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A Message to the Queen

In the tenth year of the Trojan War, a thick fog descends upon the palace of Priam and Hecuba. Out from the fog, approaches a single, determined messenger.

To Queen Hecuba who rests in the citadel tonight,

I bring news from Hermes,

I mustn’t be delayed, or face the wrath of the god who controls ye’s dreams,

Yes, that god who interrupted his infinite scheme of life to dwell amongst our mortal affairs,


You ask why he doesn’t come himself?

Woe to thee who asks to see the face of god,

And to the demon of Argos that saw the whole world, but sees no more,

Make way! Make way! I demand an audience with Hecuba.


Salutations Queen Hecuba, why dost thou sleep so soundly in bed?

The Greeks are at your gates, and tomorrow they will be within your walls,

There are far better ways to torment a queen,

This is just a warning born of pity.


Great Hermes asked the visionaire: what folly shall become of this war?

This he told me, and this he warns:

“Sleep well, O queen of Troy,

Your city walls do afford some protection,


When you enter the agora tomorrow, you shall purchase a few fine linens,

Till noon shall you weave non-stop,

Then atop your head the veil shall sit,

‘No harm comes to a lady in white’, you will say.


You will wear this veil to watch the soldiers die another day…

But what is this? The Greeks have left your lands.

They are not on the hills, the plains, the forests, the shores.

You will take off this curséd veil and return to the castle.


There sits a small Greek man at your chair called Sinon,

What a poor thing remains of the Greeks: The weakest of the weak,

No matter. A massive idol of Athena has been gifted from their kind,

Tonight Sinon sleeps well in the land of the Trojans.”


Shhhh, Shhhh, this gift of Hermes extends no further, ask me no more,

You seem like an ill woman despite this news, as one might assume,

I will tell you this one last thing out of my own compassion:

Hermes seems satisfied with the result.