Lamenting The Absence Of A Cherished Friend

by Confucius


Though small my basket, all my toil
Filled it with mouse-ears but in part.
I set it on the path, and sighed
For the dear master of my heart.
My steeds, o'er-tasked, their progress stayed,
When midway up that rocky height.
Give me a cup from that gilt vase--
When shall this longing end in sight?
To mount that lofty ridge I drove,
Until my steeds all changed their hue.
A cup from that rhinoceros's horn
May help my longing to subdue.
Striving to reach that flat-topped hill,
My steeds, worn out, relaxed their strain;
My driver also sank oppressed:--
I'll never see my lord again!

Last updated January 14, 2019