Fortune bring me home once more,
My vengeance should redress his fate,
And speech engendered cankerous hate.
Thence dates my fall: Ulysses thence
Still scared me with some fresh pretence,
With chance-dropt words the people fired,
Sought means of hurt, intrigued, conspired.
Nor did the glow of hatred cool,
Till, wielding Calchas as his tool—
But why a tedious tale repeat,
To stay you from your morsel sweet?
If all are equal, Greek and Greek,
Enough; your tardy vengeance wreak
My death will Ithacus delight,
And Atreus’ sons the boon requite.

We press, we yearn the truth to know,
Nor dream how doubly base our foe:
He, faltering still and overawed,
Takes up the unfinished web of fraud.
‘Oft had we planned to leave your shore,
Nor tempt the weary conflict more.
O, had we done it! sea and sky
Scared us as oft, in act to fly:
But chiefly when completed stood
This horse, compact of maple wood,
Fierce thunders, pealing in our ears,
Proclaimed the turmoil of the spheres.
Perplexed, Eurypylus we send
To question what the fates portend,
And he from Phœbus’ awful shrine
Brings back the words of doom divine:
‘With blood ye pacified the gales,
E’en with a virgin slain,
When first ye Danaans spread your sails,
The shores of Troy to gain:
With blood ye your return must buy:
A Greek must at the altar die.’
That sentence reached the public ear,
And bred the dull amaze of fear:
Through every heart a shudder ran,
‘Apollo’s victim—who the man?’
Ulysses, turbulent and loud,
Drags Calchas forth before the crowd,
And questions what the immortals mean,
Which way these dubious beckonings lean:
E’en then were some discerned my foe,
And silent watch the coming blow.
Ten days the seer, with bated breath,
Restrained the utterance big with death:
O’erborne at last, the word agreed
He speaks, and destines me to bleed.
All gave a sigh, as men set free,
And hailed the doom, content to see
The bolt that threatened each alike
One solitary victim strike.
The death-day came: the priests prepare
Salt cakes, and fillets for my hair;
I fled, I own it, from the knife,
I broke my bands and ran for life,
And in a marish lay that night,
While they should sail, if sail they might.
No longer have I hope, ah me!
My ancient fatherland to see,
Or look on those my eyes desire,
My darling sons, my grey-haired sire:
Perhaps my butchers may requite
On their dear heads my traitorous flight,
And make their wretched lives atone
For this, the single crime I own.
O, by the Gods, who all things view,
And know the false man from the true,
By sacred Faith, if Faith remain
With mortal men preserved from stain,
Show grace to innocence forlorn,
Show grace to woes unduly borne!

Moved by his tears, we let him live,
And pity crowns the boon we give:
King Priam bids unloose his cords,
And soothes the wretch with kindly words:
‘Whoe’er you are, henceforth resign
All thought of Greece: be Troy’s and mine:
Now tell me truth, for what intent
This fabric of the horse was meant;
An offering to your heavenly liege?
An engine for assault or siege?’
Then, schooled in all Pelasgian shifts,
His unbound hands to heaven he lifts:
‘Ye slumberless, inviolate fires,
And the dread awe your name inspires!
Ye murderous altars, which I fled!
Ye fillets that adorned my head!
Bear witness, and behold me free
To break my Grecian fealty;
To hate the Greeks, and bring to light
The counsels they would hide in night,
Unchecked by all that once could bind,
All claims of country or of kind.
Thou, Troy, remember he’er to swerve,
Preserved thyself, thy faith preserve,
If true the story I relate,
If these, my prompt returns, be great.

‘The warlike hopes of Greece were stayed,
E’en from the first, on Pallas’ aid:
But since Tydides, impious man,
And foul Ulysses, born to plan,
Dragged with red hands, the sentry slain,
Her fateful image from your fane,
Her chaste locks touched, and stained with gore
The virgin coronal she wore,
Thenceforth the tide of fortune changed,
And Greece grew weak, her queen estranged.
Nor dubious were the signs of ill
That showed the goddess’ altered will.
The image scarce in camp was set,
Out burst big drops of saltest sweat
O’er all her limbs: her eyes upraised
With minatory lightnings blazed;
And thrice untouched from earth she sprang
With quivering spear and buckler’s clang.
‘Back o’er the ocean!’ Calchas cries:
‘We shall not make Troy’s town our prize,
Unless at Argos’ sacred seat
Our former omens we repeat,
And bring once more the grace we brought
When first these shores our navy sought.’
So now for Greece they cross the wave,
Fresh blessings on their arms to crave,
Thence to return, so Calchas rules,
Unlooked for, ere your wonder cools.
Premonished first, this frame they planned
In your Palladium’s stead to stand,
An image for an image given
To pacify offended Heaven.
But Calchas bade them rear it high
With timbers mounting to the sky,
That none might drag within the gate
This new Palladium of your state.
For, said he, if your

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