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the whole unvarnished truth. I will not hide
my Grecian birth. Yea, thus will I begin.
For Fortune has brought wretched Sinon low;
but never shall her cruelty impair
his honor and his truth. Perchance the name
of Palamedes, Belus' glorious son,
has come by rumor to your listening ears;
whom by false witness and conspiracy,
because his counsel was not for this war,
the Greeks condemned, though guiltless, to his death,
and now make much lament for him they slew.
I, his companion, of his kith and kin,
sent hither by my humble sire's command,
followed his arms and fortunes from my youth.
Long as his throne endured, and while he throve
in conclave with his kingly peers, we twain
some name and lustre bore; but afterward,
because that cheat Ulysses envied him
(Ye know the deed), he from this world withdrew,
and I in gloom and tribulation sore
lived miserably on, lamenting loud
my lost friend's blameless fall. A fool was I
that kept not these lips closed; but I had vowed
that if a conqueror home to Greece I came,
I would avenge. Such words moved wrath, and were
the first shock of my ruin; from that hour,
Ulysses whispered slander and alarm;
breathed doubt and malice into all men's ears,
and darkly plotted how to strike his blow.
Nor rest had he, till Calchas, as his tool,-
but why unfold this useless, cruel story?
Why make delay? Ye count all sons of Greece
arrayed as one; and to have heard thus far
suffices you. Take now your ripe revenge!
Ulysses smiles and Atreus' royal sons
with liberal price your deed of blood repay.”
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