I.

Thermopylae
8-10 September (?) 480 B.C.E.

We few remain
wounded, tired, doomed.
Duty called us here, and honor
held us, honor and regard
of comrades.

The King says
generations unborn will hymn
the paeans to our stand.
We held the cursed invader
that others may rally to defeat him.

Now, betrayed, the dawn will find
us dead. Dawn. To hear once more
the laughter of a child,
plaintive dove or raucous crow,
to feel again the warm wind–

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