“Ancient Air” by Li Po

When I can travel freely again, I would want to climb a mountain and see all human affairs afresh, literally from above as is done by this great poet of the Tang dynasty, Li Po (701-762).


Climbed high, to gaze upon the sea,
Heaven and Earth, so vast, so vast.
Frost clothes all things in autumn,
Winds waft, the broad waters cold.
Glory, splendor eastward flowing stream
This world’s affairs are just waves.
White sun covered, its rays dying,
Floating clouds have no resting place.
In lofty Wu-t’ung, trees nest lowly finches.
Down among the thorny bush, the phoenix perches.
All that’s left, to go home again,
Hand in my sword, I sing,
“The going’s hard.”

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