The Journey Back

BY A POET OF THE HAN DYNASTY

Name unknown (206 b.c. to a.d. 220)

The journey back has now begun,
The Chariot winds along the road—
The road which seems for aye to run
To me with my sad load!
How vast the wilderness around,
As o'er the endless track we pass;
The only moving thing and sound—
The east wind through the grass!
The things I see are not the old,
As mile on mile the way is won,
And quick as these things change are told
Our years—and age comes on.
By nature's law each cycle brings
A time to flourish and decay,
And, with her perishable things,
We, too, must pass away.
No power have we with time to brave,
As iron and stone, the grave's stern claim,
One treasure only can we save—
An everlasting fame.