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GOLDEN-THREAD GOWN

by Du Qiuniang (Years unknown, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

I urge you not to cherish that gold-thread gown,

For you shall seize your youthful days,

Gather your blossoms while you may,

Do not lay until only empty branches await.

from Quan Tang Shi (Complete Collection of Tang Poems)

ADVICE TO STUDENTS
by Yan Zhenqing (709 - 785, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Midnight hours with a lamp,

Morning hours, when the rooster calls,

The best times for a boy to strive forward.

If he does not study hard while his hair is still dark,

it will be too late to regret when his hair turns grey.

── from Dushu Sheng: Zhongguo Gudai Dushu Quanxue Shixuan (The Voice of Reading: Selection of Ancient Chinese Poems Advising Study)

SPRING NIGHT
by Su Shi (1036 - 1101, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

A moment of spring night
is worth a thousand gold.

The flowers are sweetly fragranced,
and the moon overcast.

The music from the flute on the balcony plays softly,
the night on the garden swing gets quieter.

── from Dongpo Shiji (Collected Poems of Su Shi)

RANDOM ACCOMPLISHMENT
by Zhu Xi (1130 - 1200, Song Dynasty)
English translation:Miao Guang

For youth, old age comes readily,
yet knowledge is difficult to acquire.

Not having even awakened from a dream
of spring grass beside the pond,

The leaves of the phoenix tree out front
are already shuffling the sounds of autumn.

── from Zhuzi Quanshu (Complete Works of Master Zhu)