. . .

Inspired by a Qing dynasty poem

I really enjoyed reading this poem, just something about the words and the flow of it.
I decided to write my own – half a literal translation, and half something else.

万里长城万里空
张廷玉
南来北往走西东,  人生杳杳在其中;
天也来空地也空,  换了多少主人公。
夜静听得三更鼓,  翻身不觉五更钟;
从头仔细思量起,  便是南柯一梦中。
一场辛苦一场空,  死后还归泥土中。
身归泥土气随风,  一片顽皮化臭胧;
在身置得万倾田,  死后只得三步地。
埋骨何须桑梓地,  人生无处不青山。
万里长城万里空,  百世英雄百世梦;
沉舟侧畔轻帆过,  病树前头万木春!

From north to south, and east to west,
Life springs forth, at whose behest
The sky alights, the earth is born
On we trudge, to find our unicorn
A quiet night, yet quiet stirs
A wink of sleep, a yawning blur
This night a year, this year our lives
Of all these years, faded dreams survive
We toil and rest, laugh and learn
And dissolve into dust, we shall return
And as our bodies sink below
The harvest moon dances to and fro
Those endless acres we till and plant
Heaven leaves but space to walk and stand
Our buried bones, care not that space
Mountains, fields, earth a resting place
The endless Wall, the eternal race,
The immortal stars, our immortal faith
The past is set, the old gives way
As the new is born, and accelerates

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