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Each Battel fees the other's umber'd Face.
Steed threatens Steed in high and boastful Neighs,
Piercing the Nights dull Ear; and from the Tents
The Armourers accomplishing the Knights,
With busy Hammers closing Rivets up,
Give dreadful Note of Preparation.
Shak. Hen. 5.
Now scarce the dawning Day began to spring;
confus'd and high,
Ev'n from the Heav'n was heard a shouting Cry,
For Mars was early up, and rous'd the Sky.
The Gods came downward to behold the Wars,
Sharpning their Sights, and leaning from their Stars :
The Neighing of the gen rous Horse was heard,
For Battel by the busy
Rustling of Harness, Rattling of the Shield,
Clare'ring of Armour furbilh'd for the Field :
The greedy Sight might there devour the Gold
Of glittring Arms, too dazling to behold;
And polith'd Steel that caft the View aside,
And crested Motions with their plumy Pride.
Knights, with a long Recinue of their Squires
In gawdy Liv'ries, march and quaint Attires :
One lac'd the Helm, another held the Lance,
A third the shining Buckler did advance :
The Courser paw'd the Ground with restless Feet,
And snorting foam'd and champ'd the golden Bit.
The Smiths and Armourers on Palfreys ride,
Files in their Hands, and Hammers at their Side ; .
And Nails for loosen'd Spears, and Thongs for Shields pro->
(Dryd. Pal. Arc.
Peace leaves the violated Fields, and Hate
Both Armies urges to their mutual Fate.
The gloomy Throngs look terrible from far,
Disclosing flow the horrid Face of War.
The thick Battalions move in dreadful Form,
As lowring Clouds advance before a Storm.
A Cloud of blinding Duft is rais'd around;
Labours beneath their Feet the trembling Ground. Dryd. Virg.
Advancing in a Line they couch their Spears,
And less and less the middle Space appears.
Thick Smoke obscures the Field, and scarce are seen
The neighing Coursers, and the shouting Men.
In distance of their Darts they stop their Course,
Then Man to Man they rush, and Horse to Horse :
The Face of Heav'n the flying Jav'lins bide,
And Deaths unseen are dealt on either Side. Dryd. Virg
Thick Storms of Steel from either Army fly,
And Clouds of clashing Darts obscure the Sky. Dryd. Firs
Thus equal Deaths are dealt with equal Chance,
By Turns they quit their Ground, by Turns advance;
Vi&ors and Vanquish'd in the various Field,
Not wholly overcome, nor wholly yield:
The Gods from Heav'n survey the fatal Strife,
And mourn the Miseries of human Life.
Now bearded Darts, and fatal Jav'lins fly,
And Balls of Fire hiss through th'enlighten'd Sky.
Each on bis Foe missive Destruction pours,
And Death receives and gives in feather'd Show'rs.
To the rude Shock of War boch Armies came, Their Leaders equal and their Strength the same : With Spears afar, with Swords at Hand they strike; And Zeal of Slaughter fires their Souls alike. The Soldiers dauntless thus maintain the Field, And Hearts are pierc'd, unknowing how to yield: They Blow for Blow return, and Wound for Wound; And Heaps of Bodies raise the level Ground. Dryd. Virg.
And now both Hofts their broken Troops unite, In equal Ranks, and mix in mortal Fight. They strike, they push, they throng the scanty Space, Resolv'd on Death, impatient of Disgrace; And where one falls, another fills his Place. Dryd. Virg.
An undistinguish'd Noise ascends the Sky, (Dryd. Virs The Shours of those who kill, and Groans of those who die.
The Fight grows hot, the whole War's now at work, And the goar'd Battel bleeds in ev'ry Vein. Shak. K. LENT
When Greeks joyn's Greeks, then was the Tug of War; The labour'd Battel swett, and Conqueft bled. Lee Alex
Now dying Groans are heard, the Fields are ftrew'd
With fallen Bodies, and are drunk with Blood.
Arms, Horses, Men, on Heaps together lie:
Confus'd the Fight, and more confus'd the Cry.
The Sands with streaming Blood are fanguin dy'd,
And Death with Honour fought on ev'ry Side. Dryd. Virs
What Noise of Arms, what Shouts the Air confound!
What Ruin, what slain Heaps deform the Ground ?
The Dead make Bulwarks, which the Living climb,
That in the Air rise, like our Walls, sublime.
Dead Corps imboss the Vale with little Hills.
His finoaking Horses at their utmost Speed
He laihes on, and urges o'er the Dead :
Their Ferlocks run with Blood, and when they bound,
The Gore and gathering Dust are dalh'd around. Dryd. Virg
The Rear fo press’d the Front, they could not wield The angry Weapons to difpute the Field.
They Darts with Clamour at a distance drive,
And only keep the languish'd War alive.
The frighted Soldiers when their Captains fly,
More on their Speed than on their Strength rely.
Confus'd in Fight they bear each other down,
And four their Horses headlong to the Town;
Driv'n by their Foes, and to their fears resign'd,
Not once they turn, but take their Wounds behind.
These drop the Shield, and those the Lance forego,
Or on their Shoulders bear the slacken'd Bow :
The Hoofs of Horses, with a rattling Sound,
Beat thick and short, and shake the folid Ground.
Black Clouds of Dust come rouling in the Sky,
And o'er che darken'd Walls and Rampiers fly.
All pressing on, Pursuers and Pursu'd
Are cruth'd in Crowds, a mingled Multitude,
Some happy few escap'd : The Throng too late
Rush on for Entrance, cill they choak the Gate.
Then in Affright the folding Gates they close,
But leave their Friends excluded with their Foes.
The Vanquilh'd cry, the Victors loudly shout,
'Tis Terrour all within, and Slaughter all without.
Blind in their Fear, they bound against the Wall;
Or to the Moats pursu'd precipitate their Fall.
Then planting at the Walls a scaling Ladder,
I mounted spight of Show'rs of Stones, Bars, Arrows,
And all the Lumber which they thunder'd down.
I left the Walls to fly among my Foes,
And, like a baited Lyon, dy'd my self
All over with the Blood of those bold Hunters;
Till spent with Toil, I batteld on my knees,
Pluck'd forth the Darts that made my Shield a Forest,
And huri'd them back with most unconquer'd Fury. Lee Alex,
Now Peals of Shours came thund'ring from afar,
Cries, Threats, and loud Laments, and mingled War:
Louder, and yet more loud, we hear ch'Alarms
Of human Cries distinct, and clashing Arms:
New Clamours and new Clangours now arise,
The Sound of Trumpets mix'd with fighting Cries.
The Fire consumes the Town, the Foe commands;
And armed Hosts, an unexperienc'd Force,
Break in, and Foes for Entrance press without.
To sev'ral Posts their Parties they divide ;
Some block the narrow Streets, some scour the wide:
The Bold they kill, th'Unwary they surprize ;
Who fights finds Death, and Death finds him who flies.
The Warders of the Gate but scarce maintain
Th'unequal Combat, and resist in vain.
We heard : And Heav'n, that well-born Souls inspires,
Prompts us thro' lifted Swords and rising Fires.
To run, where clashing Arms and Clamour calls,
And rush undaunted to defend the Walls.
The passive Gods behold the Greeks defile
Their Temples, and abandon to the Spoil
Their own Abodes; we, feeble few, conspire
To save a sinking Town involv'd in Fire.
We leave the narrow Lanes behind, and dare
Th’unequal Combat in the publick Square ;
Night was our Friend, our Leader was Despair.
What Tongue can tell the Slaughter of that Night ?
What Eyes can weep the Sorrows and Affright?
An antient and imperial City falls ;
The Streets are filld with frequent Funerals :
Houses and holy Temples float in Blood,
And hostile Nations make a common Flood.
Not only Trojans fall, but in their Turn,
triumph, and the Victors mourn.
Ours take new Courage from Despair and Night,
Confus'd the Fortune is, confus'a the Fight;
All Parts resound with Tumults, Plaints, and Fears,
And griefly Death in fundry Shapes appears :
New Clamours from th’invested Palace ring;
So hot th'Affault, so high the Tumult rose,
While ours defend, and while the Greeks oppose ;
As if all Ilium else were void of Fear,
And Tumult, War, and Slaughter only there.
Their Targets in a Tortoise cast, our foes
Secure advancing, to the Turrets rose:
Some mount the scaling Ladders, some more bold
Swerve upwards, and by Pofts and Pillars hold :
Their left Hand gripes their Bucklers in th'Afcent,
While with the right they fieze the Batclement.
From their demolish'd Tow'rs the Trojans throw
Huge Heaps of Stones, that falling, crush the Foes
And heavy Beams and Rafters, from the sides,
And gilded Roofs come tumbling
from on high,
The Marks of State and antient Royalty.
The Lightning flies not swifter than the Fall,
Nor Thunder louder than the ruin'd Wall.
Down goes the Top at once ; the Greeks beneath
Are piecemeal torn, or pounded into Death.
Yet more succeed, and more to Death are sent :
We cease not from above, nor they below relent.
The Guards below, fix'd in the Pals, attend
The Charge undaunted, and the Gate defend.
Rush on in Crowds, and the barr'd Passage free.
Ent'ring the Court, with Shouts the Skies they rend,
And Aaming Firebrands to the Roofs ascend.
Pyrrhus, among the foremoft, deals his Blows,
And with his Ax repeated Strokes bestows
On the strong Doors: Then all their Shoulders ply,
Till from the Posts the brazen Hinges fly.
He hews apace, the double Bars at length
Yield to his Ax and unrefifted Strength.
A mighty Breach is made : The Rooms conceald
Appear, and all che Palace is reveal'd.
The fatal Work inhuman Pyrrhus plies,
And all his Father fparkles in his Eyes.
Nor Bars, nor fighting Guards his Force sustain,
The Bars are broken, and the Guards are slain.
In rula the
Greeks, and all th’Apartments fill ;
Those few Defendants which they find, they kill :
Where'er the rising Fire had left a Space,
They enter and possess the Place.
The fearful Matrons run from Place to Place.
And kiss the Thresholds, and the Pofts embrace.
Driv'n like a Flock of Doves along the Sky,
The Images they hug, and to the Altars fly.
But the protecting
Gods are deaf to Pray'rs. Dryd. Virg.
The wondring Babes from Mothers Breasts are rent,
And suffer Ills they neither fear'd nor meant :
No silver Rev'rence guards the stooping Age,
No Rule or Method ties their boundless Rage.
Nothing but Fire and Slaughter meets the Eyes,
Nothing the Ear but Groans and dismal Cries.
Now march the bold Confederates thro' the Plain,
Well hors'd, well clad, a rich and shining Train.
Silent they move ; majestically slow,
Like ebbing Nile, or Ganges in his Flow.
The Trojons view the dusty Cloud from far,
And che dark Menace of the distant War.
They from the Rampire saw it rise,
Black’ning the Fields, and thick’ning thro' the Skies.
And when the rouling Clouds approach the Walls,
They arm, and man the Works, prepare the Spears,
And pointed Darts: Then fhut their Gates; with Shouts ascend
Their Bulwarks, and secure, their Foes attend.