Friday, February 24, 2012

49. Xerxes

Persia licked his wounds
Anger still festered deep inside
At the failed invasion of Greece.
His loyal servant, Darius passed away
With words to the scaly beast:
“Take my son Xerxes,” he said in dying breath,
“He will get the revenge you seek.”
The powerful!
The ruthless!
The immortal!
The conqueror!
The vengeful!
The conqueror!
As good as his father’s word
He built the dragon ships
By the thousands.
He raised armies
By the millions.
Attempted to bridge the Hellespont
But Poseidon wouldn’t cooperate.
He sent his mighty storms
To disrupt the dragon’s ships.
Xerxes whipped the mighty sea god
Three hundred times.
Then the god let them pass.
Knowing of Ares’ mighty men on the other side.
As Athena prepared her great wooden shield
The dragon sent heralds
Demanding sacrifices and offerings.
When they didn’t comply
They were marked for the dragon’s mighty fire.
Athena and Ares prepared for war.
Ares was given command of all forces.
Odds were against Greece.
Even Apollo at Delphi
Predicted they’d lose
Unless a mighty king made a great sacrifice.

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