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Come, O King of the Lacedaimonians

Constantine P. Cavafy 1863 (Alexandria) – 1933 (Alexandria)

Kratisiklia didn't deign to allow
the people to see her weeping and grieving:
she walked in dignity and in silence.
Her calm face betrayed nothing
of her sorrow and her agony.
But even so, for a moment she couldn't hold back:
before she went aboard the detestable ship for Alexandria
she took her son to Poseidon's temple,
and once they were alone
she embraced him tenderly and kissed him
(he was "in great distress," says Plutarch, "badly shaken").
But her strong character struggled through;
regaining her poise, the magnificent woman
said to Kleomenis: "Come, O King of the Lacedaimonians,
when we go outside
let no one see us weeping
or behaving in any way unworthy of Sparta.
At least this is still in our power;
what lies ahead is in the hands of the gods."
 
And she boarded the ship, going toward whatever lay "in the
  hands of the gods."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

46 sec read
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Constantine P. Cavafy

Constantine P. Cavafy was a Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and worked as a journalist and civil servant. He published 154 poems; dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form. His most important poetry was written after his fortieth birthday. more…

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