The Roads of Luoyang

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A straight Luoyang road today

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The Roads of Luoyang
        Chu Guangxi 707-760

The roads are straight as strands of hair
and full of the glories of spring
the noble young lords from the Wuling Hills
ride by in pairs with their bridles ringing
Luòyáng Dào
Chǔ Guāngxī 707-760

Dà dào zhí rú fà,
Chūnrì jiāqì duō.
Wǔlíng guì gōngzǐ,
Shuāngshuāng wū yùkē.
Translator: Red Pine-Bill Porter 赤松

Red Pine writes:

'When Luoyang was rebuilt during the Sui and early Tang, it was laid out west of the old city with straight wide roadways. During the Tang it served as the dynasty's eastern capital, while Changan served as the western capital. The Wuling Hills were northwest of Changan and named for a group of five imperial grave mounds. This was also where many well-to-do families maintained estates, and the name eventually became associated with the western capital's elite, whether or not they had estates at Wuling. Here, the sons of the elite are in the eastern capital, which was famous for its gardens during the Tang, racing one another on horses whose bridles are decorated with cowry shells from the South Seas.' See Poems of The Masters, translated by Red Pine.

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