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THE SONG OF GOOD ENDING
by Cao Xueqing (1715 - 1763, Qing Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

The entire world knows the good about a heavenly life, yet they are unable to put merit and fame behind them. Where are those generals and ministers from the past now? All buried under wasted tombs outgrown by weeds today.

The whole world knows the good about a heavenly life, yet they are unable to put gold and silver behind them. All along they focus their resentment on insufficient accumulation of wealth; finally, when there is abundance, their eyes would already be shut.

The whole world knows the good about a heavenly life, yet they are unable to put their pretty wives behind. While you are alive, they would speak of love and gratitude everyday, but the moment you die, they would leave just to be with someone else.

The whole world knows the good about a heavenly life, yet they are unable to put their sons and grandsons behind. Loyal parents come in many since long, yet how many have seen filial sons and grandsons?


WEEPING OVER FALLEN BLOSSOMS (EXCERPT)
English translation: Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang

As blossoms fade and fly across the sky,
Who pities the faded red, the scent that has been?
Softly the gossamer floats over spring pavilions,
Gently the willow fluff wafts the embroidered screen.

Each year for three hundred and sixty days
The cutting wind and biting frost contend.
How long can beauty flower fresh and fair?
In a single day wind can whirl it to its end.

Now you are dead I come to bury you;
None has divined the day when I shall die;
Men laugh at my folly in burying fallen flowers,
But who will bury me when dead I lie?

See, when spring draws to a close and flowers fall,
This is the season when beauty must ebb and fade;
The day that spring takes wing and beauty fades
Who will care for the fallen blossom or dead maid?

── from Hong Lou Meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)