Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Li He / Li Ho (790-816)
UP IN HEAVEN
The River of Heaven turns in the night and floats the stars around,
A stream of cloud between silver shores mimics the sound of water.
The cassia tree of the Jade Palace has never shed its flowers,
A houri plucks their fragrance to hang at her jewelled sash.
The Ch'in princess rolls back the blind, day breaks at the North window:
Before the window the straight wu-t'ung dwarfs the blue phoenix.
The prince blows the long goose-quills of the pan-pipes,
Calling to the dragon to plough the mist and plant the jasper herb.
With ribbons of pale dawn-cloud pink and lotus-root fibre skirts
Fairies walk on Azure Isle gathering orchids in the spring.
They point at Hsi-Ho in the Eastern sky, who deftly speeds his horses,
While out of the sea the new land silts beneath the stony mountains.