Climbing Xian Mountain With Friends

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Yang Hu's 'Falling Tears Tablet' covered with quarry dust

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Climbing Xian Mountain With Friends
        Meng Haoran 689-740

All human lives have their time,
Coming, going, new succeeding old.
But this historical site still endures,
Now we also climb the same mountain.
Han river flows over Fish Weir Shoal, shallow,
Winter sky freezes Dream Marsh, deep.
And Lord Yang's stele still stands,
Reading it... tears wet my jacket�
Yǔ Zhūzǐ Dēng Xiànshān
Mèng Hàorán

Rénshì yǒu dàixiè,
Wǎnglái chéng gǔjīn.
Jiāng shān liú shèngjì,
Wǒbèi fù dēnglín.
Shuǐ luò Yú Liáng qiǎn,
Tiān hán Mèng Zé shēn.
Yang Gōng Bēi shàngzài,
Dú bà lèi zhānjīn.
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Yang Hu, 221-278, military governor here during the Western Jin Dynasty, 265-317, often climbed Xian Mountain with friends to drink wine and recite poems. On one outing, perhaps becoming a bit maudlin after a few cups, Yang turned to his companions and said, "For as long as the cosmos has existed, just so long has this mountain. And many have been the worthy and superior gentlemen of the past, who have, like you and me, climbed here to gaze into the distance. That all of them should now be gone without a trace, fills me with grief. A hundred years from now, if my body and cloud spirits are conscious, they will climb up here again!"
(From Yang Hu's biography in the Jin Shu. See page 34 of Meng Haojan by Paul Kroll.)

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