THE CITY (1910) C.P. Cavafy

Translated by: Constantinos Neophytou

You said; “I will go to another land, I will go to another ocean.
Another city will be found, better than this.
My every effort is destined to be condemned;
and my heart is – like a corpse – buried.
Until when will my mind remain in this decay.
Wherever I turn my eyes, wherever I look
I see the black ruins of my life here,
where many years I spent and ruined and wasted”.

New lands you won’t find, you won’t find other oceans.
The city will follow you. In these streets you will wonder
the same. And in the same neighborhoods you’ll grow old;
and in these same houses you’ll grow white.
In this city you will always arrive. For elsewhere – do not hope –
There is no ship for you, there’s no road.
As you have ruined your life here
in this small corner, you have wasted it everywhere.