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Ourselves did make
a breach within our walls and opened wide
the ramparts of our city. One and all
were girded for the task. Smooth-gliding wheels
were 'neath its feet; great ropes stretched round its neck,
till o'er our walls the fatal engine climbed,
pregnant with men-at-arms. On every side
fair youths and maidens made a festal song,
and hauled the ropes with merry heart and gay.
So on and up it rolled, a tower of doom,
and in proud menace through our Forum moved.
O Ilium, my country, where abode
the gods of all my sires! O glorious walls
of Dardan's sons! before your gates it passed,
four times it stopped and dreadful clash of arms
four times from its vast concave loudly rang.
Yet frantic pressed we on, our hearts all blind,
and in the consecrated citadel
set up the hateful thing. Cassandra then
from heaven-instructed heart our doom foretold;
but doomed to unbelief were Ilium's sons.
Our hapless nation on its dying day
flung free o'er streets and shrines the votive flowers.

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