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Even in the fatal place Sir Paris than”
With poison'd shaft dispatch'd the hapless man;
And where his mother Thetis him not hent,
Directly thither was his arrow sent.
Now lies the great Achilles dead in Troy;
The Greeks make moan, the Troyans leap for joy,
And Priam doth bestow his bloodless bones
Upon his wretched heartless Myrmidons.
Immediately began a bloody brawl
Among the lords and Greekish captains all,
Touching the armour of this valiant knight.
Sir Ajax first doth claim it as his right,
And then 'gainst him the Lord of Ithaca
Thinks for desert to bear the prize away;
And of the twain but one might it enjoy,
And plead they must upon the strond of Troy
Before the ships, where Ajax in a heat,
For that the stomach of the man was great,
Lays open to the Greeks his service done
In their affairs since first this war begun,
And twits Ulysses with his cowardice:
But, Ajax, this for thee may not suffice;
For though the targe were over big to bear,
And stout Achilles' helm unfit to wear
For wise Laertes' son, yet policy,
That hight indeed the strength of chivalry,
Was that whereof this knight doth chiefly vaunt;
So with his words he 'gan their wits enchant,
* than] See note, vol. i. p. 38.
That, when he must conclude and say no more,
'A shows the fatal sign that to the shore -
'A stole by night from Troy, and then (quoth he)
Bestow it here, ye Greeks, if ye nill give it me.
Wherewith he won their hearts, and charm'd their
And from Sir Ajax got the martial prize:
The man, whom wrath and fury overcame,
Not able to endure this open shame,
Foully sought violent means to stint this strife,
And with a deadly stab reav'd his own life.
And now this wasteful war that lasted long,
To dames of Troy and Greece a tedious wrong,
With hot encounter and unhappy fight,
And hasten’d death of many a hardy knight,
'Gan grow to this, that Greeks to blear the eyes
Of their forwearied foes began devise:
And having built a great unwieldy frame,
Much like a horse, and well ystuft the same
With men of war, they make a subtle show,
As though from Troy they homeward meant to go,
And raise the siege, and leave the prize behind,
But gods do know they nothing less do mind:
For, as I ween, my history doth say,
To Tenedos the Grecians took their way,
An isle that gave them harbour and abode :
Now leave we there these Greeks to lie at road.
Amidst this hurly burly and uproar,
King Priam sends away young Polydore,
With store of treasure, and with mickle muck,
His youngest son to Thrace; but little luck
Ensued this deed : for Polymnestor, lo,
The thirst of Priam's riches chok'd him so
A woful tale as I have heard it told, -
Murders this prince for lucre of his gold.
The subtle Sinon, for his villany
The noted author of Troy's tragedy,
When traitorous Greeks had slunk to Tenedos,
'Gan with the silly Troyans highly gloze,
And tell a tale perdy of little truth,
Although, as it befel, of mickle ruth:
And so bewitch'd King Priam and his court,
That now at last to Troyan's fatal hurt,
Instead of that might most their states advance,
They 'gree to hoise this engine of mischance,
And make a breach like fools, and never lin"
Till their own hands had pull'd their enemies in :
Thus riot, rape, and vain credulity
Bin nam'd chief author's of Troy's tragedy.
The monstrous horse, that in his hugy sides
A traitorous throng of subtle Grecians hides,
'Gan now discharge his vast and hideous load,
And silently disperse his strength abroad.
It was the time when midnight's sleep and rest
With quiet pause the town of Troy possess'd;
The Greeks forsake the ships, and make return:
Now Troy, as was foretold, began to burn,
And Ilium's stately towers to smoke apace;
The conquering Greeks begin amain to chase,
And follow fast their foes, that unawares
False Sinon had betrapped in his snares.
Ah, what a piercing sight it was to see
So brave a town as Troy was said to be,
By quenchless fire laid level with the soil,
The prince and people made the soldier's spoil!
Th’ unhappy Priam maz'd with frights and fears,
Seeing his palace flame about his ears,
Out of his wretched slumber hastily start,
And weening to have play'd a young man's part,
Girts to his arming sword with trembling hand;
But she, alas! that bear the fatal brand
That fir'd the town, the most unhappy queen,
Whose like for wretched hap was never seen,
Said, leave, my lord, becomes us not to strive,
Whom would no morning sun might see alive!
And fly from aid of men to powers divine,
And so with me lay hold on Phoebus' shrine.
But he, whose bloody mind and murdering rage
Nor law of gods nor reverence of age
Could temper from a deed so tyrannous,
Achilles' son, the fierce unbridled Pyrrhus,
His father's ghost belike enticing him,
With slaughtering hand, with visage pale and dim,
Hath hent this aged Priam by the hair,
Like butcher bent to slay; and even there
The man that liv'd so many golden years,
The Lord and Master of such lordly peers,
The King of Troy, the mighty King of Troy,
With cruel iron this cursed Greekish boy
Rids of his life, as whilom he had done
With poison'd shaft Paris, old Priam's son.
Thus souls by swarms do" press to Pluto's hall;
Thus, naked Troy, or now not Troy at all,
Done is thy pride, dim is thy glorious gite,t
Dead is thy prince in this unhappy fight.
My pen, forbear to write of Hecuba,
That made the glorious Sun his chariot stay,
And raining tears his golden face to hide,
For ruth of that did afterwards betide:
Sith this unhappy Queen surviv'd the last,
Till fortune's spite and malice all was past,
And worn with sorrow, weren fell and mad :
And all the happiness that Priam had
In his mishaps and bloody funeral,
Was that he saw not yet the end of all;
His daughters ravish'd, slain in sacrifice,
Astyanax before his mother's eyes,
The princely babe thrown from the highest tower;
Thus to our deaths there needeth but an hour.
Short tale to make, when first the town of Troy
The Greeks had sack'd, to Asia's great annoy,
When Pyrrhus had the guilty Paris slain,
Lo, now at last the Greeks have home again,
With loss of many a Greek and Troyan's life,
Unhappy Helen, Menelaus' Wife?