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So he spoke, and in them all aroused the desire of lament. Argive Helen wept, the daughter of Zeus, [185] Telemachus wept, and Menelaus, son of Atreus, nor could the son of Nestor keep his eyes tearless. For he thought in his heart of peerless Antilochus, whom the glorious son of the bright Dawn1 had slain. Thinking of him, he spoke winged words: [190] “Son of Atreus, old Nestor used ever to say that thou wast wise above all men, whenever we made mention of thee in his halls and questioned one another. And now, if it may in any wise be, hearken to me, for I take no joy in weeping at supper time,2—and moreover [195] early dawn will soon be here.3 I count it indeed no blame to weep for any mortal who has died and met his fate. Yea, this is the only due we pay to miserable mortals, to cut the hair and let a tear fall from the cheeks. For a brother of mine, too, is dead, nowise the meanest [200] of the Argives, and thou mayest well have known him. As for me, I never met him nor saw him; but men say that Antilochus was above all others pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior.” Then fair-haired Menelaus answered him and said: “My friend, truly thou hast said all that a wise man [205] might say or do, even one that was older than thou; for from such a father art thou sprung, wherefore thou dost even speak wisely. Easily known is the seed of that man for whom the son of Cronos spins the thread of good fortune at marriage and at birth, even as now he has granted to Nestor throughout all his days continually that [210] he should himself reach a sleek old age in his halls, and that his sons in their turn should be wise and most valiant with the spear. But we will cease the weeping which but now was made, and let us once more think of our supper, and let them pour water over our hands. Tales there will be in the morning also [215] for Telemachus and me to tell to one another to the full.” So he spoke, and Asphalion poured water over their hands, the busy squire of glorious Menelaus. And they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them.

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