An Old Man by the Riverside
A fence of bamboo winds along the riverside,
My wicket gate opens askew to greet the tide.
Fishermen set their nets in water clear and bright,
Merchant ships arrive with the departing sunlight.
The road is long to recover the whole lost land,
Why should the lonely cloud drift where no lutists stand?
The east is not yet in the hand of royal force.
I’m grieved to hear autumn bugle and neighing horse.
“An Old Man by the Riverside” is a poem in seven lines written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. After years of displacement, Du Fu finally found a place to rest, settling in a cottage in the western suburbs of Chengdu, which made him feel relieved. However, the reality of the country’s ruin and the people’s plight was constantly striking his heart, making it impossible for him to be at peace. This poem reveals the subtle and profound fluctuations of his feelings.