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Torch-Bearer

Dreamed ca. 1220 BC, by Hecuba of Troy

from Cicero's De Divinatione; quoted in The Literature and Curiosities of Dreams (1865, v.2, ed. Frank Seafield).

The following is the dream of Hecuba in reference to her son Paris, who caused the destruction of his native city, Troy:

Queen Hecuba dreamed--an ominous dream of fate--
That she did bear no human child of flesh,
But a fierce blazing torch. [King] Priam, alarmed,
Pondered with anxious fear the fatal dream;
And sought the gods with smoking sacrifice.
Then the diviner's aid he did entreat,
With many a prayer to the prophetic god,
If haply he might learn the dream's intent;
Thus spake Apollo with all-knowing mind:--
"The queen shall have a son, who if he grow
To man's estate shall set all Troy in flames--
The ruin of his city and his land."

--Cicero--

EDITOR'S NOTE

For our myth-impaired readers, here's Homer's Iliad in 50 words or less:

Paris, handsome fool, once spurned
Two Goddesses to take a bribe.
Kidnapped Helen from her tribe.
Decade of red war. Troy burned.

Thirty-two centuries, ash and rubble,
Till the myth was verified.
Never take a bribe. Or bride.
Kids and gods? Pure trouble.

--Chris Wayan



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