A LEADER OUT OF WESTERN LIBYA

In general he was well liked in Alexandria
all the ten days he spent while on a visit there,
this leader out of Western Libya,
this Aristomenes, of Menelaus son.
In what he wore, as in his name, discreetly, Greek.
He was well pleased with all his honors, yet
he never sought them. Self-effacing he was known to be.
He bought a number of Greek books,
mostly of history and of philosophy;
above all, though, no wordy man was he.
He was a thinker, it was widely said,
and one like him will never talk too much.


Neither a thinking man was he, nor anything.
He was a nobody, a funny slob.
He took a Greek name, like the Greeks he dressed,
and learned somehow to act as if he were a Greek;
but in his heart he shuddered at the thought
that he would spoil the rather good impression he had made
by mouthing awful barbarisms in his Greek;
with that these Alexandrians would have a ball
and jeer at him, as is their wont, the wags.


And so he would confine himself to only a few words,
with anxious care to his declensions and delivery,
the while he deeply felt the misery
of much palaver all pent up inside of him.

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