Yesterday I heard that such-a-one was gone;
This morning- they tell me that so-and-so is dead.
Of friends and acquaintances more than two-thirds
Have suffered change and passed to the Land of Ghosts.
Those that are gone I shall not see again;
They, alas, are for ever finished and done.
Those that are left,-— where are they now?
They are all scattered, — a thousand miles away.
Those I have known and loved through all my life,
On the fingers of my hand — how many do I count?
Only the prefects of T'ung, Kuo and Li
And Feng Province — ^just those four.^
Longing for each other we are all grown gray ;
Through the Fleeting World rolled like a wave in the stream.
Alas that the feasts and frolics of old days
Have withered and vanished, bringing us to this !
When shall we meet and drink a cup of wine
And laughing gaze into each other's eyes?
' Yüan Chen (d. 831), Ts'ui Hsuan-liang'(d. 833), Liu Yii-hsi (d. 842),
and Li Chien (d. 821).