Li He

Long Songs After Short Songs - Poem by Li He

Long songs have split the collar of my robe,
Short songs have cropped my whitening hair.
The king of Ch'in is nowhere to be seen,
So dawn and dusk fever burns in me.
I drink wine from a pitcher when I'm thirsty,
Cut millet from the dike-top when I'm hungry.
Chill and forlorn, I see May pass me by,
And suddenly a thousand leagues grow green.

Endless, the mountain peaks at night,
The bright moon seems to fall among the crags.
As I wander about, searching along the rocks,
Its light shines out beyond those towering peaks.
Because I cannot roam round with the moon,
My hair's grown white before I end my song.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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