Mourning of the Fleeting Day

by | June 14, 2020

Time flies! Time flies! I say: take a drink.
I know not the height of green heavens, nor the depth of yellow earth,
only that the icy moon comes after the scorching sun,
that they cook our mortal lives.
Those who eat bears shall be fat, they that eat frogs shall be thin.
To the believers of strange gods, I say disdain!

In the eastern sky grows a holy tree.
A dragon whirls beneath, holding candles in its teeth.
I shall cut off its feet and chew its meat;
let it not stir in the day, nor hide in the night;
so that the old should not die, the young should not weep.
Why swallow gold, why swallow jade?
Who ever saw the fabled prince,
ride an emerald donkey into the clouds?
In the emperors’ mausoleums there are only bones.











Translation by niuniu. Art by Holly Anderson.

Original text by 李贺