Success and failure? No known addressby T'ao Ch'ien
English version by J. P. Seaton
Original Language Chinese
Success and failure? No known address.
This or that goes on, depending on the other.
And who can say if Milord Shao was happier
ruling a city, or sacked, his excellent melon patch?
Hot, cold, summer, winter: don't they alternate?
Mayn't a man's way wander on just so?
Yes, those who "get there" know their opportunities...
have learned to untie the knots of knowledge.
But was it the notable or the notorious that our Sage spoke of?
The latter he called opportunists. Those who get there, doubtless,
know doubt nor care no more. Yet, doubt you not, nor do dead generals,
who plotted carefully at what seemed opportune,
and knew naught, right or wrong.
If, of a sudden, you're offered fine wine,
let the sun sink. Enjoy it.
|-- from The Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry, Edited by J. P. Seaton|
|Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry||The Selected Poems of T'ao Ch'ien|