Very Seldom The Canon
It is an aged man. Battered and bowed,
broken by the weight of years, and by excesses,
he drags himself along the lane. And yet,
when he has carried home — to hide them there,
his ailments and his age, he contemplates
the part in youth that even now is his.
Young men to-day quote verses that he wrote:
the visions he had seen are passing now
in their clear eyes: the beautiful, as he
expressed it, is the emotion that affects
their sane, delectable intelligence —
their well-delineated, close-knit flesh.

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