Andromache from Andromache by Euripedes 2
Classical Greek – Women
Oh, here’s a gloomy lottery of life,
A gloomy choosing. If I win, I lose;
And losing, losing–oh, I’m lost forever!
You there who make such mountains out of molehills,
Listen to reason. You’re killing me–why? For whom?
What city did I betray? What child of yours kill?
Whose bed set fire to? I was strong-armed into
A bully’s bed. And it’s me you kill, not him
Who caused it all? Oh, you’ve gotten everything backwards,
Punishing the effect and not the cause.
All these troubles! O my wretched land,
What horrors I endure! Why must I bear
A child just to redouble throe on throe?
I who saw Hector mangled underwheel,
Who saw our Ilium blindingly afire!
I who came shackled to the Grecian fleet,
Haled by the hair! And, once I came to Phthia,
Knew a mock marriage with that murderous brood.
How’s living sweet for me? Where should I look–
Toward yesterday’s affliction or today’s?
I had this one son left, light of my life,
And he’s to be murdered by such judges now.
Murdered? Oh not to save my scraps of life.
The child has possibilities, if he lives;
And if I let him die, shame come to me.
So look, I’m leaving the shrine. I’m in your hands
To mangle, murder, bind, hang by the neck.
O child, the one that bore you moves toward death
All for you. If you escape that doom
Think of your mother, what a fate she suffered!
And covering your father’s face with kisses,
Melted in tears, crushing your arms around him,
Describe my ending.