All I want is to speak simply; for this grace I pray.
For we have loaded even the song with so many kinds of music
That gradually it sinks.
And our art we so decorated that beneath the gilt
Its face is eaten away.
And it is now time for us to say the few words we have to say
Because tomorrow our soul sets sail.
—George Seferis, from “An Old Man on the River Bank,” George Seferis: Poems (Little, Brown and Company, 1964), translated by Rex Warner.