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Howbeit the pyre of dead Patroclus kindled not. Then again did swift footed goodlyAchilles take other counsel; he took his stand apart from the pyre, and made prayer to the two winds, [195] to the North Wind and the West Wind, and promised fair offerings, and full earnestly, as he poured libations from a cup of gold, he besought them to come, to the end that the corpses might speedily blaze with fire, and the wood make haste to be kindled. Then forthwith Iris heard his prayer, and hied her with the message to the winds. [200] They in the house of the fierce-blowing West Wind were feasting all together at the banquet and Iris halted from her running on the threshold of stone. Soon as their eyes beheld her, they all sprang up and called her each one to himself. But she refused to sit, and spake saying: [205] “I may not sit, for I must go back unto the streams of Oceanus, unto the land of the Ethiopians, where they are sacrificing hecatombs to the immortals, that I too may share in the sacred feast. But Achilles prayeth the North Wind and the noisy West Wind to come, and promiseth them fair offerings, that so ye may rouse the pyre to burn whereon lieth [210] Patroclus, for whom all the Achaeans groan aloud.” When she had thus departed, and they arose with a wondrous din, driving the clouds tumultuously before them. And swiftly they came to the sea to blow thereon, and the wave swelled [215] beneath the shrill blast; and they came to deep-soiled Troyland, and fell upon the pyre, and mightily roared the wordrous blazing fire. So the whole night long as with one blast they beat upon the flame of the pyre, blowing shrill; and the whole night long swift Achilles, taking a two-handled cup in hand, [220] drew wine from a golden howl and poured it upon the earth, and wetted the ground, calling ever upon the spirit of hapless Patroclus. As a father waileth for his son, as he burneth his bones, a son newly wed whose death has brought woe to his hapless parents, even so wailed Achilles for his comrade as he burned his bones, [225] going heavily about the pyre with ceaseless groaning.

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 18.492
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