Climbing a Tall Building on an Autumn Evening: I Gaze to Where the South River Touches the Shih-hsing Road
Streaming rivulets draw back, sandflats emerge,
Frost comes down, the sky’s vault, crystalline.
Hunched at the railing, I gaze long and far,
Path and ford draw many emotions of distant places.
Longing comes from beyond the rivers and mountains;
Where my gaze breaks off, clouds and mists arise.
A rolling flood where nothing is distinct—
Oh, what is accomplished from all this constant toil?
I came here, wind shaking my frail white locks,
No one could say it shook ribbons of high office.
A stabled horse suffering cramped restraints,
A caged bird longing for faraway journeys.
The year grows ever darker toward its close.
At the end of day, a pointless restlessness.
All living creatures value fulfilling their natures,
The bonds upon my body grow from recent fame.
I look back, find I’m truly right now—
But when will ease come for sorrow at what is past?
（Stephen Owen 译）