He went up to her and said, "What do you want that you have come hither from Olympus
- and that too with neither chariot nor horses to convey you?"
Then Hera told him a lying tale and said, "I am going to the world's end, to visit Okeanos, from whom all we gods proceed, and mother Tethys; they received me into their house, took care of me, and brought me up. I must go and see them that I may make peace between them: they have been quarreling, and are so angry that they have not slept with one another this long time. The horses that will take me over land and sea are stationed on the lowermost spurs of many-fountained Ida, and I have come here from Olympus
on purpose to consult you. I was afraid you might be angry with me later on, if I went to the house of Okeanos without letting you know."
And Zeus said, "Hera, you can choose some other time for paying your visit to Okeanos - for the present let us devote ourselves to love and to the enjoyment of one another. Never yet have I been so overpowered by passion neither for goddess nor mortal woman as I am at this moment for yourself - not even when I was in love with the wife of Ixion who bore me Peirithoos, peer of gods in counsel, nor yet with Danae the daintily-ankled daughter of Acrisius, who bore me the famed hero Perseus. Then there was the daughter of Phoenix, who bore me Minos and Rhadamanthus: there was Semele, and Alkmene in Thebes
by whom I begot my lion-hearted son Herakles, while Semele became mother to Bacchus the comforter of humankind. There was queen Demeter again, and lovely Leto, and yourself - but with none of these was I ever so much enamored as I now am with you."
Hera again answered him with a lying tale. "Most dread son of Kronos," she exclaimed, "what are you talking about? Would you have us enjoy one another here on the top of Mount Ida
, where everything can be seen? What if one of the ever-living gods should see us sleeping together, and tell the others? It would be such a scandal that when I had risen from your embraces I could never show myself inside your house again; but if you are so minded, there is a room which your son Hephaistos has made me, and he has given it good strong doors; if you would so have it, let us go thither and lie down."
And Zeus answered, "Hera, you need not be afraid that either god or man will see you, for I will enshroud both of us in such a dense golden cloud, that the very sun for all his bright piercing beams shall not see through it."
With this the son of Kronos caught his wife in his embrace; whereon the earth sprouted them a cushion of young grass, with dew-bespangled lotus, crocus, and hyacinth, so soft and thick that it raised them well above the ground. Here they laid themselves down and overhead they were covered by a fair cloud of gold, from which there fell glittering dew-drops.
Thus, then, did the sire of all things repose peacefully on the crest of Ida, overcome at once by sleep and love, and he held his spouse in his arms. Meanwhile Sleep made off to the ships of the Achaeans, to tell earth-encircling Poseidon, lord of the earthquake. When he had found him he said, "Now, Poseidon, you can help the Danaans with a will, and give them victory though it be only for a short time while Zeus is still sleeping. I have sent him into a sweet slumber, and Hera has beguiled him into going to bed with her."
Sleep now departed and went his ways to and fro among humankind, leaving Poseidon more eager than ever to help the Danaans. He darted forward among the first ranks and shouted saying, "Argives, shall we let Hektor son of Priam have the triumph of taking our ships and covering himself with glory? This is what he says that he shall now do, seeing that Achilles is still in dudgeon at his ship; We shall get on very well without him if we keep each other in heart and stand by one another. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say. Let us each take the best and largest shield we can lay hold of, put on our helmets, and sally forth with our longest spears in our hands; will lead you on, and Hektor son of Priam, rage as he may, will not dare to hold out against us. If any good staunch warrior has only a small shield, let him hand it over to a worse man, and take a larger one for himself."