(Leader Of The Chorus)
We shall soon know about this passing on of flaming lights
490and beacon signals and fires, whether they perhaps are true or whether, dream-like, this light's glad coming has beguiled our senses. Look! I see approaching from the shore a herald crowned with boughs of olive.
495The thirsty dust, consorting sister of the mud [Note], assures me that neither by pantomime nor by kindling a flame of mountain wood will he signal with smoke of fire. Either in plain words he will bid us to rejoice the more, or—but I have little love for the report opposite to this!
500May still further good be added to the good that has appeared!
Whoever makes this prayer with other intent toward the state, let him reap himself the fruit of his misguided purpose!
Enter a Herald
All hail, soil of Argos, land of my fathers! On this happy day in the tenth year I have come to you.
505Many hopes have shattered, one only have I seen fulfilled; for I never dared to dream that here in this land of Argos I should die and have due portion of burial most dear to me. Now blessings on the land, blessings on the light of the sun, and blessed be Zeus, the land's Most High, and the Pythian lord;
510and may he launch no more his shafts against us. Enough of your hostility did you display by Scamander's banks; but now, in other mood, be our preserver and our healer, O lord Apollo. And the gods gathered here, I greet them all; him, too, my own patron,
515Hermes, beloved herald, of heralds all revered; and the heroes [Note]who sped us forth, I pray that they may receive back in kindliness the remnant of the host which has escaped the spear.
Hail, halls of our kings, beloved roofs, and you august seats, and you divinities that face the sun [Note],
520if ever you did in days gone by, now after long lapse of years, with gladness in your eyes receive your king. For bearing light in darkness to you and to all assembled here alike, he has returned—Agamemnon, our king. Oh greet him well, as is right,
525since he has uprooted Troy with the mattock of Zeus the Avenger, with which her soil has been uptorn. Demolished are the altars and the shrines of her gods; and the seed of her whole land has been wasted utterly. Upon the neck of Troy he has cast such a yoke.
530Now he has come home, our king, Atreus' elder son, a man of happy fate, worthy of honor beyond all living men. For neither Paris nor his partner city can boast that the deed was greater than the suffering. Convicted for robbery and for theft as well,
535he has lost the plunder and has razed in utter destruction his father's house and even the land. The sons of Priam have paid a twofold penalty for their sins.