All You Can The Canon
Even if you cannot have the life you would,
endow the life you have with this at least:
do all you can to avoid debasing it
in the continuous contact with the world,
in the continuous restlessness and talk.
Do not debase it by walking it about —
by going often and exposing it
amid the daily trivialities
of your acquaintance and their gatherings,
till like some hanger-on it pesters you.

Translated by John Cavafy

(Poems by C. P. Cavafy. Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

- Translation by Stratis Haviaras