Another loose translation of a very old Chinese poem, this time by Chen Zi’ang (661-702)
A Song on Climbing Youzhou Tower
Unseen are those who came before;
Unseen are those to come after.
Thinking how endless are heaven and earth,
Alone and disconsolate, the tears drip down.
Qián bù jiàn gǔ rén
hòu bù jiàn lái zhě
Niàn tiān dì zhī yōu yōu
dú chuàng rán ér tì xià
We cannot see the people of old times who came before us, nor can we see those who will come after we are gone. On thinking of the vastness of time, the endlessness of heaven and earth and the brief interval of our short lives, the poet is filled with sadness and cannot hold back the tears.