Li Bai Poem

To the Honorable Justice Hsin

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Once we dwelt in the city of Chang-an
In wild ecstasy of flowers and willow-green.
We drank our wine from the same bowls
With five princes and seven dukes.
Our hearts rose and grew blither,
Unflinching in the presence of a warrior lord;
Nor did we fall behind any one, when,
Delighting in wind and stream, we sought beauty.

You had red cheeks, then; and I was young, too.
We sped our horses to Chang-tai’s pleasure mart,
And lightly carried our crops of gold;
Offered our essays in the court examination;
And sat feasting at a tortoise table;
And there was endless singing and dancing; . . .
We thought it would last forever, you and I—
How were we to know that the grass would tremble
And the wind and dust come, roaring down?

Down through the Han-ku Pass
The Tartar horsemen came.
I am an exile now, traveling heavy-hearted,
Far away to the land of Yeh-lang.
The peach and plum trees by the palace
Are opening their petals toward the light—
Ah, when will the Gold Cock bring me pardon,
And I may return to you from banishment?

On Hearing the Flute in Theyellow Crane House
On His White Hair


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