One of their Gods

When one of them passed through the market place
of Seleucia, toward the hour that night falls
as a tall and perfectly handsome youth,
with the joy of immortality in his eyes,
with his scented black hair,
the passers-by would stare at him
and one would ask the other if he knew him,
and if he were a Greek of Syria, or a stranger. But some,
who watched with greater attention,
would understand and stand aside;
and as he vanished under the arcades,
into the shadows and into the lights of the evening,
heading toward the district that lives
only at night, with orgies and debauchery,
and every sort of drunkenness and lust,
they would ponder which of Them he might be,
and for what suspect enjoyment
he had descended to the streets of Seleucia
from the Venerable, Most Hallowed Halls.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1917)

[ Greek original ]
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(C) George Barbanis