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Po Chu-I - Peaceful Old Age



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

From A Lute of Jade – Being selections from the Classical poets of China [The Wisdom of the East series] edited and translated by L.  Cranmer-Byng and Dr S. Kapadia [1918]

Peaceful Old Age

Chuang Tzu said: "Tao* gives me this toil in manhood,
this repose in old age, this rest in death."

Swiftly and soon the golden sun goes down,
The blue sky wells afar into the night.
Tao is the changeful world's environment;
Happy are they that in its laws delight.

Tao gives me toil, youth's passion to achieve,
And leisure in life's autumn and decay.
I follow Tao -- the seasons are my friends;
Opposing it misfortunes come my way.

Within my breast no sorrows can abide;
I feel the great world's spirit through me thrill,
And as a cloud I drift before the wind,
Or with the random swallow take my will.

As underneath the mulberry-tree I dream,
The water-clock drips on, and dawn appears:
A new day shines on wrinkles and white hair,
The symbols of the fulness of my years.

If I depart, I cast no look behind:
Still wed to life, I still am free from care.
Since life and death in cycles come and go,
Of little moments are the days to spare.

Thus strong in faith I wait, and long to be
One with the pulsings of Eternity.

The source of the experience

Po Chu-I

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