Dai Yu Buries Fallen Flowers
The blossoms fade and falling fill the air,
Of fragrance and bright hues bereft and bare.
Floss drifts and flutters round the Maiden`s bower,
Or softly strikes against her curtained door.
The Maid ,grieved by these signs of spring`s decease,
Seeking some means her sorrow to express,
Has rake in hand into the garden gone,
Before the fallen flowers are trampled on.
Elm-pods and willow-floss are fragrant too;
Why care,Maid,where the fallen flowers blew?
Next year ,when peach and plum-tree bloom again,
Which of your sweet companions will remain?
This spring the heartless swallow built his nest
Beneath the eaves of mud with flowers compressed.
Next year the flowers will blossom as before,
But swallow ,nest ,and Maid will be no more.
Three hundred and three-score the year`s full tale:
From swords of frost and from the slaughtering gale
How can the lovely flowers long stay intact,
Or, once loosed,from their drifting fate draw back?
Blooming so steadfast ,fallen so hard to find!
Beside the flowers`grave,with sorrowing mind,
The solitary Maid sheds many a tear,
Which on the boughs as bloody drops appear.
At twilight ,when the cuckoo sings no more,
The Maiden with her rake goes in at door
And lays her down between the lamplit walls,
While a chill rain against the window falls.
I know not why my heart`s so strangely sad,
Half grieving for the spring and yet half glad:
Glad that it came ,grieved it so soon was spent.
So soft it came ,so silently it went!
Last night ,outside ,a mournful sound was heard:
The spirits of the flowers and of the bird.
But neither bird nor flowers would long delay,
Bird lacking speech,and flowers too shy to stay.
And then I wished that I had wings to fly
After the drifting flowers across the sky:
Across the sky to the world`s farthest end,
The flowers` last fragrant resting-place to find.
But better their remains in silk to lay
And bury underneath the wholesome clay,
Pure substances the pure earth to enrich,
Than leave to soak and stink in some foul ditch.
Can I,that these flowers` obsequies attend,
Divine how soon or late my life will end?
Let others laugh flower-burial to see:
Another year who will be burying me?
As petals drop and spring begins to fail,
The bloom of youth,too,sickens and turns pale.
One day,when spring has gone and youth has fled.
The Maiden and the flowers will both be dead.
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