And if you cannot make your life as you want it,
at least try this
as much as you can: do not disgrace it
in the crowding contact with the world,
in the many movements and all the talk.
Do not disgrace it by taking it,
dragging it around often and exposing it
to the daily folly
of relationship and associations,
till it becomes like an alien burdensome life.
* * *
"As Much As You Can" from The Complete Poems of Cavafy,
Translated from Greek by Rae Dalven. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Brace & Company and the Estate of Rae Dalven.