|Kimon, Son of Learchos, 22, Student of Greek Literature (in Kirini) ||The Canon
|“My end came while I was happy.
Ermotelis had me for his inseparable friend.
During my last days, though he tried to make me believe
that he wasn’t worried, I often noticed his eyes
red from crying. And when he’d think
I’d fallen asleep, he’d collapse at the edge of my bed
as though out of his mind. But we were both young men
of the same age, twenty-three years old.
Fate is a traitor. Maybe some other passion
would have taken Ermotelis from me.
I died well: in love that was undivided.”
This epitaph for Marylos, son of Aristodimos,
who died in Alexandria a month ago,
was sent to me, his cousin Kimon, in my mourning.
It was sent by the author, a poet friend of mine,
sent because he knew I was related to Marylos—that’s all he knew.
My heart is full of sorrow over Marylos.
We grew up together, like brothers.
I’m deeply saddened. His premature death
completely wiped out any grudge...
any grudge I may have had against Marylos, even if
he did steal Ermotelis’ love away from me—
so that if Ermotelis should want me again now,
it won’t be at all the same as it was. I know
this susceptible nature of mine. The image of Marylos
will come between us, and I will imagine it
saying to me: “See, you’re satisfied now.
You’ve taken him back again as you longed to, Kimon;
see, you no longer have an excuse for maligning me now.”
|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