This rich if none too favourable description of the Greeks – ‘hatched from the slag we cast five centuries ago’ – has a couple of fine metaphors, including ‘our speech like footless crockery in their mouths’ and the idea that an offer of diplomacy is like ‘giving strawberries to a dog’.
Sadly, three thousand years on, we still face the onslaughts of people impelled by hate, for whom peace is a crime.
‘They are a swarm of lawless malcontents
Hatched from the slag we cast five centuries ago,
Tied to the whim of their disgusting gods,
Knowing no quietude until they take
All quiet from the world. Ambitious, driven, thieves.
Our speech, like footless crockery in their mouths.
Their way of life, perpetual war.
Inspired by violence, compelled by hate,
Peace is a crime to them, and offers of diplomacy
Like giving strawberries to a dog.’
Source: Christopher Logue, War Music, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 48-49