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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Midnight Song 2

Midnight Song 2 Xiao Yan, Emperor Wu of Liang (464-549)  The morning sunshine strokes the window silkAs wind and light together play with strings;She smiles with subtle ease and lifts her eyesAs when a butterfly brings up its wings.   Chinese 子夜歌 二蕭衍 朝日照綺窗光風動紈羅巧笑蒨兩犀美目揚雙蛾 Pronunciation Zǐ Yè Gē ÈrXiāo Yǎn Zhāo …

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Cold Meal Night

Cold Meal Night Cui Daorong (~895)  In Manchu land the pears now blossom whiteAs moonlight broken by the blowing wind.Here all the people fast for Cold Meal Night;I gaze at home alone—cast off and thin.   Chinese 寒食夜崔道融 滿地梨花白風吹碎月明大家寒食夜獨貯望鄉情 Pronunciation Hán Shí YèCuī Dàoróng Mǎn dì lí huā báiFēng chuī suì …

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A Nightly Song

A Nightly Song Shen Yue (441-513)  I leave the door ajar for you to comeBut every night we part before it’s bright;The moonlight shines across my pillowcaseTo hide in bed between the lantern’s light.   Chinese 夜夜曲瀋約 北鬥闌幹去夜夜心獨傷月輝橫射枕燈光半隱床 Pronunciation Yè Yè QūShěn Yuē Běi dǒu lán gān qùYè yè xīn dú …

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Fisherman’s Gully

Fisherman’s Gully Huangfu Ran (716-769)  I’d like for us to chase the tides beyond,But time is up for us as fishing men;Now face-to-face, aware we will not meet—The end has come, we must begin again.   Chinese 漁子溝皇甫冉 欲逐淮潮上暫停漁子溝相望知不見終是屢回頭 Pronunciation Yú Zǐ GōuHuángfǔ Rǎn Yù zhú huái cháo shàngZàn tíng yú …

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A Play for Cold Meal Day

A Play for Cold Meal Day Lu Yanrang (~ 900)  On Twelfth Street here it’s like a packed bazaar,A world of dust that’s choked and cannot clear;We work like ox until our sweat pours out,No time to sit and watch the flowers near.   Chinese 寒食日戲盧延讓 十二街如市紅塵咽不開灑蹄驄馬汗沒處看花來 Pronunciation Hán Shí …

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Cicadas

Cicadas Yu Shinan (558-638)  He dangles down to drink the clear light dew,Exuding sound through the green leaf brush;And flowing far and wide, his voice flies onWithout the need of wind from autumn’s rush.   Chinese 蟬虞世南 垂緌飲清露流響出疏桐居高聲自遠非是藉秋風 Pronunciation ChánYú Shìnán Chuí suí yǐn qīng lùLiú xiǎng chū shū tóngJū gāo …

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Farewell to Meng Haoran

 My dear old friend who’s parting WestBeneath the Yellow Towers;While falling on the Yangzhou landsAre mists and springtime flowers. Your orphan boat’s a distant shade,That sails where blue skies go;I look upon the water tides—Until the end they flow.  By Li Bai, tr. from the Chinese by …

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