So saying, the goddess set before him a table laden with ambrosia, and mixed the ruddy nectar. So he drank and ate, the messenger Argeiphontes.
But when he had dined and satisfied his soul with food, then he made answer, and addressed her, saying:
“Thou, a goddess, dost question me, a god, upon my coming, and I will speak my word truly, since thou biddest me. It was Zeus who bade me come hither against my will.
Who of his own will would speed over so great space of salt sea-water, great past telling? Nor is there at hand any city of mortals who offer to the gods sacrifice and choice hecatombs. But it is in no wise possible for any other god to evade or make void the will of Zeus, who bears the aegis.
He says that there is here with thee a man most wretched above all those warriors who around the city of Priam fought for nine years, and in the tenth year sacked the city and departed homeward. But on the way they sinned against Athena, and she sent upon them an evil wind and long waves.
There all the rest of his goodly comrades perished, but as for him, the wind and the wave, as they bore him, brought him hither. Him now Zeus bids thee to send on his way with all speed, for it is not his fate to perish here far from his friends, but it is still his lot to see his friends and reach
his high-roofed house and his native land.”
So he spoke, and Calypso, the beautiful goddess, shuddered, and she spoke, and addressed him with winged words: “Cruel are ye, O ye gods, and quick to envy above all others, seeing that ye begrudge goddesses that they should mate with men
openly, if any takes a mortal as her dear bed-fellow. Thus, when rosy-fingered Dawn took to herself Orion
, ye gods that live at ease begrudged her, till in Ortygia chaste Artemis of the golden throne assailed him with her gentle1
shafts and slew him.
Thus too, when fair-tressed Demeter, yielding to her passion, lay in love with Iasion in the thrice-ploughed fallow land, Zeus was not long without knowledge thereof, but smote him with his bright thunder-bolt and slew him. And even so again do ye now begrudge me, O ye gods, that a mortal man should abide with me.
Him I saved when he was bestriding the keel and all alone, for Zeus had smitten his swift ship with his bright thunder-bolt, and had shattered2
it in the midst of the wine-dark sea. There all the rest of his goodly comrades perished, but as for him, the wind and the wave, as they bore him, brought him hither.
Him I welcomed kindly and gave him food, and said that I would make him immortal and ageless all his days. But since it is in no wise possible for any other god to evade or make void the will of Zeus who bears the aegis, let him go his way, if Zeus thus orders and commands,
over the unresting sea. But it is not I that shall give him convoy, for I have at hand no ships with oars and no men to send him on his way over the broad back of the sea. But with a ready heart will I give him counsel, and will hide naught, that all unscathed he may return to his native land.”