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THE EASTERN GATE, by                    
First Line: I went out at the eastern gate
Last Line: One cannot put things off
Subject(s): China - Early Period (to 200 B.c.);grief; Sorrow;sadness


A poor man determines to go out into the world and make
his fortune. His wife tries to detain him.

I WENT out at the eastern gate:
I never thought to return.
But I came back to the gate with my heart full of sorrow.

There was not a peck of rice in the bin:
There was not a coat hanging on the pegs.
So I took my sword and went towards the gate.
My wife and child clutched at my coat and wept:
"Some people want to be rich and grand:
I only want to share my porridge with you.
Above, we have the blue waves of the sky:
Below, the yellow face of this little child."
"Dear wife, I cannot stay.
Soon it will be too late.
When one is growing old
One cannot put things off."





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