Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Introductory to Persia

The Persians

By Æschylus (525–456 B.C.)

Translated by E. H. Plumptre

FROM Ecbatana departing,

Or Susa, or the Kissian fortress,

Forth they sped upon their journey,

Some in ships, and some on horses,

Some on foot, still onward marching,

In their close array presenting

Squadrons duly armed for battle:

Then Amistres, Artaphernes,

Megabazes and Astaspes,

Mighty leaders of the Persians,

Kings, and of the great king servants,

March, the chiefs of mighty armies.

Archers they and mounted horsemen,

Dread to look on, fierce in battle,

Artembares, horse-controller,

And Masistres and Imæos,

Archer famed, and Pharandakes,

And the charioteer Sosthanes;

Neilos mighty and prolific

Sent forth others, Susiskanes,

Pegastagon, born in Egypt,

And the chief of sacred Memphis;

Great Arsames, Ariomardos,

Ruler of primeval Thebæ,

And the marshmen and the rowers,

Dread and in their number countless,

And their fellow crowds of Lydians,

Very delicate and stately,

Who the people of the mainlands

Rule throughout,—whom Mitragathes

And brave Arkteus, kingly chieftains,

And Sardis, gold-abounding, send forth,

Riding on their many chariots,

Three or four abreast their horses,

Sight to look upon all dreadful!

And the men of sacred Tmolos

Rush to place the yoke of bondage

On the neck of conquered Hellas.

Mardon, Tharybis, spear-anvils,

And the Mysians, javelin-darting,

Babylon, too, gold-abounding,

Sends a mingled crowd, swept onward,

Both the troops who man the vessels,

And the skilled and trustful archers;

And the race the sword that beareth,

Follows from each clime of Asia,

At the great king’s dread commandment.

These, the bloom of Persia’s greatness,

Now are gone forth to the battle;

And for these, their mother country,

Asia, mourns with mighty yearning;

Wives and mothers faint with trembling

Through the hours that slowly linger,

Counting each day as it passes.