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Then, that we should our sacrilege restore,
tear, While slime and blood his sacred wreaths besmear; Then loudly roars, as when th’ enraged bull From th' altar flies, and from his wounded skull Shakes the huge axe ; the conquering serpents To cruel Pallas' altar, and their lie [fly Under her feet, within her shield's extent. We, in our fears, conclude this fate was sent Justly on him, who struck the sacred oak With his accursed lance. Then to invoke The goddess, and let in the fatal lorse, We all consent. a spacious breach we make, and Troy's proud wall. Puilt by the gods, by her own hands doth fall; Thus all their help to their own ruin give, Some draw with cords and soine the monster drive With rolls and levers: thus our works it climbs, Big with our fate; the youth with songs and rhimes,
Some dance, some haul the rope; at last let
* clash of arms, and voice of men we hear ;
Rouz'd from my bed, I speedily ascend The houses' tops, and listening there attend. As flames roll'd by the winds' conspiring force, O'er full-ear'dcorn, or torrents' raging course Bears down th' opposing oaks, the fields destroys, And mocks the plough-man's toil, th' unlook'dfor noise From neighbouring hills th’ amazed shepherd hears; Such my surprise, and such their rage appears. First fell thy house, Ucalegon, then thine Deiphobus, Sigaean seas did shine Bright with Troy's flames; the trumpets dreadful sound The louder groans of dying men confound; “Give me my arms,” I cry’d, resolv'd to throw Myself’mong any that oppos'd the foe: Rage, anger, and despair at once suggest, That of all deaths to die in arms was best. The first I met was Pantheus, Phoebus' priest, Who, 'scaping with his gods and reliques, fled, And towards the shore his little grandchild led. “Pantheus, what hope remains? what force, what place Made good?” but sighing, he replies, “Alas! Trojans we were, and mighty Ilium was; But the last period, and the fatal hour Of Troy is come: our glory and our power Incensed Jove's transfers to Grecian hands; The foe within the burning town commands; And (like a smother'd fire) an unseen force Breaks from the bowels of the fatal horse: Insulting Sinon flings about the flame, And thousands more than e'er from Argos came Possess the gates, the passes, and the streets, And these the sword o’ertakes, and those it meets. The guard nor fights, nor flies; their fate so near At once suspends their courage and their fear.” Thus by the gods, and by Atrides' words Inspir’d, I make my way through fire, through swords, Where noises, tumults, outcries, and alarms, I heard. First Iphitus, renown'd for arms, We meet, who knew us (for the Moon did shine); Then Ripheus, Hypanis, and Dymas join Their force, and young Choroebus, Mygdon's Who, by the love of fair Cassandra, won, [son, Arriv'd but lately in her father's aid; Unhappy, whom the threats could not dissuade Of his prophetic spouse; Whom when I saw yet daring to maintain The fight, I said, “Brave spirits (but in vain) Are you resolv'd to follow one who dares Tempt all extremes; the state of our affairs You see : the gods have left us, by whose aih Our empire stood; nor can the flame be staid: Then let us fall amidst our foes ; this one Relief the vanquish'd have, to hope for none.” Then reinforc'd, as in a stormy night Wolves urged by their raging appetite Forage for prey, which their neglected young With greedy jaws expect, ev'n so among Foes, fire, and swords, t' assured death we pass, Darkness our guide, Despair our leader was. Who can relate that evening's woes and spoils, Or can his tears proportion to our toils 2 The city, which so long had flourish'd, falls; Death triumphs o'er the houses, teurples, walls.
Nor only on the Trojans fell this doom,
Now Iphitus with me, and Pelias, Slowly retire; the one retarded was By feeble age, the other by a wound. To court the cry directs us, where we found Th' assault so hot, as if 'twere only there, And all the rest secure from foes or fear : The Greeks the gates approach'd, their targets cast Over their heads; some scaling ladders plac'd Against the walls, the rest the steps ascend, And with their shields on their left arms defend Arrows and darts, and with their right hold fast The battlement; on them the Trojans cast Stones, rafters, pillars, beams ; such arms as these, Now hopeless, for their last defence they seize. The gilded roofs, the marks of ancient state, They tumble down ; and now against the gate Of th’ inner court their growing force they bring : Now was our last effort to save the king, Relieve the fainting, and succeed the dead. A private gallery 'twixt th' apartments led, Not to the foe yet known, or not observ’d, (The way for Hector's hapless wife reserv'd, When to the aged king, her little son [run She would present) through this we pass, and Up to the highest battlement, from whence The Trojans threw their darts without offence, A tower so high, it seem'd to reach the sky, Stood on the roof, from whence we could descry All Ilium—both the camps, the Grecian fleet; This, where the beams upon the columns meet, We loosen, which like thunder from the cloud T}reaks on their heads, as sudden and as loud. Iłut others still succeed : meantime, nor stones Nor any kind of weapons cease. Before the gate in gilded armour shone [grown, Young Pyrrhus, like a snake, his skin new Who fed on poisonous herbs, all winter lay Under the ground, and now reviews the day Fresh in his new apparel, proud and young, * Rolls up his back, and brandishes his tongue, And lifts his scaly breast against the Sun; With him his father's squire, Automedon, And Peripas, who drove his winged steeds, Fnter the court; whom all the youth succeeds Of Scyros' isle, who flaming firebrands flung Up to the roof; Pyrrhus himself among The foremost with an axe an entrance hews Through beams of solid oak, then freely views The chambers, galleries, and rooms of state, Where Priam and the ancient monarchs sat. At the first gate an armed guard appears ; But th’ inner court with horrour, moise, and tears, Confus'dly sill'd, the women's shrieks and cries The arch'd vaults re-echo to the skies; Sad matrons wandering through the spacious roorns Fmbrace and kiss the posts: then Pyrrhus comes Full of his father, neither men nor walls His force sustain, the torn portcullis falls, Then from the hinge their strokes the gates di
vorce, And where the way they cannot find, they force. Not with such rage a swelling torren: flows
Above his banks, th' opposing dams o'erthrows, Lepopulates the fields, the cattle, sheep, Shepherds and folds, the soauling surges sweep.
And now between two sad extremes I stood, Here Pyrrhus and th’ Atridae drunk with blood, There th' hapless queen amongst an hundred dames, And Priam quenching from his wounds those flames Which his own hands had on the altar laid ; Then they the secret cabinets invade, Where stood the fifty nuptial beds, the hopes Of that great race; the golden posts,whose tops Old hostile spoils adorn'd, demolish’d lay, Or to the foe, or to the fire a prey. Now Priam's fate perhaps you may inquire: Seeing his empire lost, his Troy on fire, And his own palace by the Greeks possest, Arms long disus’d his trembling limbs invest; Thus on his foes he throws himself alone, Not for their fate, but to provoke his own: There stood an altar open to the view Of Heaven, near which an aged laurel grew, Whose shady arms the household gods embrac'd, Before whose feet the queen herself had east With all her daughters, and the Trojan wives, As doves whom an approaching tempest drives And frights into one flock; but having spy'd Old Priam clad in youthful arm, she cried, “Alas, my wretched husband, what pretence To bear those arms, and in them what defence? Such aid such times require not, when again If Hector were alive, he liv'd in vain; Or here weshall a sanctuary find, Or as in life we shall in death be join'd.” Then weeping, with kind force held and embrac'd, And on the secret seat the king she plac'd, Meantime Polites, one of Priam's sons, Flying the rage of bloody Pyrrhus, runs Through foes and swords, and ranges all thecourt, And empty galleries, amaz'd and hurt; Pyrrhus pursues him, now o'ertakes, now kills, And his last blood in Priam's presence spills. The king (though him so many deaths enclose) Nor fear, nor grief, but indignation shows; “The gods requite thee, (if within the care Of those above th’ affairs of mortals are) Whose fury on the son but lost had been, Had not his parents' eyes his murder seen: Not that Achilles (whom thou feign'st to be Thy father) so inhuman was to me; He blusht, when I the rights of arms implor'd; To me my Hector, me to Troy restor'd :” This said, his feeble arm a javelin flung, . Which on the sounding shield, scarce entenns: rting. Then Pyrrhus; “Go a messenger to Hell Of my black deeds, and to my father tell The acts of his degenerate race.” So through His son's warm blood the trembling king h" drew To th' altar; in his hair one hand he wreaths; His sword the other in his bosom sheaths. Thus fell the king, who yet surviv'd the state, With such a signal and peculiar fate, Under so vast a ruin, not a grave, Nor n such flannes a funcral fire to have : He whom such titles swell'd, such power made proud, To whom the sceptres of all Asia bow'd, On the cold earth lies th' unregarded king, A headless carcase, and a nameless thing.
ON THE EARL OF STRAFFORD...TO A PERSON OF HONOUR. 243
Garat Strafford ' worthy of that name, though all Of thee could be forgotten, but thy fall, Crush'd by imaginary treason's weight, Which too much merit did accumulate: As chymists gold from brass by fire would draw, Pretexts are into treason forg’d by law. His wisdom such, at once it did appear Three kingdoms’ wonder, and three kingdoms’ fear; While single he stood forth, and seem’d, although Each had an army, as an equal foe. Such was his force of eloquence, to make The hearers more concern'd than he that spake ; Each seem'd to act that part he came to see, And none was more a looker-on than he ; Sodid he move our passions, some were known To wish, for the defence, the crime their own. Now private pily strove with public hate, Reason with rage, and eloquence with fate: Now they could him, if he could them forgive ; He's not too guilty, but too wise to live; Less seem those facts which Treason's nick-name bore, Than such a fear'd ability for more. They afer death their fears of him express, His innocence and their own guilt confess. Their legislative frenzy they repent: Enacting it should make no precedent. [lose This fate he could have 'scap'd, but would not Honour for life, but rather nobly chose Death from their fears, than safety from his own, That his last action all the rest might crown.
TO A PERSON OF HONOUR, oN his 1.Ncompar ABLE PoeM7.
What mighty gale hath rais'd a flight so strong?
1 The honourable Flward Howard, by his Poem called The British Princes, engaged the attention of by far the most eminent of his contemporaries; who played upon his vanity, as the wits of half a century before had done on that of Thomas Coryat, by writing extravagant tompliments on his works. See Butler's, Wal*s, Sprat's, and Dorset's verses, in their respective volumes; and in the Select Collection of Miscellaneous Poems, 1780, vol. III. p. 105, are other verses on the same subject, by Marton Clifford, and the lord Vaughan, N.
Since man to that perfection cannot rise,
RFAnrn, preserve thy peace; those busy eyes
a King Charles the First.
Let it suffice for us, that we have lost
ex My Lord croft’s AND My Journey INTo Poland, From whence we brought 10,000l. For his Majesty, by The Decimation of his scorish SUBJECTS THERE,
Tole, tole, Gentle bell, for the soul Of the pure ones in Pole, Which are damn'd in our scrouk.
Who having felt atouch
That when we did arrive,
Nor lend An ear to a friend, Nor an answer would send To our letter so well penn'd.
Nor assist our affairs
Thus they did persist
For when It was mov’d there and then They should pay one in ten, The diet said, Amen.
And because they are loth