1 Jul 2009

Trojan Horses—a Warning from the Owl

Countless and cunning Trojan horses have entered the Web-Journals and their objective is to destroy the future, what stands for Tomorrow. But here is a warning from the watchful owl deeply keeping guard on things in the preciousness of the night.

The owl hooted in the mocking night, “Beware
Of Trojan horses set in brutal woods,
’neath thick branches of thought. They’re built in moods
Born of artful ends, and in the least care
Things that are to the growing spirit fair;
Deep silence in which the magic word broods
Is unknown to them; instead they prize goods
Synthetic, hurtful, swift masters of malware.

Seems they’re here to advance deceit, on the net
Spread disinformation; they will debunk
You, working night and day in shifty times.
They’ve no flowing manes, of scruples, and you’d get
Tricked by these schemers in the wooden trunk,
Beware! They would sue even gods for fake crimes.”

RY Deshpande
15 June 2009

First introduced by Virgil with a kind of finesse that speaks very highly of the ancient warriors, there is an acceptable Trojan Horse in Drydens’ translation. Its cunning is praiseworthy and honest resourcefulness, of doing things by noble and heroic people—unlike the way things happen on the quarrelling web-pages these days, witness vis-à-vis The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, the accusations and counter-accusations hurled by the warring tribes—as if they are all an insufferable lot. This has got to be remedied.

The subterfuge to deceive the Trojans was thought out, of course, by Athena herself, but was put into operation by the conniving and clever Odysseus. The gigantic wooden horse was designed and built by the artist Epeius and, when ready, a select number of Greek warriors climbed inside it. The rest of the Greek fleet pretended to sail away, back to their shores. The horse was left behind as a parting gift for the Trojans. Sinon, one of the accomplices, stayed behind to reassure the marvelling enemy not to worry about the horse, and that they could take it inside the city. Laocoon and Cassandra warned about the danger but, as usual, they were ignored. On the other hand, even as those thousand ships started sailing away, there were wild celebrations inside the guarded city and the treacherous gift was taken inside it. The moment of destiny had arrived and soon Sinon signalled the warriors hiding in the trunk of the wooden horse to jump out and attend to the short work they had planned with great care, in the manner of the Athenian perfection. Priam was killed and the city was set on fire.

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