Constantine P. Cavafy
Julian at the Mysteries
But when he found himself in darkness,
in the earth's awful depths,
with a group of unholy Greeks,
and bodiless figures appeared before him
with haloes of light,
the young Julian for a moment lost his nerve:
an impulse from his pious years came back
and he crossed himself.
The Figures vanished at once;
the haloes faded away, the lights went out.
The Greeks glanced at each other.
The young man said: 'Did you see the miracle?
I'm frightened, friends. I want to leave.
Didn't you see how the demons vanished
the second they saw me make the holy sign of the cross?'
The Greeks chuckled scornfully:
'Shame on you, shame, to talk that way
to us sophists and philosophers!
If you want to say things like that,
say them to the Bishop of Nicomedia and his priests.
The greatest gods of our glorious Greece
appeared before you.
And if they left, don't think for a minute
that they were frightened by a gesture.
It was just that when they saw you
making that vile, that crude sign,
their noble nature was disgusted
and they left you in contempt.'
This is what they said to him, and the fool
recovered from his holy, blessed fear,
convinced by the unholy words of the Greeks.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Julian at the Mysteries by Constantine P. Cavafy )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
- In The House of White Light, Virgil Suárez
- AND IT WAS WRITTEN, Stephen Karnaghan
- Legacy, Babatunde Aremu
- Prayer by the Fire, Mark R. Elias
- Race for flowers, Somanathan Iyer
- At the Pulpit, Mark R. Elias
- Pulling force, Somanathan Iyer
- Leo, Virgil Suárez
- a smile to remember a haiku, john tiong chunghoo
- Closure, Jack Growden