Aeschylus

(525 BC - 455 BC / Eleusis)

The Battle Of Salamis

Poem by Aeschylus

The night was passing, and the Grecian host
By no means sought to issue forth unseen.
But when indeed the day with her white steeds
Held all the earth, resplendent to behold,
First from the Greeks the loud-resounding din
Of song triumphant came; and shrill at once
Echo responded from the island rock.
Then upon all barbarians terror fell,
Thus disappointed; for not as for flight
The Hellenes sang the holy pæan then,
But setting forth to battle valiantly.
The bugle with its note inflamed them all;
And straightway with the dip of plashing oars
They smote the deep sea water at command,
And quickly all were plainly to be seen.
Their right wing first in orderly array
Led on, and second all the armament
Followed them forth; and meanwhile there was heard
A mighty shout: "Come, O ye sons of Greeks,
Make free your country, make your children free,
Your wives, and fanes of your ancestral gods,
And your sires' tombs! For all we now contend!"
And from our side the rush of Persian speech
Replied. No longer might the crisis wait.
At once ship smote on ship with brazen beak;
A vessel of the Greeks began the attack,
Crushing the stem of a Phoenician ship.
Each on a different vessel turned its prow.
At first the current of the Persian host
Withstood; but when within the strait the throng
Of ships was gathered, and they could not aid
Each other, but by their own brazen bows
Were struck, they shattered all our naval host.
The Grecian vessels not unskillfully
Were smiting round about; the hulls of ships
Were overset; the sea was hid from sight,
Covered with wreckage and the death of men;
The reefs and headlands were with corpses filled,
And in disordered flight each ship was rowed,
As many as were of the Persian host.
But they, like tunnies or some shoal of fish,
With broken oars and fragments of the wrecks
Struck us and clove us; and at once a cry
Of lamentation filled the briny sea,
Till the black darkness' eye did rescue us.
The number of our griefs, not though ten days
I talked together, could I fully tell;
But this know well, that never in one day
Perished so great a multitude of men.


Comments about The Battle Of Salamis by Aeschylus

  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (4/1/2020 7:30:00 PM)

    A unique timeless poem by a unique poet who is immortal.
    Beautifully written with sublime imagery.
    To be reread many times to enjoy always.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (4/1/2020 1:39:00 PM)

    This is a brilliant poem having touching inscription with nice theme.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (4/1/2020 1:33:00 AM)

    The number of our griefs, not though ten days
    I talked together, could I fully tell;
    But this know well, that never in one day
    Perished so great a multitude of men. a very fine poem. tony(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/5/2019 12:42:00 AM)

    At first the current of the Persian host
    Withstood; but when within the strait the throng
    Of ships was gathered, and they could not aid
    Each other, but by their own brazen bows
    Were struck, they shattered all our naval host.

    great writing
    great 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Castellenas JohnCastellenas John (4/1/2019 8:09:00 AM)

    A poem of legend. A amazing poem.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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    0 person liked.
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  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair(DPN) (4/1/2019 5:37:00 AM)

    A very nice poem as the poem of the day(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (4/1/2019 12:37:00 AM)

    One of the best poems by Aeschylus..........(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Paresh ChakraParesh Chakra (11/29/2018 3:13:00 AM)

    This poem is a very beautiful poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Laura (11/11/2018 9:21:00 PM)

    Who is the music by(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Haidee Majola (7/24/2018 7:07:00 PM)

    So well penned. That valiant battle of history past is but not unclear to the mind as hererin presented...not without poetic aplomb. An engaging read this is.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (4/1/2018 5:56:00 PM)

    History viewed through the frame of poetry... gets the urgency and the visual aspects across better than a dry newspaper-style reporting... the translator did a very smooth job here(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (4/1/2018 5:42:00 PM)

    Beautiful and captivating. There is a certain sense of thrill in poem’s lyrics. Probably this same thrill of emotions is what keeps humans indulge in war.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Joshua AdeyemiJoshua Adeyemi (4/1/2018 5:11:00 PM)

    And from our side the rush of Persian
    speech
    Replied. No longer might the crisis wait.
    At once ship smote on ship with brazen
    beak;
    A vessel of the Greeks began the attack,
    Crushing the stem of a Phoenician ship.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (4/1/2018 3:14:00 AM)

    A vivid picture of war has been presented astutely. Beautiful poem.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (4/1/2018 3:11:00 AM)

    Such a great poem by Aeschylus👍👍👍(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Muzahidul RezaMuzahidul Reza (4/1/2018 1:05:00 AM)

    Were smiting round about; the hulls of ships, ..... well penned(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (4/1/2017 11:52:00 PM)

    The great freedom struggle and battle for it narrated in a captivating vein. Thanks for sharing it here.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ubong EssienUbong Essien (4/1/2017 5:41:00 PM)

    A poem like never before. As though it was once written on the tablet of a Greek gods(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (4/1/2017 5:06:00 PM)

    Now that was the way to send a message home about a battle(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 28 comments »




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Read poems about / on: sea, fish, together, children, song, water, death, fishing, child, son



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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