|Come, O King of the Lacedaimonians ||The Canon
|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.”
|Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard|
|(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992) |
|- Original Greek Poem