The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance
The jewelled steps are already quite white with dew,
It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze stockings,
And I let down the crystal curtain
And watch the moon through the clear autumn.
NOTE: Jewel stairs, therefore a palace. Grievance, therefore[......]
THE RIVER-MERCHANT’S WIFE
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, wi[......]
Taking Leave of a Friend
Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.
Mind like a floating wide cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a dista[......]
Last year we fought by the head-stream of the Sang-kan,
This year we are fighting on the Tsung-ho road.
We have washed our armor in the waves of Chiao-chi lake,
We have pastured our horses on Tien-shan’s snowy slopes.
The long, long war goes on ten thousand miles from home,
If heaven loved not wine,
A Wine Star would not be in heaven;
If earth loved not wine,
The Wine Spring would not be on earth.
Since heaven and earth love wine,
Need a tippling mortal be ashamed?
The transparent wine, I hear,
Has the soothing virtue of a sage,
While the turgid is rich, [......]
His Dream of the Skyland: A Farewell Poem
The seafarers tell of the Eastern Isle of Bliss,
It is lost in a wilderness of misty sea waves.
But the Sky-land of the south, the Yueh-landers say,
May be seen through cracks of the glimmering cloud.
This land of the sky stretches across the measures of hea[......]
Taking Leave of a Friend
Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;
Round the city’s eastern side flows the white water.
Here we part, friend, once and forever.
You go ten thousand miles, drifting away
Like an unrooted water-grass.
Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!
Three—With the Moon and His Shadow
With a jar of wine I sit by the flowering trees.
I drink alone, and where are my friends?
Ah, the moon above looks down on me;
I call and lift my cup to his brightness.
And see, there goes my shadow before me.
Ho! We’re a party of three, I say,—
Though the po[......]
To Wang Lun
I was about to sail away in a junk,
When suddenly I heard
The sound of stamping and singing on the bank—
It was you and your friends come to bid me farewell.
The Peach Flower Lake is a thousand fathoms deep,
But it cannot compare, O Wang Lun,
With the depth of your love for me.