The days that are to come, they stand before us
like to a row of lighted little candles, —
brilliant, and warm, and lively little candles.
The other days, the by-gone, lag behind,
a mournful row of candles that are quenched:
a few of them, the nearest, smoulder still,
but most are cold, and crooked, and reduced.
I dread to look on these: their shape is grievous,
and grievous the remembrance of their light.
In front, my lighted candles I behold.
I dread to turn, lest I perceive, affrighted,
how fast the sombre row is lengthening,
how fast the extinguished candles multiply.
(Translated by John Cavafy)