About the book:
Features 170 Chinese poems dating from 1st century BC onward.
REALIZING THE FUTILITY OF LIFE
Written on the wall of a priest’s cell, circa 828
Ever since the time when I was a lusty boy
Down till now when I am ill and old,
The things I have cared for have been different at different times,
But my being busy, that has never changed.
Then on the shore,—building sand-pagodas;
Now, at Court, covered with tinkling jade.
This and that,—equally childish games,
Things whose substance passes in a moment of time!
While the hands are busy, the heart cannot understand;
When there are no Scriptures, then Doctrine is sound.
Even should one zealously strive to learn the Way, That very striving will make one’s error more.
About Arthur Waley (from Wikipedia):
Arthur David Waley CH CBE, (19 August 1889 – 27 June 1966) was an English Orientalist and sinologist who achieved both popular and scholarly acclaim for his translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry.
As one recent evaluation puts it, “Waley was the great transmitter of the high literary cultures of China and Japan to the English-reading general public; the ambassador from East to West in the first half of the 20th century. He was self-taught, but reached remarkable levels of fluency, even erudition, in both languages. It was a unique achievement, possible (as he himself later noted) only in that time, and unlikely to be repeated.”