Three Gorges on the Changjiang
Alarm at First Entering the Yangtze Gorges
Bai Juyi 722-846
Above, a mountain ten thousand feet high;
Below, a river a thousand fathoms deep.
A strip of sky, walled by cliffs of stone;
Wide enough for the passage of a single reed.
At Qutang a straight left yawns;
At Yanyu island block the stream.
Long before night the walls are black with dusk;
Without wind white waves rise.
The big rocks are like a flat sword;
The little rocks resemble ivory tusks.
We are stuck fast and cannot move a step.
How much the less, three hundred miles?
Frail and slender, the twisted-bamboo rope;
Weak, the treacherous hold of the punters' feet.
A single slip--the whole convoy lost;
And my life hangs on this thread!
I have heard a saying 'He that has an upright heart
Shall walk scatheless through the lands of Man and Mo.'
How can I believe that since the world began
In every shipwreck none have drowned but rogues
And how can I, born in evil days
And fresh from failure, ask a kindness of Fate?
Often I fear that these un-talented limbs
Will be laid at last in an un-named grave!
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.