As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon — you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you. —
Hope the voyage is a long one.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind. —
Arriving there is what you are destined for. —
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years, —
so you are old by the time you reach the island, —
wealthy with all you have gained on the way, -
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. —
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. —
Without her you would not have set out. —
She has nothing left to give you now. —
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. —
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, —
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. —
(Constantine P. Cavafy)
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