Asleep on a rainy autumn night

秋雨夜眠
白居易

凉冷三秋夜
安閑一老翁
卧遲燈滅后
睡美雨聲中。
灰宿溫瓶火
香添暧被籠
曉晴寒未起
霜葉滿階紅。

Cold is night in the third month of autumn
Alone Grandpa lives, at peace with himself
When the lamp is gone he lies down
Sleeping sweetly with the sound of rain.
The warmth from ashes in the stove
adds comfort to quilt and covers.
Dawn comes clear and chill
And leaves cover the yard in crimson frost
But Grandpa is snug under his blanket still.

Life’s sweet spot

The poem hits the sweet spot in life, when a man grows old and lives at peace with himself, without care or obligation. Grandpa sleeps as he wishes, which is late at night when the lights are out, and not worrying whether he is able to get up early the next day for work. Amidst the sound of falling rain, he snoozes under a warm blanket, and when dawn comes, he refuses to get up because the yard outside is cold and covered with frost.

January 16, 2017 in the early hours reading and translating Tang poems

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