Lynn W. Petty
A-6-Pompeius Silo - Poem by Lynn W. Petty
The rumor is that Xerxes leads a great
And multitudinous force of might and sway.
Thermopylae has closed its Spartan gate!
The pass can hold but few, and we are they.
Are we the timid of the brave, slowest
Of ignoble cowards? No matter how
Great nations of the East invade, infest
Our hemisphere with vermin, it is now,
As it has been with every foreign force,
A passage to the heart of Greece. Now, this
Invading scourge has found its way. The course
To plunder Greece's soul. Is Greece amiss
That she has not built gates of sturdy might?
I comprehend the Spartan pride, that we
Reside behind our army's strength. The plight
Is now, again that we, at Athens' plea,
Have found ourselves to be her living wall,
Protecting her from those that she offends.
But, now the question is what might befall
We Spartans, since the whole of Greece depends
Upon the merit of our actions. I
Assure you this, before the nightfall of
Our lives, a gate shall have been built as high
As Persian flesh will pile, I swear above,
To all the gods, my pledge. The time is now
To ask since we, alone, defend this post,
How many men will this defile allow
To pass abreast at once? To make the most
Of this high ground we need to calculate
Their numbers and their spread, so we may form
Our own defensive line. Let us abate
This argument to stay or leave. Perform
Our Spartan duty, as you know we will,
And plan our strategy of how to build
A buttress of the Persian dung we kill.
This question begs an answer to be filled.
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