Thereon laughter-loving Aphrodite said, "I cannot and must not refuse you, for you sleep in the arms of Zeus who is our king."
As she spoke she loosed from her bosom the curiously embroidered girdle into which all her charms had been wrought - love, desire, and that sweet flattery which steals the judgment [noos] even of the most prudent. She gave the girdle to Hera and said, "Take this girdle wherein all my charms reside and lay it in your bosom. If you will wear it I promise you that your errand, be it what it may, will not be bootless."
When she heard this Hera smiled, and still smiling she laid the girdle in her bosom.
Aphrodite now went back into the house of Zeus, while Hera darted down from the summits of Olympus
. She passed over Pieria
and fair Emathia
, and went on and on till she came to the snowy ranges of the Thracian horsemen, over whose topmost crests she sped without ever setting foot to ground. When she came to Athos
she went on over the, waves of the sea [pontos] till she reached Lemnos
, the city of noble Thoas. There she met Sleep, own brother to Death, and caught him by the hand, saying, "Sleep, you who lord it alike over mortals and immortals, if you ever did me a service in times past, do one for me now, and I shall show gratitude [kharis] to you ever after. Close Zeus' keen eyes for me in slumber while I hold him clasped in my embrace, and I will give you a beautiful golden seat, that can never fall to pieces; my clubfooted son Hephaistos shall make it for you, and he shall give it a footstool for you to rest your fair feet upon when you are at table."
Then Sleep answered, "Hera, great queen of goddesses, daughter of mighty Kronos, I would lull any other of the gods to sleep without compunction, not even excepting the waters of Okeanos from whom all of them proceed, but I dare not go near Zeus, nor send him to sleep unless he bids me. I have had one lesson already through doing what you asked me, on the day when Zeus' mighty son Herakles set sail from Ilion
after having sacked the city of the Trojans. At your bidding I suffused my sweet self over the mind [noos] of aegis-bearing Zeus, and laid him to rest; meanwhile you hatched a plot against Herakles, and set the blasts of the angry winds beating upon the sea [pontos], till you took him to the goodly city of Cos away from all his friends. Zeus was furious when he awoke, and began hurling the gods about all over the house; he was looking more particularly for myself, and would have flung me down through space into the sea [pontos] where I should never have been heard of any more, had not Night who cows both men and gods protected me. I fled to her and Zeus left off looking for me in spite of his being so angry, for he did not dare do anything to displease Night. And now you are again asking me to do something on which I cannot venture."
And Hera said, "Sleep, why do you take such notions as those into your head? Do you think Zeus will be as anxious to help the Trojans, as he was about his own son? Come, I will marry you to one of the youngest of the Graces [kharites], and she shall be your own - Pasithea, whom you have always wanted to marry."
Sleep was pleased when he heard this, and answered, "Then swear it to me by the dread waters of the river Styx; lay one hand on the bounteous earth, and the other on the sheen of the sea, so that all the gods who dwell down below with Kronos may be our witnesses, and see that you really do give me one of the youngest of the Graces [kharites] - Pasithea, whom I have always wanted to marry."
Hera did as he had said. She swore, and invoked all the gods of the nether world, who are called Titans, to witness. When she had completed her oath, the two enshrouded themselves in a thick mist and sped lightly forward, leaving Lemnos
and Imbros behind them. Presently they reached many-fountained Ida, mother of wild beasts, and Lectum where they left the sea to go on by land, and the tops of the trees of the forest soughed under the going of their feet. Here Sleep halted, and ere Zeus caught sight of him he climbed a lofty pine-tree - the tallest that reared its head towards heaven on all Ida. He hid himself behind the branches and sat there in the semblance of the sweet-singing bird that haunts the mountains and is called Khalkis
by the gods, but men call it Kymindis. Hera then went to Gargaros, the topmost peak of Ida, and Zeus, driver of the clouds, set eyes upon her. As soon as he did so he became inflamed with the same passionate desire for her that he had felt when they had first enjoyed each other's embraces, and slept with one another without their dear parents knowing anything about it.