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Ulyffes this, th' Atridæ this defire


At any rate. We ftrait are set on fire
(Unpractis'd in fuch myfteries) to enquire
The manner and the cause, which thus he told,
With geftures humble, as his tale was bold.
Oft have the Greeks (the siege detesting) tir'd
With tedious war, a ftolen retreat defir'd,
And would to heaven they'd gone: but still dismay'd
By feas or fkies, unwillingly they stay'd.

Chiefly when this stupendous pile was rais'd,
Strange noifes fill'd the air; we, all amaz'd,
Dispatch Eurypylus t'enquire our fates,
Who thus the sentence of the gods relates;
A virgin's flaughter did the storm appease,
When first towards Troy the Grecians took the feas;
Their fafe retreat another Grecian's blood

Muft purchase. All at this confounded flood:
Each thinks himself the man, the fear on all

Of what, the mischief but on one can fall,
Then Calchas (by Ulyffes first infpir'd)

Was urg'd to name whom th' angry gods requir'd;
Yet was I warn'd (for many were as well

Infpir'd as he, and did my fate foretel)

Ten days the prophet in fufpence remain'd,

Would no man's fate pronounce; at last constrain’d By Ithacus, he folemnly defign'd

Me for the facrifice; the people join'd

In glad confent, and all their common fear
Determine in my fate; the day drew near,


The facred rites prepar'd, my temples crown'd
With holy wreaths; then I confefs I found
The means to my escape, my bones I brake,
Fled from my guards, and in a muddy lake
Amongst the fedges all the night lay hid,
Till they their fails had hoist (i so they did).
And now alas no hope remains for me
My home, my father, and my fons to fee,
Whom they, enrag'd, will kill for my offence,
And punish, for my guilt, their innocence.
Those gods who know the truths I now relate,
That faith which yet remains inviolate
By mortal men; by these I beg, redress
My causeless wrongs, and pity such distress.
And now true pity in exchange he finds
For his false tears, his tongue his hands unbinds.
Then spake the king, Be ours, whoe'er thou art;
Forget the Greeks. But firft the truth impart,
Why did they raise, or to what use intend
This pile? to a war-like, or religious end?
Skilful in fraud (his native art), his hands
Toward heaven he rais'd, deliver'd now from bands.
pure æthereal flames, ye powers ador'd

By mortal men, ye altars, and the sword

I fcap'd; ye facred fillets that involv'd

My deftin'd head, grant I may stand abfolv'd
From all their laws and rights, renounce all name
Of faith or love, their fecret thoughts proclaim;

Only, O Troy, preserve thy faith to me,

If what I shall relate preserveth thee.


From Pallas' favour, all our hopes, and all
Counfels and actions took original,

Till Diomed (for fuch attempts made fit
By dire conjunction with Ulyffes' wit)
Affails the facred tower, the guards they flay,
Defile with bloody hands, and thence convey
The fatal image; ftraight with our fuccefs
Our hopes fell back, whilft prodigies exprefs
Her juft disdain, her flaming eyes did throw
Flashes of lightning, from each part did flow
A briny fweat, thrice brandishing her fpear,
Her ftatue from the ground itfelf did rear;
Then, that we fhould our facrilege restore,
And reconvey their gods from Argos' fhore,
Calchas perfuades, till then we urge in vain
The fate of Troy. To meafure back the main
They all confent, but to return again,
When reinforc'd with aids of gods and men.
Thus Calchas; then, instead of that, this pile
To Pallas was defign'd; to reconcile
Th' offended power, and expiate our guilt;
To this vaft height and monftrous ftature built,
Left, through your gates receiv'd, it might renew
Your vows to her, and her defence to you.
But if this facred gift you dif-esteem,

Then cruel plagues (which heaven divert on them!)
Shall fall on Priam's ftate: but if the horse
Your walls afcend, affifted by your force,

A league 'gainft Greece all Afia shall contract:
Our fons then fuffering what their fires would act.


Thus by his fraud and our own faith o'ercome,
A feigned tear destroys us, again whom
Tydides nor Achilles could prevail,
Nor ten years conflict, nor a thousand fail.
This feconded by a moft fad portent,
Which credit to the first imposture lent;
Laocoon, Neptune's priest, upon the day
Devoted to that god, a bull did slay.

When two prodigious ferpents were defcry'd,
Whofe circling strokes the fea's fmooth face divide;
Above the deep they raise their scaly crests,
And ftem the flood with their erected breafts,

Their winding tails advance and steer their course,
And 'gainst the fhore the breaking billows force.
Now landing, from their brandish'd tongues there came
A dreadful hifs, and from their eyes a flame.
Amaz'd we fly; directly in a line

Laocoon they pursue, and first entwine

(Each preying upon one) his tender fons;
Then him, who armed to their rescue runs,
They seiz'd, and with entangling folds embrac'd,
His neck twice compaffing, and twice his waste :
Their poisonous knots he strives to break and tear,
While flime and blood his facred wreaths befmear;
Then loudly roars, as when th' enraged bull
From th' altar flies, and from his wounded skull
Shakes the huge ax; the conquering ferpents fly
To cruel Pallas' altar, and there lie

Under her feet, within her shield's extent.
We, in our fears, conclude this fate was sent


Juftly on him, who ftruck the facred oak
With his accurfed lance. Then to invoke
The goddess, and let in the fatal horse,
We all confent.

A fpacious breach we make, and Troy's proud wall,
Built by the gods, by her own hands doth fall;
Thus, all their help to their own ruin give,

Some draw with cords, and fome the monster drive
With rolls and levers: thus our works it climbs,
Big with our fate, the youth with fongs and rhimes,
Some dance, fome hale the rope; at last let down
It enters with a thundering noise the town.
Oh Troy, the feat of gods, in war renown'd!
Three times it ftruck, as oft the clafhing found
Of arms was heard, yet blinded by the power
Of fate, we place it in the facred tower.
Caffandra then foretels th' event, but she
Finds no belief (fuch was the gods' decree.)
The altars with fresh flowers we crown, and wafte
In feafts that day, which was (alas!) our last.
Now by the revolution of the skies,

Night's fable fhadows from the ocean rise,

Which heaven and earth, and the Greek frauds involv'd,

The city in fecure repose dissolv'd,

When from the admiral's high poop appears

A light, by which the Argive fquadron steers
'Their filent courfe to Ilium's well-known fhore,
When Sinon (fav'd by the gods' partial power)
Opens the horse, and through the unlockt doors
To the free air the armed freight restores :


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