Taking A Trail Up From Deva-king Monastery To The Guesthouse Where My Friend Wang Chung-hsin And I Wrote Our Names On A Wall Fifty Years Ago, I Find The Names Still There by Lu Yu

Meandering these greens, azure all around, you plumb antiquity.
East of the wall, above the river, stands this ancient monastery,

its thatched halls we visited so long ago. You a mountain sage,
I here from Wei River northlands: we sipped wine, wrote poems.

Painted paddle still, I drift awhile free. Then soon, I’m nearing
home, azure walking-stick in hand, my recluse search ending.

Old friends dead and gone, their houses in ruins, I walk through
thick bamboo, deep cloud, each step a further step into confusion.

translated by David Hinton

On the Wall-Tower above K’uei-chou at Night, Thinking of Tu Fu by Lu Yu

Done advising emperors, hair white–no one cared about
old Tu Fu, his life scattered away across rivers of the west,

chanting poems. He stood on this tower once, and now he’s
gone. Waves churn the same isolate moon. Inexhaustible

through all antiquity, this world’s great dramas just rise
and sink away. Simpleton and sage alike return in due time.

All these ice-cold thoughts, who’ll I share them with now?
In depths of night, gulls and egrets lift off sand into flight.

translated by David Hinton

Looking at a Map of Ch’ang-an by Lu Yu

My hair’s turning gray, but this devotion to our country remains.
South of the peaks, I’ve been gazing north into southern mountains

all year. To mount a horse, spear athwart: that’s where my heart is,
laughing at those chicken-shits digging moats around our capital. . .

Sun sinks away. Smoke comes windblown over ridges. It’s autumn,
and the sound of watchmen banging cookpots fills tumbling clouds.

Ravaged fathers in Ch’ang-an country go on grieving and looking
looking for the emperor’s armies coming back through the passes.

translated by David Hinton

Rain On The River by Lu Yu

In the fog we drift hither
And yon over the dark waters.
At last our little boat finds
Shelter under a willow bank.
At midnight I am awake,
Heavy with wine. The smoky
Lamp is still burning. The rain
Is still sighing in the bamboo
Thatch of the cabin of the boat.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Sailing On The Lake To The Ching River by Lu Yu

It is Spring on the lake and
I run six or seven miles.
Sunset, I notice a few
Houses. Children are driving
Home the ducks and geese. Young girls
Are coming home carrying
Mulberry leaves and hemp. Here
In this hidden village the
Old ways still go on. The crops
Are good. Everybody is
Laughing. This old man fastens
His boat and climbs up the bank.
Tipsy, he holds fast to the vines.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth