Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Euripides' HECUBA Complete

Translated by E. Coleridge.

Euripides Bilingual Anthology  Studies  Euripides in Print


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader
54 pages - You are on Page 2

Ghost: Lo! I am come from out the charnel-house and gates of gloom,
where Hades dwells apart from gods, I Polydorus, a son of Hecuba the
daughter of Cisseus and of Priam. Now my father, when Phrygia's capital
was threatened with destruction by the spear of Hellas, took alarm
and conveyed me secretly from the land of Troy unto Polymestor's house,
his friend in Thrace, who sows these fruitful plains of Chersonese,
curbing by his might a nation delighting in horses. And with me my
father sent great store of gold by stealth, that, if ever Ilium's
walls should fall, his children that survived might not want for means
to live. I was the youngest of Priam's sons; and this it was that
caused my stealthy removal from the land; for my childish arm availed
not to carry weapons or to wield the spear. So long then as the bulwarks
of our land stood firm, and Troy's battlements abode unshaken, and
my brother Hector prospered in his warring, I, poor child, grew up
and flourished, like some vigorous shoot, at the court of the Thracian,
my father's friend. But when Troy fell and Hector lost his life and
my father's hearth was rooted up, and himself fell butchered at the
god-built altar by the hands of Achilles' murderous son; then did
my father's friend slay me his helpless guest for the sake of the
gold, and thereafter cast me into the swell of the sea, to keep the
gold for himself in his house. And there I lie one time upon the strand,
another in the salt sea's surge, drifting ever up and down upon the
billows, unwept, unburied; but now am I hovering o'er the head of
my dear mother Hecuba, a disembodied spirit, keeping my airy station
these three days, ever since my poor mother came from Troy to linger
here in Chersonese. Meantime all the Achaeans sit idly here in their
ships at the shores of Thrace; for the son of Peleus, even Achilles,
appeared above his tomb and stayed the whole host of Hellas, as they
were making straight for home across the sea, demanding to have my
sister Polyxena offered at his tomb, and to receive his guerdon. And
he will obtain this prize, nor will they that are his friends refuse
the gift; and on this very day is fate leading my sister to her doom.
So will my mother see two children dead at once, me and that ill-fated
maid. For I, to win a grave, ah me! will appear amid the rippling
waves before her bond-maid's feet. Yes! I have won this boon from
the powers below, that I should find tomb and fall into my mother's
hands; so shall I get my heart's desire; wherefore I will go and waylay
aged Hecuba, for yonder she passeth on her way from the shelter of
Agamemnon's tent, terrified at my spectre. Woe is thee! ah, mother
mine! from a palace dragged to face a life of slavery! how sad thy
lot, as sad as once 'twas blest! Some god is now destroying thee,
setting this in the balance to outweigh thy former bliss. (The Ghost
vanishes. Hecuba enters from the tent of Agamemnon, supported by her
attendants, captive Trojan women.)

First Page ||| Next Page
Euripides Home Page ||| Elpenor's Free Greek Lessons
Aeschylus ||| Sophocles
Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

  Euripides Complete Works   Euripides Home Page & Bilingual Anthology
Euripides in Print

Elpenor's Greek Forum : Post a question / Start a discussion

Learned Freeware

Reference address :