Fiery Passage

Fiery Passage

(Alexander the Great, 356-323 B.C.)

How could they stop the son of Zeus Ammon?
A god can overcome all opposition
Except from other gods. Mere superstition?
No, lad: it is a verity long known
And proven in this instance. With a groan,
Mere mortal potentates beheld his mission
Fulfilled in fulmination, not attrition.
His fiery passage unmade realms of stone.
This was a king to capture every pawn
And lord it over every rook that fell
Athwart his path. But then, in Babylon,
On his way to enlighten and compel
The West, he reached some limit and was gone.
What god defeated him we cannot tell.

—Tom Riley