Eva Knott 1:52 p.m., Nov. 18
On Being Sixty
A poem by Po Chü-i
- Addressed to Liu Mēng-tē
- Between thirty and forty, one is distracted by the Five Lusts;
- Between seventy and eighty, one is a prey to a hundred diseases.
- But from fifty to sixty one is free from all ills;
- Calm and still — the heart enjoys rest.
- I have put behind the Love and Greed; I have done with Profit and Fame;
- I am still short of illness and decay and far from decrepit age.
- Strength of limb I still possess to seek the rivers and hills;
- Still my heart has spirit enough to listen to flutes and strings.
- At leisure I open new wine and taste several cups;
- Drunken I recall old poems and sing a whole volume.
- Mēng-tē has asked for a poem and herewith I exhort him
- Not to complain of three-score, “the time of obedient ears.”
- — translated by Arthur Waley