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Chorus Let me call on you, beneath leafy haunts, sitting in your place of song, you, the most sweetly singing bird, tearful nightingale, oh, come, trilling through your tawny throat, to aid me in my lament, as I sing the piteous woes of Helen and the tearful fate of Trojan women under the Achaeans' spears; when he sped over the surging plains with foreign oar, when he came, came bringing to Priam's race from Lacedaemon you, Helen, his unhappy bride—Paris, fatally wedded, under the guidance of Aphrodit
Chorus To the sandy beach of sea-coast Aulis I have come after a voyage through the tides of narrow Euripus, leaving Chalcis, my city which feeds the waters of far-famed Arethusa near the sea, so that I might behold the army of the Achaeans and the ships rowed by those godlike heroes; for our husbands tell us that fair-haired Menelaus and high-born Agamemnon are leading them to Troy on a thousand ships in quest of Helen, whom Paris the herdsman carried off from the banks of reedy Eurotas, his gift from Aphrodite, when that queen of Cyprus entered beauty's contest with Hera and Pallas at the gushing fountain.
Chorus You came, O Paris, to the place where you were reared to herd the cows among the white heifers of Ida, piping in foreign strain and breathing on your reeds an echo of the Phrygian airs Olympus played. Full-uddered cows were browsing at the spot where that verdict between goddesses was awaiting you—the cause of your going to Hellas to stand before the ivory palace, kindling love in Helen's entranced eyes and feeling its flutter in your own breast; from which the fiend of strife brought Hellas with her spear and ships to the towers of Tro
Chorus The son of Atreus, encircling Pergamus, the Phrygians' town, with murderous war around her stone-built towers, dragging Paris's head backward to cut his throat and sacking the city from roof to base, shall be a cause of many tears to maids and Priam's wife. And Helen, the daughter of Zeus, shall weep in bitter grief because she left her lord. Never may there appear to me or to my children's children the prospect which the wealthy Lydian ladies and Phrygia's brides will have as at their looms they converse: “Tell me, who will pluck me away from my ruined country, tightening his grasp on lovely tresses till the tears flow? it is all through you, the offspring of the long-necked swan; if indeed it is a true report that Leda bore you to a winged bird, when Zeus transformed himself there, or whether, in the tablets of the poets, fables have carried these tales to men's ears idly, out of season