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Kimon, Son of Learchos, 22, Student of Greek Literature (In Kyrini)

Constantine P. Cavafy 1863 (Alexandria) – 1933 (Alexandria)

'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.
It ended the right way: our love 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-
but 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'll hear Marylos say to me:
'See, you're satisfied now.
You've taken him back again as you longed to, Kimon;
see, you've lost your excuse for maligning me now.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:18 min read

Constantine P. Cavafy

Constantine P. Cavafy was a Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and worked as a journalist and civil servant. He published 154 poems; dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form. His most important poetry was written after his fortieth birthday. more…

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