Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

Manuel Comninos


One dreary September day
Emperor Manuel Komninos
felt his death was near.
The court astrologers -bribed, of course- went on babbling
about how many years he still had to live.
But while they were having their say,
he remebered an old religious custom
and ordered ecclesiastical vestments
to be brought from a monastery,
and he put them on, glad to assume
the modest image of a priest or monk.

Happy all those who believe,
and like Emperor Manuel end their lives
dressed modestly in their faith.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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