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From “Nineteen Ancient Poems”



13

Horse cart skirrs through the Upper East Gate

to the north beyond the city walls gaze

at the graves White poplars rustle xiao

xiao pine cypress line the wide road

Dead arranged under the trees ceremony

darkening darkening the long twilight

Hidden sleep beneath the Yellow Springs

on and on for ten centuries to never wake

Wave after wave endless yin-yang changes

allotted years like morning dew

Our life is like a brief visitation can’t

approach the longevity of metal stone

Ten thousand ages of partings and farewells

the virtuous the sages no one lasts

Take elixirs to seek divine immortality so

many harmed by messed up concoctions

Nothing like drinking good spirits while

dressed up in diaphanous silk clothes




18

A visitor arrives from a faraway place

gives me a bolt of fine qi-silk Ten

thousand li apart this broken wife’s

heart still yours Exquisite colors

of a mandarin duck pair cut and sew

into a Harmony-Joy quilt Bind it

with long-lasting cords hem it with

stitches that can never be undone

When resin is blended into lacquer who

could separate the one from the other


Translated from the Han dynasty Chinese (c. 206 BCE–220 CE), below

13

驅車上東門
遙望郭北墓
白楊何蕭蕭
松柏夾廣路
下有陳死人
杳杳即長暮
潛寐黃泉下
千載永不寤
浩浩陰陽移
年命如朝露
人生忽如寄
壽無金石固




18

客從遠方來
遺我一端綺
相去萬餘里
故人心尚爾
文采雙鴛鴦
裁為合歡被
著以長相思
緣以結不解
以膠投漆中
誰能別離此
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Submitted by Drone232 on May 18, 2022

1:19 min read
9 Views

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