The poem addresses Antony, now defeated and betrayed (according to legend, even his horse deserted him to go to his enemy Octavius). It asks him to just bid her farewell, Alexandria the city that is leaving him. It tells him not to mourn his luck, not to enter denial, not to believe that his ears and eyes are deceiving him. Antony, do not degrade yourself with empty hopes. Antony,
Just listen while shaken by emotion but not with the coward’s imploration and complaints.
While shaken with emotion. No stiff upper lip. There is nothing wrong and undignified with emotions—we are cut to have them. What is wrong is not following the heroic or, at least, the dignified path. That is what stoicism truly means. It is the attempt by man to get even with probability.