A Great Procession of Priests and Laymen
A procession of priests and laymen-
each walk of life represented-
moves through streets and squares and gates
of the famous city, Antioch.
At the head of this imposing procession
a handsome white-clad boy
carries the Cross, his arms raised-
our strength and hope, the holy Cross.
The pagans, lately so full of arrogance,
have lost their nerve now
and slink away from the procession:
let them keep away, always keep away from us
(as long as they don't renounce their errors).
The holy Cross goes forward; it brings joy and consolation
to every quarter where Christians live;
and these God-fearing people, full of gladness,
stand in their doorways and greet it reverently,
the strength, the salvation of the universe, the Cross.
This is an annual Christian festival.
But today, you see, it's more conspicuous.
The empire is delivered at last.
The unholy, the appalling Julian
reigns no longer.
For most pious Jovian let us give our prayers.
Constantine P. Cavafy
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