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“Out upon it! Vain in sooth was the word I uttered on that day, [325] when I sought to hearten the warrior Menoetius in our halls; and said that when I had sacked Ilios I would bring back to him unto Opoeis his glorious son with the share of the spoil that should fall to his lot. But lo, Zeus fulfilleth not for men all their purposes; for both of us twain are fated to redden the selfsame earth with our blood [330] here in the land of Troy; since neither shall I come back to be welcomed of the old knight Peleus in his halls, nor of my mother Thetis, but even here shall the earth hold me fast. But now, Patroclus, seeing I shall after thee pass beneath the earth, I will not give thee burial till I have brought hither the armour and the head of Hector, [335] the slayer of thee, the great-souled; and of twelve glorious sons of the Trojans will I cut the throats before thy pyre in my wrath at thy slaying. Until then beside the beaked ships shalt thou lie, even as thou art, and round about thee shall deep-bosomed Trojan and Dardanian women [340] make lament night and day with shedding of tears, even they that we twain got us through toil by our might and our long spears, when we wasted rich cities of mortal men.” So saying, goodly Achilles bade his comrades set upon the fire a great cauldron, that with speed [345] they might wash from Patroclus the bloody gore. And they set upon the blazing fire the cauldron for filling the bath, and poured in water, and took billets of wood and kindled them beneath it. Then the fire played about the belly of the cauldron, and the water grew warm. But when the water boiled in the bright bronze, [350] then they washed him and anointed him richly with oil, filling his wounds with ointment of nine1 years old; and they laid him upon his bed, and covered him with a soft linen cloth from head to foot, and thereover with a white robe. So the whole night through around Achilles, swift of foot, [355] the Myrmidons made moan in lamentation for Patroclus; but Zeus spake unto Hera, his sister and his wife: “Thou hast then had thy way, O ox-eyed, queenly Hera; thou hast aroused Achilles, swift of foot. In good sooth must the long-haired Achaeans be children of thine own womb.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 569
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 4.502
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.87
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