Seven Thousand Miles Away by Su Tung-p’o

Seven thousand miles away, a gray-haired man;
eighteen rapids, one little boat:
hills recall Hsi-huan–thoughts roam far away;
“fearful” they call this place–it makes me want to cry.
A long wind follows us, bellying the sail;
rain-fed current bears the boat through rippled shallows.
With my experience, they ought to make me official boatman–
I know more of rivers than merely where the ferries cross.

translated by Burton Watson

On the road to Ch’ang-an by Liu Yung

On the road to Ch’ang-an my horse goes slowly.
In the tall willows a confusion of cicada cries.
Slanting sun beyond the isles,
and winds of autumn on the plain. Only
where the heavens hang,
the view cut off.

The clouds go back, but
gone, they leave no track.
Where is the past?
Unused to indulgence, a little
wine’s no consolation.
It’s not
as it was
when I was young.

translated by J.P. Seaton