John F. McCullagh
Euphrion’s Son - Poem by John F. McCullagh
On the Plain at Marathon
We stood in Darius’ way.
An outnumbered band of Athenians
who the Medians sought to slay.
They had first crushed the Ionians
Then put Eretria to the Torch.
Wherever Darius conquered
the bleeding earth was scorched.
Our Hoplites held the high Ground
and penned the Persians in.
For several days a stalemate reigned.
Neither side could win.
But when the Persians spit their force
and sailed on a friendly tide.
Our hand was forced
there was but one course
if Athens was not to die.
Our Phalanx moved against each wing
of the Median horde.
Though numerous, they were lightly armed
against our spears and swords.
We burned their ships and slew their men
Their Panic turned the tide.
Aeschylus seemed to be everywhere
urging on our side.
A Legend holds Pheidippides
To Athens then made haste
to proclaim: “Rejoice, We conquer! ”
at the end of his last race.
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