“Che Fece .... Il Gran Rifiuto” The Canon
For some among us there comes up a day
when either the great Yea or the great Nay
must needs be spoken. He who has the Yea
ready within him, straightway stands revealed
and, giving it utterance, passes to his field
of self-expression. He who did not yield
assent, never repents. If Nay or Yea
were asked again, he would repeat his Nay,
though that right word afflicts him night and day.

Translated by John Cavafy

(Poems by C. P. Cavafy. Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard