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Wang Wei

Pa Pass

At daybreak I head for Pa Pass.
Spring and I together leave Ch’ang-an.
A woman washes clothes in bright water.
The birds at dawn sing in the light.
River country. Boats here are markets.
Mountain bridges cling to treetops.
Climbing up, a hundred villages.
In the far sun the Two Rivers.
People here speak another language,
But the birdsong's just like my country's.
Understanding the depths of landscape,
Even here I am never lonely.

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To Qiwu Qian Bound Home After Failing an Examination

In a happy reign there should be no hermits;
The wise and able should consult together....
So you, a man of the eastern mountains,
Gave up your life of picking herbs
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold --
But you found your devotion unavailing.
...To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers,
You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital --
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood
You will float again toward your own thatch door,
Led along by distant trees
To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
...What though your purpose happened to fail,
Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.

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Wang Wei
Wang Wei