The Company of Dionysos The Canon
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Damon the artist — none more skilled than he
throughout the length and breadth of Sicily —
chisels on Parian marble the glad rout
of Dionysos. First of all stands out
the god, with a god’s glory, with firm gait.
Akratos follows; and his reckless mate
Ebriety, from a pitcher garlanded
with ivy, pours the wine for Satyr-led
carousers; and behind them lags Sweet-wine
the effeminate, with eyes half shut, supine.
Then come the singers, Molpos and the sweet
Melos; and Comus, always of the suite,
uplifting high the sacred torch; — and last,
Ceremony most decorous. —
                                    For days past
Damon is at these things, and while at these,
he muses with complacence on the fees
pledged by the Syracusan tyrant, — some
three talents, a considerable sum.
When to his other moneys talents three
shall have been added, then at last shall he
live like a man of means — beyond the care
of guerdon; then he too shall have a share
in politics, — o joy! — he too shall face
the assembly, and frequent the market-place.

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

- Translation by Daniel Mendelsohn