Dong Zhuo could not reply for Lu Bu,
eager for the fight, rode straight at him.
Dong Zhuo fled and Ding Yuan’s army came on.
The battle went in Ding Yuan’s favor,
and the beaten troops retired ten miles and made another camp.
Here Dong Zhuo called his officers to a council.
“This Lu Bu is a marvel,” said Dong Zhuo.
“If he were only on my side, I would defy the whole world！”
At this a man advanced saying, “Be content, O my lord！
I am a fellow villager of his and know him well：
He is valorous, but not crafty； he will let go principles,
when he sees advantages. With this little,
blarneying tongue of mine, I can persuade him to put up his hands and come over to your side.”
Dong Zhuo was delighted and gazed admiringly at the speaker.
It was Li Su, a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.
“What arguments will you use with him？” asked Dong Zhuo.
“You have a fine horse, Red Hare, one of the best ever bred.
I must have this steed, and gold and pearls to win his heart.
Then will I go and persuade him.
He will certainly abandon Ding Yuan’s service for yours.”
“What think you？” said Dong Zhuo to his adviser Li Ru.
“One cannot grudge a horse to win an empire,” was the reply.
So they gave Li Su what he demanded——a thousand ounces of gold,
ten strings of beautiful pearls, a jeweled belt,
and Red Hare——and these accompanied Li Su on his visit to his fellow villager.
Li Su reached the camp and said to the guard,
“Please tell General Lu Bu that a very old friend has come to visit him.”
He was admitted forthwith.
Dong Zhuo angrily drew his sword to slay
the bold Lu Zhi, but two other officials remonstrated.
“Minister Lu Zhi is the cynosure of the whole country,
the bold Lu Zhi, but two other officials remonstrated.
“Minister Lu Zhi is the cynosure of the whole country,
and his violent death would stir the hearts of all people！”
said Court Counselors Cai Yong and Peng Bo.
Dong Zhuo then stayed his hand.
then said Wang Yun, “A GREat question like the
deposition and substitution of emperors is not
one to be decided after a wine party.
Let it be put off till another time.”
So the guests dispersed. Dong Zhuo stood at the gate
with drawn sword watching them depart. Standing thus,
Dong Zhuo noticed a spearman galloping to and fro on
a fiery steed and asked Li Ru who that was.
“That is Lu Bu, the adopted son of Ding Yuan.
You must keep out of his way, my lord.”
Dong Zhuo went inside the gate so that he
could not be seen. But next day they reported
to him that Ding Yuan had come out of the city
with a small army and was challenging to a battle.
Dong Zhuo, with his army, went forth to accept
the challenge. And the two armies were drawn up in proper array.
Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in the forefront.
His hair was arranged under a handsome headdress
of gold, and he had donned a embroidered
thousand-flower fighting robe, a pheasant-tailed helmet,
and breast plate, and round his waist was a gleaming jade
belt with a lion’s head clasp.
With spear set he rode close behind his master Ding Yuan.
Ding Yuan, riding forth, pointing his finger at Dong Zhuo,
began to revile him.
“Unhappy indeed was this state when the eunuchs
“But this is the banquet chamber,
and state affairs should be left outside.
The matters can be fully discussed tomorrow.”
His fellow guests persuaded Ding Yuan to leave,
and after his departure Dong Zhuo said,
“Is what I said just and reasonable？”
[e] Yi Yin was was helper and prime minister of King Tang,
the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin
served his sons and grandson. Soon after Tai Jia,
King Tang’s grandson, ascended the throne, he committed many faults,
and Yi Yin, acting as regent, exiled Tai Jia to Tong Palace——the burial place of King
Tang. After three years Yi Yin returned him the throne.
Tai Jia eventually became an enlightened emperor.
Shang Dynasty lasted for 650 years （BC 1700-1050）。
It was this act of Yi Yin rather than his services
in building up an empire that has made him immortal.
Whether he did right in temporarily dethroning
the king was open to question, until a final verdict was rendered
by Mencius who thought that his ends amply justified his means.
This historical event attests the extent of the
power exercised by a prime minister in those days. ……
[e] Huo Guang （BC ？-68） a general and regent of Han.
After Emperor Wu died, Huo Guang became regent to
three successive emperors, and the second one had been
the Prince of Changyi, who was on the throne for only
twenty-seven days. Huo Guang had the Prince of Changyi
declared unfit to rule and deposed him. Even though Huo Guang
contributed much to the empire’s stabilization,
after he died, he was distanced by the
emperor and most of his family
were executed for conspiracy charges. ……
“You are mistaken, Illustrious Sir,” said Lu Zhi.
“Of old Emperor Tai Jia of the Shang Dynasty was
unenlightened. Wherefore the sage Minister Yi Yin*
immured him in the Tong Palace till he reformed.
Later the Prince of Changyi ascended the throne,
and in twenty-seven days he committed more than
three thousand categorical faults. Wherefore Regent
Marshal Huo Guang* declared in the ancestral temple
that the Prince of Changyi was deposed. Our present
Emperor is young, but he is intelligent, benevolent,
and wise. He has not committed a single fault. You, Sir,
are an imperial protector of a frontier region and not a
metropolitan official and have had no experience in state
administration. Neither have you the
So spoke Li Ru, and the words pleased Dong Zhuo mightily.
So the next day Dong Zhuo spread a feast and invited many
guests. As all the officers went in terror of him, no one
dared be absent. Dong Zhuo himself rode up to the garden
last of all and took his place with his sword girded on.
When the wine had gone round several times,
Dong Zhuo stopped the service and the music and began to speak.
“I have something to say. Listen quietly all of you！”
All turned towards him.
“the emperor is lord of all.
If he lacks dignity and behaves in an
unseemly manner, he is no fitting inheritor
of the ancestral prerogatives. He who is now on
the throne is a weakling, inferior to the Prince of Chenliu in
intelligence and love of learning. The Prince is in every way
fitted for the throne. I desire to depose the
Emperor and set up the Prince in his place. What think you？”
the assembly listened in perfect silence,
none daring at first to utter a word of dissent.
But one dared； for suddenly a guest stood up
in his place, smote the table and cried.
“No！ No！ Who are you that you dare utter such bold words？
the Emperor is son of the late Emperor and has done no wrong.
Why then should he be deposed？ Are you a rebel？”
the speaker was Ding Yuan, Imperial Protector of Bingzhou.
Dong Zhuo glared at Ding Yuan, roaring,
“there is life for those who are with me,
death for those against！”
Dong Zhuo drew his sword and made for the
objector. But the watchful Li Ru had noticed
Dong Zhuo hastily dismounted and made
obeisance on the left of the road.
Then Prince Xian spoke graciously to him.
From first to last the Prince had carried himself most
perfectly so that Dong Zhuo in his heart admired his
behavior, and then arose the first desire to
set aside the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu.
they reached the Palace the same day,
and there was an affecting interview with Empress He.
But when they had restored order in the Palace,
the Imperial Hereditary Seal, the special seal of the Emperor, was missing.
Dong Zhuo camped without the walls,
but every day he was to be seen in the streets
with an escort of mailed soldiers so
that the common people were in a state of
constant trepidation. He also went in and out
of the Palace careless of all the rules of propriety.
Commander of the Rear Army Bao Xin spoke of
Dong Zhuo’s behavior to Yuan Shao, saying,
“This man harbors some evil design and should be removed.”
“Nothing can he done till the government is more settled,”
said Yuan Shao.
then Bao Xin saw Minister of the Interior
Wang Yun and asked what he thought.
“Let us talk it over,” was the reply.
Bao Xin said no more but he left the capital and retired to the Taishan Mountains.
Dong Zhuo induced the soldiers of the two brothers He Jin and
He Miao to join his command, and privately spoke to his adviser Li Ru about deposing the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu.
“the government is really without a head.
PARTING AT A WINE-SHOP IN NANJING
A wind, bringing willow-cotton, sweetens the shop,
And a girl from Wu, pouring wine, urges me to share it
With my comrades of the city who are here to see me off;
And as each of them drains his cup, I say to him in parting,
Oh, go and ask this river running to the east
If it can travel farther than a friend’s love!
A FAREWELL TO SECRETARY SHUYUN
AT THE XIETIAO VILLA IN XUANZHOU
Since yesterday had to throw me and bolt,
Today has hurt my heart even more.
The autumn wildgeese have a long wind for escort
As I face them from this villa, drinking my wine.
The bones of great writers are your brushes, in the School of Heaven,
And I am a Lesser Xie growing up by your side.
We both are exalted to distant thought,
Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.
But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,
And sorrows return, though we drown them with wine,
Since the world can in no way answer our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishingboat.
A SONG OF RUNNING-HORSE RIVER IN FAREWELL
TO GENERAL FENG OF THE WESTERN EXPEDITION
Look how swift to the snowy sea races Running-Horse River! —
And sand, up from the desert, flies yellow into heaven.
This Ninth-month night is blowing cold at Wheel Tower,
And valleys, like peck measures, fill with the broken boulders
That downward, headlong, follow the wind.
…In spite of grey grasses, Tartar horses are plump;
West of the Hill of Gold, smoke and dust gather.
O General of the Chinese troops, start your campaign!
Keep your iron armour on all night long,
Send your soldiers forward with a clattering of weapons!
…While the sharp wind’s point cuts the face like a knife,
And snowy sweat steams on the horses’ backs,
Freezing a pattern of five-flower coins,
TIANMU MOUNTAIN ASCENDED IN A DREAM
A seafaring visitor will talk about Japan,
Which waters and mists conceal beyond approach;
But Yueh people talk about Heavenly Mother Mountain,
Still seen through its varying deeps of cloud.
In a straight line to heaven, its summit enters heaven,
Tops the five Holy Peaks, and casts a shadow through China
With the hundred-mile length of the Heavenly Terrace Range,
Which, just at this point, begins turning southeast.
…My heart and my dreams are in Wu and Yueh
And they cross Mirror Lake all night in the moon.
And the moon lights my shadow
And me to Yan River —
With the hermitage of Xie still there
And the monkeys calling clearly over ripples of green water.
I wear his pegged boots
Up a ladder of blue cloud,
Sunny ocean half-way,
Holy cock-crow in space,
Myriad peaks and more valleys and nowhere a road.
Flowers lure me, rocks ease me. Day suddenly ends.
Bears, dragons, tempestuous on mountain and river,
Startle the forest and make the heights tremble.
Clouds darken with darkness of rain,
Streams pale with pallor of mist.
The Gods of Thunder and Lightning
Shatter the whole range.
The stone gate breaks asunder
Venting in the pit of heaven,
An impenetrable shadow.
…But now the sun and moon illumine a gold and silver terrace,
And, clad in rainbow garments, riding on the wind,
Come the queens of all the clouds, descending one by one,
With tigers for their lute-players and phoenixes for dancers.
Row upon row, like fields of hemp, range thefairy figures.
I move, my soul goes flying,
I wake with a long sigh,
My pillow and my matting
Are the lost clouds I was in.
…And this is the way it always is with human joy:
Ten thousand things run for ever like water toward the east.
And so I take my leave of you, not knowing for how long.
ON HEARING AN WANSHAN PLAY THE REED-PIPE
Bamboo from the southern hills was used to make this pipe.
And its music, that was introduced from Persia first of all,
Has taken on new magic through later use in China.
And now the Tartar from Liangzhou, blowing it for me,
Drawing a sigh from whosoever hears it,
Is bringing to a wanderer’s eyes homesick tears….
Many like to listen; but few understand.
To and fro at will there’s a long wind flying,
Dry mulberry-trees, old cypresses, trembling in its chill.
There are nine baby phoenixes, outcrying one another;
A dragon and a tiger spring up at the same moment;
Then in a hundred waterfalls ten thousand songs of autumn
Are suddenly changing to The Yuyang Lament;
And when yellow clouds grow thin and the white sun darkens,
They are changing still again to Spring in the Willow Trees.
Like Imperial Garden flowers, brightening the eye with beauty,
Are the high-hall candles we have lighted this cold night,
And with every cup of wine goes another round of music.
RETURNING AT NIGHT TO LUMEN MOUNTAIN
A bell in the mountain-temple sounds the coming of night.
I hear people at the fishing-town stumble aboard the ferry,
While others follow the sand-bank to their homes along the river.
…I also take a boat and am bound for Lumen Mountain —
And soon the Lumen moonlight is piercing misty trees.
I have come, before I know it, upon an ancient hermitage,
The thatch door, the piney path, the solitude, the quiet,
Where a hermit lives and moves, never needing a companion.
A SONG OF LU MOUNTAIN TO CENSOR LU XUZHOU
I am the madman of the Chu country
Who sang a mad song disputing Confucius.
…Holding in my hand a staff of green jade,
I have crossed, since morning at the Yellow Crane Terrace,
All five Holy Mountains, without a thought of distance,
According to the one constant habit of my life.
Lu Mountain stands beside the Southern Dipper
In clouds reaching silken like a nine-panelled screen,
With its shadows in a crystal lake deepening the green water.
The Golden Gate opens into two mountain-ranges.
A silver stream is hanging down to three stone bridges
Within sight of the mighty Tripod Falls.
Ledges of cliff and winding trails lead to blue sky
And a flush of cloud in the morning sun,
Whence no flight of birds could be blown into Wu.
…I climb to the top. I survey the whole world.
I see the long river that runs beyond return,
Yellow clouds that winds have driven hundreds of miles
And a snow-peak whitely circled by the swirl of a ninefold stream.
And so I am singing a song of Lu Mountain,
A song that is born of the breath of Lu Mountain.
…Where the Stone Mirror makes the heart’s purity purer
And green moss has buried the footsteps of Xie,
I have eaten the immortal pellet and, rid of the world’s troubles,
Before the lute’s third playing have achieved my element.
A LUTE SONG
Our host, providing abundant wine to make the night mellow,
Asks his guest from Yangzhou to play for us on the lute.
Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying,
Frost is on ten thousand trees, and the wind blows through our clothes;
But a copper stove has added its light to that of flowery candles,
And the lute plays The Green Water, and then The Queen of Chu.
Once it has begun to play, there is no other sound:
A spell is on the banquet, while the stars grow thin….
But three hundred miles from here, in Huai, official duties await him,
And so it’s farewell, and the road again, under cloudy mountains.
ON HEARING DONG PLAY THE FLAGEOLET
A POEM TO PALACE-ATTENDANT FANG
When this melody for the flageolet was made by Lady Cai,
When long ago one by one she sang its eighteen stanzas,
Even the Tartars were shedding tears into the border grasses,
And the envoy of China was heart-broken, turning back home with his escort.
…Cold fires now of old battles are grey on ancient forts,
And the wilderness is shadowed with white new-flying snow.
…When the player first brushes the Shang string and the Jue and then the Yu,
Autumn-leaves in all four quarters are shaken with a murmur.
Dong, the master,
Must have been taught in heaven.
Demons come from the deep pine-wood and stealthily listen
To music slow, then quick, following his hand,
Now far away, now near again, according to his heart.
A hundred birds from an empty mountain scatter and return;
Three thousand miles of floating clouds darken and lighten;
A wildgoose fledgling, left behind, cries for its flock,
And a Tartar child for the mother he loves.
Then river waves are calmed
And birds are mute that were singing,
And Wuzu tribes are homesick for their distant land,
And out of the dust of Siberian steppes rises a plaintive sorrow.
…Suddenly the low sound leaps to a freer tune,
Like a long wind swaying a forest, a downpour brea king tiles,
A cascade through the air, flying over tree-tops.
…A wild deer calls to his fellows. He is running among the mansions
I find you alone under falling petals.
IN HER QUIET WINDOW
Too young to have learned what sorrow means,
Attired for spring, she climbs to her high chamber….
The new green of the street-willows is wounding her heart —
Just for a title she sent him to war.
A SONG OF THE SPRING PALACE
Last night, while a gust blew peach-petals open
And the moon shone high on the Palace Beyond Time,
The Emperor gave Pingyang, for her dancing,
Brocades against the cold spring-wind.
A SONG OF LIANGZHOU
They sing, they drain their cups of jade,
They strum on horseback their guitars.
…Why laugh when they fall asleep drunk on the sand ? —
How many soldiers ever come home?
A FAREWELL TO MENG HAORAN
ON HIS WAY TO YANGZHOU
You have left me behind, old friend, at the Yellow Crane Terrace,
On your way to visit Yangzhou in the misty month of flowers;
Your sail, a single shadow, becomes one with the blue sky,
Till now I see only the river, on its way to heaven.
THROUGH THE YANGZI GORGES
From the walls of Baidi high in the coloured dawn
To Jiangling by night-fall is three hundred miles,
Yet monkeys are still calling on both banks behind me
To my boat these ten thousand mountains away.
ON MEETING A MESSENGER TO THE CAPITAL
It’s a long way home, a long way east.
I am old and my sleeve is wet with tears.
We meet on horseback. I have no means of writing.
Tell them three words: “He is safe.”
ON MEETING LI GUINIAN DOWN THE RIVER
I met you often when you were visiting princes
And when you were playing in noblemen’s halls.
…Spring passes…. Far down the river now,
I find you alone under falling petals.
AT CHUZHOU ON THE WESTERN STREAM
Where tender grasses rim the stream
And deep boughs trill with mango-birds,
On the spring flood of last night’s rain
The ferry-boat moves as though someone were poling.
A NIGHT-MOORING NEAR MAPLE BRIDGE
While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost;
Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch;
And I hear, from beyond Suzhou, from the temple on Cold Mountain,
Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell.