More Translations from the Chinese/At the End of Spring

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Bai Juyi1972810More Translations from the Chinese — At the End of Spring1919Arthur Waley


To Yüan Chēn.[1] [A.D. 810]

The flower of the pear-tree gathers and turns to fruit;
The swallows' eggs have hatched into young birds.
When the Seasons' changes thus confront the mind
What comfort can the Doctrine of Tao give?
It will teach me to watch the days and months fly
Without grieving that Youth slips away;
If the Fleeting World is but a long dream,
It does not matter whether one is young or old.
But ever since the day that my friend left my side
And has lived an exile in the City of Chiang-ling,
There is one wish I cannot quite destroy:
That from time to time we may chance to meet again.

  1. Po Chü-i's great friend. See Nos. 63 and 64.