Guide an old woman, my children, before this dwelling,
guide a fellow-slave, set things right,
o Troians, she to you formerly a Lady.
Take me, bear me, send me, raise me up
you who grasp my old hand.
And I, on the bent staff of your arm
that I lean, shall urge on the slow-footed
gait of my joints, one step at a time.
O dazzling god, o darkened night,
why in the world am I nightly raised up thus
by terrors, by phantoms? O Mistress Earth,
mother of black-finned dreams,
I am sent a nightly vision
that concerns my child safe at Threka
and also my beloved daughter Polyxena; in dreams
I saw a fearful vision, I studied, I learned.
O gods below, keep my child safe,
who is alone of my house yet an anchor,
he occupies snowy Threka
under the guardianship of a fatherly host.
Something lately comes;
some sorrowful tune for the sorrowful.
My heart has never so relentlessly
pounded, all afright.
Where ever might I a heaven-sent spirit of Helenos
or a Kasandra find, Troians,
so they could interpret my dreams?
For I see a dappled deer by the blood-stained claw of a wolf
slaughtered, pitilessly snatched from my knees.
And this is my fear: come over the highest
crown of his tomb
did the phantom of Achilleus; and he kept asking as his laurel
for some girl of the long-suffering Troians.
Away from my child, away from mine,
send this, o spirits, I beseech you.
- November 2015
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