A Lowly Flower

BY BAY SIE T'IAO

T'ang Dynasty

A flowering grass I rise
From the side of a far-spread lake,
Whose waters lave and fertilize,
And all my thirsty tissues slake.
The dews of Spring with gentle power
Evolve my glossy emerald leaves;
The colours of my fragrant flower
The rime of early Autumn weaves.
And yet in trembling fear I grow,
Lest root and stem should be uptorn
By sudden storm or rushing flow,
And leave me helpless and forlorn.
So here contented will I lie,
Although a plant of humble birth;
Nor try to soar to realms on high
Above the confines of the earth.
For never yet has living soul
By strength or wisdom changed his fate;
All things are under heaven's control,
Who allocates to each his state.