And I choose to put away from me every worldly matter

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

And I choose to put away from me every worldly matter

Qiwu Qian

A BOAT IN SPRING ON RUOYA LAKE

Thoughtful elation has no end:

Onward I bear it to whatever come.

And my boat and I, before the evening breeze

Passing flowers, entering the lake,

Turn at nightfall toward the western valley,

Where I watch the south star over the mountain

And a mist that rises, hovering soft,

And the low moon slanting through the trees;

And I choose to put away from me every worldly matter

And only to be an old man with a fishing-pole.


Chang Jian

AT WANG CHANGLIN’ S RETREAT

 

Here, beside a clear deep lake,

You live accompanied by clouds;

Or soft through the pine the moon arrives

To be your own pure-hearted friend.

You rest under thatch in the shadow of your flowers,

Your dewy herbs flourish in their bed of moss.

Let me leave the world. Let me

alight, like you,

On your western mountain with phoenixes and cranes.


Cen Can

ASCENDING THE PAGODA AT THE TEMPLE OF KIND

FAVOUR WITH GAO SHI AND XUE JU

 

The pagoda, rising abruptly from earth,

Reaches to the very Palace of Heaven….

Climbing, we seem to have left the world behind us,

With the steps we look down on hung from space.

It overtops a holy land

And can only have been built by toil of the spirit.

Its four sides darken the bright sun,

Its seven stories cut the grey clouds;

Birds fly down beyond our sight,

And the rapid wind below our hearing;

Mountain-ranges, toward the east,

Appear to be curving and flowing like rivers;

Far green locust-trees line broad roads

Toward clustered palaces and mansions;

Colours of autumn, out of the west,

Enter advancing through the city;

And northward there lie, in five graveyards,

Calm forever under dewy green grass,

Those who know life’s final meaning

Which all humankind must learn.

…Henceforth I put my official hat aside.

To find the Eternal Way is the only happiness.

 

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

The mountain-light suddenly fails in the west,

IN SUMMER AT THE SOUTH PAVILION

THINKING OF XING

The mountain-light suddenly fails in the west,

In the east from the lake the slow moon rises.

I loosen my hair to enjoy the evening coolness

And open my window and lie down in peace.

The wind brings me odours of lotuses,

And bamboo-leaves drip with a music of dew….

I would take up my lute and I would play,

But, alas, who here would understand?

And so I think of you, old friend,

O troubler of my midnight dreams !


Meng Haoran

AT THE MOUNTAIN-LODGE OF THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YE

WAITING IN VAIN FOR MY FRIEND DING

 

Now that the sun has set beyond the western range,

Valley after valley is shadowy and dim….

And now through pine-trees come the moon and the chill of evening,

And my ears feel pure with the sound of wind and water

Nearly all the woodsmen have reached home,

Birds have settled on their perches in the quiet mist….

And still — because you promised — I am waiting for you, waiting,

Playing lute under a wayside vine.


Wang Changling

WITH MY BROTHER AT THE SOUTH STUDY

THINKING IN THE MOONLIGHT OF VICE-PREFECT

CUI IN SHANYIN

 

Lying on a high seat in the south study,

We have lifted the curtain-and we see the rising moon

Brighten with pure light the water and the grove

And flow like a wave on our window and our door.

It will move through the cycle, full moon and then crescent again,

Calmly, beyond our wisdom, altering new to old.

…Our chosen one, our friend, is now by a limpid river —

Singing, perhaps, a plaintive eastern song.

He is far, far away from us, three hundred miles away.

And yet a breath of orchids comes along the wind.


Qiu Wei

AFTER MISSING THE RECLUSE

ON THE WESTERN MOUNTAIN

 

To your hermitage here on the top of the mountain

I have climbed, without stopping, these ten miles.

I have knocked at your door, and no one answered;

I have peeped into your room, at your seat beside the table.

Perhaps you are out riding in your canopied chair,

Or fishing, more likely, in some autumn pool.

Sorry though I am to be missing you,

You have become my meditation —

The beauty of your grasses, fresh with rain,

And close beside your window the music of your pines.

I take into my being all that I see and hear,

Soothing my senses, quieting my heart;

And though there be neither host nor guest,

Have I not reasoned a visit complete?

…After enough, I have gone down the mountain.

Why should I wait for you any longer?

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers,

Wang Wei

A GREEN STREAM

I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers,

Borne by the channel of a green stream,

Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains

On a journey of less than thirty miles….

Rapids hum over heaped rocks;

But where light grows dim in the thick pines,

The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns

And weeds are lush along the banks.

…Down in my heart I have always been as pure

As this limpid water is….

Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock

And to cast a fishing-line forever!

 

 


Wang Wei

A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER

 

In the slant of the sun on the country-side,

Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;

And a rugged old man in a thatch door

Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.

There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,

Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.

And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,

Hail one another familiarly.

…No wonder I long for the simple life

And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!

 

 


 

Wang Wei

THE BEAUTIFUL XI SHI

 

Since beauty is honoured all over the Empire,

How could Xi Shi remain humbly at home? —

Washing clothes at dawn by a southern lake —

And that evening a great lady in a palace of the north:

Lowly one day, no different from the others,

The next day exalted, everyone praising her.

No more would her own hands powder her face

Or arrange on her shoulders a silken robe.

And the more the King loved her, the lovelier she looked,

Blinding him away from wisdom.

…Girls who had once washed silk beside her

Were kept at a distance from her chariot.

And none of the girls in her neighbours’ houses

By pursing their brows could copy her beauty.


Meng Haoran

ON CLIMBING ORCHID MOUNTAIN

IN THE AUTUMN TO ZHANG

 

On a northern peak among white clouds

You have found your hermitage of peace;

And now, as I climb this mountain to see you,

High with the wildgeese flies my heart.

The quiet dusk might seem a little sad

If this autumn weather were not so brisk and clear;

I look down at the river bank, with homeward-bound villagers

Resting on the sand till the ferry returns;

There are trees at the horizon like a row of grasses

And against the river’s rim an island like the moon

I hope that you will come and meet me, bringing a basket of wine

And we’ll celebrate together the Mountain Holiday.

 

 

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

This cloud, that has drifted all day through the sky,

Du Fu

This cloud, that has drifted all day through the sky,

May, like a wanderer, never come back….

Three nights now I have dreamed of you —

As tender, intimate and real as though I were awake.

And then, abruptly rising to go,

You told me the perils of adventure

By river and lake-the storms, the wrecks,

The fears that are borne on a little boat;

And, here in my doorway, you rubbed your white head

As if there were something puzzling you.

…Our capital teems with officious people,

While you are alone and helpless and poor.

Who says that the heavenly net never fails?

It has brought you ill fortune, old as you are.

…A thousand years’ fame, ten thousand years’ fame-

What good, when you are dead and gone.


Wang Wei

AT PARTING

 

I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine,

And I ask you where you are going and why.

And you answer: “I am discontent

And would rest at the foot of the southern mountain.

So give me leave and ask me no questions.

White clouds pass there without end.”


Wang Wei

TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME

AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

 

In a happy reign there should be no hermits;

The wise and able should consult together….

So you, a man of the eastern mountains,

Gave up

 

 

 

your life of picking herbs

And came all the way to the Gate of Gold —

But you found your devotion unavailing.

…To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers,

You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.

I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital —

Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.

In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood

You will float again toward your own thatch door,

Led along by distant trees

To a sunset shining on a far-away town.

…What though your purpose happened to fail,

Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.

 

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains

Wang Wei

A GREEN STREAM

 

I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers,

Borne by the channel of a green stream,

Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains

On a journey of less than thirty miles….

Rapids hum over heaped rocks;

But where light grows dim in the thick pines,

The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns

And weeds are lush along the banks.

…Down in my heart I have always been as pure

As this limpid water is….

Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock

And to cast a fishing-line forever!


Wang Wei

A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER

 

In the slant of the sun on the country-side,

Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;

And a rugged old man in a thatch door

Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.

There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,

Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.

And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,

Hail one another familiarly.

…No wonder I long for the simple life

And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!


Meng Haoran

AT THE MOUNTAIN-LODGE OF THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YE

WAITING IN VAIN FOR MY FRIEND DING

 

Now that the sun has set beyond the western range,

Valley after valley is shadowy and dim….

And now through pine-trees come the moon and the chill of evening,

And my ears feel pure with the sound of wind and water

Nearly all the woodsmen have reached home,

Birds have settled on their perches in the quiet mist….

And still — because you promised — I am waiting for you, waiting,

Playing lute under a wayside vine.


Lying on a high seat in the south study,

We have lifted the curtain-and we see the rising moon

Brighten with pure light the water and the grove

And flow like a wave on our window and our door.

It will move through the cycle, full moon and then crescent again,

Calmly, beyond our wisdom, altering new to old.

…Our chosen one, our friend, is now by a limpid river —

Singing, perhaps, a plaintive eastern song.

He is far, far away from us, three hundred miles away.

And yet a breath of orchids comes along the wind.

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

This cloud, that has drifted all day through the sky

Du Fu

It is almost as hard for friends to meet

As for the morning and evening stars.

Tonight then is a rare event,

Joining, in the candlelight,

Two men who were young not long ago

But now are turning grey at the temples.

…To find that half our friends are dead

Shocks us, burns our hearts with grief.

We little guessed it would be twenty years

Before I could visit you again.

When I went away, you were still unmarried;

But now these boys and girls in a row

Are very kind to their father’s old friend.

They ask me where I have been on my journey;

And then, when we have talked awhile,

They bring and show me wines and dishes,

Spring chives cut in the night-rain

And brown rice cooked freshly a special way.

…My host proclaims it a festival,

He urges me to drink ten cups —

But what ten cups could make me as drunk

As I always am with your love in my heart?

…Tomorrow the mountains will separate us;

After tomorrow-who can say?

All he can see is the smile of the new love,

While the old love weeps unheard.

The brook was pure in its mountain source,

But away from the mountain its waters darken.

…Waiting for her maid to come from selling pearls

For straw to cover the roof again,

She picks a few flowers, no longer for her hair,

And lets pine-needles fall through her fingers,

And, forgetting her thin silk sleeve and the cold,

She leans in the sunset by a tall bamboo.


Du Fu

SEEING Li Bai IN A DREAM II

 

This cloud, that has drifted all day through the sky,

May, like a wanderer, never come back….

Three nights now I have dreamed of you —

As tender, intimate and real as though I were awake.

And then, abruptly rising to go,

You told me the perils of adventure

By river and lake-the storms, the wrecks,

The fears that are borne on a little boat;

And, here in my doorway, you rubbed your white head

As if there were something puzzling you.

…Our capital teems with officious people,

While you are alone and helpless and poor.

Who says that the heavenly net never fails?

It has brought you ill fortune, old as you are.

…A thousand years’ fame, ten thousand years’ fame-

What good, when you are dead and gone.

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 23, 2018

Here, south of the Yangzi, grows a red orangetree.

Zhang Jiuling

Here, south of the Yangzi, grows a red orangetree.

All winter long its leaves are green,

Not because of a warmer soil,

But because its’ nature is used to the cold.

Though it might serve your honourable guests,

You leave it here, far below mountain and river.

Circumstance governs destiny.

Cause and effect are an infinite cycle.

You plant your peach-trees and your plums,

You forget the shade from this other tree.


 

Li Bai

From a pot of wine among the flowers

I drank alone. There was no one with me —

Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon

To bring me my shadow and make us three.

Alas, the moon was unable to drink

And my shadow tagged me vacantly;

But still for a while I had these friends

To cheer me through the end of spring….

I sang. The moon encouraged me.

I danced. My shadow tumbled after.

As long as I knew, we were boon companions.

And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.

…Shall goodwill ever be secure?

I watch the long road of the River of Stars.


Li Bai

Down the blue mountain in the evening,

Moonlight was my homeward escort.

Looking back, I saw my path

Lie in levels of deep shadow….

I was passing the farm-house of a friend,

When his children called from a gate of thorn

And led me twining through jade bamboos

Where green vines caught and held my clothes.

And I was glad of a chance to rest

And glad of a chance to drink with my friend….

We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines;

And we finished our songs as the stars went down,

When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy,

Between us we forgot the world.

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 21, 2018

TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

Wang Wei

In a happy reign there should be no hermits;
The wise and able should consult together….
So youa man of the eastern mountains

Gave up your life of picking herbs
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold —
But you found your devotion unavailing.
…To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers

You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital —
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood
You will float again toward your own thatch door

Led along by distant trees
To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
…What though your purpose happened to fail

Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.


AT PARTING
Wang Wei

I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine

And I ask you where you are going and why.
And you answer: “I am discontent
And would rest at the foot of the southern mountain.
So give me leave and ask me no questions.
White clouds pass there without end.”


A GREEN STREAM

Wang Wei

I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers

Borne by the channel of a green stream

Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains
On a journey of less than thirty miles….
Rapids hum over heaped rocks;
But where light grows dim in the thick pines

The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns
And weeds are lush along the banks.
…Down in my heart I have always been as pure
As this limpid water is….
Ohto remain on a broad flat rock

And to cast a fishing-line forever!


A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER
Wang Wei

In the slant of the sun on the country-side

Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his sonthe herdboy.

There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears

Silk-worms asleeppared mulberry-leaves.

And the farmersreturning with hoes on their shoulders

Hail one another familiarly.
…No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old songOhto go Back Again!

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 21, 2018

ALONE IN HER BEAUTY


Du Fu

Who is lovelier than she?
Yet she lives alone in an empty valley.
She tells me she came from a good family
Which is humbled now into the dust.
…When trouble arose in the Kuan district

Her brothers and close kin were killed.
What use were their high offices

Not even shielding their own lives? —
The world has but scorn for adversity;
Hope goes outlike the light of a candle.

Her husbandwith a vagrant heart

Seeks a new face like a new piece of jade;
And when morning-glories furl at night
And mandarin-ducks lie side by side

All he can see is the smile of the new love

While the old love weeps unheard.
The brook was pure in its mountain source

But away from the mountain its waters darken.

Waiting for her maid to come from selling pearls
For straw to cover the roof again

She picks a few flowersno longer for her hair

And lets pine-needles fall through her fingers

Andforgetting her thin silk sleeve and the cold

She leans in the sunset by a tall bamboo.


SEEING Li Bai IN A DREAM(

I )

Du Fu

There are sobs when death is the cause of parting;
But life has its partings again and again.
…From the poisonous damps of the southern river
You had sent me not one sign from your exile —
Till you came to me last night in a dream

Because I am always thinking of you.
I wondered if it were really you

Venturing so long a journey.
You came to me through the green of a forest

You disappeared by a shadowy fortress….
Yet out of the midmost mesh of your snare

How could you lift your wings and use them?
…I wokeand the low moon’s glimmer on a rafter

Seemed to be your facestill floating in the air.


There were waters to crossthey were wild and tossing;

If you fellthere were dragons and rivermonsters.

Byweimiaow Posted Sep 21, 2018

ORCHID AND ORANGE I

Five-character-ancient-verse
Zhang Jiuling
ORCHID AND ORANGE I
Tender orchid-leaves in spring
And cinnamon- blossoms bright in autumn
Are as self- contained as life is,
Which conforms them to the seasons.
Yet why will you think that a forest-hermit,
Allured by sweet winds and contented with beauty,
Would no more ask to-be transplanted
THan Would any other natural flower?


Five-character-ancient-verse
Zhang Jiuling
THOUGHTS III
The hermit in his lone abode
Nurses his thoughts cleansed of care,
Them he projects to the wild goose
For it to his distant Sovereign to bear.
Who will be moved by the sincerity
Of my vain day-and-night prayer?
What comfort is for my loyalty
When fliers and sinkers can compare?


Five-character-ancient-verse
Zhang Jiuling
ORCHID AND ORANGE II
Here, south of the Yangzi, grows a red orangetree.
All winter long its leaves are green,
Not because of a warmer soil,
But because its’ nature is used to the cold.
Though it might serve your honourable guests,
You leave it here, far below mountain and river.
Circumstance governs destiny.
Cause and effect are an infinite cycle.
You plant your peach-trees and your plums,
You forget the shade from this other tree.


Five-character-ancient-verse
Li Bai
DOWN ZHONGNAN MOUNTAIN
TO THE KIND PILLOW AND BOWL OF HUSI
Down the blue mountain in the evening,
Moonlight was my homeward escort.
Looking back, I saw my path
Lie in levels of deep shadow….
I was passing the farm-house of a friend,
When his children called from a gate of thorn
And led me twining through jade bamboos
Where green vines caught and held my clothes.
And I was glad of a chance to rest
And glad of a chance to drink with my friend….
We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines;
And we finished our songs as the stars went down,
When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy,
Between us we forgot the world.