11, Old Age
When this world is ever ablaze, why this laughter, why this
jubilation? Shrouded in darkness, will you not see the light?
Behold this body a painted image, a mass of heaped up
sores, infirm, full of hankering of which nothing is
lasting or stable!
Fully worn out is this body, a nest of disease, and fragile.
This foul mass breaks up, for death is the end of life.
These dove-colored bones are like gourds that lie scattered
about in autumn. Having seen them, how can one seek delight?
This city (body) is built of bones, plastered with flesh and
blood; within are decay and death, pride and jealousy.
Even gorgeous royal chariots wear out, and indeed this body
too wears out. But the Dhamma of the Good does not age; thus
the Good make it known to the good.
The man of little learning grows old like a bull. He grows only
in bulk, but, his wisdom does not grow.
Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain,
seeking in the builder of this house (of life). Repeated birth
is indeed suffering!
O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house
again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered.
My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction
of craving. 
Those who in youth have not led the holy life, or have failed
to acquire wealth, languish like old cranes in the pond without
Those who in youth have not lead the holy life, or have failed
to acquire wealth, lie sighing over the past, like worn out
arrows (shot from) a bow.