Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Before the battle… Queen Eurydike’s Array of Thoughts

Now we begin to stir, to get ready ourselves in the camp:
       that’s what I’ll write down later.
The horses harnessed—armaments of every description
       taken out from the wagons, from storage.
Everybody rushing wildly about, the baggage put
       aside or sent away.

Once the signal is given we’ll drive down an incline
       towards the battle area:
Sometimes war can be extraordinary
       nauseating: just by ones imagination; especially
       its anticipation—such  as: being exposed intestines,
       or a belly split open,  entrails lying on the ground—
       this I expect.
One has to become hardened, broken in to everything,
       thus, the thought of death will make a few young
       men vomit—fear has its own sickness.

I’ll tell the second in command to increase the pace, he’ll
       crack his voice like a whip, no one will have time to
       think of vulgarization.

The day is drawing to a close, the sun is low (she looks up:
       so it will be), its rays are weak, heroism, no  defeats!

The scene is shrouded in shadows, so I sense; the bloody
       drama which I have enacted in my mind’s eye, which I
       have  a hundred times before: there is already a part
       of it written for history…I don’t know what part though!
Look to your right, left, I have-not yet been dispirited…
       not yet!...

(The young soldier pulls at the arm of Queen Eurydike towards
       her mount — while she was in thought…:
‘Why! I have not yet killed a man, not one single one in combat!
He has no notion of the suffering which this causes me.
He does not realize what this means to me: to run in
      defeat, even before a battle has started…
 I crave combat with all my soul; it is a burning passion,
      it is a grim reality but I carve it nonetheless;  not for
      the glory, not completely, more for the  endeavor!

The old queen, she is an intolerable, braggart, that’s what she is.
She is never in the melee; she’s no hero! The mere idea is
       ridiculous—yet she stands there like one.
Now for her son, Alexander, he was always exposing
       himself  to mortal danger: he rejoiced in hand-to-hand
       combat for its own sake.
Alexander he killed with a heart of cold blood, a
       systematic slaughter…I speak—think—hearsay, for
       I was too young to have participated in his campaigns.
I cannot explain my vexation when I think of what I have
       missed, and now what is being taken away from me.
This only allows me to be brave, without fighting, but
       war and crudity are of the same grain, one must
       grow next to the other to be able to dominate the field.
Hence, I must endure it.)