In Alexandria, 31 B.C. The Canon
From his village near the outskirts of town,
still dust-covered from the journey in,
the peddler arrives. And “Incense!” “Gum!”
“The best olive oil!” “Perfume for your hair!”
he hawks through the streets. But with all the hubbub,
the music, the parades, who can hear him?
The crowd shoves him, drags him along, knocks him around.
And when he asks, now totally confused, “What’s going on here?”
someone tosses him too the huge palace lie:
that Antony is winning in Greece.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem