him in the fire and pay him funeral rites. Nay, it is the ruthless Achilles, O ye gods, that ye are fain to succour, [40] him whose mind is nowise right, neither the purpose in his breast one that may be bent; but his heart is set on cruelty, even as a lion that at the bidding of his great might and lordly spirit goeth forth against the flocks of men to win him a feast; even so hath Achilles lost all pity, neither is shame in his heart, [45] the which harmeth men greatly and profiteth them withal. Lo, it may be that a man hath lost one dearer even than was this—a brother, that the selfsame mother bare, or haply a son; yet verily when he hath wept and wailed for him he maketh an end; for an enduring soul have the Fates given unto men. [50] But this man, when he hath reft goodly Hector of life, bindeth him behind his chariot and draggeth him about the barrow of his dear comrade; in sooth neither honour nor profit shall he have therefrom. Let him beware lest we wax wroth with him, good man though he be; for lo, in his fury he doth foul despite unto senseless clay.” [55] Then stirred to anger spake to him white-armed Hera:“Even this might be as thou sayest, Lord of the silver bow, if indeed ye gods will vouchsafe like honour to Achilles and to Hector. Hector is but mortal and was suckled at a woman's breast, but Achilles is the child of a goddess that I mine own self [60] fostered and reared, and gave to a warrior to be his wife, even to Peleus, who was heartily dear to the immortals. And all of you, O ye gods, came to her marriage, and among them thyself too didst sit at the feast, thy lyre in thy hand, O thou friend of evil-doers, faithless ever.”

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