previous next

Chorus
[1295] O woman, pitiful exceedingly and exceeding wise, long has been your speech. But if, in truth, you have knowledge of your own death, how can you step with calm courage to the altar like an ox, driven by the god?

Cassandra
There is no escape; no, my friends, there is none any more.1

Chorus
[1300] Yet he that is last has the advantage in respect of time.

Cassandra
The day has come; flight would profit me but little.

Chorus
Well, be assured, you brave suffering with a courageous spirit.

Cassandra
None who is happy is commended thus.

Chorus
Yet surely to die nobly is a blessing for mortals.

Cassandra
[1305] Alas for you, my father and for your noble children!She starts back in horror

Chorus
What ails you? What terror turns you back?

Cassandra
Alas, alas!

Chorus
Why do you cry “alas”? Unless perhaps there is some horror in your soul.

Cassandra
This house stinks of blood-dripping slaughter.

Chorus
[1310] And what of that? It is just the savor of victims at the hearth.

Cassandra
It is like a breath from a charnel-house.

Chorus
You are not speaking of proud Syrian incense for the house.

Cassandra
Nay, I will go to bewail also within the palace my own and Agamemnon's fate. Enough of life! [1315] Alas, my friends, not with vain terror do I shrink, as a bird that fears a bush. After I am dead, bear witness for me of this—when for me, a woman, another woman shall be slain, and for an ill-wedded man another man shall fall. [1320] I claim this favor from you now that my hour is come.

Chorus
Poor woman, I pity you for your death foretold.

Cassandra
Yet once more I would like to speak, but not a dirge. I pray to the sun, in presence of his latest light, that my enemies2may at the same time pay to my avengers a bloody penalty for [1325] slaughtering a slave, an easy prey. Alas for human fortune! When prosperous, a mere shadow can overturn it3; if misfortune strikes, the dash of a wet sponge blots out the drawing. [1330] And this last I deem far more pitiable than that.Enters the palace

1 Auratus read χρόνου πλέων : “more than that of time,” “save for time.”

2 Of this corrupt passage no emendation yet made commends itself irresistibly. The translation is based on the reading ἐχθροὺς φόνευσιν τοὺς ἐμούς, where φόνευσιν is due to Bothe, the rest to J. Pearson.

3 Some editors, altering the passage to σκιᾷ τις ἂν πρέψειεν, “one may liken it to a shadow,” understand “shadow” either literally or as a “sketch.”

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.

load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus English (Robert Browning, 1889)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (3 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: