Sunrise over Zhennanguan
Crossing The Pass
Phung Khac Khoan 1528-1623
Where North and South meet,
speak and go their separate ways,
We cross Holding Pass
in our oxcarts and light carriages.
As I chant verse,
the wind and clouds gladly gain in strength,
As we cross the pass,
the trees and plants happily look upon us.
My loyalty penetrates the skies
to the sun above,
While propriety will carry me
over myriad peaks.
I long for the day
when I will return to this kingdom,
The new blossoms and fresh buds
varied in color.
Píng Liàngkuān 1528-1613
Běi nán huì le gè yán hái,
Niú jià qīng yáo guò Zhènguān.
Yín chù fēng yún xīn délì,
Jīng chén cǎomù xǐ kāiyán.
Zhōngxīn shàng guàn jiǔxiāo rí,
Yìqi gāo líng wàn dié shān.
Guīguó yǒu huái qī shìrì,
Xīn hóng zǐsè bānbān.
This poem was composed as the Vietnamese envoy Phung Khac Khoan was crossing over the South Holding Pass into China on his way to the Chinese court in Peking.
From Liam Kelley's fascinating study of Vietnamese envoy poetry, Beyond the Bronze Pillars, Envoy Poetry And The Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, University of Hawaii Press, 2005