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Caesarion Analysis

Author: Poetry of C.P. Cavafy Type: Poetry Views: 155

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1918Partly to verify an era,

partly also to pass the time,

last night I picked up a collection

of Ptolemaic epigrams to read.

The plentiful praises and flatteries

for everyone are similar. They are all brilliant,

glorious, mighty, beneficent;

each of their enterprises the wisest.

If you talk of the women of that breed, they too,

all the Berenices and Cleopatras are admirable.When I had managed to verify the era

I would have put the book away, had not a small

and insignificant mention of king Caesarion

immediately attracted my attention.....Behold, you came with your vague

charm. In history only a few

lines are found about you,

and so I molded you more freely in my mind.

I molded you handsome and sentimental.

My art gives to your face

a dreamy compassionate beauty.

And so fully did I envision you,

that late last night, as my lamp

was going out -- I let go out on purpose --

I fancied that you entered my room,

it seemed that you stood before me; as you might have been

in vanquished Alexandria,

pale and tired, idealistic in your sorrow,

still hoping that they would pity you,

the wicked -- who whispered "Too many Caesars."


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