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Song of My Cottage Unroofed By Autumn Gales

by
Eight month autumn high wind angry howl
Sweep off my house on three layers thatch
Thatch fly across river sprinkle river beside
High ones catch stick great forest top
Low ones float turn sink pool hollow
South village mob children bully me old without strength
Bear able to face to steal be robbers
Openly carry thatch into bamboo go
Lips burnt mouth dry call not succeed
Return come lean on cane self sigh
Soon shortly wind calm cloud ink colour
Autumn sky overcast direction dark black
Cotton cover many years cold like iron
Beloved children badly lie kick in split
Bed bed room leak no dry place
Dense rain like hemp not yet stop sever
Self path lose disorder little sleep sleep
Long night wet wet what cause throughout
If get broad mansion 1000 10,000 rooms
Great shelter world poor scholar together joy
Wind rain not move peace like hills
Oh when see before sudden see this house
My hut alone broken suffer freeze to death and satisfied


In the eighth month autumn's high winds angrily howl,
And sweep three layers of thatch from off my house.
The straw flies over the river, where it scatters,
Some is caught and hangs high up in the treetops,
Some floats down and sinks into the ditch.
The urchins from the southern village bully me, weak as I am;
They're cruel enough to rob me to my face,
Openly, they carry the straw into the bamboo.
My mouth and lips are dry from pointless calling,
I lean again on my cane and heave a sigh.
The wind soon calms, and the clouds turn the colour of ink;
The autumn sky has turned completely black.
My ancient cotton quilt is cold as iron,
My darling children sleep badly, and kick it apart.
The roof leaks over the bed- there's nowhere dry,
The rain falls thick as hemp, and without end.
Lost amid disorder, I hardly sleep,
Wet through, how can I last the long nights!
If I could get a mansion with a thousand, ten thousand rooms,
A great shelter for all the world's scholars, together in joy,
Solid as a mountain, the elements could not move it.
Oh! If I could see this house before me,
I'd happily freeze to death in my broken hut!

Poem by Du Fu
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