Eastern Capital's Best!

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Kaifeng top vendor

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Eastern Capital's Best!
Suzhou and Hangzhou are grand sights
        paradise on earth,
But the Eastern Capital stands alone
        even more bewitching.
Hangzhou's West Lake
        has hundreds of beauties,
Captivating Broken Bridge
        has its fairy goddess.
Guilin's natural scenery
        finest under heaven,
Northwind Water town
        best home under heaven.
Seventh Dynasty's old capital
        beauty without compare,
But China's Eastern Capital
        trumps them all in brilliance!
Dōngjīng Gèng Yāoráo
Tiantáng Sū Háng Fēngguāng měi,
Dúyòu Dōngjīng gèng yāoráo.
Hángzhōu Xīhú bǎi niangzǐ,
Qīngxīn Duànqiāo wèi xǔ xiān.
Guìlin shānshuǐ jiǎtiānxià,
Béifēng shuǐ chéng Tianxià jiā.
Qi cháo gǔdū měimíng yáng,
Zhōngguó Dōngjīng gèng huīhuáng.
Translator: Dongbo 東波

We stumbled on this poem in Kaifeng, the capital of the former Northern Song Dynasty. In the square before the 龍亭 Longting, replica of the old Song Dynasty palace, Kaifeng top performers gather in the evening to whip wooden tops with bullwhips. One of the vendors, an expert himself in this skill, suddenly burst forth with this chant when he learned we were on the trail of poems. In the background you can hear the snapping of the bullwhips.We are uncertain about a few characters...

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