BLACK CAT POEMS
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The Lost Beauty
translated by W. J. B. Fletcher
Cut off from all--my
My gloomy dwelling in a hollow vale.
I sighing say, "Mid Trees and grass, ah me!
What can my parents goodly name avail?"
"Within the Wall old days are swept away.
My brothers' lofty rank could nought prevail.
For they are slain: our scattered flesh and bone
Unburied lies--All left me to bewail!"
"The world's desire is overborne by woe.
The fate of Man a candle's flickering light.
And my betrothed--alas! the wanton boy--
Has made a lovelier face his heart's delight.
"Its time of flowering the Hibiscus knows.
The Birds of
dispart not in the Night.
But when He sees his new bride's happy smile
The old love's sobbing is forgotten quite.
"Upon the Hill's pure breast the Spring is clear;
But turbid when the Hill it leaves behind!
My maid, returned with food my pearls have brought,
To patch our humble roof has creepers twined.
"The flowers I pluck I place not in my hair.--
The cypress leaves my idle fingers bind.
To this chill air my green silk sleeves are thin:
Mid bamboos tall my fading Day declined!"
poems by Du Fu