(772–846 / Taiyuan, Shanxi)

Winter Night

My house is poor; those that I love have left me;
My body is sick; I cannot join the feast.
There is not a living soul before my eyes
As I lie alone locked in my cottage room.
My broken lamp burns with a feeble flame;
My tattered curtains are crooked and do not meet.
'Tsek, tsek' on the door-step and window-sill
Again I hear the new snow fall.
As I grow older, gradually I sleep less;
I wake at midnight and sit up straight in bed.
If I had not learned the 'art of sitting and forgetting,'
How could I bear this utter loneliness?
Stiff and stark my body cleaves to the earth;
Unimpeded my soul yields to Change.
So has it been for four hateful years,
Through one thousand and three hundred nights!

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Comments (1)

the thoughts of the (once again) banished civil servant - vivid, poignant.