’But after we had taken and sacked King Priam’s City, great troubles came upon us. Some of us sailed away, and some of us remained on the shore at the bidding of King Agamemnon, to make sacrifice to the gods. We separated, and the doom of death came to many of us. Nestor I saw at Lesbos, but none other of our friends have I ever since seen. Agamemnon, my own brother, came to his own land. But ah, it would have been happier for him if he had died on the plain of Troy, and if we had left a great barrow heaped above him! For he was slain in his own house and by one who had married the wife he had left behind. When the Ancient One of the Sea told me of my brother’s doom I sat down upon the sand and wept, and I was minded to live no more nor to see the light of the sun.’
’And of thy father, Telemachus, I have told thee what I myself know and what was told me of him by the Ancient One of the Sea—how he stays on an Island where the nymph Calypso holds him against his will: but where that Island lies I do not know. Odysseus is there, and he cannot win back to his own country, seeing that he has no ship and no companions to help him to make his way across the sea. But Odysseus was ever master of devices. And also he is favoured greatly by the goddess, Pallas Athene. For these reasons, Telemachus, be hopeful that your father will yet reach his own home and country.’
Now the goddess, Pallas Athene, had thought for Telemachus, and she came to him where he lay in the vestibule of Menelaus’ house. His comrade, Peisistratus was asleep, but Telemachus was wakeful, thinking upon his father.
Athene stood before his bed and said to him, ’Telemachus, no longer shouldst thou wander abroad, for the time has come when thou shouldst return. Come. Rouse Menelaus, and let him send thee upon thy way.’
Then Telemachus woke Peisistratus out of his sleep and told him that it was best that they should be going on their journey. But Peisistratus said, ’Tarry until it is dawn, Telemachus, when Menelaus will come to us and send us on our way.’
Then when it was light King Menelaus came to them. When he heard that they would depart he told the lady Helen to bid the maids prepare a meal for them. He himself, with Helen his wife, and Megapenthes, his son, went down into his treasure-chamber and brought forth for gifts to Telemachus a two-handled cup and a great mixing bowl of silver. And Helen took out of a chest a beautiful robe that she herself had made and embroidered. They came to Telemachus where he stood by the chariot with Peisistratus ready to depart. Then Menelaus gave him the beautiful two-handled cup that had been a gift to himself from the king of the Sidonians. Megapenthes brought up the great bowl of silver and put it in the chariot, and beautiful Helen came to him holding the embroidered robe.
‘I too have a gift, dear child, for thee,’ she said. ’Bring this robe home and leave it in thy mother’s keeping. I want thee to have it to give to thy bride when thou bringest her into thy father’s halls.’