Did he die? The Canon
Print
Where did the Sage withdraw, where did he disappear?
After his many miracles,
after the fame of his teaching
had spread among a number of nations,
he suddenly hid himself, and none had heard
for certain, what had befallen him
(nor had anyone seen his grave).
It was rumoured by some that he died at Ephesus.
But Damis did not write of this; Damis did not write
anything about the death of Apollonius.
Others said that he vanished at Lindus.
Or is the tale true,
that he ascended to heaven, in Crete,
in the ancient sanctuary of Dictynna?
But then, we have his wondrous,
supernatural apparition,
to a young student at Tyana.
Perhaps, the day is not yet come for him to return,
to appear again to the world;
or perhaps, transfigured, he wanders
undetected among us. But he will reappear
as he was, teaching the right word; and then he will
certainly restore the worship of our Gods,
and our beautiful Greek festivals.
Thus did one of the few pagans,
the very few that still remained,
muse in his lowly dwelling,
after reading Philostratus book:
Concerning Apollonius of Tyana.
He was withal, a faint-hearted man and of no consequence,
In public, he pretended that he was
a Christian and attended the Church.
It was the time when the aged Justin
ruled with great piety;
and Alexandria, a God-fearing city,
abhorred the wicked idolaters.

Translated by George Valassopoulo

(Poèmes de C.P. Cavafy, Échanges 5, Décembre 1931)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

- Translation by John Cavafy