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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

Page: 46

'When they gazed on each other King Priam said, "When thou goest to lie down, lord Achilles, permit me to lie down also. Not once have my eyelids closed in sleep since my son Hector lost his life. And now I have tasted bread and meat and wine for the first time since, and I could sleep."'

'Achilles ordered that a bed be made in the portico for King Priam and his henchman, but before they went Achilles said: "Tell me, King, and tell me truly, for how many days dost thou desire to make a funeral for Hector? For so many days space I will keep back the battle from the City so that thou mayst

'So Achilles thought. And afterwards the arrow fired by Paris struck him as he fought before the gate of the City, and he was slain even on the place where he slew Hector. But the Greeks carried off his body and his armour and brought them back to the ships. And Achilles was lamented over, though not by old Peleus, his father. From the depths of the sea came Thetis, his goddess-mother, and with her came the Maidens of the Sea. They covered the body of Achilles with wonderful raiment and over it they lamented for seventeen days and seventeen nights. On the eighteenth day he was laid in the grave beside Patroklos, his dear friend, and over them both the Greeks raised a barrow that was wondered at in the after-times.'


XXI

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ow Hector's sister was the first to see her father coming in the dawn across the plain of Troy with the wagon upon which his body was laid. She came down to the City and she cried through the streets, "O men and women of Troy, ye who often went to the gates to meet Hector coming back with victory, come now to the gates to receive Hector dead."'


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