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The Greeks the gates approach'd, their targets cast
Over their heads; some scaling ladders plac'd
Against the walls, the rest the steps ascend, 430
And with their shields on their left arms defend
Arrows and darts, and with their right hold fast
The battlement: on them the Trojans cast
Stones, rafters, pillars, beams; such arms as these,
Now hopeless, for their last defence they seize. 435
The gilded roofs, the marks of ancient state,
They tumble down; and now against the gate
Of th' inner court their growing force they bring :
Now, was our last effort to save the king,
Relieve the fainting, and succeed the dead. 440
A private gallery 'twixt th' apartinents led,
Not to the foe yet known, or not observåd,
(The way for Hector's hapless wife reservod,
When to the aged king her little son
She would present:) thro’ this we pass, and run 445
Up to the highest battlement, from whence
The Trojans tlırew their darts without offence ;
A tow'r so high, it seem'd to reach the sky,
Stood on the roof, from whence we could descry
All Ilium-both the camps, the Grecian feet: 450.
This, where the beams upon the columns meet,
We loosen ; which like thunder from the cloud
Breaks on their heads, as sudden and as loud;
But others still succeed. Mean-time nor stones.
Nor any kind of weapons cease.
455 Before the gate in gilded armour shone Young Pyrrhus, like a snake, his skin new grown,
Who, fed on pois'nous herbs, all winter lay
Under the ground, and now reviews the day
Fresh, in his new apparel, proud and young, 460
Rolls up his back, and brandishes his tongue,
And lifts his scaly breast against the sun :
With him his father's squire Automedon,
And Peripas, who drove his winged steeds,
Enter the court; whom all the youth succeeds 465
Of Scyros' isle, who flaming firebrands flung
Up to the roof: Pyrrhus himself
The foremost with an axe an entrance hews
Thro' beams of solid oak, then freely views
The chambers, galleries, and rooms of state, 470
Where Priam and the ancient monarchs sat.
At the first gate an armed guard appears,
But th’inner court with horror, noise, and tears,
Confus'dly fill'd, the women's shrieks and cries
The arched vaults re-echo to the skies; 475
Sad matrons wand'ring thro' the spacious rooms,
Embrace and kiss the posts : then Pyrrhus comes;
Full of his father, neither men nor walls
His force sustain: the torn portcultis falls;
Then from the hinge their strokes the gates divorce,
And where the way they cannot find they force. 481
Not with such rage a swelling torrent flows,
Above his banks th' opposing dams o'erthrows,
Depopulates the fields, the cattle, sheep,
Shepherds, and folds, the foaming sarges sweep.
And now between two sad extremes I stood, 486.
Ilere Pyrrhus and th’ Atridæ drunk with blood,
There th’hapless queen amongst an hundred dames,
And Priam quenching from his wounds those flames
Which his own hands had on the altar laid: 490
Then they the secret cabinets invade
Where stood the fifty nuptial beds, the hopes
Of that great race: the golden posts, whose tops
Old hostile spoils adorn’d, demolish'd lay,
Or to the foe or to the fire a prey.
Now Priam's fate perhaps you may inquire.
Seeing his empire lost, his Troy on fire,
And his own palace by the Greeks possest,
Arms long disus'd his trembling limbs invest;
Thus on his foes he throws himself alone, 500
Not for their fate but to provoke his own.
There stood an altar open to the view
Of heav'n, near which an aged laurel grew,
Whose shady arms the household gods embrac'd,
Before whose feet the queen herself had cast 505
With all her daughters, and the Trojan wives,
As doves whom an approaching tempest drives,
And frights into one flock; but having spy'd
Old Priam clad in youthful arms, she cry'd,
* Alas! my wretched husband! what pretence 510
• To bear those arms! and in them what defence?
Such aid such times require not, when again • If Hector were alive he liv'd in vain :
Or here we shall a sanctuary find, * Or as in life we shall in death be join'd.' 515 Then, weeping, with kind force held and embrac'd, And on the secret seat the king she plac’d.
Mean-while Polites, one of Priam's sons,
Flying the rage of bloody Pyrrhus, runs
Thro’ foes and swords, and ranges all the court 520
And empty galleries, amaz’d and hurt;
Pyrrhus pursues him, now o'ertakes, now kills,
And his last blood in Priam's presence spills.
The king (tho' him so many deaths enclose)
Nor fear, nor grief, but indignation shows: 525
• The gods requite thee: (if within the care
Of those above th' affairs of mortals are) • Whose fury on the son but lost had been,
Had not his parents' eyes his murder seén. • Not that Achilles (whom thou feign’st to be 530 Thy father) so inhuman was to me; • He blush'd when I the rights of arms implor'd, . To me my Hector, me to Troy, restord.' This said, his feeble arm a jav’lin flung, Which on the sounding shield, scarce ent'ring, rung. Then Pyrrhus; ‘Go a messenger to hell 536 • Of my black deeds, and to my father tell • The acts of his degen'rate race.' So thro' His son's warm blood the trembling king he drew, To th' altar: in his hair one hand he wreaths, 540 His sword the other in his bosom sheaths. Thus fell the king, who yet surviv'd the state, With such a signal and peculiar fate, Under so vast'a ruin, not a grave, Nor in such flames a fun'ral fire to have. 545 He whom such titles swelld, such pow'r made To whom the sceptres of all Asia bow'd; [proud,
On the cold earth lies th' unregarded king,
A headless carcass, and a nameless thing!
PASSION OF DIDO FOR ÆNEAS.
Having at large declard Jove's embassy,
Cyllenus from Æneas straight doth fly;
He, loath to disobey the god's command,
Nor willing to forsake this pleasant land,
Asham'd the kind Eliza to deceive,
5 But more afraid to take a solemn leave, He many ways his lab'ring thoughts revolves, But fear o'ercoming shame, at last resolves, (Instructed by the god of Thieves *) to steal Himself away, and his escape conceal.
10 He calls his captains, bids them rig the fleet, That at the port they privately should meet, And some dissembled colour to project, That Dido should not their design suspect: But all in vain he did his plot disguise; 15 No art a watchful lover can surprise. She the first motion finds: love tho' most sure, Yet always to itself seems insecure. That wicked fame which their first love proclaim'd Foretells the end : the queen, with rage inflam'd, 20