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Menelaos
Well, then, what if she rejects our proposals?

Helen
You will die. And I, the unhappy one, will be married by force.

Menelaos
You would be a traitor; that force of yours is an excuse.

Helen
[835] But I have sworn a sacred oath by your life—

Menelaos
What do you mean? To die? And never to take his bed in exchange for mine?

Helen
Yes, by the same sword; I will lie at your side.

Menelaos
Then on these conditions touch my right hand.

Helen
I touch it, swearing that I will leave the light of day if you die.

Menelaos
[840] And I will end my life if I lose you.

Helen
How then shall we die so as to gain fame?

Menelaos
I will kill you on the tomb's surface, and then kill myself. But first I will fight a great contest for your bed. Let anyone who wishes come near! [845] For I will not disgrace my Trojan fame, nor, on my return to Hellas, will I receive great blame—I who robbed Thetis of Achilleus, and saw the slaughter of Aias, son of Telamon, and the son of Neleus made childless; [850] shall I not resolve to die for my wife? Most certainly; for if the gods are wise, they lightly bury in the earth a brave man who has been killed by his enemies, while cowards they cast up out of the earth onto a harsh rock.

Chorus Leader
[855] O gods, may the race of Tantalos be fortunate at last, and may it be set free from evils!

Helen
Ah, I am unhappy, for so is my fate! Menelaos, we are destroyed. The prophetess Theonoe is coming out of the house; it resounds as the [860] bolts are unfastened. Try to escape! But what is the use of trying? For whether she is absent or present she knows of your arrival here. Oh, I am lost, unfortunate! Saved from Troy and from a barbarian land, you have come only to fall upon barbarian swords.

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