Prayer The Canon
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The sea engulfed a sailor in its depths.
Unaware, his mother goes and lights
a tall candle before the ikon of our Lady,
praying for him to come back quickly, for the weather to be good—
her ear cocked always to the wind.
While she prays and supplicates,
the ikon listens, solemn, sad,
knowing the son she waits for never will come back.

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