How often must the day come round to mark
The year’s sap at its lowest and to bring
This melancholy with the general dark,
To kill the aged exile with its sting?
I walk the riverside, a cloud forlorn,
Wondering how it is I could so grow
Conformed to the alien ways of the outmost bourn,
And halt to view the valley after snow.
This stick to prop the withered bag of bones,
I fondly dream, might be a courtier’s staff,
And I at this day’s rites as morning dawns;—
This crazy thought I spurn at once as chaff,
And faced with bitter facts I lose my mind:
My homeward way I seek and never find.
Sonnets and Poems with Renditions from Tu Fu : Exercises by a teacher of English to learn some more of his trade by Hisayoshi Watanabe. July 1986.