E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ithacensian Suitors (The).
The suitors of Penelp (4 syl.), wife of Ulysses, King of Ithca. While Ulysses was absent, many suitors presented themselves to Penelp, affirming that Ulysses was certainly dead. Penelp put them off, saying she would give a definite answer when she had finished the robe she was weaving for Laerts, but at night she unravelled all she had woven during the day. At last Ulysses returned and slew the suitors.
All the ladies, each and each,
Like the Ithacensian suitors in old time,
Stared with great eyes, and laughed with alien lips.