COLD and harsh comes in the evening of the year.
Wrapped in rough hemp I sun myself in the porch.
Nothing is growing now in the southern orchard,
In the northern garden the branches all are bare,
The last drop has been poured out from the wine-pot,,
I look at my kitchen hearth and I see no smoke.
The books are pushed away in the side of the chair;
Midday is past, and I've still no heart to read them.
I have no work, unlike the Master at Chen,*
Privately, anxiously questioned in his distress.
What comfort can I find to strengthen my heart?
The fact that of old there was many a sage like this.
*Confucius and a disciple, when travelling through the State of Chen, could not obtain food and suffered acutely. The disciple's anxious question was: "Can a man of honour be conquered by hunger?" Confucius'answer was: "The man of honour can bear hunger, while the vulgar under the stress of hunger will do anything. "