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[200] So spake he, but his wife uttered a shrill cry, and spake in answer:“Ah, woe is me, whither now is gone the wisdom for the which of old thou wast famed among stranger folk and among them thou rulest? How art thou fain to go alone to the ships of the Achaeans to meet the eyes of the man who [205] hath slain thy sons, many and valiant? Of iron verily is thy heart. For if so be he get thee in his power and his eyes behold thee, so savage and faithless is the man, he will neither pity thee nor anywise have reverence. Nay, let us now make our lament afar from him we mourn, abiding here in the hall. On this wise for him did mighty Fate spin [210] with her thread at his birth, when myself did bear him, that he should glut swift-footed dogs far from his parents, in the abode of a violent man, in whose inmost heart I were fain to fix my teeth and feed thereon; then haply might deeds of requital be wrought for my son, seeing in no wise while playing the dastard was he slain of him, [215] but while standing forth in defence of the men and deep-bosomed women of Troy, with no thought of shelter or of flight.” Then in answer spake unto her the old man, god-like Priam:“Seek not to stay me that am fain to go, neither be thyself a bird of ill-boding in my halls; thou shalt not persuade me. [220] For if any other of the men that are upon the face of the earth had bidden me this, whether of seers that divine from sacrifice or of priests, a false thing might we deem it, and turn away therefrom the more; but now—for myself I heard the voice of the goddess and looked upon her face—I will go forth, neither shall her word be vain. And if it be my fate [225] to lie dead by the ships of the brazen-coated Achaeans, so would I have it; forthwith let Achilles slay me, when once I have clasped in my arms my son, and have put from me the desire for wailing.”

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