Then the housewife, Eurynome, spoke to her and said:
“Aye, verily, child, all this hast thou spoken aright. Go, then, reveal thy word to thy son and hide it not; but first wash thy body and anoint thy face, and go not as thou art with both cheeks stained with tears. Go, for it is ill to grieve ever without ceasing.
For now, behold, thy son is of such an age, and it has been thy dearest prayer to the immortals to see him a bearded man.”
Then wise Penelope answered her again: “Eurynome, beguile me not thus in thy love to wash my body and anoint me with oil.
All beauty of mine have the gods, that hold Olympus
, destroyed since the day when my lord departed in the hollow ships. But bid Autonoe and Hippodameia come to me, that they may stand by my side in the hall. Alone I will not go among men, for I am ashamed.”
So she spoke, and the old woman went forth through the chamber to bear tidings to the women, and bid them come.
Then again the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, took other counsel. On the daughter of Icarius she shed sweet sleep, and she leaned back and slept
there on her couch, and all her joints were relaxed. And meanwhile the fair goddess was giving her immortal gifts, that the Achaeans might marvel at her. With balm1
she first made fair her beautiful face, with balm ambrosial, such as that wherewith Cytherea, of the fair crown, anoints herself when she goes into the lovely dance of the Graces;
and she made her taller, too, and statelier to behold, and made her whiter than new-sawn ivory. Now when she had done this the fair goddess departed, and the white-armed handmaids came forth from the chamber and drew near with sound of talking. Then sweet sleep released Penelope,
and she rubbed her cheeks with her hands, and said:
“Ah, in my utter wretchedness soft slumber enfolded me. Would that pure Artemis would even now give so soft a death, that I might no more waste my life away with sorrow at heart, longing for
the manifold excellence of my dear husband, for that he was pre-eminent among the Achaeans.”