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Page:Masterpieces of Greek Literature (1902).djvu/101

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ON THOSE WHO DIED AT THERMOPYLAE

ON THOSE WHO DIED AT THERMOPYLAE[1]

Of those who at Thermopylae were slain,
Glorious the doom, and beautiful the lot;
Their tomb an altar: men from tears refrain
To honor them, and praise, but mourn them not.
Such sepulchre, nor drear decay 5
Nor all-destroying time shall waste; this right have they.
Within their grave the home-bred glory
Of Greece was laid: this witness gives
Leonidas the Spartan, in whose story 10
A wreath of famous virtue ever lives.

Translated by John Sterling.

 
  1. When the Persians invaded Greece in 480 B. C., Leonidas, king of Sparta, went to hold the pass of Thermopylae against them. When by a circuitous route the Persians entered the pass, Leonidas dismissed his army except three hundred Spartans and seven hundred Thespians, who died on the field faithful to their trust.