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Menelaos
You are setting this right, too; then I will sail with you, and help let down the funeral offerings, in the same ship.

Helen
You must above all be at hand, [1070] with your sailors who escaped from the wreck.

Menelaos
Be sure that if I have a ship at anchor, they will be posted, man beside man, each with his sword.

Helen
You must direct everything; only let there be winds in our sails to guide us, and a speedy ship.

Menelaos
[1075] It will be so; for the deities will bring my troubles to an end. But from whom will you say that you heard I was dead?

Helen
From you; allege that you were the only one to escape death, when you were sailing with the son of Atreus, and that you saw him dead.

Menelaos
It is true that these rags thrown around my body [1080] will bear witness with me as to the shipwreck.

Helen
They have come at the right time, although then they seemed an ill-timed loss. Perhaps that misery may turn to good fortune.

Menelaos
Should I to enter the house with you, or am I to sit quietly here at this tomb?

Helen
[1085] Stay here; for if he does something harsh to you, this tomb and your sword would protect you. But I will go into the house, cut off my hair, exchange my white robe for a dark one, and tear my cheek with nails that make the flesh bloody. [1090] For the contest is a great one, and I see two turns of the scale: either I must die if I am detected in my plot, or else come home and save you as well.

Lady Hera, you who lie in the bed of Zeus, grant relief from their labors to two pitiable creatures; [1095] we beg you, casting our arms straight towards heaven, where you have your home in an embroidery of stars. And you, who won the prize of beauty at the price of my marriage, Kypris, daughter of Dione, do not destroy me utterly. You have maltreated me enough before now, [1100] handing over my name, though not my body, to barbarians. Let me die, if you want to kill me, in my native land. Why are you so insatiable for mischief, practising arts of love, deceits, and treacherous schemes, and magic spells that bring bloodshed on families? [1105] If you were only moderate, in other ways you are by nature the sweetest of gods for men; I don't deny it.Helen enters the palace and Menelaos withdraws into the background.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), COMA
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