Constantine P. Cavafy – Trojans

  August 11th, 2018 by Taf Taf

Our efforts are those of men prone to disaster;

our efforts are like those of the Trojans.

We just begin to get somewhere,

gain a little confidence,

grow almost bold and hopeful,

when something always comes up to stop us:

Achilles leaps out of the trench in front of us

and terrifies us with his violent shouting.

Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.

We think we’ll change our luck

by being resolute and daring,

so we move outside ready to fight.

But when the great crisis comes,

our boldness and resolution vanish;

our spirit falters, paralyzed,

and we scurry around the walls

trying to save ourselves by running away.

Yet we’re sure to fail. Up there,

high on the walls, the dirge has already began.

They’re mourning the memory, the aura of our days.

Priam and Hecuba mourn for us bitterly.

 

 

(translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)

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