previous next

Chorus Leader
What sweet relief to sufferers it is to weep, to mourn, lament, and chant the dirge that tells of grief!

[610] Do you see this, mother of that man, Hector, who once laid low in battle many a son of Argos?

I see that it is heaven's way to exalt what men accounted nothing, and ruin what they most esteemed.

Hence with my child as booty am I borne; the noble [615] are brought to slavery—a bitter change.

This is necessity's grim law; it was just now that Cassandra was torn with brutal violence from my arms.

Alas, alas! it seems a second Aias has appeared to wrong your daughter; but there are other ills for you.

[620] Yes, beyond all count or measure are my sorrows; evil vies with evil in the struggle to be first.

Your daughter Polyxena is dead, slain at Achilles' tomb, an offering to his lifeless corpse.

O woe is me! This is that riddle Talthybius [625] long ago told me, a truth obscurely uttered.

I saw her myself; so I alighted from the chariot, and covered her corpse with a mantle, and struck upon my breast.

Alas! my child, for your unhallowed sacrifice! and yet again, alas! for your shameful death!

[630] Her death was even as it was, and yet that death of hers was after all a happier fate than my life.

Death and life are not the same, my child; the one is annihilation, the other keeps a place for hope.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Gilbert Murray, 1913)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Argos (Greece) (1)
Achilles (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: