by A.E. Stallings

I think, what brought you to this pass?
Heroes lie thick, anonymous,
Blurred with honorable mention
In mass graves of fine intention,
And yet even now dreams yield
On their unequal battlefield
Betrayal's still familiar face,
The name that nothing can erase,
Not even final victory.
Sleep has no sense of history:
Even now I lose the day,
Always look the other way,
While old treachery awaits
The heart's warm springs, its hot gates.

THERMOPYLAE by C.P. Cavafy (translated from the Greek)

Honor to those who in the life they lead
define and guard a Thermopylae.
Never betraying what is right,
consistent and just in all they do
but showing pity also, and compassion;
generous when they're rich, and when they're poor,
still generous in small ways,
still helping as much as they can;
always speaking the truth,
yet without hating those who lie.
And even more honor is due to them
when they foresee (as many do foresee)
that Ephialtis will turn up in the end,
that the Medes will break through after all.