Of the Workshop The Canon
He wrapped them slowly, tidily at rest,
in valuable green silk. Roses expressed
by rubies; lilies by pearls; violets
by amethysts. — As his fair judgment lets
him see these forward works of his, he sees
them beautiful, though not observances
of nature seen or studied. He will lay
them in his safe as specimens that display
the skill and daring of the artificer. —
When, in the shop, he serves some purchaser,
not these but other fine ornaments he brings
and parts with, — bracelets, chains, necklets, and rings.

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