Hekaba 28-58

Ghost of Polydoros, cont’d:
Now I laid upon the shore, and now in the toss of the open sea,
borne to and fro by the many tides of the billowed waves,
unmourned, unburied. But now over my beloved mother
Hekaba I hover, having abandoned my body,
for three day’s light, presently, I have hung,
for so long as on this Chersonesian earth
my unfortunate mother from Troia is present.
All the Achaians are at rest, their ships
idling upon the shore of the Threkian land.
For the child of Peleos, seen atop a tomb,
Achilleus holds fast the Hellenic expedition,
although they steered the sea-going oar toward home.
He demands my sister Polyxena,
to take her on the tomb as welcome sacrifice and garland.
And he will obtain this, and shall not be undecorated
by the hands of men, his allies; the allotted fate leads
my sister to die on this day.
Of two children, two corpses shall my mother
behold, both me and the poor girl.
For I shall be seen, so that I might—wretched me—obtain a funeral,
in the ripples at the feet of her slavegirl.
For I beseeched the powers below
to obtain a tomb and to fall into the hands of my mother.
And so, howsoever great I wish to obtain
it shall be mine; but I shall withdraw from underfoot of aged
Hekaba; for now she comes afoot out of the tent of
Agamemnon, fearing my phantom.
Alas!
Dear mother, you who after a kingly home
saw this servile day, so as to fare poorly
for as long as you ever did well; balancing your scales,
some god ruins you, formerly so well-to-do.

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