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Enter the Chorus of Trojan guards. Chorus Go to Hector's couch. Which of you squires that tend the prince, or you armor-clad men, is awake? He ought to receive fresh tidings from the warriors who were set to guard the assembled army during the fourth watch of the night. Calls to Hector in the tent. Lift up your head! Prop your arm beneath it! Unseal that fierce eye from its repose; quit your lowly couch of scattered leaves, Hector! It is time to hearken. Hector Who is this? Is it a friend who calls? Who are you? Your password? Speak! Who are these who come near my couch in the night? You must tell me. Chorus Sentinels of the army. Hector Why this tumultuous haste? Chorus Be of good courage. Hector I am. Is there some midnight ambush? [Chorus No Hector.] Why do you desert your post and rouse the army, unless you have some tidings of the night? Are you not aware how near the Argive army we take our night's repose clad in all our armor?
Dolon I will set forth; but going within my house I will clothe myself in fitting attire, and then I will hasten to the Argive fleet. Chorus Leader Why, what dress in place of this will you assume? Dolon One that fits my task and furtive steps. Chorus Leader One should ever learn wisdom from the wise; tell me, what will be your equipment? Dolon I will fasten a wolf-skin about my back, and over my head put the brute's gaping jaws; then fitting its fore-feet to ny hands and its hind-feet t
two feet; such is the ruse I have decided on.
May Hermes, Maia's child, escort you safely there and back, prince of tricksters as he is! You know what you have to do; good luck is all you need now.
I shall return in safety, and bring to you the head of Odysseus when I have slain him, or the son of Tydeus, and with this clear proof before you you shall assert that Dolon went to the Argive fleet; for, before the dawn, I will come back home with bloodstained hand.Exit Dolon.
Chorus The long night through, Hector, the Argive army has kindled fires, and bright with torches shines the anchored fleet. To Agamemnon's tent the whole army move clamorously by night, eager for fresh orders; for never before has the sea-faring company been so alarmed. And so I was suspicious of what might happen and came to tell you, so that you may have no cause to blame me hereafter.
Athena Where are you going, away from the Trojan ranks, with sorrow gnawing at your hearts, because the god does not grant you two to slay Hector or Paris? Have you not heard that Rhesus has come to aid Troy in no mean fashion? If he survives this night until the dawn, neither Achilles nor Aias's spear can stop him from utterly destroying the Argive fleet, razing its palisades and carrying this the onslaught of his lance far and wide within the gates. Slay him, and all is yours; let Hector's sleep alone, no throat-cutting slaughter; for he shall find death at another hand. Odysseus Queen Athena, it is the well-known accent of your voice I hear; for you are always at my side to help me in my toil. Tell us where that man lies asleep; in what part of the barbarian army is he stationed? Athena Here lies he close at hand, not marshalled with the other troops, but outside the ranks Hector has given him quarters, till night gives place to day. And near him his white horses are tether
Chorus Woe, woe! It was in quest of you, yes, you, great lord of my city, that I went, when I brought news to you that the Argive army was kindling fires about the ships; for by the springs of Simois I vow my eye kept sleepless watch by night, nor did I slumber or sleep. Do not be angry with me, my lord; I am guiltless of all. Yet if hereafter you find that I in word or deed have done amiss, bury me alive beneath the earth; I ask no mercy.