Being visited by a friend during illness

Being visited by a friend during illness

by Po Chu’i (772 – 846 CE)

I have been ill so long that I do not count the days;
At the southern window, evening – and again evening.

Sadly chirping in the grasses under my eaves
The winter sparrows morning and evening sing.

By an effort I rise and lean heavily on my bed;
Tottering I step towards the door of the courtyard.

By chance I meet a friend who is coming to see me;
Just as if I had gone specially to meet him.

They took my couch and placed it in the setting sun;
They spread my rug and I leaned on the balcony-pillar.

Tranquil talk was better than any medicine;
Gradually the feelings came back to my numbed heart.

Translation by Arthur Waley  170 Chinese Poems