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“So he spoke, and my spirit was broken within me, for that he bade me go again over the misty deep to Aegyptus, a long and weary way. Yet even so I made answer, and said: [485] “‘All this will I perform, old man, even as thou dost bid. But come now, tell me this, and declare it truly. Did all the Achaeans return unscathed in their ships, all those whom Nestor and I left, as we set out from Troy? Or did any perish by a cruel death on board his ship, [490] or in the arms of his friends, when he had wound up the skein of war?’ “So I spoke, and he straightway made answer, and said: ‘Son of Atreus, why dost thou question me of this? In no wise does it behove thee to know, or to learn my mind; nor, methinks, wilt thou long be free from tears, when thou hast heard all aright. [495] For many of them were slain, and many were left; but two chieftains alone of the brazen-coated Achaeans perished on their homeward way ( as for the fighting, thou thyself wast there), and one, I ween, still lives, and is held back on the broad deep. “‘Aias truly was lost amid his long-oared ships. [500] Upon the great rocks of Gyrae Poseidon at first drove him, but saved him from the sea; and he would have escaped his doom, hated of Athena though he was, had he not uttered a boastful word in great blindness of heart. He declared that it was in spite of the gods that he had escaped the great gulf of the sea; [505] and Poseidon heard his boastful speech, and straightway took his trident in his mighty hands, and smote the rock of Gyrae and clove it in sunder. And one part abode in its place, but the sundered part fell into the sea, even that on which Aias sat at the first when his heart was greatly blinded, [510] and it bore him down into the boundless surging deep. So there he perished, when he had drunk the salt water.

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