Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gathering Literary Men in My Official Residence On a Rainy Day

Outside are banners, displayed in state; Inside floats incense, quietly our own.
Wind and showers, come in from the sea, Cooling pavilion, above the famed lake,
and drive away, the feverish heat. From where guests gather, eminent they all,
Although I am shamed, at my high position, while the people lead, their unhappy lives,
let us banish care, with good intentions, being only friends, enjoying this nature.
We have dissatisfy, without fish or meant, there is here plenty, of vegetables and fruit.
We bow and then take, take our cups of wine, our focus is on the poems.
The mind exalts, the body light, feels to float upon the wind.
Suzhou is the center of letters, from which it wins its fame.
Does it not show that the great land, is of better things than wealth?

After Wei Yingwu

The original is, of course, far better in fact than what I can write in my dreams:

兵衛森畫戟, 宴寢凝清香。
海上風雨至, 逍遙池閣涼。
煩痾近消散, 嘉賓復滿堂。
自慚居處崇, 未睹斯民康。
理會是非遣, 性達形跡忘。
鮮肥屬時禁, 蔬果幸見嘗。
俯飲一杯酒, 仰聆金玉章。
神歡體自輕, 意欲淩風翔。
吳中盛文史, 群彥今汪洋。
方知大蕃地, 豈曰財賦強?

It is part of the famed collection of 300 Tang Poems. About which a friend inquired to me recently.

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