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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


As in the old time Pallas heaved on high
Sicily, and on huge Enceladus
Dashed down the isle, which burns with the burning yet
Of that immortal giant, as he breathes
Fire underground; so did the mountain-crag,
Hurled from on high, bury the Locrian king,
Pinning the strong man down, a wretch crushed flat.
And so on him death's black destruction came
Whom land and sea alike were leagued to slay.

Still over the great deep were swept the rest
Of those Achaeans, crouching terror-dazed
Down in the ships, save those that mid the waves
Had fallen. Misery encompassed all;
For some with heavily-plunging prows drave on,
With keels upturned some drifted. Here were masts
Snapped from the hull by rushing gusts, and there
Were tempest-rifted wrecks of scattered beams;
And some had sunk, whelmed in the mighty deep,
Swamped by the torrent downpour from the clouds:
For these endured not madness of wind-tossed sea
Leagued with heaven's waterspout; for streamed the sky
Ceaselessly like a river, while the deep
Raved round them. And one cried: "Such floods on men
Fell only when Deucalion's deluge came,
When earth was drowned, and all was fathomless sea!"

So cried a Danaan, seeing soul-appalled
That wild storm. Thousands perished; corpses thronged
The great sea-highways: all the beaches were
Too strait for them: the surf belched multitudes
Forth on the land. The heavy-booming sea
With weltering beams of ships was wholly paved,
And here and there the grey waves gleamed between.

So found they each his several evil fate,
Some whelmed beneath broad-rushing billows, some
Wretchedly perishing with their shattered ships
By Nauplius' devising on the rocks.
Wroth for that son whom they had done to death,
He; when the storm rose and the Argives died,
Rejoiced amid his sorrow, seeing a God
Gave to his hands revenge, which now he wreaked
Upon the host he hated, as o'er the deep
They tossed sore-harassed. To his sea-god sire
He prayed that all might perish, ships and men
Whelmed in the deep. Poseidon heard his prayer,
And on the dark surge swept them nigh his land.
He, like a harbour-warder, lifted high
A blazing torch, and so by guile he trapped
The Achaean men, who deemed that they had won
A sheltering haven: but sharp reefs and crags
Gave awful welcome unto ships and men,
Who, dashed to pieces on the cruel rocks
In the black night, crowned ills with direr ills.
Some few escaped, by a God or Power unseen
Plucked from death's hand. Athena now rejoiced
Her heart within, and now was racked with fears
For prudent-souled Odysseus; for his weird
Was through Poseidon's wrath to suffer woes
Full many.

But Earth-shaker's jealousy now
Burned against those long walls and towers uppiled

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