Chuang Tzu Story – Three Friends

There were three friends, discussing life.
One said: “Can men live together and know nothing of it,
Work together and produce nothing?
Can they fly around in space and forget to exist,
World without end?”

The three friends looked at each other
And burst out laughing.
They had no explanation,
Thus they were better friends than before.

Then one friend died.
Confusius sent a disciple
To help the other two chant his obsequies.

The disciple found that one friend had composed a song,
While the other played the lute.

They sang:
“Hey, Sung Hu, where’d you go?
Hey, Sung Hu, wher’d you go?
You have gone where you really were,
And we are here – damn it, we are here!”

Then the disciple of Confucius
Burst in on them and exclaimed:
“May I enquire where you found this
in the rubrics for obsequies,
this frivolous caroling
in the presence of the departed?”

The two friends looked at each other
And laughed:
“Poor fellow,
he does not know the new liturgy!”


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