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Chorus O Telamon, King of Salamis, the feeding-ground of bees, who have your home in a seagirt isle that lies near the holy hills where first Athena made the grey olive branch to appear, a crown for heavenly heads and a glory to happy Athens, you came, you came in knightly brotherhood with that great archer, Alcmena's son, to sack our city Ilium, in days gone by, [on your advent from Hellas];
Hecuba Lift your head, unhappy one, from the ground; raise up your neck; this is Troy no more, no longer am I queen in Ilium. Though fortune change, endure your lot; sail with the stream, and follow fortune's tack, do not steer your ship of life against the tide, since chance must guide your course. Ah me! ah me! What else but tears is now my hapless lot, whose country, children, husband, all are lost? Ah! the high-blown pride of ancestors, humbled! how brought to nothing after all! What woe must I suppress, or what declare? [What plaintive dirge shall I awake?] Ah, woe is me! the anguish I suffer lying here stretched upon this hard pallet! O my head, my temples, my side! How I long to turn over, and lie now on this, now on that, to rest my back and spine, while ceaselessly my tearful wail ascends. For even this is music to the wretched, to chant their cheerless dirge of sorrow.