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So saying the bright goddess led her on. Then she made her to sit on a silver-studded chair, [390] a beautiful chair, richly-wrought, and beneath was a footstool for the feet; and she called to Hephaestus, the famed craftsman, and spake to him, saying: “Hephaestus, come forth hither; Thetis hath need of thee.” And the famous god of the two strong arms answered her: “Verily then a dread and honoured goddess is within my halls, [395] even she that saved me when pain was come upon me after I had fallen afar through the will of my shameless mother, that was fain to hide me away by reason of my lameness. Then had I suffered woes in heart, had not Eurynome and Thetis received me into their bosom—Eurynome, daughter of backward-flowing Oceanus. [400] With them then for nine years' space I forged much cunning handiwork, brooches, and spiral arm-bands, and rosettes and necklaces,1 within their hollow cave; and round about me flowed, murmuring with foam, the stream of Oceanus, a flood unspeakable. Neither did any other know thereof, either of gods or of mortal men, [405] but Thetis knew and Eurynome, even they that saved me. And now is Thetis come to my house; wherefore it verily behoveth me to pay unto fair-tressed Thetis the full price for the saving of my life. But do thou set before her fair entertainment, while I put aside my bellows and all my tools.” [410] He spake, and from the anvil rose, a huge, panting2 bulk, halting the while, but beneath him his slender legs moved nimbly. The bellows he set away from the fire, and gathered all the tools wherewith he wrought into a silver chest; and with a sponge wiped he his face and his two hands withal, [415] and his mighty neck and shaggy breast, and put upon him a tunic, and grasped a stout staff, and went forth halting; but there moved swiftly to support their lord handmaidens wrought of gold in the semblance of living maids. In them is understanding in their hearts, and in them speech [420] and strength, and they know cunning handiwork by gift of the immortal gods. These busily moved to support their lord, and he, limping nigh to where Thetis was, sat him down upon a shining chair; and he clasped her by the hand, and spake, and addressed her: “Wherefore, long-robed Thetis, art thou come to our house, [425] an honoured guest and a welcome? Heretofore thou hast not been wont to come. Speak what is in thy mind; my heart bids me fulfill it, if fulfill it I can, and it is a thing that hath fulfillment.”

1 319.1

2 319.2

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