Rhesus

Euripides

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. and of all men he has wrought most outrage on this country. For he came by night to Athena’s shrine and stole her image and took it to the Argive ships; next he came inside our battlements, clad as a vagrant in a beggar’s garb, and loudly did he curse
  2. the Argives, sent as a spy to Ilium; and then went out again, when he had slain the sentinels and warders at the gate. He is always to be found lurking in ambush about the altar of Thymbrean Apollo near the city. In him we have a troubling pest to wrestle with.
Rhesus
  1. No brave man thinks it right to kill his foe in secret, but to meet him face to face. If I can catch this fellow alive, who, as you say, sits in stealthy ambush and plots his mischief, I will impale him at the outlet of the gates
  2. and set him up for winged vultures to make their meal upon. This is the death he ought to die, pirate and temple-robber that he is.
Hector
  1. To your quarters now, for it is night. For you I will myself point out a spot where your army
  2. can watch this night apart from our array. Our password is “Phoebus,” if perhaps there should be need of it; hear and remember it, and tell it to the Thracian army. You must advance in front of our ranks and keep a watchful guard, and receive Dolon,
  3. who went to spy on the ships, for he, if he is safe, is even now approaching the camp of Troy.
Chorus
  1. Whose watch is it? who relieves me? night’s earlier stars are on the wane, and the seven
  2. Pleiads mount the sky; in the middle of the heavens the eagle floats. Rouse yourselves, why delay? Up from your beds to the watch! Do you not see the moonlight?
  3. Dawn is near, dawn is coming, and lo! a star that heralds it. Who was told off to the first watch? The son of Mygdon, whom they call Coroebus.
  4. Who after him? The Paeonian contingent roused the Cilicians, and the Mysians us. Is it not then high time we went and roused the Lycians for the fifth watch,
  5. as the lot decided?
Chorus
  1. Hark! hark! a sound; sitting on her blood-stained nest by Simois, she sings with voice of many trills
  2. her piteous plaint, the nightingale that slew her child. Already on Ida they are pasturing the flocks, and over the night I catch the shrill pipe’s note. Sleep charms my eyes,
  3. for sleep is sweetest at dawn to tired eyelids. Why does not our scout draw near, whom Hector sent to spy on the fleet? He is so long away, I have my fears.
  4. Is it possible he has plunged into a hidden ambush and been slain? Perhaps. I am afraid. My counsel is we go and rouse the Lycians for the fifth watch, as the lot ordained. Exit Chorus
Enter Diomedes and Odysseus cautiously with drawn swords.
Odysseus
  1. Did you not hear, Diomedes, the clash of arms or is it an idle noise that rings in my ears?
Diomedes
  1. No, it is the rattle of steel harness on the chariot rails; I, too, was afraid, till I perceived it was the clang of horses’ chains.
Odysseus
  1. Beware lest you stumble upon the guard in the darkness.
Diomedes
  1. I will take good care how I advance even in the gloom.