King Leonardis held his stabbing sword
For one more final thrust –
He’d kill another Persian lord
Before he ate the dust.
His bloody face surveyed the horde
And his victim he loudly cussed,
As from his mouth the spittle flew
While he ran the bastard through.
The sword hit flesh and then the bone;
The satrap froze in pain.
He knew his fighting days were done;
Spartan steel had killed again.
Praying to his Lord he fell – just one
Of hundreds the King had slain
On that date at the Western Gate
When Greece would meet her fate.
The Spartan King was weakening fast –
For three days he had fought,
His few warriors bravely cast
To stall this juggernaut.
Each would fight until the last
In the face of this onslaught,
Whilst warlike with every strike
They fell to deadly pike.
The Spartan few did a circle form;
But no quarter would they pray
Better to die in the Persian storm –
They would the Asian slay.
Heroic deeds they would perform
With danger to outweigh.
Heroes all couldn’t walk away
From that Hellican pathway.
With bleeding wounds and shattered head
Leonardis tumbled to the ground.
Another thrust – more blood he shed
As he lay on the battleground.
A scimitar slashed and he was dead,
This Spartan king renowned;
In silent prayer, they ceased warfare
To simply stand and stare.
The pause was brief – the Spartans fell
To the spears of the invading force,
Heroes all, only Gods to tell
Of how their blood had coursed;
To face the hell of the final death knell,
To fight without resource.
Honour was theirs – they’d died with pride
In this legendary suicide.
As Persians through the pass did fly,
The body of the King was cast aside.
‘Athens next’ was the invaders’ cry.
Their grip on Greece intensified,
Sack the city and her Gods defy –
Only then would they be satisfied –
With Athens the world would be theirs,
The King of Kings, ruler everywhere.
But Spartan valour the Greeks did glorify
As they united nationwide –
T’was the invaders’ turn to die
With fleet wrecked by wind and tide.
Now the Spartans live on at Thermopalae
For in the pass, by that mountainside,
Carved on memorial rock is this proud cry:
‘Go tell the Spartans, passer-by, that here, by Spartan law, we lie’.