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The herald, Talthybius, enters.

Where can I find Hecuba, who once was [485] queen of Ilium, you Trojan maidens?

Chorus Leader
There she lies near you, Talthybius, stretched full length upon the ground, wrapped in her robe.

O Zeus! what can I say? that your eye is over man? or that we hold this opinion all to no purpose, [490] [falsely thinking there is any race of gods,] when it is chance that rules the mortal sphere? Was not this the queen of wealthy Phrygia, the wife of Priam highly blessed? And now her city is utterly overthrown by the foe, [495] and she, a slave in her old age, her children dead, lies upon the ground, soiling her wretched head in the dust. Ah! old as I am, may death be my lot before I am caught in any shameful mischance. Arise, poor lady! lift up [500] yourself and raise that white head.

Oh! who are you that will not let my body rest? Why disturb me in my anguish, whoever you are?

I, Talthybius, have come, the servant of the Danaids; Agamemnon has sent me for you, lady.

[505] Good friend, have you come because the Achaeans are resolved after all to slay me too at the grave? How welcome your tidings would be! Let us hasten and lose no time; please lead the way, old man.

I have come to fetch you to bury your daughter's corpse, lady; and those that send me are [510] the two sons of Atreus and the Achaean people.

Alas! What will you say? Have you not after all come to fetch me to my doom, but to announce ill news? Lost, my child! snatched from your mother's arms! and I am childless now, at least as regards you; ah, woe is me! [515] How did you end her life? was any mercy shown? or did you deal ruthlessly with her as though your victim were a foe, old man? Speak, though your words must be pain to me.

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