Monday, August 07, 2017


Old Age

Po Chü-i (772-846), "Old Age," tr. Arthur Waley, More Translations from the Chinese (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.), p. 61:
(Addressed to Liu Yü-hsi, who was born in the same year)
                                    (A.D. 835)

We are growing old together, you and I;
Let's ask ourselves, what is age like?
The dull eye is closed ere night comes;
The idle head, still uncombed at noon.
Propped on a staff, sometimes a walk abroad;
Or all day sitting with closed doors.
One dares not look in the mirror's polished face;
One cannot read small-letter books.
Deeper and deeper, one's love of old friends;
Fewer and fewer, one's dealings with young men.
One thing only, the pleasure of idle talk,
Is great as ever, when you and I meet.

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