Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Asia Minor: Troy

Fall of Troy

By Æschylus (525–456 B.C.)

(From Agamemnon)
Translated by R. Potter

CHORUS.What speed could be the herald of this news?

CLYTEMNESTRA.The fire, that from the height of Ida sent

Its streaming light, as from the announcing flame

Torch blazed to torch. First Ida to the steep

Of Lemnos; Athos’ sacred height received

The mighty splendor; from the surging back

Of the Hellespont the vigorous blaze held on

Its smiling way, and like the Orient sun,

Illumes with golden-gleaming rays the head

Of rocky Macetas; nor lingers there,

Nor winks unheedful, but its warning flames

Darts to the streams of Euripus, and gives

Its glittering signal to the guards that hold

Their high watch on Mesapius. These enkindle

The joy-denouncing fires, that spread the blaze

To where Erica hoar its shaggy brow

Waves rudely. Unimpaired the active flame

Bounds o’er the level of Asopus, like

The jocund moon, and on Cithæron’s steep

Wakes a successive flame; the distant watch

Agnize its shine, and raise a brighter fire,

That o’er the lake Gorgopis streaming holds

Its rapid course, and on the mountainous heights

Of Ægiplanctus huge, swift shooting spreads

The lengthened line of light. Thence onward waves

Its fiery tresses, eager to ascend

The crags of Prone, frowning in their pride

O’er the Saronic gulf: it leaps, it mounts

The summit of Arachne, whose high head

Looks down on Argos: to this royal seat

Thence darts the light that from the Idæan fire

Derives its birth. Rightly in order thus

Each to the next consigns the torch that fills

The bright succession, whilst the first in speed

Vies with the last; the promised signal this

Given by my lord to announce the fall of Troy.