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Chorus Leader Hold the frantic maiden, royal mistress, lest with nimble foot she rush to the Argive army. Hecuba You god of fire, it is yours to light the bridal torch for men, but piteous is the flame you kindle here, beyond my blackest expectation. Ah, my child! how little did I ever dream that such would be your marriage, a captive, and of Argos too! Give up the torch to me; you do not bear its blaze aright in your wild frantic course, nor have your afflictions left you in your sober senses, but still you are as frantic as before. Take in those torches, Trojan friends, and for her wedding madrigals weep your tears instead. Cassandra O mother, crown my head with victor's wreaths; rejoice in my royal match; lead me and if you find me unwilling at all, thrust me there by force; for if Loxias is indeed a prophet, Agamemnon, that famous king of the Achaeans, will find in me a bride more vexatious than Helen. For I will slay him and lay waste his home to avenge my father's and my
Chorus Then hastened all the race of Phrygia to the gates, to make the goddess a present of an Argive band ambushed in the polished mountain-pine, Dardania's ruin, a welcome gift to be to her, the virgin queen of deathless steeds; and with nooses of cord they dragged it, as it had been a ship's dark hull, to the stone-built temple of the goddess Pallas, and set it on that floor so soon to drink our country's blood. But, as they labored and made merry, came on the pitchy night; loud the Libyan flute was sounding, and Phrygian songs awoke, while maidens beat the ground with airy foot, uplifting their glad song; and in the halls a blaze of torchlight shed its flickering shadows on sleeping eyes.
Enough of this! For all that followed I must question myself, not you; what thought led me to follow the stranger from your house, traitress to my country and my home? Punish the goddess, show yourself more mighty even than Zeus, who, though he lords it over the other gods, is her slave; therefore I may well be pardoned. Still, from this you might draw a specious argument against me; when Paris died, and earth concealed his corpse, I should have left his house and sought the Argive fleet, since my marriage was no longer in the hands of gods. That was what I was eager to do; and the warders on the towers and watchmen on the walls can bear me witness, for often they found me seeking to let myself down stealthily by cords from the battlements [but tbere was that new husband, Deiphobus, that carried me off by force to be his wife against the will of Troy]. How then, my lord, could I be justly put to death . . . by you, with any show of right, seeing that he wedded me against my will,