A Nighttime GazeBai Juyi (772-846)
The river wraps around the town’s cold edge,
Its sandbanks still with sitting birds of dusk—
Alone on top this building perched up high,
I gaze southwest, where mountains drop to dust.
Forty years old, I’ve sinned
With this cup of wine,
To wander in the wind
On a path without a sign.
Looking up to the mountain top,
With hints of blossoms laid,
I ponder this life I’ll swap
For some quiet beneath the shade.
This morning the sky imparted its will
On spring, on summer, when all around
Is rain and mist, and darkness still,
Distilled for a moment in the river’s sound.
These years I’ve buried my head in books
Have come and gone with the green dawn air;
Last night I walked by the brimming brooks
And left a song as I passed on there.