Heeding ‘The Oracles’: AE Housman’s Poem about the Battle of Thermopylae

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle considers Housman’s poem about the defeat of the Spartans

’Tis mute, the word they went to hear on high Dodona mountain
When winds were in the oakenshaws and all the cauldrons tolled,
And mute’s the midland navel-stone beside the singing fountain,
And echoes list to silence now where gods told lies of old.

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