Li Bai Poem

Written for My Two Children in East Lu

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Mulberry leaves in Southern land are green,
The silkworms thrice in sleep must have been.
In Eastern Lu my family stay still.
Who’d help to sow our fields north of Lu Hill?
It’s now too late to do farmwork of spring.
What then am I to do while travelling?
The southern wind is blowing without stop,
My heart flies back to my old familiar wine-shop.
East of the shop there’s a peach tree I’ve missed,
Its branches must be waving in bluish mist.
It is the tree I plant’d three years ago,
If it has grown to reach the roof, I don’t know.
I have not been at home for three long years.
I can imagine my daughter appears
Beside the tree and plucks a flower pink.
Without seeing me, she must have, I think,
Shed copious tears. My younger son has grown
Up to his sister’s shoulders. ‘Neath full-blown
Peach tree they stand side by side. But who’s there
To pat them on the back? I feel, whene’er
I think of this, so painful that I write
And send to them this poem on silk white.

Song of the Clear Stream
On Hearing a Monk from Shu Playing His Lute


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