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Now the zeal of the rival disputants was almost equal, until that shifty, smooth-mouthed liar, the son of Laertes, whose tongue is always at the service of the mob, persuaded the army not to put aside the best of all the Danaids for want of a servant-maid's sacrifice, nor have it said by any of the dead that stand beside Persephone that the Danaids have left the plains of Troy without gratitude for their companions who died for Hellas. Odysseus will be here in an instant, to drag the tender maiden from your breast and tear her from your aged arms. Go to the temples, go to the altars, at Agamemnon's knees sit as a suppliant! Invoke the gods, both those in heaven and those beneath the earth. For either your prayers will avail to spare you the loss of your unhappy child, or you must see your daughter fall before the tomb, her crimson blood spurting in deep dark jets from her neck encircled with gold.
Polyxena Mother, listen to me; and you, son of Laertes, make allowance for a parent's natural wrath. My poor mother, do not fight with our masters. Will you be thrown to the ground, be roughly thrust aside and wound your aged skin, and in unseemly fashion be torn from me by youthful arms? This you will suffer; but do not, for it is not right for you. No, my dear mother! give me your beloved hand, and let me press your cheek to mine; for never again, but now for the last time, shall I behold the dazzling sun-god's orb. Take my last farewells now. O mother, my mother! I pass beneath the earth. Hecuba O my daughter, I am still to live and be a slave. Polyxena Unwedded I depart, never having tasted the married joys that were my due! Hecuba Yours, my daughter, is a piteous lot, and sad is mine also. Polyxena There in Hades' courts shall I lie apart from you. Hecuba Ah me, what shall I do? where shall I end my life? Polyxena Daughter of a free-born father, a slave I am to die.
Muse Curses on the son of Oeneus! Curses on Laertes' child! who has bereft me of my fair son and left me childless! and on that woman, too, that left her home in Hellas, and sailed here with her Phrygian lover, bringing death to you, my dearest, for the sake of Troy, and emptying countless cities of their brave heroes.