Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Marathon


By Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton (1809–1885)

I COULD believe that under such a sky,

Thus grave, thus streakt with thunderlight, of yore

The small Athenian troop rushed onward, more

As Bacchanals than men about to die.

How weak that massive, motley enemy

Seemed to those hearts, full-fed on that high lore,

Which, for their use, in his melodious store,

Old Homer had laid up immortally.

Thus Marathon was Troy,—thus here again

They were at issue with the barbarous East,

And favoring Gods spoke out, and walkt the plain;

And every man was an anointed priest

Of Nemesis, empoweréd to chastise

The rampant insolence that would not be made wise.