With words, expressions, fine manners
I shall build an excellent armor
So as to face vile men
Without fear or weakness.
Of course, they will try to harm me.
But none of those who approach me will know
Where my vulnerable spots are, where my wounds,
Underneath the falsities that cover me.
Such was the boast of Aimilianos Monaes.
Did he ever build that armor?
Whatever happened, he never was able to wear it.
He died, at Sicily, at age twenty-seven.
By C. P. Cavafis
Translated by Constantine Santas