the lust of blood awakened, Lu Bu urged the slaughter of Li Ru, who had been the confidant of the murdered Prime Minister, and Li Su volunteered to go in search of him. But just then a shouting was heard at the gates, and it was told them that a household servant had brought Li Ru in bonds. Wang Yun ordered his immediate execution in the market place. Dong Zhuo’s head was exposed in a crowded thoroughfare. He was very fat, and the guards made torches by sticking splints into the body, spilling the corpse’s GREase over the ground. The passers-by pelted the head andRead More →

You stand, a dainty maiden, Your cherry lips so bright, Your teeth so pearly white, Your fragrant breath love-laden;Yet is your tongue a sword;Cold death is the reward Of loving thee, O maiden. [yip, yip, yip]   Dong Zhuo was delighted and praised her warmly. She was told to present a goblet of wine to the guest which he took from her hands and then asked her age.   She replied, “Thy unworthy handmaid is twenty-one.”   “A perfect little fairy!” said Dong Zhuo.   then Wang Yun rose and said, “If the Prime Minister would not mind, I should like to offer him this little maid.”   “How couldRead More →

“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy know he is but a bowman?” said Cao Cao. “If I fail, then can you take my head,” spoke Guan Yu. Cao Cao bade them heat some wine and offered a cup to Guan Yu as he went out. “Pour it out,” said Guan Yu. “I shall return in a little space.”   Guan Yu went with his weapon in his hand and vaulted into the saddle. Those in the tent heard the fierce roll of the drums and then a mighty sound as if skies were falling and earth rising, hills trembling and mountainsRead More →

Wang Wei A MESSAGE FROM MY LODGE AT WANGCHUAN TO PEI DI The mountains are cold and blue now And the autumn waters have run all day. By my thatch door, leaning on my staff, I listen to cicadas in the evening wind. Sunset lingers at the ferry, Supper-smoke floats up from the houses. …Oh, when shall I pledge the great Hermit again And sing a wild poem at Five Willows? Wang Wei AN AUTUMN EVENING IN THE MOUNTAINS After rain the empty mountain Stands autumnal in the evening, Moonlight in its groves of pine, Stones of crystal in its brooks. Bamboos whisper of washer-girlsRead More →

  Li Qi A LUTE SONG Our host, providing abundant wine to make the night mellow, Asks his guest from Yangzhou to play for us on the lute. Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying, Frost is on ten thousand trees, and the wind blows through our clothes; But a copper stove has added its light to that of flowery candles, And the lute plays The Green Water, and then The Queen of Chu. Once it has begun to play, there is no other sound: A spell is on the banquet, while the stars grow thin…. But three hundred miles fromRead More →

Dare ford the river boundary.   Li Shangyin THE LEYOU TOMBS With twilight shadows in my heart I have driven up among the Leyou Tombs To see the sun, for all his glory, Buried by the coming night. Jia Dao A NOTE LEFT FOR AN ABSENT ECLUSE When I questioned your pupil, under a pine-tree, My teacher, he answered, ” went for herbs, But toward which corner of the mountain, How can I tell, through all these clouds ?” Li Pin CROSSING THE HAN RIVER Away from home, I was longing for news Winter after winter, spring after spring. Now, nearing my village, meeting people,Read More →

Yet how it serves to ease my heart!   Li Shangyin 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? It is quiet and quiet where your gold lamp dies, How far can a pomegranate-blossom whisper? …I will tether my horse to a river willow And wait for the will of the southwest wind. Li Shangyin TO ONE UNNAMED V There are many curtains in your care-free house, Where rapture lasts the whole night long.Read More →

After the shower at Bashang   Wen Tingyun TO A FRIEND BOUND EAST The old fort brims with yellow leaves…. You insist upon forsaking this place where you have lived. A high wind blows at Hanyang Ferry And sunrise lights the summit of Yingmen…. Who will be left for me along the upper Yangzi After your solitary skiff has entered the end of the sky? I ask you over and over when we shall meet again, While we soften with winecups this ache of farewell. Ma Dai AN AUTUMN COTTAGE AT BASHANG After the shower at Bashang, I see an evening line of wildgeese, TheRead More →