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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


For courage, which is all men's glory, makes
The heart great. Come then, set the ambush, ye
Which be our mightiest, and the rest shall go
To Tenedos' hallowed burg, and there abide
Until our foes have haled within their walls
Us with the Horse, as deeming that they bring
A gift unto Tritonis. Some brave man,
One whom the Trojans know not, yet we lack,
To harden his heart as steel, and to abide
Near by the Horse. Let that man bear in mind
Heedfully whatsoe'er I said erewhile.
And let none other thought be in his heart,
Lest to the foe our counsel be revealed."

Then, when all others feared, a man far-famed
Made answer, Sinon, marked of destiny
To bring the great work to accomplishment.
Therefore with worship all men looked on him,
The loyal of heart, as in the midst he spake:
"Odysseus, and all ye Achaean chiefs,
This work for which ye crave will I perform --
Yea, though they torture me, though into fire
Living they thrust me; for mine heart is fixed
Not to escape, but die by hands of foes,
Except I crown with glory your desire."

Stoutly he spake: right glad the Argives were;
And one said: "How the Gods have given to-day
High courage to this man! He hath not been
Heretofore valiant. Heaven is kindling him
To be the Trojans' ruin, but to us
Salvation. Now full soon, I trow, we reach
The goal of grievous war, so long unseen."

So a voice murmured mid the Achaean host.
Then, to stir up the heroes, Nestor cried:
"Now is the time, dear sons, for courage and strength:
Now do the Gods bring nigh the end of toil:
Now give they victory to our longing hands.
Come, bravely enter ye this cavernous Horse.
For high renown attendeth courage high.
Oh that my limbs were mighty as of old,
When Aeson's son for heroes called, to man
Swift Argo, when of the heroes foremost I
Would gladly have entered her, but Pelias
The king withheld me in my own despite.
Ah me, but now the burden of years -- O nay,
As I were young, into the Horse will I
Fearlessly! Glory and strength shall courage give."

Answered him golden-haired Achilles' son:
"Nestor, in wisdom art thou chief of men;
But cruel age hath caught thee in his grip:
No more thy strength may match thy gallant will;
Therefore thou needs must unto Tenedos' strand.
We will take ambush, we the youths, of strife
Insatiate still, as thou, old sire, dost bid."

Then strode the son of Neleus to his side,
And kissed his hands, and kissed the head of him
Who offered thus himself the first of all
To enter that huge horse, being peril-fain,
And bade the elder of days abide without.
Then to the battle-eager spake the old:

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