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Second Semi-Chorus With trembling step, alas! I leave this tent of Agamemnon to learn of you, my royal mistress, whether the Argives have resolved to take my wretched life, or whether the sailors at the prow are making ready to ply their oars. Hecuba My child, your wakeful heart! Second Semi-Chorus I have come, stricken with terror. Has a herald from the Danaids already arrived? To whom am I, poor captive, given as a slave? Hecuba You are not far from being allotted now. Second Semi-Chorus Alas! What man of Argos or Phthia will bear me in sorrow far from Troy, to his home, or to some island fastness? Hecuba Ah! ah! Whose slave shall I become in my old age? in what land? a poor old drone, the wretched copy of a corpse, alas! set to keep the gate or tend their children, I who once held royal rank in Troy.
Talthybius Hecuba, one ship alone delays its plashing oars, and it is soon to sail to the shores of Phthia freighted with the remnant of the spoils of Achilles' son; for Neoptolemus is already out at sea, having heard that new calamities have befallen Peleus, for Acastus, son of Pelias, has banished him from the realm. Therefore he is gone, too quick to indulge in any delay, and with him goes Andromache, who drew many tears from me when she set out from the land, wailing her country and crying her farewell to Hector's tomb. And she begged her master leave to bury this poor dead child of Hector who breathed his last when hurled from the turrets; entreating too that he would not carry this shield, the terror of the Achaeans—this shield with plates of brass with which his father would gird himself—to the home of Peleus or to the same bridal bower where she, Andromache, the mother of this corpse, would be wed, a bitter sight to her, but let her bury the child in it instead of in a co