Three Chinese Poems

Quiet Night Thoughts

I wake, and moonbeams play around my bed,

Glittering like hoar-frost to my wandering eyes;

Up towards the glorious moon I raised my head,

Then lay me down — and thoughts of home arise.

~ Li Bai (701–762 AD)

 

Looking at the Moon and Thinking of One Far Away

The moon, grown full now over the sea,

Brightening the whole of heaven,

Brings to separated hearts

The long thoughtfulness of night….

It is no darker though I blow out my candle.

It is no warmer though I put on my coat.

So I leave my message with the moon

And turn to my bed, hoping for dreams.

~ Zhang Jiuling ( 675-740 AD)

 

A Night-Mooring Near Maple Bridge

While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost;

Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch;

And I hear, from beyond Su-chou, from the temple on Cold Mountain,

Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell.

~ Zhang Ji ( 712-715 to 779 AD)

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