King Dimitrios The Canon
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                                                Not like a king but an actor he put
                                                on a gray cloak instead of his royal
                                                one and secretly went away.
 
                                                Plutarch, Life of Dimitrios
 
 
When the Macedonians deserted him
and showed they preferred Pyrrhos,
King Dimitrios (a noble soul) didn’t behave
—so they said—
at all like a king.
He took off his golden robes,
threw away his purple buskins,
and quickly dressing himself
in simple clothes, he slipped out—
just like an actor who,
the play over,
changes his costume and goes away..


Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by John Cavafy