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POEM ON SEVENTY
by Tang Yin (1470 - 1524, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

From time immemorial it is rare for a man to live to seventy,
Eliminate the years of childhood and old age and There’s not much left between,
Save frost and worries.
After mid-autumn the moon lacks brightness.
After tomb-sweeping the flowers lose their beauty
Surrounded by flowers, under the moon, sing a song;
Make haste to fill the empty wine goblet.
There is so much money in the world that
you cannot make it all;
There are so many positions in that court that
you can’t hold them all.
High position and plentiful money create worries,
turning your hair prematurely white.
Spring, summer, autumn and winter;
just a snap of the fingers,
The bell sees off the dusk; the cock announces the arrival of the dawn.
Gentlemen, look at those people who came before you:
We come once a year to find them buried by weeds.
How many tombs are among the weeds, high and low?
Each year, half of the tombs have no one to sweep them.

── from Liuru Jushi Quanji (Complete Works of Layman Liuru)