Priest at the Serapeum

My dear old father,
who always loved me the same;
my dear old father I lament
who died the day before yesterday, just before dawn.

Jesus Christ, it is my daily effort
to observe the precepts
of Thy most holy church in all my acts,
in all words, in all thoughts.
And all those who renounce Thee
I shun.-- But now I lament;
I bewail, Christ, for my father
although he was -- a horrible thing to say --
a priest at the accursed Serapeum.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1926)

[ Greek original ]

Notes:

Serapeum: The famous temple of Serapis in Alexandria, built by Ptolemy I Soter around 300 BC and destroyed in 392 AD during the persecution of the pagans initiated by the Emperor Theodosius.


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(C) George Barbanis