When he heard this the old man was afraid and roused his servant. Hermes then yoked their horses and mules, and drove them quickly through the host so that no man perceived them. When they came to the ford of eddying Xanthos
, begotten of immortal Zeus, Hermes went back to high Olympus
, and dawn in robe of saffron began to break over all the land. Priam and Idaios then drove on toward the city lamenting and making moan, and the mules drew the body of Hektor. No one neither man nor woman saw them,
till Cassandra, fair as golden Aphrodite standing on Pergamos
, caught sight of her dear father in his chariot, and his servant that was the city's herald with him. Then she saw him that was lying upon the bier, drawn by the mules, and with a loud cry she went about the city saying, "Come hither Trojans, men and women, and look on Hektor; if ever you rejoiced to see him coming from battle when he was alive, look now on him that was the glory of our city and all our ."
At this there was not man nor woman left in the city, so great a sorrow [penthos] had possessed them. Hard by the gates they met Priam as he was bringing in the body. Hektor's wife and his mother were the first to mourn him: they flew towards the wagon and laid their hands upon his head, while the crowd stood weeping round them. They would have stayed before the gates, weeping and lamenting the livelong day to the going down of the sun, had not Priam spoken to them from the chariot and said, "Make way for the mules to pass you. Afterwards when I have taken the body home you shall have your fill of weeping."
On this the people stood asunder, and made a way for the wagon. When they had borne the body within the house they laid it upon a bed and seated minstrels round it to lead the dirge, whereon the women joined in the sad music of their lament. Foremost among them all Andromache led their wailing as she clasped the head of mighty Hektor in her embrace. "Husband," she cried, "you have died young, and leave me in your house a widow; he of whom we are the ill-starred parents is still a mere child, and I fear he may not reach manhood. Ere he can do so our city will be razed and overthrown, for you who watched over it are no more - you who were its savior, the guardian of our wives and children. Our women will be carried away captives to the ships, and I among them; while you, my child, who will be with me will be put to some unseemly tasks, working for a cruel master. Or, may be,
some Achaean will hurl you (O miserable death) from our walls, to avenge some brother, son, or father whom Hektor slew; many of them have indeed bitten the dust at his hands, for your father's hand in battle was no light one. Therefore do the people mourn him. You have left, O Hektor, sorrow unutterable to your parents, and my own grief [penthos] is greatest of all, for you did not stretch forth your arms and embrace me as you lay dying, nor say to me any words that might have lived with me in my tears night and day for evermore."
Bitterly did she weep the while, and the women joined in her lament. Hecuba in her turn took up the strains of woe. "Hektor," she cried, "dearest to me of all my children. So long as you were alive the gods loved you well, and even in death they have not been utterly unmindful of you; for when Achilles took any other of my sons, he would sell him beyond the seas, to Samos Imbros or rugged Lemnos
; and when he had taken away with his sword your life-breath [psukhê] as well, many a time did he drag you round the sepulcher [sêma] of his comrade - though this could not give him life - yet here you lie all fresh as dew, and comely as one whom Apollo has slain with his painless shafts."
Thus did she too speak through her tears with bitter moan, and then Helen for a third time took up the strain of lamentation. "Hektor," said she, "dearest of all my brothers-in-law-for I am wife to Alexander who brought me hither to Troy
- would that I had died ere he did so - twenty years are come and gone since I left my home and came from over the sea, but I have never heard one word of insult or unkindness from you. When another would chide with me, as it might be one of your brothers or sisters or of your brothers' wives, or my mother-in-law - for Priam was as kind to me as though he were my own father - you would rebuke and check them with words of gentleness and goodwill. Therefore my tears flow both for you and for my unhappy self, for there is no one else in Troy who is kind to me, but all shrink and shudder as they go by me."
She wept as she spoke and the vast population [dêmos] that was gathered round her joined in her lament. Then King Priam spoke to them saying, "Bring wood, O Trojans, to the city, and fear no cunning ambush of the Argives, for Achilles when he dismissed me from the ships gave me his word that they should not attack us until the morning of the twelfth day."