Grass on the Ancient Plain by Po Chu-i

So tender, so tender, the grasses on the plain,
in one year, to wither, then flourish.
Wildfire cannot burn them away.
Spring breezes’ breath, they spring again,
their distant fragrance on the ancient way,
their sunlit emerald greens the ruined walls.
Seeing you off again, dear friend,
sighing, sighing, full of parting’s pain.

translated by J.P. Seaton

Rapt in Wine by Su Shih (Su Tung-p’o)

Rapt in wine against the mountain rains,
dressed I dozed in evening brightness,
and woke to hear the watch drum striking dawn.
In dreams I was a butterfly,
my joyful body light.

I grow old, my talents are used up,
but still I plot toward the return. . .
to find a field and take a cottage
where I can laugh at heroes,
and pick my way among the muddy puddles
on a lakeside path.

translated by J.P. Seaton