Myrtias – Collection Ioanna Lemoniadis & Marcos Karageorgis, Chios

Dangerous thoughts

Said Myrtias (a Syrian student

in Alexandria during the reign

of the Emperor Konstans and the Emperor Konstantios;

in part a heathen, in part christianized):

“Strengthened by study and reflection.

I won’t fear my passions like a coward;

I’ll give my body to sensual pleasures,

to enjoyments I’ve dreamed of,

to the most audacious erotic desires,

to the lascivious impulses of my blood,

with no fear at all, because when I wish—

and I’ll have the will-power, strengthened

as I shall be by study and reflection—

when I wish, at critical moments I will recover

my spirit, ascetic as it was before.”


                                                     Constantine  Cavafis

                                  Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard