The Senate of Callimachi


In Callimachi's halls are met
The chieftains of a noble line;
The fathers' spirit lingers yet,
To aid them in their high design;
The spirit that, in ancient days,
Called forth the boldest Spartan band,
With their own shields and breasts to raise
A living bulwark round their land.

The sound that erst in Hellas rang,
When War his brazen trumpet blew,
When shields returned the hollow clang,
And ready feet to battle flew, —
That sound in Sparta's vale is raised;
The Turkish bar and bolt are riven;
The fire that erst on oeta blazed,
In bolder eddies curls to heaven.

That flame o'er Spartan valor burned,
The brave three-hundred's funeral pyre!
Though now in Grecian earth inurned,
Their fame shall Grecian hearts inspire;
It blazes on the sacred rock,
It flashes o'er the hallowed glen;
Advance, ye Greeks! and breast the shock,
And show the world ye still are men.

The sons of sires, who knew no fear
When threatening foemen scaled their walls,
The light shall see, the sound shall hear,
And throng to Callimachi's halls:
The altar of their country burns;
They pledge their oath to liberty;
Their fathers answer from their urns,
" Be like us, sons, and ye are free. "

On old Messene's soil are met
The sons of Aristomenes;
Your ancient wrongs and feuds forget
In wrongs so foul, so deep, as these:
A new Aristodemus flings
His iron gauntlet on the foe;
At once, a nation's valor springs
To deal the liberating blow.

Who would not glow in such a cause?
Who not exult in such a name?
Blest be the sword each Maynote draws
To lop away his bonds and shame:
The fire is kindled in his soul;
The spirit flashes in his eye;
A nation's blended voices roll
The vow of freedom to the sky.

Leap from your tombs, ye men who stood
At Pylae and at Marathon;
The sire shall find his boiling blood
Throb in the bosom of his son:
Haste, demigods! with shield and spear,
And hover o'er the coming fight;
O, let the rocks of Sparta hear
The gathering word, " Unite! unite! "
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