Li Bai Poem

A POEM COMPOSED AT THE IMPERIAL COMMAND IN THE SPRING GARDEN

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⁓WHILE LOOKING ON THE NEWLY GREEN WIL- LOWS BY THE DRAGON POND AND LIS- TENING TO THE HUNDRED-FOLDNOTES OF THE FIRST NIGHTINGALES⁓

The east wind blowing, the grass of Ying-chow is green;
The spring-sweetness is about the purple palaces and crimson towers.
The willows on the south of the pond have turned half-green,
They grow like delicate wreaths of mist
By the resplendent castle,
Their thread-like branches, one hundred feet long,
Dangling about the carved and painted pillars.
While high above the sweet birds sing melodiously together—
They sing with hearts stirred early by the spring wind,
Which rolls itself in the blue clouds and dies.

The voice of spring is heard all over—
By a thousand gateways and by ten thousand doorways.
At Hao-king, where my lord, the emperor, tarries,
Five colored clouds are brightening
Against the lucid purple of the sky.
The imperial cortege comes forth, agleam in the sun.
Coming forth from the golden palace,
The imperial car bedecked with jewels
Glides along the path of flowers,
First turning to the Peng-lai Garden,
Where cranes are seen gracefully dancing,
Then, returning to the garden of Yi-shih,
Where the first songs of nightingales are heard—
They sing high among the trees,
Desiring to mingle their notes with the mouth-organs,
And join the imperial concert of the phoenix-flutes.

To His Friend Departing for Shuh
Lady Yang Kuei-Fei at the Imperialfeast of the Peony—III

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