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The Ides of March

Constantine P. Cavafy 1863 (Alexandria) – 1933 (Alexandria)

Fear grandeurs, O soul.
And if you cannot overcome
your ambitions, pursue them with hesitation
and caution. And the more you advance,
the more inquisitive, careful you must be.

And when you reach your peak, Caesar at last;
when you assume the form of a famous man,
then above all beware when you go out in the street,
a conspicuous ruler with followers,
if by chance from the mob approaches
some Artemidorus, bringing a letter
and says hastily 'Read this immediately,
these are grave matters that concern you,'
do not fail to stop; do not fail to push aside
all those who salute and kneel
(you can see them later); let even the Senate
itself wait, and immediately recognise
the grave writings of Artemidorus.

Greek Original:

Μάρτι&# 945;ι Ειδοί
Τα μεγαλεία να φοβάσαι, ω ψυχή.
Και τες φιλοδοξί& #949;ς σου να υπερνική& #963;εις
αν δεν μπορείς, με δισταγμό και προφυλάξ& #949;ις
να τες ακολουθε& #943;ς. Κι όσο εμπροστά προβαίνε& #953;ς,
τόσο εξεταστι& #954;ή, προσεκτι& #954;ή να είσαι.

Κ_ 3; όταν θα φθάσεις στην ακμή σου, Καίσαρ πια·
έτσι περιωνύμ& #959;υ ανθρώπου σχήμα όταν λάβεις,
τ&# 972;τε κυρίως πρόσεξε σαν βγεις στον δρόμον έξω,
εξου&# 963;ιαστής περίβλεπ& #964;ος με συνοδεία,
αν τύχει και πλησιάσε& #953; από τον όχλο
καν 41;νας Αρτεμίδω& #961;ος, που φέρνει γράμμα,
κ&# 945;ι λέγει βιαστικά «Διάβασε αμέσως τούτα,
εί&# 957;αι μεγάλα πράγματα που σ' ενδιαφέρ& #959;υν»,
μη λείψεις να σταθείς· μη λείψεις τους διαφόρου& #962;
που χαιρετού& #957; και προσκυνο& #973;ν να τους παραμερί& #963;εις
(του 62; βλέπεις πιο αργά· ας περιμένε& #953; ακόμη
κ' η Σύγκλητο& #962; αυτή, κ' ευθύς να τα γνωρίσει& #962;
τα σοβαρά γραφόμεν& #945; του Αρτεμιδώ& #961;ου.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:56 min read
151 Views

Constantine P. Cavafy

Constantine P. Cavafy was a Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and worked as a journalist and civil servant. He published 154 poems; dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form. His most important poetry was written after his fortieth birthday. more…

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