Du Fu - Spring Prospect
State smashed, hill and hollow stand;
the city ruined, trees and grasses heal.
Feeling these times, a flower sheds tears;
sorrowfully parting, birds fright the heart.
Three months now the watchtowers burn -
I’d give 10,000 gold for a letter from home.
My white hair, scratched ever thinner,
whirlpool of wishes, hardly holds a hairpin.
Bai Juyi - Village at Night
frost on mist-grey grass, the crickets keening
to north and south, the village bustle ceasing
alone outside the gate, I watch the fields
the moonlit buckwheat, flowers turned to snow
Du Fu - Thoughts While Traveling at Night
Softly swishing grass on riverbank -
The monolithic mast aboard the junk -
Stars descend to meet the rolling plains;
The moon swells up to drown the flowing Jiang.
These compositions haven't made my name;
I'm old and sick... I should quit my job.
Drift and drizzle! Where's a metaphor?
A single sandgull: earth and heaven joined.
Du Fu - The Circle of the Moon
The orphan moon across the balcon swells,
a chill river shifting shuttered windows,
casting down in quaverous golden waves,
the tapestry aglow, the pattern clinging ever more.
Still uncracked by steadfast mountain void,
it hovers high - the stellar mansions fade.
Among the pines, back home, osmanthus blooms:
ten thousand hamlets share this radiant clarity.
Wang Wei - A Visit to Smoky Incense Temple
Do you know of Smoky Incense Temple?
It's a few miles into the cloudy mountains.
No one's on the path, just ancient trees;
somewhere there's a bell, deep in the hills.
The sound of water gurgles on rocky steeps;
the color of sunlight cools into green pines.
As creeping dusk turns river pools to void,
they contemplate the tame dragon's fang.
Du Shenyan - Responding to Jinling Magistrate Lu's "The Gaze Wanders in Early Spring"
The banished minister perceives
the freshest fiercest signs of spring:
rainclouds dawn upon the sea;
willows wax across the Jiang;
on puffs of westwind, orioles;
in arcing sunlight, clover green -
but, ah! I hear an ancient song:
nostalgia inundates my sleeve.
Wang Zhihuan - Liangzhou Song
The Yellow River stretches high among the shining clouds -
an isolated citadel on mile-high mountain crags -
Tibetan piper, must you play the mournful Willow Song?
Though spring's upon the Gate of Jade, its wind may never cross.
Du Fu - Ballad of the Bound Chicken
This morning I heard a commotion, awoken I looked out the door.
The chicken was frantically fussing, trussed up for sale by my son.
He pitied the ants and the crickets the chicken would peck at and eat.
But buyers will boil her and hurt her! These burdens all bind us as one!
A cricket, a chicken, or person, the worst of us soon matters more.
I tearfully told him, "release her! Loosen the lashings at once!"
Like chickens and ants, our domain is to gain and to lose, and repeat.
I sit here and sing by the river, the river reflecting the sun.
Li Shangyin - Chang E
Deep within the mica screen, the guttered candles burn;
the silver river drowns in dawn, the constellations turn.
Enluned Chang E regrets, I guess, the remedy she stole -
the sparkling sea, the blooming sky, her heart a night eterne.
Li Bai - Moonshine on the Prairie
A jug of liquor in the flowers -
drinking alone, got no friends.
Raise a cup - hello Moon!
Look to Shadow - that makes three.
Moon can't really cut loose,
and Shadow just apes me,
but now it's me, Moon, and Shadow -
let's try to catch spring while it lasts.
I sing -
Moon lopes along.
I dance -
Shadow trips up.
Awake, we're joyful together;
drunk, everyone stumbles off.
Forever bound in stoic fellowship,
we'll be together in the Milky Way.