Po Chü-i, Lazy Man's Song
, tr. by Arthur Waley in More Translations from the Chinese
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919), p. 51:
I have got patronage, but am too lazy to use it;Charles Spencelayh, Forty Winks
I have got land, but am too lazy to farm it.
My house leaks; I am too lazy to mend it.
My clothes are torn; I am too lazy to darn them.
I have got wine, but am too lazy to drink;
So it's just the same as if my cellar were empty.
I have got a harp, but am too lazy to play;
So it's just the same as if it had no strings.
My wife tells me there is no more bread in the house;
I want to bake, but am too lazy to grind.
My friends and relatives write me long letters;
I should like to read them, but they're such a bother to open.
I have always been told that Chi Shu-yeh1
Passed his whole life in absolute idleness.
But he played the harp and sometimes transmuted metals,
So even he was not so lazy as I.
1Also known as Chi K'ang. A famous Quietist.