In English Translation
An early cricket chirps,
the dying lamp gutters
then flares again.
Outside my window
North of Solitary Mountain Temple
and west of Chia Pavilion
the water's surface is flattened
by the wet feet of clouds.
Early warblers dart and flutter,
I love the east lake most--
Remnants of sun ribbon the river--
half and half, black river red.
Third night, ninth month lovely hour;
pearled dew, bent bow moon.
With their arrogant manner, they fill up the road;
The horses they ride glisten in the dust.
"May I inquire, who might that be?"
People say that's a palace eunuch.
Those with red sashes are all high ministers;
The purple tassels might signify generals.
Haughtily they go to dine with the troops,
Their prancing horses passing like clouds.
Goblets and tankards will overflow with every wine;
Water and land have yielded every delicacy.
Fresh-picked fruits, and Tung-t'ing oranges;
T'ien-ch'ih fish, all scaled and sliced.
After gorging themselves, their minds will be at ease;
Drunk on wine, their spirits will soar.
This year drought devastated the South,
And in Ch'u-chou people cannibalized each other.
*China's Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture
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