Sydney Walter Josland
A GRECIAN EPIGRAM
“Go tell the Spartans, thou that passeth by,
That here, faithful to their laws, we lie.”
So cried in old betrayed Thermopylae
Leonidas the Fearless, doomed to die.
Centuries passed; centuries torn with strife
Which was to sap from Greece her flowing life;
But deep in her heart did ever abide
Her traditions, courage, and haughty pride.
This grave misjudgement the invader made,
For never could her nobility fade;
And once again on high Olympus peak
Stood fighting men iron vengeance to wreak.
From far across the Southern seas they came
To share with the Spartans their claim to fame.
Severe was the task, and heavy the test
When locked in combat they offered their best.
Calm and undaunted with steady device,
Exacting from the foe a fearful price,
They were slowly forced to the Southern coast
Still facing the vast outnumbering host.
At last on the blue Aegean they lay
On the gaunt grey ships steaming through the bay,
Guarded with firm vigilance unended,
By the Viking sea kings thrice descended.
Now roam our thoughts to that torn distant land,
To the kindly peasants, and valiant band
Of sorely oppressed people, ever bold,
Who, as long as tales of valour are told
Shall be remembered; their great courage sung
In foreign lands across the seas far flung.
They shall be honoured even as before
Leonidas was remembered in lore.
©Copyright Egypt 1941 by Sydney Walter Josland