Green are the garden mallows! Soon
The morning dews will be a-drying.
Though wide the blithe Spring shed his boon,
A radiant world revivifying:
Yet dread I Autumn's coming on,
— Sere yellow leaves of blossoms flying.
Our brooks that eastward reach the sea,
When to the West shall they return?
If Youth in sloth should wasted be,
Old Age can only grieve and mourn.
* "Long-song Lay" is a literal translation of the title. "Long-song Lay" and "Short-song Lay" are names of genres, both dealing with the transiency of human life. "Long" and "short" do not refer to the length or shortness of the poem, but to the degree of sonority or lightness in the music to which it was sung.