In book 23 Achilles has a dream in which the ghost of Patrocles appears asking for his funeral to take place as quickly as possible because until that is done he cannot enter the house of Hades. He also asks for his ashes to be joined with Achilles’ when Achilles dies. The whole language and sound of the episode has a dream like quality. In the last line you can hear the ghost of Patrocles beginning to fade as the sounds get softer.

(It should be said that some people think the last line is an interpolation on the basis that this jar is mentioned in the Odyssey and that it is unlikely that Achilles’ mother would give him so Ill omened a present as a funeral urn but for me the sound of the line so perfectly fits the scene that even if it’s an interpolation I’m glad it’s there)

ὣς δὲ καὶ ὀστέα νῶϊν ὁμὴ σορὸς ἀμφικαλύπτοι
χρύσεος ἀμφιφορεύς, τόν τοι πόρε πότνια μήτηρ.

So may a single urn cover our bones,
the golden one with two handles which your lady mother gave you.

Iliad 23.91

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