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Here wondrous tidings met us, that the son
of Priam, Helenus, held kingly sway
o'er many Argive cities, having wed
the Queen of Pyrrhus, great Achilles' son,
and gained his throne; and that Andromache
once more was wife unto a kindred lord.
Amazement held me; all my bosom burned
to see the hero's face and hear this tale
of strange vicissitude. So up I climbed,
leaving the haven, fleet, and friendly shore.
That self-same hour outside the city walls,
within a grove where flowed the mimic stream
of a new Simois, Andromache,
with offerings to the dead, and gifts of woe,
poured forth libation, and invoked the shade
of Hector, at a tomb which her fond grief
had consecrated to perpetual tears,
though void; a mound of fair green turf it stood,
and near it rose twin altars to his name.
She saw me drawing near; our Trojan helms
met her bewildered eyes, and, terror-struck
at the portentous sight, she swooning fell
and lay cold, rigid, lifeless, till at last,
scarce finding voice, her lips addressed me thus :
“Have I true vision? Bringest thou the word
Of truth, O goddess-born? Art still in flesh?
Or if sweet light be fled, my Hector, where?”
With flood of tears she spoke, and all the grove
reechoed to her cry. Scarce could I frame
brief answer to her passion, but replied
with broken voice and accents faltering:
“I live, 't is true. I lengthen out my days
through many a desperate strait. But O, believe
that what thine eyes behold is vision true.
Alas! what lot is thine, that wert unthroned
from such a husband's side? What after-fate
could give thee honor due? Andromache,
once Hector's wife, is Pyrrhus still thy lord?”

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