“So he spoke, and I made answer and said: ‘Teiresias, of all this, I ween, the gods themselves have spun the thread.
But come, tell me this, and declare it truly. I see here the spirit of my dead mother; she sits in silence near the blood, and deigns not to look upon the face of her own son or to speak to him. Tell me, prince, how she may recognize that I am he?’
“So I spoke, and he straightway made answer, and said: ‘Easy is the word that I shall say and put in thy mind. Whomsoever of those that are dead and gone thou shalt suffer to draw near the blood, he will tell thee sooth; but whomsoever thou refusest, he surely will go back again.’
“So saying the spirit of the prince, Teiresias, went back into the house of Hades, when he had declared his prophecies; but I remained there steadfastly until my mother came up and drank the dark blood. At once then she knew me, and with wailing she spoke to me winged words:
“‘My child, how didst thou come beneath the murky darkness, being still alive? Hard is it for those that live to behold these realms, for between are great rivers and dread streams; Oceanus first, which one may in no wise cross on foot, but only if one have a well-built ship.
Art thou but now come hither from Troy
after long wanderings with thy ship and thy companions? and hast thou not yet reached Ithaca
, nor seen thy wife in thy halls?’
“So she spoke, and I made answer and said: ‘My mother, necessity brought me down to the house of Hades,
to seek soothsaying of the spirit of Theban Teiresias. For not yet have I come near to the shore of Achaea
, nor have I as yet set foot on my own land, but have ever been wandering, laden with woe, from the day when first I went with goodly Agamemnon to Ilios
, famed for its horses, to fight with the Trojans.
But come, tell me this, and declare it truly. What fate of grievous death overcame thee? Was it long disease, or did the archer, Artemis, assail thee with her gentle shafts, and slay thee? And tell me of my father and my son, whom I left behind me.
Does the honor that was mine still abide with them, or does some other man now possess it, and do they say that I shall no more return? And tell me of my wedded wife, of her purpose and of her mind. Does she abide with her son, and keep all things safe? or has one already wedded her, whosoever is best of the Achaeans?’