Old and young alike die a single death,
wise and foolish are not allotted different fates.
Your daily wine may help you to forget,
but I fear it’s a pasttime that shortens your years.
Doing good, you say, will be your joy?
And who do you think will praise you?
Too much pondering may injure one’s life;
better leave everything to fate.
Go along with the waves in the great process of change,
take no delight in it, have no fear.
When it’s time to fade away, then fade away—
why should you alone be so full of care?
translated by Burton Watson