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

Asia Minor: Troy

Song of the Trojan Captive

By Euripides (c. 480–406 B.C.)

(From Hecuba)
Translated by J. Reade

O MY Ilion, once we named thee

City of the unconquered men;

But the Grecian spear has tamed thee,

Thou canst never rise again,

Grecian clouds thy causeways darken;—

Ah! they cannot hide thy glory!

Ages hence shall heroes hearken

To the wonders of thy story.

O my Ilion, they have shorn thee

Of thy lofty crown of towers!

Thy poor daughter can but mourn thee

In her lonely, captive hours.

They have robbed thee of thy beauty,

Made thee foul with smoke and gore;

Tears are now my only duty,

I shall tread thy streets no more.

O my Ilion, I remember—

’T was the hour of sweet repose,

And my husband in our chamber

Slept, nor dreamt of Grecian foes.

For the song and feast were over,

And the spear was hung to rest,

Never more, my hero-lover,

Aimed by thee at foeman’s breast.

O my Ilion, at the mirror

I was binding up my hair,

When my face grew pale with terror

At the cry that rent the air.

Hark! amid the din the Grecian

Shout of triumph, “Troy is taken;

Ten years’ work has now completion,—

Ilion’s haughty towers are shaken!”

O my Ilion, forth I hie me

From his happy home and mine;

Hapless, soon the Greeks descried me,

As I knelt at Phœbe’s shrine.

Then, my husband slain before me,

To the shore they hurried me,

And from all I loved they tore me

Fainting o’er the cruel sea.