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of Greeks, first met us on our desperate way;
but heedless, and confounding friend with foe,
thus, all unchallenged, hailed us as his own :
“Haste, heroes! Are ye laggards at this hour?
Others bear off the captives and the spoil
of burning Troy. Just from the galleys ye?”
He spoke; but straightway, when no safe reply
returned, he knew himself entrapped, and fallen
into a foeman's snare; struck dumb was he
and stopped both word and motion; as one steps,
when blindly treading a thick path of thorns,
upon a snake, and sick with fear would flee
that lifted wrath and swollen gorge of green:
so trembling did Androgeos backward fall.
At them we flew and closed them round with war;
and since they could not know the ground, and fear
had whelmed them quite, we swiftly laid them low.
Thus Fortune on our first achievement smiled;
and, flushed with victory, Cormbus cried:
“Come, friends, and follow Fortune's finger, where
she beckons us what path deliverance lies.
Change we our shields, and these Greek emblems wear.
'Twixt guile and valor who will nicely weigh
When foes are met? These dead shall find us arms.”
With this, he dons Androgeos' crested helm
and beauteous, blazoned shield; and to his side
girds on a Grecian blade. Young Rhipeus next,
with Dymas and the other soldiery,
repeat the deed, exulting, and array
their valor in fresh trophies from the slain.
Now intermingled with our foes we moved,
and alien emblems wore; the long, black night
brought many a grapple, and a host of Greeks
down to the dark we hurled. Some fled away,
seeking their safe ships and the friendly shore.
Some cowards foul went clambering back again
to that vast horse and hid them in its maw.
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