In the Harbor-Town The Canon
Print
Emisyoung, twenty-eight
reached this Syrian harbor in a Tenian ship,
his plan to learn the incense trade.
But ill during the voyage,
he died as soon as he was put ashore.
His burial, the poorest possible, took place here.
A few hours before dying he whispered something
about home, about very old parents.
But nobody knew who they were,
or what country he called home
in the great panhellenic world.
Better that way; because as it is,
though he lies buried in this harbor-town,
his parents will always have the hope hes still alive.

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