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Then in answer spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer. “Hera, thither mayest thou go even hereafter. But for us twain, come, let us take our joy couched together in love; [315] for never yet did desire for goddess or mortal woman so shed itself about me and overmaster the heart within my breast—nay, not when I was seized with love of the wife of Ixion, who bare Peirithous, the peer of the gods in counsel; nor of Danaë of the fair ankles, daughter of Acmsius, [320] who bare Perseus, pre-eminent above all warriors; nor of the daughter of far-famed Phoenix, that bare me Minos and godlike Rhadamanthys; nor of Semele, nor of Alcmene in Thebes, and she brought forth Heracles, her son stout of heart, [325] and Semele bare Dionysus, the joy of mortals; nor of Demeter, the fair-tressed queen; nor of glorious Leto; nay, nor yet of thine own self, as now I love thee, and sweet desire layeth hold of me.” Then with crafty mind the queenly Hera spake unto him: [330] “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said. If now thou art fain to be couched in love on the peaks of Ida, where all is plain to view, what and if some one of the gods that are for ever should behold us twain as we sleep, and should go and tell it to all the gods? [335] Then verily could not I arise from the couch and go again to thy house; that were a shameful thing. But if thou wilt, and it is thy heart's good pleasure, thou hast a chamber, that thy dear son Hephaestus fashioned for thee, and fitted strong doors upon the door-posts. [340] Thither let us go and lay us down, since the couch is thy desire.” Then in answer to her spake Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: “Hera, fear thou not that any god or man shall behold the thing, with such a cloud shall I enfold thee withal, a cloud of gold. Therethrough might not even Helios discern us twain, [345] albeit his sight is the keenest of all for beholding.” Therewith the son of Cronos clasped his wife in his arms, and beneath them the divine earth made fresh-sprung grass to grow, and dewy lotus, and crocus, and hyacinth, thick and soft, that upbare them from the ground. [350] Therein lay the twain, and were clothed about with a cloud, fair and golden, wherefrom fell drops of glistering dew.

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    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 8.267
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