The days of our future stand in front of us
like a row of little lit candles --
golden, warm, and lively little candles.
The days past remain behind us,
a mournful line of extinguished candles;
the ones nearest are still smoking,
cold candles, melted, and bent.
I do not want to look at them; their form saddens me,
and it saddens me to recall their first light.
I look ahead at my lit candles.
I do not want to turn back, lest I see and shudder
at how fast the dark line lengthens,
at how fast the extinguished candles multiply.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1899)
[ Greek original ]
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(C) George Barbanis