Thermopylae The Canon
Honour to those who in their lives have fixed
and guard strait passes of Thermopylae.
They from the path of duty never stray;
upright and scrupulous in every act,
but tolerant withal and merciful;
generous when possessed of affluence,
and still in small things generous when poor —
still helping to the utmost of their power;
speaking the truth despite all hindrances,
without ill-will, however, for the liars.
And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

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