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 ~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, #37 Under a Border Fortress

The Tang Dynasty was a high point in Chinese culture. Art, especially poetry was esteemed. No occasion was too small to be commemorated by a poem. The best poems of that era were collected into an anthology known as The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. An online version of the anthology made be found here.

Below is #37, Under a Border Fortress


Drink, my horse, while we cross the autumn water!-
The stream is cold and the wind like a sword,
As we watch against the sunset on the sandy plain,
Far, far away, shadowy Lingtao.
Old battles, waged by those long walls,
Once were proud on all men's tongues.
But antiquity now is a yellow dust,
Confusing in the grasses its ruins and white bones.

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