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Then spake unto him the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene:“O Father, Lord of the bright lightning and of the dark cloud, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded [180] to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto.” Then in answer to her spake Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: “Be of good cheer, Tritogeneia, dear child. In no wise do I speak with full purpose of heart, but am minded to be kindly to thee. [185] Do as thy pleasure is and hold thee back no more.” So saying he urged on Athene that was already eager, and down from the peaks of Olympus she went darting. But hard upon Hector pressed swift Achilles in ceaseless pursuit. And as when on the mountains a hound [190] rouseth from his covert the fawn of a deer and chaseth him through glens and glades, and though he escape for a time, cowering beneath a thicket, yet doth the hound track him out and run ever on until he find him; even so Hector escaped not the swift-footed son of Peleus. Oft as he strove to rush straight for the Dardanian gates [195] to gain the shelter of the well-built walls, if so be his fellows from above might succour him with missiles, so oft would Achilles be beforehand with him and turn him back toward the plain, but himself sped on by the city's walls. And as in a dream a man availeth not to pursue one that fleeth before him— [200] the one availeth not to flee, nor the other to pursue—even so Achilles availed not to overtake Hector in his fleetness, neither Hector to escape. And how had Hector escaped the fates of death, but that Apollo, albeit for the last and latest time, drew nigh him to rouse his strength and make swift his knees? [205] And to his folk goodly Achilles made sign with a nod of his head, and would not suffer them to hurl at Hector their bitter darts, lest another might smite him and win glory, and himself come too late. But when for the fourth time they were come to the springs, lo then the Father lifted on high his golden scales, [210] and set therein two fates of grievous death, one for Achilles, and one for horse-taming Hector; then he grasped the balance by the midst and raised it; and down sank the day of doom of Hector, and departed unto Hades; and Phoebus Apollo left him. But unto Peleus' son came the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, [215] and drawing nigh she spake to him winged words: “Now in good sooth, glorious Achilles, dear to Zeus, have I hope that to the ships we twain shall bear off great glory for the Achaeans, having slain Hector, insatiate of battle though he be; for now is it no more possible for him to escape us, [220] nay, not though Apollo, that worketh afar, should travail sore, grovelling before Father Zeus, that beareth the aegis. But do thou now stand, and get thy breath; myself will I go and persuade yon warrior to do battle with thee man to man.” So spake Athene, and he obeyed and was glad at heart, [225] and stood leaning upon his bronze-barbed spear of ash. But she left him, and came to goodly Hector in the likeness of Deiphobus both in form and untiring voice; and drawing nigh she spake to him winged words:

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