The Trojan Women


Euripides. The Plays of Euripides, Translated into English Prose from the Text of Paley. Vol. I. Coleridge, Edward P., translator. London: George Bell and Sons, 1906.

  1. So then you have delivered into Achaea’s hand, O Zeus, your shrine in Ilium and your fragrant altar, the offerings of burnt sacrifice with smoke of myrrh to heaven uprising,
  2. and holy Pergamos, and glens of Ida tangled with the ivy’s growth, where rills of melting snow pour down their flood, a holy sun-lit land that bounds the world
  3. and takes the god’s first rays!
  1. Gone are your sacrifices! gone the dancer’s cheerful shout! gone the vigils of the gods as night closed in! your images of carven gold are now no more;
  2. and Phrygia’s holy festivals, twelve times a year, at each full moon, are ended now. It is this, it is this that fills me with anxious thought whether you, lord, seated on the sky, your heavenly throne, care at all that my city is destroyed,
  3. a prey to the furious fiery blast.
  1. Ah! my loved husband, you are a wandering spectre;
  2. unwashed, unburied lies your corpse, while over the sea the ship sped by wings will carry me to Argos, land of steeds, where stand Cyclopian walls of stone reaching to heaven. There in the gate the children gather,
  3. and weep their piteous lamentation; they cry, they cry: Mother, alas! torn from your sight, the Achaeans bear me away from you to their dark ship
  4. to row me over the deep to sacred Salamis or to the hill on the Isthmus, that overlooks two seas, the seat that holds the gates of Pelops.
  1. Oh may the sacred blazing thunderbolt of the Aegean, hurled in might, smite the ship of Menelaus full in the middle, on its way in mid-sea,
  2. since he is carrying me away in bitter sorrow from the shores of Ilium to be a slave in Hellas, while the daughter of Zeus still keeps her golden mirrors, delight of maidens’ hearts.
  3. Never may he reach his home in Laconia or his father’s hearth and home, nor come to the town of Pitane [*](Part of Sparta was so called.) or the temple of the goddess [*](Athena of the Brazen House, a temple on the acropolis.) with the gates of bronze, having taken as his captive the one whose marriage brought disgrace on Hellas through its length and breadth and woful anguish
  4. on the streams of Simois!
Enter Talthybius and attendants, bearing the corpse of Astyanax on Hector’s shield.
Chorus Leader
  1. All me! ah me! new troubles fall on my country, to take the place of those that still are fresh! Behold,
  2. you hapless wives of Troy, the corpse of Astyanax, whom the Danaids have cruelly slain by hurling him from the battlements.
  1. Hecuba, one ship alone delays its plashing oars,
  2. and it is soon to sail to the shores of Phthia freighted with the remnant of the spoils of Achilles’ son; for Neoptolemus is already out at sea, having heard that new calamities have befallen Peleus, for Acastus, son of Pelias, has banished him from the realm. Therefore he is gone, too quick to indulge in any delay,
  3. and with him goes Andromache, who drew many tears from me when she set out from the land, wailing her country and crying her farewell to Hector’s tomb. And she begged her master leave to bury this poor dead child of Hector
  4. who breathed his last when hurled from the turrets; entreating too that he would not carry this shield, the terror of the Achaeans—this shield with plates of brass with which his father would gird himself—to the home of Peleus or to the same bridal bower where she, Andromache,