Che fece… il gran rifiuto

C. P. Cavafy

To some people comes a day
that they must say the big Yes or the big No.
It is clear at once who has it ready in him,
the Yes, and saying it on he goes

with honour and assurance.
He who refuses has no regret. If he were asked again,
No he would say once more. But that no –
the right one – his whole life cripples him.

[Written 1899; Published 1901]

Original Greek Poem