Gazing at Zhongnan’s Snow
Zu Yong (699-746?)
As snow on Zhongnan Mountain floats in blooms
To form beyond the peak in cloudy nets
The forest clears in brightly colored hues—
But in the town, the cold and darkness sets.
Zhōng Nán Wàng Yú Xuě
Zhōng nán yīn lǐng xiù
Jī xuě fú yún duān
Lín biǎo míng jì sè
Chéng zhōng zēng mù hán
Transliteration and Notes
End South Gaze Remainder Snow
End South cloudy mountain-ridge blooms
Accumulated snow floats clouds peak
Forest shows bright clear hue
Town midst adds evening cold
“End South” is the Zhongnan Mountain, one of China’s most famous mountains, located in Shaanxi Province, south of Xian. It’s very frequently the subject of Chinese poetry. “Evening” could also be sunset.
Zu Yong was a nature poet of the Tang Dynasty and friends with Wang Wei, Wang Han, Qiu Wei, and other poets of the era. He passed the highest level of the imperial examination but failed as a government official.