Half past twelve. The time has quickly passed since nine o'clock when I first turned up the lamp and sat down here. I've been sitting without reading, without speaking. With whom should I speak, so utterly alone within this house? The apparition of my youthful body, since nine o'clock when I first turned up the lamp, has come and found me and reminded me of shuttered perfumed rooms and of pleasure spent—what wanton pleasure! And it also brought before my eyes streets made unrecognizable by time, bustling city centres that are no more and theatres and cafés that existed long ago. The apparition of my youthful body came and also brought me cause for pain: deaths in the family; separations; the feelings of my loved ones, the feelings of those long dead which I so little valued. Half past twelve. How the time has passed. Half past twelve. How the years have passed.
C. P. Cavafy - 1863-1933
Craftsman of Wine Bowls
On this wine bowl of pure silver— destined for the home of Heracleides, where discerning taste and elegance reside— I've engraved flowers, streams and thyme, and in their midst a handsome youth, naked and erotic, dangling his leg in the water still. I prayed, memory, that I'd find in you an ally strong enough to render the face of this youth, whom I loved, just as it once was. It will not be easy, as it has been some fifteen years from the day he fell, a soldier, in the battle of Magnesia.