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Was at the Granicus you braved
The Persian cavalry and saved
His life; the one they now call great,
But Cleitus, why do you tempt fate?
For with the drink, your talk betrays
Your distaste for his Asian ways.
You, at this feast in Marakanda,
Taunt your King with jibes and slander;
Scorn him for his vanity;
Call his demands insanity.
Cleitus, too far you push your King;
Your painful words, they wound and sting
Yet still you blaspheme and offend;
There’s but one way this night will end.

When in your cups you spoke your mind
While your companions all were blind,
Now lifeless is the hand that held
The sword that Spithridates felled.
He owed his life to you it’s sure,
His friend in peace, comrade in war;
Who would have thought you’d one day fear
From Alexander’s hand – a spear?

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