Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Greece: Sunium (Colonna), the Cape
The Sunian Pallas
James Gates Percival (1795–1856)
 
BY Sunium’s rock I took my way
  Along the blue Ægean sea,
That bright in golden sunset lay
  Round the fair islands of the free:
A form of more than mortal mould        5
  On the high rock sublimely rose;
The bosses of her buckler rolled
  Like eyes of lightning on her foes:
I looked,—the blue-eyed goddess there
Stood glorious in the evening air.        10
 
She stood and raised her brazen lance,
  That glittered like a meteor’s beam;
Its light below in quivering dance
  Flashed gayly on the ocean stream:
Round her tall casque her plumy crest        15
  Shook with a terrible sign of power,
And the grim Ægis on her breast
  Told to the Turk his destined hour;
She spake,—and like the rush of flame
Her voice in awful murmurs came.        20
 
“Sons, worthy of your warrior sires!
  Yours is the cause of earth and heaven.
Shame to the heart that faints or tires,
  Till the last sacrifice is given!
Go fearlessly along your path,—        25
  It mounts to liberty and fame;
Go, with an unrelenting wrath,
  And conquer till the Turk is tame;
When the red fires of battle glare,
Remember,—I am with ye there.        30
 
“These rocks that rise so rudely round
  Were consecrate to me of old;
Here the Athenian sternly bound,
  For rapid fight, his mantle’s fold:
He saw the Persian tents below;        35
  They filled and blackened all the plain;
He rushed,—and like a torrent’s flow,
  Swept them, and hurled them to the main:
This was the wrath that made him free,
The fearless wrath of liberty.        40
 
“What if a cold and coward world
  Leave ye to work your way alone,
Be the new banner never furled
  Till liberty is all our own.
Tell them we ask no other aid        45
  Than our own hearts in such a cause;
No, none but Freemen’s hands were made
To fight and win for equal laws.
Go, with a firm, confiding breast,—
Go, fight, and win the conqueror’s rest.”        50
 
 
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