from The Book of Songs, No. 124

I climb that wooded hill
And look towards where my father is.
My father is saying, ‘Alas, my son is on service;
Day and night he knows no rest.
Grant that he is being careful of himself,
So that he may come back and not be left behind.’

I climb that bare hill
And look towards where my mother is.
My mother is saying, ‘Alas, my young one is on service;
Day and night he gets no sleep.
Grant that he is being careful of himself,
So that he may come back, and not be cast away.’

I climb that ridge
And look towards where my elder brother is.
My brother is saying, ‘Alas, my young brother is on service;
Day and night he toils.
Grant that he is being careful of himself,
So that he may come back and not die.’

translated by Arthur Waley

One thought on “from The Book of Songs, No. 124

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