Under the Wings of Leonidas

A gentle breeze brushes the Spartan’s backs,

Chilling beads of sweat upon their skin.

The Persians ready for their last attack.

The Spartan’s odds were not to win.

~

Standing boot to boot with all their brothers,

Muted murmurs shown love to one another.

The air was dry and the sun burned hot,

It wasn’t the perfect day to die,

But it was the best they’d got.

~

Not one of them would cry.

~

Under the wings of Leonidas,

They were reaching for the sky.

~

Too bad the sky was full of arrows.

For now, a few of them would die.

~

There was no more singing for the sparrows,

As the world drowned in fierce war-cries.

The next wave of Xerxes men approached –

The Spartan position, so they would encroach –

To ensure that every single one would die.

~

After two fulls days of Greek men fighting,

They’d be thankful for their reprieve.

Heavens arms were looking quite inviting,

May their mother’s rest easy in their grief.

~

From the front advanced 10,000 strong,

From the flank, the Persian’s finest.

The Immortals sought to end their song.

The Spartans sought to prove them spineless.

~

The first wave of Persians crashed upon their shields,

Spartan spears stabbed, cracked and shattered.

When spears broke, short-swords found hands of the battered.

Until finally through blood, sweat and rage,

A volley of arrows fell to clear the stage.

Nothing but blood, guts and brains remained,

To leave that hallowed Earth completely stained.


The 300 Spartans plus a number of other Greek soldiers, under the leadership of King Leonidas, stayed behind at the passage of Thermopylae and acted as a rear guard for retreating allies. It is estimated that they had saved the lives of around 3000 Greek allies by delaying the Persian advance as those Greek soldiers escaped. May their heroism, courage and selflessness never be forgotten.

32 thoughts on “Under the Wings of Leonidas

  1. Lovely poem. And great voice! I did some reading of poems for a podcast but I’m so nervous that it has yet to see the light of day.
    I’ve seen a lot of documentary about Spartan soldiers and how they come to be and this poem just reminded me the bitter life they lead.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh I’m great. Thanks for asking. As I mention to a couple of bloggers I’m in a place with no phone signal, but I’m enjoying because I’m surrounded by peaceful nature and far from city stress.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’ve improved it and now I’m okay with it ;P Thank you ma dear. I’ve found that if I record it one section at a time it’s much easier not to get tongue tied! So of those rhymes are hard to read through in one go without getting twisted. ❤ Thank you thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it Mathew, you have a wonderful voice. A voice I can relax to and listen to it for hours.
    Thank you for doing it my friend.
    I cheer on you. I hope you read more of your poems so I can listen❤️
    Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

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