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“ Aye, and I would counsel you others also to sail back to your homes; seeing there is no more hope that ye shall win the goal of steep Ilios; for mightily doth Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, [420] hold forth his hand above her, and her people are filled with courage. But go ye your way and declare my message to the chieftains of the Achaeans—for that is the office of elders—to the end that they may devise some other plan in their minds better than this, even such as shall save their ships, and the host of the Achaeans [425] beside the hollow ships; seeing this is not to be had for them, which now they have devised, by reason of the fierceness of my anger. Howbeit let Phoenix abide here with us, and lay him down to sleep, that he may follow with me on my ships to my dear native land on the morrow, if so he will; but perforce will I not take him.” [430] So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence, marveling at his words; for with exceeding vehemence did he deny them. But at length there spake among them the old horseman Phoenix, bursting into tears, for that greatly did he fear for the ships of the Achaeans:“If verily thou layest up in thy mind, glorious Achilles, [435] the purpose of returning, neither art minded at all to ward from the swift ships consuming fire, for that wrath hath fallen upon thy heart; how can I then, dear child, be left here without thee, alone? It was to thee that the old horseman Peleus sent me on the day when he sent thee to Agamemnon, forth from Phthia, [440] a mere child, knowing naught as yet of evil war, neither of gatherings wherein men wax preeminent. For this cause sent he me to instruct thee in all these things, to be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Wherefore, dear child, I am not minded hereafter [445] to be left alone without thee, nay, not though a god himself should pledge him to strip from me my old age and render me strong in youth as in the day when first I left Hellas, the home of fair women, fleeing from strife with my father Amyntor, son of Ormenus; for he waxed grievously wroth against me by reason of his fair-haired concubine, [450] whom himself he ever cherished, and scorned his wife, my mother. So she besought me by my knees continually, to have dalliance with that other first myself, that the old man might be hateful in her eyes. ”

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