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.
Suí Jià Yóu Qīng Chéng
Yīn suí bā mǎ shàng xiān shān
Dùn gé chén āi wù xiàng xián
Zhī kǒng xī zhuī wáng mǔ yàn
Què yōu nán dé dào rén jiān
Transliteration and Notes
Follow Drive Wander Green Town
Cause follow eight horses above Immortal Mountain
Stop part dust dirt things image idle
Bird frightened west pursue Queen Mother Feast
Still worry hard obtain arrival human space
“Eight horses” likely refer to the eight horses of King Mu of the Zhou Dynasty (1023-983 BC), which he used during a journey to visit the Queen Mother of the West (see below) after a dream in which he became an immortal god. The poetess here, Li Shunxian, was a Persian woman and concubine of a Chinese Emperor at a time of war and had to flee the royal court.
“Queen Mother” of the “West” is a goddess in traditional Chinese religion and mythology, associated with Daoism. She became a popular figure in Tang Dynasty poetry and is associated with immortality and bliss.