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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


Destruction; but Athena, fiercely wroth
With him, the Trojans, and their city, shook
Earth's deep foundations 'neath Laocoon's feet.
Straight terror fell on him, and trembling bowed
The knees of the presumptuous: round his head
Horror of darkness poured; a sharp pang thrilled
His eyelids; swam his eyes beneath his brows;
His eyeballs, stabbed with bitter anguish, throbbed
Even from the roots, and rolled in frenzy of pain.
Clear through his brain the bitter torment pierced
Even to the filmy inner veil thereof;
Now bloodshot were his eyes, now ghastly green;
Anon with rheum they ran, as pours a stream
Down from a rugged crag, with thawing snow
Made turbid. As a man distraught he seemed:
All things he saw showed double, and he groaned
Fearfully; yet he ceased not to exhort
The men of Troy, and recked not of his pain.
Then did the Goddess strike him utterly blind.
Stared his fixed eyeballs white from pits of blood;
And all folk groaned for pity of their friend,
And dread of the Prey-giver, lest he had sinned
In folly against her, and his mind was thus
Warped to destruction yea, lest on themselves
Like judgment should be visited, to avenge
The outrage done to hapless Sinon's flesh,
Whereby they hoped to wring the truth from him.
So led they him in friendly wise to Troy,
Pitying him at the last. Then gathered all,
And o'er that huge Horse hastily cast a rope,
And made it fast above; for under its feet
Smooth wooden rollers had Epeius laid,
That, dragged by Trojan hands, it might glide on
Into their fortress. One and all they haled
With multitudinous tug and strain, as when
Down to the sea young men sore-labouring drag
A ship; hard-crushed the stubborn rollers groan,
As, sliding with weird shrieks, the keel descends
Into the sea-surge; so that host with toil
Dragged up unto their city their own doom,
Epeius' work. With great festoons of flowers
They hung it, and their own heads did they wreathe,
While answering each other pealed the flutes.
Grimly Enyo laughed, seeing the end
Of that dire war; Hera rejoiced on high;
Glad was Athena. When the Trojans came
Unto their city, brake they down the walls,
Their city's coronal, that the Horse of Death
Might be led in. Troy's daughters greeted it
With shouts of salutation; marvelling all
Gazed at the mighty work where lurked their doom.

But still Laocoon ceased not to exhort
His countrymen to burn the Horse with fire:
They would not hear, for dread of the Gods' wrath.
But then a yet more hideous punishment
Athena visited on his hapless sons.
A cave there was, beneath a rugged cliff
Exceeding high, unscalable, wherein
Dwelt fearful monsters of the deadly brood
Of Typhon, in the rock-clefts of the isle
Calydna that looks Troyward from the sea.
Thence stirred she up the strength of serpents twain,
And summoned them to Troy. By her uproused

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