March 15, 2007
The Persian Version
By Robert Graves
Truth-loving Persians do not dwell uponH/t dogle in the Lenin's Tomb thread. Note that the Hellenophile Graves is here mocking in parody the euphemistic and self-exonerating language of official military histories and dispatches that glossed over the carnage of war as he experienced it while an officer in the trenches of the Great, later First World, War; the war that future historians will record as the defining event of the following century, the century of which we are still a part - don't kid yourselves. Feel free to click a link at random; that's how they were added. Gosh darn, I love subtextural culture wars!
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.
As for the Greek theatrical tradition
Which represents that summer's expedition
Not as a mere reconnaissance in force
By three brigades of foot and one of horse
(Their left flank covered by some obsolete
Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)
But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt
To conquer Greece--they treat it with contempt;
And only incidentally refute
Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute
The Persian monarch and Persian nation
Won by this salutary demonstration:
Despite a strong defence and adverse weather
All arms combined magnificently together.