Said Myrtias (a Syrian student
in Alexandria; during the reign
of the augustus Constans and the augustus Constantius;
partly pagan, and partly Christianized):
“Strengthened by contemplation and study,
I will not fear my passions like a coward.
My body I will give to pleasures,
to diversions that I’ve dreamed of,
to the most daring erotic desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear at all, for whenever I will—
and I will have the will, strengthened
as I’ll be with contemplation and study—
at the crucial moments I’ll recover
my spirit as was before: ascetic.”

C. P. Cavafy, “Dangerous”, in Collected Poems, translated by Daniel Mendelsohn