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blares loud, and startled shouts of soldiery
spread through the roaring sky. The Volscian band
press to the siege, and, locking shield with shield,
fill the great trenches, tear the palisades,
or seek approach by ladders up the walls,
where'er the line of the defenders thins, and light
through their black circle shines. The Trojans pour
promiscuous missiles down, and push out hard
with heavy poles—so well have they been schooled
to fight against long sieges. They fling down
a crushing weight of rocks, in hope to break
th' assailing line, where roofed in serried shields
the foe each charge repels. But not for long
the siegers stand; along their dense array
the crafty Teucrians down the rampart roll
a boulder like a hill-top, laying low
the Rutule troop and crashing through their shields.
Nor may the bold Rutulian longer hope
to keep in cover, but essays to storm
only with far-flung shafts the bastion strong.
Here grim Mezentius, terrible to see,
waved an Etrurian pine, and made his war
with smoking firebrands; there, in equal rage,
Messapus, the steed-tamer, Neptune's son,
ripped down the palisade, and at the breach
strung a steep path of ladders up the wall.
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