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The Rhyme Maker
picture of Bai Juyi 722 to 846
Bai Juyi
772-846


Theme:  Ageing


NOTES:
Bai Juyi is also known as Po Ch-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.
- S. H. Bass  

Special Note:  The Wine Poems of China


more Bai Juyi at
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winepoems.com

After Passing the Examination (Waley)
Fishing In The Wei River (Waley)
Getting Up Early (Waley)
My Servant Wakes Me (Waley)
On Being Sixty (Waley)
Planting Flowers On The Eastern Embankment (Waley)
Rejoicing At The Arrival Of Ch’ēn Hsiung (Waley)
The Chrysanthemums  (Waley)
To His Brother Hsing-Chien (Waley)



Stop Button Clutter!
Thinking Of The Past
Bai Juyi (772-846), Chinese poet
translated by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), British scholar/poet

In an idle hour I thought of former days;
And former friends seemed to be standing in the
room.
And then I wondered “Where are they now?”
Like fallen leaves they have tumbled to the
Nether Springs.
Han Y swallowed his sulfur pills,
Yet a single illness carried him straight to the
grave.
Yan Chen smelted autumn stone
But before he was old, his strength crumbled
away.
Master Tu possessed the “Secret of Health”:
All day long he fasted from meat and spice.
The Lord Ts‘ui, trusting a strong drug,
Through the whole winter wore his summer coat.
Yet some by illness and some by sudden death . .
All vanished ere their middle years were passed.

Only I, who have never dieted myself
Have thus protracted a tedious span of age,
I who in young days
Yielded lightly to every lust and greed;
Whose palate craved only for the richest meat
And knew nothing of bismuth or calomel.
When hunger came, I gulped steaming food;
When thirst came, I drank from the frozen
stream.
With verse I served the spirits of my Five Guts;
With wine I watered the three Vital Spots.
Day by day joining the broken clod
I have lived till now almost sound and whole.
There is no gap in my two rows of teeth;
Limbs and body still serve me well.
Already I have opened the seventh book of years;
Yet I eat my fill and sleep quietly;
I drink, while I may, the wine that lies in my cup,
And all else commit to Heaven’s care.


from More Translations from the Chinese (1919)


Project Gutenberg logoFREE E-BOOKS  at Project Gutenberg

170 Chinese Poems (1918)

More Poems from the Chinese (1919)

       

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