100 Great Classical Chinese Poems
Translated by Xu Yingcai
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
曹操 / Cao Cao
曹植 / Cao Zhi
陶渊明 / Tao Yuanming
骆宾王 / Luo Binwang
王勃 / Wang Bo
贺知章 / He Zhizhang
陈子昂 / Chen Zi’ang
王翰 / Wan Han
王之涣 / Wang Zhihuan
孟浩然 / MengHaoran
13. 春晓／A Spring Dawn
王昌龄 / Wang Changling
15. 从军行／In the Army
16. 出塞／To the Border
王维 / Wang Wei
18. 相思／Love Knots
21. 鹿柴／A Deer Yard
李白 / Li Bai
26. 将进酒／Drink Please
崔颢 / Cui Hao
杜甫 / Du Fu
36. 春望／Spring Scene
37. 登高／On the Height
张继 / Zhang Ji
刘长卿 / Liu Changqing
张志和 / Zhang Zhihe
韩愈 / Han Yu
刘禹锡 / Liu Yuxi
44. 秋词／Autumn Verse
白居易 / Bai Juyi
柳宗元 / Liu Zongyuan
李贺 / Li He
50. 马诗／The Horse
杜牧 / Du Mu
李商隐 / Li Shangyin
温庭筠 / Wen Tingjun
58. 梳洗罢／Spruced Up
李煜 / Li Yu
柳永 / Liu Yong
范仲淹 / Fan Zhongyan
宋祁 / Song Qi
66. 春景／Spring Scene
欧阳修 / Ouyang Xiu
王安石 / Wang Anshi
69. 梅花／Plum Blossoms
王观 / Wang Guan
苏轼 / Su Shi
秦观 / Qin Guan
贺铸 / He Zhe
李清照 / Li Qingzhao
岳飞 / Yue Fei
陆游 / Lu You
朱熹 / Zhu Xi
85. 春日／A Spring Day
辛弃疾 / Xin Qiji
姜夔 / Jiang Kui
叶绍翁 / Ye Shaoweng
马致远 / Ma Zhiyuan
91. 秋思／Autumn Muse
王元鼎 / Wang Yuanding
杨慎 / Yang Shen
郑燮 / Zheng Xie
龚自珍 / Gong Zishen
王国维 / Wang Guowei
柳亚子 / Liu Yazi
毛泽东 / Mao Zedong
1. Watching the Blue Sea
East onto Mt. Jie
To watch the blue sea.
The water’s wavy,
The isle hills lofty;
The trees clump thickly,
The plants grow lushly;
The fall-wind sings low,
The mounting waves roll.
The sun and the moon
Seem to rise from it;
The bright Milky Way
Seems to glint in it.
What an utmost scene.
To aspire, I sing.
2. A Poem Composed During Seven Steps
Stewed o’er the burning stalks,
The beans cry in the wok.
We sprout from the same root.
The torture why acute?
3. Drinking Wine
Though my house stands in a man’s world,
I hear no horse trots, carts rumble.
Wonder how this is possible?
A carefree heart keeps noise muffled
Picking asters by the east fence,
The south hill I leisurely glimpse.
At sunset the hill looks so fair,
A flock of birds flies home in pairs.
These are pregnant with the life’s truth,
But words fail me before I share.
4. Ode to the Goose
Goose, Goose, Goose,
You crane your neck to the sky sing,
White feathers float on water green,
Red webbed-feet paddle through waves clean.
5. On the Hills
The Yangtze River halts in woe,
My remote home haunts my thoughts, though.
On such a night, the wind whines by,
Above each hill yellow leaves fly.
6. Ode to the Willow
Like green jade styled to be a tree,
Myri’d blue braids are swinging free.
Who’s tailor-made these tender leaves?
The sharp February spring breeze.
7. Verse about Homecoming
I left home young, but come home old,
My accent unchanged, locks grizzled.
Kids, eager to know who I am,
Ask, laughingly, where the guest’s from?
8. Lament on Youzhou Terrace
The ancient sages are long gone,
The future sages yet to come.
I ponder eons of heaven and earth,
And can’t help shedding forlorn and sad tears.
9. Verse Composed in Liangzhou
Fine vintage in the goblets that glow at night,
But Pipa blare urges us to ride and fight.
Don’t sneer if we lie drunk on the battleground;
Time rarely sees fighters come back safe and sound.
10. Verse Composed in Liangzhou
The Yellow River runs to far-off clouds of white,
Where a lone fort snugs in the mountains at sky height.
The Qiang Flute, why do you bemoan the willow song?
Spring breeze ne’er deigns to visit the Pass of Jade-Gate.
11. Ascending the Crane Tower
The bright sun falls behind the mountains;
The Yellow River flows to the sea.
To see farther into the distance.
Step one story higher, you will see.
12. Moor on Jiande River
Moored by a mist-befogged peninsula,
When falling twilight thickens my dolor.
Land wide, to the trees the sky seems closer,
Wa’er clear, to the man the moon looks nearer.
13. A Spring Dawn
Awakened to the dawn of spring,
And everywhere I hear birds sing.
Last night was filled with wind and rain;
How many blooms aground they bring?
14. A Young Bride’s Sorrow
From her boudoir on a spring day in full attire,
The blithe lady saunters up to her green tower.
The view of the roadside willow evokes in her,
Regret that she made her groom a marquis pursuer.
15. In the Army
The vast clouds, the Blue Sea, the dim snow mountains;
The lone fort faces the distant Jade-Gate Pass.
Though the armor torn in constant desert wars,
Our men wouldn’t come back till they beat the Loulans.
16. To the Border
The Qin’s bright moon, the Han’s mountain pass, but
None of their expeditions is home yet.
Should General Li still be in Long Fort,
Cross Hill Yin, northerners’ horses could not.
17. A Farewell Song in the Town of Wei
A morning drizzle wets the dust o’er Wei;
Around th’ inns blue are willows fresh and green.
My friend, please drink another cup of wine;
West of Sun Pass, no more friends to be seen.
18. Love Knots
The red bean plants grow in the south;
In spring, they burst forth with some sprouts.
You should pick more of it, because
’Tis the best maker of love knots.
19. A Lodge in the Bamboo Woods
Alone in the bamboo woods quiet and deep,
I pluck the zither; a whistle I blow.
Though no one knows I am in the retreat,
The silver moon bestows its shining glow.
20. Bird Melodies Randomize the Dale
An idle man hears cassia-blossoms fall,
A tranquil night brings peace to a spring hill;
A moonrise surprises a nightingale,
That twitters randomly in the spring dale.
21. A Deer Yard
On th’ empty hill, no soul is seen,
Yet a man’s voice is heard to ring.
The sunshine returns to the wood,
Creeping back onto the moss green.
22. Morning Trip to the Town of the White King
Leave the White King amid pink morning clouds;
A thou miles round trip to Jiangling takes a day.
While on both banks, the monkeys cry still loud,
My skiff’s passed many hills along the way.
23. Sitting Alone on Mt. Jingting
High up there, birds have all flown out of sight;
Leisurely, the forlorn cloud gone in flight.
Leaving us to look at one another,
You, Jingting Mountain, and me, the loner.
24. Saying Goodbye to Meng Haoran
Bowing the West Yellow-Crane tower goodbye,
In willow-lavish March, to Yangzhou my friend goes.
His solo sail fades far into the blue sky,
Where I only see the Yangtze water flows.
25. A Longing for the Beloved
Your presence vivifies the bloom-filled hall;
Your absence leaves the bed to blooms in thrall.
The quilts ornate are rolled and are idle;
Three years gone, your fragrances still spiral.
The fragrances still present;
The beauty yet still absent.
My lovesickness hangs while leaves fall;
Autumn dews wet green moss in all.
26. Drink Please
Don’t you see, gentlemen,
The Yellow Water comes down from the sky;
It roars to the sea, but never comes back.
Don’t you see, gentlemen,
At the hair in the mirror, parents sigh,
Today snow white, but yesterday all black.
And so enjoy while your life swings up high,
And so let the moon see no wine-cup dry.
Life is given to us for a reason,
Once money is spent still more will return.
Let's kill cows, cook sheep, have a joyous fest,
'Til we've drunk three hundred cups, we won't rest.
O, Friend Cen,
O, Friend Dan,
I’ll sing for you,
And with all ears on me you shall listen.
What’s so special about the food and chimes?
I’d rather be drunk, never want to wake.
All sages are forlorn since ancient times,
Only drinkers can have their own names make.
Prince Chen once feasted in Pingle palace,
To their heart’s content they quaffed their vintages.
Why do you penny-pinch when buying wine?
Sell all I have so we two can keep drinking.
The five-color-pied steed,
The thousand-gold fur coat.
You ask my son to trade them for top wine,
So we can drown our ancient, long harsh pain.
27. A Stretch of Low Woods in a Misty Scene
A stretch of low woods in a misty scene;
A sprawl of cold hills in heart-broken green.
Dusk permeates the tower high;
A wife there sighs a long sad sigh.
She stands on the stone stairs alone,
While birds rush by to fly back home.
Where is your way home, my dear man?
From road-hut to hut you must roam.
28. The Sobbing Flute
A flute, sobbing,
Breaks Lady Qin’s dream of her moonlit Qin tower.
Of her moonlit Qin tower,
The willows outside green each year, evoking,
Memories of her sad Baling parting.
The Nine-Nine-Festival air pervades Luyou Height;
Noise and dust have ebbed o’er the ancient Xianyang path.
O’er the ancient Xianyang path,
The slanting west wind and dying twilight
Wail for the Han tombs that still stand upright.
29. Drinking Alone Under the Moon
Among the flowers is a jar of wine,
I drink alone without a friend of mine.
Raising the cup, I beckon the bright moon,
With the shadow it casts, we three commune.
Because the moon knows not the fun of drinks,
‘Tis a waste that the shadow to me clings.
But you as my companion I still take,
As spring should be the time we merry make.
I sing. The orb moves in rhythm with my song;
I dance. My shadow follows me along.
While sober, we drink to our heart’s content;
When drunk, we part in the way we intend.
Let’s be cross-species friends, though you’re fa’ away,
Meet when the time comes by the Milky Way.
30. Watching the Waterfall on Mt. Lu
Sunshine mists up in purple th’ Incense-Burner Peak;
Seen afar, a torrent hangs from its escarpment.
The water roars down, a trip of three thousand feet;
As if the Milky Way fell from the firmament.
31. Nostalgia on a Moonlit Night
Floods my bedside bright moonlight;
I thought it frost on the ground.
Head up, I see the moon bright;
Down, in nostalgia I’m drowned.
32. Poem Written in a Mountaintop Temple
The mountaintop temple I stayed at last night
Sat so high I could pick out stars in the sky,
And I did not dare to raise my voice for fear
I would disturb heavenly dwellers nearby.
33. The Yellow Crane Tower
Leaving the Crane Tower here empty,
The immortal, on a crane, is gone.
Gone forever also is the crane,
Leaving the white clouds drift ages-long.
On Hanyang plain, sunlit trees distinct;
On Parrot Isle, the grass lush and long.
Twilight falls, but where is my hometown?
The river mist keeps my spirit down.
34. Watching Mt. Tai
Oh, Mt. Tai, what a height you exhibit?
From Qi and Lu, your greenness still in sight!
Nature favors you with all th’ exquisites;
Your one side sunlit while th’ other moonlit.
The Clouds wreathe you--a great inspiration;
Bird returning home--a haunting vision.
When someday I’m atop your topmost rise,
Below, dwarfed, other mountains will all lie.
35. Two Golden Orioles
On a green willow, two golden orioles sing;
Into the blue sky, a file of white egrets wing.
Framed in my window, the West Range’s ancient snows.
Moored next to my door, the far-distant Dong Wu’s scows.
36. Spring Scene
Our country's war-torn, but we have the land,
The capital in spring sees wanton growth.
Blooms can move tears from a heart-broken man;
Twittering birds can astound parting souls.
Three months have now elapsed since the warfare;
A letter from home is like heavy gold.
Grief has thinned so much of my hoary hair;
Soon my hairpin will have nothing to hold.
37. On the Height
The wind swift, the sky high, and the apes howling,
The isle clear, the sand white, and the birds circling.
From boundless trees, leaves keep falling and falling;
The endless Yangtze comes rolling and rolling.
An autumn-grieved, far-wandering traveler,
Now old and ill, on this height, I’m a loner.
Hardships and grievances have now grayed my hair,
Diseases keep me from drinking, real despair.
38. Hills and Rivers Look Fair
In lagging spring, hills and rivers look fair;
In vernal breeze, plants and flowers spew scents.
Over the viscous mud, some swallows fly;
Upon the balmy sand, Yuanyang ducks snooze.
39. Birds Appear Snow White,
O’er the blue water, birds appear snow-white;
On verdant mountains, flowers seem ablaze.
This spring looks to be over very soon;
Yet still uncertain my home-return days.
40. A Night Moor by Maple Bridge
The sky is frosty, the moon dips, and ravens crow;
The fishing-lamp-lit maples swell my night sorrow.
From Hanshan Temple on the outskirts of Suzhou,
The midnight chimes peal to my passenger’s bateau.
41. The Lodge at Mt. Hibiscus On A Snowy Night
Dusk falls, green hills look blurred and far;
cold, the thatched huts poor and low.
The host is back, through wind and snow.
42. The Song of a Fisherman
Before West Hills, white egrets dart;
In “peach bloom water”, fish is fat.
Wind slanting and rain thin, I stay,
In blue bamboo cloak and green hat.
43. Early Spring
A drizzle coats the capital like cream;
Where grass can be seen from afar, but not close.
This spring scene, of the year, is the best time
Better than the town in willow-lavish prime.
44. Autumn Verse
Since old times, autumn provokes lonely sighs,
‘Tis more radiant than spring in my eyes.
To the clear air through the clouds a crane flies,
That takes with it th’ inspired poetic rhymes.
45. My Shabby Hut
It’s immortals, not heights, that make hills famous,
And it’s dragons, not depth, that give pools their souls.
Although shabby, my virtue sweetens my house,
Where green moss creeps on stairs, green grass soothes indoor moods.
Here, I chat with scholars and mingle with elites.
And pluck my humble zither and peruse classics,
Here, no flute or fiddle or official memos to sap my spirit,
But just like Ziyun's West Sichuan dome or Zhuge's Nanyang hut.
“Where is the shabbiness?” says Confucius.
46. Farewell on the Ancient-Old Grassland
Verdant and lush grass on the plain,
Shrivels and thrives each year again.
Wild fire cannot kill it at all,
Spring breezes will bring it back tall.
To th’ ages-old path, it trails down,
Then crawls to a deserted town.
On this friend-re-seeing-off day,
With parting sentiment it sways.
47. Fabulous South
The rising sun dyes the water blazingly red,
The spring radiance paints the water azure blue.
How can I not miss the south?
48. Chanting on the River at Dusk
A waning sunlight beam on the water,
Half the river blue and half rufescent.
What delights on this ninth month and third night
Is dew like real pearls, the moon a bow bent.
49.Fishing in Snow
Hills upon hills see no fowl;
Path after path see no soul.
Bamboo-cloaked and in a boat,
An old man fishes in snow.
50. The Horse
This horse is not just a horse,
A star from the sky and yon.
If you knock at its thin bone,
It clangs like a copper gong.
51. Moor on the River Qinhuai
The chilly water in mist; the beach, moonlight,
I moor on Qinhuai by a tavern one night.
Not understanding what a doomed nation means,
The song “Backyard Flower” a singer there sings.
52. The Day of Mourning
A rainy Qingming Mourning Day,
The travelers look in dismay.
“A pub here,” I ask this cowherd,
Who says, that bloom hamlet fa’ away.
53. Drinking Alone
Outside the window, wind and snow,
Inside, open wine and a stove.
A doze on a boat enlivens
This rainy autumnal day though.
54. An Autumn Night
Fall air, cold painted screen, pale candle light,
With her silk fan, she shoos away fireflies.
Though watery cold, the night stone-stair flight,
She sits down, on the love-bound stars her eyes.
55. On Leyou Height
Gloomy toward the evening,
I drove to the ancient height.
What a view when the sun sets,
Only it’s close to twilight.
56. Under Last Night’s Stars and in Last Night’s Winds
Under last night’s stars and in last night’s winds,
Twixt east Cassia Hall and west painted house,
To fly abreast, we have no phoenix wings,
But we do have empathy for us each.
The heart-warm spring wines and the Jenkins game,
The glowing candles and the game To Name.
What a loss when clock-strikes rush me ahorse
To Lantai, I’m a weed adrift off-course.
57. ‘Tis Hard to Meet and Hard to Say Goodbye
'Tis hard to meet and hard to say goodbye,
As the east wind wanes, all the flowers fade.
Silkworms won’t stop their-spinning till they die;
Till candles burn out their wax tears won’t dry.
Combing at dawn, I worry ‘bout gray hair;
Reading in the moonlight, you must feel cold.
There are no roads to fairyland from here,
Bluebirds, be my messengers to fly there.
58. Spruced Up
Alone I lean on the river-tower rails,
But none is his among the thousand passing sails.
The water ripples and the sunlight slants.
This Baiping foreland is where my heart ails.
59. Bored with the Magpie’s Repeated Chatter
Bored with the magpie’s repeated chatter,
That touches on no important matter.
I capture it when it flies to my house,
And lock it in a cage to shut its mouth.
With good intent I bring you a good message,
But who expects you to lock me in the cage?
I wish her recruited man would return soon,
So she will release me to the sky free from bondage.
60. As the Rain Patters Outside the Drapes
As the rain patters outside the drapes ,
Away the sense of spring fades.
Although my silk quilt can’t defy the cold of dawn,
Only in dreams, unaware I’m a detained guest,
Can I for life have the zest.
Alone, I shouldn’t lean on the railings,
From where my land is stretching,
Which is easy to leave, but hard to return to.
Blossom falls, water flows, and spring elapses;
What a fall, heaven to earth!
61. The Grove Has Lost Its Spring Blush
The grove has lost its spring blush,
What a rush.
Petals, assaulted by cold morning rain and evening wind,
Are tears trickling down the make-up,
And scenes luring me to stay drunk.
But when can we both revive?
Life, like water flowing east, is a sorrow ne’er broken up.
62. I Ascend the West Tower, Reticent
I ascend the west tower, reticent,
The moon is a crescent.
Autumn locks the lone plane in the deep yard with gloom
Is the sorrow knot of exile.
It wreathes my heart with a writhing feeling indescribable.
63. Autumn Moon and Spring Blooms, When’ll You Stop
Autumn moon and spring blooms, when’ll you stop returning?
Their memories are so drowning.
Last night my attic re-grieved with the east-wind, and
The shining moon bewailed the loss of my homeland.
The marble stairs and carved guard-railings have remained
The lovely faces have but changed.
You wonder how much sorrow I might have at least?
It is as brimful as a spring river flows east.
64. Standing In a Tower, Breeze Gently Wafting
Standing in a tower, breeze gently wafting,
My gaze reaches the horizon,
Where a sense of spring-sorrow is creeping.
The grass and the haze are now in fading light;
Who knows why I linger mute by the railings?
I want to drown my ruffled feeling in wines,
So to turn my sorrow merry,
But labored cheerfulness is so cheerless.
I never regret my clothes are getting loose,
For I am eager to pine for you, in truth.
65. The Cloud-Patched Azure Sky
The cloud-patched azure sky,
The yellow-leave-strewn land.
The sense of autumn touches the waves,
O’er which chill and pale mist swells high.
Hills in slanting sunlight, water stretches to blend into the sky.
But the fragrant grass belies
Its detachment by staying off the slanting sunlight.
The exile-inflicted soul,
The homesickness-haunted mind,
A lone outlander’s dream-without-home night
Is a bed-tossing sleepless plight.
Do not wander alone in the high tower under the moonlight ,
All the liquor swallowed down
Will turn into nostalgic tears tonight.
66. Spring Scene
East Town comes up with a more and more charming scene,
As gauze-like ripples convey our tour cruise along.
Morning chill lightens up beyond the willows green,
On tips of red apricot branches riot spring.
Why complain that life progresses with little fun,
While you value glistening gold over laughter?
Wine cup in hand, for you I ask the slanting sun
To shine on the flowers at evening and after.
67. The Deep Courtyard
The courtyard is deep, yet how deep is the deep courtyard?
Willow crowns, mists amassed,
Willow twigs, curtains myriad.
On a richly saddled-and-bridled horse, he goes to a brothel
That is on Zhangtai Road unseen from my high abode.
A rain-slanting and wind-lashing end of the third month,
But how can the door ajar
Keeps the dusk from sneaking in and spring slipping out?
Sobbing to the flowers for an answer,
Swirling past the swing, a riot of red petals gives no answer.
Crooning and chanting to their hearts’ content,
On trees high and low, blooms red and purple.
Now I know that birds’ singing in a cage
To those in the woods are unmatchable.
69. Plum Blossoms
In a yard corner some plum branches grow,
That bloom alone in temperature low.
E’en from afar I know they are not snow,
Because of the faint scents that to me flow.
70. Seeing off Bao Haoran from His Zhejiang Home
Rivers here, beauties’ eyes,
Hills, their knitted eyebrows.
You wonder what the trekkers are bound for?
For what their eyes adore.
I have just dismissed spring,
Now I must see you off.
If you are in the south in time for spring,
Make sure to it you cling.
71. Poem Written While Drunk in the Lake House
Dark clouds--spilled ink-- darken the hills partially,
White raindrops--fallen pearls--on the boats bounce high.
A sudden land-swooping wind sweeps them away,
By the Lake House, now water mirrors the sky.
72. When Will the Moon Be Full and Bright?
When will the moon be full and bright?
A wine cup in hand, I ask the blue sky.
I wonder, of your heavenly palaces,
What year is this year in celestial time?
I want to ride the wind home,
But fear if your emerald mansions and jade palaces
Are too cold perching so high.
Dancing with my distinct shadow,
I no longer feel the terrestrial tie.
Rounding the red penthouse,
Peering through the lattice windows,
Onto the sleepless the moon shines.
It should bear no grudge against us,
But to wax just as we are to part, why it inclines?
Men may be down spirited or up, separated or united,
The moon may be full or crescent, dim or brighten,
This has never been otherwise since ancient times.
But I wish us a long life,
Though far apart, to enjoy the same moon shines.
73. Waning Flowers
Waning flowers linger in waning red, green apricots still small.
Swallows darting over,
A green stream encircles a yard wall.
In the wind, catkins on the willow twigs are turning thin,
Here and there, fragrant grass will burgeon in no time at all.
A walking path runs outside the walls, within the walls swings a swing.
A passerby outside,
Hears the laughter from the beauty inside.
But soon the laughter is gone and everything quiets down,
The feelings, once attached, are annoyingly detached now.
74. To Liu Jingwen
Withered lotuses raise no canopy,
But dry chrysanthemums have stems frosty.
You know the best time of a year lies ‘tween
When oranges are gold, tangerines green.
75. Memories of the Past at Red Cliff
The mighty river, in its east-running course,
Has swept away with its waves,
All the past heroes.
To the west of that ancient castle
Is said to be the field of the battle
Of the Three-Kingdoms’ Red Cliff at young Zhou’s disposal,
Where the jagged crags pierced the sky,
And the stunning waves slapped the shore,
Rolling and splashing, wave after wave, snowy and high.
What a picturesque motherland,
What a myriad of heroes and a time so grand.
Recalling that remote past of young Zhou the General,
When he had just married young Qiao a lord girl
And was in his heroic and debonair prime:
Wearing a silk turban, waving a plume fan,
While confabbing, he crumbled Cao’s navy into ash and rubble.
This memories at the old field of battle,
May be laughed at as sentimental,
Which has prematurely whitened my hair.
Life is but a dream,
Let me just drink to the high river-moon there.
76. Written on the Wall at West Forest Temple
A range across, sideways a peak;
Far, near, high, low, no shapes alike.
You can’t see Mt. Lu’s true nature,
Because you’re right in the picture.
77. Drinking on West Lake
With rippling water, a clear day looks fair,
In misty hills, rain appears peculiar.
Because West Lake is like West Shi’s beauty,
Whether adorned or not, it is pretty.
78. Peach Blossom Land
Drunk, I let the skiff drift,
To the deep recesses of the blossom thicket.
Still tangled in the dusty world,
I can’t stay in this blossom wood.
The misty water is boundless,
The dusk slants over a thousand miles,
The mountains are countless,
Like rainfall, riot the red petals.
I don’t remember my way here.
79. Your Dainty Steps
Your dainty steps have never crossed that lakeside road,
But after you I often gaze,
Until ‘tis gone your flowing grace.
With whom there, are you spending your blissful youth’s days?
The balcony, the arbor, the fastened windows?
Only spring really knows.
Above the twilit grassy marsh uplands, clouds flow;
With a rhyming brush, I write this heart-broken poem.
If you do wonder how much I feel love’s sorrow.
It is as much as an overgrown plain,
A catkin town drifting from the willows,
Or the plum-seasoned excessive rain.
80. A Quatrain Written in Summer
Live a kingpin,
Die a hero.
Xiangyu’s still known
For not yielding.
81. Wandering Here and There, Vacant-Hearted
Wandering here and there, vacant-hearted,
In a house so cheerless, so lifeless,
I feel so dejected, so depressed, and so downhearted.
And the bickering season between the warmth and coldness
Is the most dickering time to pass.
How can two or three cups of insipid wine
Subdue the evening wind’s whine!
While I grieve over you,
Over in the sky some geese fly,
Which were my past messengers to you.
On the ground, golden asters lie heaped,
Wan and withered,
For nowadays no one comes to pick the flowers.
Alone, I can only accompany the window,
Watching time toward darkness edging slow.
Outside, from the plane tree in the rain,
Water-drops, at dusk, begin to drip and dribble.
Is worse than the word “dismal.”
82. The Autumn Bamboo-Mat Chills, the Red-lotus Fragrance Fades
The autumn bamboo-mat Chills, the red-lotus fragrance fades.
While loosening the robe silk-made,
Alone into my bed, I climb.
Who sends the message over with the clouds,
When geese fly back in a V-pattern,
While moonshine floods the tower western.
The flower petals drift down here, the water flows down there.
The lovesick pain of the same pair,
Aches in two different places.
This feeling is indeed hard to dismiss.
After it slips off my knitted brow,
It goes right into my heart somehow.
83. The Chanting of My Heart
Indignant, under the helmet, my hair bristling,
I stand by the railing,
Rain no longer pelting.
Lifting my eyes,
I roar to the skies;
What’s attained and gained in the thirty years are but dust and
What’s filled the journey of eight thousand li are the clouds and
How can I wait,
For when my young hair turns white,
Then I’ll lament!
The shame of Jing Kang,
Was not yet revenged.
The flame of outrage,
When will it be quenched!
We want to drive the chariots
To Mt. Helan to crumble what the enemy has occupied.
The enemy’s flesh, food to satisfy our fighters’ hunger;
The enemy’s blood, drink to gratify our thirst and anger.
When we completely
Recover the invaded mountains and rivers,
In triumph, we will bow to our returned emperors.
84. On Visiting Various Gardens During the Flower Season
Eager to love this outstanding flower,
Fearing wind and sun might beat its glamor,
I send a magic night-plea to Heaven
For spring foliage to shade its bowers.
85. A Spring Day
Out by the sunny Si River;
Every view is an eye-catcher.
Springtime is easy to perceive,
It riots in all kinds of color.
86. Thoughts from Reading
A square pond, half a mu, like a mirror,
Sky-light and cloud-shade coupled to wander.
What makes the pond so limpid, you wonder?
Because it is sourced by flowing water.
87. Verse Written on a Wall on My Way to Mt. Bo
When young, uninformed of distress,
We liked to climb up high.
We liked to climb up high,
To compose verses and feign plight.
Now aged, well informed of distress,
We fumble for the word.
We fumble for the word,
Instead, “What a cold autumn” is murmured.
88. A Verse Written on Zaokou Terrace in Jiangxi
Below the Sorrow Terrace lies the River Qing,
That carries forth the tears from many refugees!
To gaze at Chang An in the northwest I’m keen,
But only endless hills are what I can see.
No green hill can stop anything from running;
What flows eastward will continue its flowing.
While the river at dusk deepens my lament,
From the deep mountains a partridge is chirping.
89. Written When Crossing Wusong in the Winter of 1187
Spontaneously, the Northern wild geese,
From the west side of Lake Tai, with clouds, fly away.
Some cheerless peaks
Wordlessly suggest a rainy end of the day.
Near the Aroma Spring’s Fourth Bridge,
With Heaven’s Follower I want to stay,
But now where is he?
I cherish the past, but beyond the rails, I only see
The withered willow twigs randomly swing and sway.
90. A Failed Visit to a Garden
As footprints may mar the moss at the door,
My hard knocks the owner tries to ignore.
As spring cannot be kept in a house yard,
A red apricot bloom creeps o’er the wall.
91. Autumn Muse
An old tree, some withered vines, and a few ravens,
A small bridge, a creeping creek, and a few houses,
The west wind, an ancient path, and a plodding horse.
The sun sinks west;
Far on a land remote, a homesick person roams.
92. A Boudoir Lament
The swaying willow plays with the dusk’s haze,
The charming moon bathes her boudoir with glaze.
Alone in bed without her spouse,
While the moon is round in full phase.
93. Wave after Wave, the Yangtze River Roars East,
Wave after wave, the Yangtze River roars east,
Sweeping away with it all our heroes,
Whose glory or success signifies only in a heartbeat.
Yet green mountains remain,
Witnessing the scarlet sunset time and again.
The hoary islet woodcutter and fisherman,
Used to the shifting views of the autumn moon and spring
With a flagon of unfiltered wine they merrily meet.
What has elapsed in the past
Are but amusement to flavor their chat.
94. Bamboo and Boulders
It won’t let go its bite on the green hill,
Because ‘tis rooted in the boulder crack.
Robust still though assaulted frequently,
Despite from where the wind comes to attack.
95. Thunderbolts Can Kindle All the Continent
Thunderbolts can kindle all the continent,
The trouble is that all the steeds are pent-up
O please, bestir yourself, the god of heaven,
Apply a new way in employing talent.
96. I Feel the Pain of Leaving
Where the sun sets I feel the pain of leaving,
As I crack my whip and head to the far east.
The fading reds are ridden with man’s feeling,
That will become soil to feed the blooms of spring.