Tears for Tao Qian in pool by his grave near Lushan
Visiting Mr. T'ao's Old Home
Bai Juyi 722-846
I have long admired T'ao Yuan-ming as a person,
and some time ago,when I was living in retirement
on the Wei River, I wrote sixteen poems in
imitation of T'ao's poetic style. Now, travelling
in the region of Mount Lu, I've passed Mount
Chaisang and visited Chestnut Village.
Thinking of him and paying a visit to his old home,
I find myself unable to remain silent, so I've
written this poem as well.
No dirt or grime can sully the precious gem;
the sacred phoenix never pecks at rancid meat.
Ah, T'ao, Calm and Measured,
living when Chin gave way to Sung--
truly your heart remained loyal,
though your mouth could never speak the words.
Always you recalled those sons of Ku-chu,
flapping their robes as they left for Mount Shou-yang.
But Po-yi and Shu-ch'i had only themselves to think of,
want, starvation not so hard for them.
You, Master, have five sons
who must share your hunger and cold,
never enough food to fill the belly,
never a body properly clothed.
Yet, repeatedly called to office, you never responded--
this may be called true worth!
I was born long after you--
five hundred years divide us--
but each time I read your "Five Willows" account
my eyes envision, my heart reaches out to you.
In the past, trying to copy your style,
I fashioned sixteen poems;
now I've come to visit your old house
and you seem to stand solemn before me!
Not that I envy your cask of wine,
not that I envy your stringless ch'in--
I envy the way you spurned fame and profit
to grow old an die among these knolls and fields.
Chai-sang, and old hamlet,
Chestnut Village, hills and streams of past times--
I spy no chrysanthemums by the hedge,
only smoke still rising from these settlements.
And though I hear nothing of direct descendants,
your clansmen have yet to move elsewhere.
Whenever I meet someone with the surname T'ao,
a longing seems to fill my heart!
Fǎng Táogōng Jiù Zhái
Bái Jūyì 722-846
Yǔ sù mù Táo Yuānmíng wéirén, wǎngsuì Wèi shàng xián jū,
cháng yǒu "Xiào Táotǐ Shī" shíliù shǒu. Jīn yóu Lúshān,
jīng Cháisāng, guò Lìlǐ, sī qírén, fǎng qí zhái, bù néng
mòmò, yòu tí cǐ shī yún.
Gòu chén bù wù yù,
Líng fèng bù zhuō shān.
Wūhū Táo jìngjié,
Shēng bǐ Jìn Sòng jiān.
Xīn shí yǒu suǒ shǒu,
Kǒu zhōng bù néng yán.
Yǒng wéi Gūzhú zǐ,
Fú yī Shǒuyáng Shān.
Yí Qí gè yìshēn,
Qióng è wèi wéinán.
Xiānsheng yǒu wǔ nán,
Yú zhī tóng jī hán.
Cháng zhōng shí bù chōng,
Shēn shàng yī bù wán.
Lián zhēng jìng bù qǐ,
Sī kě wèi zhēn xián.
Wǒ shēng jūn zhīhòu,
Xiāng qù wǔbǎi nián.
Méi dú Wǔliǔ Zhuàn,
Mù xiǎng xīn quánquán.
Xī cháng yǒng yí fēng,
Zhù wéi shíliù piān.
Jīn lái fǎng gù zhái,
Sēn ruò jūn zài qián.
Bú mù zūn yǒu jiǔ,
Bú mù qín wú xián.
Mù jūn yí rónglì,
Lǎo sǐ cǐ qiūyuán.
Cháisāng gǔ cūnluò,
Lìlǐ jiù shānchuān.
Bú jiàn lí xià jú,
Dàn yú xū zhōng yān.
Zǐsūn suī wúwén,
Zúshì yóu wèi qiān.
Méi féng Táo xìng rén,
Shí wǒ xīn yírán.
From Burton Watson's book of translations of Bai Juyi poems; Po Chu-I Selected Poems, Columbia University Press