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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


Poured from her eyes as water from a spring;
Trembled her limbs, fear-frenzied was her heart;
Rent were her hoary tresses and besprent
With ashes of the hearth, cast by her hands
When she saw Priam slain and Troy aflame.
And aye she deeply groaned for thraldom's day
That trapped her vainly loth. Each hero led
A wailing Trojan woman to his ship.
Here, there, uprose from these the wild lament,
The woeful-mingling cries of mother and babe.
As when with white-tusked swine the herdmen drive
Their younglings from the hill-pens to the plain
As winter closeth in, and evermore
Each answereth each with mingled plaintive cries;
So moaned Troy's daughters by their foes enslaved,
Handmaid and queen made one in thraldom's lot.

But Helen raised no lamentation: shame
Sat on her dark-blue eyes, and cast its flush
Over her lovely cheeks. Her heart beat hard
With sore misgiving, lest, as to the ships
She passed, the Achaeans might mishandle her.
Therefore with fluttering soul she trembled sore;
And, her head darkly mantled in her veil,
Close-following trod she in her husband's steps,
With cheek shame-crimsoned, like the Queen of Love,
What time the Heaven-abiders saw her clasped
In Ares' arms, shaming in sight of all
The marriage-bed, trapped in the myriad-meshed
Toils of Hephaestus: tangled there she lay
In agony of shame, while thronged around
The Blessed, and there stood Hephaestus' self:
For fearful it is for wives to be beheld
By husbands' eyes doing the deed of shame.
Lovely as she in form and roseate blush
Passed Helen mid the Trojan captives on
To the Argive ships. But the folk all around
Marvelled to see the glory of loveliness
Of that all-flawless woman. No man dared
Or secretly or openly to cast
Reproach on her. As on a Goddess all
Gazed on her with adoring wistful eyes.
As when to wanderers on a stormy sea,
After long time and passion of prayer, the sight
Of fatherland is given; from deadly deeps
Escaped, they stretch hands to her joyful-souled;
So joyed the Danaans all, no man of them
Remembered any more war's travail and pain.
Such thoughts Cytherea stirred in them, for grace
To Helen starry-eyed, and Zeus her sire.

Then, when he saw that burg beloved destroyed,
Xanthus, scarce drawing breath from bloody war,
Mourned with his Nymphs for ruin fallen on Troy,
Mourned for the city of Priam blotted out.
As when hail lashes a field of ripened wheat,
And beats it small, and smites off all the ears
With merciless scourge, and levelled with the ground
Are stalks, and on the earth is all the grain
Woefully wasted, and the harvest's lord
Is stricken with deadly grief; so Xanthus' soul
Was utterly whelmed in grief for Ilium made
A desolation; grief undying was his,
Immortal though he was. Mourned Simois

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