Blaming Sons

White hair shrouds both my temples,
my skin and flesh have lost their fullness.
Though I have five male children,
not one of them loves brush and paper.
A-shu's already twice times eight—
in laziness he's never been rivaled.
A-hsüan's going on fifteen
but cares nothing for letters or learning.
Yung and Tuan are thirteen
and can't tell a 6 from a 7!
T'ung-tzu's approaching age nine—
all he does is hunt for chestnuts and pears.
If this is the luck Heaven sends me,
then pour me the “thing in the cup”!
Author of original: 
T'ao Ch'ien
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