Complete Poems Section 2

Roaming                                                                                                       闲游   

危亭题竹粉,  wēi tíng tí zhú fěn,

曲沼嗅荷花。  qū zhǎo xiù  hé huā。

数日同携酒,  shǔ;shù;shuò rì tóng;tòng xié jiǔ,

平明不在家。  píng míng  bù zài jiā。

寻幽殊未极,  xún yōu shū wèi jí,

得句总堪夸。  dé;děi;de jù zǒng kān kuā。

强下西楼去,  qiáng;qiǎng xià xī lóu qù,

西楼倚暮霞。  xī lóu yǐ mù xiá。

On the lofty tower I scrape some words on bamboo

The winding rivers assails me with the smell of rotting lotus

For several days I went out drinking with friends

On moonlit evenings I wasn’t at home

To seek strange things and never finish

To seek the words and always exaggerate

Forced to descend from the Western tower

I see it lean into rosy clouds, a higher power

 

Qinghe River                                                                                                        清河 

舟小回仍数,  zhōu xiǎo huí réng shǔ;shù;shuò,

楼危凭亦频。  lóu wēi píng yì pín。

燕来从及社,  yàn lái cóng;zòng;cōng jí shè,

蝶舞太侵晨。  dié wǔ tài  qīn chén。

绛雪除烦后,  jiāng xuě chú fán hòu,

霜梅取味新。  shuāng méi qǔ wèi xīn。

年华无一事,  nián huá wú yī shì,

只是自伤春。  zhǐ shì  zì shāng chūn。

The small boats frequently return

I often lean from the tower’s scary heights

The swallow obeys the Spring Goddess

Too early, the butterfly dances, invades the morning

Crimson ice dispels one’s troubles

Frosted peaches gather fresh tastes

In all the world there’s just one troublesome thing

That is, the worries I receive in the Spring

 

Moon                                                                                                         

池上与桥边,  chí shàng yǔ qiáo biān,

难忘复可怜。  nán wàng fù  kě lián。

帘开最明夜,  lián kāi zuì míng yè,

簟卷已凉天。  diàn juǎn;juàn yǐ liáng tiān。

流处水花急,  liú chù;chǔ  shuǐ huā jí,

吐时云叶鲜。  tǔ shí yún yè xiān。

姮娥无粉黛,  héng é wú  fěn dài,

只是逞婵娟。  zhǐ shì chěng  chán juān。

Above the pool and by the bridge

Unforgettable, pitied again and again

The curtain opens, and you light up the night

The mats are rolled up, it’s already cold

You wash over the water, pressing flower upon flower

You burst out and moisten clouds grouped like leaves

Chang E[1] has no makeup

Just a lovely, lovely face.

 

 

The Cloud Goddess of Qiliang                                                                        齐梁晴云

 

缓逐烟波起,  huǎn zhú  yān bō qǐ,

如妒柳绵飘。  rú dù liǔ mián piāo。

故临飞阁度,  gù lín fēi dū;gé dù,

欲入回陂销。  yù rù huí pō;pí xiāo。

萦歌怜画扇,  yíng gē lián huà shàn;shān,

敞景弄柔条。  chǎng jǐng nòng;lòng róu tiáo。

更奈天南位,  gèng;gēng nài tiān nán wèi,

牛渚宿残宵。  niú zhǔ sù;xiǔ cán xiāo。

Unhurried, rising with the waves

As though envious of the willow’s swaying, silky floss

From soaring over the pavilions

Then diving into the gulley

The arching sounds of song sway with the painted fans

The Cloud Goddess grasps the willow’s leaves

One must pity the Southern Heavens,

The Herd Boy[2] rests the remainder of the night.

 

 

Limerick                                                                                                       俳谐

 

短顾何由遂,  duǎn;duān gù hé yóu suì,

迟光且莫惊。  chí guāng qiě mò jīng。

莺能歌子夜,  yīng néng gē  zǐ yè,

蝶解舞宫城。  dié jiě wǔ gōng chéng。

柳讶眉双浅,  liǔ yà méi shuāng qiǎn,

桃猜粉太轻。  táo cāi fěn tài qīng。

年华有情状,  nián huá  yǒu qíng zhuàng,

吾岂怯平生。  wú qǐ qiè  píng shēng。

 

Looking quickly around, I ask whence the right path?

In this evening light, all seems serene

At midnight the warbler can sing

Set free, the palace butterflies dance

The willow’s eyebrows are both startled at the smallest slight

The blush on the peaches[3] is a little too light

As long as time presents me with such conditions

I won’t be cowardly when it comes to life’s mission!

 

Lotus                                                                                                                       荷花

 

都无色可并,  dōu;dū  wú sè kě bìng,

不奈此香何。  bù nài cǐ xiāng hé。

瑶席乘凉设,  yáo xí  chéng liáng shè,

金羁落晚过。  jīn jī luò;lào;là wǎn guò。

回衾灯照绮,  huí qīn dēng zhào qǐ,

渡袜水沾罗。  dù wà shuǐ zhān luó;luō。

预想前秋别,  yù xiǎng qián qiū biè;bié,

离居梦棹歌。  lí;róu jū mèng zhuō gē。

Everything pales next to your color

One cannot bear how sweet you smell

The Yao mat is placed in a cool place

The golden reins fall back as the night passes

Heading back, the lamp  reveals the silk quilt

Socks moistened by the demon of the water[4] crossing

I think of Autumn after you have bid farewell

When I will dream of you rowing, and the songs you tell.


A Gift of a Lotus                                                                                         
赠荷花

 世间花叶不相伦,  shì jiān huā yè bù xiàng;xiāng lún,

花入金盆叶作尘。  huā rù jīn pén yè zuò chén。

惟有绿荷红菡萏,  wéi yǒu lǜ hè;hé hóng hàn dàn,

卷舒开合任天真。  juǎn;juàn shū kāi hé;gé rèn  tiān zhēn。

此花此叶常相映,  cǐ huā cǐ yè cháng xiàng;xiāng yìng,

翠减红衰愁杀人。  cuì jiǎn hóng shuāi;cuī chóu  shā rén。

In all the world the lotus flower and leaf are beyond compare

The flower sinks into golden bowls[5], the leaves turn to dust

Unique the green lotus and its scarlet buds that grow

So naturally, curling up or opening just so

This flower and this leaf shine as if cheek to cheek

One’s heart breaks when the green fades and the red decays.


The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems                                        
陈后宫

玄武开新苑,  xuán wǔ kāi xīn yuàn,

龙舟宴幸频。  lóng zhōu yàn xìng pín。

渚莲参法驾,  zhǔ lián cān;shān;shēn fǎ jià,

沙鸟犯句陈。  shā niǎo fàn jù chén。

寿献金茎露,  shòu xiàn jīn jīng lù;lòu,

歌翻玉树尘。  gē fān yù shù chén。

夜来江令醉,  yè lái jiāng lìng zuì,

别诏宿临春。  biè;bié zhào sù;xiǔ lín chūn。

Poem 1

 

On Xuanwu Lake the new garden unfolds

The dragon boat often hosts banquets for the fortunate

The lotus entices the Imperial carriage driver

The sandgull disobeys the Chen Palace rules

Golden hands and arms rise with the gift of long life[6]

The sound of music shakes dust off the jade trees

Jiang Ling gets drunk when night arrives

The Emperor orders him to sleep in the Spring Pavilion

 

茂苑城如画,mào yuàn chéng  rú huà,

阊门瓦欲流。chāng mén wǎ yù liú。

还依水光殿,hái;huán yī shuǐ guāng diàn,

更起月华楼。gèng;gēng qǐ  yuè huá lóu。

侵夜鸾开镜,qīn yè luán kāi jìng,

迎冬雉献裘。yíng dōng zhì xiàn qiú。

从臣皆半醉,cóng;zòng;cōng chén jiē bàn zuì,

天子正无愁。tiān zǐ zhèng;zhēng wú chóu。

Poem 2

The city’s luxuriant garden is like a painting

The heavenly gates flow like a mirage

Water shines by the temple

Moonlight rises over the towers

Night invades the Phoenix mirror[7]

In winter, the pheasant fur coat is welcomed

All the nobles, half drunk, are hosted

The Emperor truly has nothing to worry about!

 

Eastwards with the Soldiers                                                                               隋师东

 

东征日调万黄金,  dōng zhēng rì diào wàn  huáng jīn,

几竭中原买斗心。  jǐ;jī jié  zhōng yuán mǎi dòu;dǒu xīn。

军令未闻诛马谡,  jūn lìng wèi wén zhū mǎ sù,

捷书惟是报孙歆。  jié shū wéi shì bào sūn xīn。

但须鸑鷟巢阿阁,  dàn xū yuè zhuó cháo ā;ē dū;gé,

岂假鸱鸮在泮林。  qǐ jiǎ;jià chī xiāo zài pàn lín。

可惜前朝玄菟郡,  kě xī qián cháo;zhāo xuán tù jùn,

积骸成莽阵云深。jī hái chéng mǎng zhèn yún shēn。

The Eastern Expedition[8] daily spends ten thousand gold pieces

Almost emptying the Central Plains, getting souls for sale

The edicts were ignorant of the tale of General Masu

Glorious reports were as false as those of Sun Xin

But when the Phoenix and the Luan must nest by the Wooded Pavilion

How can one let the owls roost in the groundskeeper’s tree’s[9]?

Pity the story of the Han court’s Xuantu garrisons,

Beneath frowning clouds, piles of bones formed stinking grass!

 

The Fifth Poem Which, At The Tianping Banquet, Was Presented To Official Ling Hu, Stationed At Caijing And Who Studied The Scriptures In The Capital   天平公座中呈令狐令公,时蔡京在坐,京曾为僧徒,故有第五句

罢执霓旌上醮坛,  bà;ba zhí ní jīng shàng jiào tán,

慢妆娇树水晶盘。  màn zhuāng jiāo shù  shuǐ jīng pán。

更深欲诉蛾眉敛,  gēng shēn yù sù;xīn  é méi liǎn,

衣薄临醒玉艳寒。  yì;yī bò;báo;bó lín xǐng yù yàn hán。

白足禅僧思败道,  bái zú chán;shàn sēng sī bài dào,

青袍御史拟休官。  qīng páo  yù shǐ nǐ xiū guān。

虽然同是将军客,  suī rán tóng;tòng shì  jiāng jūn kè,

不敢公然子细看。  bù gǎn  gōng rán zǐ  xì kàn。

 

She does not hold the rainbow[10] banner above the sacred alter

Rather the crystal bowl, with light makeup,  like a Jade tree with a gentle manner

How one wants to urge Miss Moth Eyebrows[11] to hold back still

Her face wan, when she wakes in her thin clothes, as if feeling a chill

He whose feet were always unsullied abandoned the scriptures

Donned the green robes, and made the Imperial Censor[12] his future

Although soldiers and guests are the officials with whom he serves

He can be quite brazen, and for her sake, he keenly observes!

A Spring Day                                                                                      春日

 

欲入卢家白玉堂,  yù rù lú jiā bái yù táng,

新春催破舞衣裳。  xīn chūn cuī pò wǔ  yī cháng。

蝶衔红蕊蜂衔粉,  dié xián hóng ruǐ fēng xián fěn,

共助青楼一日忙。  gòng zhù  qīng lóu  yī rì máng。

To enter the white jade hall of the Lu Family[13]

This New Year[14], one quickly makes a dancing skirt

The butterfly tends to its flowers, pollen is gathered by the bee

Today , all this helps make the Green Tower quite busy and alert!

Passion                                                                                                           闺情

 

红露花房白蜜脾,  hóng lù;lòu  huā fáng bái mì pí,

黄蜂紫蝶两参差。  huáng fēng zǐ dié liǎng  cēn cī。

春窗一觉风流梦,  chūn chuāng  yī jiào  fēng liú mèng,

却是同袍不得知。  què shì  tóng páo  bù dé zhī。

The scarlet flower emerges, a white honeycomb

The golden bee and the purple butterfly hovering light and free

Before the curtain the spring[15] wind flows through my dreams

Yet where is the hug or embrace, that I do not know!

 

The Radiance of Spring                                                                     春光

日日春光斗日光,  rì rì  chūn guāng dòu;dǒu  rì guāng,

山城斜路杏花香。  shān chéng  xié lù xìng  huā xiāng。

几时心绪浑无事,  jǐ shí  xīn xù hún  wú shì,

得及游丝百尺长?  dé;děi;de jí  yóu sī bǎi chǐ;chě cháng;zhǎng?

The radiance of spring tussles with sunlight,day after day

The scent of apricots, a road that slants over the mountain city

When my heart is full of meaningless things

Can the trembling gossamer

travel one hundred chi

So far?

 

 

Judging Spring                                                                                   判春

 

一桃复一李,  yī táo fù yī lǐ,

井上占年芳。  jǐng shàng zhàn;zhān nián fāng。

笑处如临镜,  xiào chù;chǔ rú lín jìng,

窥时不隐墙。  kuī shí bù yǐn qiáng。

敢言西子短,  gǎn yán xī zǐ duǎn;duān,

谁觉宓妃长。  shuí jué;jiào mì fēi cháng;zhǎng。

珠玉终相类,  zhū yù zhōng xiàng;xiāng lèi,

同名作夜光。  tóng míng zuò  yè guāng。

 

Peach tree, plum tree so near and dear

Lie over the well, fragrant all year.

They smile as in front of a mirror

When they peek out from behind the wall

I dare to mention Xi Zi[16]‘s short hair

And who thinks Mi Fei’s was long?

The Pearl and the Jade are equally bright

No more, no less, they fill up the night

 

The Peony                                                                              牡丹·锦帏初卷卫夫人

 

锦帏初卷卫夫人,  jǐn wéi chū juǎn;juàn wèi  fū rén,

绣被犹堆越鄂君。  xiù bèi yóu duī yuè è jūn。

垂手乱翻雕玉佩,  chuí shǒu luàn fān diāo  yù pèi,

招腰争舞郁金裙。  zhāo yāo zhēng wǔ yù jīn qún。

石家蜡烛何曾剪,  shí jiā  là zhú  hé céng jiǎn,

荀令香炉可待熏。  xún lìng  xiāng lú kě dāi xūn。

我是梦中传彩笔,  wǒ shì  mèng zhōng zhuàn;chuán  cǎi bǐ,

欲书花叶寄朝云。  yù shū huā yè jì cháo;zhāo yún。

Your brocaded curtains first roll up around the Lady of Wei[17]

Embroidered sheets pile up by the Marquis of Yue[18]

Your carved jade pendants are like hands waving upside down[19]

Bright saffron skirts dance as though their waists will snap

How could the Stone God clip such precious candles? [20]

Could Master Xun Ling’s furnace produce such a scent? [21]

In my dreams I received a brush of many colors[22]

To write a message on these leaves for the morning clouds

 

For The Flowers Beneath Master Zhi                      赠子直花下

池光忽隐墙,  chí guāng hū yǐn qiáng,

花气乱侵房。  huā qì luàn qīn fáng。

屏缘蝶留粉,  píng;bǐng yuán dié liú fěn,

窗油蜂印黄。  chuāng yóu fēng yìn huáng。

官书推小吏,  guān shū tuī  xiǎo lì,

侍史从清郎。  shì shǐ cóng;zòng;cōng qīng láng。

并马更吟去,  bìng mǎ gèng;gēng yín qù,

寻思有底忙。  xún si  yǒu dǐ máng。

The dim walls ignore the shining pool

Flowers invade the chamber without order

The butterfly[23] leaves its colors on the screen

Yellow honeybee marks lie on painted windows

The official letter is offered to Little Li

A woman free and easy to wait on your officials

Let us two horses cry out together

So what if we are busy with work, when like minds inquire?

 

For Middle Assistant Yuwen                                      赠宇文中丞

欲构中天正急材,  yù gòu  zhōng tiān zhèng;zhēng jí cái,

自缘烟水恋平台。  zì yuán yān shuǐ liàn  píng tái。

人间只有嵇延祖,  rén jiān  zhǐ yǒu jí yán zǔ,

最望山公启事来。  zuì wàng shān gōng  qǐ shì lái。

The building of Middle Heaven Terrace truly required integrity and talent

Of one who loves the mist and rain of Pingtai

In all the world there is only Master Ji Yanzu

Who most looks forward to the summons from Shangong.

A Little Rain                                                                                       微雨

初随林霭动,   chū suí lín ǎi dòng,

稍共夜凉分.   shāo gòng yè liáng fēn.

窗迥侵灯冷,   chuāng jiǒng qīn dēng lěng,

庭虚近水闻.   tíng xū jìn shuǐ wén.

At first a haze seems to move over the trees

With this little rain a coolness sweeps through the night

Muted lamplight intrudes into cold windows and parlors

In empty halls, the water sounds quite near

Drizzling Rain                                                                                    细雨
帷飘白玉堂,   wéi piāo bái yù táng,

簟卷碧牙床.   diàn juǎn;juàn bì  yá chuáng.

楚女当时意,   chǔ nǚ  dāng shí;dàng shí yì,

萧萧发彩凉.   xiāo xiāo fā;fà cǎi liáng.

Drapes swaying, a white jade[24]hall

Rolled up mats, a green bed shaped like a tooth

When the Goddess of Chu creates the rain

Her hair sparkles in the mirror with a cold light.

 

 

Rain                                                                                                               

摵摵度瓜园,  sè sè dù guā yuán,

依依傍竹轩。  yī yī bàng zhú xuān。

秋池不自冷,  qiū chí bù zì lěng,

风叶共成喧。  fēng yè gòng chéng xuān。

窗迥有时见,  chuāng jiǒng  yǒu shí jiàn;xiàn,

檐高相续翻。  yán gāo xiàng;xiāng xù fān。

侵宵送书雁,  qīn xiāo sòng shū yàn,

应为稻粱恩。  yīng;yìng wèi;wéi dào liáng ēn。

 

She! She! The rain sounds on melon fields

Bamboo stalks and fences all cluster nearby

The Autumn pond does not feel cool

The wind sweeps up the leaves with a roar

Windows and pavilions are faintly seen

Eaves on the towers flap again and again

The wild geese[25] carries its letters into the night

Blessing the millet fields below

 

Thank You Letter                                                                               谢书

微意何曾有一毫,  wēi yì  hé céng yǒu yī háo,

空携笔砚奉龙韬。  kōng xié bǐ yàn fèng lóng tāo。

自蒙半夜传衣后,  zì méng;mēng;měng  bàn yè zhuàn;chuán yì;yī hòu,

不羡王祥得佩刀。  bù xiàn wáng xiáng dé;děi;de  pèi dāo。

How you paid a little attention to this slight young leaf[26]

My hands empty, an ink brush stone was given by the dragon Sage

In the middle of the night I changed my clothes[27], afterwards

I did not envy King Wang’s blade of piety.

Xiangyang Palace                                                                              咸阳

 

咸阳宫阙郁嵯峨,  xián;xiān yáng  gōng què yù  cuó é,

六国楼台艳绮罗。  liù guó  lóu tái yàn qǐ luó;luō。

自是当时天帝醉,  zì shì  dāng shí;dàng shí  tiān dì zuì,

不关秦地有山河。  bù guān qín dì;de yǒu  shān hé。

The watchtower on Xiangyang Palace lies shrouded aloft

The mansions and terraces of the Six States gaudy and decked out

As for myself, I am now a drunken king

Who couldn’t care less about Qin’s lakes, mountains and such things.

Spring Wind                                                                                       春风

春风虽自好,  chūn fēng suī zì hǎo;hào,

春物太昌昌。  chūn wù tài chāng chāng。

若教春有意,  ruò jiào;jiāo chūn  yǒu yì,

惟遣一枝芳。  wéi qiǎn yī zhī fāng。

我意殊春意,  wǒ yì shū  chūn yì,

先春已断肠。  xiān chūn yǐ  duàn cháng。

 

Although the spring wind does me good,

Too many things blossom, as Spring allows

Although the season shares a certain charm

Just send me one fragrant bough

For me Spring’s charm has fallen apart

For at its beginning I already had a broken heart

 

Early Rising                                                                                        早起

风露澹清晨,  fēng lù;lòu dàn  qīng chén,

帘间独起人。  lián jiān;jiàn;xiàn dú qǐ rén。

莺花啼又笑,  yīng huā tí yòu xiào,

毕竟是谁春。  bì jìng shì shuí chūn。

The early morning breeze is clear and fresh

Alone, she wakes up behind the curtain

The flowers laugh as the orioles cry,

This Spring is for whom, she sighs

 

Below the Cherry Blossoms                                                   樱桃花下

流莺舞蝶两相欺,  liú yīng wǔ dié liǎng xiàng;xiāng qī,

不取花芳正结时。  bù qǔ huā fāng zhèng;zhēng jié;jiē shí。

他日未开今日谢,  tā rì wèi kāi  jīn rì xiè,

嘉辰长短是参差。  jiā chén  cháng duǎn shì  cēn cī。

You deceive both the swooping oriole and the dancing butterfly

They don’t gather you up as your white crowns form

Thank today that you didn’t open then

Noble spirits always ebb and flow

The Mocking Peach                                                                           嘲桃

 

无赖夭桃面,  wú lài yāo táo miàn,

平时露井东。  píng shí lù;lòu jǐng dōng。

春风为开了,  chūn fēng wèi;wéi kāi le;liǎo;liào,

却拟笑春风。  què nǐ xiào  chūn fēng。

 

What a rascal with a pallid face you are

Brightly shining to the east of the open well

You open your flowers for the rush of spring

Yet prepare to mock just what it brings

 

When The First Bamboo Shoots Emerge At The Start Of The Feast初食笋呈座中

嫩箨香苞初出林,  nèn tuò xiāng bāo chū chū lín,

於陵论价重如金。  yū;yú;wū líng lùn jià zhòng;chóng rú jīn。

皇都陆海应无数,  huáng dōu;dū lù hǎi yīng;yìng  wú shù,

忍剪凌云一寸心。  rěn jiǎn  líng yún yī  cùn xīn。

Tender shoots, fragrant, first bud in the forest

At Wuling their value is greater than gold

The Capitol has seas and lands that are limitless

How can one cut inches into a heart[28] that soars?

 

To Goddess Gouwang                                                                        赠句芒神

佳期不定春期赊,  jiā qī  bù dìng chūn qī shē,

春物夭阏兴咨嗟。  chūn wù  yāo yān xìng;xīng zī jiē;juē。

愿得句芒索青女,  yuàn dé;děi;de jù máng suǒ qīng nǚ,

不教容易损年华。  bù jiào;jiāo  róng yì sǔn  nián huá。

The best of times is not when Spring is beginning or ending

When the world seems to slow, to gasps of alarm

Hope that Gouwang seeks out the Ice Queen

Otherwise, how easily we may lose Spring’s bloom

 

In the Style of Poet Li He                                                                   效长吉

长长汉殿眉,cháng;zhǎng cháng;zhǎng hàn diàn méi,

窄窄楚宫衣。zhǎi zhǎi chǔ gōng yì;yī。

镜好鸾空舞,jìng hǎo;hào luán kōng wǔ,

帘疏燕误飞。lián shū yàn wù fēi。

君王不可问,jūn wáng  bù kě wèn,

昨夜约黄归。zuó yè yuē;yāo huáng guī。

Long, so long her eyebrows, as in the Han Temple

Narrow, so narrow the dress, as in the Chu Palace

In the fine mirror the luan[29] dances without passion

On the crumpled drapes the swallow crazily flies

The emperor cannot know but

Last night, she returned in yellow makeup

 

 

On Cold Food Festival  While Traveling to  Lengquan Staging Post 寒食行次冷泉驿

驿途仍近节,  yì tú réng jìn jié,

旅宿倍思家。  lǚ sù;xiǔ bèi sī jiā。

独夜三更月,  dú yè  sān gēng yuè,

空庭一树花。  kōng tíng yī shù huā。

介山当驿秀,  jiè shān dāng;dàng yì xiù,

汾水绕关斜。  fén shuǐ rào guān xié。

自怯春寒苦,  zì qiè  chūn hán kǔ,

那堪禁火赊。  nà;nèi kān  jìn huǒ shē。

By the station road, close to the Festival

In the Inn,  I think of home

Lonely, at the third lunar hour[30]

Empty halls, on the tree a flower

From Jie Mountain to the Post Station is lovely country

The river splits around the Pass

Myself, I tremble at the hardships of Spring

That coming crucible of bitterness and fire

 

For Official Zhao While Briefly Posted At Xielu                              赠赵协律皙

俱识孙公与谢公,  jù;jū shí sūn gōng yǔ xiè gōng,

二年歌哭处还同。  èr nián gē kū chù;chǔ hái;huán tóng;tòng。

已叨邹马声华末,  yǐ dāo zōu mǎ  shēng huá mò,

更共刘卢族望通。  gèng;gēng gòng liú lú zú wàng tōng。

南省恩深宾馆在,  nán shěng;xǐng ēn shēn  bīn guǎn zài,

东山事往妓楼空。  dōng shān shì wǎng;wàng jì lóu kōng。

不堪岁暮相逢地,  bù kān  suì mù  xiāng féng dì;de,

我欲西征君又东。  wǒ yù xī zhēng jūn yòu dōng。

I got know officials Sun and Xie

We sang and suffered for two years.

Already unworthy of even a little of Master Zhou’s fame

I served a great family like Liu Lu’s

Mr He of Southern district showed great kindness when I stayed there

At East Mountain great matters left the red mansions bare

At the end of the year, one hates these meeting places

As I head for the Western Capitol and you, my friend, go east

 

The Hanging Sky                                                                               钧天

上帝钧天会众灵,  shàng dì jūn tiān huì;kuài zhòng líng,

昔人因梦到青冥。  xī rén yīn  mèng dào  qīng míng。

伶伦吹裂孤生竹,  líng lún chuī liè gū shēng zhú,

却为知音不得听。  què wèi;wéi  zhī yīn  bù dé tīng。

From God the sky hangs, the celestial convocation[31] gathers

In the past a dream led to visions of a heavenly feast

The flutes of Linglun Palace would split the lonely bamboos[32]

Why keep the sounds from those who want to know?

 

The Plum Flowers At Master Zizhe’s Jinchang Home                    子直晋昌李花

吴馆何时熨,  wú guǎn  hé shí yùn;yù,

秦台几夜熏。  qín tái jǐ;jī yè xūn。

绡轻谁解卷,  xiāo qīng shuí jiě juǎn;juàn,

香异自先闻。  xiāng yì zì xiān wén。

月里谁无姊,  yuè lǐ shuí wú zǐ,

云中亦有君。  yún zhōng yì yǒu jūn。

樽前见飘荡,  zūn qián jiàn;xiàn  piāo dàng,

愁极客襟分。  chóu jí kè jīn fēn。

When will the silk skirt in Wu Palace open

Spreading its perfume over Qin Terrace night after night?

Who unfolds the layers of light silk?

Only I first recognize the strange scent

On the moon, who will be Chang E’s little sister

Or travel with the Cloud Goddess on her rounds?

We are like blossoms drifting before my wine cup

It hurts so much that my guest will just split his tunic and leave

 

 

The Willows By the Pass                                                                    关门柳

永定河边一行柳,  yǒng dìng  hé biān  yī xíng liǔ,

依依长发故年春。  yī yī cháng;zhǎng fā;fà gù nián chūn。

东来西去人情薄,  dōng lái xī qù  rén qíng bò;báo;bó,

不为清阴减路尘。  bù wèi;wéi qīng yīn jiǎn lù chén。

The willows stand in a row by Yongding river

Year after year, luxuriously growing each spring

From the east to the west, one passes by with light fancies

Not dismounting from the dusty road to enjoy their cool shade.

 

 

Sunset Tower                                                                         夕阳楼

花明柳暗绕天愁,  huā míng liǔ àn rào tiān chóu,

上尽重城更上楼。  shàng jìn;jǐn zhòng;chóng chéng gèng;gēng shàng lóu。

欲问孤鸿向何处,  yù wèn gū hóng  xiàng hé chù,

不知身世自悠悠。  bù zhī  shēn shì zì  yōu yōu。

 

Flower bright, whispering willows, circled by troubled skies

I struggle up to the tall city, even to the lofty tower[33]

To ask the wild goose where he flies

Even as I blindly drift through this mortal world

 

 Stone City                                                                                          石城

石城夸窈窕,  shí chéng kuā  yǎo tiǎo,

花县更风流。  huā xiàn gèng;gēng  fēng liú。

簟冰将飘枕,  diàn bīng jiāng;jiàng piāo zhěn,

帘烘不隐钩。  lián hōng bù yǐn gōu。

玉童收夜钥,  yù tóng shōu yè yào,

金狄守更筹。  jīn dí shǒu gèng;gēng chóu。

共笑鸳鸯绮,  gòng xiào  yuān yāng qǐ,

鸳鸯两白头。  yuān yāng liǎng  bái tóu。

Gorgeous is Stone city

As wild and romantic as Flower County

Cool reeds form wavy pillows

Under candlelight, nothing is hidden beneath the curtain hooks

Jade maidens receive the keys to the night

The clock’s copper watchman marshals his resources

Pleasant all the mandarin duck[34] weaved bedspreads

May the two ducks grow a white head of hair!

 

Two Poems for the Singing Lady                              赠歌妓二首

水精如意玉连环,  shuǐ jīng  rú yì yù  lián huán,

下蔡城危莫破颜。  xià cài chéng wēi mò  pò yán。

红绽樱桃含白雪,  hóng zhàn  yīng táo hán bái xuě,

断肠声里唱阳关。  duàn cháng shēng lǐ chàng yáng guān。

白日相思可奈何,  bái rì  xiāng sī kě  nài hé,

严城清夜断经过。  yán chéng qīng yè duàn  jīng guò。

只知解道春来瘦,  zhī;zhǐ zhī jiě dào chūn lái shòu,

不道春来独自多。  bù dào chūn lái  dú zì duō。

First poem

 

The  water crystal sways with the jade necklace

The perilous walls of Xiacai City buckles at her smile

The red cherry bursts open in the white snow[35]

One’s heart breaks at the sound of the  .

 

Second Poem

 

During the day how can I think of you?

Even the clear moonlight is blocked by the city’s garrison walls

You only know that I am as thin as brushwood when spring arrives

You do not know how many lonely places I have been

 

Moon                                                                                                             

过水穿楼触处明,  guò shuǐ chuān lóu  chù chù míng,

藏人带树远含清。  zàng rén dài shù yuǎn hán qīng。

初生欲缺虚惆怅,  chū shēng yù quē xū  chóu chàng,

未必圆时即有情。  wèi bì yuán shí jí  yǒu qíng。

Over the water, enveloping the towers, touching places with light

People are hidden, a belt of trees, distant places so clear

At first, it seeks and falters, to dispel the empty and forlorn

When full, who knows what sort of relief it will bring?

 

Outside the City                                                                                  城外

 

露寒风定不无情,  lù;lòu  hán fēng dìng bù  wú qíng,

临水当山又隔城。  lín shuǐ dāng;dàng shān yòu gé chéng。

未必明时胜蚌蛤,  wèi bì míng shí shèng;shēng bàng há;gé,

一生长共月亏盈。  yī shēng cháng;zhǎng gòng  yuè kuī yíng。

It appears a cool wind is not always indifferent, without pity

Overlooking the water, I climb the mountains away from the City

Unlike the toad and clam[36], there is no guarantee how my tomorrow will go

Their long life depends on how much the moon ebbs and flows

 

Rest in Peace Dear Mentor                                                    安平公诗

丈人博陵王名家,  zhàng rén bó líng wáng  míng jiā,

怜我总角称才华。  lián wǒ  zǒng jiǎo chèn  cái huá。

华州留语晓至暮,  huā;huá zhōu liú yǔ;yù xiǎo zhì mù,

高声喝吏放两衙。  gāo shēng hē lì fàng liǎng yá。

明朝骑马出城外,  míng zhāo  qí mǎ chū chéng wài,

送我习业南山阿。  sòng wǒ xí yè  nán shān ā;ē。

仲子延岳年十六,  zhòng zǐ yán yuè nián  shí liù,

面如白玉欹乌纱。  miàn rú bái yù yī wū shā。

其弟炳章犹两丱,  qí dì bǐng zhāng yóu liǎng guàn,

瑶林琼树含奇花。  yáo lín qióng shù hán qí;jī huā。

陈留阮家诸侄秀,  chén liú ruǎn jiā zhū zhí xiù,

逦迤出拜何骈罗。  lǐ yí chū bài hé pián luó;luō。

府中从事杜与李,  fǔ zhōng  cóng shì dù yǔ lǐ,

麟角虎翅相过摩。  lín jiǎo hǔ chì xiàng;xiāng guò mó。

清词孤韵有歌响,  qīng cí gū yùn yǒu gē xiǎng,

击触钟磬鸣环珂。  jī chù zhōng qìng míng huán kē。

三月石堤冻销释,  sān yuè shí dī dòng xiāo shì,

东风开花满阳坡。  dōng fēng  kāi huā mǎn  yáng pō。

时禽得伴戏新木,  shí qín dé;děi;de bàn xì xīn mù,

其声尖咽如鸣梭。  qí shēng jiān yàn;yè;yān rú míng suō。

公时载酒领从事,  gōng shí zài jiǔ lǐng  cóng shì,

踊跃鞍马来相过。  yǒng yuè  ān mǎ lái xiàng;xiāng guò。

仰看楼殿撮清汉,  yǎng kàn;kān lóu diàn cuō qīng hàn,

坐视世界如恒沙。  zuò shì  shì jiè rú héng shā。

面热脚掉互登陟,  miàn rè jiǎo diào hù dēng zhì,

青云表柱白云崖。  qīng yún biǎo zhù bái  yún yá。

一百八句在贝叶,  yī bǎi bā jù zài bèi yè,

三十三天长雨花。  sān shí sān tiān cháng;zhǎng yǔ huā。

长者子来辄献盖,  zhǎng zhě zǐ lái zhé xiàn gě;gài,

辟支佛去空留靴。  pì;bì zhī fú;fó qù kōng liú xuē。

公时受诏镇东鲁,  gōng shí shòu zhào zhèn;chēn dōng lǔ,

遣我草诏随车牙。  qiǎn wǒ cǎo zhào suí chē yá。

顾我下笔即千字,  gù wǒ  xià bǐ jí qiān zì,

疑我读书倾五车。  yí wǒ  dú shū qīng wǔ chē。

呜呼大贤苦不寿,  wū hū  dà xián kǔ bù shòu,

时世方士无灵砂。  shí shì  fāng shì wú líng shā。

五月至止六月病,  wǔ yuè zhì zhǐ  liù yuè bìng,

遽颓泰山惊逝波。  jù tuí  tài shān jīng shì bō。

明年徒步吊京国,  míng nián  tú bù diào jīng guó,

宅破子毁哀如何。  zhái pò zǐ huǐ āi;yǐ  rú hé。

西风冲户卷素帐,  xī fēng chōng hù juǎn;juàn sù zhàng,

隙光斜照旧燕窠。  xì guāng xié  zhào jiù yàn kē。

古人常叹知己少,  gǔ rén cháng tàn  zhī jǐ shǎo;shào,

况我沦贱艰虞多。  kuàng wǒ lún jiàn jiān yú duō。

如公之德世一二,  rú gōng zhī dé shì  yī èr,

岂得无泪如黄河。  qǐ  dé wú lèi rú  huáng hé。

沥胆咒愿天有眼,  lì dǎn zhòu yuàn tiān yǒu yǎn,

君子之泽方滂沱。  jūn zi zhī zé fāng  pāng tuó。

The elder was a blue blood of the Bo Lingwang clan

He affectionately called me of the childish tufts ‘the talented one’

At Huazhou his voice resounded from morning to evening

When he twice performed censor duties his high voice seemed to sing

On clear mornings, he would ride his horse out of the city

Inviting me to study classes of the Southern Mountain ditties

His second son was sixteen years old

A face like white jade with a crow embroidered hat worn to the side, quite bold

The other son, Bing Zhang had two horn hair tufts

And was like strange flowers filling a jasper forest of precious lairs

The Ruan family nephews of the Chenliu office were talented

With respect, in unbroken ranks, to his work they attended

In the group’s subordinates official Di and Master Li

The unicorn’s horn and the tiger’s[37] wing, sat close, alike to a tee

Clear poems and sad rhymes would abound

Pealing bells and precious pendants lightly sound

In March the stone froze where the embankment loomed

On the southern slope, in the East wind, flowers bloomed

At times birds would happily flock to each new piece of

wood

With brittle crisp sounds like the lathe on a loom

At work, the studious teacher would command his subordinates

Eagerly reining the horses to come together, importunate

Looking up at the towers and temples we saw the Milky Way

From our seats it was the Ganges[38], a world at play

Faces flushed, we ascended, our legs very weak

Dark clouds stood up straight over White Cloud Peak

One hundred and eight verses in the talipot[39] leaf scrolls

Thirty three days of blooms as the long rain falls (?)

The elder’s son arrived often to present the cover (?)

He left behind empty sandals, the Sanskrit reading over

At work he received the edict to pacify Eastern Lu

Next to his tooth shaped chariot he had me scribble an ode or two

Inspiring me to lower my brush to write a thousand characters

He challenged me to read five cartloads of verse

Bellow out that bitter and short is the virtuous life

The scholar lacks nimbleness and grit needed in this mortal strife

He stopped work in May and got sick in June

As a wave breaks or Mount Tai[40] might collapse, he died so fast, so soon

Next year one will walk to the Capital to remember him and pay him leave

His home broken, sons distraught – how one must grieve

The tent is rolled up, two winds buffet the place he used to rest

Light slants in to reveal the old swallow’s nest

The ancients say what one knows is already very little

Now I have many poor omens and for cheaper things must settle

If the Master achieved virtue in both worlds ever

How can we not cry like the Yellow River[41]?

Brave wishes can trickle down yet the world will see

The gentleman’s pond is a torrential sea

 

After Having Shared Old Times With First Talent Cuiming At His Father’s Ocean Residence This Poem Was Sent To Officials Du, Zhao And Li. 过故崔兖海宅与崔明秀才话旧因寄旧僚杜赵李三掾

绛帐恩如昨,  jiāng zhàng ēn rú zuó,

乌衣事莫寻。  wū yì;yī shì mò xún。

诸生空会葬,  zhū shēng kōng huì;kuài zàng,

旧掾已华簪。  jiù yuàn yǐ huā;huá zān。

共入留宾驿,  gòng rù liú bīn yì,

俱分市骏金。  jù;jū fēn shì jùn jīn。

莫凭无鬼论,  mò píng wú guǐ lùn,

终负托孤心。  zhōng fù  tuō gū xīn。

Teacher Red Curtain’s kindness seems like it was yesterday

Yet we will not again take pleasure such as at Crow Cloth Street

His students of old did not attend the burial

But now have already donned high ranking hairpins

All were welcomed into the resting post

Gold pieces for the horses were dutifully paid out

Do not rely on theories that say there are no ghosts

To take care of an orphan’s heart is what duty is about

 

Sent to Officials Cuiyong And Cuiyan, While Lodging at Luo Family Pavilion 宿骆氏亭寄怀崔雍崔衮

竹坞无尘水槛清,  zhú wù wú chén shuǐ jiàn qīng,

相思迢递隔重城。  xiāng sī tiáo dì gé zhòng;chóng chéng。

秋阴不散霜飞晚,  qiū yīn bù sǎn shuāng fēi wǎn,

留得枯荷听雨声。  liú dé;děi;de kū hè;hé tīng  yǔ shēng。

By the railing, the air is free of dust, the water by the bamboo is clear and bright

My thoughts and feelings are of distant places, and the city of a lofty height

In the evening the frosty wind blows and the Autumn haze remains

All I hear is the withered lotus[42] leaves crackling in the rain.

 

Stagnant Rain                                                                                                滞雨

滞雨长安夜,  zhì yǔ  cháng ān yè,

残灯独客愁。  cán dēng dú kè chóu。

故乡云水地,  gù xiāng yún shuǐ dì;de,

归梦不宜秋。  guī mèng  bù yí qiū。

A night in Chang An of stagnant rain

Withered candles, lonely guests with faces of pain

Where I come from, it is damp and many clouds roam

This Autumn, one should not dream of home

 

 

Returning East                                                                                   东还

自有仙才自不知,  zì yǒu xiān cái zì  bù zhī,

十年长梦采华芝。  shí nián cháng;zhǎng mèng cǎi huā;huá zhī。

秋风动地黄云暮,  qiū  fēng dòng  dì huáng yún mù,

归去嵩阳寻旧师。  guī qù sōng yáng xún jiù shī。

Whether I can find the Way[43] I do not know

For ten years I have dreamed  of understanding the herb’s[44] mysteries

Autumn’s wind shakes the ground, at sunset golden clouds lie aloft

Returning to Song Yang, it is my old teacher I want to see

 

4 Swallow Terrace[45] Poems                                                                 燕台四首

春  chūn

风光冉冉东西陌,  fēng guāng  rǎn rǎn  dōng xi;dōng xī mò,

几日娇魂寻不得。  jǐ;jī rì jiāo hún xún  bù dé。

蜜房羽客类芳心,  mì fáng  yǔ kè lèi  fāng xīn,

冶叶倡条遍相识。  yě yè chàng tiáo biàn  xiāng shí。

暖蔼辉迟桃树西,  nuǎn ǎi huī chí  táo shù xī,

高鬟立共桃鬟齐。  gāo huán lì gòng táo huán qí。

雄龙雌凤杳何许?  xióng lóng cí fèng yǎo  hé xǔ?

絮乱丝繁天亦迷。  xù  luàn sī fán tiān yì mí。

醉起微阳若初曙,  zuì qǐ wēi yáng ruò chū shǔ,

映帘梦断闻残语。  yìng lián mèng duàn wén cán yǔ;yù。

愁将铁网罥珊瑚,  chóu jiāng;jiàng tiě wǎng juàn  shān hú,

海阔天宽迷处所。  hǎi kuò tiān kuān mí  chù suǒ。

衣带无情有宽窄,  yì;yī dài  wú qíng yǒu  kuān zhǎi,

春烟自碧秋霜白。  chūn yān zì bì  qiū shuāng bái。

研丹擘石天不知,  yán dān bò shí tiān  bù zhī,

愿得天牢锁冤魄。  yuàn dé;děi;de tiān láo suǒ yuān pò。

夹罗委箧单绡起,  jiá;jiā luó;luō wěi qiè dān;chán xiāo qǐ,

香肌冷衬琤琤佩。  xiāng jī lěng chèn chēng chēng pèi。

今日东风自不胜,  jīn rì  dōng fēng zì  bù shèng,

化作幽光入西海。  huà;huā zuò yōu guāng rù xī hǎi。
夏  xià
前阁雨帘愁不卷,  qián dū;gé yǔ lián chóu bù juǎn;juàn,

后堂芳树阴阴见。  hòu táng fāng  shù yīn yīn jiàn;xiàn。

石城景物类黄泉,  shí chéng  jǐng wù lèi  huáng quán,

夜半行郎空柘弹。  yè bàn xíng;háng;xìng láng kōng zhè tán;dàn。

绫扇唤风阊阖天,  líng shàn;shān huàn fēng  chāng hé tiān,

轻帏翠幕波洄旋。  qīng wéi cuì mù bō huí xuán。

蜀魂寂寞有伴未?  shǔ hún  jì mò yǒu bàn wèi?

几夜瘴花开木棉。  jǐ;jī yè zhàng  huā kāi  mù mián。

桂宫流影光难取,  guì gōng liú yǐng guāng nán qǔ,

嫣薰兰破轻轻语。  yān xūn lán pò  qīng qīng yǔ;yù。

直教银汉堕怀中,  zhí jiào;jiāo  yín hàn duò huái zhōng,

未遣星妃镇来去。  wèi qiǎn xīng fēi zhèn;chēn  lái qù。

浊水清波何异源,  zhuó shuǐ qīng bō hé yì yuán,

济河水清黄河浑。  jǐ;jì  hé shuǐ qīng  huáng hé hún。

安得薄雾起缃裙,  ān dé;děi;de  bó wù qǐ xiāng qún,

手接云輧呼太君。  shǒu jiē yún peng hū tài jūn。
秋  qiū

月浪衡天天宇湿,  yuè làng héng  tiān tiān yǔ shī,

凉蟾落尽疏星入。  liáng chán luò;lào;là jìn;jǐn shū xīng rù。

云屏不动掩孤嚬,  yún píng;bǐng  bù dòng yǎn gū pín,

西楼一夜风筝急。  xī lóu yī yè  fēng zhēng jí。

欲织相思花寄远,  yù zhī  xiāng sī huā jì yuǎn,

终日相思却相怨。  zhōng rì  xiāng sī què xiàng;xiāng yuàn。

但闻北斗声回环,  dàn wén běi dòu;dǒu shēng huí huán,

不见长河水清浅。  bù jiàn  cháng hé shuǐ qīng qiǎn。

金鱼锁断红桂春,  jīn yú suǒ duàn hóng guì chūn,

古时尘满鸳鸯茵。  gǔ shí chén mǎn  yuān yāng yīn。

堪悲小苑作长道,  kān bēi xiǎo yuàn zuò cháng;zhǎng dào,

玉树未怜亡国人。  yù shù wèi lián wáng  guó rén。

瑶琴愔愔藏楚弄,  yáo qín yīn yīn zàng;cáng chǔ nòng;lòng,

越罗冷薄金泥重。  yuè luó;luō lěng bò;báo;bó jīn ní zhòng;chóng。

帘钩鹦鹉夜惊霜,  lián gōu  yīng wǔ  yè jīng shuāng,

唤起南云绕云梦。  huàn qǐ nán yún rào yún mèng。

双璫丁丁联尺素,  shuāng dāng  zhēng zhēng lián  chǐ sù,

内记湘川相识处。  nèi jì xiāng chuān  xiāng shí chù;chǔ。

歌唇一世衔雨看,  gē chún  yī shì xián yǔ kàn;kān,

可惜馨香手中故。  kě xī xīn xiāng shǒu zhōng gù。

冬  dōng

天东日出天西下,  tiān dōng  rì chū tiān xī xià,

雌凤孤飞女龙寡。  cí fèng gū fēi nǚ lóng guǎ。

青溪白石不相望,  qīng qī bái shí bù  xiāng wàng,

堂上远甚苍梧野。  táng shang yuǎn shèn cāng wú yě。

冻壁霜华交隐起,  dòng bì shuāng huā;huá jiāo yǐn qǐ,

芳根中断香心死。  fāng gēn  zhōng duàn xiāng xīn sǐ。

浪乘画舸忆蟾蜍,  làng chéng;shèng huà gě yì  chán chú,

月娥未必婵娟子。  yuè é  wèi bì  chán juān zǐ。

楚管蛮弦愁一概,  chǔ guǎn mán xián chóu  yī gài,

空城罢舞腰支在。  kōng chéng bà;ba wǔ yāo zhī zài。

当时欢向掌中销,  dāng shí;dàng shí huān xiàng zhǎng zhōng xiāo,

桃叶桃根双姊妹。  táo yè táo gēn shuāng  zǐ mèi。

破鬟倭堕凌朝寒,  pò huán wō duò líng cháo;zhāo hán,

白玉燕钗黄金蝉。  bái yù yàn chāi  huáng jīn chán。

风车雨马不持去,  fēng chē yǔ mǎ bù chí qù,

蜡烛啼红怨天曙。  là zhú tí hóng yuàn tiān shǔ。

 

Spring

 

Spring’s glow slowly sweeps across footpaths east to west

For days it seeks but does not find that charming lass

This honeybee is her kindred soul, her guest

Singing in a tree’s branches, knowing where her eyebrows are fixed fast

From the west, the glow slowly paints the peach trees

Like hair coiled high, the fruit’s topknots in her I see

Whence the dragon and his luan so fair

Aimless like willow leaves, gossamer tumbling in the air

Tipsy, woken by a faint light, (I think it is dawn)

A bright curtain, dreams interrupted, words half form

Upset, one tries to snare the coral in an iron web[46]

Yet in these vast seas and changing skies where to tread?

A woman’s girdle, tough without passion, can be large or slight

The spring  mist is gray,  but can turn into the autumn frost, white

Of pounding cinnabar, breaking open stones, what does heaven know?

One wishes to forever lock away Spring’s soul

Discard the heavy pajamas for the box of light clothes

Fragrant skin shudders in the fabric, as hair pins rattle in the cold

Today the East Wind leaves, my soul is weak, may we

Leave this moody gloom and also sink into the Western Sea?

 

Summer

 

Before the chamber, on a rain-soaked curtain, worries unfolded

Behind the halls, in a fragrant arbor, views murky and darkened

Stone City’s surroundings are like the Place of Yellow Shades[47]

But for midnight brothels, whoring, empty slingshots made of bamboo blades[48]

Satin fans gleam, wind sweeps Heaven’s gate

On light curtains, kingfisher green drapes, ponds of roiling waves

Has the cuckoo’s[49] lonely soul found a mate yet?

In this miasma thick for days with cotton seed flowers.

Shadows stream through the Cassia Palace[50], light barely collects

The lotus bursts, perfumed scents, hushed words are said.

Into the Milky River one’s heart directly sinks, flows

Not sent away, the Spinning Maid[51] often comes and goes

From what strange place, these clear or turbid waters and waves?

The Ji’s water is clear, cloudy the Yellow River

Mist quietly rises up your thin silk dress

With hands to grab the cloud awning of the carriage, beckoning this goddess.

 

Autumn

 

Moonlight floods the moisty sky,

Then dims, washing away a stream of Autumn stars

The mica screen[52] is still, hiding a brow that glowers

For all night, copper eaves clatter on the Western Towers

From afar, I would send you my palindrome brocade

Love for you reverts any sad thoughts, regrets

Although one hears the Dipper’s[53] handle turn

The waters of the Milky Way are clear, do not churn

The copper fish knob is locked, cassia flowers on cheeks so red

Dust has long settled on the mandarin duck bed

Now a highway, before, a sad little garden where one used to roam

The homeless man receives no pity, says the Jade Tree poem[54]

The (Chu songs) are hidden under the carefree jasper lute

Its Yue Luo struts are cold, heavily plated with gold, now mute

Curtains hang from parrot beaks[55] that squeak in the evening frost

Recalling these southern voyages, dreams of Yun Marsh lost

Attached to a foot of white silk[56], two earrings ding, ding

Memories of our meeting on the Xiang River they bring

We see the dancer sing of a world of bitter tears

I hold your letter, its scent with me so long, so near

 

Winter

 

The sun rises from  the east and quickly sets in the west

The male luan flies alone, female dragons are far between

Miss Blue Spring and Master White Stone cannot see each other[57]

Their halls between them are as far as wild Canwu[58], it seems

Frozen walls and frosty flowers mingle, their forms unclear

In fragrant buds, their growth arrested, true love has withered, one fears

Waves buffet the painted boat, the moon is recalled

The face of Chang ‘E does not seem that lovely after all

The Chu pipe and barbarian strings sing troubled tunes

Slender waists cease dancing in the palace’ empty rooms

For only an instant they could dance on open palms[59],

The two sisters Peach Leaf and Peach Root were arm in arm.

Tossed hair buns and hollow curls mocked the cold morning

White jade swallow hairpins, gold cicada[60] ornaments and things

Now chariots of wind and horses of rain clouds aimlessly fret

As red candles weep, daybreak arrives, to complaints and

Regret

 

 

Tomorrow                                                                                            明日

天上参旗过,  tiān shàng cān;shān;shēn qí guò,

人间烛焰销。  rén jiān zhú yàn xiāo。

谁言整双履,  shuí yán zhěng shuāng lǚ,

便是隔三桥。  biàn;pián shì gé sān qiáo。

知处黄金锁,  zhī chù;chǔ  huáng jīn suǒ,

曾来碧绮寮。  céng;zēng lái bì qǐ liáo。

凭栏明日意,  píng lán  míng rì yì,

池阔雨萧萧。  chí kuò yǔ  xiāo xiāo。

Aloft, the  canxi star has passed

Below, the candle’s snuffed

Who speaks of preparing one’s shoes to leave?

Already we are three bridges apart

I know where you placed your golden lock

Those times I visited your green damask curtain

I think of tomorrow as I lean on the railing

The lake is vast, the rain pitter patters

 

Spring Rain                                                                                        春雨

怅卧新春白袷衣,  chàng wò  xīn chūn bái jiá yì;yī,

白门寥落意多违。  bái mén liáo luò;lào;là yì duō wēi。

红楼隔雨相望冷,  hóng lóu gé yǔ  xiāng wàng lěng,

珠箔飘灯独自归。  zhū bó piāo dēng  dú zì guī。

远路应悲春晼晚,  yuǎn lù yīng;yìng bēi chūn wǎn wǎn,

残宵犹得梦依稀。  cán xiāo yóu dé;děi;de mèng  yī xī。

玉珰缄札何由达,  yù dāng jiān zhá hé yóu dá,

万里云罗一雁飞。  wàn lǐ yún luó;luō yī yàn fēi。

A troubled chamber, the New Year’s thick, white clothes

Raindrops lightly fall by your White Gate[61], like many forbidden thoughts

Separated by red towers and rain, together dreaming, cold, alone

Light scatters through a curtain of pearls,in solitude, I return home

A Spring sunset falls on a long, long road

Before night is done, dreams indistinct, of vague abodes

Did my love’s jade earrings and letters get through?

Over so many[62] misty clouds the wild goose flew

 

 

Today                                                                                                    即日

桂林闻旧说,  guì lín wén jiù shuō;shuì,

曾不异炎方。  céng;zēng bù yì yán fāng。

山响匡床语,  shān xiǎng kuāng chuáng yǔ;yù,

花飘度腊香。  huā piāo dù là xiāng。

几时逢雁足,  jǐ shí féng yàn zú,

著处断猿肠。  zhù;zhuó;zhāo chù;chǔ duàn yuán cháng。

独抚青青桂,  dú fǔ  qīng qīng guì,

临城忆雪霜。  lín chéng yì xuě shuāng。

The land is vast, towers of many kinds

Within their walls, so many other people, I find

The faintest marks of Spring whip out memories

Evening, the sun, and wine, worries, all decrease

Indistinct your face, views of a distance easily blocked

The key to what I desire has long been locked

After all my effort,  no results to see

Wherefore all this passion, and liberty!

In the vacant garden, trees again wither

In a hidden harbor fallen flowers flow

Letters go to the Green Maple Post

In the azalea’s pool, the swan goose lies low

Just go, abandon the bird’s perch at last

Whose leaving need produce such bitterness?

The crow really hates the forest, like me

Easily startled, it moves restlessly

 

Ode to the Clouds                                                                                     咏云

捧月三更断,  pěng yuè  sān gēng duàn,

藏星七夕明。  zàng;cáng xīng  qī xī míng。

才闻飘迥路,  cái wén piāo jiǒng lù,

旋见隔重城。  xuán jiàn;xiàn gé zhòng;chóng chéng。

潭暮随龙起,  tán;dǎn mù suí lóng qǐ,

河秋压雁声。  hé qiū yà;yā yàn shēng。

只应惟宋玉,  zhī;zhǐ yīng;yìng wéi sòng yù,

知是楚神名。  zhī shì chǔ  shén míng。

The moon shines, at midnight the glow declines

On the Seventh Night[63], the hidden star turns bright

I hear the scholar travels many roads

Far from the great city, his eyes seem to grow

At sunset, above the pool, he sees a dragon fly

Autumn’s river flows, muffling the wild goose’s cry

The place is famous only because of the ballade of Song Yu

Now the world will know you as an Immortal of Chu

 

5 Poems for Willow                                                                柳枝五首 有序

 

花房与蜜脾,  huā fáng yǔ mì pí,

蜂雄蛱蝶雌。  fēng xióng  jiá dié cí。

同时不同类,  tóng shí  bù tóng lèi,

那复更相思。  nà;nèi fù gèng;gēng  xiāng sī。

本是丁香树,  běn shì  dīng xiāng shù,

春条结始生。  chūn tiáo jié;jiē shǐ shēng。

玉作弹棋局,  yù zuò tán;dàn  qí jú,

中心亦不平。  zhōng xīn yì  bù píng。

嘉瓜引蔓长,  jiā guā yǐn màn;mán cháng;zhǎng,

碧玉冰寒浆。  bì yù bīng hán jiāng。

东陵虽五色,  dōng líng suī  wǔ sè,

不忍值牙香。  bù rěn zhí yá xiāng。

柳枝井上蟠,  liǔ zhī jǐng shàng pán,

莲叶浦中干。  lián yè pǔ zhōng gān;gàn;hàn。

锦鳞与绣羽,  jǐn lín yǔ xiù yǔ,

水陆有伤残。  shuǐ lù yǒu  shāng cán。

画屏绣步障,  huà píng;bǐng xiù  bù zhàng,

物物自成双。  wù wù zì  chéng shuāng。

如何湖上望,  rú hé hú shàng wàng,

只是见鸳鸯。  zhǐ shì jiàn;xiàn  yuān yāng。

 (Poet’s preface) Willow was of a merchant family of Luo Yang City. Her father was rich and successful in business, but drowned in a storm’s tossing waves. Her mother did not care so much for her sons, but doted on Willow. At 17, she started to apply makeup and wear her hair in a bun, without much success. Abandoning makeup and mirrors, she blew leaves and chewed flowers, tuned the zither and played the bamboo flute.  She would play ‘Sea Wind and Waves’ , and evoke heartbreak and mystery in her music.

Living close by, I heard from neighbors and friends of her family she had been this way for ten years, and they suspected she was a drunkard and dreamer, and no one would be betrothed to her . I listened to my older cousin Kun Rangshan, who lived next to Willow. One cloudy spring day he dismounted from his horse at the southern part of her house and recited my Swallow Terrace poems. Startled, she asked, ” Who wrote this? Who was this written for?” Rangshan replied: ” It was written by a young cousin of mine.” Willow immediately tore  her belt with her hands and made a love knot for Rangshan to give to me in return for a poem.

On the following clear day, I rode to her street. Little Willow had donned makeup,dressed her hair, and waved her fan until her sleeve trembled. She said: ” Are you the little cousin? Three days from now, some neighbors and I will go to prepare the sprinkle the dress ritual, and I shall take a Boshan censor and wait for you.” I promised I would go. However,  a friend headed to the Capitol, playfully stole my luggage and clothes with them as he went ahead, and I could not stay.

In the middle of winter Rangshan came to Chang An and said,”She married a governor from the east.” Next year, Rangshan again left for The east, I bid him farewell at Xiting port.

I wrote these poems to be placed in the place she used to live.

 

First Poem

 

A flowers bud and a honeycomb

Her fatal butterfly, his valiant bee

So different…but linked in time

Can ever their hearts with true love pine?

 

Second Poem

 

You are a sweet lilac tree

Whose knotted flowers first emerge in Spring

You are a jade chessboard[64]

Whose center, or heart, is an uneven thing

 

 

Poem 3

 

A fine melon attracts long vines

Within its dark jade, juice turns to ice

Although Eastern Mound melons[65] sport five hues

How can one bear to devour your flesh, so perfumed?

 

Poem 4

 

Above the well, the willow’s branches twist

The lotus leaves dry up on the shore

Embroidered feathers, scales like rich brocade,

The land is littered with suffering birds, fish, ghostly shades

 

Poem 5

 

The embroidered screen keeps out from in,

But this and that picture form matching pairs

How is it as I gaze above the lake,

Mandarin ducks are the only shapes?

 

First Impressions                                                                                拟意

怅望逢张女,  chàng wàng féng zhāng nǚ,

迟回送阿侯。  chí  huí sòng ā;ē hóu。

空看小垂手,  kōng kàn;kān xiǎo  chuí shǒu,

忍问大刀头。  rěn wèn  dà dāo tóu。

妙选茱萸帐,  miào xuǎn zhū yú zhàng,

平居翡翠楼。  píng jū  fěi cuì lóu。

云屏不取暖,  yún píng;bǐng bù  qǔ nuǎn,

月扇未遮羞。  yuè shàn;shān wèi  zhē xiū。

上掌真何有,  shàng zhǎng zhēn hé yǒu,

倾城岂自由。  qīng chéng qǐ  zì yóu。

楚妃交荐枕,  chǔ fēi jiāo jiàn zhěn,

汉后共藏阄。  hàn hòu gòng zàng;cáng jiū。

夫向羊车觅,  fū xiàng yáng chē mì,

男从凤穴求。  nán cóng;zòng;cōng fèng xué qiú。

书成祓禊帖,  shū chéng fú xì tiě;tiē,

唱杀畔牢愁。  chàng shā pàn láo chóu。

夜杵鸣江练,  yè chǔ míng jiāng liàn,

春刀解若榴。  chūn dāo jiě ruò liú。

象床穿幰网,  xiàng chuáng chuān xiǎn wǎng,

犀帖钉窗油。  xī tiě;tiē dīng chuāng yóu。

仁寿遗明镜,  rén shòu yí  míng jìng,

陈仓拂彩球。  chén cāng fú  cǎi qiú。

真防舞如意,  zhēn fáng wǔ  rú yì,

佯盖卧箜篌。  yáng gě;gài wò kōng hóu。

濯锦桃花水,  zhuó jǐn  táo huā shuǐ,

溅裙杜若洲。  jiàn qún dù ruò zhōu。

鱼儿悬宝剑,  yú er;ér xuán  bǎo jiàn,

燕子合金瓯。  yàn zi  hé jīn ōu。

银箭催摇落,  yín jiàn cuī  yáo luò,

华筵惨去留。  huā;huá yán cǎn  qù liú。

几时销薄怒,  jǐ shí xiāo bò;báo;bó nù,

从此抱离忧。  cóng cǐ bào  lí yōu。

帆落啼猿峡,  fān luò;lào;là tí yuán xiá,

樽开画鹢舟。  zūn kāi huà yì zhōu。

急弦肠对断,  jí xián cháng duì duàn,

翦蜡泪争流。  jiǎn  là lèi zhēng liú。

璧马谁能带,  bì mǎ shuí néng dài,

金虫不复收。  jīn chóng bù fù shōu。

银河扑醉眼,  yín hé pū  zuì yǎn,

珠串咽歌喉。  zhū chuàn yàn;yè;yān  gē hóu。

去梦随川后,  qù mèng suí chuān hòu,

来风贮石邮。  lái fēng zhù shí yóu。

兰丛衔露重,  lán cóng xián lù;lòu zhòng;chóng,

榆荚点星稠。  yú jiá diǎn xīng chóu。

解佩无遗迹,  jiě pèi wú  yí jī,

凌波有旧游。  líng bō  yǒu jiù yóu。

曾来十九首,  céng;zēng lái  shí jiǔ shǒu,

私谶咏牵牛。  sī chèn yǒng  qiān niú。

Long have I hoped to hear

I return late, Miss Aho has been given away

You stood respectfully, with a bored gaze

Daring to ask Big Baldy when we could next meet

How wonderful to recline under prickly ash curtains

On normal days to live in the emerald tower

Mica screens retain the warmth

Moon fans cannot cover one’s blushes

Truly you can dance in one’s palm

What local beauty can be so light, carefree?

Princess Mi Fei of Chu offered her pillow

The Han Queen was good at playing hide the lots

One rides out in an Ox Cart, seeking

Scholarly men from the Phoenix Cave

Scrolls turn into the Lan Ting Preface[66]

One sings the <Sorrows  of Separation>

At night, by the Wu, clothes are washed and pounded

In Spring, scissors trim pomegranate skirts

An ivory bed, a xian bed curtain

The rhino horn punctures the painted windows

A luminous mirror, as from The Long Life Temple

Decorated balls, as from Baoji City.

Guard against the ‘Scratcher dance’

Pretend to cover the chamber’s Konghu Zither

Wash and make beautiful the fallen flower

Sprinkle your dress with azalea by the river bank

The treasured sword hangs by its serpent handle

Little swallows cover the gold wine bowl

The water clock’s silver arrow shakes and quivers

Miserable, this separation at the grand party

Perhaps she will discard petty grievances

And embrace the pain of being apart

The sail drops and the apes of the gorges cry

Open the wine pitcher, a picture of a boat, a fishhawk flies

A broken heart interrupts the zither’s string

Snip the candle wax whose tears strive to flow

Now who will wear the green jade horse strap?

No one dons the golden cicada hairpin

The Milky Way pounces on my drunken eyes

Its string of pearls swallows the singer’s cries

Dreams departs with the Yellow River God

Wind arrives and gathers by the Stone Dragon

The lotus crowd together, dew covered multitudes

Elm seeds rain like stars, thick and dense

Perhaps the fairy pendants are lost

Waves pound away at old roaming spots

Long ago <Nineteen Ancient Poems> pleased without fail

Now one secretly hums just the <Cowherd’s Tale>

 

Two Poems on Henei county                                                 河内诗二首[67]

 

鼍鼓沉沉虬水咽,  tuó gǔ  chén chén qiú shuǐ yàn;yè;yān,

秦丝不上蛮弦绝。  qín sī bù shàng mán xián jué。

常娥衣薄不禁寒,  cháng é yì;yī bò;báo;bó  bù jīn hán,

蟾蜍夜艳秋河月。  chán chú yè yàn qiū hé yuè。

碧城冷落空蒙烟,  bì chéng  lěng luò kōng méng;mēng;měng yān,

帘轻幕重金钩栏。  lián qīng mù  zhòng jīn gōu lán。

灵香不下两皇子,  líng xiāng bù xià liǎng  huáng zǐ,

孤星直上相风竿。  gū xīng zhí  shàng xiàng fēng gān。

八桂林边九芝草,  bā  guì lín biān jiǔ zhī cǎo,

短襟小鬓相逢道。  duǎn;duān jīn xiǎo bìn  xiāng féng dào

入门暗数一千春,  rù mén àn shǔ;shù;shuò  yī qiān chūn,

愿去闰年留月小。  yuàn qù  rùn nián liú yuè xiǎo。

栀子交加香蓼繁,  zhī zi  jiāo jiā xiāng lù fán,

停辛伫苦留待君。  tíng xīn zhù kǔ  liú dāi jūn。

阊门日下吴歌远,  chāng mén  rì xià wú gē yuǎn,

陂路绿菱香满满。  pō;pí lù lǜ líng xiāng mǎn mǎn。

后溪暗起鲤鱼风,  hòu qī àn qǐ  lǐ yú fēng,

船旗闪断芙蓉干。  chuán qí shǎn duàn  fú róng gān;gàn;hàn。

轻身奉君畏身轻,  qīng shēn fèng jūn wèi shēn qīng,

双桡两桨樽酒清。  shuāng ráo;náo liǎng jiǎng zūn jiǔ qīng。

莫因风雨罢团扇,  mò yīn  fēng yǔ bà;ba tuán shàn;shān,

此曲断肠惟北声。  cǐ qū  duàn cháng wéi běi shēng。

低楼小径城南道,  dī lóu  xiǎo jìng chéng nán dào,

犹自金鞍对芳草。  yóu zì jīn ān duì fāng cǎo。

Poem 1:  Above the Winding Towers

 

The Alligator Drums pound heavily, water trickles from the dragon spout

Overwhelmed by the folk strings, the Qin zither faintly sounds

Change E’s clothes are thin, no protection against the chill

The toad sparkles in the night, in the river of the Autumn moon

Desolate lies the Jade Temple[68], its empty spaces covered in mist

A light curtain, heavy drapes hang on golden hooks

The two White Fragrant goddesses are no lower than the two enlightened kings[69]

My lonely star directly climbs up, to where the wind vane swings

Eight pillars stand near the forest, by the foliage of Nine Sesame Peak

In a short tunic and locks of hair falling over her temple, she meets me on the small path[70]

We enter the halls, quietly count one thousand springs

I wish last leap year had had just one more moonlit night

The scents of jasmine and knotweed mix, luxuriant, grow

Here, waiting for one’s love,  bitter troubles and worries, away they go

Poem 2:  In the Winding Lake

 

One hears from afar the Song of Wu, at sunset, by Changmen Gate[71],

Crowded by the bank, the green water chestnuts fill the air with their scent

The September wind quietly blows from the streams behind

Slapping against hyacinth trees the boat banners try to fly

She fears her master will not think of her as someone dear

Two oars, it’s time for two hearts, the wine in the vat is clear

She doesn’t close her fan because of the wind and the rain

But drops it, the only sound is of her heartbreak and pain

Her small path, and the southern road to the city, lie at the bottom of the tower

I leave, a golden saddle next to her fragrant flower.

Miss No Worry                                                                                   莫愁

雪中梅下与谁期,  xuě zhōng méi xià yǔ shuí qī,

梅雪相兼一万枝。  méi xuě xiàng;xiāng jiān  yī wàn zhī。

若是石城无艇子,  ruò shì shí chéng wú tǐng zǐ,

莫愁还自有愁时。  mò chóu hái;huán zì yǒu chóu shí。

In the snow, beneath the plums, with whom do you rendezvous?

On ten thousand branches, plums and snowflakes join, these two

Were Stone City without a little boat to help us meet

Miss No Worry would worry indeed!

 

Visiting the Hermit of White Cloud Mountain                                  访白云山

玉山高与阆风齐,  yù shān gāo yǔ làng fēng qí,

玉水清流不贮泥。  yù shuǐ qīng liú bù zhù ní。

何处更求回日驭,  hé chǔ gèng;gēng qiú huí rì yù,

此中兼有上天梯。  cǐ zhōng jiān yǒu  shàng tiān tī。

珠容百斛龙休睡,  zhū róng bǎi hú lóng xiū shuì,

桐拂千寻凤要栖。  tóng fú qiān xún fèng yào;yāo qī。

闻道神仙有才子,  wén dào  shén xiān yǒu  cái zǐ,

赤箫吹罢好相携。  chì xiāo chuī bà;ba hǎo;hào xiàng;xiāng xié。

His cave is near the waterfall that hangs off the cliff

Shrouded by trees and bushes in solitude

He tells me he lives at the foot of the mountain

But tills the land as high as the moon in the sky

In the evening a few drops of rain fall

The cicadas call out for the first time

After tea is boiled I head back

Inscribing on bamboo this very poem

 

Yesterday Evening                                                                              昨日

昨日紫姑神去也,  zuó rì zǐ gū shén qù yě,

今朝青鸟使来赊。  jīn zhāo qīng niǎo shǐ lái shē。

未容言语还分散,  wèi róng  yán yǔ hái;huán  fēn sǎn,

少得团圆足怨嗟。  shǎo;shào dé;děi;de  tuán yuán zú yuàn jiē;juē。

二八月轮蟾影破,  èr  bā yuè lún;qiāng chán yǐng pò,

十三弦柱雁行斜。  shí sān xián zhù yàn xíng;háng;xìng xié。

平明钟后更何事,  píng míng zhōng hòu gèng;gēng hé shì,

笑倚墙边梅树花。  xiào yǐ qiáng biān  méi shù huā。

Yesterday evening, the purple goddess left

This morning who knows where the Blue bird[72] will be?

Words are hard to say, scatter, fly by

The reunion is short lived, heavy with sighs

The lunar toad’s[73] shadow shatters on the sixteenth day

The zither’s thirteen posts become a line of wild geese at play

Hear the early morning bell…what calls?

The plum tree’s flowers just happily lean against the walls.

 

The Single Screen                                                                                           一片

一片非烟隔九枝,  yī piān fēi yān gé jiǔ zhī,

蓬峦仙仗俨云旗。  péng luán xiān zhàng yǎn yún qí。

天泉水暖龙吟细,  tiān  quán shuǐ nuǎn lóng yín xì,

露畹春多凤舞迟。  lù;lòu wǎn chūn duō fèng wǔ chí。

榆荚散来星斗转,  yú jiá sǎn lái  xīng dǒu zhuǎi,

桂花寻去月轮移。  guì huā xún qù  yuè lún yí。

人间桑海朝朝变,  rén jiān sāng hǎi cháo;zhāo cháo;zhāo biàn,

莫遣佳期更后期。  mò qiǎn  jiā qī gèng;gēng  hòu qī。

A single screen cannot separate rolling mist from the nine branches

The Immortals of Peng Hill[74] stand warlike, banners glorious to see

Heaven’s spring sound like a dragon scales trickling

Vernal joy lies in the fields as the Phoenix slowly dances

The elm seeds are scattered as the Big Dipper turns[75]

The Cassia flowers are sought as the moon revolves

Mulberry fields, green seas, Kings and Courts all change

Except for that time, that special time we shall meet.

 

Some Words About Things That Match                                当句有对

密迩平阳接上兰,  mì ěr  píng yáng jiē shàng lán,

秦楼鸳瓦汉宫盘。  qín lóu yuān wǎ hàn gōng pán。

池光不定花光乱,  chí guāng  bù dìng huā guāng luàn,

日气初涵露气干。   rì qì chū hán lù;lòu qì gān;gàn;hàn。

但觉游蜂饶舞蝶,  dàn jué;jiào yóu fēng ráo wǔ dié,

岂知孤凤忆离鸾。  qǐ zhī gū fèng yì  lí luán。

三星自转三山远,  sān xīng  zì zhuǎi sān shān yuǎn,

紫府程遥碧落宽。  zǐ fǔ chéng yáo  bì luò kuān。

How near the Pingyang Palace is to the Temple of Shanglan

How similar the Mandarin duck tiles of Qin are to the Han Palace Bowl

In the rippling pool the flower’s radiance pulses

The Qi[76] of day first emerges and quickly forms

One senses the roaming bees and the many dancing butterflies

Who can imagine a lonely phoenix pining after his distant luan?

Three stars revolve, three mountains are far away

Great the distance to the purple halls, vast the green void at play.

 

The Pomegranate                                                                               石榴

榴枝婀娜榴实繁,  liú zhī  ē nuó liú shí fán,

榴膜轻明榴子鲜。  liú mó qīng míng liú zǐ xiān。

可羡瑶池碧桃树,  kě xiàn yáo chí bì  táo shù,

碧桃红颊一千年。  bì  táo hóng jiá  yī qiān nián。

So lithe and tender, the pomegranate lushly grows

A fragile skin, luminous, seeds clustered within

But I admire the emerald peach trees of Jasper Lake[77]

Green the trees, crimson the cheeks, a thousand years old.

 

Faded Flower                                                                                                 残花

残花啼露莫留春,  cán huā tí lù;lòu mò liú chūn,

尖发谁非怨别人。  jiān fā;fà shuí fēi yuàn  bié rén。

若但掩关劳独梦,  ruò dàn yǎn guān láo dú mèng,

宝钗何日不生尘。  bǎo chāi hé rì bù shēng chén。

The faded flower weeps, for spring is left behind

Who isn’t reproached, for this hair tightly coiled?

But were you to shut yourself away with lonely dreams

Wouldn’t the hair pin daily be soiled with dust?

 

The Peony                                                                                          牡丹

压径复缘沟,  yà;yā jìng fù yuán gōu,

当窗又映楼。  dāng;dàng chuāng yòu yìng lóu。

终销一国破,  zhōng xiāo yī guó pò,

不啻万金求。  bù chì wàn jīn qiú。

鸾凤戏三岛,  luán fèng xì sān dǎo,

神仙居十洲。  shén xiān jū shí zhōu。

应怜萱草淡,  yīng;yìng lián  xuān cǎo dàn,

却得号忘忧。  què dé;děi;de hào wàng yōu;yǒu。

Crowded on the path, by the ditch’s edge grow the flowers

Even by the windows, and under the glittering towers

As this broken country your petals enfold[78]

What need is there to seek thousands of pieces of gold?

The phoenix and the luan gambol on the fabled isles

In the ten lands, the Celestial spirits have their domiciles

You should command the forget-me-knots be few

So that memories may fade and our worries too.

 

Twenty Verses Presented To My Colleagues In The Gathering Of The Year Wuchen  戊辰会静中出贻同志二十韵

大道谅无外,  dà dào liàng wú wài,

会越自登真。  huì;kuài yuè zì dēng zhēn。

丹元子何索,  dān yuán zǐ hé suǒ,

在己莫问邻。  zài jǐ mò wèn lín。

蒨璨玉琳华,  qiàn càn yù lín huā;huá,

翱翔九真君。  áo xiáng jiǔ zhēn jūn。

戏掷万里火,  xì zhì wàn lǐ huǒ,

聊召六甲旬。  liáo zhào  liù jiǎ xún。

瑶简被灵诰,  yáo jiǎn bèi líng gào,

持符开七门。  chí fú kāi qī mén。

金铃摄群魔,  jīn líng shè qún mó,

绛节何兟兟。  jiāng jié hé shēn shēn。

吟弄东海若,  yín nòng;lòng  dōng hǎi ruò,

笑倚扶桑春。  xiào yǐ  fú sāng chūn。

三山诚迥视,  sān shān chéng jiǒng shì,

九州扬一尘。  jiǔ zhōu yáng yī chén。

我本玄元胄,  wǒ běn xuán yuán zhòu,

禀华由上津。  bǐng huā;huá yóu shàng jīn。

中迷鬼道乐,  zhōng mí guǐ dào lè;yuè,

沉为下土民。  chén wèi;wéi xià tǔ mín。

托质属太阴,  tuō zhì shǔ  tài yīn,

炼形复为人。  liàn xíng fù  wéi rén。

誓将覆宫泽,  shì jiāng;jiàng fù gōng zé,

安此真与神。  ān cǐ zhēn yǔ shén。

龟山有慰荐,  guī shān yǒu wèi jiàn,

南真为弥纶。  nán zhēn wèi;wéi mí lún。

玉管会玄圃,  yù guǎn huì;kuài xuán pǔ,

火枣承天姻。  huǒ zǎo chéng tiān yīn。

科车遏故气,  kē chē è gù qì,

侍香传灵氛。  shì xiāng zhuàn;chuán líng fēn。

飘飖被青霓,  piāo yáo bèi qīng ní,

婀娜佩紫纹。  ē nuó pèi zǐ wén。

林洞何其微,  lín dòng  hé qí wēi,

下仙不与群。  xià xiān  bù yǔ qún。

丹泥因未控,  dān ní yīn wèi kòng,

万劫犹逡巡。  wàn jié yóu  qūn xún。

荆芜既以薙,  jīng wú jì yǐ tì,

舟壑永无湮。  zhōu hè yǒng wú yān;yīn。

相期保妙命,  xiàng;xiāng qī bǎo miào mìng,

腾景侍帝宸。  téng jǐng shì dì chén。

 

The powers of The Way know no bounds[79]

As one ascends to enlightenment

How can one learn of the Danyuan[80]?

One does not inquire of those around

The Lin jade flowers are rich and lush

The Lord of Nine Truths hovers above

Flames are cast joyfully far and wide

On the tenth day we discuss what Liujia has divined

Beautiful, the Way from the Jade Room comes

The fu sutra[81] will open the Seven Orifices

Golden bells[82] control the demon hordes just fine

Crimson banners are arrayed line after line

Playfully sing to the dancing East Sea Gods

Laughingly defer to Fusang’s[83] vernal tree

We see three fabled islands[84] from distant soil

On these nine lands[85] we live our mortal coil

From the Great Spirit I was born

From its heavenly waters great things grow

Half lost in the pleasures of the Ghost Dao[86]

Gloomily we live as dusty denizens below

We hold a bond with the Taiyin forging

Our bodies to reemerge as men

Shortly each prepares to cleanse the mind

Accordingly to reach the truth and immortality find

Tortoise mountain consoles and advises

The Southern Lady of Truth embraces

From the celestial garden the sound of the jade flute

Tianyun shares with us the immortality fruit

The celestial chariot receives the unclean spirits

Golden valets and jade maidens impart good will

Raiments sway in the wind bright as a rainbow[87]

From pendants lithe and winsome silk tassels flow

Why are the forest caves[88] so small?

Because from such heights one alone must fall

If the Dan pills[89] are not managed

Our mortal lives last just an instant

Once we root out the brambles in our mind

A vision forever unobstructed we will find

Together let us safeguard this life of wonder

And dance in homage to the God above!

 

 

Emotions                                                                                            寓怀

彩鸾餐颢气,  cǎi luán cān hào qì,

威凤入卿云。  wēi fèng rù qīng yún。

长养三清境,  cháng;zhǎng yǎng sān qīng jìng,

追随五帝君。  zhuī suí  wǔ dì jūn。

烟波遗汲汲,  yān bō yí  jí jí,

矰缴任云云。  zēng jiǎo;zhuó rèn  yún yún。

下界围黄道,  xià jiè wéi  huáng dào,

前程合紫氛。  qián chéng hé;gé zǐ fēn。

金书惟是见,  jīn shū wéi shì jiàn;xiàn,

玉管不胜闻。  yù guǎn  bù shèng wén。

草为回生种,  cǎo wèi;wéi  huí shēng  zhǒng;zhòng ,

香缘却死熏。  xiāng yuán què sǐ xūn。

海明三岛见,  hǎi míng sān dǎo jiàn;xiàn,

天迥九江分。  tiān jiǒng jiǔ jiāng fēn。

搴树无劳援,  qiān shù wú láo yuán,

神禾岂用耘。  shén hé qǐ yòng yún。

斗龙风结阵,  dòu;dǒu lóng fēng jié;jiē zhèn,

恼鹤露成文。  nǎo hè lù;lòu  chéng wén。

汉岭霜何早,  hàn lǐng shuāng hé zǎo,

秦宫日易曛。  qín gōng rì yì xūn。

星机抛密绪,  xīng jī pāo mì xù,

月杵散灵氛。  yuè chǔ sǎn líng fēn。

阳鸟西南下,  yáng niǎo  xī nán xià,

相思不及群。  xiāng sī  bù jí qún。

The dazzling luan brings with her a celestial glow

The proud phoenix enters the cloudy realm

Together dwelling in the Three Spaces of Light

We track the destiny of the Five Kings

The waves of mist quickly avert my anxiety

The arrow’s streamer targets as it may

The sun makes its rounds on the earth below

Before it the purple haze blends into one

Only carved golden words are to be seen

One cannot bear the beauty of the Jade flute

Grass grows that restores life

The elixir’s perfumed scent lingers

Over the resplendent ocean one sees the three magic isles

The nine rivers split across the world, vast and indistinct

The Qian tree requires no work

How could celestial grains need cultivation?

The dragon battles among gusts of wind

Words emerge from the unhappy crane[90]

Frost early lights upon the Han Memorial[91]

Twilight sets over the Qin[92] Palace

The weaving maid’s loom spins out silk thread after thread

On the moon, the pestle brings forth the scent of the immortal pills

The Yang bird flies south west, down

My thoughts of heaven are tendered in solitude

 

Master Xuanwei                                                                                 玄微先生

仙翁无定数,  xiān wēng wú  dìng shù,

时入一壶藏。  shí rù yī hú zàng;cáng。

夜夜桂露湿,  yè yè guì lù;lòu shī,

村村桃水香。  cūn cūn táo shuǐ xiāng。

醉中抛浩劫,  zuì zhōng pāo  hào jié,

宿处起神光。  sù chù qǐ shén guāng。

药裹丹山凤,  yào guǒ dān shān fèng,

棋函白石郎。  qí hán bái shí láng。

弄河移砥柱,  nòng;lòng hé yí  dǐ zhù,

吞日倚扶桑。  tūn rì yǐ  fú sāng。

龙竹裁轻策,  lóng zhú cái qīng cè,

鲛绡熨下裳。  jiāo xiāo yùn;yù xià cháng。

树栽嗤汉帝,  shù zāi chī hàn dì,

桥板笑秦王。  qiáo bǎn xiào qín wáng。

径欲随关令,  jìng yù suí guān lìng,

龙沙万里强。  lóng shā wàn lǐ qiáng;qiǎng。

This celestial sage of uncertain age

Can skillfully collect into his magic pot

The dew that drips from the Cassia tree night after night

and peach nectar scents, in village upon village

When drunk, he doesn’t know seas have become mulberry fields

Or the light emerging from his abode is like daytime

His magic pills are from the phoenix of Red Mountain

The Weiqi case is of white quartz

The Milky Way has become the Three Gorges

The Sun rises from the Mulberry Tree

Horse whips are cut from dragon bamboo

Skirts light as mist are spun from mermaid silk

So much for the Han King’s attempt to grow peaches

Or the Qin Emperor’s mocking of the stone bridge

May one happily follow the Dao path of Guan Ling

Ten thousands miles to Longshan and beyond

 

Wind                                                                                                              

撩钗盘孔雀,  liāo chāi pán  kǒng què,

恼带拂鸳鸯。  nǎo dài fú  yuān yāng。

罗荐谁教近,  luó;luō jiàn shuí jiào;jiāo jìn,

斋时锁洞房。  zhāi shí suǒ  dòng fáng。

Lift the spiraling phoenix hairpin

Brush against the mandarin ducks on the sweet silk tassels

Who do the bed coverings beckon close?

During the prayer hours, the inner rooms are sealed,

 

Three Jade City Poems                                                                      碧城三首

碧城十二曲阑干,  bì chéng  shí èr qū  lán gān,

犀辟尘埃玉辟寒。  xī pì;bì  chén āi yù pì;bì hán。

阆苑有书多附鹤,  làng yuàn yǒu shū duō fù hè,

女床无树不栖鸾。  nǚ chuáng wú shù bù qī luán。

星沈海底当窗见,  xīng shěn;chén  hǎi dǐ dāng;dàng chuāng jiàn;xiàn,

雨过河源隔座看。  yǔ guò  hé yuán gé zuò kàn;kān。

若是晓珠明又定,  ruò shì xiǎo zhū míng yòu dìng,

一生长对水晶盘。  yī shēng cháng;zhǎng duì  shuǐ jīng pán。

对影闻声已可怜,  duì yǐng wén shēng yǐ  kě lián,

玉池荷叶正田田。  yù chí  hé yè zhèng;zhēng  tián tián。

不逢萧史休回首,  bù féng xiāo shǐ xiū  huí shǒu,

莫见洪崖又拍肩。  mò jiàn;xiàn hóng yá yòu pāi jiān。

紫凤放娇衔楚佩,  zǐ fèng fàng jiāo xián chǔ pèi,

赤鳞狂舞拨湘弦。  chì lín kuáng wǔ bō xiāng xián。

鄂君怅望舟中夜,  è jūn chàng wàng zhōu zhōng yè,

绣被焚香独自眠。  xiù bèi  fén xiāng  dú zì mián。

七夕来时先有期,  qī xī lái shí xiān yǒu qī,

洞房帘箔至今垂。  dòng fáng lián bó  zhì jīn chuí。

玉轮顾兔初生魄,  yù lún;qiāng gù tù chū shēng pò,

铁网珊瑚未有枝。  tiě wǎng  shān hú  wèi yǒu zhī。

检与神方教驻景,  jiǎn yǔ shén fāng jiào;jiāo zhù jǐng,

收将凤纸写相思。  shōu jiāng;jiàng fèng zhǐ xiě  xiāng sī。

武皇内传分明在,  wǔ huáng  nèi zhuàn  fēn míng zài,

莫道人间总不知。  mò dào  rén jiān zǒng  bù zhī。

Poem 1

 

Paths wind about the city’s twelve jade walls[93]

The rhino horn dispels the dust, jade averts the cold

In Langyuan[94] paradise, carried by herons[95], all these scrolls

On every tree of Lady Chamber’s mountain a luan one beholds

Stars descend, the sea is low, as I look out the window for you

Rain falls on the Milky Way, threatening our rendezvous

Were the morning pearl to fix its splendid glow

A long life would await you in the magic crystal bowl[96]

 

Poem 2

 

How beautiful is your image and the sounds I hear

Your orchid leaves lie placid, so placid on the emerald pool

You do not meet Xiaoshi[97], don’t bother to look back

Or pat Hongya’s[98] shoulder, he is nowhere to be seen

My purple phoenix defers to the tender Chu lady’s jewelry[99]

The red fish[100] dances crazy to your mottled bowstrings

My Hebei lord, feeling blue, peers into the night from the middle of his boat

He sleeps alone, under perfumed sheets, where smoke from incense floats[101]

 

No 3

 

The Seventh Night comes, it is time to meet but

In a dark abode, behind window shades, up to now you sleep

The jade wheel[102] spins, the rabbit produces the first moonlight shaft

A steel web scoops up corals  that are gaunt, barely intact

Study the celestial scriptures so that you may always dwell in spring

My phoenix[103] paper writings of tender thoughts and love, to thee I bring

One may clearly see, in the tale of Emperor Wu[104]

That a world without the Tao will never know what is true

 

Were One                                                                                                        如有

如有瑶台客,  rú yǒu yáo tái kè,

相难复索归。  xiàng;xiāng nán fù suǒ guī。

芭蕉开绿扇,  bā jiāo kāi lǜ shàn;shān,

菡萏荐红衣。  hàn dàn jiàn  hóng yī。

浦外传光远,  pǔ  wài zhuàn guāng yuǎn,

烟中结响微。  yān zhōng jié;jiē xiǎng wēi。

良宵一寸焰,  liáng xiāo yī cùn yàn,

回首是重帏。  huí shǒu shì zhòng;chóng wéi。

Were one a guest on Jasper Terrace again

Before their disapproval, one would search for the way back

Their fans of green banana leaves would open

Scarlet lotus flowers would grace one’s clothes

From the other side of the river, the radiance dims

In the deepening mist the music grows faint

A flame flickers this fine night

I turn my head towards the heavy curtains.

 

 

Story of the Potion                                                                  药转

郁金堂北画楼东,  yù jīn táng běi huà lóu dōng,

换骨神方上药通。  huàn gú shén fāng shàng yào tōng。

露气暗连青桂苑,  lù;lòu qì àn lián qīng guì yuàn,

风声偏猎紫兰丛。  fēng shēng piān liè zǐ lán cóng。

长筹未必输孙皓,  cháng;zhǎng chóu  wèi bì shū sūn hào,

香枣何劳问石崇。  xiāng zǎo hé láo wèn shí chóng。

忆事怀人兼得句,  yì shì huái rén jiān dé;děi;de jù,

翠衾归卧绣帘中。  cuì qīn guī wò xiù lián zhōng。

To the north the Tulip Hall, Eastwards the painted Mansion

The magic potion makes bones immortal[105]

The sun’s rays quietly spreads throughout the old cassia grove

The wind sighs, bending the purple stems of the crowded lotus

A long term strategy did not hurt Sunhao

How could fragrant Jujube ask after husband Shizong?

Kindred spirits may confide about this thing

Return you to your green bed sheets under the brocaded curtain

 

Breaking Dawn                                                                                  晓起

拟杯当晓起,  nǐ bēi dāng;dàng xiǎo qǐ,

呵镜可微寒。  ā;hē;ō jìng kě wēi hán。

隔箔山樱熟,  gé bó shān yīng shú,

褰帷桂烛残。  qiān wéi guì zhú cán。

书长为报晚,  shū cháng;zhǎng wèi;wéi bào wǎn,

梦好更寻难。  mèng hǎo;hào gèng;gēng xún nán。

影响输双蝶,  yǐng xiǎng shū shuāng dié,

偏过旧畹兰。  piān guò jiù wǎn lán。

 

I raise a mug to the breaking dawn

The mirrored surface is laced with an icy frown

Screens separate me from ripened cherry trees thither

Here, by the raised bed curtain, a cassia candle withers

I write a long letter for you before the evening’s post

Sweet dreams are just so hard to find

Two butterflies sway like silent shadows

Crossing the field where old orchids pine

 

Ghost Festival                                                                                     中元作

绛节飘飖宫国来,  jiāng jié piāo yáo gōng guó lái,

中元朝拜上清回。  zhōng yuán  cháo bài shàng qīng huí。

羊权须得金条脱,  yáng quán xū dé;děi;de  jīn tiáo tuō,

温峤终虚玉镜台。  wēn jiào zhōng xū yù  jìng tái。

曾省惊眠闻雨过,  céng;zēng shěng;xǐng jīng mián wén yǔ guò,

不知迷路为花开。  bù zhī  mí lù wèi;wéi  huā kāi。

有娀未抵瀛洲远,  yǒu sōng wèi dǐ yíng zhōu yuǎn,

青雀如何鸩鸟媒。  qīng qiāo  rú hé zhèn niǎo méi。

Festival streamers wave from the vacated city’s walls

This day of the dead, priests return to the temple courts

Although Yang Quan offered his love bracelets of gold

Wen Jiao finally arrived at a jade dressing table empty to behold

Once, one’s sleep was disturbed by the sounds of rain

One did’nt know where the flowers opened to reveal the hidden path

The woman of Song wasn’t as distant as Fairyland

How could my poison feathered bird ever marry the blue sparrow?

 

 

Two Poems on the Hibiscus                                                   槿花二首

 

燕体伤风力,  yàn tǐ  shāng fēng lì,

鸡香积露文。  jī xiāng jī lù;lòu wén。

殷鲜一相杂,  yīn;yān xiān yī xiàng;xiāng zá,

啼笑两难分。  tí xiào  liǎng nán fēn。

月里宁无姊,  yuè lǐ nìng;níng wú zǐ,

云中亦有君。  yún zhōng yì yǒu jūn。

三清与仙岛,  sān qīng yǔ xiān dǎo,

何事亦离群。  hé shì yì  lí qún。

珠馆薰燃久,  zhū guǎn xūn rán jiǔ,

玉房梳扫馀。  yù fáng shū sào;sǎo yú。

烧兰才作烛,  shāo lán cái zuò zhú,

襞锦不成书。  bì jǐn  bù chéng  shū。

本以亭亭远,  běn yǐ  tíng tíng yuǎn,

翻嫌眽眽疏。  fān xián mò mò shū。

回头问残照,  huí tóu wèn  cán zhào,

残照更空虚。  cán zhào gèng;gēng  kōng xū。

First Poem

 

Like a frail sparrow, you are whipped by the cruel wind

Releasing your pent up chicken flavored scent

The dark and the vibrant are mixed together

Crying and laughing at once, inseparable

Don’t you prefer to dwell on the moon?

Or where the Cloud goddess has her habitude? [106]

The universe has three levels and Fairy Island

How can you possible leave us behind!

 

Second Poem

 

Long lingers the incense in your pearly temple

Your Dao sanctuary has been groomed to no end[107]

Bright as lotus oil burning in the candle

Flowers like folded silk, on which no pen can write

You are so very far away

That amorous smile pushes me away

I turn my head towards the glow of the sunset

How empty it seems!

 

The Demon                                                                                                   

尝闻宓妃袜,  cháng wén mì fēi wà,

渡水欲生尘。  dù shuǐ yù shēng chén。

好借常娥著,  hǎo;hào jiè cháng é zhù;zhuó;zhāo,

清秋踏月轮。  qīng qiū  tà yuè lún;qiāng。

The demon sprite Mi Fei

Sought to cross the water and become mortal, so we reason

How wonderful would it be were Chang E

To lend me her lunar wheel this autumn season

Repeated Feelings                                                                              有感二首

 

其一  qí yī

九服归元化,  jiǔ fú guī yuán huà;huā,

三灵叶睿图。  sān líng yè ruì tú。

如何本初辈,  rú hé běn chū bèi,

自取屈牦诛。  zì qǔ qū máo zhū。

有甚当车泣,  yǒu shèn dāng;dàng chē qì,

因劳下殿趋。  yīn láo xià diàn qū。

何成奏云物,  hé chéng zòu yún wù,

直是灭萑苻。  zhí shì miè huán fú。

证逮符书密,  zhèng dǎi fú shū mì,

辞连性命俱。  cí lián  xìng mìng jù;jū。

竟缘尊汉相,  jìng yuán zūn hàn xiàng;xiāng,

不早辨胡雏。  bù zǎo biàn hú chú。

鬼箓分朝部,  guǐ lù fēn cháo;zhāo bù,

军烽照上都。  jūn fēng zhào shàng dōu;dū。

敢云堪恸哭,  gǎn yún kān  tòng kū,

未免怨洪炉。  wèi miǎn yuàn  hóng lú。

其二  qí èr

丹陛犹敷奏,  dān bì yóu fū zòu,

彤庭欻战争。  tóng tíng hū;chuā  zhàn zhēng。

临危对卢植,  lín wēi duì lú zhí,

始悔用庞萌。  shǐ huǐ yòng páng méng。

御仗收前殿,  yù zhàng shōu qián diàn,

凶徒剧背城。  xiōng tú jù bèi;bēi chéng。

苍黄五色棒,  cāng huáng  wǔ sè bàng,

掩遏一阳生。  yǎn è yī yáng shēng。

古有清君侧,  gǔ yǒu  qīng jūn cè,

今非乏老成。  jīn fēi fá  lǎo chéng 。

素心虽未易,  sù xīn suī wèi yì,

此举太无名。  cǐ jǔ tài  wú míng。

谁瞑衔冤目,  shuí míng  xián yuān mù,

宁吞欲绝声。  nìng;níng tūn  yù jué shēng。

近闻开寿宴,  jìn wén kāi shòu yàn,

不废用咸英。  bù fèi yòng xián;xiān yīng

First Poem[108]

 

Empyreal justice returns to the 9 lands[109]

Earth, heaven and mortals are in accord

How could such a man as Official Chu Bei

Or Official Chu Mao be punished and slain

They wept by the carriage

As it hastened from the palace

One toyed with the clouds

Just to destroy Huanfu station?

The punishment register was thick with name after name

Every one would bid a final farewell after taking the blame

So it was that all respected the Han Chancellor

But too late learned to avoid the omens of the beggars of Hu

The lists of the dead split the court and government in two

The soldier’s battles lighted up Xanadu

Were the heavens courageous enough to mourn

More likely they would just blame this oven in which we burn

 

Second Poem

 

From vermillion steps a memorial rose to the king

Scenes of war suddenly appeared in the palace’ red wing

Lu Zhi was by a grave illness beset

When Pang Meng’s first efforts caused much regret

The honor guard entered the palace halls

Foot soldiers made a last stand by the city walls

Above the panic, the staffs of five colors

Covered the nation with a winter pallor

Once, the emperor had trusted kin at his side

Now there is no elder to advise with a clear eye

Although true goals are not easy to attain

Here things just turned out too insane

For the wronged, who will finally close their eyes?

Or listen, preferring those inconsolable cries?

I heard recently of a longevity feast

Would that all the flowers not be wasted at least

Feelings Repeated                                                                              重有感

玉帐牙旗得上游,  yù zhàng yá qí dé;děi;de  shàng yóu,

安危须共主君忧。  ān wēi xū gòng zhǔ jūn yōu;yǒu。

窦融表已来关右,  dòu róng biǎo  yǐ lái guān yòu,

陶侃军宜次石头。  táo kǎn jūn yí cì  shí tóu。

岂有蛟龙愁失水,  qǐ yǒu jiāo lóng chóu  shī shuǐ,

更无鹰隼与高秋。  gèng;gēng wú  yīng sǔn yǔ  gāo qiū。

昼号夜哭兼幽显,  zhòu hào yè kū jiān yōu xiǎn,

早晚星关雪涕收。  zǎo wǎn xīng guān xuě tì shōu。

Jade curtains and toothy banners on the expedition’s march

All, including the emperor, worry about safety and peril

Already the memorial to Dou Rong appears to the right of the Pass,

Tao Kan’s soldiers should go calm things down in Shitou

How could the flood dragon be alarmed at the water loss?

Yet hawks and falcons provide no aid in the Autumn frost

Day and night weeps, hell twice appears

It is early evening, the Starry Palace receives snowy tears

The Chu River                                                                                                曲江

望断平时翠辇过,  wàng duàn  píng shí cuì niǎn guò,

空闻子夜鬼悲歌。  kōng wén  zǐ yè guǐ  bēi gē。

金舆不返倾城色,  jīn yú bù fǎn  qīng chéng sè,

玉殿犹分下苑波。  yù diàn yóu fēn xià yuàn bō。

死忆华亭闻唳鹤,  sǐ yì huā;huá tíng wén lì hè,

老忧王室泣铜驼。  lǎo yōu;yǒu  wáng shì qì tóng tuó。

天荒地变心虽折,  tiān  huāng dì  biàn xīn suī zhé;shé,

若比阳春意未多。  ruò bǐ  yáng chūn yì wèi duō。

My sight is interrupted, though normally the kingfisher carriage passes by

At midnight, in the emptiness one hears a ghost sing a plaintive cry

The golden harness does not bring his fabled courtesans in tow

Parted from the jade palace gardens, the waters rush along so

The dying recall the sounds of the Hua Pavilion’s crane

At the copper camel gates, the royal family, the old and worried weep in pain

An earth shaking event rips one’s heart

Yet, not much more than when vernal love lost plays its part

On My Feelings The Day I Passed The Door Where The ‘Guiltless’ Marquis Of Panyu Was Punished For Theft  故番禺侯以赃罪致不辜,事觉,母者他日过其门[110]

 

饮鸩非君命,  yǐn zhèn fēi jūn mìng,

兹身亦厚亡。  zī shēn yì hòu wáng。

江陵从种橘,  jiāng líng cóng;zòng;cōng  zhǒng;zhòng  jú,

交广合投香。  jiāo guǎng hé;gé tóu xiāng。

不见千金子,  bù jiàn  qiān jīn zǐ,

空余数仞墙。  kōng  yú shù rèn qiáng。

杀人须显戮,  shā rén xū xiǎn lù,

谁举汉三章。  shuí jǔ hàn sān zhāng。

The poison feathered bird was no fault of the King

But self gratification and excess led to disaster

Sweet tangerines cluster about the Jiang river tomb

Guangzhou is favored by their scent

I did not see a thousand gold sons

Just empty space before walls several ren[111] high

Executions must be in the open

Who will follow the three principles law?

 

Two Pages Of 40 Verses For Li Gong In Return For His Painting Of The Pines 李肱所遗画松诗书两纸得四十韵

万草已凉露,  wàn cǎo yǐ liáng lù;lòu,

开图披古松。  kāi tú pī gǔ sōng。

青山遍沧海,  qīng shān biàn  cāng hǎi,

此树生何峰。  cǐ shù shēng hé fēng。

孤根邈无倚,  gū gēn miǎo wú yǐ,

直立撑鸿濛。  zhí lì chēng hóng méng。

端如君子身,  duān rú  jūn zi shēn,

挺若壮士胸。  tǐng ruò  zhuàng shì xiōng。

樛枝势夭矫,  jiū;liáo zhī shì  yāo jiǎo,

忽欲蟠拏空。  hū yù pán ná kōng。

又如惊螭走,  yòu rú jīng chī zǒu,

默与奔云逢。  mò yǔ bēn yún féng。

孙枝擢细叶,  sūn zhī zhuó  xì yè,

旖旎狐裘茸。  yǐ nǐ hú qiú róng。

邹颠蓐发软,  zōu diān rù fā;fà ruǎn,

丽姬眉黛浓。  lì;lí jī  méi dài nóng。

视久眩目睛,  shì jiǔ  xuàn mù jīng,

倏忽变辉容。  shū hū biàn huī róng。

竦削正稠直,  sǒng  xiāo zhèng chóu zhí,

婀娜旋敷峰。  ē nuó xuán fū fēng。

又如洞房冷,  yòu rú  dòng fáng lěng,

翠被张穹笼。  cuì bèi zhāng qióng lǒng;lóng。

亦若暨罗女,  yì ruò jì luó;luō nǚ,

平旦妆颜容。  píng dàn zhuāng yán róng。

细疑袭气母,  xì yí xí qì mǔ,

猛若争神功。  měng ruò zhēng shén gōng。

燕雀固寂寂,  yàn què gù  jì jì

雾露常冲冲。  wù lù;lòu cháng  chōng chōng。

香兰愧伤暮,  xiāng lán kuì shāng mù,

碧竹惭空中。  bì zhú cán  kōng zhōng。

可集呈瑞凤,  kě jí chéng ruì fèng,

堪藏行雨龙。  kān zàng;cáng xíng;háng;xìng yǔ lóng。

淮山桂偃蹇,  huái shān guì  yǎn jiǎn,

蜀郡桑重童。  shǔ jùn sāng zhòng;chóng tóng。

枝条亮眇脆,  zhī tiáo liàng miǎo cuì,

灵气何由同。  líng qì hé yóu tóng;tòng。

昔闻咸阳帝,  xī wén xián;xiān yáng dì,

近说稽山侬。  jìn shuō;shuì qǐ shān nóng。

或著仙人号,  huò zhù;zhuó;zhāo  xiān rén hào,

或以大夫封。  huò yǐ  dà fū fēng。

终南与清都,  zhōng nán yǔ qīng dōu;dū,

烟雨遥相通。  yān yǔ yáo  xiāng tōng。

安知夜夜意,  ān zhī  yè yè yì,

不起西南风。  bù qǐ  xī nán fēng。

美人昔清兴,  měi rén xī qīng xìng;xīng,

重之犹月钟。  zhòng;chóng zhī yóu yuè zhōng。

宝笥十八九,  bǎo sì  shí bā jiǔ,

香缇千万重。  xiāng tí  qiān wàn zhòng;chóng。

一旦鬼瞰室,  yī dàn guǐ kàn shì,

稠叠张羉罿。  chóu dié zhāng luán tóng。

赤羽中要害,  chì yǔ zhōng  yào hài,

是非皆匆匆。  shì fēi jiē  cōng cōng。

生如碧海月,  shēng rú  bì hǎi yuè,

死践霜郊蓬。  sǐ jiàn shuāng jiāo péng。

平生握中玩,  píng shēng wò zhōng wán;wàn,

散失随奴童。  sàn shī suí nú tóng。

我闻照妖镜,  wǒ wén  zhào yāo jìng,

及与神剑锋。  jí yǔ shén jiàn fēng。

寓身会有地,  yù shēn huì;kuài yǒu dì;de,

不为凡物蒙。  bù wèi;wéi fán wù méng;mēng;měng。

伊人秉兹图,  yī rén bǐng zī tú,

顾眄择所从。  gù miǎn zé suǒ cóng;zòng;cōng。

而我何为者,  ér wǒ hé wèi;wéi zhě,

开颜捧灵踪。  kāi yán pěng líng zōng。

报以漆鸣琴,  bào yǐ qī míng qín,

悬之真珠栊。  xuán zhī  zhēn zhū lóng。

是时方暑夏,  shì shí fāng shǔ xià,

座内若严冬。  zuò nèi ruò  yán dōng。

忆昔谢四骑,  yì xī xiè sì qí,

学仙玉阳东。  xué xiān yù yáng dōng。

千株尽若此,  qiān zhū jìn;jǐn  ruò cǐ,

路入琼瑶宫。  lù rù  qióng yáo gōng。

口咏玄云歌,  kǒu yǒng xuán yún gē,

手把金芙蓉。  shǒu bǎ jīn  fú róng。

浓蔼深霓袖,  nóng ǎi shēn ní xiù,

色映琅玕中。  sè yìng láng gān zhōng。

悲哉堕世网,  bēi zāi duò shì wǎng,

去之若遗弓。  qù zhī ruò yí gōng。

形魄天坛上,  xíng pò  tiān tán shàng,

海日高瞳瞳。  hǎi rì gāo tóng tóng。

终骑紫鸾归,  zhōng qí zǐ luán guī,

持寄扶桑翁。  chí jì  fú sāng wēng。

 

A cool dew covers ten thousand plants[112]

I open the scroll to reveal the old pines

Everywhere the mountains are covered with a sea of green

How they grow on such peaks remains to be seen?

Unaided, their lonely roots spread far

With nature’s vigor, the trunks are straight

A distinguished mien graces their crest

As sturdy as a brave knight’s chest

The branches extend gently, hanging down

Suddenly coiling upwards as if to snatch the empty sky .

Like hornless dragons they flee

Rushing up to the clouds silently

Tender leaves grow from youthful sprigs

Soft as fox fur swirls and rolls.

Thick and rich as a child’s frowsy forehead.

Or a beautiful concubine’s dark eyebrows instead?

Looking long at your work dazzles me

Then suddenly it changes into fresh glorious scenes

Sir please forgive what I said about the straight and true

Now they seem to drag and pull at a woman’s lithe figure.

They dip down into a bleak and forlorn place

As if in green kingfisher quilts draped

Or like the maidens of Ji Luo[113]

Their faces adorned as daybreak’s light radiant pours

One wonders how such  tender brush strokes capture this hardy spirit

Or when thick, challenge the celestial woodsman’s tools

Sparrows and swallows above are ever quieter

The fog arises often, ever thicker

The thick lotus is shamed when sunset arrives so soon

The green bamboo that it is so empty inside

Perhaps the pines may assume the shape of a phoenix charm

Or shelter the Dragon that makes the rains form

The Cassia trees of Huai mountain curl and fall

The mulberry trees of Shu form a canopy[114]

Branches appear so fragile and weak

Wherefore this power so deep?

In olden times, one knew  of the Xianyang King

Recently, one speaks of he of Ji Mountain

A pine may be blessed as a god[115]

Or become a high minister when an emperor nods

Finally, the southern lands and the northern capital,

The distant fog and rain combine.

With each night of quiet and peace

Will the Southwest wind arise or cease ?

Once, a great beauty appreciated you

As one would a moon shaped clock

More than her eighteen or nineteen jewelry baskets she cared

Or her red, fragrant silk in countless layers.

A demon stole into her chamber

Spread wide its dense net to catch the luan

A carmine feathered arrow proved its lethal intent

To be or not to be was settled in an instant

Life is like the green seas and the moon

Death treads the frosty outskirts of fairyland

All that she handled in her life

Was lost and dispersed through servants and strife

I have heard of the monster-revealing mirror[116]

As well as the celestial’s sharp sword

For each body there resides a space

Where common things have no place

His Excellency grasped this picture

And for it sought a suitable owner

Being the chosen one pleases me

I smile, and walk with a light step you see!

In return I gave him the qin with lacquered birds

I hung you among curtains of true pearls

Then, summer was steamy and hot

Inside, it was more like deep winter than not

I recall days I rebuffed the carriage rides

And I studied the Way at East Yuyang Mountain

Where in their thousands, clustered the pines

And the road led to Qiongyuan Shrine

One would chant the Dark Cloud song[117]

Holding the golden lotus in one’s palm

The thick haze curled about my rainbow colored sleeves

Their light reflecting off of the bamboo stalks and leaves

Damn, how I have fallen  into this mortal net so low

And I will leave, lost to the Emperor, like his bow[118]

My soul rises to the Heavenly Temple with devotion

I view the morning sun in its brilliance rise over the ocean

In the end this purple phoenix’ will finally return

Having entrusted you to old Fu Sang[119]

 Notes:
[1] The goddess of the moon,  said to live with a three legged toad and a rabbit, and banished for stealing the pills of immortality from the Jade Emperor’s garden. In this poem, LSY could also be referring to a Daoist nun, who doesn’t wear makeup.

[2] The Herd Boy lived in the Milky Way and met his lover, the Spinning Maiden, once a year on a bridge of magpies.

[3] LSY here seems to be referring obliquely to palace concubines

[4] Legend about a woman who drowned and seeks to rejoin the world of mortals

[5] As in mansions and palaces

[6] The poem refers to an emperor who sought the elixir of immortaily in vain.

[7] A mirror with a frame in the shape of the Phoenix bird

[8] Referring to a punitive army expedition to quell one of the many rebellions the Tang Dynasty faced.

[9] Obliquely referring to traitors and schemers who won the Emperor’s confidence. The great An Lushan rebellion, for example, was started by a racially mixed official who had won the trust of the Tang Emperor.

[10] Daoism was one of the major Chinese religions, and had priestesses as well as monks. They wore rainbow colored garments.

[11] Moth eyebrows were fashionable among ladies in the Tang dynasty

[12] An official who represented the Emperor in provincial districts

[13] A great family of the Han(?) dynasty into whom the beautiful Miss No Worries married, to her regret.

[14] The Chinese New Year, around February of each year.

[15] Spring is often associated with carnal passion and love.

[16] Xi Zi and Mi Fei were great beauties of legend, and consorts of emperors.

[17] This poem uses  several allusions, almost one per line, to describe the peony flower. The Lady of Wei wanted to meet Confucius and hid behind a screen to observe him,  after she invited him.  The Marquis was so entranced by his handsome boatman that he provided him a coverlet to sleep in.

[18] Hands waving upside down was also a popular dance

[19] About a very rich man who burned candles instead of firewood, an expensive thing to do.

[20] Xun lin used fragrance pouches made in special kilns. It was said that the place he sat retained his perfume for three days.

[21] Refers to a dream a poet had in which another famous poet appeared and demanded a multicolored brush. After he gave him the brush, he woke up and never was able to write good verse again. In this poem, LSY obliquely suggests his mentor provided him with a fine brush with which to seduce a concubine – the so called morning cloud.

[22] This poem uses  several allusions, almost one per line, to describe the peony flower.

[23] Screens, fans and other furnishings were often decorated with pictures of various real and imaginary creatures.

[24] Jade is used frequently to connote something precious, magical, sensual,  as well as green or white colors  and elements of the Daoist celestial kingdom.

[25] Can refer to the poet sending his letters to friends and lovers

[26] An appreciation for someone who cared for the young LSY. Or thanks for Ling hu Hu’s teaching of parallel prose and apprenticeship to LSY.

[27] Shangyin changed from Daoism to Buddhism in his life. The poem might also refer to this, or a change of position in his government career.

[28] Referring to how young talent was wasted in the Capitol, even after the rigorous examinations. LSY finally passed his examinations, but did not get the high ranking government position he felt he deserved.

[29] Refers to a type of phoenix, sometimes male, sometimes female.

[30] Early in the morning

[31] Of Immortals, from Daoist mythology

[32] Bamboos and bamboo leaves often signify loneliness and despair.

[33] The poet writes that the poem was written about a tower in Yingyang, where the vice minister was the prefect, and LSY’s friend.

[34] Mandarin ducks stayed with their partners for life

[35] Red cherry may allude to the singer’s mouth opening when she sings

[36] Said to live on the moon with Chang E

[37] The mythical Chinese tiger is like a dragon, with wings

[38] By the Tang dynasty Buddhism had been introduced to China from India, as captured in the great novel  Travel to the West, where the Monkey King escorts a monk to obtain the Buddhist sutras from India.

[39] A tree whose palm leaves were written Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit.

[40] One of the 5 holy mountains of China

[41] The great river said to be the source of Chinese civilization

[42] The lotus as a symbol of friendship, even when withered.  The two recipients were sons of a former patron.

[43] The way to enlightenmenight, as explained  in Daoist founder Lao Zi’s classic The Way

[44] Daoism attempted to understand the origin and composition of the elixir of immortality, an obsession of several emperors and kings. LSY studied Daoism in his youth.

[45] Although there was a Terrace of Yen or Terrace of Gold with the same Chinese name built by King Chao of Yen (312-279BC) I prefer to think of it as a mythical place of swallows, a creature which runs throughout LSY’s poems. The swallow in mythology is a harbinger of Spring, and a sign of success and marriage. When a swallow builds a nest on a house, it is a sign someone will soon get married.

[46] Corals were once caught be casting iron nets, in which the coral would grow.

[47] The home of Miss No Worry (literally Mo Chou ), in two ancient songs, one of which goes

Where does No Worry live?/She lives west of the Stone City/A light boat rowed by two oars/ Brings No Worry here fast. The other was written by Emperor Wu of Liang, about a beautiful girl forced into marriage in the rich Lu family, and who loved the man next door. Yellow shades refers to the nether world.

[48] Men used to carry their crossbows or slingshots as signs of virility

[49] Referring to the king’s soul who was trapped in the body of a cuckoo in the forest.

[50] Chang E’s home on the moon

[51] Destined to meet her lover the Cowherd once a year

[52] EA screen made of mother of pearl i.e. mica

[53] The Big Dipper. The Chinese were great astronomers.

[54] Classic poems that refer to a man who lost his kingdom and tried to commit suicide, and the southern kingdom of Chu.

[55] Curtain frames shaped like parrot beaks

[56] Letters were often written on silk

[57] Goddess Little Maid of the Blue Stream. There was an immortal called White Stone Lad.

[58] A remote place that LSY may even have visited

[59] A dancer was said to be so light and nimble she could dance on one’s palm

[60] Insect that sounds at night

[61] Perhaps referring to one of the gates of the Imperial capital Chang An.

[62] Literally then thousand, used to indicate numbers without limit.

[63] On the seventh month of the lunar year

[64] A special chessboard that was convex at the center

[65] An indirect refernce to the governor from the East who married Willow. She is compared to his native melons. Her heart has turned cold as ice because she does not love him.

[66] The classic calligraphy by Wang Xizhi of the Jin Dynasty (353AD)

[67] LSY was born in Henei county, now Qinyang county in Henan province.

[68] A Daoist temple, indirectly to the Jade Emperor’s dominions.

[69] Icons and images in the temple

[70] LSY reputedly had love affairs, or loved, certain Daoist nuns.

[71] A gate of the Imperial Capitol

[72] Messenger of the Goddess of the West, who carried the elixir of immortaility to her mortal lover king.

[73] The three legged toad who lived on the moon with the Moon Goddess Chang E.

[74] Home of the Immortals

[75] Elm seeds are shaped like money and references could be to a prostitute and her customer.

[76] The energy that surrounds and penetrates the mortal world., akin to the German philosopher Schoepenhauer’s will.

[77] In the Daoist land of the Immortals. As is common with LSY, he could be associating fruit with a woman he is attracted to.

[78] Reference to the numerous rebellions and corruption of the Late Tang. LSY was fiercely patriotic.

[79] The Daoist (also called Taoism) philosophy and way of living started by Lao Zi around 500BC. In his early years LSY studied Daoism.

[80] The essence of Daoism

[81] A type of chanted scripture. The human body’s seven orifices.

[82] Golden bells used in temples were used to scare away evil spirits

[83] A mythical tree that was grown and tended to on the moon by an Immortal woodcutter

[84] The three islands of the Immortals

[85] China in ancient times was said to comprise nine dominions

[86] Tao in Cantonese, Dao in mandarin pronunciation. The written character is the same.

[87] Daoist priests and nuns wore rainbow colored clothes at ceremonies.

[88] Daoist hermits would retreat to mountain caves to study the Way.

[89] The pills of immortality also comprised a red substance, perhaps cinnamon or cinnabar.

[90] Metaphor for the poet himself

[91] Emperors commissioned stone tablets to record their achievements

[92] The First Emperor, of the state of Qin, who united the different kingdoms into the core of what is modern China.

[93] The Daoist supreme god is said to dwell in a city with twelve walls of clouds colored like jade

[94] The Daoist supreme god is said to dwell in a city with twelve walls of clouds colored like jade

[95] Heaven in Daoist belief

[96] The crystal bowl as indicating a glorious life in a precious place

[97] A flute player who became immortal

[98] Literally ‘Huge Cliff’, an immortal

[99] ThAn immortal who let her phoenix shaped pendant behind  with the mortal who loved her

[100] Images painted on the zither, possible alluding to a mythical fish who loved listening to the goddess of the Xiang river’s zither

[101] In this story a lord welcomed an admiring woman into his boat and made love to her under perfumed sheets.

[102] Moon

[103] Writing paper with phoenix imprints used in the palace, often used by Daoists.

[104] Fictitious emperor who seduced the Queen Mother of the West and gained immortality

[105] This poem is about an abortion, shrouded in secrecy, perhaps from a husband.

[106] Can refer to an immortal, or a prostitute/concubine.

[107] LSY was attracted to Daoist nuns

[108] These poems refer to the Sweet Dew incident, an attempted uprising by the Tang Emperor and his chief minister against the palace eunuchs. LSY was in his late teens at the time.

[109] This poem is about the Sweet Due incident, where the emperor and his officials failed to assassinate the palace eunuchs.

[110] The marquis was corrupt and his son, guiltless, was executed for the father’s crime

[111] Fathom: 8 feet

[112] The painting was a gift from Li Gong, who passed the Literary Examination with LSY in 837AD.

[113] Two famous beauties of the fifth century who were presented as gifts to the King of Wu, and helped engineer his downfall.

[114] Referring to trees that twist among each other, and  a huge mulberry tree that had a canopy like top.

[115] An Emperor of Qin made a sacrifice on Tai mountain and after a storm came, sheltered under a pine tree which he subsequently made a ‘high minister’

[116] A mirror that reflected the images of monsters, and a sword that could only be welded by virtous kings, like in the legend of King Arthur.

[117] A song sung by one of the ladies in waiting to the Queen Mother of the West

[118] A King of Chu lost his bow and did not bother to look for it, saying one man’s loss is another man’s gain.

[119] The old immortal ruled over a magic island in the sea on which are two  mulberry tree with berries of immortality. This poem  was a gift in return for a painting that LSY much admired. It describes the painting and then goes on to discuss the mortal condition.