Lorentzos Mavilis


Lucky are the dead; the dead forget
The bitterness of life. So at the set
Of sun, when dusk comes on, you must not weep,
Be your grief for them however deep.

The souls are thirsty; this the hour that brings
Them to Forgetfulness’s crystal springs.
But mire will make the water dark and blear
If anyone they love lets fall a tear.

If they drink murky water, they recall,
Crossing meadowlands of asphodel,
Ancient woes that still within them sleep.

But if at twilight, you can’t help but weep,
It’s for the living your eyes should be wet:
They want forgetfulness, but can’t forget.

— translated from the Greek by A. E. Stallings