A monologue from the play by Euripides


NOTE: This translation of Rhesus was published in 1913. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

HECTOR: Thou child of Music and the Thracian flood,
Strymonian Rhesus, Truth is always good
In Hector's eyes. I wear no double heart.
Long, long ago thou shouldst have born thy part
In Ilion's labours, not have left us here,
For all thy help, to sink beneath the spear.
Why didst thou -- not for lack of need made plain! --
Not come, not send, not think of us again?
What grave ambassadors prayed not before
Thy throne, what herald knelt not at thy door?
What pride of gifts did Troy not sent to thee?
And thou, a lord of Barbary even as we,
Thou, brother of our blood, like one at sup
Who quaffs his fill and flings away the cup,
Hast flung to the Greeks my city! Yet, long since,
'Twas I that found thee but a little prince
And made thee mighty, I and this right hand;
When round Pangaion and the Paion's land,
Front against front, I burst upon the brood
Of Thrace and broke their targes, and subdued
Their power to thine. The grace whereof, not small,
Thou hast spurned, and when thy kinsmen, drowning, call,
Comest too late. Thou! Others there have been
These long years, not by nature of our kin . . .
Some under yon rough barrows thou canst see
Lie buried; they were true to Troy and me;
And others, yet here in the shielded line
Or mid the chariots, parching in the shine
Of noonday, starving in the winds that bite
Through Ilion's winter, still endure and fight
On at my side. 'Twas not their way, to lie
On a soft couch and, while the cups go by,
Pledge my good health, like thee, in Thracian wine.
I speak as a free man. With thee and thine
Hector is wroth, and tells thee to thy face.