Manuel Comnenus The Canon
The emperor kyr Manuel Comnenus,
upon a melancholy September day,
felt that his end was near. The astrologers
(those who were paid a stipend at the court)
prated of many years still left to him.
While these, however, were discoursing, he —
remembering pious customs of the past —
sends to the monks and gets him from the cells
ecclesiastical habiliments,
and puts them on rejoicing to present
the modest aspect of a priest or monk.
Happy are all they that reverently believe,
and, like the emperor kyr Manuel, end
apparelled in their faith decorously.

Translated by John Cavafy

(Poems by C. P. Cavafy. Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard