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Talthybius

Talthybius
Lady, you wish me to have a double benefit of tears in pity for your child; for now too as I tell the sad tale [520] my eyes will be wet, as they were at the tomb when she was dying. All Achaea's army was gathered there in full array before the tomb to see your daughter sacrificed; and the son of Achilles took Polyxena by the hand and set her on the top of the mound, while I was near; [525] and a chosen band of young Achaeans followed to hold your child and prevent her struggling. Then Achilles' son took in his hands a brimming cup of gold and raised in his hand an offering to his dead father, making a sign to me [530] to proclaim silence throughout the Achaean army. So I stood at his side and in their midst proclaimed, “Silence, you Achaeans! let all the people be silent! peace! be still!” So I hushed the army. Then he spoke: “Son of Peleus, my father, [535] accept the offering I pour for you to appease your spirit, strong to raise the dead; and come to drink the black blood of a pure girl, which I and the army are offering you; oh! be propitious to us; grant that we may loose our prows and the [540] cables of our ships, and, meeting with a prosperous voyage from Ilium, all come to our country.” So he spoke; and all the army echoed his prayer. Then seizing his golden sword by the hilt he drew it from its scabbard, signing to the picked young Argive [545] warriors to hold the maid. But she, when she perceived it, uttered this speech: “O Argives, who have sacked my city! of my free will I die; let no one lay hand on me; for bravely will I yield my neck. [550] By the gods, leave me free; so slay me, that death may find me free; for to be called a slave among the dead fills my royal heart with shame.”

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