(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)
Monologue Title: “No One Can Say We Had Not Lived!”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Author: Justy DeForest
Characters: Chorus of Three Trojan Wennen (including a Maid, a Mother, and a Crone), joined by Hecuba for the last verse.
Setting: On the steps before the ruined Palace of Troy
Background: With only a few hours of light remaining on the day HECUBA must decide whether to surrender to the Greeks or make one desperate last stand against them, the CHORUS gathers on the palace steps and recount the Night of the Wooden Horse.
CHORUS OF TROJAN WENNEN
The sun shall soon abandon the sky,
Warmth and hope will wither,
And night will wake the ice moon that sets the dog of the plain a howling.
What is it about desolate nights that makes noises louder than their sounds?
That strips colorful garments of their hues?
And causes the most commonplace objects to throw monstrous shapes against the walls?
Yet what shape more monstrous than the shape of war?
Two sturdy forms braced in combat, each seeking the other’s destruction.
The mad thrusts of the attacker,
The hideous contortions of the dying.
These shapes, also, I have witnessed on the night of the Wooden Horse.
(The Wooden Horse!)
How we had rejoiced that morning!
The dark cloud of Grecian ships was lifted, at last, from our shores!
Instead, on the sands, stood the giant horse.
“A peace offering!” some shouted.
(A peace offering!)
“Wheel the gift within the gates!”
All day long we danced and sang to celebrate the death of war!
Yet soon our joy was turned to grief,
For while we slept within our houses as deeply as children after tiring play,
An enemy’s labor went unnoticed.
Pegs were pulled from the pine-planked belly,
And destruction sprang from the Greek beast’s womb!
Shouts were raised!
And flaming torches awakened night.
A stampede of doom throughout the city,
The Greeks raged headlong in the streets.
I hid my children within the chambers while men with weapons rushed into the fray.
For hour on hour bold bronze argued,
Violently clashing in debate.
While I heard our soldiers calling their comrades, I held hope for
And lifted my prayer unto the heavens
Until all familiar voice died away,
And their owners with them.
I am a being of the day, who lives to bask in the sun’s bright glow.
Now another night approaches.
A night that threatens to be Troy’s last!
(HECUBA, who has heard the last verse of the CHORUS, enters from the palace.)
(Boldly) Then shall my people waste this time in sad lament?
If this day shall be our last, then let the light not escape us!
Memorize the sky. Pour its brilliant hues into your minds
that these may paint your dreams!
And if tomorrow we lie on the pyre of death,
Still, no one can say we did not lived!
© Justy DeForest 1987, 2009, 2022