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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


When rose the dawn, and thrust back kindly night
To Erebus, and through the firmament streamed
Glad glory, then Epeius told his dream
To eager Argives -- all he saw and heard;
And hearkening joyed they with exceeding joy.
Straightway to tall-tressed Ida's leafy glades
The sons of Atreus sent swift messengers.
These laid the axe unto the forest-pines,
And hewed the great trees: to their smiting rang
The echoing glens. On those far-stretching hills
All bare of undergrowth the high peaks rose:
Open their glades were, not, as in time past,
Haunted of beasts: there dry the tree-trunks rose
Wooing the winds. Even these the Achaeans hewed
With axes, and in haste they bare them down
From those shagged mountain heights to Hellespont's shores.
Strained with a strenuous spirit at the work
Young men and mules; and all the people toiled
Each at his task obeying Epeius's hest.
For with the keen steel some were hewing beams,
Some measuring planks, and some with axes lopped
Branches away from trunks as yet unsawn:
Each wrought his several work. Epeius first
Fashioned the feet of that great Horse of Wood:
The belly next he shaped, and over this
Moulded the back and the great loins behind,
The throat in front, and ridged the towering neck
With waving mane: the crested head he wrought,
The streaming tail, the ears, the lucent eyes --
All that of lifelike horses have. So grew
Like a live thing that more than human work,
For a God gave to a man that wondrous craft.
And in three days, by Pallas's decree,
Finished was all. Rejoiced thereat the host
Of Argos, marvelling how the wood expressed
Mettle, and speed of foot -- yea, seemed to neigh.
Godlike Epeius then uplifted hands
To Pallas, and for that huge Horse he prayed:
"Hear, great-souled Goddess: bless thine Horse and me!"
He spake: Athena rich in counsel heard,
And made his work a marvel to all men
Which saw, or heard its fame in days to be.

But while the Danaans o'er Epeius' work
Joyed, and their routed foes within the walls
Tarried, and shrank from death and pitiless doom,
Then, when imperious Zeus far from the Gods
Had gone to Ocean's streams and Tethys' caves,
Strife rose between the Immortals: heart with heart
Was set at variance. Riding on the blasts
Of winds, from heaven to earth they swooped: the air
Crashed round them. Lighting down by Xanthus' stream
Arrayed they stood against each other, these
For the Achaeans, for the Trojans those;
And all their souls were thrilled with lust of war:
There gathered too the Lords of the wide Sea.
These in their wrath were eager to destroy
The Horse of Guile and all the ships, and those
Fair Ilium. But all-contriving Fate
Held them therefrom, and turned their hearts to strife
Against each other. Ares to the fray
Rose first, and on Athena rushed. Thereat
Fell each on other: clashed around their limbs
The golden arms celestial as they charged.

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