— Tao Yuanming Chinese poet 365 - 427
Second of three poems ("Three Dirges") written by Tao Yuanming in 427, the same year he died at the age of 63, and often read as poems written for his own funeral.
John Minford and Joseph S. M. Lau (eds.), Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations (2000), p. 513
Kontext: In former days I wanted wine to drink;
The wine this morning fills the cup in vain.
I see the spring mead with its floating foam,
And wonder when to taste of it again.
The feast before me lavishly is spread,
My relatives and friends beside me cry.
I wish to speak but lips can shape no voice,
I wish to see but light has left my eye.
I slept of old within the lofty hall,
Amidst wild weeds to rest I now descend.
When once I pass beyond the city gate
I shall return to darkness without end.