Slaughter the Baby (Tricked by the Words of Cypris)

The Chorus of Greek women of Phthia contemplate how different things might have been if Paris had not lived to grow up and, tricked by the words of the goddess Cypris (Aphrodite), cause the Trojan War by stealing away Helen from her husband. Why didn’t Hecuba, his mother, just slaughter Paris at birth? Especially since Cassandra had prophesied that he would bring disaster to Troy.

LYRICS: Hermes set in motion unbearable grief, the son of Maia
and Zeus, when he came to the glade
on Ida’s slopes, driving a beautiful war-team:
three goddesses, caparisoned in hateful
conflict—a beauty contest;
they came to the young herdsman’s hearth,
lonely, deserted, off in the woods.

They came to the glade on the mountain and
bathed their radiant bodies
with water that flowed from the springs
in Ida’s forests; they brought him their
extravagant proposals; Priam’s son was
tricked by the words of Cypris:
delightful to hear, but they brought
bitter annihilation to Troy.

If only the mother who bore this evil
had flung him away
before he came to dwell in Ida’s crags,
when Cassandra cried out for his death
denouncing the outrage to Priam’s city.
Which of the elders did she not
approach then,
not beg to:
slaughter the baby?
slaughter the baby!
slaughter the baby!

Then slavery’s yoke would not have come
to Trojan women; you, my friend Andromache, would live
in a palace;
Greece would have been freed
from ten years of war in Asia—
wives would not have been deserted,
old men not buried their children.

Young warriors wandering vainly outside the
city walls of Troy—

Slaughter the baby Paris!
Hecuba, why didn’t you just: slaughter the baby? Men of Troy, why didn’t you just: slaughter the baby? Why didn’t they just: slaughter the baby!?