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Envoys from Alexandria

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



They had not seen, for ages, such beautiful gifts in Delphi
as these that had been sent by the two brothers,
the rival Ptolemaic kings. After they had received them
however, the priests were uneasy about the oracle. They will need
all their experience to compose it with astuteness,
which of the two, which of such two will be displeased.
And they hold secret councils at night
and discuss the family affairs of the Lagidae.

But see, the envoys have returned. They are bidding farewell.
They are returning to Alexandria, they say. And they do not ask
for any oracle. And the priests hear this with joy
(of course they will keep the marvellous gifts),
but they also are utterly perplexed,
not understanding what this sudden indifference means.
For they are unaware that yesterday the envoys received grave news.
The oracle was given in Rome; the division took place there.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

45 sec read
73

Quick analysis:

Scheme XXXAXXXA XXXXXXXX
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 864
Words 152
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 8, 8

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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    "Envoys from Alexandria" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/7136/envoys-from-alexandria>.

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