Brett Keegan 10-308 05-20-07

Religion 10E Mrs. Goulet

Sophomore assignment: Philia and Agape

Damon and Pythias

The shimmering stars, which glide above

Bare stark witness to a tale of love,

Though, not of maidens and charming knights—

'Tis a tale of friendship which reaches heaven's heights:

The myth of Damon and Pythias of ancient Greece

The two close friends, now intertwined in a starry peace.

In began in Syracuse when a vile king had a viler dream.

Dionysius, the king, dreamed of his death by a dagger's gleam.

And so, in response he arrested a man of the town—

His name, Pythias, his crime, killing the crown,

And despite the innocence that he professed,

The cruel, insidious king was unimpressed.

So the day was set when he would meet his fate.

A gleaming axe, would fall that date,

But Pythias had business to do before he was slew

And he needed some time to settle things through.

Well the king could not let him go free,

So a bargain was made between Pythias and he.

Damon, for now would take his friend's place,

And Pythias would complete his work by the king's grace.

If, however, Pythias would arrive late,

Then Dionysius would seal his friend's fate.

Damon came without hesitation, much to his friend's jubilation,

And Pythias left Dionysius still without celebration.

The tyrant asked Damon if he was afraid about the deal the three had made.

Damon was not and believed not a moment that he was betrayed.

And should Pythias be delayed by some evil force,

Then he would take his place in death without remorse.

Dionysius was stunned by such heartfelt trust

But eventually, he thought, this love will turn to dust.

By some luck of chance Pythias did not arrive.

And Dionysius was determined Damon would not survive.

The town came in droves when they heard what occurred.

And many cried, which Dionysius thought absurd.

He, himself, was not upset and didn't have anything to regret,

For he was to kill a man for trusting a foolish bet.

The decadent Dionysius taunted and jeered.

Damon, though, was calm as his death neared.

The axe was readied, and the Dionysius was cheering with joy.

The crowd, it cried, as Damon sat still, calm, and coy.

Then, moments before the orders were given

In ran a man tired but driven.

Now the crowd cheered and Dionysius cried

As noble Pythias ran inside.

The two friends hugged, both relived,

And Dionysius was touched by a friendship he had not conceived.

He dropped the orders at his heart's request

And joined the crowed in a joyful fanfest.

The once grim king wanted a friend like the two.

And so the three of them pledged forever to be true.

Pythias and Damon were friends once more,

And Dionysius and two more friends than he had before.

And now, you see, the tale is done

As friendship, and philia, have once more won