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! 

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