Imitated from the Japanese

      by W. B. Yeats

A most astonishing thing—
Seventy years have I lived;

(Hurrah for the flowers of Spring
For Spring is here again.)

Seventy years have I lived
No ragged beggar-man,
Seventy years have I lived,
Seventy years man and boy,
And never have I danced for joy.


From Last Poems and Two Plays, Dublin, Ireland: Cuala Press, 1939. This 1938 poem is based on Yone Noguchi’s translations of hokku by Issa, as follows (see 
http://www.botchanmedia.com/YN/articles/hobby.htm). Noguchi dedicated his 1920 book, Japanese Hokkus, to Yeats.

How strange it is
That I should have lived fifty years!
Hallelujah to flower's spring!

First day of spring at last!
Fifty years I've lived, . . .
Not a beggar in rush-clothes!

Alas, fifty years have passed,
Having no night
When I danced in joy.