Sitting among bamboos alone,
I play my lute and croon carefree.
In the deep woods where I’m unknown,
Only the bright moon peeps at me.
Wang Wei from „300 Tang Poems”
Under western cliff a fisherman passed the night;
At dawn he made bamboo fire to boil water clean.
Mist cleared off at sunrise but there’s no man in sight;
Only the fisherman’s song turns hill and rill green.
He goes down mid-stream and turns to look on the sky.
What does he see but clouds freely wafting on high?
Around the cottage like Tao’s autumn flowers grow;
Along the hedge I stroll until the sun slants low.
Not that I favor partially the chrysanthemum,
But it is the last flower after which none will bloom.
SUNSET AND MOONRISE ON THE RIVER
The departing sunbeams pave a way on the river;
Half of its waves turn red and the other half shiver.
How I love the third night of the ninth moon aglow!
The dewdrops look like pearls; the crescent like a bow.
I fill my cup with drink divine;
It is another boring day.
First let me drink to Lord of Wine,
Who helps to drive the blues away.
One draught and different I feel;
At once the world revives anew.
See what the hidden hills reveal!
The river takes on warming hue.
Exuberant at southern gate,
Leafy trees look like paradise.
With shade their roots are saturate;
All night you hear silent advice.
Drink your fill and gargle your mouth!
Drunk, you may lie on fragrant grass.
O rich revelers north and south!
What have you in your cups, alas!