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[130] So saying, she placed it in his hands, and he took it gladly. And the prince Peisistratus took the gifts, and laid them in the box of the chariot, and gazed at them all wondering in his heart. Then fair-haired Menelaus led them to the house, and the two sat down on chairs and high seats. [135] And a handmaid brought water for the hands in a fair pitcher of gold, and poured it over a silver basin for them to wash, and beside them drew up a polished table. And the grave housewife brought and set before them bread, and therewith meats in abundance, granting freely of her store. [140] And hard by the son of Boethous carved the meat, and divided the portions, and the son of glorious Menelaus poured the wine. So they put forth their hands to the good cheer lying ready before them. But when they had put from them the desire of food and drink, then Telemachus and the glorious son of Nestor [145] yoked the horses and mounted the inlaid car, and drove forth from the gateway and the echoing portico. After them went the son of Atreus, fair-haired Menelaus, bearing in his right hand honey-hearted wine in a cup of gold, that they might pour libations ere they set out. [150] And he took his stand before the horses, and pledged the youths, and said: “Fare ye well, young men, and bear greeting to Nestor, shepherd of the host, for verily he was kind as a father to me, while we sons of the Achaeans warred in the land of Troy.” Then wise Telemachus answered him: [155] “Aye, verily, king, fostered of Zeus, to him will we tell all this on our coming, as thou dost bid. And I would that, when I return to Ithaca, I might as surely find Odysseus in his house, to tell him how I met with every kindness at thy hands, ere I departed and bring with me treasures many and goodly.” [160] Even as he spoke a bird flew by on the right, an eagle, bearing in his talons a great, white goose, a tame fowl from the yard, and men and women followed shouting. But the eagle drew near to them, and darted off to the right in front of the horses; and [165] they were glad as they saw it, and the hearts in the breasts of all were cheered. And among them Peisistratus, son of Nestor, was first to speak: “Consider, Menelaus, fostered of Zeus, leader of hosts, whether it was for us two that the god showed this sign, or for thyself.” so he spoke, and Menelaus, dear to Ares, pondered [170] how he might with understanding interpret the sign aright. But long-robed Helen took the word from him, and said: “Hear me, and I will prophesy as the immortals put it into my heart, and as I think it will be brought to pass. Even as this eagle came [175] from the mountain, where are his kin, and where he was born, and snatched up the goose that was bred in the house, even so shall Odysseus return to his home after many toils and many wanderings, and shall take vengeance; or even now he is at home, and is sowing the seeds of evil for all the wooers.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.568
    • Thomas D. Seymour, Commentary on Homer's Iliad, Books I-III, 1.444
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