Li He

The King Of Ch'In Drinks Wine - Poem by Li He

Straddling a tiger, the King of Ch'in
Roams the Eight Poles,
His glittering sword lights up the sky,
Heaven turns sapphire.

Hsi and Ho whip up the sun
With the sound of glass,
The ashes of kalpas have flown away,
Past and present at peace.

From a dragon's head spouts wine
Inviting the Wine-Stars,
All night the gold-groove zithers
Twang and sing.
The feet of rain on Dong-ting lake
Come blown on the pipes.
Flushed with wine, he shouts at the moon
It runs back in its course.
Beneath dense drifts of silver clouds
The jasper hall glows.

The Keepers of the Palace Gate
Cry out the first watch.
In the ornate tower, a jade phoenix sings,
Faltering and sweet.
From ocean-pongee, patterned in crimson,
A faint, cool scent.
The yellow beauties reel in their dance.
A thousand years with each cup!

As fairy candlesticks waft on high
A light, waxy smoke,
Eyes rapt with wine, those Emerald Lutes
Shed seas of tears.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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