Chu Yuan

(China)

The Land Of Exile - Poem by Chu Yuan

Methinks there's a genius
Roams in the mountains,
Girdled with ivy
And robed in wisteria,
Lips ever smiling,
Of noble demeanour,
Driving the yellow pard,
Tiger-attended,
Couched in a chariot
With banners of cassia,
Cloaked with the orchid,
And crowned with azaleas;
Culling the perfume
Of sweet flowers, he leaves
In the heart a dream-blossom,
Memory haunting.
But dark is the forest
Where now is my dwelling,
Never the light of day
Reaches its shadow.
Thither a perilous
Pathway meanders.
Lonely I stand
On the lonelier hill-top,
Cloudland beneath me
And cloudland around me.
Softly the wind bloweth,
Softly the rain falls,
Joy like a mist blots
The thoughts of my home out;
There none would honour me,
Fallen from honours.
I gather the larkspur
Over the hillside,
Blown mid the chaos
Of boulder and bellbine;
Hating the tyrant
Who made me an outcast,
Who of his leisure
Now spares me no moment:
Drinking the mountain spring,
Shading at noon-day
Under the cypress
My limbs from the sun glare.
What though he summon me
Back to his palace,
I cannot fall
To the level of princes.
Now rolls the thunder deep,
Down the cloud valley,
And the gibbons around me
Howl in the long night.
The gale through the moaning trees
Fitfully rushes.
Lonely and sleepless
I think of my thankless
Master, and vainly would
Cradle my sorrow.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010



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