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August 4, 2015

Constantine Cavafy "The Holy Seven Youths" (1925)


The Holy Seven Youths (1925)

By Constantine Cavafy

The Holy Youths of Ephesus who
fled to the cave to hide
from the persecution of the gentile, and there they slept
and on the next day they awoke. Next day for them.
For meanwhile, almost two centuries had elapsed.

One of them, Iamblichos, awoke
the next day and went to buy bread,
and he saw before him another Ephesus,
entirely sanctified with churches, and crosses.

And the Holy Seven Youths rejoiced,
and the Christians honored them and venerated them,
and the emperor came from Constantinople,
Theodosius, the son of Arcadius,
and the most pious one venerated them, as was fitting.

And the Holy Seven Youths rejoiced
for this beautiful world, and Christian,
sanctified with churches, and crosses.

But with everything that was so different,
and all that they had to learn and say,
(and such strong joy perhaps exhausts also)
the Holy Seven Youths quickly grew tired,
for they came from another world, nearly two centuries prior,
and they became sleepy amid conversation
and their holy eyes shut.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.