The poem describes the feast that Alexander the Great gives after he captures Persepolis. At the feast, there is a bard called Timotheus, who accompanies the event with his performance. First, he starts with the glorification of Alexander, which capture’s the king’s attention, as it appeals to his sense of pride. Later, Timotheus sings praise to Bacchus, the god of wine. This shift encourages Alexander to drink.
To calm Alexander down, Timotheus switches to a sadder tune about the dead Persian king Darius. Afterwards he praises the beauty of Thais, who is portrayed as Alexander’s lover. At last, Timotheus sings of vengeance, which results in Alexander and Thais setting fire to Persepolis as a form of revenge for the actions of former Persian king Xerxes in Greece.