Hekaba 657-725

Handmaiden:
Ladies, where ever is Hekaba, she all-sorrowful,
she who defeats the whole male and female seed
in misfortunes? No one shall dispute her crown.
Choros:
What now, oh wretched girl, of your ill-tongued cry?
For your distressing proclamations never rest in any way.
Handmaiden:
I bear this grief for Hekaba; among misfortunes
it is not easy to mortals for the mouth to shout triumph.
Choros:
And indeed, passing through under the dwelling, she comes
here, she is comes forth at the opportune moment for your words
Handmaiden:
Oh all-wretched lady, already more than I say,
my queen, you are destroyed, though you behold the light,
without child, without husband, without city, utterly ruined.
Hekaba:
You say nothing new, you add reproach to what is already known.
But indeed why for me this corpse of Polyxena here
have you come bearing, whose funeral was announced
to be hastened by the hands of all the Achaians?
Handmaiden:
She knows nothing, but rather to me of Polyxena
she laments, but does not grasp her new sorrows.
Hekaba:
Oh woe, I am wretched; sure you do not the Bakcheian head
of Kasandra, singer of prophecies, bear hither?
Handmaiden:
You have cried out for the living, but do not lament the dead one
here; but behold the body of the dead one laid bare,
that reveals to you a shock contrary to hope.
Hekaba:
Oh, alas, I see indeed my child has been killed,
Polydoros, whom husband saved in halls in Threx.
Wretched me I am utterly destroyed, indeed I no longer exist.
Oh child my child, I begin laments,
from an avenging god, the Bakcheian
custom I have just now learned.
Handmaiden:
Did you know of the loss of the child, oh ye unfortunate?
Hekaba:
This news, this news, I look on it unbelieving, unbelieving.
Another after others, misfortune finds misfortunes;
Never will a day without sighs without tears
be kept shut from me.
Choros:
Frightful, oh wretched lady, frightful evils we suffer.
Hekaba:
Oh child my child of a wretched mother,
by what doom did you die,
by what fate are you laid?
At the hands of what men?
Handmaiden:
I know not; upon a strand of the sea, I found him …
Hekaba:
Thrown overboard, or a fell of murderous spears
on the smooth sands of the shore?
Handmaiden:
The billow of the sea carried him out of the open sea.
Hekaba:
Oh woe, alas, I understand the dreaming vision
of my eyes; it did not pass me by,
that black-winged phantom, the one I saw all around me,
oh child, no longer in the light of Zeus.
Choros:
But who killed him? Do you the dream-lore to show it?
Hekaba:
My own guest, my own host, my foreign friend, the Threkian knight,
where his aged father placed him to be hid.
Choros:
Oh woe, what are you saying? So that the killer would have his gold?
Hekaba:
unspeakable, un-nameable, beyond amazement or shock,
no one can bear so much. Where the right of guests?
Oh accursed of men, how you did rend asunder
the flesh, cutting with an iron sword
the limbs of this child, you had not pity.
Choros:
Oh unhappy lady, how most long-suffering of mortals
some deity has made you, who is heavy upon you.
But here I look upon the frame of your master,
Agamemnon, we shall henceforth be silent, beloved lady.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Euripides Hecuba and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s