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THE SHORT SONG (PART ONE)
by Cao Cao (155 - 220, Eastern Han Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

I lift my wine and sing a song,
Who knows if life will be long;
Just like the morning dew,
Past joys were no more than few.
Upon overwhelming emotions I beget,
I worry over thoughts I cannot forget,
What can unravel these worries of mine?
There is nothing, but Du Kang’s wine.
Evergreen is that lapel of yours,
So full of yearning is this heart of mine.
But it is only for you,
That my murmurs continue.
Out there a deer bleats,
In the wild, those apples it eats.
To welcome my guests with all my heart,
Play those flutes and strike those harps.
So bright are the moon’s reflections,
When can I add it to my collections?
Suddenly from within sorrow arises,
There is no possibility for its demise.
Crossing footpaths of the countryfields,
Your kind greetings I can truly feel.
Celebrating the reunion after our long parting,
We reminisce over those precious bondings.
Surrounded by few stars, the moon hangs bright,
Flying towards the South were the magpies.
Over the trees and without rest,
Which one will they finally come to nest?
There are no mountains too steep,
Nor no oceans that are too deep.
Lord Zhou paused meals to meet with the elites,
For this, all hearts will come and bow to his feet.

── from Song Shu (Book of Song)


ON PARTING (PART FOUR)
by Yuan Zhen (779 - 831, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

What was once ocean can never be water,
Having been on Mount Wu, no clouds can ever compare.
Disinclined to look back upon the flower bushes,
Half the reason, a Tao practitioner, and the other half, you.

── from Quan Tang Shi (Complete Collection of Tang Poems)