And yet, though I often sit in my halls weeping and sorrowing for them all—one moment indeed I ease my heart with weeping, and then again I cease, for men soon have surfeit of chill lament—yet for them all I mourn not so much, despite my grief,
as for one only, who makes me to loathe both sleep and food, when I think of him; for no one of the Achaeans toiled so much as Odysseus toiled and endured. But to himself, as it seems, his portion was to be but woe, and for me there is sorrow never to be forgotten for him, in that he is gone so long, nor do we know aught
whether he be alive or dead. Mourned is he, I ween, by the old man Laertes, and by constant Penelope, and by Telemachus, whom he left a new-born child in his house.”
So he spoke, and in Telemachus he roused the desire to weep for his father. Tears from his eyelids he let fall upon the ground, when he heard his father's name,
and with both hands held up his purple cloak before his eyes. And Menelaus noted him, and debated in mind and heart whether he should leave him to speak of his father himself, or whether he should first question him and prove him in each thing.
While he pondered thus in mind and heart, forth then from her fragrant high-roofed chamber came Helen, like Artemis of the golden arrows;1
and with her came Adraste, and placed for her a chair, beautifully wrought, and Alcippe brought a rug of soft wool
and Phylo a silver basket, which Alcandre had given her, the wife of Polybus, who dwelt in Thebes
, where greatest store of wealth is laid up in men's houses. He gave to Menelaus two silver baths and two tripods and ten talents of gold.
And besides these, his wife gave to Helen also beautiful gifts,—a golden distaff and a basket with wheels beneath did she give, a basket of silver, and with gold were the rims thereof gilded.2
This then the handmaid, Phylo, brought and placed beside her, filled with finely-spun yarn, and across it
was laid the distaff laden with violet-dark wool. So Helen sat down upon the chair, and below was a footstool for the feet; and at once she questioned her husband on each matter, and said:
“Do we know, Menelaus, fostered of Zeus, who these men declare themselves to be who have come to our house?
Shall I disguise my thought, or speak the truth? Nay, my heart bids me speak. For never yet, I declare, saw I one so like another, whether man or woman—amazement holds me, as I look—as this man is like the son of great-hearted Odysseus, even Telemachus, whom that warrior left a new-born child in his house, when for the sake of shameless me ye Achaeans came up under the walls of Troy
, pondering in your hearts fierce war.”