I challenge what may come   Cui Hao PASSING THROUGH HUAYIN Lords of the capital, sharp, unearthly, The Great Flower’s three points pierce through heaven. Clouds are parting above the Temple of the Warring Emperor, Rain dries on the mountain, on the Giant’s Palm. Ranges and rivers are the strength of this western gate, Whence roads and trails lead downward into China. …O pilgrim of fame, O seeker of profit, Why not remain here and lengthen your days? Zu Yong LOOKING TOWARD AN INNER GATE OF THE GREAT WALL My heart sank when I headed north from Yan Country To the camps of China echoingRead More →

I face my mirror with a sigh   Cui Tu A SOLITARY WILDGOOSE Line after line has flown back over the border. Where are you headed all by yourself? In the evening rain you call to them — And slowly you alight on an icy pond. The low wet clouds move faster than you Along the wall toward the cold moon. …If they caught you in a net or with a shot, Would it be worse than flying alone? Du Xunhe A SIGH IN THE SPRING PALACE Knowing beauty my misfortune, I face my mirror with a sigh. To please a fastidious emperor, How shallRead More →

After the shower at Bashang   Wen Tingyun TO A FRIEND BOUND EAST The old fort brims with yellow leaves…. You insist upon forsaking this place where you have lived. A high wind blows at Hanyang Ferry And sunrise lights the summit of Yingmen…. Who will be left for me along the upper Yangzi After your solitary skiff has entered the end of the sky? I ask you over and over when we shall meet again, While we soften with winecups this ache of farewell. Ma Dai AN AUTUMN COTTAGE AT BASHANG After the shower at Bashang, I see an evening line of wildgeese, TheRead More →

To live as pure a life as yours   Li Shangyin A CICADA 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. Li Shangyin WIND AND RAIN I ponder on the poem of The Precious Dagger. My road has wound through many years. …Now yellow leaves are shaken with a gale; Yet piping and fiddling keepRead More →

Boundless grasses over the plain   Zhang Ji THINKING OF A FRIEND LOST IN THE TIBETAN WAR Last year you went with your troops to Tibet; And when your men had vanished beyond the citywall, News was cut off between the two worlds As between the living and the dead. No one has come upon a faithful horse guarding A crumpled tent or torn flag, or any trace of you. If only I knew, I might serve you in the temple, Instead of these tears toward the far sky. Bai Juyi GRASSES Boundless grasses over the plain Come and go with every season; Wildfire neverRead More →

I see a sail in the far sky   Meng Haoran MEMORIES IN EARLY WINTER South go the wildgesse, for leaves are now falling, And the water is cold with a wind from the north. I remember my home; but the Xiang River’s curves Are walled by the clouds of this southern country. I go forward. I weep till my tears are spent. I see a sail in the far sky. Where is the ferry? Will somebody tell me? It’s growing rough. It’s growing dark. Liu Changqing CLIMBING IN AUTUMN FOR A VIEW FROM THE TEMPLE ON THE TERRACE OF GENERAL WU So autumn breaksRead More →

How gladly I would seek a mountain Meng Haoran FROM QIN COUNTRY TO THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YUAN How gladly I would seek a mountain If I had enough means to live as a recluse! For I turn at last from serving the State To the Eastern Woods Temple and to you, my master. …Like ashes of gold in a cinnamon-flame, My youthful desires have been burnt with the years- And tonight in the chilling sunset-wind A cicada, singing, weighs on my heart. Meng Haoran STOPPING AT A FRIEND’S FARM-HOUSE Preparing me chicken and rice, old friend, You entertain me at your farm. We watch theRead More →

Du Fu REMEMBERING MY BROTHERS ON A MOONLIGHT NIGHT A wanderer hears drums portending battle. By the first call of autumn from a wildgoose at the border, He knows that the dews tonight will be frost. …How much brighter the moonlight is at home! O my brothers, lost and scattered, What is life to me without you? Yet if missives in time of peace go wrong — What can I hope for during war? Du Fu TO LI BAI AT THE SKY SEND A cold wind blows from the far sky…. What are you thinking of, old friend? The wildgeese never answer me. Rivers andRead More →

Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method. Men at their birth, are naturally good. Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different. If follishly there is no teaching, the nature will deteriorate. The right way in teaching, is to attach the utmost importance in thoroughness. Of old, the mother of Mencius chose a neighborhood and when her child would not learn, she broke the shuttle from the loom. Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method. He taught five sons, each of whom raised the family reputation. To feed without teaching, is the father’s fault. To teach without severity,Read More →