Against Frivolous Pursuits

by Confucius


Like splendid robes appear the wings
Of the ephemeral fly;
And such the pomp of those great men,
Which soon in death shall lie!
I grieve! Would they but come to me!
To teach them I should try.
The wings of the ephemeral fly
Are robes of colors gay;
And such the glory of those men,
Soon crumbling to decay!
I grieve! Would they but rest with me,
They'd learn a better way!
The ephemeral fly bursts from its hole,
With gauzy wings like snow;
So quick the rise, so quick the fall,
Of those great men we know!
I grieve! Would they but lodge with me,
Forth they would wiser go.

Last updated January 14, 2019