The Tomb of Lanès The Canon
Print
The Lanès whom you loved is not here, Marcus,
in the tomb near which you come and weep, and remain
for hours and hours. You keep the Lanès whom you loved
nearer, when you confine yourself in your house
and look at the picture which somehow
has retained what was of value in him,
which somehow has retained what you loved.
 
Do you remember, Marcus, how you brought
the renowed painter from the proconsul’s palace
and how cunningly he tried to persuade you both
      when he saw your friend
that he should represent him as Hyacinthus
(so his picture would become more famous).
 
But Lanès would not lend his beauty thus;
and, firmly resisting, he told the painter
to represent not Hyacinthus, not anyone else,
but Lanès, son of Rametichus, Alexandrian.

Translated by George Valassopoulo

(Unpublished draft from the Cavafy Archive)
Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard