A Song of the Snow

Three days it snowed on Chang-an plain,
With drifts the Pass was stacked;
The iron cows could not be moved,
The dew-pans froze and cracked.

A traveller of handsome mien,
And clad in white foxskin,
With curled moustache and strong of limb,
Came to the Pao-chan inn.

At night he supped and drank full well
Until he soundly slept;
But in the early dawn he woke
And on his strong horse leapt.

Then riding through the drifts of snow
He reached the South Range bare,
And hunted for a tiger fierce
Which long had 'scaped the snare.

And when the crafty beast was met,
An arrow from his bow
Transfixed its bounding body huge,
And reddened deep the snow.

With dying strength it beat the air,
And uttered piercing yells,
Which shook the hills and forest trees,
And echoed through the dells.

The carcase then he draggèd back
Along a crowded course;
The bones a pillow frame supplied,
The skin adorned his horse.

But when confusion fills the land,
And peace is under ban,
Why don't such men of might come forth
To help the King of Han!
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