Li Bai Poem

The Cataract of Luh Shan-I

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Westward I ascend the Peak of Incense Burner;
Southward I see the mighty waterfall.
It plunges three hundred chang down the mountain,
And froths for miles in the rapids below.
As wind-driven snow speed the waters,
Like a white rainbow spanning the dark.
I wonder if Heaven’s River had fallen from above
To course through the mid-sky of clouds.
Long I lift my gaze—Oh, prodigious force!
How majestic the creation of gods!
Unwavering before the ocean winds that blow,
Glaring at the faint moon from over the river,
              Profusely it sprays the sky
    And drenches the green mountain walls.
The swift torrents boil over giant rocks;
The flying water scatters a mist of ethereal gems.

O mountains of renown that I adore,
You fill my heart with deep repose.
No longer need I take the potion of precious stones,
You can wash away the earth stains from my face.
Let me be with the things I love,
And leave the world of man forever.

The Cataract of Luh Shan-II
To His Friend at Chiang-Hsia


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