He was born of an ancient race,
yielding never to any man;
now, bereft of the gifts of life,
he lives apart from all others
along with spotted and shaggy beasts,
piteous, hungry, in pain,
bearing incurable ills -
and afar in the mountains
she of the babbling voice,
Echo, responds to his cries of pain,
wailing sadly around him.
Neoptolemus None of these things surprise me at all
they come from heaven, and, if I may judge,
the first of his troubles was sent on him
long since by Chryse with savage intention;
and now, though he suffers with none to help him,
surely some god is watching his course
to hold him back from aiming at Troy
his god-given arrows, until the time
shall come when, the oracles say, she is destined
to fall and be vanquished by them.
Philoctetes screams offstage.
chorus Be silent, my son!
Neoptolemus What is it?
chorus A cry has arisen
as if from a man worn down by pain -
from there - or over there - it came.
Surely I hear the voice of someone