A Nighttime Gaze

A Nighttime Gaze Bai Juyi (772-846)  The river wraps around the town’s cold edge,Its sandbanks still with sitting birds of dusk—Alone on top this building perched up high,I gaze southwest, where mountains drop to dust.   Chinese 晚望白居易 江城寒角動沙洲夕鳥還獨在高亭上西南望遠山 Pronunciation Wǎn WàngBái Jūyì Jiāng chéng hán jiǎo dòngShā zhōu xī niǎo …

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Springtime Sun

Springtime Sun Yin Qiqi (~800)  In times of doubt I sing to spring’s fresh sunAnd free the knots tied up within my gut—Your young man’s left his home and not come backBut winter’s snow will wash the willow’s smut.   Chinese 陽春曲殷七七 愁見唱陽春令人離腸結郎去未歸家柳自飄香雪 Pronunciation Yáng Chūn QūYīn Qīqī Chóu jiàn chàng …

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As Fall Begins, I Look Within

As Fall Begins, I Look Within Li Yi (746-829)  Ten thousand fears have come to fix my life,As on this mirrored shore I gaze uneased—Here all I see has turned my temples whiteAnd now it’s time to face the autumn breeze.   Chinese 立秋前一日覽鏡李益 萬事銷身外生涯在鏡中唯將滿鬢雪明日對秋風 Pronunciation Lì Qiū Qián Yī …

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Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys East

Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys East Li Duan (743-782?) I’d offer you advice but nothing comes,Your carriage quickly heads back east to Qin;These twilight years you drive a thousand miles—As sun sets on ten thousand homes in spring.   Chinese 送郭良輔下第東歸李端 獻策不得意馳車東出秦暮年千裏客落日萬家春 Pronunciation Sòng Guō Liángfǔ Xià Dì …

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Seeing Off My Elder Brother

Seeing Off My Elder Brother Lu Zhaolin (634-684/686)  You’ll travel home through frontier mountain roadsTo see the blooms and willows of Chang’än;But now it’s time we part our hands goodbye,To gaze in silent sorrow, and journey on.   Chinese 送二兄人蜀盧照鄰 關山客子路花柳帝王城此中一分手柑顧憐無聲 Pronunciation Sòng Èr Xiōng Rén ShǔLú Zhàolín Guān shān kè …

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Wind

Wind Li Jiao (645-714)  I watch the autumn leaves unwind and fall—Perhaps they’ll bloom an early springtime dayOr sail the river waves a thousand milesTo join ten thousand bamboo canes a-sway.   Chinese 風李嶠 解落三秋葉能開二月花過江千尺浪入竹萬竿斜 Pronunciation FēngLǐ Jiào Jiě luò sān qiū yèNéng kāi èr yuè huāGuò jiāng qiān chǐ làngRù …

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Crossing the Yangtze River

Crossing the Yangtze River Du Shenyan (645-708)  Late afternoon, this garden grove, where ancient sorrow roams;It’s spring, but birds and blossoms too do fill the edge with dread.Alone, expelled, down south in savage lands, my homeland far—The Yangtze River water flow shows not its northern tread.   …

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At Yi River, Seeing Off a Friend

In ancient times a troubled king did send,Along this very spot, a hero bold—And though those men have drowned in time’s lost flood,These waters now are just as dark and cold.   Chinese 於易水送人駱賓王 此地別燕丹壯士發衝冠昔時人已沒今日水猶寒 Pronunciation Yú Yì Shuǐ Sòng RénLuò Bīn wáng Cǐ dì bié yān dānZhuàng shì fà …

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For Li Ju, Scholar

For Li Ju, Scholar Sikong Tu (~720–790)  The winds blow high before the five long peaksTo bring the life that lifts us from our flaws;For miles around, no clouds – a lonely crane –It seems the same, but he’s in heaven’s jaws.   Chinese 李居士司空圖 高風隻在五峰前應是精靈降作賢萬裏無雲惟一鶴鄉中同看卻升天 Pronunciation Lǐ Jū ShìSīkōng …

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Wandering to a New Town

Wandering to a New Town Li Shunxian (~ 910)  Life’s carriage takes me quick to heaven’s light,But here I pause to part this world of dust;Alone, afraid, pursuing dreams of flight,Yet here I’m old with dread, and leave I must.   Chinese 隨駕遊青城李舜弦 因隨八馬上仙山頓隔塵埃物象閑隻恐西追王母宴卻憂難得到人間  Pronunciation Suí Jià Yóu Qīng ChéngLǐ …

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