Page:The Plays of Euripides Vol. 1- Edward P. Coleridge (1910).djvu/57

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RHESUS.

reared most fairly by the maiden nymphs, and didst rule o'er Thrace, a leader amongst men, my child. So long as thou didst range thy native land in quest of bloody deeds of prowess I feared not for thy death, but I bade thee ne'er set out for Troy-town, for well I knew thy doom; but Hector's messages and those countless embassies urged thee to go and help thy friends. This was thy doing, Athena; thou alone art to blame for his death (neither Odysseus nor the son of Tydeus had aught to do with it); think not it hath escaped mine eye. And yet we sister Muses do special honour to thy city, thy land we chiefly haunt; yea, and Orpheus,[1] own cousin of the dead whom thou hast slain, did for thee unfold those dark mysteries with their torch processions. Musæus, too, thy holy citizen, of all men most advanced in lore, him did Phœbus with us sisters train. And here is my reward for this; dead in my arms I hold my child and mourn for him. Henceforth no other learned man I'll bring to thee.

Cho. Vainly it seems the Thracian charioteer reviled us with plotting this man's murder, Hector.

Hec. I knew it; it needed no seer to say that he had perished by the arts of Odysseus. Now I, when I saw the Hellene host camped in my land, of course would not hesitate to send heralds to my friends, bidding them come and help my country; and so I sent, and he as in duty bound came my toils to share. It grieves me sorely to see him dead; and now am I ready to raise a tomb for him and burn at his pyre great store of fine raiment; for he came as a friend and in sorrow is he going hence.

The Muse. He shall not descend into earth's darksome soil; so earnest a prayer will I address to the bride of the nether world, the daughter of the goddess Demeter, giver of

  1. Orpheus was the son of Œager, king of Thrace, and the Muse Calliope. The following reference is to the so-called Orphic mysteries, in which the torch procession formed a conspicuous feature.