Down from Olympus

They came down from Olympus,
great warrior gods of old,
they came down from Olympus,
nakedly beautiful and bold.

They cared not for riches,
they came for the game.
Representing their city states,
bringing good fortune and fame.

They played on the field,
of steadfast courage and zeal.
They played with determination,
with nerves that were steel.

The games were quite simple,
of speed, balance and strength.
Skills that required much practice,
played out on the entire field's length.

There were races of great challenge,
discus, javelin, jumping and throwing.
Fairness and honor among competitors,
left the victorious among them glowing.

But there was no shame,
for those who lost.
They gave their all,
and that's what it cost.

For winning they were awarded,
an olive laurel to grace their head.
They feasted and drank wine,
and returned home without dread.

For though they had gone to fight,
and pride may have been injured,
bloody contest was just, not right.

Ancient Olympian on Pottery

Ancient Olympian on Pottery

It's been many years since I wrote a poem about
the Olympics. We owe the Greeks a lot for providing
us with forms of governing and friendly competition
between nation states. It would be wonderful if we
could settle our differences this way, in peace and
harmony like is happening right now in Brazil. The
ancient Olympics were held for 1000 years until they
were banned as pagan by Christian Emperor Theodosius in 393 A.D.

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