Pure of heart and therefore hungry, All night long you have sung in vain -- Oh, this final broken indrawn breath Among the green indifferent trees! Yes, I have gone like a piece of driftwood, I have let my garden fill with weeds.... I bless you for your true advice To live as pure a life as yours.
So tender, so tender, the grasses on the plain, in one year, to wither, then flourish. Wild fire cannot burn them away. Spring breezes breath, they spring again. Their distant fragrance on the ancient way, Their sunlit emerald greens the ruined walls. Seeing you off again, dear friend. Sighing, sighing, full of partings pain.
A year ago my boat, homeward bound, moored at Yen-ling - I was kept awake all night by the rain beating against the sails. Last night the rain fell on the thatched roof of my house. I dreamed of the sound of rain beating against the sails.
There is an old saying: The bamboo shadow cannot dust off the steps. The sun penetrates the pond leaving no trace on the water. Our Scholar says : Though the stream flows swiftly by, the scene is forever still. While the flowers are wilting rapidly, my mind is cool. Treats things this way and how at ease I would be.
Snow besieges my plank door I crowd the stove at night although this form exists it seems as if it doesn’t I have no idea where the months have gone every time I turn around another year on earth is over
When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.
When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared.
A bright moon rising over the sea, Shores apart, watching the same Is someone dear to me. I loath this endless night; And could not sleep but think of thee. In this full moon light, Who cares for candlelight? Stepping out I don my gown, And feel dew on the ground. I wish to offer you moonlight in a handful, But, to my real shame, ‘tis impossible. Retiring to my bed, it seems, I might find happier days in dreams.
Do you remember how when we were young we soared. Now, we're old and hobble around on foot. Then, we were so full of ideas and bold We even put water in the clouds. Now we poke at the snow with our walking sticks, And worry about frost and wind. Well... you're famous now. Your literary works are widely known. Your reputation has reached all the way to the Palace. The king, I understand, is quite impressed. Now, living in the mountains meets all my wishes. I can boast about having known you "then"... So send me a letter to prove it - and don't forget To include some of your poignant verse.
The migrant songbird on the bough wet with dew brings tears to my eyes with her melodious trills— this fresh downpour rewetting the stains of older spills; another spring gone, and still no word from you ...
Alone at Night at My Monastic Residence: To Secretary Ts’u
The recluse is in bed but not asleep leaves are falling in flurries a cold rain makes the late night darker fireflies are gone from the tower the blue flames of dawn are no help I still suffer from a thin summer robe I didn’t realize the year was so lateor living apart was so lonely
This morning I dreamed I followed Widely spaced bells, ringing in the wind, And climbed through mists to rosy clouds. I realized my destined affinity With An Ch'i-sheng the ancient sage. I met unexpectedly O Lu-hua The heavenly maiden.
Together we saw lotus roots as big as boats. Together we ate jujubes as huge as melons. We were the guests of those on swaying lotus seats. They spoke in splendid language, Full of subtle meanings. The argued with sharp words over paradoxes. We drank tea brewed on living fire.
Although this might not help the Emperor to govern, It is endless happiness. The life of men could be like this.
Why did I have to return to my former home, Wake up, dress, sit in meditation. Cover my ears to shut out the disgusting racket. My heart knows I can never see my dream come true. At least I can remember That world and sigh.
Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly, And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking. Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ? Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things? The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream. The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city, Was once the Prince of the East Hill. So must rank and riches vanish. You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?
Through the bright day up the mountain, we scan the sky for a war-torch; At yellow dusk we water our horses in the boundaryriver; And when the throb of watch-drums hangs in the sandy wind, We hear the guitar of the Chinese Princess telling her endless woe.... Three thousand miles without a town, nothing but camps, Till the heavy sky joins the wide desert in snow. With their plaintive calls, barbarian wildgeese fly from night to night, And children of the Tartars have many tears to shed; But we hear that the Jade Pass is still under siege, And soon we stake our lives upon our light warchariots. Each year we bury in the desert bones unnumbered, Yet we only watch for grape-vines coming into China.