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So spake he, and in Achilles he roused desire to weep for his father; and he took the old man by the hand, and gently put him from him. So the twain bethought them of their dead, and wept; the one for man-slaying Hector wept sore, [510] the while he grovelled at Achilles' feet, but Achilles wept for his own father, and now again for Patroclus; and the sound of their moaning went up through the house. But when goodly Achilles had had his fill of lamenting, and the longing therefor had departed from his heart and limbs, [515] forthwith then he sprang from his seat, and raised the old man by his hand, pitying his hoary head and hoary beard; and he spake and addressed him with winged words:“ Ah, unhappy man, full many in good sooth are the evils thou hast endured in thy soul. How hadst thou the heart to come alone to the ships of the Achaeans, [520] to meet the eyes of me that have slain thy sons many and valiant? Of iron verily is thy heart. But come, sit thou upon a seat, and our sorrows will we suffer to lie quiet in our hearts, despite our pain; for no profit cometh of chill lament. [525] For on this wise have the gods spun the thread for wretched mortals, that they should live in pain; and themselves are sorrowless. For two urns are set upon the floor of Zeus of gifts that he giveth, the one of ills, the other of blessings. To whomsoever Zeus, that hurleth the thunderbolt, giveth a mingled lot, [530] that man meeteth now with evil, now with good; but to whomsoever he giveth but of the baneful, him he maketh to be reviled of man, and direful madness driveth him over the face of the sacred earth, and he wandereth honoured neither of gods nor mortals. Even so unto Peleus did the gods give glorious gifts [535] from his birth; for he excelled all men in good estate and in wealth, and was king over the Myrmidons, and to him that was but a mortal the gods gave a goddess to be his wife. [540] Howbeit even upon him the gods brought evil, in that there nowise sprang up in his halls offspring of princely sons, but he begat one only son, doomed to an untimely fate. Neither may I tend him as he groweth old, seeing that far, far from mine own country I abide in the land of Troy, vexing thee and thy children. And of thee, old sire, we hear that of old thou wast blest; how of all that toward the sea Lesbos, the seat of Macar, encloseth, [545] and Phrygia in the upland, and the boundless Hellespont, over all these folk, men say, thou, old sire, wast preeminent by reason of thy wealth and thy sons. Howbeit from the time when the heavenly gods brought upon thee this bane, ever around thy city are battles and slayings of men. Bear thou up, neither wail ever ceaselessly in thy heart; for naught wilt thou avail by grieving for thy son, [550] neither wilt thou bring him back to life; ere that shalt thou suffer some other ill.”

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