Underwater Autumn

Now the summer perch flips twice and glides
a lateral fathom at the first cold rain,
the surface near to silver from a frosty hill.
Along the weed and grain of log he slides his tail.

Nervously the trout (his stream-toned heart
locked in the lake, his poise and nerve disgraced)
above the stirring catfish, curves in bluegill dreams
and curves beyond the sudden thrust of bass.

Surface calm and calm act mask the detonating fear,
the moving crayfish claw, the stare
of sunfish hovering above the cloud-stained sand,


Uncle Ananias

His words were magic and his heart was true,
And everywhere he wandered he was blessed.
Out of all ancient men my childhood knew
I choose him and I mark him for the best.
Of all authoritative liars, too,
I crown him loveliest.

How fondly I remember the delight
That always glorified him in the spring;
The glorious profusion and the benedight
Profusion of his faith in everything!
He was a good old man, and it was right
That he should have his fling.

And often, underneath the apple trees,


Tz'u No. 18

To the tune of "Intoxicated in the Shadow of Flowers"

Thin mist, dense clouds, a grief-stricken day;
auspicious incense burns in the gold animal.
Once again, it is the joyous mid-autumn festival,
but a midnight chill
touches my jade pillow and silk bed-screen.

I drink wine by the eastern fence in the yellow dusk.
Now a dark fragrance fills
my sleeves and makes me spin.
The bamboo blinds sway in the west wind.
And I am even thinner than a yellow flower.


To The Daisy

IN youth from rock to rock I went
From hill to hill in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,
Most pleased when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make,---
Thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake,
Of Thee, sweet Daisy!

Thee Winter in the garland wears
That thinly decks his few gray hairs;
Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,
That she may sun thee;
Whole Summer-fields are thine by right;
And Autumn, melancholy Wight!


To My Brothers Sisters Adrift in Troubled Times This Poem of the Moon

Since the disorders in Henan and the famine in Guannei, my brothers and sisters have been scattered. Looking at the moon, I express my thoughts in this poem, which I send to my eldest brother at Fuliang, my seventh brother at Yuqian, My fifteen brother at Wujiang and my younger brothers and sisters at Fuli and Xiagui.

My heritage lost through disorder and famine,
My brothers and sisters flung eastward and westward,
My fields and gardens wrecked by the war,
My own flesh and blood become scum of the street,


To My Friend - Ode I

Transplant the beauteous tree!
Gardener, it gives me pain;
A happier resting-place
Its trunk deserved.

Yet the strength of its nature
To Earth's exhausting avarice,
To Air's destructive inroads,
An antidote opposed.

See how it in springtime
Coins its pale green leaves!
Their orange-fragrance
Poisons each flyblow straight.

The caterpillar's tooth
Is blunted by them;
With silv'ry hues they gleam
In the bright sunshine,

Its twigs the maiden
Fain would twine in


To Minna

Do I dream? can I trust to my eye?
My sight sure some vapor must cover?
Or, there, did my Minna pass by--
My Minna--and knew not her lover?
On the arm of the coxcomb she crossed,
Well the fan might its zephyr bestow;
Herself in her vanity lost,
That wanton my Minna?--Ah, no!

In the gifts of my love she was dressed,
My plumes o'er her summer hat quiver;
The ribbons that flaunt in her breast
Might bid her--remember the giver!
And still do they bloom on thy bosom,
The flowerets I gathered for thee!


To Autumn

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
`The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,


To Anna

This faded lip may oft to thee
As gay a smile, my Anna, wear,
As when in youth, from sorrow free,
I only shed the transient tear.

And oft chill Autumn's varying day,
Resembles April's genial hours;
And glitters with the noontide ray,
Though oftener dark with clouds and showers.

And, when I join the social throng,
This heart as warmly seems to glow
As when my pensive early song
Was only tuned to fancied woe.

And oft we see gay ivy's wreath
The tree with brilliant bloom o'erspread,


To an Old Grammar

Oh, mighty conjuror, you raise
The ghost of my lost youth --
The happy, golden-tinted days
When earth her treasure-trove displays,
And everything is truth.

Your compeers may be sage and dry,
But in your page appears
A very fairyland, where I
Played 'neath a changeful Irish sky --
A sky of smiles and tears.

Dear native land! this little book
Brings back the varied charm
Of emerald hill and flashing brook,
Deep mountain glen and woodland nook,


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