Poems of Yu Xuanji
I regret all these feelings. I worry too much.
Right now the beauty of autumn fills the courtyard.
But even my inner room becomes ever more noisy.
Every night, beneath the lamp, I just want to grow old.
This poem comes from the very end of her life. Here Yu Xuanji knows that she is dying. We know this because she uses the same expression here, 欲白头, for wanting to live out a normal life as she did in this poem when speaking of the scholar Li, who died young. Yu Xuanji does not say what she is dying of. But there were plenty of things to die of in her time, as in ours. At this point, the why no longer matters to her. She seems most concerned with the quality of her mind. She does not want to feel fear and regrets, or to be anxious, or to have her mind filled with noise. It need not be her "room" that is noisy. Her inner room could also be her mind. It probably is. But she does want to live out her life. And that won't happen, as we know.