Composed Ten Days Before Spring
Spring's almost on us, but we still owe winter ten days;
Busy with paperwork, I regret how quickly life passes.
My poems are too weak to fetch me some snow,
And wine has lost its magic to dispel my sorrows.
Yet the season would never bully a sick man like me;
We scholars just like to gripe about our problems all the time.
Why do we fret and worry so much during the short span we're allotted?
After all that fuss and bother, we end up in a dirt hole anyway!
Translated by J.D. Schmidt in the excellent Stone Lake: The Poetry of Fan Chengda, 1126-1193 (1992).