The Beacon Fires
A GLEAM -- a gleam -- from Ida's height,
By the Fire-god sent, it came;
From watch to watch it leapt, that light,
As a rider rode the flame!
It shot through the startled sky,
And the torch of that blazing glory
Old Lemnos caught on high,
On its holy promontory,
And sent it on, the jocund sign,
To Athos, Mount of Jove divine.
Wildly the while, it rose from the isle,
So that the might of the journeying Light
Skimmed over the back of the gleaming brine!
Farther and faster speeds it on,
Till the watch that keeps Macistus steep
See it burst like a blazing Sun!
Doth Macistus sleep
On his tower-clad steep?
No! rapid and red doth the wild fire sweep;
It flashes afar on the wayward stream
Of the wild Euripus, the rushing beam!
It rouses the light on Messapion's height,
And they feed its breath with the withered heath.
But it may not stay!
And away -- away --
It bounds in its freshening might.
Silent and soon,
Like a broadened moon,
It passes in sheen, Asopus green,
And bursts on Cithaeron gray!
The warder wakes to the Signal-rays,
And it swoops from the hill with a broader blaze.
On, on the fiery Glory rode;
Thy lonely lake, Gorgopis, glowed!
To Megara's Mount it came;
They feed it again
And it streams amain--
A giant beard of Flame!
The headland cliffs that darkly down
O'er the Saronic waters frown,
Are passed with the Swift One's lurid stride,
And the huge rock glares on the glaring tide.
With mightier march and fiercer power
It gained Arachne's neighboring tower;
Thence on our Argive roof its rest it won,
Of Ida's fire the long-descended Son!
Bright Harbinger of glory and of joy!
So first and last with equal honor crowned,
In solemn feasts the race-torch circles round. --
And these my heralds! -- this my SIGN OF PEACE;
Lo! while we breathe, the victor lords of Greece
Stalk, in stern tumult, through the halls of Troy!
Aeschylus's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Beacon Fires by Aeschylus )
- losing leaves, Leah Dodd
- Worthy, Galina Italyanskaya
- Often I Am Reminded, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- God Knows, Galina Italyanskaya
- 'Samantha', Mpho Tsakata
- They do as they want, Nassy Fesharaki
- Oh, Dani, Mr. Spock
- The Day Will Come, Mitta Xinindlu
- Unrequited Love, Amber Carr
- Easy It Is To Forget, Lawrence S. Pertillar
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Woman Work, Maya Angelou
- And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- Heather Burns
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)