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Then the people shouted their applause, and king Agamemnon told the young men to let go the maid. [555] [So they set her free, as soon as they heard this last command from him whose might was over all.] And she, hearing her master's words, took her robe and tore it open from the shoulder to the waist, [560] displaying a breast and bosom fair as a statue's; then sinking on her knee, one word she spoke more piteous than all the rest, “Young prince, if it is my breast you are eager to strike, see, here it is, strike home! or if at my neck your sword [565] you will aim, that throat is here and ready.”

Then he, half glad, half sorry in his pity for the maid, cut with the steel the channels of her breath, and streams of blood gushed forth; but she, even in death, took good heed to fall with grace, [570] hiding from the gaze of men what must be hidden. When she had breathed her last through the fatal gash, no Argive set his hand to the same task, but some were strewing leaves over the corpse in handfuls, others bringing pine-logs [575] and heaping up a pyre; and the one who brought nothing would hear from him who did such taunts as these, “Do you stand still, ignoble wretch, with no robe or ornament to bring for the maiden? will you give nothing to her that showed such peerless bravery [580] and spirit?” Such is the tale I tell about your daughter's death, and regard you as blessed beyond all mothers in your noble child, yet crossed in fortune more than all.

Chorus Leader
Upon the race of Priam and my city some fearful curse has burst; it is sent by God, and we must bear it.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (4):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 264
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.770
    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 13.458
    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 13.475
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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