Sleeping on Horseback – Bai Juyi 

We had rode long and were still far from the inn;
My eyes grew dim; for a moment I fell asleep.

Under my right arm the whip still dangled;

In my left hand the reins for an instant slackened.

Suddenly I woke and turned to question my groom:

‘We have gone a hundred paces since you fell asleep.’

Body and spirit for a while had exchanged place;

Swift and slow had turned to their contraries.

For these few steps that my horse had carried me

Had taken in my dream countless aeons of time!

True indeed is that saying of Wise Men

‘A hundred years are but a moment of sleep.’ 

Resignation – Bai Juyi 

Don’t think of the past;
It only awakens painful regrets.

Don’t think of the future;

It paralyzes with uncertain longings.

Better by day to sit like a sack in your chair;

Better by night to lie like a stone in your bed.

When food comes-open your mouth.

When sleep comes-shut your eyes. 

Spring Sleep – Bai Juyi 

dy smooth and steady
Sunshine room door cloth not open

Still have young spring air taste

Often brief arrive sleep at come 

The pillow’s low, the quilt is warm, the body smooth and peaceful,

Sun shines on the door of the room, the curtain not yet open.

Still the youthful taste of spring remains in the air,

Often it will come to you even in your sleep. 

Keep Waiting – Bai Juyi 

White billows and huge waves block the river crossing;
Wherever I go, danger and difficulty; whatever I do, failure.

Just as in my worldly career I wander and lose the road,

So when I come to the river crossing, I am stopped by contrary winds.

Of fishes and prawns sodden in the rain, the smell fills my nostrils;

With the stings of insects that come with the fog, my whole body is sore.

I am growing old, time flies, and my short span runs out,

While I sit in a boat at Chiu-k’ou, wasting ten day

Winter Night – Bai Juyi

My house is poor; those that I love have left me;
My body is sick; I cannot join the feast.

There is not a living soul before my eyes

As I lie alone locked in my cottage room.

My broken lamp burns with a feeble flame;

My tattered curtains are crooked and do not meet.

‘Tsek, tsek’ on the door-step and window-sill

Again I hear the new snow fall.

As I grow older, gradually I sleep less;

I wake at midnight and sit up straight in bed.

If I had not learned the ‘art of sitting and forgetting,’

How could I bear this utter loneliness?

Stiff and stark my body cleaves to the earth;

Unimpeded my soul yields to Change.

So has it been for four hateful years,

Through one thousand and three hundred nights!