Ulysses Passes Ithaca
What's this pile of rocks and sand? Ithaca...
You know you'll find the bees, the ancient dog,
The olive tree, the faithful wife. But look:
The water glitters, black under your prow.
No, don't waste another glance: this coast
Is just your threadbare kingdom, You won't
Shake the hand of the man you are now—
You who've lost all sorrow, and all hope.
Sail on, disappoint them. Let the island slip by,
Off to port. For you, this other sea unrolls:
Memory haunts the man who wants to die.
Speed ahead. From this day on, set your course
For that low, huddled shore. There, in the foam,
Plays the child that you once were, here.
Yves Bonnefoy (tr. Hoyt Rogers)