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picture of Bai Juyi 722 to 846
Bai Juyi
772-846


Theme:  Ageing


NOTES:
Bai Juyi is also known as Po Chü-i and, in Japan, as Haku Kyo'i.  He was a government official in the Tang Dynasty, including posts as governor of three different provinces.  Many of his poems reflect his life in government.

The indentation in this poem indicates the continuation of the previous line that would not fit into the parameters of this webpage.  See the printable version.  

This poem is addressed to Liu Mēng-tē, a friend of the same age as Bai Juyi – 60.

* "At sixty, my ears were obedient organs for the reception of truth." - Confucius (551-479 bce)
- S. H. Bass  

Special Note:  The Wine Poems of China


more Bai Juyi at
vintage
winepoems.com

After Passing the Examination (Waley)
Fishing In The Wei River (Waley)
Getting Up Early (Waley)
My Servant Wakes Me (Waley)
Planting Flowers On The Eastern Embankment (Waley)
Rejoicing At The Arrival Of Ch’ēn Hsiung (Waley)
The Chrysanthemums  (Waley)
Thinking Of The Past (Waley)

To His Brother Hsing-Chien (Waley)



Stop Button Clutter!
On Being Sixty
Bai Juyi (772-846), Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty
translated by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), British scholar


Between thirty and forty, one is distracted by the Five Lusts;
Between seventy and eighty, one is a prey to a hundred
diseases.
But from fifty to sixty one is free from all ills;
Calm and still – the heart enjoys rest.
I have put behind me Love and Greed; I have done with Profit
and Fame;
I am still short of illness and decay and far from decrepit age.
Strength of limb I still possess to seek the rivers and hills;
Still my heart has spirit enough to listen to flutes and strings.
At leisure I open new wine and taste several cups;
Drunken I recall old poems and sing a whole volume.
Mēng-tē has asked for a poem and herewith I exhort him
Not to complain of three-score, “the time of obedient ears.”*



from A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems (1919)


Project Gutenberg logoFREE E-BOOKS  at Project Gutenberg

170 Chinese Poems (1918)

More Poems from the Chinese (1919)

               

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