14 May On the March to Sinopi
On the March to Sinopi
Mithridatis, glorious and powerful,
ruler of great cities,
master of strong armies and fleets,
on the march to Sinopi took a route
through a remote part of the country
where a soothsayer lived.
Mithridatis sent one of his officers
to ask the soothsayer how much more property,
how much more power, he’d accumulate in the future.
He dispatched one of his officers,
then continued his march to Sinopi.
The soothsayer withdrew into a secret room.
About half an hour later he came out, troubled,
and said to the officer:
“I wasn’t able to clarify things very well.
Today’s not a propitious day-
there were some murky shadows, I didn’t understand them fully-
but I think the king should be content with what he has.
Anything more will prove dangerous.
Remember, officer, to tell him that:
for God’s sake to be satisfied with what he has.
Fortune changes suddenly.
Tell King Mithridatis that it’s extremely rare
to come across anyone like his ancestor’s companion, that noble companion
who wrote in the earth with his lance
those timely words that saved him: ‘Escape, Mithridatis’.”
Constantine P. Cavafy