Complete Poems Section 5

9th Day of the 9th Month                                                       九日
曾共山翁把酒时,  céng;zēng gòng shān wēng  bǎ jiǔ shí,

霜天白菊绕阶墀。  shuāng tiān bái jú rào jiē chí。

十年泉下无人问,  shí nián  quán xià  wú rén wèn,

九日樽前有所思。  jiǔ rì zūn qián  yǒu suǒ sī。

不学汉臣栽苜蓿,  bù xué hàn chén zāi  mù xu,

空教楚客咏江蓠。  kōng jiào;jiāo chǔ kè yǒng jiāng lí。

郎君官重施行马,  láng jūn guān zhòng shī xíng mǎ,

东阁无因再得窥。  dōng dū;gé wú yīn zài dé;děi;de kuī。

I remember the days Master Shan and I drank so freely

As frosty days and white plum blossoms circled the steps

For ten years there was no word from his nether land

Every Double Ninth day the wine pitcher evoked memories. [1]

The gentleman ignored his studies and planted alfalfa, 

The vacuous student, Chu Yuan, sang of obscure flowers. [2]

When my boss’s son prepares to ride his horse

There’ll be no need to peer inside the Eastern Pavilion. [3]

Three Poems in an Improvised Manner                               漫成三首

其一

不妨何范尽诗家,  bù fáng hé fàn jìn;jǐn shī jiā,

未解当年重物华。  Wèi  jiě  dāng  nián  zhòng  wù  huá 。

远把龙山千里雪,  yuǎn  bǎ  lóng  shān   qiān  lǐ  xuě  xuě,

将来拟并洛阳花。  jiāng  lái  nǐ  bìng  luò  yáng  huā。

其二

沈约怜何逊,  shěn yuē lián hé xùn,

延年毁谢庄。  Yán  nián  huǐ  xiè  zhuāng。

清新俱有得,  qīng  xīn  jù  yǒu  dé;děi;de,

名誉底相伤。  míng  yù  dǐ  xiàng;xiāng  shāng shāng。

其三

雾夕咏芙蕖,  wù xī yǒng fú qú,

何郎得意初。  hé láng  dé yì chū。

此时谁最赏,  cǐ shí shuí zuì shǎng,

沈范两尚书。  shěn fàn liǎng  shàng shū。

1st Poem

 No matter that He tried so hard to write about Fan

but didn’t understand the scenery of the day

Writing about the snows on Dragon Mountain 1000 miles away

He mixed them up with the peonies of Luoyang! [4]

 2nd Poem

 Shen Yue sympathized with He Sun

Yan Nian destroyed Xie Zhuang’s reputation

Purity and freshness was completely attained

How would their fame be slighted?

 3rd Poem

 On a misty evening he sang of hibiscus by the canal

At first, how proud was this young gentleman

Right now, who do you think is the really fortunate one?

He had two official positions, had Chen Yan! [5]

Five Poems in an Improvised Manner                                  漫成五章

其一

沈宋裁辭矜變律,  shěn sòng cái cí jīn biàn lǜ ,

王楊落筆得良朋。  wáng yáng luò bǐ dé liáng péng 。
當時自謂宗師妙,  dāng shí zì wèi zōng shī miào ,

今日惟觀對屬能。  jīn rì wéi guān duì shǔ néng 。

其二

李杜操持事略齊,  lǐ dù cāo chí shì luè qí,

三才萬象共端倪。  sān cái wàn xiàng gòng duān ní.
集仙殿與金鑾殿,  jí xiān diàn yǔ jīn luán diàn,

可是蒼蠅惑曙雞。  kě shì cāng yíng huò shǔ jī 。

其三

生兒古有孫征虜,  shēng ér gǔ yǒu sūn zhēng lǔ,

嫁女今無王右軍。  jià nǚ jīn wú wáng yòu jūn 。
借問琴書終一世,  jiè wèn qín shū zhōng yī shì ,

何如旗蓋仰三分。  hé rú qí gài yǎng sān fēn 。

其四

代北偏師銜使節,  dài běi piān shī xián shǐ jié ,

关东裨將建行臺。  guān dōng bì jiāng jiàn xíng tái 。
不妨常日饒輕薄,  bù fáng cháng rì ráo qīng báo ,

且喜臨戎用草萊。  qiě xǐ lín róng yòng cǎo lái 。

其五

郭令素心非黷武,  guō líng sù xīn fēi dú wǔ ,

韓公本意在和戎。  hán gōng běn yì zài hé róng 。
兩都耆舊偏垂淚,  liǎng dū qí jiù piān chuí lèi ,

臨老中原見朔風。  lín lǎo zhōng yuán jiàn shuò fēng 。

1st Poem

 

Chen and Song were admired for turning bombast into verse

Wang and Yang turned their ink to prose as this brilliant group rose

In those days, they accepted their fame with a grudging bent

These days, to match fine words and sense is the only end

 

2nd Poem

The poems of Li and Du were uniformly excellent

They were superb at evoking sky and earth, every mortal sense,

Although at Jixian Palace and the Hall of Great Harmony their fortunes would rise

In the end the rooster was baffled by noisy fools and flies[6]

 

3rd Poem

 

The sons of the ancients had such as Sun Zhenglu[7]

Today, no woman can find a husband greater than Wang Xizhi

May I ask, if one can make music and art one’s total world,

Like the three legs of a ding, can yellow banners and purple tortoise shells work together? [8]

 

 

4th Poem

 

In northern Daizhou, Shi Xiong led the army

In Eastern Guan, he served as deputy and military ambassador

No matter that he was belittled day after day

In the end he proved that grass can grow in fallow fields[9]

 

5th Poem

 

General Guo Ling had no wish for farmer troops and tools of war

Official Han real intention was to bring peace to the ranks

The elders of East and West would be moved to tears

Had, through the Central Plains, his proud northern spirit blown

 

Official Han Hong’s Inspirational Writing   韩翃舍人即事

萱草含丹粉,  xuān cǎo hán dān fěn,

荷花抱绿房。  hé huā bào lǜ fáng。

鸟应悲蜀帝,  niǎo yìng bēi shǔ dì,

蝉是怨齐王。  chán shì yuàn qí wáng.

通内藏珠府,  tōng nèi zàng;cáng zhū fǔ,

应官解玉坊。  yìng guān jiě yù fāng。

桥南荀令过,  qiáo nán xún lìng guò,

十里送衣香。  shí lǐ sòng yī xiāng。

The day lily is covered with its amber flowers

The lotus cradles emerald seeds

Tragic is the cuckoo of the King Of Shu

Resentful is the cicada of the Emperor of Qi

You entered the Emperor’s Hall of Hidden Treasures

An official who knew how to sift the jade

You travelled to Qiaonan in the path of Xun Yu[10]

Such that the scent of your clothes carried for 10 Li!

After Visiting Zheng Guangwen’s Old Home           过郑广文旧居
宋玉平生恨有馀,  sòng yù  píng shēng hèn yǒu yú,

远循三楚吊三闾。  yuǎn xún sān chǔ diào sān lǘ。

可怜留著临江宅,  kě lián liú zhù;zhuó;zhāo lín jiāng zhái,

异代应教庾信居。  yì dài yīng;yìng jiào;jiāo yǔ xìn jū。

Throughout his life, Song Yu’s bitterness was beyond compare

Pity Chu Yuan’s inspection of the three distant places of Jin

Although it is difficult to stay in Lin Jiang’s villa

It is also strange to be in Yu Xin’s home[11]

The Inn At West Road Pond                                                  街西池馆

白阁他年别,     bái  gé  tā  nián  bié,

朱门此夜过。  zhū  mén  cǐ  yè  guò。

疏帘留月魄,  shū  lián  liú  yuè  pò ,

珍簟接烟波。  zhēn  diàn  jiē   yān  bō .

太守三刀梦,  tài  shǒu  sān  dāo  mèng ,

将军一箭歌。  Jiāng  jūn  yī  jiàn  gē 。

国租容客旅,  guó  zū  róng  kè  lǚ ,

香熟玉山禾。  xiāng  shú  yù  shān  hé 。

Years ago, I left the White Pavilion behind

Tonight I return to the Vermillion Gate

The moon’s soul is wrapped in shimmering curtains

Splendid carpets float on misty waves

The governor once dreamed of three daggers

The general sang of flying arrows

The wandering official is comforted by the patriot’s plot.

Fragrant Jade Mountain rice boils in the pot

Given To Official Ling Hu Regarding Last Night’s Revel Under The Moonlight              令狐舍人说昨夜西掖玩月因戏赠

昨夜玉轮明,  zuó yè yù lún;qiāng míng,

传闻近太清。  chuán wén jìn tài qīng。

凉波冲碧瓦,  liáng bō chōng  bì wǎ,

晓晕落金茎。  xiǎo yùn luò  jīn jīng。

露索秦宫井,  lù suǒ qín gōng jǐng,

风弦汉殿筝。  fēng xián hàn diàn zhēng。

几时绵竹颂,  jǐ shí mián zhú sòng,

拟荐子虚名。  nǐ jiàn  zǐ xū míng。

Yesterday evening the Jade Wheel was resplendent

Even the heavens were close by, it is said

Moonlight glanced off the green glazed tiles

A golden panorama appeared in a morning halo

The well rope of the Qin Palace revealed,

Bells and painted kites hung from eaves

How can one be like Mian Zhusong

An empty headed man recommended to the Court?

Willow                                                                                                            

为有桥边拂面香,  wèi;wéi yǒu qiáo biān fú miàn xiāng,

何曾自敢占流光。  hé céng zì gǎn zhàn;zhān  liú guāng。

后庭玉树承恩泽,  hòu tíng yù shù chéng ēn zé,

不信年华有断肠。  bù xìn  nián huá yǒu  duàn cháng。

By the bridge, your flower scent whisks my face

How bravely you captured these shards of streaming light

Behind the Palace courtyard the Jade Trees enjoys their many gifts

Not knowing of heartbreak in the prime of one’s life?

Presented To Zheng’s Eldest Son Tai Wen On The Occasion Of His Southern Homage To His Father             送郑大台文南觐

黎辟滩声五月寒,  lí pì;bì tān shēng  wǔ yuè hán,

南风无处附平安。  nán fēng  wú chù fù  píng ān。

君怀一匹胡威绢,  jūn huái yī pī;pǐ hú wēi juàn,

争拭酬恩泪得干。  zhēng shì chóu ēn lèi dé;děi;de gān;gàn;hàn。

The Li Pi Shoal is known to be a harsh place in May

No place nearby is safe from the southern winds

The gentleman presents his father a roll of silk, like Hu Wei

In this place of strife, can grace and kindness dry one’s tears

Zi Sun’s Villa in the Suburbs                                                子初郊墅

看山对酒君思我,  kàn;kān shān duì jiǔ jūn sī wǒ,

听鼓离城我访君。  tīng gǔ lí;róu chéng wǒ fǎng jūn。

腊雪已添墙下水,  là xuě yǐ tiān qiáng  xià shuǐ,

斋钟不散槛前云。  zhāi zhōng bù sǎn jiàn qián yún。

阴移竹柏浓还淡,  yīn yí zhú bǎi nóng hái;huán dàn,

歌杂渔樵断更闻。  gē zá yú qiáo duàn gèng;gēng wén

亦拟村南买烟舍,  yì nǐ cūn nán mǎi yān shè;shě,

子孙相约事耕耘。  zǐ sūn  xiāng yuē shì  gēng yún。

A wine flagon before him, he gazes at the mountain, and the gentlemen thinks of me

At his summons, when one hears the morning reveille, from the city I flee

The 12th lunar snows have piled up by the well

In the study hour, the clouds beyond the railing freeze

Both light and dark, the cypress and bamboo shift in the shades

The songs of the fishermen and woodcutters blend and fade

On my southern path through the village I buy smokes for my mate

Zi Sun has started to plough and and till as if to prepare for our date!

Visiting the Hermit                                                                             访隐

路到层峰断,  lù dào  céng fēng duàn,

门依老树开。  mén yī  lǎo shù kāi。

月从平楚转,  yuè cóng;zòng;cōng píng chǔ zhuǎi,

泉自上方来。  quán zì shàng fāng lái。

薤白罗朝馔,  xiè bái luó;luō cháo;zhāo zhuàn;xùn,

松黄暖夜杯。  sōng huáng nuǎn yè bēi。

相留笑孙绰,  xiàng;xiāng liú xiào sūn chuò,

空解赋天台。  kōng jiě fù tiān tái

The path stops sharply at the summit peak

By the gate, an old tree welcomes me

The moon comes into view over the forest

A bubbling brook runs through the celestial space

Food flavored with white onions is laid out

Yellow cyprus, herbs, a warm evening wine

Eager to stay, we make fun of Sun Chuo

Here, how empty his genius seems!

Master Zi Chu at Full Brook Lane                           子初全溪作

全溪不可到,  quán qī  bù kě dào,

况复尽馀醅。  kuàng fù jìn;jǐn yú pēi

汉苑生春水,  hàn yuàn shēng chūn shuǐ,

昆池换劫灰。  kūn chí huàn jié huī。

战蒲知雁唼,  zhàn pú zhī yàn shà,

皱月觉鱼来。  zhòu yuè jué;jiào yú lái。

清兴恭闻命,  qīng xìng;xīng gōng wén mìng,

言诗未敢回。  yán shī wèi gǎn huí。

I had no success getting to Full Brook Lake

The situation called for wine in excess!

Vernal springs flourished, gracing the Garden of Han

Pillage replaced the Lake of Kun

Leaves shuddered at the sound of the gobbling geese

The moon trembled when the fish emerged

Happily the order was received

Sing a poem, do not dare to leave!

Official Pei Ming’s Home                                                      裴明府居止

爱君茅屋下,  ài jūn  máo wū xià,

向晚水溶溶。  xiàng wǎn shuǐ  róng róng。

试墨书新竹,  shì mò shū xīn zhú,

张琴和古松。  zhāng qín hé gǔ sōng。

坐来闻好鸟,  zuò lái wén hǎo;hào niǎo,

归去度疏钟。  guī qù dù shū zhōng。

明日还相见,  míng rì hái;huán  xiāng jiàn,

桥南贳酒醲.    qiáo nán shì jiǔ nóng.

This dear gentleman lives by the thatched cottages

Towards evening the broad river flows gently by

On fresh bamboo I try writing a few lines

Noting how the sounds of the zither matches those of the pines!

I seat myself, hearing the pleasant sounds of birds

By the time I return the water clock has run its course

I’ll see you again tomorrow

The wine I borrowed on South Bridge will follow!

Playful Remarks At A Good Friend’s Home            戏题友人壁

花径逶迤柳巷深,  huā jìng  wēi yí liǔ xiàng shēn

小阑亭午啭春禽。  xiǎo lán  tíng wǔ zhuàn chūn qín
相如解作长门赋,  xiàng rú jiě zuò cháng mén fù,

却用文君取酒金。  què yòng wén jūn qǔ jiǔ jīn

Flowers line the winding path, deep in the willow arbor

At midday, on fence railings, spring birds warble

Xiang Ru wrote ‘Ode to Chang An Gate’ in a happy state of mind

And persuaded the Emperor to pay for his wine!

Singing the Blues                                                                                          

永巷长年怨罗绮,  yǒng xiàng  cháng nián yuàn luó;luō qǐ,

离情终日思风波。  lí;róu qíng  zhōng rì sī  fēng bō。
湘江竹上痕无限,  xiāng jiāng zhú shàng hén  wú xiàn,

岘首碑前洒几多。  xiàn shǒu bēi qián sǎ  jǐ duō。
人去紫台秋入塞,  rén qù zǐ tái qiū rù sè;sài;sāi,

兵残楚帐夜闻歌。  bīng cán chǔ zhàng yè wén gē。
朝来灞水桥边问,  cháo;zhāo lái bà shuǐ qiáo biān wèn,

未抵青袍送玉珂。  wèi dǐ qīng páo sòng yù kē。

Eternal roads and long years, bitter memories of you in a silk dress

Waves of sadness the day we finally parted

The scars on the bamboos of the Xiang river are too many to count

At Xianshou Hill, several gravestones and liquor store fronts

When the Purple Palace was abandoned, Autumn entered the barricades

Merciless soldiers and night songs were heard behind the curtains of Chu

In early morning, I inquire at the bridge where the Ba River leads

The green robed man cannot provide the horse any jade beads[12]

 

The Wandering Oriole                                                                       流莺

流莺漂荡复参差,  liú yīng piǎo;piào;piāo dàng fù  cēn cī,

度陌临流不自持,     dù mò lín liú bù  zì chí,

巧啭岂能无本意,  qiǎo zhuàn  qǐ néng wú  běn yì,

良辰未必有佳期。  liáng chén  wèi bì yǒu  jiā qī

风朝露夜阴晴里,  fēng  zhāo lù yè yīn qíng lǐ,

万户千门开闭时,     wàn hù qiān mén kāi bì shí,

曾苦伤春不忍听,  céng;zēng kǔ shāng chūn  bù rěn tīng,

凤城何处有花枝?    fèng chéng  hé chǔ yǒu huā zhī?

The wandering oriole soars up and down its bumpy path

Over wayward currents, it crisscrosses, as if buffeted by chance

What ingenious warbling, how could there not be beauty within?

The best of times need fix no dates, just sing!

Fresh and clear, the still night , then wind and sparkling dew

Ten thousand homes, a thousand gates open and close for you

It seems no one wants to listen, your shrill cry hurts the Spring

How could Phoenix City not provide you branches on which to sing?

Today                                                                                                  即目

小鼎煎茶面曲池,  xiǎo dǐng jiān chá miàn qū chí,

白须道士竹间棋。  bái xū  dào shì zhú jiān;jiàn;xiàn qí。
何人书破蒲葵扇,  hé rén shū pò  pú kuí shàn,

记著南塘移树时。  jì zhù;zhuó;zhāo nán táng yí shù shí。

I boil tea in the small ding in front of Crooked Pond

A white haired Taoist priest plays chess by the bamboo grove

Another writes characters on palm frond fans

Others tend to trees in the pond’s southern sands

 

On the Merits of Du Mu                                                                    杜司勋

高楼风雨感斯文,  gāo lóu  fēng yǔ gǎn  sī wen;sī wén,

短翼差池不及群。  duǎn;duān yì  chā chí  bù jí qún。

刻意伤春复伤别,  kè yì shāng chūn fù shāng biè;bié,

人间唯有杜司勋。  rén jiān wěi;wéi yǒu dù sī xūn。

The lofty towers shake in the wind and rain, as I reflect on your brief sketch

Your ‘clipped wings’ and ‘shallow ponds’ were not good enough for the crowd

You were such a meticulous craftsman of shattered love, and bitter farewells

In this world, you alone have merits unique to tell!

 

Feelings On The Incident At The City Outskirts At Old Village Concerning Official Wu Wei.过故府中武威公交城旧庄感事

信陵亭馆接郊畿,  xìn líng tíng guǎn jiē jiāo jī,

幽象遥通晋水祠。  yōu xiàng yáo tōng jìn shuǐ cí。

日落高门喧燕雀,  rì luò  gāo mén xuān  yàn què,
风飘大树撼熊罴。  fēng piāo dà shù hàn xióng pí。

新蒲似笔思投日,  xīn pú sì bǐ sī tóu rì,

芳草如茵忆吐时。  fāng cǎo rú yīn yì tǔ shí。
山下只今黄绢字,  shān xià zhī;zhǐ jīn huáng juàn zì,

泪痕犹堕六州儿。  lèi hén yóu duò liù zhōu er;ér。

At Lingmen Inn, on the outskirts of Ji

Peaceful and still, so far away seems the Temple of Jin

Sunset falls over lofty gates as swallows and sparrows cackle and twitter

Wind shakes the great trees, leaving fierce warriors bitter

All day the crab grass, like pens, throw aside their thoughts

Leaves and fragrant flowers are like mattresses, forcing memories out

Below the mountain all that remains are an epitaph’s golden words

Marked with General Liu Zhou’s sons’ tears, at last!

 

My Cherished Son                                                                              骄儿诗

衮师我骄儿,  gǔn shī wǒ jiāo er;ér,

美秀乃无匹。  měi xiù nǎi  wú pǐ。

文葆未周晬,  wén bǎo wèi zhōu zuì,

固已知六七。  gù yǐ zhī liù qī。

四岁知姓名,  sì suì zhī  xìng míng,

眼不视梨栗。  yǎn bù shì lí lì。

交朋颇窥观,  jiāo péng pō kuī guān,

谓是丹穴物。  wèi shì dān xué wù。

前朝尚器貌,  qián cháo;zhāo shàng qì mào,

流品方第一。  liú pǐn fāng  dì yī。

不然神仙姿,  bù rán  shén xiān zī,

不尔燕鹤骨。  bù ěr yàn hè gú。

安得此相谓?  ān dé;děi;de cǐ xiàng;xiāng wèi?

欲慰衰朽质。  yù wèi  shuāi xiǔ zhì。

青春妍和月,  qīng chūn yán hé yuè,

朋戏浑甥侄。  péng xì hún shēng zhí。

绕堂复穿林,  rào táng fù chuān lín,

沸若金鼎溢。  fèi ruò jīn dǐng yì。

门有长者来,  mén yǒu  zhǎng zhě lái,

造次请先出。  zào cì qǐng xiān chū。

客前问所须,  kè qián wèn suǒ xū,

含意不吐实。  hán yì bù tǔ shí。

归来学客面,  guī lái xué kè miàn,

闱败秉爷笏。  wéi bài bǐng yé hù。

或谑张飞胡,  huò xuè  zhāng fēi hú,

或笑邓艾吃。  huò xiào dèng ài chī。

豪鹰毛崱屴,  háo yīng máo zè lì,

猛马气佶傈。  měng mǎ qì jí lì。

截得青篔筜,  jié dé;děi;de qīng yún dāng,

骑走恣唐突。  qí zǒu zì  táng tū。

忽复学参军,  hū  fù xué  cān jūn,

按声唤苍鹘。  àn shēng huàn cāng hú。

又复纱灯旁,  yòu fù shā dēng páng,

稽首礼夜佛。  qǐ shǒu lǐ yè fú;fó。

仰鞭罥蛛网,  yǎng biān juàn  zhū wǎng,

俯首饮花蜜。  fǔ shǒu yǐn  huā mì。

欲争蛱蝶轻,  yù zhēng  jiá dié qīng,

未谢柳絮疾。  wèi xiè  liǔ xù jí。

阶前逢阿姊,  jiē qián féng ā;ē zǐ,

六甲颇输失。  liù jiǎ pō shū shī。

凝走弄香奁,  níng zǒu nòng;lòng xiāng lián,

拔脱金屈戍。  bá tuō jīn qū shù。

抱持多反侧,  bào chí duō fǎn cè,

威怒不可律。  wēi nù  bù kě lǜ。

曲躬牵窗网,  qū gōng qiān chuāng wǎng,

衉唾拭琴漆。  kè tuò shì qín qī。

有时看临书,  yǒu shí kàn;kān lín shū,

挺立不动膝。  tǐng lì  bù dòng xī。

古锦请裁衣,  gǔ jǐn qǐng cái yì;yī,

玉轴亦欲乞。  yù zhóu yì yù qǐ。

请爷书春胜,  qǐng yé shū chūn shèng;shēng,

春胜宜春日。  chūn shèng;shēng yí chūn rì。

芭蕉斜卷笺,  bā jiāo xié juǎn;juàn lán;jiān,

辛夷低过笔。  xīn yí dī guò bǐ。

爷昔好读书,  yé xī hǎo;hào  dú shū,

恳苦自著述。  kěn kǔ zì  zhù shù。

憔悴欲四十,  qiáo cuì yù  sì shí,

无肉畏蚤虱。  wú ròu wèi zǎo shī。

儿慎勿学爷,  er;ér shèn wù xué yé,

读书求甲乙。  dú shū qiú jiǎ yǐ。

穰苴司马法,  ráng jū;chá  sī mǎ fǎ,

张良黄石术。  zhāng liáng huáng shí shù。

便为帝王师,  biàn;pián wèi;wéi  dì wáng shī,

不假更纤悉。  bù jiǎ gèng;gēng  xiān xī。

况今西与北,  kuàng jīn xī yǔ běi,

羌戎正狂悖。  qiāng róng zhèng;zhēng kuáng bèi。

诛赦两末成,  zhū shè liǎng mò chéng,

将养如痼疾。  jiāng yǎng rú  gù jí。

儿当速长大,  er;ér dāng;dàng sù  zhǎng dà,

探雏入虎窟。  tàn chú rù hǔ kū。

当为万户侯,  dāng;dàng wèi;wéi wàn hù hóu,

勿守一经帙!  wù shǒu  yī jīng zhì!

My cherished son Gun Shi’s beauty is without bounds

In swaddling clothes, not yet one, yet of six and seven, he knew the sounds

At four he knew his name,

For peas and chestnuts, his eyes did not crave

Friends used to shield him from prying faces

As though he was a treasure from the Red Phoenix Cave

In the North and Southe Dynasties, where features were esteemed

His rank would be the highest, him alone

Not that he hasn’t the face of a god

Or a swallow’s neck and a heron’s strong bones!

How could they sing such praise

And not console this doddering man

Spring and earth, those halcyon days

Without distinction, cousins, friends , with all he plays

Circling the halls, again into the forest

Making sounds like water bubbling in the golden ding

When elders arrive at the gate,

He is eager to be the first to welcome them in

Quite diplomatic, he asks guests what they want

His true feelings he does not reveal

Leading them in, he studies their faces

Opens the doos as he holds father’s Hu[13]

Sometimes, he mocks Zhang Fei’s beard

Or makes fun of how Deng Ai stutters like a fool!

A great eagle perched on a mountain cliff

Or the fierce visage of a heroic horse

Othertimes, he chops down the towering green bamboo

Then rides his makeshift pony with wanton force!

Suddenly he pretends to be a general

Lowers his head and makes a deep command

Standing before the gauze lantern

He bends to make a religious supplicant’s pose

He sweeps the cobwebs from the saddle

And deeply breathes the scent of the flowers

Strives to be as light as a butterfly

Races the catkins beneath the willow’s arbors

Bumps into Auntie in front of the stairs

Again and again loses a bet with her at ‘Liu Jia’

Insists on rummaging through the lady’s makeup box

Then onto the gold doorknob to fiddle and play

Try holding him, as he wiggles and squirms

Despite threats and scolding, he won’t obey.

On a whim, he grabs the window’s gauze

With a little spit gives the zither a good polish

As he observes his father’s calligraphy, he stands straight, not a knee does he bend

He wraps the silk around each work

As well as the jade clasp on each end

Asks father to write some Spring Festival greetings

Preparing them all for New Year’s eve

Banana fronds are handled as if to wrap the books

Or under the ink brush, place lily leaves

His father used to study hard, with earnest

And with much difficulty prepared his work

Wan and sallow at his near forty years

Ticks and fleas now threaten his fleshless bones

The son should absolutely not emulate the father’s studies

Or read in search of glory

Study the methods of Master Sima, [14]

Or how old yellow stones gave General Zhang military strategies

In order to become a teacher of kings

Your ethos should be to ignore extraneous things

These days to the north and west

Nationalities clamor, and the result is chaos

Neither punishments nor pardons make a difference

As though one were nursing a terrible illness

After you quickly grow up my son

Dare to snatch the little one from the tiger’s den!

When you become the lord of 10,000 homes

You can afford to ignore the Classics!

 

Given In Praise Of Du Mu To 13 Compatriots赠司勋杜十三员外

杜牧司勋字牧之,  dù mù sī xūn zì mù zhī,

清秋一首杜秋诗。  qīng qiū yī shǒu dù qiū shī。

前身应是梁江总,  qián shēn yīng;yìng shì liáng jiāng zǒng,

名总还曾字总持。  míng zǒng hái;huán céng;zēng zì zǒng chí。

心铁已从干镆利,  xīn tiě yǐ cóng;zòng;cōng gān;gàn;hàn mò lì,

鬓丝休叹雪霜垂。  bìn sī xiū tàn xuě shuāng chuí。

汉江远吊西江水,  hàn jiāng yuǎn diào  xī jiāng shuǐ,

羊祜韦丹尽有碑。  yáng hù wéi dān jìn;jǐn yǒu bēi。

On praising Du Mu’s works[15]

His song of Du Qiu truly evokes Autumn’s cold

His visage might well have been of General Liang Jiang Zong

Would he have added to his name the character Zong!

A heart of steel already skilled at the dagger

His cloudy brow on which a snowy frost would sleep

Whether he inspected the Han River or the Xi

He followed Yang Hu and Wei Dan with own memorial steele.

 

Singing About Peacocks With Mr He Sun and Mr Wei Cha和孙朴韦蟾孔雀咏

此去三梁远,  cǐ qù sān liáng yuǎn,

今来万里携。  jīn lái wàn lǐ xié。

西施因网得,  xī shī yīn wǎng dé;děi;de,

秦客被花迷。  qín kè bèi  huā mí。

可在青鹦鹉,  kě zài qīng  yīng wǔ,

非关碧野鸡。  fēi guān bì  yě jī。

约眉怜翠羽,  yuē;yāo méi lián cuì yǔ,

刮目想金篦。  guā mù xiǎng jīn bì。

瘴气笼飞远,  zhàng qì lǒng;lóng fēi yuǎn,

蛮花向坐低。  mán huā xiàng zuò dī。

轻于赵皇后,  qīng yú zhào  huáng hòu,

贵极楚悬黎。  guì jí chǔ xuán lí。

都护矜罗幕,  dū hù jīn luó;luō mù,

佳人炫绣袿。  jiā rén xuàn xiù guī;guà。

屏风临烛扣,  píng fēng lín zhú kòu,

捍拨倚香脐。  hàn bō yǐ xiāng qí。

旧思牵云叶,  jiù sī qiān yún yè,

新愁待雪泥。  xīn chóu dāi xuě ní。

爱堪通梦寐,  ài kān tōng  mèng mèi,

画得不端倪。  huà dé;děi;de  bù duān ní。

地锦排苍雁,  dì;de jǐn pái cāng yàn,

帘钉镂白犀。  lián dīng lòu bái xī。

曙霞星斗外,  shǔ xiá  xīng dǒu wài,

凉月露盘西。  liáng yuè lù;lòu pán xī。

妒好休夸舞,  dù hǎo;hào xiū kuā wǔ,

经寒且少啼。  jīng hán qiě shǎo;shào tí。

红楼三十级,  hóng lóu  sān shí jí,

稳稳上丹梯。  wěn wěn shàng dān tī。

Traveling a great distance to Sanliang

Carrying the burden today of a 10,000 mile journey

The great beauty Xi Shi was finally caught

Qin’s guests were captivated by her talents

I don’t pay attention to the blue parrot

I absolutely ignore the green pheasant

Jade feathers, pity the made-up brow

Gold barbs, recall the sweep of the eye pincer! [16]

Fly far from the putrid cage

Fierce flowers, dig deep into the ground

You’re nimble as the Empress Bird of Zhao

As precious as Chu jade

A proud net that shields the City

Radiant embroidery warms a lovely maid

The lamp dims when you grow your wings

You preen your scented feathers and pluck the zither’s strings

Memories turn to the clouds and leaves of home

Instead of fresh worries that soil the snow

Love gives you form in my dreams

Although describing you, I have no inkling, it seems

The carpets are embroidered with wild emerald colored geese

Window shades are studded with carved rhino horns

At dawn, rosy clouds and stars lie above

From the western basin the languid moon can be seen

To everyone’s envy, you dance without pretence

But sing little in the cold air

Thirty steps at most up the red mansion

You ascend the vermillion ladder calmly, without hesitation.

 

Mister Wei Chan                                                                                韦蟾

谢家离别正凄凉,  xiè jiā  lí bié zhèng;zhēng  qī liáng,

少傅临岐赌佩囊。  shǎo;shào fù lín qí dǔ  pèi náng。

却忆短亭回首处,  què yì  duǎn tíng  huí shǒu chù;chǔ,

夜来烟雨满池塘。  yè lái  yān yǔ mǎn  chí táng。

Leaving Mr Grateful’s home is so distressing

The young master is about to bet his sachet

Leaving, towards the little pavilion I look back

Night is here, a fine mist settles over the riverbank

 

Memorial Tablet to Master Han                                            韩碑

元和天子神武姿,  yuán hé  tiān zǐ  shén wǔ zī,

彼何人哉轩与羲。  bǐ  hé rén zāi xuān yǔ xī。

誓将上雪列圣耻,  shì jiāng;jiàng shàng xuě liè shèng chǐ,

坐法宫中朝四夷。  zuò fǎ gōng zhōng cháo;zhāo sì yí。

淮西有贼五十载,  huái xī yǒu zéi  wǔ shí zài,

封狼生貙貙生罴。  fēng láng shēng chū chū shēng pí。

不据山河据平地,  bù jù;jū  shān hé jù;jū  píng dì,

长戈利矛日可麾。  cháng;zhǎng gē lì máo rì kě huī。

帝得圣相相曰度,  dì dé;děi;de shèng xiàng;xiāng xiàng;xiāng yuē dù,

贼斫不死神扶持。  zéi zhuó  bù sǐ shén  fú chí。

腰悬相印作都统,  yāo xuán xiàng;xiāng yìn zuò  dū tǒng,

阴风惨澹天王旗。  yīn fēng cǎn dàn  tiān wáng qí。

愬武古通作牙爪,  sù wǔ gǔ tōng zuò yá zhǎo,

仪曹外郎载笔随。  yí cáo wài láng zài bǐ suí。

行军司马智且勇,  xíng jūn  sī mǎ zhì qiě yǒng,

十四万众犹虎貔。  shí sì  wàn zhòng yóu hǔ pì。

入蔡缚贼献太庙,  rù cài fù zéi xiàn  tài miào,

功无与让恩不訾。  gōng wú yǔ ràng ēn bù zǐ;zī。

帝曰汝度功第一,  dì yuē rǔ dù gōng  dì yī,

汝从事愈宜为辞。  rǔ  cóng shì yù yí wèi;wéi cí。

愈拜稽首蹈且舞,  yù bài  qǐ shǒu dǎo qiě wǔ,

金石刻画臣能为。  jīn  shí kè huà chén néng wèi;wéi。

古者世称大手笔,  gǔ zhě shì chèn  dà shǒu bǐ,

此事不系于职司。  cǐ shì bù xì;jì yú  zhí sī。

当仁自古有不让,  dāng;dàng rén  zì gǔ yǒu  bù ràng,

言讫屡颔天子颐。  yán qì lǚ hàn  tiān zǐ yí。

公退斋戒坐小阁,  gōng tuì  zhāi jiè zuò xiǎo dū;gé,

濡染大笔何淋漓。  rú rǎn  dà bǐ hé  lín lí。

点窜尧典舜典字,  diǎn cuàn yáo diǎn shùn diǎn zì,

涂改清庙生民诗。  tú gǎi qīng miào  shēng mín shī。

文成破体书在纸,  wén chéng pò tǐ shū zài zhǐ,

清晨再拜铺丹墀。  qīng chén  zài bài pù;pū  dān chí。

表曰臣愈昧死上,  biǎo yuē chén yù  mèi sǐ shàng,

咏神圣功书之碑。  yǒng  shén shèng gōng shū zhī bēi。

碑高三丈字如斗,  bēi gāo sān zhàng zì rú dòu;dǒu,

负以灵鳌蟠以螭。  fù yǐ líng áo pán yǐ chī。

句奇语重喻者少,  jù qí;jī yǔ;yù zhòng;chóng yù zhě shǎo;shào,

谗之天子言其私。  chán zhī  tiān zǐ yán qí sī。

长绳百尺拽碑倒,  cháng;zhǎng shéng bǎi chǐ;chě zhuài;zhuāi;yè bēi dào;dǎo,

粗砂大石相磨治。  cū shā dà shí xiàng;xiāng mò;mó zhì。

公之斯文若元气,  gōng zhī  sī wen;sī wén ruò  yuán qì,

先时已入人肝脾。  xiān shí yǐ rù rén gān pí。

汤盘孔鼎有述作,  tāng pán kǒng dǐng yǒu shù zuò,

今无其器存其辞。  jīn wú qí qì cún qí cí。

呜呼圣王及圣相,  wū hū shèng wáng jí shèng xiàng;xiāng,

相与烜赫流淳熙。  xiāng yǔ xuǎn hè liú chún xī。

公之斯文不示后,  gōng zhī  sī wen;sī wén bù shì hòu,

曷与三五相攀追。  hé yǔ sān wǔ xiàng;xiāng pān zhuī。

愿书万本诵万遍,  yuàn shū wàn běn sòng wàn biàn,

口角流沫右手胝。  kǒu jiǎo liú mò  yòu shǒu zhī。

传之七十有二代,  zhuàn;chuán zhī  qī shí yǒu èr dài,

以为封禅玉检明堂基。  yǐ wéi  fēng shàn yù jiǎn míng táng jī。

Yuan He was the divine and heroic Son of Heaven

Himself of the lineage of the 3 Kings and 5 Emperors

Vowing to redress a time of setbacks and humiliations as cold as driven snow

To sit forth in the Great Hall, receiving tribute from the western barbarians

For fifty years of banditry in West Huai, so it is recorded

Wolves gave birth to tigers, and tigers bore bears

Not content with mountains and lakes, bandits occupied flat plains

Where long daggers and sharp pikes were daily brandished

The Emperor invoked Master Kong’s counsel and summoned Official Du

The bandits had tried to kill him, divine intervention saved the hero.

From the girdle of the‘Great Fixer’ hung the Imperial Seal

Cold winds and great purpose marked the Emperor’s banners

Generals Su, Wu, Gu and Peng were his teeth and claws

The scribes of the Board of Rites carried bushels to record the passage

The Minister of War, wise and brave, led the troops,

They were 140,000 strong, brave as tigers and leopards

They entered Cai, seized the rebels, and made offerings in the Great Temple

For such glorious service and victory, with unlimited grace

The Emperor declared ‘Master Du’s triumph was matchless,

Of your exploits let Master Han Yu write a record.’

Master Yu bowed and kowtowed

‘With letters carved in gold I will do this task!’

The sages and the world will declare it a grand opus

No delay will be brooked, or delaying the Imperial Edict

It will be different but I accept responsibility to to do so.’

The Emperor nodded his approval.

Retreating from company, the frugal Han stayed in his little pavilion

Immersing himself in the work, his pen dripping wet, incisive

Modifying the characters of Yao and Shu[17]

He varied the ‘Clear Temple’, ‘Rise of the People’, and the ‘Classic Poems’

He ignored the present fashions for the Classics

By early morning he bowed and laid his work before the Vermilion Steps

It is said, ‘Master Han risked his life’

To sing of the sacred glory that would be carved in stone!

The great tablet was 3 zhang high, with fist sized characters[18]

Supported by the spirit of Turtle Ao and the coils of the Hornless Dragon

With original turns of phrase and grave words, few understood it

Words of calumny were discretely spoken to the Son of Heaven[19]

A long rope 100 chi dragged down the tablet

And the words were pulverized with grit

But the elegant work was full of vigor

Already, they had penetrated one’s liver and spleen

The ancient washing basin and Master Kong’s ding all had inscriptions

Although today they are no longer with us,the words remain

Alas, for the Son of Heaven, and great Du

That their glory might spread and shine!

Had not the people known to carry these great words into the future

How would they have attained the ranks of the 3 Kings and 5 Emperors?

Let me write it 10,000 times, as many times recite it too

My mouth foam and hands grow callouses

Let it span seventy two generations

And its Jade Label be offered on Mount Tai, its glory crowning the Hall of Light!

 

The Palace Sycophant                                                                       宫辞

君恩如水向东流,  jūn ēn rú shuǐ  xiàng dōng liú,

得宠忧移失宠愁。  dé chǒng yōu;yǒu yí  shī chǒng chóu。
莫向尊前奏花落,  mò xiàng zūn  qián zòu huā luò;lào;là,

凉风只在殿西头。  liáng fēng zhī;zhǐ zài diàn xī tóu。

The resplendent pearl curtain gently brushes against the jade steps

Intrigues in the fragrant new palace rise about your slender waist

No need to look too closely at the playful dinosaurs

In the end, the King always yells at the puppeteer.

 

The Screen                                                                                         屏风

六曲连环接翠帷,  liù qū  lián huán jiē cuì wéi,

高楼半夜酒醒时。  gāo lóu  bàn yè  jiǔ xǐng shí。

掩灯遮雾密如此,  yǎn dēng zhē wù mì  rú cǐ,

雨落月明俱不知。  yǔ luò;lào;là yuè míng jù;jū  bù zhī。

 

The six screen panel surrounds the emerald curtains

High in the tower, at midnight, as I wake from a drunken sleep

It shields one from the lamp, like mist these secrets flow

Hidden from the falling rain,even from the moon’s radiant glow

 

Song of the Inner Palace                                                                   宫中曲

云母滤宫月,  yún mǔ lǜ gōng yuè,

夜夜白于水。  yè yè bái yú shuǐ。

赚得羊车来,  zhuàn dé yáng chē lái,

低扇遮黄子。  dī shàn;shān zhē huáng zǐ。
水精不觉冷,  shuǐ jīng  bù jué lěng,

自刻鸳鸯翅。  zì kè  yuān yāng chì。

蚕缕茜香浓,  cán lǚ qiàn xiāng nóng,

正朝缠左臂。  zhèng;zhēng cháo;zhāo chán zuǒ bì。
巴笺两三幅,  bā lán;jiān liǎng sān fú,

满写承恩字。  mǎn xiě chéng ēn zì。

欲得识青天,  yù dé;děi;de shí  qīng tiān,

昨夜苍龙是。  zuó yè  cāng lóng shì。

Moonlight rolls over the Palace’s mica screens

Through the night a virgin whiteness streams

At long last, the Ox Cart arrives

Lowered fans obscure the golden skin

Pearly sheets do not feel cold

Embracing, the mandarin ducks spread their wings

Blood red the thick woven silk

Proof of love tied about her left arm

Two or three notes are written on Sichuan paper

Happily describing one’s contentment

One looks to the sky for answers

Green dragons are things of yesterday

 

Gongzi                                                                                     公子

外戚封侯自有恩,  wài qī fēng hóu zì yǒu ēn,

平明通籍九华门。  píng míng  tōng jí jiǔ huā;huá mén。

金唐公主年应小,  jīn táng  gōng zhǔ nián yīng;yìng xiǎo,

二十君王未许婚。  èr shí  jūn wáng wèi  xǔ hūn。

Honors were conferred, relatives received royal grace[20]

At daybreak, the keeper of rolls allowed entry to the 9th Imperial Gate

The princess of the illustrious Tang was too young, it was said

So the 20 year old king forbid her to wed!

 

Marquis Fu Ping                                                                                富平少侯

七国三边未到忧,  qī guó sān biān wèi dào yōu;yǒu,

十三身袭富平侯。  shí sān shēn xí fù píng hóu。

不收金弹抛林外,  bù shōu jīn tán;dàn pāo lín wài,

却惜银床在井头。  què xī yín chuáng zài jǐng tóu。

彩树转灯珠错落,  cǎi shù zhuǎi dēng zhū  cuò luò,

绣檀回枕玉雕锼。  xiù tán huí zhěn  yù diāo sōu。

当关不报侵晨客,  dāng guān bù bào  qīn chén kè,

新得佳人字莫愁。  xīn dé;děi;de  jiā rén zì mò chóu。

 

Of the three borders and the seven kingdoms, you had no worries

You were 13 when you became Marquis of Fuping

You tossed away golden pellets in the forest

Instead you cherished the well’s silver handle

Helter skelter, You adorned trees with lamps

Carved walls, embroidered tapestries surrounded your jade pillow

While early morning visitors were barred entry

You welcomed the embrace of Miss Sans Souci[21]

 

My Belly                                                                                                                     

有怀非惜恨,  yǒu huái fēi xī hèn,

不奈寸肠何。  bù nài cùn cháng hé。

即席回弥久,  jí xí huí mí jiǔ,

前时断固多。  qián shí duàn gù duō。
热应翻急烧,  rè yīng;yìng fān jí shāo,

冷欲彻微波。  lěng yù chè  wēi bō。

隔树澌澌雨,  gé shù sī sī yǔ,

通池点点荷。  tōng chí  diǎn diǎn hè;hé。
倦程山向背,  quán;juàn chéng shān  xiàng bèi,

望国阙嵯峨。  wàng guó quē;què  cuó é。

故念飞书及,  gù niàn fēi shū jí,

新欢借梦过。  xīn huān jiè mèng guò。
染筠休伴泪,  rǎn yún xiū bàn lèi,

绕雪莫追歌。  rào xuě mò zhuī gē。

拟问阳台事,  nǐ wèn  yáng tái shì,

年深楚语讹。  nián shēn chǔ yǔ;yù é。

How I hate to lose the things I cherish

Inch by inch, worry crawls through my belly

These days my griefs all multiply

In former days, my heart was often broken

At times it seethed with thoughts of revenge

And cold chills penetrated my bones

The rain pitter patters between the trees

Here and there, from out the pond a lotus peeks.

The exhausting journey through the mountains over

I view the Palace’s lofty walls

I think of my letters flying to you

Dream of you receiving them

The mottled bamboos cease their tears

No song issues from the surrounding snow

Don’t ask me about legends of the Yang Court

Too many years ago,let alone the people of Chu’s unfathomable talk.

 

The Retired General                                                                           旧将军

云台高议正纷纷,  yún tái gāo yì zhèng;zhēng  fēn fēn,

谁定当时荡寇勋。  shuí dìng  dāng shí;dàng shí dàng kòu xūn。

日暮灞陵原上猎,  rì mù bà líng yuán shàng liè,

李将军是故将军。  lǐ  jiāng jūn  shì gù  jiāng jūn。

On Cloud Pavilion opinions fly back and forth

Then, who decided who would be honored for defending the realm?

The hunt begins at sunset on Ba Tomb

General Li has become retired General Li

 

Dreaming of Scholar Ling Hu                                              梦令狐学士

山驿荒凉白竹扉,  shān yì  huāng liáng bái zhú fēi,

残灯向晓梦清晖。  cán dēng xiàng xiǎo mèng qīng huī。

右银台路雪三尺,  yòu yín tái lù xuě  sān chǐ,

凤诏裁成当直归。  fèng zhào cái chéng dāng;dàng zhí guī。

The mountain road station is bleak and desolate, the door fig leaf seems bleached

Towards daybreak I dream, the indifferent lamp is bright and clear

Right of the silver terrace, snow is three chi thick

I return with the Imperial Edict, completed.

 

To Officer Li in Fengdu                                                        送丰都李尉

万古商於地,  wàn gǔ shāng yū;yú;wū dì;de,

凭君泣路岐。  píng jūn qì lù qí。

固难寻绮季,  gù nán xún qǐ jì,

可得信张仪。  kě děi xìn zhāng yí。

雨气燕先觉,  yǔ qì yàn  xiān jué,

叶阴蝉遽知。  yè yīn chán jù zhī。

望乡尤忌晚,  wàng xiāng yóu jì wǎn,

山晚更参差。  shān wǎn gèng;gēng  cēn cī。

In the Immemorial lands of Shang

One sweeps forks in the road at the Emperor’s command

Since it is so hard to obtain the status of Officer Li

Should one really bother to study the strategies of Zhang Xi?

The swallow senses the wind and the rain

The cicada sees the darkening leaves, takes fright again

I gaze homewards but dread the evening

The later it is, the more hazardous the mountain paths.

 

Shangyu                                                                                                         商於

商於朝雨霁,  shāng yū;yú;wū cháo;zhāo yǔ jì,

归路有秋光。  guī lù yǒu qiū guāng。

背坞猿收果,  bèi;bēi wù yuán shōu guǒ,

投岩麝退香。  tóu yán shè tuì xiāng。

建瓴真得势,  jiàn líng zhēn  dé shì,

横戟岂能当。  héng;hèng jǐ  qǐ néng dāng;dàng。

割地张仪诈,  gē dì zhāng yí zhà,

谋身绮季长。  móu shēn qǐ jì cháng;zhǎng。

清渠州外月,  qīng qú zhōu wài yuè,

黄叶庙前霜。  huáng yè miào qián shuāng。

今日看云意,  jīn rì kàn;kān yún yì,

依依入帝乡。  yī yī rù  dì xiāng。

At Shangyu, after the morning rain

The path back shines with Autumn light

Behind and below me apes collect fruit

Tossing stones at fleeing deer

From here the rushing water seems invincible

Who needs, who bothers to draw his sword

Here scheming Zhang Yi seized the land

Master Qi hid out here, to ensure a long life

The Shang embankments gleam under the moonlight

In front of the temple, golden leaves turn to frost.

Now the clouds float past without haste

Little by little I draw closer to the Emperor’s place

 

Encountering Snow The 9th Month in Eastern Shang County九月於东逢雪

举家忻共报,  jǔ jiā xīn gòng bào,

秋雪堕前峰。  qiū xuě duò qián fēng。

岭外他年忆,  lǐng wài tā nián yì,

於东此日逢。  yū;yú;wū dōng cǐ rì féng。

粒轻还自乱,  lì qīng hái;huán zì luàn,

花薄未成重。  huā bò;báo;bó wèi chéng zhòng;chóng。

岂是惊离鬓,  qǐ shì jīng lí;róu bìn,

应来洗病容。  yīng;yìng lái xǐ  bìng róng。

Soon to be home, how joyous it is

As Autumn snow drops onto peaks ahead

Beyond the ridges, memories will return

While these next few days I pass through Eastern Shang

The snowflakes crazily dance

The flowers finally wither

Lest my hoary temples shock them

Please wash away my sickly looks!

Notes:
[1] The 9th day of the 9th Lunar Month is the Chinese festival of zhong-yang and is traditionally observed by paying homage ancestors by visiting their burial places, and hiking on high ground for pleasure and good fortune

[2] (c. 340–278 BC) Warring States Chinese poet and minister, to which LSY compares himself. Master Shan represents his boss Ling Huchu, who had an ambitious and talented son.

[3] In Chang An, entry to which signified a successful government career

[4] He wrote, ‘when I left the snow was like flowers, today I arrive and the flowers are like snow’ (I paraphrase)

[5] Chen Yan was a famous poet of the Southern Liang Dynasty. Yan Nian and Xie Zhang were Southern Song Dynasty officials and writers

[6] The Tang poets Li Bai, Wang Bo and Du Fu were great poets

[7] Sun Quan (222-252BC) King of Wu , a warlord in the 3 kingdoms period

[8] Be unified. The yellow banners and purple tortoise shells were royal emblems of different dynasties and kingdoms.

[9] Xian Shijie , Tang general from humble beginnings

[10] Xun Yu: 163-212AD, brilliant strategist, aide to General Cao Cao of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

[11] LSY sympathizes with officials who were banished from court or wrongly demoted, many of whom were famous writers.

[12] Green jade beads for the horse and green clothes are signs of low status, alluding to the poet himself

[13] An honorific board held in the hands

[14] Sima Rang: 500BC, Qi military strategist

[15] Du Mu Tang Dynasty Poet 803-852AD

 [16] The eye pincer was a surgical tool

[17] Sage kings of antiquity

[18] About thirty feet

[19] The wife of a jealous rival felt he had been shortchanged in the inscription,  and complained to the Emperor

 [20]  Guo Zhonghong was a commoner (though related to the great general Guo Ziyi )who married a Tang princess in the reign of Emperor Muzong

 [21]  Literally Miss No Worry, also a term for concubine or dancing girl