Done advising emperors, hair white–no one cared about
old Tu Fu, his life scattered away across rivers of the west,
chanting poems. He stood on this tower once, and now he’s
gone. Waves churn the same isolate moon. Inexhaustible
through all antiquity, this world’s great dramas just rise
and sink away. Simpleton and sage alike return in due time.
All these ice-cold thoughts, who’ll I share them with now?
In depths of night, gulls and egrets lift off sand into flight.
translated by David Hinton