Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

Nero's Turn - Poem by Constantine P. Cavafy

Nero was not worried when he heard
the prophecy of the Delphic Oracle.
"Let him fear the seventy three years."
He still had ample time to enjoy himself.
He is thirty. More than sufficient
is the term the god allots him
to prepare for future perils.

Now he will return to Rome slightly tired,
but delightfully tired from this journey,
full of days of enjoyment --
at the theaters, the gardens, the gymnasia...
evenings at cities of Achaia...
Ah the delight of nude bodies, above all...

Thus fared Nero. And in Spain Galba
secretly assembles and drills his army,
the old man of seventy three.


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Read poems about / on: journey, future, fear, god, time, city



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Friday, March 23, 2012


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