Li He

Li Ping At The Vertical Harp - Poem by Li He

Silk from Wu, paulownia from Shu,
Strummed in high autumn,
In the white sky the frozen clouds
Falling, not floating.
Ladies of the River weeping among bamboos,
The White Girl mournful
As Li Ping plays his harp
In the centre of the Kingdom.

Jade from Mount Kun is shattered,
Phoenixes shriek,
Lotuses are weeping dew,
Fragrant orchids smile.

Before the twelve gates of the city
The cold light melts,
The twenty-three strings can move
The Purple Emperor

Where Nü Gua smelted stones
To weld the sky,
Stones split asunder, sky startles,
Autumn rains gush forth.
He goes in dreams to the Spirit Mountain
To teach the Weird Crone,
Old fishes leap above the waves,
Gaunt dragons dance.

Wu Ch'i, unsleeping still,
Leans on his cassia tree,
As wing-foot dew aslant
Drenches the shivering hare.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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