Above the tower — a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.
Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!
Remnants of sun ribbon the river–
half and half, black river red.
Third night, ninth month lovely hour;
pearled dew, bent bow moon.
I enter the court
Through the middle gate—
And my sleeve is wet with tears.
The flowers still grow
In the courtyard,
Though two springs have fled
Since last their master came.
The windows, porch, and bamboo screen
Are just as they always were,
But at the entrance to the house
Someone is missing—
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.
Joyful people resent fleeting days.
Sad ones can’t bear the slow yers.
It’s those with no joy and no sorrow—
they trust whatever this life brings.
“Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent.”
These words, as I am told,
Were spoken by Lao Tzu.
If we are to believe that Lao Ttzu
Was himself one who knew,
How comes it that he wrote a book
Of five thousand words?
Tears utmost gauze cloth dream not succeed
Night deep before palace press song sound
Red cheek not old favour first cut
Slant lean on smoke cover sit arrive brightness
Her handkerchief all soaked in tears, she cannot dream,
In deepest night before the palace voices sing.
Her rosy cheeks aren’t old, but first love has been cut,
Leaning, wreathed in smoke, she sits until the dawn.
Startled at the cold stiffness of my pillow,
I see that the window is a sheet of pure white.
Deep in the night, the weight of snow increases
Until I hear bamboo snapping in the darkness.