Hekaba 389-437

Odysseus:
Not you, aged lady, to die did Achilleus’s
phantom demand of the Achaians, but rather this girl.
Hekaba:
Kill me then, you, but do it alongside my daughter
and a draught of blood twice as great shall come
to the earth and to the dead man who demanded her.
Odysseus:
The death of your girl is sufficient, not to be added
is another to the one. Would that we did not owe that.
Hekaba:
But I must die with my daughter.
Odysseus:
How so? Indeed, I did not know that I acquired a master.
Hekaba:
Just as the ivy of the oak, thus do I cling to her.
Odysseus:
Not if you are persuaded by wiser men than you.
Hekaba:
So far as my will, I shall not let go my hold of this child.
Odysseus:
But I, verily, shall not depart and leave her here.
Polyxena:
Mother, heed me, and you, child of Laertes,
yield to she who bore me, she is angered with reason.
And you, oh wretched lady, do not battle with conquerors.
Are you willing to fall to the earth and to lacerate your
aged skin, pushed down by force, from my young arms
torn away, which you will suffer? Do not, for it is unworthy.
Instead, oh my dear mother, your hand sweetest hand
give to me and bring your jowl against my cheek;
since never again, but now for the very last time
shall I look upon the ray and circle of the sun.
Welcome the fulfilment of my salutations.
Oh mother who bore me, I depart for below.
Hekaba:
Oh daughter, I shall be a slave in the light.
Polyxena:
And I unwedded, without the wedding song which I should have gotten.
Hekaba:
You are pitiable, child, and I a wretched woman.
Polyxena:
There in Hades I shall be laid, separated from you.
Hekaba:
Alas, what am I to do? Where shall I live out my life?
Polyxena:
I shall die a slave, although born of a free father.
Hekaba:
I am without my share of fifty children.
Polyxena:
What shall I say for you to Hektor or to your elder husband?
Hekaba:
Annouce that I am the most wretched of all women.
Polyxena:
Oh bosom and breasts, which nourished sweetly me.
Hekaba:
Oh my daughter of untimely and wretched fate.
Polyxena:
Farewell, oh you who bore me, and farewell dear Kasandra.
Hekaba:
Others shall fare well, but not this for your mother.
Polyxena:
And he in horse-loving Threka, my brother Polydoros.
Hekaba:
Yes, if he lives, but I mistrust it: in this place I am wholly unfortunate.
Polyxena:
He lives and when you die, he will close your eyes.
Hekaba:
I have died before dying, at the hands of misfortunes.
Polyxena:
Take care, Odysseus, that my head is covered in a veil.
For even before my slaughter, I have melted away the heart
with the laments of my mother and I melt her away with weeping.
Sweet daylight; for it is possible for me to address you by name,
but have no share except as much time as I have to go up
betwixt the sword and the pyre of Achilleus.

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