And they that were about Priam and Panthous and Thymoetes and Lampus and Clytius and Hicetaon, scion of Ares, and Ucalegon and Antenor, men of prudence both, sat as elders of the people at the Scaean gates.
Because of old age had they now ceased from battle, but speakers they were full good, like unto cicalas that in a forest sit upon a tree and pour forth their lily-like1
voice; even in such wise sat the leaders of the Trojans upon the wall. Now when they saw Helen coming upon the wall,
softly they spake winged words one to another:“Small blame that Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans should for such a woman long time suffer woes; wondrously like is she to the immortal goddesses to look upon. But even so, for all that she is such an one, let her depart upon the ships,
neither be left here to be a bane to us and to our children after us.”
So they said, but Priam spake, and called Helen to him:“Come hither, dear child, and sit before me, that thou mayest see thy former lord and thy kinsfolk and thy people—thou art nowise to blame in my eyes; it is the gods, methinks, that are to blame,
who roused against me the tearful war of the Achaeans —and that thou mayest tell me who is this huge warrior, this man of Achaea so valiant and so tall. Verily there be others that are even taller by a head, but so comely a man have mine eyes never yet beheld,
neither one so royal: he is like unto one that is a king.”
And Helen, fair among women, answered him, saying: “Revered art thou in mine eyes, dear father of my husband, and dread. Would that evil death had been my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my bridal chamber and my kinfolk
and my daughter, well-beloved,2
and the lovely companions of my girlhood. But that was not to be; wherefore I pine away with weeping. Howbeit this will I tell thee, whereof thou dost ask and enquire. Yon man is the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, that is both a noble king and a valiant spearman.
And he was husband's brother to shameless me, as sure as ever such a one there was.”
So spake she, and the old man was seized with wonder, and said: “Ah, happy son of Atreus, child of fortune, blest of heaven; now see I that youths of the Achaeans full many are made subject unto thee. Ere now have I journeyed to the land of Phrygia, rich in vines,
and there I saw in multitudes the Phrygian warriors, masters of glancing steeds, even the people of Otreus and godlike Mygdon, that were then encamped along the banks of Sangarius. For I, too, being their ally, was numbered among them on the day when the Amazons came, the peers of men.
Howbeit not even they were as many as are the bright-eyed Achaeans.”