The Fearless 300

The Fearless 300 © Rudolph 1993 

“The Fearless 300,” written by Christopher Rudolph, is a poem about the Spartans that fought in the Battle of Thermopylae. Led by King Leonidas, they held back the Persians for three days.

  • “The Fearless 300” is published in the book, Father and Son – Rite of Passage (pages 54-56), written by Neil Campbell.

Four Hundred and Eighty years
before Christ
the fearless 300
paid with their lives
The bravest men
that fought side by side
They fought the fiercest battle
until they all had died 

The Persians were marching
300 hundred thousand strong
Xerxes determined to 
do Greece some wrong
They burned and destroyed
as they moved from 
town to town
These Greeks they laughed
are nothing but clowns 

They came to the Hot Gates
of Thermopylae
Where three armed men
could hold a company at bay
There was no way around
except the narrowest of paths
They’d have to forge ahead
and risk an attack 

The Persians found
the path was blocked
A Spartan King
sprang from the rocks
With a spear in his hands
and Greeks at his heels
they drove back the Persians
The path had been sealed  

A traitor went to Xerxes
and told him a way
A secret path around
Thermopylae
He said, “If I succeed you will pay me well
If I fail, you can have my head” 

The secret path was real
and they attacked from the rear
The Greeks were doomed to
die right there
The Spartan King Leonidas
ordered a decree
The Spartans will stay
but the others must flee

“Go warn Athens
Prepare for war!
The Persians are coming
and they want to fight some more”
The Spartans held for three long days
Fighting with spears
they drove them away 

When their spears were broken
they fought with their daggers
When their daggers were broken
they fought with their hands
Until all 300
had died for their land

The Oracle at Delphi
had sealed his fate
King Leonidas
died at the Hot Gates 

The descendent of Hercules lay on
the mound of the slain
His men bought Greece some time
They didn’t die in vain       

                   by – Christopher Rudolph

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