He spake, and from the anvil rose, a huge, panting bulk, halting the while, but beneath him his slender legs moved nimbly. The bellows he set away from the fire, and gathered all the tools wherewith he wrought into a silver chest; and with a sponge wiped he his face and his two hands withal,  and his mighty neck and shaggy breast, and put upon him a tunic, and grasped a stout staff, and went forth halting; but there moved swiftly to support their lord handmaidens wrought of gold in the semblance of living maids. In them is understanding in their hearts, and in them speech  and strength, and they know cunning handiwork by gift of the immortal gods. These busily moved to support their lord, and he, limping nigh to where Thetis was, sat him down upon a shining chair; and he clasped her by the hand, and spake, and addressed her: Wherefore, long-robed Thetis, art thou come to our house,  an honoured guest and a welcome? Heretofore thou hast not been wont to come. Speak what is in thy mind; my heart bids me fulfill it, if fulfill it I can, and it is a thing that hath fulfillment.