A monologue from the play by Euripides
TRANSLATED BY GILBERT MURRAY
|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.