It will not profit an old languid king
By this still ash, among bland arid crags
Stuck with an cranky woman, just to script
Unjust laws for a group of louts and fools
That hoard, and nap, and drink, and know not him.
I cannot stop voyaging. I will drink
All drops of this world. I had lots of fun
And had a lot of pain, both on my own
And with my good companions. On land and
As rainy stars through scuddding drifts would haunt
A dim bay. Now I am a titular
Man, always roaming with a hungry mind.
I saw and know a lot; towns and harbors
And customs, tropics, councils, and monarchs.
And I was not last among this grand crowd.
I drunk in giddy joy of war with troops
Far on a ringing plain of windy Troy.
I am a part of all I run across.
But all I do is just an arch, through which
To squint at that unfound world. Its margin
Will blur always and always as I walk.
How dull it is to halt, to call a stop,
To rust in a scabbard and not to glow!
As though surviving was living. Just hours
Is all too small, and not a lot is still
Around, but any hour I clutch
From that still that will not stop. It’s a thing
That can bring many things with it. How wrong
Just for four suns to sit and hoard my mind
And this gray spirit craving a long trip
To follow truth as if a sinking star
Until an utmost bound of human thought.
This my son, my own only offspring
For whom I put down this crown and island,
I’m a fan of him, who’ll try to fulfill
This labor, by slow toil to turn mild
A brutal folk, and through soft urgings to
Instil productivity, show what’s good.
Without any guilt, working in a job
Of common duty, kind, happy, won’t fail
In pansy hugging work or stuff, and pay
Fair adoration to our local gods
Ruling on his own. His work works for him.
That is my port; my boat puffs out its sail
A dark broad bay now glooms. My sailors, you
Souls that would toil, and wrought, and thought as I,
That always with a joyful frolic took
Storms and fair days, in opposition to
Brows, scalps and minds–you know I’m also old.
Saturn still has his honor and his toil
And all will pass away, but not right now.
A work of nobility can occur
Fitting of warriors that could fight Gods.
And now lights will start shining down from rocks.
A long day rolls on. A slow lunar climb
Occurs, and many sounds moan round us. Hark,
‘Tis not too hard to look for a far world.
Push off, and sitting all in a row, lash
At sounding furrows, for it is my goal
To sail past that horizon, and all baths
Of all far-off stars, until I cannot.
Possibly distant gulfs will wash us down.
Possibly our boat shall find islands fair
And run across grand champions of Troy.
Though much is fading, much will last, and though,
I am not now as strong as, in old days
I was to push on land and sky, that which
I am, I am. A mix of all of you
Not as strong as in past, but strong in will
To fight, to look, to find, and not to quit.