Constantine Cavafy

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.


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