李白 – 行路難三首之三 – Li Bai – Walking the Heavy Road: 3 poems, this is the 3rd

行路難三首之三 Walking the Heavy Road: 3 poems, this is the 3rd.
 
有耳莫洗潁川水 I have ears unwashed by the Yǐng River’s water;
有口莫食首陽蕨 I have a mouth unfed by the first thrust of the ferns.
含光混世貴無名 I savor the bright turbulent generations that don’t honor names;
何用孤高比雲月 to what purpose should an orphan be elevated like the clouded moon?
吾觀自古賢達人 We observe that our own ancient worth conveys humanity.
功成不退皆殞身 Our completed labors don’t recede with our every fall and birth.
 
子胥既棄吳江上 Zĭxū1 was abandoned by Wú above the Yangtze;
屈原終投湘水濱 Qū Yuán was finished in the river Xiāng, cast from the bank.
陸機雄才豈自保 Am I protected from the mechanism of that shore? from that brave doom?
李斯稅駕苦不早 Will Li, thus yoked to a bitter tithe, fail to rise?
華亭鶴唳詎可聞 At the elegant pavilion a crane calls: how many may hear it?
上蔡蒼鷹何足道 Above green pastures, an osprey—is this the way of fulfillment?
君不見 The ministers don’t see.
吳中張翰稱達生 The quill of central Wú strains with the burden of conveying its birth;
秋風忽憶江東行 an autumn wind summons the heart to recall the Yangtze and walk east;
且樂生前一杯酒 and joy is borne forth from one cup of wine.
何須身後千載名 What, after 1000 years, will our lives name?

1Wú Zĭxū (722–481 BCE), the supposed ancestor of all named “Wú,” was forced to commit suicide as he struggled to save his country. His body was tossed into the Yangtze. Qū Yuán (ca. 340–278 BCE), a poet, waded into the river holding a rock when his country was being overrun.

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