Following the Recipe of Ancient Greco-Syrian Magicians The Canon
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Said an aesthete: What distillation from magic herbs
can I findwhat distillation, following the recipe
of ancient Greco-Syrian magicians
that will bring back to me for one day (if its power
doesnt last longer) or even for a few hours,
my twenty-third year,
bring back to me my friend of twenty-two,
his beauty, his love.
 
What distillation, following the recipe
of ancient Greco-Syrian magicians, can be found
to bring back alsoas part of this return of things past
even the little room we shared.

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