Sighs of Autumn Rain (1) Du Fu

In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming’s colour is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the stems like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you’ll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

Notes: This poem dates from 754 (Watson p. 22). The jueming is Chinese senna (cassia obtusifolia or cassia tora)- a plant with small yellow flowers.

This poem is volume (juàn) 216, no. 15 in the Complete Tang Poems (quán táng shī).

Watson, B. (2002) The Selected Poems of Du Fu. New York, Columbia University Press.

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