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Hard is the way of the world – part 3

Don't wash your ears on hearing something you dislike
Nor die of hunger like famous hermits on the Pike!
Living without a fame among the motley crowd,
Why should one be as lofty as the moon or cloud?
Of ancient talents who failed to retire, there’s none
But came to tragic ending after glory’s won.
The head of General Wu was hung o’er city gate;
In the river was drowned the poet laureate.
The highly talented scholar wished in vain
To preserve his life to hear the cry of the crane.
Minister Li regretted not to have retired
To hunt with falcon gray as he had long desired.
Have you not heard of Zhang Han who resigned, carefree,
To go home to eat his perch with high glee?
Enjoy a cup of wine while you’re alive!
Do not care if your fame will not survive!


有耳莫洗颍川水, 有口莫食首阳蕨。
含光混世贵无名, 何用孤高比云月?
吾观自古贤达人, 功成不退皆殒身。
子胥既弃吴江上, 屈原终投湘水滨。
陆机雄才岂自保? 李斯税驾苦不早。
华亭鹤唳讵可闻? 上蔡苍鹰何足道。
君不见, 吴中张翰称达生,
且乐生前一杯酒, 何须身后千载名?


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