Poiseidon's waters roil and roar
All up and down the craggy coast;
Their winedark waves have brought the host
Of foreign men all drunk for glory,
For the sake of one man's vanity
They traveled to your alien shore
To write with blood and bone a story
Of the Gods' capriciousness towards men,
Of passion's triumph over sanity
Which they shall repeat: again, again.
The men will surge against your city walls
Ten long and doleful years;
As your children, born to violence, shriek, and widows' tears
Appeal to you, their hero Prince,
To drive them back to whence they came
As your father walks the palace halls,
As does his shade now, ever since -
Ever since you went out to face the foe
And pass to time your noble name,
Their legend and their martyr, hope and woe.
It would be asked by what Creed you chose to live
Before you fell to the Fates' perversity,
Before their undeserving Champion dragged you 'round the city.
"Honor the Gods", you said, cruel though they may be.
"Defend your Country", you said, though it be doomed.
"Love your Women", you said, as only they can give
Meaning to the madness from across the sea.
Your father forced to beg for your battered corpse; so many dead,
Their faces still now, 'neath the swaying plumes
Of shining helmets, others waiting in their stead.
"Honor the Gods
Defend your Country
Love your women."
- Oh you grey heads who start your wars for Pride,
Go ask Andromache's ghost
What it meant to her.