When you start on your journey to Ithaca
Then pray that the road is long,
Full of adventure, full of knowledge
Do not fear the Lestrygonians
And the Cyclopes and the angry Poseidon
You will never meet such as these on your path,
If your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
Emotions touches on your body and your spirit.
You will never meet the Lestrygonians,
The Cyclopes and the fierce Poseidon,
If you don not carry them within your soul,
If your soul does not raise them up before you
Then pray the load is long
That the summer mornings are many
That you will enter ports seen for the first time
With such pleasure, with such joy!
Stop at Phoenician markets,
And purchase fine merchandise,
Mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony,
And pleasurable perfumes of all kind
Buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can
Visits hosts of Egyptian cities,
To learn and learn from those who have knowledge.
Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for long years;
And even to anchor at the isle when you are old,
Rich withal that you have gained on the way,
Not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches. Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have taken the road.
But she has nothing more given to you.
And If you find her poor Ithaca has not defrauded you
With the Great Wisdom you have gained with so much experience
You must surely have understood by then what Ithaca mean.
C.P. Cavafy

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