Very Seldom The Canon
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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