Tao Yuanming: Drawing Up My Own Elegies: Three Poems: No. 3

Drawing Up My Own Elegies: Three Poems: No. 3

拟 挽 歌 辞:三 首
荒 草 何 茫 茫
白 杨 亦 萧 萧。
严 霜 九 月 中
送 我 出 远 郊。
四 面 无 人 居
高 坟 正 嶣 峣。
马 为 仰 天 鸣
风 为 自 萧 条。
幽 室 一 已 闭
千 年 不 复 朝。
千 年 不 复 朝
贤 达 无 奈 何。
向 来 相 送 人
各 自 还 其 家。
亲 戚 或 馀 悲
他 人 亦 已 歌。
死 去 何 所 道
托 体 同 山 阿。


Ni Wan Ge Ci: San Shou

Huang cao he mang mang
Bai yang yi xiao xiao.
Yan shuang jiu yue zhong
Song wo chu yuan jiao.

Si mian wu ren ju
Gao fen zheng jiao yao.
Ma wei yang tian ming
Feng wei zi xiao tiao.

You shi yi yi bi
Qian nian bu fu zhao.
Qian nian hu fu zhao
Xian da wu nai he

Xiang lai xiang song ren
Ge zi huan qi jia.
Qin qi huo you bei
Ta ren yi yi ge.
Si qu he suo dao
Tuo ti tong shan e.


Drawing Up My Own Elegies: Three Poems: No. 3

Vast expanse of wild grasses
Wild poplars also very desolate and remote.
Middle of September heavy frost
Send me off behind the village outskirts.

On all sides, no people or houses
Tall graves, pilled upright and strong.
Funeral horses have to strain to make progress
Winds stir desolate branches.

The coffin chamber door will be closed later on
Never again to see the dawn.
Never again to see the sunset
Even if you are wise and virtuous, what is achieved is futility and helplessness.

All of the mourners have left
Each has returned to their home.
The few remaining relatives show sorrow
The others have already begun to sing again.
With death’s departure, what can be said
Just put my body into the ground where the mountain range turns.



This poem to me sounds virtually the same in observation and sentiment with “The Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes of the Old Testament.

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