Nero's Deadline

Nero wasn't worried at all when he heard
what the Delphic Oracle had to say:
"Beware the age of seventy-three."
Plenty of time to enjoy himself.
He's thirty. The deadline
the god has given him is quite enough
to cope with future dangers.

Now, a little tired, he'll return to Rome--
but wondefully tired from that journey
devoted entirely to pleasure:
theatres, garden parties, stadiums...
evenings in the cities of Achaia...
and, above all, the delight of naked bodies...

So much for Nero. And in Spain Galba
secretly musters and drills his army--
Galba, now in his seventy-third year.

Constantine P. Cavafy

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