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“Your gifts, my gallant youths, remain secure.
None can re-judge the prize. But to console
the misadventure of a blameless friend,
is in my power.” Therewith to Salius
an Afric lion's monstrous pelt he gave,
with ponderous mane, the claws o'erlaid with gold.
But Nisus cried: “If such a gift be found
for less than victory, and men who fall
are worthy so much sorrow, pray, what prize
shall Nisus have? For surely I had won
the proudest of the garlands, if one stroke
of inauspicious fortune had not fallen
on Salius and me.” So saying, he showed
his smeared face and his sorry limbs befouled
with mire and slime. Then laughed the gracious sire,
and bade a shield be brought, the cunning work
of Didymaon, which the Greeks tore down
from Neptune's temple; with this noble gift
he sent the high-born youth upon his way.
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