Manuel Komninos

One sad September day
Emperor Manuel Komninos
felt his death was near.
The court astrologers -paid, of course- kept on insisting
that he still had many years to live.
But while they were having their say,
he remembered an old religious custom
and ordered ecclesiastical vestments
to be brought from a monastery,
and he put them on, glad to appear
modestly dressed like a priest or monk.

Happy all those who believe,
and like Emperor Manuel end their lives
dressed modestly in their faith.

Constantine P. Cavafy

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