The Ballad Of Sparta - Poem by Jonzo Bandwagoner
Men of old in shining armor,
Brand their swords and ride like thunder,
Cities quake; behold their tremor!
Xerxes turns toward Greece.
Men and women and starving children,
Run like fire and ne’er turn back,
Cities burn; behold their splendor!
Xerxes gives the word.
At his word those men in armor,
Take their torches, flaming archers,
Cities fall; behold their grandeur!
Falls in fire and stone.
Men of Greece in flight and flounder,
Who will stand for home and country?
Cities drop; behold their outpour!
Of men and cattle alike.
Darkness looms like silken powder,
“Greece will soon be gone, ” they mutter,
Cities flood; “behold their horror! ”
Xerxes plows ahead.
But then! Oh glory, glory!
Between two cliffs of stone,
Three-hundred men; behold their souls!
Are holding fast their own!
These men of Sparta, small yet brave,
Hold the pass for now one day!
Cities live; behold their soldiers;
Have not yet been swayed!
Hold the pass for now two days!
Hold the pass for now three days!
Cities grow; behold their people;
Begin to hold their own.
Hold the pass for now four days!
Hold the pass for now five days!
Cities stand; behold their leaders;
Gather men to war.
Hold the pass for now six days!
Hold the pass for now—
But the last of them, those Spartan men,
For seven days those men so brave,
Held off an army sent by the Grave,
Cities rally; behold their strength!
Xerxes’ face is white.
Men of Greece unite once more,
Live for day and fight for ‘morrow!
Cities laugh! behold their laughter!
Xerxes returns to Persia.
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