Julian, observing contempt

C. P. Cavafy

“Therefore observing that there is much contempt
for the gods among us” – he says severely.
Contempt. But what did he expect, really?
Let him found a new religious order, if that’s what he wanted.
Let him write to the High-priest of Galatia, or others in that mob,
with prompts and commands to his heart’s content.
His friends were not Christian;
that much was positive. But they couldn’t what’s more
cavort like him (brought up a Christian)
with the precepts of a new religion,
absurd in both theory and practice.
They were Greeks, after all. Nothing in excess, Caesar.

[Published 1923]

Original Greek Poem