|If you are one of the truly elect,
be careful how you attain your eminence.
However much you are acclaimed, however much
the cities praise the great things you have done
in Italy and Thessaly,
your admirers decree for you in Rome,
your elation, your triumph will not last,
nor will you feel yourself superiorósuperior indeed!ó
when Theodotos brings you, in Alexandria,
on a blood-stained tray,
miserable Pompeyís head.
And do not be too sure that in your lifeó
restricted, regulated, prosaicó
spectacular and horrible things like that do not happen.
Maybe this very moment Theodotosó
enters some neighborís tidy house
carrying an equally repulsive head.
|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
|- Translation by John Cavafy|
|- Translation by George Valassopoulo|