Friday, 30 May 2008

Theophilos Paleologos

This is the last year, this the last
of the Greek emperors. And, alas,
how sadly those around him talk.
Kyr Theophilos Paleologos
in his grief, in his despair, says:
“I would rather die than live.”

Ah, Kyr Theophilos Paleologos,
how much of the pathos, the yearning of our race,
how much weariness
(such exhaustion from injustice and persecution)
your six tragic words contained.

(Constantine Cavafy)

* Theophilos Paleologos, a kinsman of the emperor, shouted out “I would rather die than live” as the Turks penetrated the City's walls and he charged into them, sword in hand.

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