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

Greece: Sunium (Colonna), the Cape

The Sunian Pallas

By James Gates Percival (1795–1856)

BY Sunium’s rock I took my way

Along the blue Ægean sea,

That bright in golden sunset lay

Round the fair islands of the free:

A form of more than mortal mould

On the high rock sublimely rose;

The bosses of her buckler rolled

Like eyes of lightning on her foes:

I looked,—the blue-eyed goddess there

Stood glorious in the evening air.

She stood and raised her brazen lance,

That glittered like a meteor’s beam;

Its light below in quivering dance

Flashed gayly on the ocean stream:

Round her tall casque her plumy crest

Shook with a terrible sign of power,

And the grim Ægis on her breast

Told to the Turk his destined hour;

She spake,—and like the rush of flame

Her voice in awful murmurs came.

“Sons, worthy of your warrior sires!

Yours is the cause of earth and heaven.

Shame to the heart that faints or tires,

Till the last sacrifice is given!

Go fearlessly along your path,—

It mounts to liberty and fame;

Go, with an unrelenting wrath,

And conquer till the Turk is tame;

When the red fires of battle glare,

Remember,—I am with ye there.

“These rocks that rise so rudely round

Were consecrate to me of old;

Here the Athenian sternly bound,

For rapid fight, his mantle’s fold:

He saw the Persian tents below;

They filled and blackened all the plain;

He rushed,—and like a torrent’s flow,

Swept them, and hurled them to the main:

This was the wrath that made him free,

The fearless wrath of liberty.

“What if a cold and coward world

Leave ye to work your way alone,

Be the new banner never furled

Till liberty is all our own.

Tell them we ask no other aid

Than our own hearts in such a cause;

No, none but Freemen’s hands were made

To fight and win for equal laws.

Go, with a firm, confiding breast,—

Go, fight, and win the conqueror’s rest.”