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Synopsis

WATCHMAN I pray the gods to quit me of my toils, To close the watch I keep, this livelong year; For as a watch-dog lying, not at rest, Propped on one arm, upon the palace-roof Of Atreus' race, too long, too well I know The starry conclave of the midnight sky, Too well, the splendours of the firmament, The lords of light, whose kingly aspect shows-What time they set or climb the sky in turn-The year's divisions, bringing frost or fire. And now, as ever, am I set to mark When shall stream up the glow of signal-flame, The bale-fire bright, and tell its Trojan tale-Troy town is ta'en: such issue holds in hope She in whose woman's breast beats heart of man. Thus upon mine unrestful couch I lie, Bathed with the dews of night, unvisited By dreams-ah me!-for in the place of sleep Stands Fear as my familiar, and repels The soft repose that would mine eyelids seal.

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