The Old Dust


Li Po

The living is a passing traveler;

The dead, a person come home.

One short journey between heaven and earth,

Then, alas! we are the same old dust of ten thousand ages.

The rabbit in the moon pounds out the elixir in vain;

Fu-sang, the tree of immortality, has crumbled to kindling wood.

Man dies, his white bones are dumb without a word

While the green pines feel the coming of spring.

Looking back, I sigh; looking in front of me, I sigh again.

What is there to value in this life's vaporous glory?

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