the distances between
and arms too old
to flap away
how oh how
those distances between
Astride a mount pawing misty sedge grass,
How can one be resentful of the vernal spring
Where butterfly wings dust the flowers at dawn
And the backs of crows glisten everywhere in the setting sun;
Where lush willows compete with the fragrant sash,
And melancholy hills tighten kingfisher eyebrows.
The feeling of separation, what is there to say
But that the heart is an endless river of stars.
translated by William R. Schultz
It’s a long way home, a long way east.
I am old and my sleeve is wet with tears.
We meet on horseback. I have no means of writing.
Tell them three words: “He is safe.”
translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu