Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ARMY OF XERXES, by DELPHIC ORACLE



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THE ARMY OF XERXES, by            
First Line: Wretches, why tarry ye thus? Nay, flee from your houses and city
Last Line: Wherefore I bid you begone! Have courage to lighten your evil.


WRETCHES, why tarry ye thus? Nay, flee from your houses and city,
Flee to the ends of the earth from the circle embattled of Athens!
Body and head are alike, nor one is stable nor other,
Hands and feet wax faint, and whatso lieth between them
Wasteth in darkness and gloom; for flame destroyeth the city,
Flame and the fierce War-god, swift driver of Syrian horses.
Many a fortress too, not thine alone, shall he shatter;
Many a shrine of the gods he'll give to the flame for devouring;
Sweating for fear they stand, and quaking for dread of the foeman,
Running with gore are their roofs, foreseeing the stress of their sorrow;
Wherefore I bid you begone! Have courage to lighten your evil.





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