A Visit To Qiantang Lake In Spring

Poem By Bai Juyi

Gushan temple north Jiating west
Water surface first flat cloud base low
Several places early orioles fight warm tree
Every house new swallows peck spring mud
Disordered flowers gradually almost confuse person eye
Light grass able hide horse hoof
Most love lake east go not enough
Green poplar shade in white sand causeway Gushan Temple is to the north, Jiating pavilion west,
The water's surface now is calm, the bottom of the clouds low.
In several places, the first orioles are fighting in warm trees,
By every house new swallows peck at spring mud.
Disordered flowers have grown almost enough to confuse the eye,
Bright grass is able now to hide the hooves of horses.
I most love the east of the lake, I cannot come often enough
Within the shade of green poplars on White Sand Embankment.

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Come and go with every season;
Wildfire never quite consumes them --
They are tall once more in the spring wind.

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We share all these disappointments of failing
autumn a thousand miles apart. This is where

autumn wind easily plunders courtyard trees,
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Song Of The Guitar.

In the tenth year of Yuanhe I was banished and demoted to be assistant official in Jiujiang. In the summer of the next year I was seeing a friend leave Penpu and heard in the midnight from a neighbouring boat a guitar played in the manner of the capital. Upon inquiry, I found that the player had formerly been a dancing-girl there and in her maturity had been married to a merchant. I invited her to my boat to have her play for us. She told me her story, heyday and then unhappiness. Since my departure from the capital I had not felt sad; but that night, after I left her, I began to realize my banishment. And I wrote this long poem -- six hundred and twelve characters.

I was bidding a guest farewell, at night on the Xunyang River,
Where maple-leaves and full-grown rushes rustled in the autumn.

After Lunch

After eating lunch, I feel so sleepy.
Waking later, I sip two bowls of tea,

then notice shadows aslant, the sun
already low in the southwest again.