Lynn W. Petty
Aa-1-Forward - Poem by Lynn W. Petty
It was four hundred eighty BCE, before
The birth of Christ, that Greece had faced
A mass invasion and a Persian war.
The second such incursion, which had placed
A horde of Persian troops on Grecian soil,
A million men or more invaded Greece.
The purpose of the Spartans was to foil
The Persian's forward march, to blunt and cease
The route of their advancement at the pass,
So named Thermopylae. The only gate
Way over land to reach the Greek landmass.
The Grecian army fled their posts thus, Fate
Became the Spartan ally in that fight.
Leonidas, The King of Sparta spoke,
Presenting to his men the argument:
Should they retreat from battle, lift the yoke
Of Spartan law, to live in banishment,
Co-hived in exile sharing crumbs of food
With Sorrow and her demon sister Fear,
Whose tireless appetites are for slow blood?
Or hold the field, perhaps to feel the sear
Of death and face with Spartan pride, their fate,
Upholding, as prescribed, the army's rule?
He reasoned separation from one's State
Was more severe. To die was far less cruel.
The King gave ample reason to withdraw
But, doing so would break the rule of law.
The law? 'Shame is to survive defeat.'
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