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37 The River Song This boat is of shato-wood, and its gunwales are cut magnolia, Musicians with jewelled flutes and with pipes of gold Fill full the sides in rows, and our wine Is rich for a thousand cups. We carry singing girls, drift with the drifting water, Yet Sennin needs A yellow stork for a charger, and all our seamen Would follow the white gulls or ride them. Kutsu’s prose song Hangs with the sun and moon. King So’s terraced palace is now but a barren hill, But I draw pen on this barge Causing the five peaks to tremble, And I have joy in these words like the joy of blue islands. (If glory could last forever Then the waters of Han would flow northward.) And I have moped in the Emperor’s garden, awaiting an order-to-write! I looked at the dragon-pond, with its willow-coloured water Just reflecting the sky’s tinge, And heard the five-score nightingales aimlessly singing. The eastern wind brings the green colour into the island grasses at Yei-shu, The purple house and the crimson are full of Spring softness. South of the pond the willow-tips are half-blue and bluer, Their cords tangle in mist, against the brocade-like palace. Vine-strings a hundred feet long hang down from carved railings, And high over the willows, the fine birds sing to each other, and listen, Crying—“Kwan, Kuan,” for the early wind, and the feel of it. The wind bundles itself into a bluish cloud and wanders off. Over a thousand gates, over a thousand doors are the sounds of spring singing, And the Emperor is at Ko. Five clouds hang aloft, bright on the purple sky, The imperial guards come forth from the golden house with their armour a-gleaming. The emperor in his jewelled car goes out to inspect his flowers, 38 He goes out to Hori, to look at the wing-flapping storks, He returns by way of Sei rock, to hear the new nightingales, For the gardens at Jo-run are full of new nightingales, Their sound is mixed in this flute, Their voice is in the twelve pipes here. By Rihaku. 8th century A.D. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823281398
Related ISBN
9780823281060
MARC Record
OCLC
1076879185
Pages
364
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-06
Language
English
Open Access
No
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