Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, August 07, 2006

300 Tang Dynasty Poems: #18 ON CLIMBING ORCHID MOUNTAIN

The Tang Dynasty was a Golden Age of culture in ancient China. Poetry was especially esteemed. No occasion, no homecoming or leavetaking, no celebration, was considered beneath having a poem composed for it. A famous anthology of Tang poems can be accessed by clicking on the title of this post. In the meantime, here is number 18.

Meng Haoran


On a northern peak among white clouds
You have found your hermitage of peace;
And now, as I climb this mountain to see you,
High with the wildgeese flies my heart.
The quiet dusk might seem a little sad
If this autumn weather were not so brisk and clear;
I look down at the river bank, with homeward-bound villagers
Resting on the sand till the ferry returns;
There are trees at the horizon like a row of grasses
And against the river's rim an island like the moon
I hope that you will come and meet me, bringing a basket of wine --
And we'll celebrate together the Mountain Holiday.

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