The Fall of Troy

Page: 124

  So cried a Danaan, seeing soul-appalled
  That wild storm. Thousands perished; corpses thronged
  The great sea-highways: all the beaches were
  Too strait for them: the surf belched multitudes
  Forth on the land. The heavy-booming sea
  With weltering beams of ships was wholly paved,
  And here and there the grey waves gleamed between.

  So found they each his several evil fate,
  Some whelmed beneath broad-rushing billows, some
  Wretchedly perishing with their shattered ships
  By Nauplius' devising on the rocks.
  Wroth for that son whom they had done to death,
  He; when the storm rose and the Argives died,
  Rejoiced amid his sorrow, seeing a God
  Gave to his hands revenge, which now he wreaked
  Upon the host he hated, as o'er the deep
  They tossed sore-harassed. To his sea-god sire
  He prayed that all might perish, ships and men
  Whelmed in the deep. Poseidon heard his prayer,
  And on the dark surge swept them nigh his land.
  He, like a harbour-warder, lifted high
  A blazing torch, and so by guile he trapped
  The Achaean men, who deemed that they had won
  A sheltering haven: but sharp reefs and crags
  Gave awful welcome unto ships and men,
  Who, dashed to pieces on the cruel rocks
  In the black night, crowned ills with direr ills.
  Some few escaped, by a God or Power unseen
  Plucked from death's hand. Athena now rejoiced
  Her heart within, and now was racked with fears
  For prudent-souled Odysseus; for his weird
  Was through Poseidon's wrath to suffer woes
  Full many.

                 But Earth-shaker's jealousy now
  Burned against those long walls and towers uppiled
  By the strong Argives for a fence against
  The Trojans' battle-onset. Swiftly then
  He swelled to overbrimming all the sea
  That rolls from Euxine down to Hellespont,
  And hurled it on the shore of Troy: and Zeus,
  For a grace unto the glorious Shaker of Earth,
  Poured rain from heaven: withal Far-darter bare
  In that great work his part; from Ida's heights
  Into one channel led he all her streams,
  And flooded the Achaeans' work. The sea
  Dashed o'er it, and the roaring torrents still
  Rushed on it, swollen by the rains of Zeus;
  And the dark surge of the wide-moaning sea
  Still hurled them back from mingling with the deep,
  Till all the Danaan walls were blotted out
  Beneath their desolating flood. Then earth
  Was by Poseidon chasm-cleft: up rushed
  Deluge of water, slime and sand, while quaked
  Sigeum with the mighty shock, and roared
  The beach and the foundations of the land
  Dardanian. So vanished, whelmed from sight,
  That mighty rampart. Earth asunder yawned,
  And all sank down, and only sand was seen,
  When back the sea rolled, o'er the beach outspread
  Far down the heavy-booming shore. All this
  The Immortals' anger wrought. But in their ships
  The Argives storm-dispersed went sailing on.
  So came they home, as heaven guided each,
  Even all that 'scaped the fell sea-tempest blasts.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Fall of Troy, by Smyrnaeus Quintus