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TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION

Wang Wei

In a happy reign there should be no hermits;
The wise and able should consult together….
So youa man of the eastern mountains

Gave up your life of picking herbs
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold —
But you found your devotion unavailing.
…To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers

You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital —
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood
You will float again toward your own thatch door

Led along by distant trees
To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
…What though your purpose happened to fail

Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.


AT PARTING
Wang Wei

I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine

And I ask you where you are going and why.
And you answer: “I am discontent
And would rest at the foot of the southern mountain.
So give me leave and ask me no questions.
White clouds pass there without end.”


A GREEN STREAM

Wang Wei

I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers

Borne by the channel of a green stream

Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains
On a journey of less than thirty miles….
Rapids hum over heaped rocks;
But where light grows dim in the thick pines

The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns
And weeds are lush along the banks.
…Down in my heart I have always been as pure
As this limpid water is….
Ohto remain on a broad flat rock

And to cast a fishing-line forever!


A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER
Wang Wei

In the slant of the sun on the country-side

Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his sonthe herdboy.

There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears

Silk-worms asleeppared mulberry-leaves.

And the farmersreturning with hoes on their shoulders

Hail one another familiarly.
…No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old songOhto go Back Again!