Farewell to Mystic Mountain

Farewell to Mystic Mountain Huangfu Ran (~ 716-769)  All day the water flows until it fades, unseen,At dusk, when grass grows deep in spring and earth recedes—At times, it’s true, the dogs will bark and chickens squawk,But who would pull an almond nut from berry seeds?   …

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Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)

Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue) Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283)  A sigh, sigh sound from woods up high to low;We close the gate and cover up with fur—Spring feelings flow along the mountain gorge;At dawn I rise to touch and look at her.   Chinese 贈羅雪崖樵青文天祥 蕭蕭山下人閉門衣裘單春心動溪谷曉起捫松看 Pronunciation Zèng Luó Xuě Yá …

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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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Watching the Plum Blossoms

Watching the Plum Blossoms Lu You (1125-1209)  The plum trees bloom above the gold grass hill —Though old, a man cannot enjoy their fluff?Light mist, the moon, the far-off cattle still —There’s life and death; don’t fret the common stuff.   Chinese 看梅絕句陸游 梅花樹下黃茆丘古人尚能愛花不月淡煙深聽牧笛死生常事不須愁 Pronunciation Kàn Méi Jué JùLù Yóu Méi …

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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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