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Li Shangyin Poems
Boundless the leaves roused by spring, Countless the twigs which tremble in the dawn. Whether the willow can love or not, Never a time when it does not dance.
To One Unnamed
The stars of last night and the wind of last night Are west of the Painted Chamber and east of Cinnamon Hall. ...Though I have for my body no wings like those of the bright- coloured phoenix,
Pure of heart and therefore hungry, All night long you have sung in vain Oh, this final broken indrawn breath Among the green indifferent trees!
To One Unnamed II
A misty rain comes blowing with a wind from the east, And wheels faintly thunder beyond Hibiscus Pool. ...Round the golden-toad lock, incense is creeping; The jade tiger tells, on its cord, of water being drawn
To One Unnamed III
Time was long before I met her, but is longer since we parted, And the east wind has arisen and a hundred flowers are gone, And the silk-worms of spring will weave until they die And every night the candles will weep their wicks away.
Wind and Rain
I ponder on the poem of The Precious Dagger. My road has wound through many years. ...Now yellow leaves are shaken with a gale; Yet piping and fiddling keep the Blue Houses merry.
There Is Only One
There is only one Carved-Cloud, exquisite always- Yet she dreads the spring, blowing cold in the palace, When her husband, a Knight of the Golden Tortoise, Will leave her sweet bed, to be early at court.
Note on a Rainy Night to a Friend in the...
You ask me when I am coming. I do not know. I dream of your mountains and autumn pools brimming all night with the rain. Oh, when shall we be trimming wicks again, together in your western window? When shall I be hearing your voice again, all night in the rain?
Gone is the guest from the Chamber of Rank, And petals, confused in my little garden, Zigzagging down my crooked path, Escort like dancers the setting sun.
The Inlaid Harp
I wonder why my inlaid harp has fifty strings, Each with its flower-like fret an interval of youth. ...The sage Chuangzi is day-dreaming, bewitched by butterflies, The spring-heart of Emperor Wang is crying in a cuckoo,
To One Unnamed IV
A faint phoenix-tail gauze, fragrant and doubled, Lines your green canopy, closed for the night.... Will your shy face peer round a moon-shaped fan, And your voice be heard hushing the rattle of my carriage?
I am lying in a white-lined coat while the spring approaches, But am thinking only of the White Gate City where I cannot be. ...There are two red chambers fronting the cold, hidden by the rain, And a lantern on a pearl screen swaying my lone heart homeward.
The candle casts deep shadows on the screen, The Milky Way dims and morning stars fade. Chang-O must regret stealing the elixir, As she broods in loneliness night after night.
To One Unnamed I
You said you would come, but you did not, and you left me with no other trace Than the moonlight on your tower at the fifth-watch bell. I cry for you forever gone, I cannot waken yet, I try to read your hurried note, I find the ink too pale.
Comments about Li Shangyin
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Boundless the leaves roused by spring,
Countless the twigs which tremble in the dawn.
Whether the willow can love or not,
Never a time when it does not dance.
Blown fluff hides white butterflies,
Drooping bands disclose the yellow oriole.
The beauty which shakes a kingdom must reach through all the body:
Who comes only to view the willow's eyebrows?