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while all the crowd acclaims, sped Gyas' keel
along the outmost wave. Cloanthus next
pushed hard upon, with stronger stroke of oars
but heavier ship. At equal pace behind
the Pristis and the Centaur fiercely strive
for the third place. Now Pristis seems to lead,
now mightier Centaur past her flies, then both
ride on together, prow with prow, and cleave
long lines of foaming furrow with swift keels.
Soon near the rock they drew, and either ship
was making goal,—when Gyas, in the lead,
and winner of the half-course, Ioudly hailed
menoetes, the ship's pilot: “Why so far
to starboard, we? Keep her head round this way!
Hug shore! Let every oar-blade almost graze
that reef to larboard! Let the others take
the deep-sea course outside!” But while he spoke,
Menoetes, dreading unknown rocks below,
veered off to open sea. “Why steer so wide?
Round to the rock, Menoetes!” Gyas roared, —
again in vain, for looking back he saw
cloanthus hard astern, and ever nearer,
who, in a trice, betwixt the booming reef
and Gyas' galley, lightly forward thrust
the beak of Scylla to the inside course,
and, quickly taking lead, flew past the goal
to the smooth seas beyond. Then wrathful grief
flamed in the warrior's heart, nor was his cheek
unwet with tears; and, reckless utterly
of his own honor and his comrades, lives,
he hurled poor, slack Menoetes from the poop
headlong upon the waters, while himself,
pilot and master both, the helm assuming,
urged on his crew, and landward took his way.
But now, with heavy limbs that hardly won
his rescue from the deep, engulfing wave,
up the rude rock graybeard Menoetes climbed
with garment dripping wet, and there dropped down
upon the cliff's dry top. With laughter loud
the Trojan crews had watched him plunging, swimming,
and now to see his drink of bitter brine
spewed on the ground, the sailors laughed again.
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