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“O, happy only was that virgin blest,
daughter of Priam, summoned forth to die
in sight of Ilium, on a foeman's tomb!
No casting of the lot her doom decreed,
nor came she to her conqueror's couch a slave.
Myself from burning Ilium carried far
o'er seas and seas, endured the swollen pride
of that young scion of Achilles' race,
and bore him as his slave a son. When he
sued for Hermione, of Leda's line,
and nuptial-bond with Lacedaemon's Iords,
I, the slave-wife, to Helenus was given,
and slave was wed with slave. But afterward
Orestes, crazed by loss of her he loved,
and ever fury-driven from crime to crime,
crept upon Pyrrhus in a careless hour
and murdered him upon his own hearth-stone.
Part of the realm of Neoptolemus
fell thus to Helenus, who called his lands
Chaonian, and in Trojan Chaon's name
his kingdom is Chaonia. Yonder height
is Pergamus, our Ilian citadel.
What power divine did waft thee to our shore,
not knowing whither? Tell me of the boy
Ascanius! Still breathes he earthly air?
In Troy she bore him—is he mourning still
that mother ravished from his childhood's eyes?
what ancient valor stirs the manly soul
of thine own son, of Hector's sister's child?”
Thus poured she forth full many a doleful word
with unavailing tears. But as she ceased,
out of the city gates appeared the son
of Priam, Helenus, with princely train.
He welcomed us as kin, and glad at heart
gave guidance to his house, though oft his words
fell faltering and few, with many a tear.
Soon to a humbler Troy I lift my eyes,
and of a mightier Pergamus discern
the towering semblance; there a scanty stream
runs on in Xanthus' name, and my glad arms
the pillars of a Scaean gate embrace.
My Teucrian mariners with welcome free
enjoyed the friendly town; his ample halls
our royal host threw wide; full wine-cups flowed
within the palace; golden feast was spread,
and many a goblet quaffed.
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