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. He does not declare the disaster in riddles;
  2. no, he clearly asserts our allies’ destruction.
  1. A sorry deed it was, and more than that a deed most shameful; yes, it is an evil doubly bad; to die with glory, if die one must, is bitterness enough I think to him who dies—how not?—
  2. though to the living it may add dignity and honor for their house. But we have died foolishly and without glory. No sooner had great Hector given us our quarters and told us the password than we lay down to sleep upon the ground, overcome by weariness. No guard our army set
  3. to watch by night, nor were our arms set in array, nor were the whips hung ready on the horses’ yokes, for our prince was told that you were masters now, and had encamped hard on their ships; so carelessly we threw ourselves down to sleep.
  4. Now I with thoughtful mind awoke from my slumber, and with ungrudging hand measured out the horses’ feed, expecting to harness them at dawn for the fray; through the thick gloom two men I see roaming around our army. But when I roused myself
  5. they crouched low and were gone once more; and I called out to them to keep away from the army, for I thought they might be thieves from our allies. Nothing from them, so I too said no more, but came back to my couch and slept again.
  6. And as I slept a strange fancy came over me: those horses that I had reared and used to drive, stationed at Rhesus’ side, I saw, I thought as in a dream, with wolves mounted on their backs; and these with their tails lashed the horses’ flanks
  7. and urged them on, while they snorted and breathed fury from their nostrils, striving in terror to unseat their riders. Up I sprang to defend the horses from the brutes, for the horror of the night scared me. Then as I raised my head I heard the groans of dying men,
  8. and a warm stream of new-shed blood bespattered me, beside my murdered master as he died. To my feet I start, but all unarmed; and as I peer about and grope to find my sword, a stalwart hand from somewhere near struck me with a sword
  9. beneath the ribs. I felt the sword-thrust, the deep gaping wound it gave me. Down on my face I fell, while they fled clean away with horses and chariot. Oh, oh! Tortured with pain, too weak to stand, a piteous object!
  10. I know what happened, for I saw it; but how the victims met their death I cannot say, nor at whose hand. But I can well surmise we have our friends to thank for this grief.
Chorus Leader
  1. Charioteer of Thrace’s hapless king,
  2. do not suspect us. Enemies did this. But Hector himself is here, having learned your mischance; he sympathizes as he should with your hard fate.
  1. You who have caused this great calamity, how did the enemy’s spies come
  2. without your knowledge, to your shame, and spread destruction through the army, and you did not drive them away either as they entered or left the camp? Who but you shall pay the penalty for this? You, I say, were here to guard the army. But they are gone without a wound, with many a scoff
  3. at Phrygian cowardice, and at me their leader. Now mark you this—by father Zeus I swear—either the scourge or the headsman’s axe awaits you for such conduct; or else consider Hector to be nothing, a mere coward.
  1. Woe, woe! It was in quest of you, yes, you, great lord of my city, that I went, when I brought news to you that the Argive army was kindling fires about the ships;
  2. for by the springs of Simois I vow my eye kept sleepless watch by night, nor did I slumber or sleep. Do not be angry with me, my lord; I am guiltless of all.
  3. Yet if hereafter you find that I in word or deed have done amiss, bury me alive beneath the earth; I ask no mercy.