Feelings on First Entering the Gorges
Bai Juyi 722-846
Above, ten thousand feet of mountain,
below, water a thousand fathoms deep,
between gray gray walls on either side,
barely room for one sliver of boat!
Ch'ǘ-t'ang gaping, ready to wash us down,
Yan-yu, its peak looming in the middle;
not yet night, but black cliffs sink into darkness,
no wind, yet white waves leap up.
Big rocks like knives and swords,
little rocks like fangs and teeth,
you couldn't walk a single step here,
much less the thirty-three hundred li to my destination.
Flimsy threads, the bamboo-splint hawsers pulling us,
precarious, the footing of the men with their poles,
one slip and the whole boat is doomed--
my life dangles from such as these!
I've heard that he who honors sincerity and good faith
may move even among the Man and Mo people.
But from ancient times those sent into exile
were all model gentlemen, were they not?
What of someone of my fate and era,
a bungler, no such virtue to lean on?
Always I fear, talentless as I am,
I'll end among the nameless dead.
Chū Rù Xiá Yǒu Gǎn
Bái Jūyì 722-846
Shàng yǒu wàn rèn shān, Xià yǒu qiān zhàng shuǐ.
Cāngcāng liǎng yá jiān, Kuò xiá róng yì wěi.
Qútáng ya zhí xiè, Yànyù yì zhōng zhì.
Wèi yè hēi yá hūn, Wú fēng bái làng qǐ.
Dà shí rú dāo jiàn, Xiǎo shí rú yáchǐ.
Yí bù bùkě xíng, Kuàng qiān sānbǎi lǐ.
Rǎnruò zhúmiè niàn, Jìng wēi jí shī zhǐ.
Yì diē wú wán zhōu, Wǔ shēng xì yú cǐ.
Cháng wén zhàng zhōngxìn, Mánmò kě xíng yǐ.
Zìgǔ piāo chén rén, Qí jìn fēi jūnzǐ?
Kuàng wǔ shí yú mìng, Jiǎn chuǎn bùzú shì.
Cháng kǒng bùcái shēn, Fù zuò wúmíng sǐ.