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Deïphobus is seen,—his mangled face,
His face and bloody hands, his wounded head
Of ears and nostrils infamously shorn.
Scarce could Aeneas know the shuddering shade
That strove to hide its face and shameful scar;
But, speaking first, he said, in their own tongue:
“Deiphobus, strong warrior, nobly born
Of Teucer's royal stem, what ruthless foe
Could wish to wreak on thee this dire revenge?
Who ventured, unopposed, so vast a wrong?
The rumor reached me how, that deadly night,
Wearied with slaying Greeks, thyself didst fall
Prone on a mingled heap of friends and foes.
Then my own hands did for thy honor build
An empty tomb upon the Trojan shore,
And thrice with echoing voice I called thy shade.
Thy name and arms are there. But, 0 my friend,
Thee could I nowhere find, but launched away,
Nor o'er thy bones their native earth could fling.”
To him the son of Priam thus replied:
“Nay, friend, no hallowed rite was left undone,
But every debt to death and pity due
The shades of thy Deiphobus received.
My fate it was, and Helen's murderous wrong,
Wrought me this woe; of her these tokens tell.
For how that last night in false hope we passed,
Thou knowest,—ah, too well we both recall!
When up the steep of Troy the fateful horse
Came climbing, pregnant with fierce men-at-arms,
't was she, accurst, who led the Phrygian dames
In choric dance and false bacchantic song,
And, waving from the midst a lofty brand,
Signalled the Greeks from Ilium's central tower
In that same hour on my sad couch I lay,
Exhausted by long care and sunk in sleep,
That sweet, deep sleep, so close to tranquil death.
But my illustrious bride from all the house
Had stolen all arms; from 'neath my pillowed head
She stealthily bore off my trusty sword;
Then loud on Menelaus did she call,
And with her own false hand unbarred the door;
Such gift to her fond lord she fain would send
To blot the memory of his ancient wrong!
Why tell the tale, how on my couch they broke,
While their accomplice, vile Aeolides,
Counselled to many a crime. 0 heavenly Powers!
Reward these Greeks their deeds of wickedness,
If with clean lips upon your wrath I call!
But, friend, what fortunes have thy life befallen?
Tell point by point. Did waves of wandering seas
Drive thee this way, or some divine command?
What chastisement of fortune thrusts thee on
Toward this forlorn abode of night and cloud?”
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