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Konstantinos Kavafis, 1863-1933

Τιμή σ’ εκείνους όπου στην ζωή των

όρισαν και φυλάγουν Θερμοπύλες.

Ποτέ από το χρέος μη κινούντες·

δίκαιοι κι ίσιοι σ’ όλες των τες πράξεις,

αλλά με λύπη κιόλας κι ευσπλαχνία·

γενναίοι οσάκις είναι πλούσιοι, κι όταν

είναι πτωχοί, πάλ’ εις μικρόν γενναίοι,

πάλι συντρέχοντες όσο μπορούνε·

πάντοτε την αλήθεια ομιλούντες,

πλην χωρίς μίσος για τους ψευδομένους.

Και περισσότερη τιμή τούς πρέπει

όταν προβλέπουν (και πολλοί προβλέπουν)

πως ο Εφιάλτης θα φανεί στο τέλος,

κι οι Μήδοι επιτέλους θα διαβούνε.



traduzione di F. M. Pontani

Onore a quanti nella loro vita decisero difese di Termopile. Mai dal loro dovere essi recedono; in ogni azione equilibrati e giusti, con dolore, peraltro, e compassione, se ricchi, generosi; anche nel poco generosi, se poveri; solerti a soccorrere gli altri più che possono, capaci solo della verità, senza neppure odiare i mentitori. E di più grande onore sono degni se prevedono (e molti lo prevedono) che spunterà da ultimo un Efialte e i Persiani, alla fine, passeranno.



translation by E. Keeley and Ph.Sherrard

Honor to those who in the life they lead define and guard a Thermopylae. Never betraying what is right, consistent and just in all they do but showing pity also, and compassion; generous when they are rich, and when they are poor, still generous in small ways, still helping as much as they can; always speaking the truth, yet without hating those who lie. And even more honor is due to them when they foresee (as many do foresee) that in the end Ephialtis will make his appearance, that the Medes will break through after all.





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