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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


For men far better work the works of war
When their kings oversee them; therefore these
Abode without, albeit mighty men.
So came they swiftly unto Tenedos' shore,
And dropped the anchor-stones, then leapt in haste
Forth of the ships, and silent waited there
Keen-watching till the signal-torch should flash.

But nigh the foe were they in the Horse, and now
Looked they for death, and now to smite the town;
And on their hopes and fears uprose the dawn.

Then marked the Trojans upon Hellespont's strand
The smoke upleaping yet through air: no more
Saw they the ships which brought to them from Greece
Destruction dire. With joy to the shore they ran,
But armed them first, for fear still haunted them
Then marked they that fair-carven Horse, and stood
Marvelling round, for a mighty work was there.
A hapless-seeming man thereby they spied,
Sinon; and this one, that one questioned him
Touching the Danaans, as in a great ring
They compassed him, and with unangry words
First questioned, then with terrible threatenings.
Then tortured they that man of guileful soul
Long time unceasing. Firm as a rock abode
The unquivering limbs, the unconquerable will.
His ears, his nose, at last they shore away
In every wise tormenting him, until
He should declare the truth, whither were gone
The Danaans in their ships, what thing the Horse
Concealed within it. He had armed his mind
With resolution, and of outrage foul
Recked not; his soul endured their cruel stripes,
Yea, and the bitter torment of the fire;
For strong endurance into him Hera breathed;
And still he told them the same guileful tale:
"The Argives in their ships flee oversea
Weary of tribulation of endless war.
This horse by Calchas' counsel fashioned they
For wise Athena, to propitiate
Her stern wrath for that guardian image stol'n
From Troy. And by Odysseus' prompting I
Was marked for slaughter, to be sacrificed
To the sea-powers, beside the moaning waves,
To win them safe return. But their intent
I marked; and ere they spilt the drops of wine,
And sprinkled hallowed meal upon mine head,
Swiftly I fled, and, by the help of Heaven,
I flung me down, clasping the Horse's feet;
And they, sore loth, perforce must leave me there
Dreading great Zeus's daughter mighty-souled."

In subtlety so he spake, his soul untamed
By pain; for a brave man's part is to endure
To the uttermost. And of the Trojans some
Believed him, others for a wily knave
Held him, of whose mind was Laocoon.
Wisely he spake: "A deadly fraud is this,"
He said, "devised by the Achaean chiefs!"
And cried to all straightway to burn the Horse,
And know if aught within its timbers lurked.

Yea, and they had obeyed him, and had 'scaped

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