Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Two Songs of a Mercenary
from Archilochus


The spear is my rough wine, as it is my bread,

and even when I’m drinking my spear is ready.


My shield (not its fault) is making some tribesman’s day,

picked from the bush in which I threw it away.

I didn’t want to, but I saved my skin.  Good-bye

that shield.  I shall get one no worse quite easily.