How gladly I would seek a mountain

Meng Haoran
FROM QIN COUNTRY TO THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YUAN
How gladly I would seek a mountain
If I had enough means to live as a recluse!
For I turn at last from serving the State
To the Eastern Woods Temple and to you, my master.
…Like ashes of gold in a cinnamon-flame,
My youthful desires have been burnt with the years-
And tonight in the chilling sunset-wind
A cicada, singing, weighs on my heart.


Meng Haoran
STOPPING AT A FRIEND’S FARM-HOUSE
Preparing me chicken and rice, old friend,
You entertain me at your farm.
We watch the green trees that circle your village
And the pale blue of outlying mountains.
We open your window over garden and field,
To talk mulberry and hemp with our cups in our hands.
…Wait till the Mountain Holiday —
I am coming again in chrysanthemum time.


Meng Haoran
FROM QIN COUNTRY TO THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YUAN
How gladly I would seek a mountain
If I had enough means to live as a recluse!
For I turn at last from serving the State
To the Eastern Woods Temple and to you, my master.
…Like ashes of gold in a cinnamon-flame,
My youthful desires have been burnt with the years-
And tonight in the chilling sunset-wind
A cicada, singing, weighs on my heart.


Meng Haoran
FROM A MOORING ON THE TONGLU
TO A FRIEND IN YANGZHOU
With monkeys whimpering on the shadowy mountain,
And the river rushing through the night,
And a wind in the leaves along both banks,
And the moon athwart my solitary sail,
I, a stranger in this inland district,
Homesick for my Yangzhou friends,
Send eastward two long streams of tears
To find the nearest touch of the sea.


Meng Haoran
TAKING LEAVE OF WANG WEI
Slow and reluctant, I have waited
Day after day, till now I must go.
How sweet the road-side flowers might be
If they did not mean good-bye, old friend.
The Lords of the Realm are harsh to us
And men of affairs are not our kind.
I will turn back home, I will say no more,
I will close the gate of my old garden.

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Du Fu
REMEMBERING MY BROTHERS ON A MOONLIGHT NIGHT
A wanderer hears drums portending battle.
By the first call of autumn from a wildgoose at the border,
He knows that the dews tonight will be frost.
…How much brighter the moonlight is at home!
O my brothers, lost and scattered,
What is life to me without you?
Yet if missives in time of peace go wrong —
What can I hope for during war?


Du Fu
TO LI BAI AT THE SKY SEND
A cold wind blows from the far sky….
What are you thinking of, old friend?
The wildgeese never answer me.
Rivers and lakes are flooded with rain.
…A poet should beware of prosperity,
Yet demons can haunt a wanderer.
Ask an unhappy ghost, throw poems to him
Where he drowned himself in the Milo River.


Du Fu
A FAREWELL AT FENGJI STATION TO GENERAL YAN
This is where your comrade must leave you,
Turning at the foot of these purple mountains….
When shall we lift our cups again, I wonder,
As we did last night and walk in the moon?
The region is murmuring farewell
To one who was honoured through three reigns;
And back I go now to my river-village,
Into the final solitude.


Du Fu
ON LEAVING THE TOMB OF PREMIER FANG
Having to travel back now from this far place,
I dismount beside your lonely tomb.
The ground where I stand is wet with my tears;
The sky is dark with broken clouds….
I who played chess with the great Premier
Am bringing to my lord the dagger he desired.
But I find only petals falling down,
I hear only linnets answering.


Du Fu
A NIGHT ABROAD
A light wind is rippling at the grassy shore….
Through the night, to my motionless tall mast,
The stars lean down from open space,
And the moon comes running up the river.
…If only my art might bring me fame
And free my sick old age from office! —
Flitting, flitting, what am I like
But a sand-snipe in the wide, wide world!


Du Fu
ON THE GATE-TOWER AT YOUZHOU
I had always heard of Lake Dongting —
And now at last I have climbed to this tower.
With Wu country to the east of me and Chu to the south,
I can see heaven and earth endlessly floating.
…But no word has reached me from kin or friends.
I am old and sick and alone with my boat.
North of this wall there are wars and mountains —
And here by the rail how can I help crying?

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Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method.

Men at their birth, are naturally good. Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different.

If follishly there is no teaching, the nature will deteriorate. The right way in teaching, is to attach the utmost importance in thoroughness.

Of old, the mother of Mencius chose a neighborhood and when her child would not learn, she broke the shuttle from the loom.

Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method. He taught five sons, each of whom raised the family reputation.

To feed without teaching, is the father’s fault. To teach without severity, is the teacher’s laziness.

If the child does not learn, this is not as it should be. If he does not learn while young, what will he be when old?

If jade is not polished, it cannot become a thing of use. If a man does not learn, he cannot know his duty towards his neighbor.

He who is the son of a man, when he is young, should attach himself to his teachers and friends; and practice ceremonial usages.

Hsiang, at nine years of age, could warm his parent’s bed. Filial piety towards parents is that to which we should hold fast.

Jung, at four years of age, could yield the (bigger) pears. To behave as a younger brother towards elders, is one of the first things to know.

Begin with filial piety and fraternal love, and then see and hear. Learn to count, and learn to read.

Units and tens, then tens and hundreds, hundreds and thousands, thousands and then tens of thousands.

The three forces are heaven, earth and man. The three luminaries are the sun, the moon and the stars.

The three bonds are the obligation between sovereign andsubject, the love between father and child, the harmony between husband and wife.

We speak of spring and summer; we speak of autumn and winter. These four seasons, revolve without ceasing.

We speak of North and South, we speak of East and West, These four points, respond to the requirements of the centre.

We speak of water, fire, wood, metal and earth. These five elements have their origin in number.

We speak of charity, of duty towards one neighbor, of propriety, of wisdom, and of truth. These five virtues admit of no compromise.

Rice, spike, millet, pulse wheat, glutinous millet and common millet, these six grains are those which men eat.

The horse, the ox, the sheep, the fowl, the dog, the pig, these six animals are those which men keep.