November 11, 2021

Slowly, slowly,
the autumn draws to its close.
Cruelly cold
the wind congeals the dew.
Vines and grasses
will not be green again--
The trees in my garden
are withering forlorn.
The pure air
is cleansed of lingering lees
And mysteriously,
Heaven's realms are high.
Nothing is left
of the spent cicada's song,
A flock of geese
goes crying down the sky.
The myriad transformations
unravel one another
And human life
how should it not be hard?
From ancient times
there was none but had to die,
Remembering this
scorches my very heart.
What is there I can do
to assuage this mood?
Only enjoy myself
drinking my unstrained wine.
I do not know
about a thousand years,
Rather let me make
this morning last forever.
Tao Yuanming, Written on the Ninth Day of the Ninth Month of the Year yi-yu (A.D. 409) Translated by William Acker