Manuel Comnenos

The king kyr Manuel Comnenos
on a melancholy day in September
felt death near. The astrologers
(the paid ones) of the court babbled
that he was going to live for many more years.
But while they kept talking, he
remembers old pious customs,
and from the monks' cells he orders
for church vestments to be brought,
and wears them, and rejoices that he presents
the modest mien of a priest or a monk.

All are fortunate who believe,
and like the king kyr Manuel they end their days
most modestly dressed in their faith.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1915)

[ Greek original ]


Emperor Manuel I Comnenos (1143-1180) died on September 20th, 1180. Kyr (short for Kyrios) means lord, sire.

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(C) George Barbanis