Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast

c. 300 / Rome

We Who Are About to Die Salute You

Tags:
,
,
,
,

I see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand—his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his droop’d head sinks gradually low—
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder shower; and now
The arena swims around him—he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hail’d the wretch who won.

He heard it, but he heeded not—his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck’d not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother—he, their sire,
Butcher’d to make a Roman holiday—
All this rush’d with his blood—Shall he expire,
And unavenged?—Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!

Bookmark and Share
Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Comments Post a Comment »

  • Wondering if anyone else thinks this poem may have inspired Ridley's Scott's finale for Maximus (Russell Crowe) in "Gladiator"?

    Posted by John on Tue 27 Nov 2012

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Published In
Sports & Games
About the Author

Lord Byron, from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Called by Lady Caroline Lamb “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Byron boasted of having slept with two hundred women in as many nights while in Venice. The great Romantic poet joined independence movements in Italy and Greece, where he died at the age of thirty-six on Easter Monday in 1824.

A win always seems shallow: it is the loss that is so profound and suggests nasty infinities.
E.M. Forster, 1919
Visual Aids
Rites of Passage Coming-of-age rituals from around the world.
Art, Photography, & Illustrations View a selection of art from our latest issue.
Charts & Graphs All of our charts and graphs, pulled from the pages of Lapham’s Quarterly.
Events & News
June 2 / Tickets for the DECADES BALL are available now. Join us at our yearly gala to celebrate the 1870s with readings from the Quarterly with stars of stage and screen. More
Apropos

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Subscribe
Current Issue Youth Summer 2014
Blogs

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Robert Weide
Robert B. Weide talks about his decades-long production of a documentary on Kurt Vonnegut due to be released in 2015.
Eponym
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues