Ever since my arrival in Huangzhou,
Three Cold-Food Festivals* have come and gone;
Despite my intention to cherish each Spring,
Yet the passing Spring allows no such dream.
This year, there is once again bitter rain,
Two months of miserable autumn-like days;
Smelling the scents of crab-apple flowers in bed,
By muddy soil the blushing snow is stained.
Being stolen out in the dark,
Obviously it was midnight’s strong men;
What difference is from an ill young man,
Upon recovery, the hairs have already gone grey.
The spring river about to flood my place,
With the drenching rain not ready to cease;
My small hut is like a fishing boat,
Amid the fog and water it is afloat.
In the empty kitchen I cook cold vegetables,
Burning damp reeds beneath a broken stove;
How was I to know it was Cold-Food Festival Day?
From the paper-money ravens collect.
The emperor’s gate is nine-layers deep,
While tombs are ten-thousand miles away;
I would cry over having come upon the road’s end,
But, like dead ashes, my heart’ll never kindle again.