For MotherWen Tianxiang (1236-1283)
This noble wife and mother’s time has come
To rise for heaven in the gods’ embrace;
Her grave forever near the hare and fox,
With tears that feel like hail upon my face.
Mǔ Dì Yī Bǎi Sì Shí Yī
Farewell to Mystic MountainHuangfu Ran (~ 716-769)
All day the water flows until it fades, unseen,
At dusk, when grass grows deep in spring and earth recedes—
At times, it’s true, the dogs will bark and chickens squawk,
But who would pull an almond nut from berry seeds?
Before the Duke of ZhouYu Xin (513-581)
One dawn I had a home; today it’s gone,
An orchid rooted out and set to burn.
As one would tell a tale of long lost friends
I live my life to watch the world turn.
Jí Zhōu Gōng Chǔ (Lián Jù Shī)
Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283)
A sigh, sigh sound from woods up high to low;
We close the gate and cover up with fur—
Spring feelings flow along the mountain gorge;
At dawn I rise to touch and look at her.
Springtime SunYin Qiqi (~800)
In times of doubt I sing to spring’s fresh sun
And free the knots tied up within my gut—
Your young man’s left his home and not come back
But winter’s snow will wash the willow’s smut.
Yáng Chūn Qū
As Fall Begins, I Look WithinLi Yi (746-829)
Ten thousand fears have come to fix my life,
As on this mirrored shore I gaze uneased—
Here all I see has turned my temples white
And now it’s time to face the autumn breeze.
Lì Qiū Qián Yī Rì Lǎn Jìng
Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys EastLi Duan (743-782?)
I’d offer you advice but nothing comes,
Your carriage quickly heads back east to Qin;
These twilight years you drive a thousand miles—
As sun sets on ten thousand homes in spring.
Seeing Off My Elder BrotherLu Zhaolin (634-684/686)
You’ll travel home through frontier mountain roads
To see the blooms and willows of Chang’än;
But now it’s time we part our hands goodbye,
To gaze in silent sorrow, and journey on.
Crossing the Yangtze RiverDu Shenyan (645-708)
Late afternoon, this garden grove, where ancient sorrow roams;
It’s spring, but birds and blossoms too do fill the edge with dread.
Alone, expelled, down south in savage lands, my homeland far—
The Yangtze River water flow shows not its northern tread.
In ancient times a troubled king did send,
Along this very spot, a hero bold—
And though those men have drowned in time’s lost flood,
These waters now are just as dark and cold.
Yú Yì Shuǐ Sòng Rén
Luò Bīn wáng
Cǐ dì bié yān dān
Zhuàng shì fà chōng guān