MANUEL COMNENUS

The emperor Kyr Manuel Comnenus,
on a September melancholy day,
felt death draw near. Astrologers
(those spongers) of the court kept muttering
that he would live for many many years.
But while they still rehearsed their piece, he came
to recollect old pious usages,
and, from monastic cells, commands
they bring him garments of the church
that he puts on in joy, to show
the solemn countenance of monk or priest.


Blessed are all those who so believe,
and like the emperor Kyr Manuel end up
in their deep faith so solemnly arrayed.

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