"Look to it well, my friends; I would urge you to go back now to your city and not wait here by the ships till morning, for we are far from our walls. So long as this man has anger [mênis] against Agamemnon, the Achaeans were easier to deal with, and I would have gladly camped by the ships in the hope of taking them; but now I go in great fear of the fleet son of Peleus; he is so daring that he will never bide here on the plain whereon the Trojans and Achaeans fight with equal valor, but he will try to storm our city and carry off our women.
Do then as I say, and let us retreat. For this is what will happen. The darkness of night will for a time stay the son of Peleus, but if he find us here in the morning when he sallies forth in full armor, we shall have knowledge of him in good earnest. Glad indeed will he be who can escape and get back to Ilion
, and many a Trojan will become meat for dogs and vultures may I never live to hear it. If we do as I say, little though we may like it, we shall have strength in counsel during the night, and the great gates with the doors that close them will protect the city. At dawn we can arm and take our stand on the walls; he will then rue it if he sallies from the ships to fight us. He will go back when he has given his horses their fill of being driven in every which direction under our walls, and will be in no mind to try and force his way into the city. Neither will he ever sack it, dogs shall devour him ere he do so."
Hektor looked fiercely at him and answered, "Polydamas, your words are not to my liking in that you bid us go back and be pent within the city. Have you not had enough of being cooped up behind walls? In the old-days the city of Priam was famous the whole world over for its wealth of gold and bronze, but our treasures are wasted out of our houses, and much goods have been sold away to Phrygia
and fair Meonia, for the hand of Zeus has been laid heavily upon us. Now, therefore, that the son of scheming Kronos has granted me to win glory here and to hem the Achaeans in at their ships, prate no more in this fool's wise among the population [dêmos]. You will have no man with you; it shall not be; do all of you as I now say; - take your suppers in your companies throughout the host, and keep your watches and be wakeful every man of you. If any Trojan is uneasy about his possessions, let him gather them and give them out among the people. Better let these, rather than the Achaeans, have them. At daybreak we will arm and fight about the ships; granted that Achilles has again come forward to defend them, let it be as he will, but it shall go hard with him. I shall not shun him, but will fight him, to fall or conquer. The god of war deals out like measure to all, and the slayer may yet be slain."
Thus spoke Hektor; and the Trojans, fools that they were, shouted in approval, for Pallas Athena had robbed them of their understanding. They gave ear to Hektor with his evil counsel, but the wise words of Polydamas no man would heed. They took their supper throughout the host, and meanwhile through the whole night the Achaeans mourned Patroklos, and the son of Peleus led them in their lament. He laid his murderous hands upon the breast of his comrade, groaning again and again as a bearded lion when a man who was chasing deer has robbed him of his young in some dense forest; when the lion comes back he is furious, and searches dingle and dell to track the hunter if he can find him, for he is mad with rage - even so with many a sigh did Achilles speak among the Myrmidons saying, "Alas! vain were the words with which I cheered the hero Menoitios in his own house; I said that I would bring his brave son back again to Opoeis after he had sacked Ilion
and taken his share of the spoils - but Zeus does not give all men their heart's desire. The same soil shall be reddened here at Troy
by the blood of us both, for I too shall never be welcomed home by the old horseman Peleus, nor by my mother Thetis, but even in this place shall the earth cover me. Nevertheless, O Patroklos, now that I am left behind you, I will not bury you, till I have brought hither the head and armor of mighty Hektor who has slain you. Twelve noble sons of Trojans will I behead before your bier to avenge you; till I have done so you shall lie as you are by the ships, and fair women of Troy
and Dardanos, whom we have taken with spear and strength of arm when we sacked men's goodly cities, shall weep over you both night and day."
Then Achilles told his men to set a large tripod upon the fire that they might wash the clotted gore from off Patroklos. Thereon they set a tripod full of bath water on to a clear fire: they threw sticks on to it to make it blaze, and the water became hot as the flame played about the belly of the tripod. When the water in the cauldron was boiling they washed the body, anointed it with oil, and closed its wounds with ointment that had been kept nine years. Then they laid it on a bier and covered it with a linen cloth from head to foot, and over this they laid a fair white robe. Thus all night long did the Myrmidons gather round Achilles to mourn Patroklos.
Then Zeus said to Hera his sister-wife, "So, Queen Hera, you have gained your end, and have roused fleet Achilles. One would think that the Achaeans were of your own flesh and blood."
And Hera answered, "Dread son of Kronos, why should you say this thing? May not a man though he be only mortal and knows less than we do, do what he can for another person? And shall not I - foremost of all goddesses both by descent and as wife to you who reign in heaven - devise evil for the Trojans if I am angry with them?"
Thus did they converse. Meanwhile Thetis came to the house of Hephaistos, imperishable [aphthitos], star-bespangled, fairest of the abodes in heaven, a house of bronze wrought by the lame god's own hands. She found him busy with his bellows, sweating and hard at work, for he was making twenty tripods that were to stand by the wall of his house, and he set wheels of gold under them all that they might go of their own selves to the assemblies [agôn] of the gods, and come back again - marvels indeed to see. They were finished all but the ears of cunning workmanship which yet remained to be fixed to them: these he was now fixing, and he was hammering at the rivets. While he was thus at work silver-footed Thetis came to the house. Kharis, of graceful head-dress, wife to the far-famed lame god, came towards her as soon as she saw her, and took her hand in her own, saying, "Why have you come to our house, Thetis, honored and ever welcome - for you do not visit us often? Come inside and let me set refreshment before you."