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Poor Troy must now be sack'd upon the sea,
And Neptune's waves be envious men of war ;
Epeus' horse, to Ætna's hill transformid,
Prepared stands to wreck their wooden walls ;
And Æolus, like Agamemnon, sounds
The surges, his fierce soldiers, to the spoil ;
See how the night, Ulysses-like, comes forth,
And intercepts the day, as Dolon erst !
Ay, me! the stars suppris d, like Rhesus' steeds,
Are drawn by darkness forth Astræus' tents.
What shall I do to save thee, my sweet boy ?
Whenas the waves do threat our crystal world,
And Proteus, raising hills of flood on high,
Intends, ere long, to sport him in the sky.
False Jupiter, reward'st thou virtue so ?
What, is not piety exempt from woe?
Then die, Æneas, in thine innocence,
Since that religion hath no recompense.
Jup. Content thee, Cytherea, in thy care,
Since thy Æneas' wandering fate is firm,
Whose weary limbs shall shortly make repose
In those fair walls I promis'd him of yore.
But, first in blood must his good fortune bud,
Before he be the lord of Turnus' town,
Or force her smile that hitherto hath frown'd:
Three winters shall be with the Rutiles war,
And, in the subdue them with his sword;
And full three summers likewise shall he waste
In managing those fierce barbarian minds ;
Which once perform’d, poor Troy, so long sup
From forth her ashes shall advance her head,
And flourish once again, that erst was dead.
But bright Ascanius, beauty's better work,
Who with the sun divides one radiant shape,
Shall build his throne amidst those starry towers
That earth-born Atlas, groaning, underprops :
No bounds, but heaven, shall bound his empery,
Whose azur'd gates, enchasèd with his name,
Shall make the Morning haste her grey uprise,
To feed her eyes with his engraven faine,
Thus, in stout Hector's race, three hundred years
The Roman sceptre royal shall remain,
Till that a princess-priest, conceiv'd by Mars,
Shall yield to dignity a double birth,
Who will eternish Troy in their attempts.
Ven. How may I credit these thy flattering terms,
When yet both sea and sands beset their ships,
And Phoebus, as in Stygian pools, refrains
To taint his tresses in the Tyrrhene main ?
Jup. I will take order for that presently.Hermes, awake ! and haste to Neptune's realm, Whereas the wind-god, warring now with fate, Besiege[s] th' offspring of our kingly loins : Charge him from me to turn his stormy powers, And fetter them in Vulcan's sturdy brass, That durst thus proudly wrong our kinsman's peace.
Venus, farewell : thy son shall be our care. -
Come, Ganymede, we must about this gear.
[Exeunt JUPITER and GANYMEDE.
Dido. Nay, leave not here ; resolve me of the rest.
Æn. O, the enchanting words of that base slave Made him to think Epeus' pine-tree horse A sacrifice to appease Minerva's wrath! The rather, that for one Laocoon, Breaking a spear upon his hollow breast, Was with two-winged serpents stung to death. Whereat aghast, we were commanded straight With reverence to draw it into Troy : In which unhappy work was I employ'd ; These hands did help to hale it to the gates, Through which it could not enter, 'twas so hugeO, had it never enter'd, Troy had stood ! But Priamus, impatient of delay, Enforc'd a wide breach in that rampir'd wall Which thousand battering rams could never pierce, And so came in this fatal instrumento At whose accursed feet, as overjoy'd, We banqueted, till, overcome with wine; Some surfeited, and others soundly slept. Which Sinon viewing, caused the Greekish spies
To haste to Tenedos, and tell the camp :
Then he unlocked the horse ; and suddenly,
From out his entrails, Neoptolemus,
Setting his spear upon the ground, leapt forth,
And, after him, a thousand Grecians more,
In whose stern faces shin'd the quenchless fire
That after burnt the pride of Asia.
By this, the camp was come unto the walls,
And through the breach did march into the streets,
Where, meeting with the rest, “Kill, kill I” they
Frighted with this confusèd noise, I rose,
And, looking from a turret, might behold
Young infants swimming in their parents' blood,
Headless carcasses piled up in heaps,
Virgins half-dead, dragg'd by their golden hair,
And with main force flung on a ring of pikes,
Old men with swords thrust through their aged sides,
Kneeling for mercy to a Greekish lad,
Who with steel pole-axes dash'd out their brains.
Then buckled I mine armour, drew my sword,
And thinking to go down, came Hector's ghost,
With ashy visage, blueish sulphur eyes,
His arms torn from his shoulders, and his breast
Furrow'd with wounds, and, that which made me weep,
Thongs at his heels, by which Achilles' horse
Drew him in triumph through the Greekish camp,
Burst from the earth, crying, “ Æneas, fly!
Troy is a-fire, the Grecians have the town !"
Dido. O Hector, who weeps not to hear thy name?
Æn. Yet flung I forth, and desperate of my life, Ran in the thickest throngs, and with this sword Sent many of their savage ghosts to hell. At last came Pyrrhus, fell and full of ire, His harness dropping blood, and on his spear The mangled head of Priam's youngest son ; And, after him, his band of Myrmidons, With balls of wild-fire in their murdering paws, Which made the funeral flame that burnt fair Troy ; All which hemm'd me about, crying, “This is he !
Dido. Ah, how could poor Æneas scape their hands?
Æn. My mother Venus, jealous of my health,
Convey'd me from their crooked nets and bands ;
So I escap'd the furious Pyrrhus' wrath ;
Who then ran to the palace of the king,
And at Jove's altar finding Priamus,
About whose withered neck hung Hecuba,
Folding his hand in hers, and jointly both
Beating their breasts, and falling on the ground,
He, with his falchion's point raised up at once,
And with Megæra's eyes, star'd in their face,
Threatening a thousand deaths at every glance :
To whom the agèd king thus, trembling, spoke ;
“ Achilles' son, remember what I was,
Father of fifty sons, but they are slain ;
Lord of my fortune, but my fortune's turn'd;
King of this city, but my Troy is fir'd ;
And now am neither father, lord, nor king :