Climbing High

Du, Fu   (712 A.D.-770 A.D.)

The wind blows fast,
The sky is high,
And the apes sadly cry.
The islet is clean,
The sand is white,
And the birds circle around.
The leaves of the woods all fall in the whistling wind.
The endless Yangtze River rolls on.
Facing the barren autumn scene,
I could not help but feel sad,
And think about how I had wandered from place to place most of my life.
I, though prone to illness in my retirement years, climb to this terrace alone.
I hate corruption and suffering in this world.
Lifelong hardship has only given me gray temples.
My misfortune forces me to stop reaching even for a cup of coarse wine 1.

1 Because he was impoverished, Du was unable to afford even coarse wine.