previous next

In the following lines, Talthybius makes spoken responses to Hecuba's sung questions.

Hecuba
Ah, kind friends, it has come! what I so long have dreaded.

Talthybius
[240] The lot has decided your fates already, if that was what you feared.

Hecuba
Ah me! What city did you say, Thessalian, Phthian, or Cadmean?

Talthybius
Each warrior took his prize in turn; you were not all at once assigned.

Hecuba
To whom has the lot assigned us severally? Which of us Trojan women [245] does a happy fortune await?

Talthybius
I know, but ask your questions separately, not all at once.

Hecuba
Then tell me, whose prize is my daughter, hapless Cassandra?

Talthybius
King Agamemnon has chosen her out for himself.

Hecuba
To be the slave-girl [250] of his Spartan wife? Ah me!

Talthybius
No, to share with him his stealthy love.

Hecuba
What! Phoebus' virgin-priestess, to whom the god with golden locks granted the gift of maidenhood?

Talthybius
[255] The dart of love has pierced his heart, love for the frenzied maid.

Hecuba
Daughter, cast from you the sacred keys, and from your body tear the holy wreaths that drape you in their folds.

Talthybius
Why! is it not an honor that she should win our monarch's love?

Hecuba
[260] What have you done to her whom recently you took from me, my child?

Talthybius
Do you mean Polyxena, or whom do you inquire about?

Hecuba
Yes, that one; to whom has the lot assigned her?

Talthybius
To minister at Achilles' tomb has been appointed her.

Hecuba
[265] Woe is me! I the mother of a dead man's slave! What custom, what ordinance is this among Hellenes, friend?

Talthybius
Count your daughter happy; it is well with her.

Hecuba
What wild words are these? Please tell me, is she still alive?

Talthybius
[270] Her fate is one that sets her free from trouble.

Hecuba
And what of the wife of Hector skilled in arms, sad Andromache? declare her fate.

Talthybius
She too was a chosen prize; Achilles' son took her.

Hecuba
As for me [275] whose hair is white with age, who need to hold a staff to be to me a third foot, whose servant am I to be?

Talthybius
Odysseus, king of Ithaca, has taken you to be his slave.

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.

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.
Ithaca (New York, United States) (1)
Hector (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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