Have you not seen the grasses on the riverbank?
They wither and die in winter, overspread the road in spring.
Have you not seen the sun above the city wall?
It grows dim, sinks, and disappears;
The next day it will come out again.
Now, at what time in my life can I be like this?
Once gone, I’ll forever perish in the Yellow Spring!
Life is full of bitterness and scant in joy;
To be high-sprited belongs to the prime of life.
There’ll always be money at my bedside to buy wine.
To be immortalized in bamboo or silk is not what I want:
Life or death, honor or debasement, I leave to heaven.
translated by Irving Y. Lo