Poems by C.P. Cavafy
Those voices are the sweeter which have fallen forever silent, mournfully resounding only in the heart that sorrows.
In dreams the melancholic voices come, timorous and humble, and bring before our feeble memory
the precious dead, whom the cold cold earth conceals; for whom the mirthful daybreak never shines, nor springtimes blossom.
Melodious voices sigh; and in the soul our life's first poetry sounds — like music, in the night, that's far away.
Imagined voices, and beloved, too, of those who died, or of those who are lost unto us like the dead.
Sometimes in our dreams they speak to us; sometimes in its thought the mind will hear them.
And with their sound for a moment there return sounds from the first poetry of our life— like music, in the night, far off, that fades away.
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Excerpt from COLLECTED POEMS. Translation copyright © 2009 by Daniel Mendelsohn. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.