But thy mother asked of the gods beautiful prizes, and set them in the midst of the list for the chiefs of the Achaeans. Ere now hast thou been present at the funeral games of many men that were warriors, when at the death of a king the young men gird themselves and make ready the contests,
but hadst thou seen that sight thou wouldst most have marvelled at heart, such beautiful prizes did the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, set there in thy honor; for very dear wast thou to the gods. Thus not even in death didst thou lose thy name, but ever shalt thou have fair renown among all men, Achilles.
But, as for me, what pleasure have I now in this, that I wound up the skein of war? For on my return Zeus devised for me a woeful doom at the hands of Aegisthus and my accursed wife.”
Thus they spoke to one another, but the messenger, Argeiphontes, drew near,
leading down the spirits of the wooers slain by Odysseus; and the two, seized with wonder, went straight toward them when they beheld them. And the spirit of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, recognized the dear son of Melaneus, glorious Amphimedon, who had been his host, dwelling in Ithaca
Then the spirit of the son of Atreus spoke first to him and said
“Amphimedon, what has befallen you that ye have come down beneath the dark earth, all of you picked men and of like age? One would make no other choice, were one to pick the best men in a city. Did Poseidon smite you on board your ships,
when he had roused cruel winds and long waves? Or did foemen work you harm on the land, while you were cutting off their cattle and fair flocks of sheep, or while they fought in defence of their city and their women? Tell me what I ask; for I declare that I am a friend of thy house.
Dost thou not remember when I came thither to your house with godlike Menelaus to urge Odysseus to go with us to Ilios
on the benched ships? A full month it took us to cross all the wide sea, for hardly could we win to our will Odysseus, the sacker of cities.”
Then the spirit of Amphimedon answered him, and said: “Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, I remember all these things, O thou fostered of Zeus, even as thou dost tell them; and on my part I will frankly tell thee all the truth, how for us an evil end of death was wrought.
We wooed the wife of Odysseus, that had long been gone, and she neither refused the hateful marriage, nor would she ever make an end, devising for us death and black fate. Nay, she contrived in her heart this guileful thing also: she set up in her halls a great web, and fell to weaving—
fine of thread was the web and very wide; and straightway she spoke among us:
“‘Young men, my wooers, since goodly Odysseus is dead, be patient, though eager for my marriage, until I finish this robe—I would not that my spinning should come to naught—a shroud for the lord Laertes against the time when
the fell fate of grievous death shall strike him down; lest any of the Achaean women in the land should be wroth at me, if he were to lie without a shroud, who had won great possessions.’