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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


He passed to his father's tent, and over him
Sleep's dews were poured. The Greeks slept in the plain
Before the ships, by ever-changing guards
Watched; for they dreaded lest the host of Troy,
Or of her staunch allies, should kindle flame
Upon the ships, and from them all cut off
Their home-return. In Priam's burg the while
By gate and wall men watched and slept in turn,
Adread to hear the Argives' onset-shout.



BOOK IX

How from his long lone exile returned to the war Philoctetes.


When ended was night's darkness, and the Dawn
Rose from the world's verge, and the wide air glowed
With splendour, then did Argos' warrior-sons
Gaze o'er the plain; and lo, all cloudless-clear
Stood Ilium's towers. The marvel of yesterday
Seemed a strange dream. No thought the Trojans had
Of standing forth to fight without the wall.
A great fear held them thralls, the awful thought
That yet alive was Peleus' glorious son.
But to the King of Heaven Antenor cried:
"Zeus, Lord of Ida and the starry sky,
Hearken my prayer! Oh turn back from our town
That battle-eager murderous-hearted man,
Be he Achilles who hath not passed down
To Hades, or some other like to him.
For now in heaven-descended Priam's burg
By thousands are her people perishing:
No respite cometh from calamity:
Murder and havoc evermore increase.
O Father Zeus, thou carest not though we
Be slaughtered of our foes: thou helpest them,
Forgetting thy son, godlike Dardanus!
But, if this be the purpose of thine heart
That Argives shall destroy us wretchedly,
Now do it: draw not out our agony!"

In passionate prayer he cried; and Zeus from heaven
Hearkened, and hasted on the end of all,
Which else he had delayed. He granted him
This awful boon, that myriads of Troy's sons
Should with their children perish: but that prayer
He granted not, to turn Achilles' son
Back from the wide-wayed town; nay, all the more
He enkindled him to war, for he would now
Give grace and glory to the Nereid Queen.

So purposed he, of all Gods mightiest.
But now between the city and Hellespont
Were Greeks and Trojans burning men and steeds
In battle slain, while paused the murderous strife.
For Priam sent his herald Menoetes forth
To Agamemnon and the Achaean chiefs,
Asking a truce wherein to burn the dead;
And they, of reverence for the slain, gave ear;
For wrath pursueth not the dead. And when
They had lain their slain on those close-thronging pyres,
Then did the Argives to their tents return,

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