At the farm they had but one sorry nag and this they saddled for the Emperor. The young Prince was taken on Min Gong’s charger. And thus they left the farm. Not beyond one mile from the farm, they fell in with other officials and several hundred guards and soldiers made up an imposing cavalcade. In the cavalcade were Wang Yun, Minister of the Interior; Yang Biao, Grand Commander; Chunyu Qiong, Commander of the Left Army; Zhao Meng, Commander of the Right Army; Bao Xin, Commander of the Rear Army; and Yuan Shao, Commander of the Center Army. Tears were shed freely as the ministersRead More →

“God is helping us,” said Prince Xian. they followed whither the fireflies led and gradually got into a road. They walked till their feet were too sore to go further, when, seeing a heap of straw near the road, they crept to it and lay down. This heap of straw was close to a farm house. In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw in a vision two bright red suns drop behind his dwelling. Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth to look about him. Then he saw a bright light shooting up from a heap of straw. HeRead More →

Li Bai PARTING AT A WINE-SHOP IN NANJING A wind, bringing willow-cotton, sweetens the shop, And a girl from Wu, pouring wine, urges me to share it With my comrades of the city who are here to see me off; And as each of them drains his cup, I say to him in parting, Oh, go and ask this river running to the east If it can travel farther than a friend’s love! Li Bai A FAREWELL TO SECRETARY SHUYUN AT THE XIETIAO VILLA IN XUANZHOU Since yesterday had to throw me and bolt, Today has hurt my heart even more. The autumn wildgeese haveRead More →

  Li Bai TIANMU MOUNTAIN ASCENDED IN A DREAM A seafaring visitor will talk about Japan, Which waters and mists conceal beyond approach; But Yueh people talk about Heavenly Mother Mountain, Still seen through its varying deeps of cloud. In a straight line to heaven, its summit enters heaven, Tops the five Holy Peaks, and casts a shadow through China With the hundred-mile length of the Heavenly Terrace Range, Which, just at this point, begins turning southeast. …My heart and my dreams are in Wu and Yueh And they cross Mirror Lake all night in the moon. And the moon lights my shadow And meRead More →

  Li Qi ON HEARING AN WANSHAN PLAY THE REED-PIPE Bamboo from the southern hills was used to make this pipe. And its music, that was introduced from Persia first of all, Has taken on new magic through later use in China. And now the Tartar from Liangzhou, blowing it for me, Drawing a sigh from whosoever hears it, Is bringing to a wanderer’s eyes homesick tears…. Many like to listen; but few understand. To and fro at will there’s a long wind flying, Dry mulberry-trees, old cypresses, trembling in its chill. There are nine baby phoenixes, outcrying one another; A dragon and a tigerRead More →

  Li Qi A LUTE SONG Our host, providing abundant wine to make the night mellow, Asks his guest from Yangzhou to play for us on the lute. Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying, Frost is on ten thousand trees, and the wind blows through our clothes; But a copper stove has added its light to that of flowery candles, And the lute plays The Green Water, and then The Queen of Chu. Once it has begun to play, there is no other sound: A spell is on the banquet, while the stars grow thin…. But three hundred miles fromRead More →

I find you alone under falling petals.   Wang Changling IN HER QUIET WINDOW Too young to have learned what sorrow means, Attired for spring, she climbs to her high chamber…. The new green of the street-willows is wounding her heart — Just for a title she sent him to war. Wang Changling A SONG OF THE SPRING PALACE Last night, while a gust blew peach-petals open And the moon shone high on the Palace Beyond Time, The Emperor gave Pingyang, for her dancing, Brocades against the cold spring-wind. Wang Han A SONG OF LIANGZHOU They sing, they drain their cups of jade, They strumRead More →

  Meng Jiao A SONG OF A PURE-HEARTED GIRL Lakka-trees ripen two by two And mandarin-ducks die side by side. If a true-hearted girl will love only her husband, In a life as faithfully lived as theirs, What troubling wave can arrive to vex A spirit like water in a timeless well? Meng Jiao A TRAVELLER’S SONG The thread in the hands of a fond-hearted mother Makes clothes for the body of her wayward boy; Carefully she sews and thoroughly she mends, Dreading the delays that will keep him late from home. But how much love has the inch-long grass For three spring months ofRead More →

  Li Bai BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: SPRING The lovely Lo Fo of the western land Plucks mulberry leaves by the waterside. Across the green boughs stretches out her white hand; In golden sunshine her rosy robe is dyed. “my silkworms are hungry, I cannot stay. Tarry not with your five-horse cab, I pray.” Li Bai BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: SUMMER On Mirror Lake outspread for miles and miles, The lotus lilies in full blossom teem. In fifth moon Xi Shi gathers them with smiles, Watchers o’erwhelm the bank of Yuoye Stream. Her boat turns back without waiting moonrise To yoyal house amid amorous sighs.Read More →

Dare ford the river boundary.   Li Shangyin THE LEYOU TOMBS With twilight shadows in my heart I have driven up among the Leyou Tombs To see the sun, for all his glory, Buried by the coming night. Jia Dao A NOTE LEFT FOR AN ABSENT ECLUSE When I questioned your pupil, under a pine-tree, My teacher, he answered, ” went for herbs, But toward which corner of the mountain, How can I tell, through all these clouds ?” Li Pin CROSSING THE HAN RIVER Away from home, I was longing for news Winter after winter, spring after spring. Now, nearing my village, meeting people,Read More →