Then the spirit of the son of Atreus answered him: “Fortunate son of Peleus, godlike Achilles, that wast slain in the land of Troy
far from Argos
, and about thee others fell, the best of the sons of the Trojans and Achaeans, fighting for thy body; and thou in the whirl of dust
didst lie mighty in thy mightiness, forgetful of thy horsemanship. We on our part strove the whole day long, nor should we ever have stayed from the fight, had not Zeus stayed us with a storm. But after we had borne thee to the ships from out the fight, we laid thee on a bier, and cleansed thy fair flesh
with warm water and with ointment, and many hot tears did the Danaans shed around thee, and they shore their hair. And thy mother came forth from the sea with the immortal sea-nymphs, when she heard the tidings, and a wondrous cry arose over the deep, and thereat trembling laid hold of all the Achaeans.
Then would they all have sprung up and rushed to the hollow ships, had not a man, wise in the wisdom of old, stayed them, even Nestor, whose counsel had before appeared the best. He with good intent addressed their assembly, and said:
“‘Hold, ye Argives; flee not, Achaean youths.
'Tis his mother who comes here forth from the sea with the immortal sea-nymphs to look upon the face of her dead son.’
“So he spoke, and the great-hearted Achaeans ceased from their flight. Then around thee stood the daughters of the old man of the sea wailing piteously, and they clothed thee about with immortal raiment.
And the Muses, nine in all, replying to one another with sweet voices, led the dirge. There couldst thou not have seen an Argive
but was in tears, so deeply did the clear-toned Muse move their hearts. Thus for seventeen days alike by night and day did we bewail thee, immortal gods and mortal men,
and on the eighteenth we gave thee to the fire, and many well-fatted sheep we slew around thee and sleek kine. So thou wast burned in the raiment of the gods and in abundance of unguents and sweet honey; and many Achaean warriors moved in their armour about the pyre, when thou wast burning,
both footmen and charioteers, and a great din arose. But when the flame of Hephaestus had made an end of thee, in the morning we gathered thy white bones, Achilles, and laid them in unmixed wine and unguents. Thy mother had given a two-handled, golden urn, and
said that it was the gift of Dionysus, and the handiwork of famed Hephaestus. In this lie thy white bones, glorious Achilles, and mingled with them the bones of the dead Patroclus, son of Menoetius, but apart lie those of Antilochus, whom thou didst honor above all the rest of thy comrades after the dead Patroclus.
And over them we heaped up a great and goodly tomb, we the mighty host of Argive
spearmen, on a projecting headland by the broad Hellespont
, that it might be seen from far over the sea both by men that now are and that shall be born hereafter.