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[But the priest, seizing his knife, offered up a prayer and was closely scanning the maiden's throat to see where he should strike. [1580] It was no slight sorrow filled my heart, as I stood by with bowed head; when there was a sudden miracle! Each one of us distinctly heard the sound of a blow, but none saw the spot where the maiden vanished. The priest cried out, and all the army took up the cry [1585] at the sight of a marvel all unlooked for, due to some god's agency, and passing all belief, although it was seen; for there upon the ground lay a deer of immense size, magnificent to see, gasping out her life, with whose blood the altar of the goddess was thoroughly bedewed. [1590] Then spoke Calchas thus—his joy you can imagine—“You captains of this leagued Achaean army, do you see this victim, which the goddess has set before her altar, a mountain-roaming deer? This is more welcome to her by far than the maid, [1595] that she may not defile her altar by shedding noble blood. Gladlyshe has accepted it, and is granting us a prosperous voyage for our attack on Ilium. Therefore take heart, sailors, each man of you, and away to your ships, for today [1600] we must leave the hollow bays of Aulis and cross the Aegean main.” Then, when the sacrifice was wholly burnt to ashes in the blazing flame, he offered such prayers as were fitting, that the army might win return; but Agamemnon sends me to tell you this, [1605] and say what heaven-sent luck is his, and how he has secured undying fame throughout the length of Hellas. Now I was there myself and speak as an eyewitness; without a doubt your child flew away to the gods. A truce then to your sorrowing, and cease to be angry with your husband; [1610] for the gods' ways with man are not what we expect, and those whom they love, they keep safe; yes, for this day has seen your daughter dead and living.

Exit Messenger.

Chorus Leader
What joy to hear these tidings from the messenger! He tells you your child is living still, among the gods.

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