Come, O King of the Lacedaimonians

Kratisiklia didn't allow
the people to see her weeping and grieving:
she walked in dignified silence.
Her calm face
betrayed nothing of her sorrow, her agony.
But even so, for a moment she couldn't hold back:
before she went aboard the detestable ship for Alexandria
she took her son to Poseidon's temple,
and when they were there alone
(he was "in great distress," says Plutarch, "badly shaken")
she embraced him tenderly and kissed him.
But then her strong character struggled through;
regaining her poise, the magnificent woman
said to Kleomenis: "Come, O King of the Lacedaimonians,
when we go outside
let no one see us
weeping or behaving in any way unworthy of Sparta.
At least this is still in our power;
what lies ahead is in the hands of the gods."

And she boarded the ship, going toward whatever lay
     "in the hands of gods".

Constantine P. Cavafy

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