The Imperial Entourage on the Road from Dengfeng

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The Imperial Entourage on the Road from Dengfeng
Song Zhiwen 656-712

A palace of brocade adorns the great peak
The ascent of an immortal is glorious indeed
At dawn curtains weave through the clouds
At dusk lanterns flicker among the stars
Countless banners wind out of a dark ravine
Down the quaking mountain ten thousand chariots roll
The royal entourage is worthy of an ode
Alas I lack the skill to dazzle Heaven
Hù Cóng Dēngfēng Tú Zhōng Zuò
Sòng Zhīwèn 656-712

Zhàng diàn yù cuī wéi,
Xiān yóu shí zhuàng zāi.
Xiǎo yún lián mù juǎn,
Yè huǒ zá xīng huí.
Gǔ àn qiān qí chū,
Shān míng wàn shéng lái.
Hù yóu liáng kě fù,
Zhōng fá yǎn tiān cái.
Translator: Red Pine-Bill Porter 赤松

Traveling with the Empress Wu after she 'climbed' Songshan to make offerings to Heaven.

From the book Poems of the Masters, China's Classic Anthology of Tang and Song Dynasty verse. One of the best, if not "the best", books of general translations of Chinese poetry. Wonderfully detailed notes on each poem and all poems are displayed in the original Chinese.

Translated by Red Pine, published by Copper Canyon Press.

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