The mirror in the entrance

C. P. Cavafy

The grand house had in its entrance
a great mirror, very old,
bought at least eighty years earlier.

A very beautiful boy, a tailor’s apprentice
(on Sundays, an amateur athlete)
was standing with a bundle. He handed it
to someone from the household, who took it in
to produce a receipt. The tailor’s apprentice
was left alone, and waited.
He approached the mirror and stared into it
and straightened his tie. After five minutes
they brought him the receipt. He took it and left.

But the old mirror which had seen so much
in its long existence,
thousands of faces and things –
but the old mirror now rejoiced,
and was proud that it had displayed
pure beauty for a few minutes.

[Published 1930]

Original Greek Poem

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