But him Aphrodite snatched up, full easily as a goddess may, and shrouded him in thick mist, and set him down in his fragrant, vaulted1
chamber, and herself went to summon Helen. Her she found on the high wall, and round about her in throngs were the women of Troy.
Then with her hand the goddess laid hold of her fragrant robe, and plucked it, and spake to her in the likeness of an ancient dame, a wool-comber, who had been wont to card the fair wool for her when she dwelt in Lacedaemon, and who was well loved of her; in her likeness fair Aphrodite spake:
“Come hither; Alexander calleth thee to go to thy home. There is he in his chamber and on his inlaid couch, gleaming with beauty and fair raiment. Thou wouldest not deem that he had come thither from warring with a foe, but rather that he was going to the dance, or sat there as one that had but newly ceased from the dance.”
So spake she, and stirred Helen's heart in her breast; and when she marked the beauteous neck of the goddess, her lovely bosom, and her flashing eyes, then amazement seized her, and she spake, and addressed her, saying:“Strange goddess, why art thou minded to beguile me thus?
Verily thou wilt lead me yet further on to one of the well-peopled cities of Phrygia or lovely Maeonia, if there too there be some one of mortal men who is dear to thee, seeing that now Menelaus hath conquered goodly Alexander, and is minded to lead hateful me to his home.
It is for this cause that thou art now come hither with guileful thought. Go thou, and sit by his side, and depart from the way of the gods, neither let thy feet any more bear thee back to Olympus; but ever be thou troubled for him, and guard him, until he make thee his wife, or haply his slave.
But thither will I not go—it were a shameful thing—to array that man's couch; all the women of Troy will blame me hereafter; and I have measureless griefs at heart.”
Then stirred to wrath fair Aphrodite spake to her: “Provoke me not, rash woman, lest I wax wroth and desert thee,
and hate thee, even as now I love thee wondrously; and lest I devise grievous hatred between both, Trojans alike and Danaans; then wouldst thou perish of an evil fate.”
So spake she, and Helen, sprung from Zeus, was seized with fear; and she2
went, wrapping herself in her bright shining mantle,
in silence; and she was unseen of the Trojan women; and the goddess led the way.