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The warders of the gates but soarce maintain
Th' unequal combat, and resist in vain."

I heard and heav'n, that well-born souls in-
Prompts me, through lifted swords and rising
To run where clashing arms and clamour calls,
And rush undaunted to defend the walls.
Ripheus and Iphitus by my side engage,
For valour one renown'd, and one for age:
Dymas and Hypanis by moonlight knew
My motions and my mien, and to my party

With young Chorobus, who by love was led
To win renown, and fair Cassandra's bed;
And lately brought his troops to Priam's aid,
Forewarn'd in vain by the prophetic maid:
Whom when I saw resolv'd in arms to fall,
And that one spirit animated all,
"Brave souls!" said I-" but brave, alas,

Come, finish what our cruel fates ordain.
You see the desp❜rate state of our affairs;
And heav'n's protecting pow'rs are deaf to

We leave the narrow lanes behind, and dare
Th' unequal combat in the public square:
Night was our friend; our leader was despair.
What tongue can tell the slaughter of that night?
What eyes can weep the sorrows and affright?
An ancient and imperial city falls :
The streets are fill'd with frequent funerals:
Houses and holy temples float in blood;
And hostile nations make a common flood.
Not only Trojans fall; but in their turn,
The vanquish'd triumph, and the victors mourn.
Ours take new courage from despair and night;
Confus'd the fortune is, confus'd the fight.
All parts resound with tumults, plaints, and

Amaz'd, he would have shunn'd th' unequal

But we, more num'rous, intercept his flight.
As when some peasant in a bushy brake,
Has with unwary footing press'd a snake;
He starts aside, astonish'd when he spies
His rising crest, blue neck, and rolling eyes;
So, from our arms, surpris'd Androgeos flies-
In vain: for him and his we compass round,
Possess'd with fear, unknowing of the ground;
And of their lives an easy conquest found.
in Thus Fortune on our first endeavour smil❜d.
Chorobus then, with youthful hopes beguil'd,
Swoln with success, and of a daring mind,
This new invention fatally design'd.
"My friends," said he, " since Fortune shows
the way,

"T is fit we should th' auspicious guide obey.
For what has she these Grecian arms be-

The passive gods behold the Greeks defile
Their temples, and abandon to the spoil
Their own abodes: we, feeble few, conspire
To save a sinking town, involv'd in fire.
Then let us fall, but fall amidst our foes:
Despair of life the means of living shows."
So bold a speech encourag'd their desire
Of death, and added fuel to their fire.

As hungry wolves, with raging appetite, Scour through the fields, nor fear the stormy night

Their welps at home expect the promis'd food,
And long to temper their dry chaps in blood-
So rush'd we forth at once. Resolv❜d to die,
Resolv'd in death the last extremes to try,

And grisly Death in sundry shapes appears.
Androgeos fell among us, with his band,
Who thought us Grecians newly come to land.
"From whence," said he, "my friends, this
long delay ?

You loiter while the spoils are borne away:
Our ships are laden with the Trojan store;
And you, like truants, come too late ashore,"
He said, but soon corrected his mistake,
Found, by the doubtful answers which we

But their destruction, and the Trojans' good? Then change we shields, and their devices bear

Let fraud supply the want of force in war.
They find us arms.'
." This said, himself he


In dead Androgeos' spoils, his upper vest,
His painted buckler and his plumy crest.
Thus Ripheus, Dymas, all the Trojan train,
Lay down their own attire and strip the slain.
Mix'd with the Greeks, we go with ill presage,
Flatter'd with hopes to glut our greedy rage.

Unknown assaulting whom we blindly meet,
And strew with Grecian carcasses the street.
Thus, while their straggling parties we defeat,
Some to the shore and safer ships retreat;
And some, oppress'd with more ignoble fear,
Remount the hollow horse, and pant in secret

But ah! what use of valour can be made, When heav'n's propitious pow'rs refuse their aid?

Behold the royal prophetess, the fair Cassandra, dragg'd by her dishevell❜d hair, Whom not Minerva's shrine, nor sacred bands, In safety could protect from sacrilegious hands: On heav'n she cast her eyes, she sigh'd, she cried[tied. 'T was all she could-her tender arms were So sad a sight Chorobus could not bear; But fir'd with rage, distracted with despair, Amid the barb'rous ravishers he flew. Our leader's rash example we pursue: But storms of stones, from the proud temple's height,

Pour down, and on our batter'd helms alight We from our friends receiv'd this fatal blow, Who thought us Grecians, as we seem'd in show.

They aim at the mistaken crests, from high; And ours beneath the pond'rous ruin lie. Then mov'd with anger and disdain, to see Their troops dispers'd, the royal virgin free, The Grecians rally, and their pow'rs unite, With fury charge us, and renew the fight. The brother kings with Ajax join their force, And the whole squadron of Thessalian horse.

Thus when the rival winds their quarrel try, Contending for the kingdom of the sky, South, East, and West, on airy coursers borne[torn: The whirlwind gathers, and the woods are Then Nereus strikes the deep: the billows rise, And, mix'd with ooze and sand, pollute the skies.

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What I perform'd and what I suffer'd there,
No sword avoiding in the fatal strife,
Expos'd to death, and prodigal of life.
Witness, ye heavens! I live not by my fault;
I strove to have deserv'd the death I sought.
But when I could not fight, and would have

Borne off to distance by the growing tide,
Old Iphitus and I were hurried thence,
With Pelias wounded, and without defence.
New clamours from th' invested palace ring:
We run to die, or disengage the king.
So hot th' assault, so high the tumult rose,
While ours defend, and while the Greeks op-
As all the Dardan and Argolic race [pose,
Had been contracted in that narrow space;
Or as all Ilium else were void of fear,
And tumult, war, and slaughter, only there.
Their targets in a tortoise cast, their foes,
Secure advancing, to the turrets rose:
Some mount the scaling ladders; some, more
Swerve upwards, and by posts and pillars hold:
Their left hand gripes their bucklers in th' as-

While with the right they seize the battlement.
From the demolish'd tow'rs the Trojans throw
Huge heaps of stones, that, falling, crush the

And heavy beams and rafters from the sides,
(Such arms their last necessity provides!)
And gilded roofs come tumbling from on high,
The marks of state and ancient royalty.
The guards below, fix'd in the pass, attend
The charge undaunted, and the gate defend.
Renew'd in courage, with recover'd breath,
A second time we ran to tempt our death,
To clear the palace from the foe, succeed
The weary living, and revenge the dead.

A postern door yet unobserv'd, and free,
Join'd by the length of a blind gallery,
To the king's closet led-a way well known
To Hector's wife, while Priam held the

Through which she brought Astyanax, unseen, To cheer his grandshire, and his grandsire's queen. Through this we pass, and mount the tow'r, from whence [fence. With unavailing arms the Trojans make de From this the trembling king had oft descried The Grecian camp, and saw their navy ride. Beams from its lofty height with swords we hew, Then, wrenching with our hands, th' assault


And, where the rafters on the columns meet, We push them headlong with our arms and feet. The lightning flies not swifter than the fall; Nor thunder louder than the ruin'd wall:

Down goes the top at once; the Greeks beneath Are piecemeal torn, or pounded into death. Yet more succeed, and more to death are sent : We cease not from above, nor they below relent.

Before the gate stood Pyrrhus, threatening loud, With glittering arms conspicuous in the crowd. So shines, renew'd in youth, the crested snake, Who slept the winter in a thorny brake,

And, casting off his slough when spring returns,
Now looks aloft, and with new glory burns,
Restor❜d with pois'nous herbs: his ardent sides
Reflect the sun, and rais'd on spires, he rides
High o'er the grass: hissing he rolls along,
And brandishes by fits his forky tongue.
Proud Periphas, and fierce Automedon,
His father's charioteer, together run
To force the gate: the Syrian infantry
Rush on in crowds, and the barr'd passage free.
Ent'ring the court, with shouts the skies they

And flaming firebrands to the roofs ascend.
Himself, among the foremost, deals his blows,
And with his are repeated strokes bestows
On the strong doors: then all their shoulders

Till from the posts the brazen hinges fly,
He hews apace: the double bars at length
Yield to his axe and unresisted strength.
A mighty breach is made: the rooms conceal'd
Appear, and all the palace is reveal'd-
The halls of audience, and of public state,
And where the lonely queen in secret sate.
Arm'd soldiers now by trembling maids are seen,
With not a door, and scarce a space, between.
The house is fill'd with loud laments and cries,
And shrieks of women rend the vaulted skies.
The fearful matrons run from place to place,
And kiss the thresholds, and the posts embrace.
The fatal work inhuman Pyrrhus plies;
And all his father sparkles in his eyes.
Nor bars nor fighting guards his force sustain:
The bars are broken and the guards are slain.
In rush the Greeks, and all th' apartments fill ;
Those few defendants whom they find, they kill;
Not with so fierce a rage the foaming flood
Roars, when he finds his rapid course withstood;
Bears down the dams with unresisted sway,
And sweeps the cattle and the cots away.
These eyes beheld him, when he march'd be-

The brother kings: I saw th' unhappy queen,
The hundred wives, and where old Priam stood,
To stain his hallow'd altar with his blood.
The fifty nuptial beds, (such hopes had he,
So large a promise, of a progeny,)
The posts of plated gold, and hung with spoils,
Fell the reward of the proud victor's toils.

Where'er the raging fire had left a space,
The Grecians enter and possess the place.

Perhaps you may of Priam's fate inquire.
He-when he saw his regal town on fire,
His ruin'd palace, and his ent'ring foes,
On ev'ry side inevitable woes

In arms disus'd invests his limbs, decay'd,
Like them, with age; a late and useless aid.
His feeble shoulders scarce the weight sustain:
Loaded, not arm'd, he creeps along with pain,
Despairing of success, ambitious to be slain!
Uncover'd but by heav'n, there stood in view
An altar: near the hearth a laurel grew,
Dodder'd with age, whose boughs encompass


The household gods, and shade the holy ground.
Here Hecuba, with all her helpless train
Of dames for shelter sought, but sought in vain.
Driv'n like a flock of doves along the sky,
Their images they hug, and to their altars

The queen, when she beheld her trembling lord,
And hanging by his side a heavy sword,
"What rage," she cried, "has seiz'd my hus-
3 band's mind?

What arms are these, and to what use design'd?
These times want other aids! were Hector here,
E'en Hector now in vain, like Priam, would

With us, one common shelter thou shalt find,
Or in one common fate with us be join’d.”
She said, and with a last salute embrac'd
The poor old man, and by the laurel plac'd.
Behold! Polites, one of Priam's sons,
Pursu'd by Pyrrhus, there for safety runs.
Through swords and foes, amaz'd and hurt, he


Through empty courts, and open galleries.
Him Pyrrhus, urging with his lance, pursues,
And often reaches, and his thrusts renews.
The youth transfix'd, with lamentable cries,
Expires before his wretched parents' eyes:
Whom gasping at his feet, when Priam saw,
The fear of death gave place to nature's law:
And, shaking more with anger than with age,
"The gods,” said he, "requite thy brutal rage?
As sure they will, barbarian, sure they must,
If there be gods in heaven, and gods be just—
Who tak'st in wrongs an insolent delight;
With a son's death t' infect a father's sight.
Not he whom thou and lying fame conspire
To call thee his-not he, thy vaunted sire,
Thus us'd my wretched age: the gods he fear'd,
The laws of nature and of nations heard.
He cheer'd my sorrows, and, for sums of gold,
The bloodless carcass of my Hector sold;
Pitied the woes a parent underwent,
And sent me back in safety from his tent."

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Leap'd headlong from the heights; the flames consum'd the rest.

Thus wand'ring in my way without a guide, The graceless Helen in the porch I spied Of Vesta's temple: there she lurk'd alone : Muffled she sate, and what she could, unknown: But, by the flames that cast their blaze around, That common bane of Greece and Troy I found. For Ilium burnt, she dreads the Trojan sword; More dreads the vengeance of her injur'd lord; E'en by those gods, who refug'd her, abhorr'd. Trembling with rage, the strumpet I regard, Resolv'd to give her guilt the due reward. "Shall she triumphant sail before the wind, And leave in flames unhappy Troy behind? Shall she her kingdom and her friends review, In state attended with a captive crew, While unreveng'd the good old Priam falls, And Grecian fires consume the Trojan walls? For this the Phrygian fields and Xanthian flood Were swell'd with bodies, and were drunk with blood?

"T is true, a soldier can small honour gain,
And boast no conquest from a woman slain :
Yet shall the fact not pass without applause,
Of vengeance taken in so just a cause.
The punish'd crime shall set my soul at ease,
And murm'ring manes of my friends appease."
Thus while I rave, a gleam of pleasing light
Spread o'er the place; and, shining heav'nly

My mother stood reveal'd before my sight(Never so radiant did her eyes appear; Not her own star confess'd a light so clear)Great in her charms, as when on gods above She looks, and breathes herself into their love. She held my hand, the destin'd blow to break; Then from her rosy lips began to speak: "My son! from whence this madness, this neglect

Of my commands, and those whom I protect?
Why this unmanly rage? Recall to mind
Whom you forsake, what pledges leave behind.
Look if your helpless father yet survive,
Or if Ascanius or Creusa live.
Around your house the greedy Grecians err;
And these had perish'd in the nightly war,
But for my presence and protecting care.
Not Helen's face, nor Paris, was in fault:
But by the gods was this destruction brought.
Now cast your eyes around, while I dissolve
The mists and films that mortal eyes involve,
Purge from your sight the dross, and make you
The shape of each avenging deity. [see
Enlighten'd thus, my just commands fulfil,
Nor fear obedience to your mother's will.
Where yon disorder'd heap of ruin lies,
Stones rent from stones-where clouds of dust

Amid that smother, Neptune holds his place,
Below the wall's foundation drives his mace,
And heaves the building from the solid base.
Look where, in arms, imperial Juno stands
Full in the Scean gate, with loud commands,
Urging on shore the tardy Grecian bands.
See! Pallas, of her snaky buckler proud,
Bestrides the tow'r refulgent through the cloud:
See! Jove new courage to the foe supplies,
And arms against the town the partial deities.
Haste hence, my son! this fruitless labour end:
Haste where your trembling spouse and sire at-

Haste! and a mother's care your passage shall befriend."

She said, and swiftly vanish'd from my sight, Obscure in clouds, and gloomy shades of night. I look'd; I listen'd: dreadful sounds I hear; And the dire forms of hostile gods appear. Troy sunk in flames I saw, (nor could prevent,) And Ilium from its old foundations rent

Rent like a mountain ash which dar'd the winds,
And stood the sturdy strokes of lab'ring hinds.
About the roots the cruel axe resounds;
The stumps are pierc'd with oft-repeated

The war is felt on high: the nodding crown Now threats a fall, and throws the leafy honours down.

To their united force it yields, though late,
And mourns with mortal groans th' approaching


The roots no more their upper load sustain;
But down she falls, and spreads a ruin through
the plain.
[fire :
Descending thence, I 'scap'd through foes and
Before the goddess foes and flames retire.
Arriv'd at home, he, for whose only sake,
Or most for his, such toils I undertake-
The good Anchises-whom by timely flight,
I purpos'd to secure on Ida's height-
Refus'd the journey, resolute to die,
And add his fun'ral to the fate of Troy.
Rather than exile and old age sustain:
"Go you, whose blood runs warm in ev'ry vein.
Had Heav'n decreed that I should life enjoy,
Heav'n had decreed to save unhappy Troy.
'T is, sure, enough, if not too much, for one,
Twice to have seen our Ilium overthrown.
Make haste to save the poor remaining crew;
And give this useless corpse a long adieu.
These weak old hands suffice to stop my breath:
At least the pitying foes will aid my death.
To take my spoils and leave my body bare:
As for my sepulchre, let heav'n take care.
'Tis long since I, for my celestial wife,
Loath'd by the gods, have dragg'd a ling'ring

Since ev'ry hour and moment I expire,
Blasted from heav'n by Jove's avenging fire."
This oft repeated, he stood fix'd to die:
Myself, my wife, my son, my family,
Entreat, pray, beg, and raise a doleful cry-
"What! will he still persist, on death resolve,
And in his ruin all his house involve."
He still persists his reason to maintain:
Our pray'rs our tears, our loud laments, are vain.
Urg'd by despair, again I go to try
The fate of arms, resolv'd in fight to die.
What hope remains but what my death must

"Can I without so dear a father live?
You term it prudence, what I baseness call:
Could such a word from such a parent fall?
If Fortune please, and so the gods ordain,
That nothing should of ruin'd Troy remain,
And you conspire with Fortune to be slain;
The way to death is wide, th' approaches near:
For soon relentless Pyrrhus will appear,

Reeking with Priam's blood-the wretch who


The son (inhuman) in the father's view,
And then the sire himself to the dire altar drew.
O goddess mother! give me back to Fate;
Your gift was undesir'd, and came too late.
Did you, for this, unhappy me convey
Through foes and fires to see my house a prey?
Shall I my father, wife, and son behold,
Welt'ring in blood, each other's arms infold?
Haste! gird my sword, though spent, and over-

come :

'Tis the last summons to receive our doom.
I hear thee, Fate! and I obey thy call!
Not unreveng'd the foe shall see my fall.
Restore me to the yet unfinish'd fight:
My death is wanting to conclude the night."
Arm'd once again, my glittering sword I wield,
While th' other hand sustains my weighty

And forth I rush'd to seek the abandon'd field.
I went; but sad Creüsa stopp'd my way,
And 'cross the threshold in my passage lay,
Embrac'd my knees, and, when I would have


Show'd me my feeble sire, and tender son. "If death be your design-at least," said she, "Take us along to share your destiny If any further hopes in arms remain,

This place, these pledges of your love, maintain.

To whom do you expose your father's life, Your son's, and mine: your now forgotten wife ?"

While thus she fills the house with clam'rous cries,

Our hearing is diverted by our eyes:
For, while I held my son, in the short space
Betwixt our kisses and our last embrace,
(Strange to relate!) from young Iulus' head,
A lambent flame arose, which gently spread
Around his brows, and on his temples fed.
Amaz'd, with running water we prepare
To quench the sacred fire, and slake his hair;
But old Anchises, vers'd in omens, rear'd
His hands to heav'n, and this request preferr❜d :
"If any vows, almighty Jove, can bend
Thy will-if piety can pray'rs commend-
Confirm the glad presage which thou art pleas'd
to send."

Scarce had he said, when on our left we hear
A peal of rattling thunder roll in air:
There shot a streaming lamp along the sky,
Which on the winged lightning seem'd to fly
From o'er the roof the blaze began to move,
And trailing, vanish'd in th' Idæan grove.
It swept a path in heav'n, and shone a guide,
Then in a steaming stench of sulphur died.

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