a call to arms against the cimmerian invaders

When will you show some courage, young comrades?
How long will you lie back and do nothing?
Lazing in shabby peace on our land bled by war,
have you no shame before the neighboring townsmen?

Let each man hurl his spear once more before he dies,
for glory dazzles on our helmets when we battle
the enemy for farmland and children and true wife.
Death will come only when the web of destiny is spun.
So move out, charge into the barbarous ranks
with spear held high and shield gripping a brave heart.
From death there is no escape; all men face the dark,
even those with blood of gods in their veins.

Often a man flees from the clash and thud of spears
and comes home to fall into sudden doom,
but he is neither loved nor missed by his townsmen.

Yet when a hero dies the great and small shed tears;
by a whole people a brave warrior is mourned.
In life he seems a demigod before the crowd;
as a marble pillar they look upon his strength,
for all alone he does the great deeds of an army.

Kallinos

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