When you set on the voyage to Ithaka
Pray that the road is long
Full of incidents, full of knowledge.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Raging Poseidon-do not fear these,
Such things you will not find on your road,
if your thoughts are high,
if a rare Emotion, touches your mind and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclopes, Rough Poseidon,
you will not meet then
If you do not carry them in your own soul,
if your soul does not place them before you.
Pray that the road is long.
Many are the summer mornings
Where with what pleasure, with what joy
You will enter ports seen for the first time!
Stop at the Phoenician markets,
Purchase fine merchandise:
Mother-of-pearl, coral, amber, and ebony,
And sweet perfumes of every kind,
Buy as many as you can of sweet perfumes.
Visit many Egyptian cities
To learn and learn from those who are wise
Always have Ithaka in your mind.
To arrive there is your final goal.
But do not hasten the journey at all.
It is better for it to last many years.
And as a man to anchor at your island.
Rich with the profits gained on the road,
Not expecting Ithaka to give you riches
Ithaka gave you the beautiful journey.
Without her you would not have set out on the road.
But she has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka is not mocking you.
With the wisdom which you have, with so much experience
You already understand what Ithaka means
Constantine Cavafy (1911)