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“So I spoke, and the spirit of the son of Aeacus departed with long strides over the field of asphodel, [540] joyful in that I said that his son was preeminent. “And other spirits of those dead and gone stood sorrowing, and each asked of those dear to him. Alone of them all the spirit of Aias, son of Telamon, stood apart, still full of wrath for the victory [545] that I had won over him in the contest by the ships for the arms of Achilles, whose honored mother had set them for a prize; and the judges were the sons of the Trojans and Pallas Athena. I would that I had never won in the contest for such a prize, over so noble a head did the earth close because of those arms, [550] even over Aias, who in comeliness and in deeds of war was above all the other Achaeans, next to the peerless son of Peleus. To him I spoke with soothing words: “‘Aias, son of peerless Telamon, wast thou then not even in death to forget thy wrath against me because of [555] those accursed arms? Surely the gods set them to be a bane to the Argives: such a tower of strength was lost to them in thee; and for thee in death we Achaeans sorrow unceasingly, even as for the life of Achilles, son of Peleus. Yet no other is to blame but Zeus, [560] who bore terrible hatred against the host of Danaan spearmen, and brought on thee thy doom. Nay, come hither, prince, that thou mayest hear my word and my speech; and subdue thy wrath and thy proud spirit.’ “So I spoke, but he answered me not a word, but went his way to Erebus to join the other spirits of those dead and gone. [565] Then would he nevertheless have spoken to me for all his wrath, or I to him, but the heart in my breast was fain to see the spirits of those others that are dead.

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