Three Stanzas, Five Lines Each
by Tu Fu
Meandering River desolate, autumn skies deep- withered
bits of brown lotus and chestnut drift. Lamenting this
wanderer handed-down into old age is empty; White
pebbles and shoreline sand also chafe back and forth.
A wailing swan, alone, cries out in search of its kind.
Singing that which occurs, neither modern nor ancient,
my rising song only breaks against bushes and trees.
And those houses stand, in their lavish parade, countless.
I welcome this heart of ash. Dear brother, dear little
niece- why so hurt, why these tears falling like rain?
I have asked enough answers of heaven for one life.
Enough, having hemp and mulberry fields there,
to settle near South Mountain, in Tu-ling. Riding
with Li Kuang, in simple clothes, I will end my
failing years shooting phantom tigers as they appear.