Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

The Greeks at Marathon

[Author's note

   The mountains look on Marathon--
   And Marathon looks on the sea;
   And musing there an hour alone,
   I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
   For standing on the Persian's grave,
   I could not deem myself a slave.

   He who dies his land to save, 
Rests within a glorious grave. 
Forward, forward ! Grecians, on!
Tis the plain of Marathon! 
By the vict'ry of our sires, 
By our bosoms' native fires, 
By th' Athenian's** deathless name, 
Here we vow to die for fame! 

   Spirits of the martial band 
Who once armed to save this land, 
Who their valor here displayed, 
Heaven will quit, our cause to aid. 
Here, our sires a battle fought, 
Here, with blood their rights they bought, 
Here, our sires a battle won, 
On this plain of Marathon! 

   Grecians! brothers! dauntless be,--
Think upon Thermopylae, 
Think upon Plataea's day, 
Think of ages past away. 
Think on those more dear than life, 
Parents, children, sister, wife! 
Think of victory, think of fame, 
Freedom, fortune, nation, name! 

   Sparta's heroes never turned, 
E'en submission's name they spurned; 
Bold they answered, deaf to alarms, 
'Let them come, and take our arms!'*** 
This is Freedom's hallowed earth, 
Hallowed by a deed of worth; 
Let another such be done 
On this field of Marathon. 

   Yes! from hence the Persian fled, 
Here lay many a tyrant dead. 
'Tis a gallant field of glory, 
Tis a battle famed in story ;— 
Here the Moslem we shall meet, 
Prostrate lay him at our feet;— 
Seek we freedom ?—Grecians, on! 
Freedom's field is Marathon! 

May, 1825. 

** Author's note: Themistocles.
*** Author's note: The well known reply of Leonidas to Xerxes. 

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