Comes to Rest The Canon
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It must have been one o’clock at night
or half past one.
 
                        A corner in the wine-shop
behind the wooden partition:
except for the two of us the place completely empty.
An oil lamp barely gave it light.
The waiter, on duty all day, was sleeping by the door.
 
No one could see us. But anyway,
we were already so aroused
we’d become incapable of caution.
 
Our clothes half opened—we weren’t wearing much:
a divine July was ablaze.
 
Delight of flesh between
those half-opened clothes;
quick baring of flesh—the vision of it
that has crossed twenty-six years
and comes to rest now in this poetry.

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 Stratis Haviaras