I hear people at the fishing-town stumble aboard the ferry

  Li Qi ON HEARING AN WANSHAN PLAY THE REED-PIPE Bamboo from the southern hills was used to make this pipe. And its music, that was introduced from Persia first of all, Has taken on new magic through later use in China. And now the Tartar from Liangzhou, blowing it for me, Drawing a sigh from whosoever hears it, Is […]

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Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying

  Li Qi A LUTE SONG Our host, providing abundant wine to make the night mellow, Asks his guest from Yangzhou to play for us on the lute. Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying, Frost is on ten thousand trees, and the wind blows through our clothes; But a copper stove has added its light […]

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Why laugh when they fall asleep drunk on the sand

I find you alone under falling petals.   Wang Changling IN HER QUIET WINDOW Too young to have learned what sorrow means, Attired for spring, she climbs to her high chamber…. The new green of the street-willows is wounding her heart — Just for a title she sent him to war. Wang Changling A SONG OF THE SPRING PALACE Last […]

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Across the green boughs stretches out her white hand

  Li Bai BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: SPRING The lovely Lo Fo of the western land Plucks mulberry leaves by the waterside. Across the green boughs stretches out her white hand; In golden sunshine her rosy robe is dyed. “my silkworms are hungry, I cannot stay. Tarry not with your five-horse cab, I pray.” Li Bai BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: […]

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When she dreamed that she went to Liaoxi Camp

Dare ford the river boundary.   Li Shangyin THE LEYOU TOMBS With twilight shadows in my heart I have driven up among the Leyou Tombs To see the sun, for all his glory, Buried by the coming night. Jia Dao A NOTE LEFT FOR AN ABSENT ECLUSE When I questioned your pupil, under a pine-tree, My teacher, he answered, ” […]

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But my husband’s young sister shall have the fiat taste.

I decide that not my mother-in-law   Liu Changqing FAREWELL TO A BUDDHIST MONK Can drifting clouds and white storks Be tenants in this world of ours? — Or you still live on Wuzhou Mountain, Now that people are coming here? Wei Yingwu AN AUTUMN NIGHT MESSAGE TO QIU As I walk in the cool of the autumn night, Thinking […]

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While my little boat moves on its mooring of mist

  Meng Haoran A NIGHT-MOORING ON THE JIANDE RIVER While my little boat moves on its mooring of mist, And daylight wanes, old memories begin…. How wide the world was, how close the trees to heaven, And how clear in the water the nearness of the moon! Meng Haoran A SPRING MORNING I awake light-hearted this morning of spring, Everywhere […]

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People gather at a willow- clump and wait for the ferry

Yet how it serves to ease my heart!   Li Shangyin TO ONE UNNAMED IV A faint phoenix-tail gauze, fragrant and doubled, Lines your green canopy, closed for the night…. Will your shy face peer round a moon-shaped fan, And your voice be heard hushing the rattle of my carriage? It is quiet and quiet where your gold lamp dies, […]

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Yet less fortunate than the two Shu generals who were killed in action

And of even this bright flame of love,   Li Shangyin TO ONE UNNAMED II A misty rain comes blowing with a wind from the east, And wheels faintly thunder beyond Hibiscus Pool. …Round the golden-toad lock, incense is creeping; The jade tiger tells, on its cord, of water being drawn A great lady once, from behind a screen, favoured […]

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