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An Old Man

 At the back of the noisy café
bent over a table sits an old man;
a newspaper in front of him, without company.
And in the scorn of his miserable old age he ponders how little he enjoyed the years when he had strength, and the power of the word, and good looks.
He knows he has aged much; he feels it, he sees it.
And yet the time he was young seems like yesterday.
How short a time, how short a time.
And he ponders how Prudence deceived him; and how he always trusted her -- what a folly! -- that liar who said: "Tomorrow.
There is ample time.
" He remembers the impulses he curbed; and how much joy he sacrificed.
Every lost chance now mocks his senseless wisdom.
But from so much thinking and remembering the old man gets dizzy.
And falls asleep bent over the café table.

Poem by Constantine P Cavafy
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