“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy
上海夜生活 / 2018年10月13日

“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy know he is but a bowman?” said Cao Cao. “If I fail, then can you take my head,” spoke Guan Yu. Cao Cao bade them heat some wine and offered a cup to Guan Yu as he went out. “Pour it out,” said Guan Yu. “I shall return in a little space.”   Guan Yu went with his weapon in his hand and vaulted into the saddle. Those in the tent heard the fierce roll of the drums and then a mighty sound as if skies were falling and earth rising, hills trembling and mountains tearing asunder. And they were sore afraid. And while they were listening with ears intent, lo! the gentle tinkle of horse bells, and Guan Yu returned, throwing at their feet the head of the slain leader, their enemy Hua Xiong.   the wine was still warm!   This doughty deed has been celebrated in verse: the power of the man stands first in all the world, At the gate of the camp was heard the rolling of the battle drums; then Guan Yu set aside the wine cup till he should have displayed his valor, And the…

Dare ford the river boundary.
上海夜生活 / 2018年9月29日

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, ” went for herbs, But toward which corner of the mountain, How can I tell, through all these clouds ?” Li Pin CROSSING THE HAN RIVER Away from home, I was longing for news Winter after winter, spring after spring. Now, nearing my village, meeting people, I dare not ask a single question. Jin Changzu A SPRING SIGH Drive the orioles away, All their music from the trees…. When she dreamed that she went to Liaoxi Camp To join him there, they wakened her Xibiren GENERAL GE SHU This constellation, with its seven high stars, Is Ge Shu lifting his sword in the night: And no more barbarians, nor their horses, nor cattle, Dare ford the river boundary. Cui Hao A SONG OF CHANGGAN I “Tell me, where do you live? — Near here, by the fishing-pool? Let’s hold our boats together,…

Yet how it serves to ease my heart!
上海夜生活 / 2018年9月28日

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, How far can a pomegranate-blossom whisper? …I will tether my horse to a river willow And wait for the will of the southwest wind. Li Shangyin TO ONE UNNAMED V There are many curtains in your care-free house, Where rapture lasts the whole night long. …What are the lives of angels but dreams If they take no lovers into their rooms? …Storms are ravishing the nut-horns, Moon- dew sweetening cinnamon-leaves I know well enough naught can come of this union, Yet how it serves to ease my heart! Wen Tingyun NEAR THE LIZHOU FERRY The sun has set in the water’s clear void, And little blue islands are one with the sky. On the bank a horse neighs. A boat goes by. People gather at a willow- clump and wait for the ferry. Down by the sand-bushes sea-gulls are circling, Over…

After the shower at Bashang
上海夜生活 / 2018年9月27日

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, The limp-hanging leaves of a foreign tree, A lantern’s cold gleam, lonely in the night, An empty garden, white with dew, The ruined wall of a neighbouring monastery. …I have taken my ease here long enough. What am I waiting for, I wonder. ————————————— Ma Dai THOUGHTS OF OLD TIME ON THE CHU RIVER A cold light shines on the gathering dew, As sunset fades beyond the southern mountains; Trees echo with monkeys on the banks of Lake Dongting, Where somebody is moving in an orchid-wood boat. Marsh-lands are swollen wide with the moon, While torrents are bent to the mountains’…

Sunset lingers at the ferry,
上海夜生活 / 2018年9月26日

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-girls bound home, Lotus-leaves yield before a fisher-boat — And what does it matter that springtime has gone, While you are here, O Prince of Friends? Wang Wei BOUND HOME TO MOUNT SONG The limpid river, past its bushes Running slowly as my chariot, Becomes a fellow voyager Returning home with the evening birds. A ruined city-wall overtops an old ferry, Autumn sunset floods the peaks. …Far away, beside Mount Song, I shall close my door and be at peace. Wang Wei MOUNT ZHONGNAN Its massive height near the City of Heaven Joins a thousand mountains…

Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying
上海夜生活 / 2018年9月24日

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 to that of flowery candles, And the lute plays The Green Water, and then The Queen of Chu. Once it has begun to play, there is no other sound: A spell is on the banquet, while the stars grow thin…. But three hundred miles from here, in Huai, official duties await him, And so it’s farewell, and the road again, under cloudy mountains. Li Qi ON HEARING DONG PLAY THE FLAGEOLET A POEM TO PALACE-ATTENDANT FANG When this melody for the flageolet was made by Lady Cai, When long ago one by one she sang its eighteen stanzas, Even the Tartars were shedding tears into the border grasses, And the envoy of China was heart-broken, turning back home with his escort. …Cold fires now of old battles are grey on ancient forts, And the wilderness is shadowed with white new-flying snow….