I am marrying a king! Lead me to him. If I falter, take me to him by force.
Apollo is a prophet. Agamemnon, noble king of the Greeks, will find me a more deadly bride
Than Helen ever was. I shall kill him. I shall bring his house to ruin.
I will avenge the deaths of my father and my brothers. But… no more now.
I will not tell of the axe that will fall upon my neck and on another’s, too,
Nor the killing of a mother, long after my marriage,
Nor of the fall of the House of Atreus.
I am possessed, but for once I shall escape that possession and will prove that Troy is more
Fortunate than all the Greeks.
The hunters of Helen, for the sake of that one woman,
That one passion, have perished in the thousands.…
From the moment they landed on these shores, they began to die.
They were not defending their borders or their towering cities.
Those whom the God of War struck down never saw their children again.
Their bodies were not wrapped for death by the loving hands of their wives.
They lie forever in alien soil. In Greece the misery was the same.
Widows died alone, old men walked childless through empty homes.
The sons they reared now served other men.
No one was left to pour libations of blood upon their graves.
This is the glory of the Greek invasion. But it is better to pass over their crimes in silence.
May my inner muse never sing an evil tale!
But the Trojans died for their country! What more glorious fame than that?
Those cut down by the sword had friends to carry their bodies home.
They were buried in the bosom of their native earth,
Wrapped for death by hands that loved them.…
Listen to me now. Hector died. It hurt so deeply. But he lives in fame.
He is a hero for all time. Without the Greek invasion, this would not be.
Without their coming here, his virtues would have died in silence.…
In the end it comes to this: a wise man will never go to war.
But if war must come, then glory comes to the good, even if they die.
The bad will live in infamy. Therefore, my mother, do not weep for our country.
Do not weep for my virginity lost. I will couple and I will kill the enemies of our house.
Now the Great Bear and Pleiades
Where Earth moves
Are drawing up the clouds
Of human grief
Breathing solemnity into the deep night.
Who can decipher
In storm or starlight
The written character
Of a friendly fate
As the sky turns the world for us to change?
But if the horoscope’s bewildering
Like the flashing turmoil of a shoal of herring,
Who, who, who, who
Can turn skies back and begin again?