Poems by Tu Mu (also known as Du Mu A.D. 803 - 852)
A NIGHT AT A TAVERN
Solitary at the tavern,
I am shut in with loneliness and grief.
Under the cold lamp, I brood on the past;
I am kept awake by a lost wildgoose.
...Roused at dawn from a misty dream,
I read, a year late, news from home --
And I remember the moon like smoke on the river
And a fisher-boat moored there, under my door.
I CLIMB TO THE LEYOU TOMBS
BEFORE LEAVING FOR WUXING
Even in this good reign, how can I serve?
The lone cloud rather, the Buddhist peace....
Once more, before crossing river and sea,
I face the great Emperor's mountain-tomb.
BY THE PURPLE CLIFF
On a part of a spear still unrusted in the sand
I have burnished the symbol of an ancient kingdom....
Except for a wind aiding General Zhou Yu,
Spring would have sealed both Qiao girls in CopperBird Palace.
A MOORING ON THE QIN HUAI RIVER
Mist veils the cold stream, and moonlight the sand,
As I moor in the shadow of a river-tavern,
Where girls, with no thought of a perished kingdom,
Gaily echo A Song of Courtyard Flowers.
A MESSAGE TO HAN CHO THE YANGZHOU MAGISTRATE
There are faint green mountains and far green waters,
And grasses in this river region not yet faded by autumn;
And clear in the moon on the Twenty-Four Bridges,
Girls white as jade are teaching flute-music.
With my wine-bottle, watching by river and lake
For a lady so tiny as to dance on my palm,
I awake, after dreaming ten years in Yangzhou,
Known as fickle, even in the Street of Blue Houses.
IN THE AUTUMN NIGHT
Her candle-light is silvery on her chill bright screen.
Her little silk fan is for fireflies....
She lies watching her staircase cold in the moon,
And two stars parted by the River of Heaven.
She is slim and supple and not yet fourteen,
The young spring-tip of a cardamon-spray.
On the Yangzhou Road for three miles in the breeze
Every pearl-screen is open. But there's no one like her.
How can a deep love seem deep love,
How can it smile, at a farewell feast?
Even the candle, feeling our sadness,
Weeps, as we do, all night long.
THE GARDEN OF THE GOLDEN VALLEY
Stories of passion make sweet dust,
Calm water, grasses unconcerned.
At sunset, when birds cry in the wind,
Petals are falling like a girl s robe long ago.