Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Nero's Deadline

Nero wasn't troubled when he heard
the Delphic Oracle's prophecy.
"Let him beware the age of seventy-three."
He still had time to enjoy himself.
He is thirty years old. It's quite sufficient,
the deadline that the god is giving him,
for him to think about dangers yet to come.

Now to Rome he'll be returning a little wearied,
but exquisitely wearied by this trip,
which had been wholly devoted to days of delight -
in the theaters, in the gardens, the gymnasia…
Evenings of the cities of Achaea…
Ah, the pleasure of naked bodies above all…

So Nero. And in Spain, Galba
is secretly assembling his army and preparing it:
the old man, seventy-three years old.

- Constantine Cavafy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AARRRGGGHHHH! DEATH!!! DEATH TO ALL ROMANS!!!....oh, excuse me--I just finished up watching that INCREDIBLE, INTENSE fairly recent cable TV series "Spartacus"(4 seasons worth), that I got cheap DVD copies off'n Amazon. Highly recommended if you can handle the extreme violence. And aren't too squeamish. And don't mind being depressed. Or bothered by pornography. I know I'M ready to start the FOURTH servile rebellion myself after watching it.....And what a coincidence--Nero is featured in this month's National Geographic magazine!...L. B.