—Why is it that such uneasiness has seized us all at once,
and such confusion? (How serious the faces have become.)
Why is it that the streets and squares are emptying so quickly,
and everyone’s returning home lost in thought?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come.
And some people have arrived from the borderlands,
and said there are no barbarians any more.
And now what’s to become of us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.
“Waiting for the Barbarians” by Constantine Cavafy