I see on high the Milky Way,
But here’s a rougher road.
The Sacred Oxen shining stand;
They do not draw our load.
The Sieve is sparkling in the South,
But good and ill come through.
The Ladle opens wide its mouth,
And pours out naught for you.
At dawn the Weaving Sisters sleep,
At dusk they rise again;
But though their Shining Shuttle flies,
They weave no robe for men.
Translated from Chinese by Helen Waddell