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It is a cloudy but moonlight night on the plain before Troy. The Trojans and their allies have won a decisive victory and are camping on the open field close to the Greek outposts. The scene is in front of a rude tent or hut that has been set up for HECTOR, the Trojan leader. A watch-fire burns low in front. Far off at the back can be seen rows of watch-fires in the Greek camp. The road to Troy is in front to the left; the road to Mount Ida leads far away to the right.

All is silence; then a noise outside. Enter tumultuously a band of Trojan Pickets.

(The dash - in these passages indicates a new speaker.)
On to the Prince's quarters!-Ho!
Who is awake? What man-at-arms,
Or squire or groom?-Let Hector know
     New rumour of alarms
From sentinels who stand at mark
The four long watches of the dark,
While others sleep.-Uplift thine head,
O Hector! On thine elbow rise,
Unhood the eagle of thine eyes,
     Up from thy leaf-strewn bed!-
Lord Hector!

HECTOR (coming out from the tent).
     Who goes there? Who cries?
A friend? The watchword! . . . By what right
Do men come prowling in the night
Across my quarters? Come! Speak out.

A picket, Lord.

In such a rout?

Be not afraid, Lord.

     I am not.
Is there an ambush? No? Then what,
In God's name, brings you from your post
     With no clear tale to speak,
To spread this turmoil through a host
That lies in harness-do ye all
Know nothing?-out against the wall
     And gateways of the Greek?

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load focus Greek (Gilbert Murray, 1913)
load focus English (E. P. Coleridge, 1891)
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