Such were some of various omens. Emperor Ling, GREatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels. Court Counselor Cai Yong replied bluntly: “Falling rainbows and changes of fowls’ sexes are brought about by the interference of empresses and eunuchs in state affairs.” the Emperor read this memorial with deep sighs, and Chief Eunuch Cao Jie, from his place behind the throne, anxiously noted these signs of grief. An opportunity offering, Cao Jie informed his fellows, and a charge was trumped up against Cai Yong, who was driven from theRead More →

Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden;One Victory Shatters The Rebels In Battlegrounds. Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven contending kingdoms sprang up*, warring one with another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and possessed the empire*. But when Qin’s destiny had been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the victor*. theRead More →

Dip among doorways of the poor. Liu Fangping A MOONLIGHT NIGHT When the moon has coloured half the house, With the North Star at its height and the South Star setting, I can fed the first motions of the warm air of spring In the singing of an insect at my green-silk window. Liu Fangping SPRING HEART-BREAK With twilight passing her silken window, She weeps alone in her chamber of gold For spring is departing from a desolate garden, And a drift of pear-petals is closing a door. Liu Zhongyong A TROOPER’S BURDEN For years, to guard the Jade Pass and the River of Gold,Read More →

Let bugles cry our victory! Lu Lun BORDER-SONGS II The woods are black and a wind assails the grasses, Yet the general tries night archery — And next morning he finds his white-plumed arrow Pointed deep in the hard rock. Lu Lun BORDER-SONGS III High in the faint moonlight, wildgeese are soaring. Tartar chieftains are fleeing through the dark — And we chase them, with horses lightly burdened And a burden of snow on our bows and our swords. Lu Lun BORDER-SONGS IV Let feasting begin in the wild camp! Let bugles cry our victory! Let us drink, let us dance in our golden armour!Read More →

Wang Wei A MESSAGE TO COMMISSIONER LI AT ZIZHOU From ten thousand valleys the trees touch heaven; On a thousand peaks cuckoos are calling; And, after a night of mountain rain, From each summit come hundreds of silken cascades. …If girls are asked in tribute the fibre they weave, Or farmers quarrel over taro fields, Preside as wisely as Wenweng did…. Is fame to be only for the ancients? Wang Wei A VIEW OF THE HAN RIVER With its three southern branches reaching the Chu border, And its nine streams touching the gateway of Jing, This river runs beyond heaven and earth, Where the colourRead More →

Wang Wei A MESSAGE FROM MY LODGE AT WANGCHUAN TO PEI DI The mountains are cold and blue now And the autumn waters have run all day. By my thatch door, leaning on my staff, I listen to cicadas in the evening wind. Sunset lingers at the ferry, Supper-smoke floats up from the houses. …Oh, when shall I pledge the great Hermit again And sing a wild poem at Five Willows? Wang Wei AN AUTUMN EVENING IN THE MOUNTAINS After rain the empty mountain Stands autumnal in the evening, Moonlight in its groves of pine, Stones of crystal in its brooks. Bamboos whisper of washer-girlsRead More →

Li Bai THOUGHTS OF OLD TIME FROM A NIGHT-MOORING UNDER MOUNT NIU-ZHU This night to the west of the river-brim There is not one cloud in the whole blue sky, As I watch from my deck the autumn moon, Vainly remembering old General Xie…. I have poems; I can read; He heard others, but not mine. …Tomorrow I shall hoist my sail, With fallen maple-leaves behind me. Du Fu ON A MOONLIGHT NIGHT Far off in Fuzhou she is watching the moonlight, Watching it alone from the window of her chamber- For our boy and girl, poor little babes, Are too young to know whereRead More →

Cen Can A MESSAGE TO CENSOR Du Fu AT HIS OFFICE IN THE LEFT COURT Together we officials climbed vermilion steps, To be parted by the purple walls…. Our procession, which entered the palace at dawn, Leaves fragrant now at dusk with imperial incense. …Grey heads may grieve for a fallen flower, Or blue clouds envy a lilting bird; But this reign is of heaven, nothing goes wrong, There have been almost no petitions. Li Bai A MESSAGE TO MENG HAORAN Master, I hail you from my heart, And your fame arisen to the skies…. Renouncing in ruddy youth the importance of hat and chariot,Read More →

Du Shenyan ON A WALK IN THE EARLY SPRING HARMONIZING A POEM BY MY FRIEND LU STATIONED AT CHANGZHOU Only to wanderers can come Ever new the shock of beauty, Of white cloud and red cloud dawning from the sea, Of spring in the wild-plum and river-willow…. I watch a yellow oriole dart in the warm air, And a green water- plant reflected by the sun. Suddenly an old song fills My heart with home, my eyes with tears. Shen Quanqi LINES Against the City of the Yellow Dragon Our troops were sent long years ago, And girls here watch the same melancholy moon ThatRead More →

Han Yu A POEM ON THE STONE DRUMS Chang handed me this tracing, from the stone drums, Beseeching me to write a poem on the stone drums. Du Fu has gone. Li Bai is dead. What can my poor talent do for the stone drums? …When the Zhou power waned and China was bubbling, Emperor Xuan, up in wrath, waved his holy spear: And opened his Great Audience, receiving all the tributes Of kings and lords who came to him with a tune of clanging weapons. They held a hunt in Qiyang and proved their marksmanship: Fallen birds and animals were strewn three thousand miles.Read More →