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.
Thrace; men call his father Strymon.
Did you say that Rhesus was setting foot in Troy?
You have it; and lighten me of half my speech.
How is it that he comes to Ida’s meadows, wandering from the broad wagon track across the plain?
I cannot say for certain, though I might guess.
It is no idle task for an army to make an invasion by night, hearing that the plains are packed with foemen’s troops. But he frightened us rustic shepherds who dwell along the slopes of Ida, the earliest settlement in the land, as he came by night through the wood full of wild beasts.
On surged the tide of Thracian warriors with loud shouts; at this in wild amazement we drove our flocks unto the heights, for fear that some Argives were coming to plunder and harry your steading, till we caught the sound of voices
other than Greek and ceased from our alarm. Then I went and questioned in the Thracian tongue those who were reconnoitring the road for their lord, who it was that lead them, and whose son he was called, that came to the city to help the sons of Priam.
And when I had heard all I wished to learn, I stood still; and I see Rhesus mounted like a god upon his Thracian chariot. Of gold was the yoke that linked the necks of his horses brighter than the snow;
and on his shoulders flashed his shield with figures welded in gold; while a gorgon of bronze like that on the aegis of the goddess was bound upon the front of his horses, ringing out its note of fear with many a bell. The number of his army you could not reckon
to an exact sum, for it was beyond one’s comprehension; many knights, many ranks of targeteers, many archers, a great crowd of light-armed troops, arrayed in Thracian garb, to bear them company. Such the man who comes to Troy’s assistance,
whom the son of Peleus will never escape, either if he tries to escape or if he meets him spear to spear.
Whenever the gods stand by the citizens, the tide of fortune glides with easy flow to a successful goal.
I shall find many friends now that fortune smiles
upon my warring and Zeus is on my side. But we have no need of those who did not share our toils long since, when Ares, driving all before him, was rending the sails of our ship of state with his tempestuous blast. Rhesus has shown the friendship he then bore to Troy;
for he comes to the feast, although he was not with the hunters when they took the prey, nor did he join his spear with theirs.
You are right to scorn and blame such friends; yet welcome those who wish to help the state.