Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, 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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