'go tell it' (Fr 1584) 

By Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

To whom - is specified -

Not murmur - not endearment -

But simply - we - obeyed -

Obeyed - a Lure - a Longing?

Oh Nature - none of this -

To Law - said sweet Thermopylae

I give my dying Kiss -

 

 

Fr 1584 alludes to the inscribed epitaph — the lines attributed to the poet Simonides — laid on the burial mound, and spot of the final deaths, of the Spartan hoplites who fought the Persians at the pass of Thermopylae (Herodotus, 288): 

 

Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.

 

“Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here, obedient to their law, we lie.”

Image: 

Pato Bosich 

the return of the hero 

2019

Oil paint, silver leaf, adhesive, on printed paper

From the series 'The Dying Pythia' 

https://www.patobosich.com

 

©2020 Pericles at Play. Homepage paintings by Annabel Dover