Farewell to CuiPei Di (born ~ 714 A.D.)
On mountains steep and valleys deep
You’ll smile beyond the realm from there—
For just a day you’ll go that way,
To Peach Spring Garden, free of care.
Sòng Cuī Jiǔ
Guī shān shēn qiǎn qù
Xū jìn qiū hè xiào
Mò xué wǔ líng rén
Zàn yóu táo yuán lǐ
Transliteration and Notes
Send-Off Cui Nine
Return mountain deep shallow leave,
Must to-the-limit hill valleys smile.
None-who learn martial hill man,
Temporary wander peach spring within.
“Deep shallow” means “deep or shallow.” “Martial hill” is the literal meaning of Wuling, an area in Hunan. “Peach spring” is the Garden of the Peaches of Immortality in Shangri-La, an imaginary land of joy and plenty. The poem compares Cui’s journey through the mountains to the story of a fisherman from Wuling who spent a day in paradise.
Pei Di was a younger contemporary and close personal friend of Wang Wei. He also maintained a poetic relationship with Du Fu. Little is known about him except through his correspondence with these more famous poets, other than that he had a successful career as a government official.