from To Dispel the Cold: Two Poems on Spring: I: Small Pavilion by Hung Liang-chi

Where is the first sign of spring?
Spring comes earliest to a small pavilion:
Upon the shadow of a bamboo blind in the moonlight,
In the tender notes from a flute in the breeze,
In the greening of a branch breaking out at the tip,
In the drippings of a candle of red passion.
In the whispered words overheard past midnight,
In the scented breath wafted beyond the wall.

translated by Irving Lo

Mad Words by Yüan Mei

To learn to be without desire, you must desire that;
Better to do as you please: sing idleness:
Floating clouds and water running—where’s their source?
In all the vastness of the sea and sky, you’ll never find it.

translated by J.P. Seaton

from On Poetry: III by Chao Yi

The best of poetry comes from the destitute, but my pocket is not yet empty;
I gather, it’s all because I haven’t perfected my skill as a poet.
Having fish to eat or bear’s paw? I admit, I’m greedy for both;
I yearn for skill in poetry, yet how I dread being poor!

translated by Irving Lo

something relevant for a certain world leader from the Book of Songs: No.52

See the rat–at least it’s got a hide,
but a man with no manners,
a man with no manners–
why doesn’t he just die!

See the rat–at least it’s got teeth,
but a man with no decorum,
a man with no decorum–
what’s keeping him! why doesn’t he die?

See the rat–at least it’s got legs,
but a man without courtesy,
a man without courtesy–
why doesn’t he hurry up and die!

translated by Burton Watson