Midnight Song 2
Xiao Yan, Emperor Wu of Liang (464-549)
The morning sunshine strokes the window silk
As wind and light together play with strings;
She smiles with subtle ease and lifts her eyes
As when a butterfly brings up its wings.
Cold Meal Night
Cui Daorong (~895)
In Manchu land the pears now blossom white
As moonlight broken by the blowing wind.
Here all the people fast for Cold Meal Night;
I gaze at home alone—cast off and thin.
A Nightly Song
Shen Yue (441-513)
I leave the door ajar for you to come
But every night we part before it’s bright;
The moonlight shines across my pillowcase
To hide in bed between the lantern’s light.
Huangfu Ran (716-769)
I’d like for us to chase the tides beyond,
But time is up for us as fishing men;
Now face-to-face, aware we will not meet—
The end has come, we must begin again.
A Play for Cold Meal DayLu Yanrang (~ 900)
On Twelfth Street here it’s like a packed bazaar,
A world of dust that’s choked and cannot clear;
We work like ox until our sweat pours out,
No time to sit and watch the flowers near.
Hán Shí Rì Xì
CicadasYu Shinan (558-638)
He dangles down to drink the clear light dew,
Exuding sound through the green leaf brush;
And flowing far and wide, his voice flies on
Without the need of wind from autumn’s rush.
Bamboo RetreatWang Wei (692-761)
Alone I sit within the bamboo grove
And lift my lute to strum and hum along;
Within this depth of woods a man forgets —
The bright moon comes to mix its light with song.
Zhú Lǐ Guǎn
Deer WoodsWang Wei (692-761)
Deserted woods — and no one here to see,
Yet still out there I hear the words of spite;
Returning deep within the woods, a scene:
A patch of green shade moss reflects the light.
Watching the Plum BlossomsLu You (1125-1209)
The plum trees bloom above the gold grass hill —
Though old, a man cannot enjoy their fluff?
Light mist, the moon, the far-off cattle still —
There’s life and death; don’t fret the common stuff.
For Li Ju, Scholar
Sikong Tu (~720–790)
The winds blow high before the five long peaks
To bring the life that lifts us from our flaws;
For miles around, no clouds – a lonely crane –
It seems the same, but he’s in heaven’s jaws.