I Walk Out Into the Country at Night

The moon is so high it is
Almost in the Great Bear.
I walk out of the city
Along the road to the West.
The damp wind ruffles my coat.
Dewy grass soaks my sandals.
Fishermen are singing
On the distant river.
Fox fires dance on the ruined tombs.
A chill rises and fills
Me with melancholy. I
Try to think of words that will
Capture the uncanny solitude.
I come home late. The night
Is half spent. I stand for a
Long while in the doorway.
My young son is still up, reading.
Suddenly he bursts out laughing,
And all the sadness of the
Twilight of my life is gone.

–Lu Yu

(From One Hundred Poems From the Chinese, Trans., Kenneth Rexroth. New Directions, 1971.)