I marched in the second rank

I marched in the second rank
Of the vaunted phalanx.
The first line assembles the shield wall
The last pushes us over those who fall.

 Spear shield and helmet adorned
Unpolished dented used and worn.
We the whole trudge out to fight
Tight in step and by the right.

 The hedge of sarissas pierces the sky
Ataxia and ravage as the missiles fly.
The battle joined by the fickle gods might
We cannot withstand and turn to flight.

 My end comes unseen and without pause
To be given here for no great cause.
The top caste spent a token elision
To Hades gates I trek for admission.

The form of me left behind
In a cart they stack and line.
Not carried home atop the shield
Trundled home a sorrowful yield.

I marched in the second rank
Of the vaunted phalanx.
And did not ascend to lead men
Or to the last rank ascend.

Caught and cast in the middle
Fortunes did not allow me to fiddle.
Or decline to leave my remains
On the dusty unknown plains.

 

The End

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