Gazing on the Peak
And what then is Daizong like?
over Qi and Lu, green unending.
Creation compacted spirit splendors here,
Dark and Light, riving dusk and dawn.
Exhilirating the breast, it produces layers of cloud;
splitting eye-pupils, it has homing birds entering.
Someday may I climb up to its highest summit,
with one sweeping view see how small all other mountains are.
Presented to Li Bai
Autumn comes, I turn to look at you, still wind-tossed dandelion puff,
not yet having achieved the cinnabar grain, embarrassed before Ge Hong.
Drinking yourself sick, singing crazily, you pass your days in vain —
fly into action and rampage to intimidate whom?
The shrine hall to the Minister, where can it be found?
outside the walls of Brocade City, where the cypress tree stands dense.
Half hiding the stairs, sapphire grasses take on the colors of spring,
yellow orioles beyond the leaves give fine notes for naught.
Thrice called on, urged repeatedly: his plans for all the world.
for two reigns, founding and sustaining: an old officer’s heart.
Ere “the army sent forth” was victorious, the man himself died,
it always makes bold-spirited men fill their clothes with tears.
Climbing the Heights
The wind blows hard, the heavens, high, gibbons howl in lament,
isles clear, sands white, where birds turn in flight.
Endless trees shed their leaves that descend in the whistling wind,
unending, the long River comes on churning.
Grieving for fall across ten thousand leagues, always a traveler,
often sick in this century of life I climb the terrace alone.
In hardship I bitterly resent these tangled, frost-white locks,
down and out, I recently quit cups of thick ale.
Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night
A good rain knows its appointed time,
right in spring it brings things to life.
It enters the night unseen with the wind
and moistens things finely, without a sound.
Over wilderness paths, the clouds are all black,
a boat on the river, its fire alone bright.
At daybreak look where it’s wet and red —
the flowers will be heavy in Brocade City.
View in Spring
The state broken, its mountains and rivers remain,
the city turns spring, deep with plants and trees.
Stirred by the time, flowers, sprinkling tears,
hating parting, birds, alarm the heart.
Beacon fires stretch through three months,
a letter from family worth ten thousand in silver.
I’ve scratched my white hair even shorter,
pretty much to the point where it won’t hold a hatpin.
To Lord Hua
In Brocade City the music of pipes and strings is heard all over every day,
half enters the wind on the river, half enters the clouds.
This melody should only exist in heaven,
how many times can one get to hear it in this mortal world?