Constantine P. Cavafy – Brame / Longings

Albrecht Altdorfer, Lot and His Daughters, 1537

Like the beautiful bodies of those who died before growing old,
sadly shut away in sumptuous mausoleum,
roses by the head, jasmine at the feet —
so appear the longings that have passed
 without being satisfied, not one of them granted
 a single night of pleasure, or one of its radiant mornings.

Corpi belli di morti, che vecchiezza non colse:
 li chiusero, con lacrime, in mausolei preziosi,
 con gelsomini ai piedi e al capo rose.
Tali sono le brame che trascorsero
 inadempiute, senza voluttuose
 notti, senza mattini luminosi.