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we twirled the sailyards and shook out all sail,
leaving the cities of the sons of Greece
and that distrusted land. Tarentum's bay
soon smiled before us, town of Hercules,
if fame be true; opposing it uptowers
Lacinia's headland unto Juno dear,
the heights of Caulon, and that sailors' bane,
ship-shattering Scylaceum. Thence half seen,
trinacrian Aetna cleaves th' horizon line;
we hear from far the crash of shouting seas,
where lifted billows leap the tide-swept sand.
Father Anchises cried: “'T is none but she—
Charybdis! Helenus this reef foretold,
and rocks of dreadful name. O, fly, my men!
Rise like one man with long, strong sweep of oars!”
Not unobedient they! First Palinure
veered to the leftward wave the willing keel,
and sails and oars together leftward strove.
We shot to skyward on the arching surge,
then, as she sank, dropped deeper than the grave;
thrice bellowed the vast cliffs from vaulted wall;
thrice saw we spouted foam and showers of stars.
After these things both wind and sun did fail;
and weary, worn, not witting of our way,
we drifted shoreward to the Cyclops' land.
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