Er Li Tan
The space between Heaven and Earth;
Is it not like a bellows?
Empty, and yet never exhausted;
It moves, and produces more.
Too many words hasten failure;
Cannot compare to keeping to the void.
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry:
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill.
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that to die, I leave my love alone.
Saul of Tarsus
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me,
yet I don’t know which I prefer: I feel torn between the two, because
I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far,
but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body.