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now fallen, were the first to fly; in flight
the panic-stricken Rutule host is seen
and Acer bold; his captains in dismay
with shattered legions from the peril fly,
and goad their horses to the city wall.
Not one sustains the Trojan charge, or stands
in arms against the swift approach of death.
Their bows unstrung from drooping shoulder fall,
and clatter of hoof-beats shakes the crumbling ground.
On to the city in a blinding cloud
the dust uprolls. From watch-towers Iooking forth,
the women smite their breasts and raise to heaven
shrill shouts of fear. Those fliers who first passed
the open gates were followed by the foe,
routed and overwhelmed. They could not fly
a miserable death, but were struck down
in their own ancient city, or expired
before the peaceful shrines of hearth and home.
Then some one barred the gates. They dared not now
give their own people entrance, and were deaf
to all entreaty. Woeful deaths ensued,
both of the armed defenders of the gate,
and of the foe in arms. The desperate band,
barred from the city in the face and eyes
of their own weeping parents, either dropped
with headlong and inevitable plunge
into the moat below; or, frantic, blind,
battered with beams against the stubborn door
and columns strong. Above in conflict wild
even the women (who for faithful love
of home and country schooled them to be brave
Camilla's way) rained weapons from the walls,
and used oak-staves and truncheons shaped in flame,
as if, well-armed in steel, each bosom bold
would fain in such defence be first to die.
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