I Cast No Look Behind

Swiftly and soon the golden sun goes down,
The blue sky wells afar into the night;
Dao is the changeful world’s environment,
Happy are they that in its laws delight.

Dao gives me toil—youth’s passion to achieve,
And leisure in life’s autumn and decay:
I follow Dao,—the seasons are my friends
Opposing it, misfortune comes my way.

Within my breast no sorrows can abide,
I feel the great world’s spirit through me thrill
And as a cloud I drift before the wind,
Or with the random swallow take my will.

As underneath the mulberry tree I dream,
The water-clock drips on, and dawn appears:
A new day shines o’er wrinkles and white hair,
The symbols of the fulness of my years.

If I depart, I cast no look behind;
If still alive, I still am free from care.
Since life and death in cycles come and go,
Of little moment are the days to spare.

Thus strong in faith I wait and long to be
One with the pulsings of Eternity.

— Zhuang Zi (369-286 BC), tr. Lionel Giles (1875-1958 AD)
Musings of a Chinese Mystic
Article in Aeon.co, How to Be Useless

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