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Ulyffes, Stheneleus, Tifander, flide
Down by a rope, Machaon was their guide;
Atrides, Pyrrhus, Thoas, Athamas,
And Epeus, who the fraud's contriver was:
The gates they seize; the guards, with fleep and wine Oppreft, furprize, and then their forces join.
'Twas then, when the first sweets of fleep repair
Our bodies spent with toil, our minds with care;
(The gods' beft gift) when, bath'd in tears and blood,
Before my face lamenting Hector ftood,
His afpect fuch when, foil'd with bloody duft,
Dragg'd by the cords which through his feet were thrust
By his infulting foe; O how transform'd,
How much unlike that Hector, who return'd
Clad in Achilles' spoils; when he, among
A thousand ships, (like Jove) his lightning flung!
His horrid beard and knotted treffes stood
Stiff with his gore, and all his wounds ran blood:
Intranc'd I lay, then (weeping) said, the joy,
The hope and stay of thy declining Troy;
What region held thee, whence, so much defir'd,
Art thou reftor'd to us confum'd and tir'd
With toils and deaths; but what fad cause confounds
Thy once fair looks, or why appear those wounds?
Regardless of my words, he no reply
Returns, but with a dreadful groan doth cry,
Fly from the flame, O goddess-born, our walls
The Greeks poffefs, and Troy confounded falls
From all her glories; if it might have stood
By any power, by this right hand it should,
What man could do, by me for Troy was done,
Take here her reliques and her gods, to run
With them thy fate, with them new walls expect,
Which, toft on feas, thou fhalt at laft erect:
Then brings old Vesta from her facred quire,
Her holy wreaths, and her eternal fire.
Meanwhile the walls with doubtful cries refound
From far (for fhady coverts did surround
My father's house); approaching still more near
The clash of arms, and voice of men we hear :
Rouz'd from my bed, I speedily ascend
The houses tops, and listening there attend.
As flames roll'd by the winds confpiring force,
O'er full-ear'd corn, or torrents raging course
Bears down th' oppofing oaks, the fields destroys,
And mocks the plough-man's toil, th' unlook'd for noise
From neighbouring hills th' amazed fhepherd hears;
Such my furprize, and such their rage appears.
First fell thy house, Ucalegon, then thine
Deïphobus, Sigæan feas did fhine
Bright with Troy's flames; the trumpets dreadful found
The louder groans of dying men confound;
Give me my arms, I cry'd, refolv'd to throw
Myfelf 'mong any that oppos'd the foe:
Rage, anger, and despair at once fuggest,
That of all deaths, to die in arms was best.
The first I met was Pantheus, Phoebus' priest,
Who 'fcaping with his gods and reliques fled,
And towards the fhore his little grandchild led;
Pantheus, what hope remains? what force, what place
Made good? but fighing, he replies, Alas!
Trojans we were, and mighty Ilium was;
But the laft period, and the fatal hour
Of Troy is come: our glory and our power
Incensed Jove transfers to Grecian hands;
The foe within the burning town commands;
And (like a fmother'd fire) an unseen force
Breaks from the bowels of the fatal horse:
Infulting Sinon flings about the flame,
And thousands more than e'er from Argos came
Poffefs the gates, the paffes, and the streets,
And these the sword o'ertakes, and those it meets.
The guard nor fights nor flies; their fate fo near
At once fufpends their courage and their fear.
Thus by the gods, and by Atrides' words
Infpir'd, I make my way through fire, through fwords, Where noises, tumults, out-cries and alarms,
I heard; first Iphitus, renown'd for arms,
We meet, who knew us (for the moon did shine);
Then Ripheus, Hypanis, and Dymas join
Their force, and young Choræbus, Mygdon's fon,
Who, by the love of fair Cassandra won,
Arriv'd but lately in her father's aid;
Unhappy, whom the threats could not diffuade
Of his prophetic spouse;
Whom when I faw, yet daring to maintain
The fight, I faid, Brave spirits (but in vain)
Are you refolv'd to follow one who dares
Tempt all extremes? the state of our affairs
You fee the gods have left us, by whofe aid
Our empire ftood; nor can the flame be ftaid:
Then let us fall amidft our foes; this one
Relief the vanquifh'd have, to hope for none.
Then re-inforc'd, as in a ftormy night
Wolves urged by their raging appetite
Forage for prey, which their neglected young
With greedy jaws expect, ev'n fo among
Foes, fire and fwords, t' affured death we pafs,
Darknets our guide, defpair our leader was.
Who can relate that evening's woes and fpoils,
Or can his tears proportion to our toils?
The city, which so long had flourish'd, falls;
Death triumphs o'er the houfes, temples, walls.
Nor only on the Trojans fell this doom,
Their hearts at laft the vanquish'd re-affume;
And now the victors fall: on all fides fears,
Groans and pale death in all her shapes appears:
Androgeus firft with his whole troop was caft
Upon us, with civility misplac'd;
Thus greeting us, You lofe, by your delay,
Your fhare, both of the honour and the prey;
Others the fpoils of burning Troy convey
Back to thofe fhips, which you but now forfake.
We making no return; his fad mistake
Too late he finds: as when an unfeen fnake
A traveller's unwary foot hath preft,
'Who trembling ftarts, when the fnake's azure creft Swoln with his rifing anger, he efpies,
So from our view furpriz'd Androgeus flies.
But here an eafy victory we meet :
Fear binds their hands, and ignorance their feet.
Whilst fortune our first enterprize did aid,
Encourag'd with fuccefs, Chorobus faid,
O friends, we now by better fates are led,
And the fair path they lead us, let us tread.
First change your arms, and their distinctions bear;
The same, in foes, deceit and virtue are.
Then of his arms Androgeus he divests,
His fword, his fhield he takes, and plumed crefts,
Then Ripheus, Dymas, and the reft, all glad
Of the occafion, in fresh spoils are clad.
Thus mixt with Greeks, as if their fortune still
Follow'd their fwords, we fight, pursue, and kill.
Some re-ascend the horse, and he whose fides
Let forth the valiant, now the coward hides.
Some to their safer guard, their ships, retire;
But vain 's that hope, 'gainst which the gods confpire;
Behold the royal virgin, the divine
Caffandra, from Minerva's fatal shrine
Dragg'd by the hair, cafting towards heaven, in vain, Her eyes; for cords her tender hands did strain;
Chorobus at the fpectacle enrag'd,
Flies in amidst the foes; we thus engag'd,
To fecond him, among the thickest ran;
Here firft our ruin from our friends began,
Who from the temple's battlements a shower
Of darts and arrows on our heads did pour :
They us for Greeks, and now the Greeks (who knew
Caffandra's rescue) us for Trojans flew.